You've heard the Motorik beat, one of the seminal rhythms of the late 20ths century. Created in the early 1970s by Dusseldorf, Germany percussionist Klaus Dinger, the Motorik beat over the past thirty years has become of the essential rhythms of our time. Dinger died last week, though his thoroughly modernist creation lives on. Rather than try to explain what Dinger and his partner in Neu!, Michael Rother, created — robotic snare, double-time high hat, occasional drum roll, and a large helping of The Funk — you should just listen to it:
Writer Douglas Wolk penned a fantastic piece on the birth and influence of Motorik, perfectly capturing the beat's allure: “Dinger and Rother made listeners wait and wait for something to change by more than degrees, or for a vanished rhythm to reappear, and their fans learned to love the waiting game.”
Dinger and Rother formed Neu! after working with fellow Dusseldorf musicians Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider in an early incarnation of Kraftwerk, where Dinger worked out his meditative beat, one which has permeated our culture. It was a building block for both Chicago house and Detroit techno, drove the shoegazers and first-wave ravers mad. When push comes to shove, we could even possibly blame Dinger's Motorik beat for the relentless drive of trance and progressive house. But then there's Wilco using it, too:
Stereolab owes Dinger and Rother some royalties:
And I don't know what the hell this is, but holy shit, there it is again!
And, well, Kraftwerk's beautiful “Tanzmusik” from 1973. This was after Dinger got the boot (I think, but please correct me if I'm wrong), but the rhythm was ubiquitous.