Kraftwerk announce 50th anniversary North American tour

The band Kraftwerk performs at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 2012

New York (AFP) - The legendary German electro pioneers Kraftwerk on Monday announced a North American tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

The influential group -- which has inspired artists from David Bowie to Kanye West and Daft Punk -- will kick off the 27-date trek throughout the US and Canada in Seattle on June 19, with destinations including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago along with Vancouver and Montreal.

The act promises immersive "3-D Concerts" -- a concept launched in 2013 that fuses three-dimensional visuals and performance art with Kraftwerk's music catalog -- that will return stateside for the first time since 2016.

Ralf Huetter and Florian Schneider started Kraftwerk in Dusseldorf in 1970 as part of the experimental "krautrock" movement, a broad genre blending psychedelic rock with electronic rhythms and early synthesizers.

The group, who famously said that they wanted to make music more as machines than as men, quickly gained international recognition for industrial sounds, sparse arrangements and computerized beats that provided a blueprint for later genres including electro, hip hop, techno and synthpop.

Kraftwerk -- whose major albums include "Autobahn," "Trans-Europe Express" and "The Man-Machine" -- were honored in 2014 with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.

The notoriously reclusive act has been a major contributor to music technology, constructing homemade instruments and devices to craft its innovative sound.

© Agence France-Presse