Finding the connections between artists and their influence on each other helps
you to develop a deeper understanding of their music. You'll research the
inspiration behind a current musician or producer, walking back a connective chain
to creators releasing music from 1990 or earlier.
Years ago, a verbal party game developed called Degrees of Separation. The goal
was to link two totally unrelated people together by creating links through things
that they have in common with other people. Each person would to add someone
who had a relationship with the previous person, eventually connecting the two
unrelated people you were given at the beginning of the game. Think of it like
making a chain using musicians or producers as the links.
This game morphed into connecting anyone to the actor Kevin Bacon as Six Degrees
of Kevin Bacon, hence our title Six Degrees of Kraftwerk. We use Kraftwerk as the example
and assignment title because most of electronic, computer software/in-the-box music
production can be connected up the the legendary German creators.
• Start with a modern musician or producer that started their professional career in the last ten years.
• Research and link to artists and producers back through music history to other influential artists
and producers releasing music from 1990 or earlier. This pre-1990 artist producer doesn't need to
be Kraftwerk. You should include a minimum of four connected artists with one artist being influenced by the next/previous artist in the chain.
• Create a linear timeline/story. The connections between artists should create a chronology.
• At the other end of the chain, connect the current artist and your other artists to a 1990 or earlier
recording artist such as Kraftwerk. While this isn't an exclusive list, here are some possible 1990 or
earlier artists and producers to connect:
Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder, DJ Premier, Dr. Dre, Hank Shocklee/Bomb Squad, Prince Paul, Can, Large Professor, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Neu!, Jam Master Jay, Marley Marl, Brian Eno, David Bowie, Tangerine Dream, Fela Kuti, Lee "Scratch" Perry, MFSB, King Tubby, Prince/King Jammy, Juan Atkins, Throbbing Gristle, Marshall Jefferson, Frankie Knuckles, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, Velvet Underground, Ministry, Kirk Franklin, Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson, Phil "Filthy Animal" Taylor, Tony Iommi, Depeche Mode
• The historical links are to be very direct connections between artists or producers and should be
one of the following:
1) Each connecting artist/producer has recorded, played as a band member of, collaborated with or played the music of the previous connecting artist/producer.
2) Each connecting artist/producer has sampled the previous connecting artist/producer.
3) Each connecting artist/producer has used a technique developed or popularized by the previous connecting artist/producer. See directly below as how to cite your proof.
• Prove the direct connection between your artists/producers by using news articles, written or video interviews or liner notes from releases. Tips: If you are having trouble finding an article or interview, we suggest the allmusic.com to look over the Overview, Biography and Credits sections. Similarly, discogs.com will often have helpful information and credits. WhoSampled.com acts as a clearinghouse for sampled and re-recorded usage of music. If you are trying to make some connections for EDM or Hip Hop, consider using the electro.org interactive site as a starting place for related styles and artist names to research.