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Die Krupps

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  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s


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All Music Guide:

Along with Front 242, the German group Die Krupps stands as one of the innovators of the subgenre of Euro-rock dubbed body music, a sound characterized by its dense electronic makeup as well as its harsh, visceral execution. Die Krupps came together in 1981 as a duo comprised of vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, and mouthpiece Jurgen Engler, formerly of the German punk outfit Male, and ex-Propaganda member Ralf Dorper. Over the course of the group's first three records -- 1981's Stahlwerksinfonie, 1982's Volle Kraft Voraus, and 1984's Entering the Arena -- Die Krupps continued to refine its lyrically bleak, synth-based sound. (A two-record retrospective covering these three LPs, Metalle Maschinen Musik 91-81 Past Forward, appeared in 1991.)

The mid-'80s marked a fallow period for the band, and it was not until the 1992 release of the album One that it became clear exactly what Die Krupps had been doing over the preceding eight years -- basically, listening to Metallica and other metal innovators. Both One and its 1992 follow-up Metal for the Masses Part II -- A Tribute to Metallica found the group's signature sound augmented by metal guitars, which enabled Die Krupps to cross over to hard rock audiences while still maintaining its electronic music fanbase.

1993's Die Krupps Box, a three-disc box set, preceded the same year's release of The Final Option, which found Engler and Dorper joined by ex-Heathen guitarist Lee Altus and drummer Darren Minter. In 1994, a remix album, titled The Final Mixes, featured contributions from artists like the Sisters of Mercy's Andrew Eldritch, Nitzer Ebb's Julian Beeston, Gunshot, and Jim Martin, formerly of Faith No More. A year later, Odyssey of the Mind found the group moving even further from its electronic roots. Isolation, a collection of Odyssey of the Mind remixes and live tracks, appeared in 1996.


This article is about the industrial rock band. For the commercial steel dynasty after whom the band is named, see Krupp.

Die Krupps (German pronunciation: [diː ˈkʁʊps]) is a German industrial rock/EBM band, formed in 1980 by Jürgen Engler and Bernward Malaka in Düsseldorf.


The band's name translates as "The Krupps" and comes from the Krupp dynasty, one of Germany's main industrial families before World War II. In some interviews the band stated that Visconti's 1969 movie The Damned — a depiction of the fictitious German industrial dynasty of the Essenbecks — was the main inspiration.

Ralf Dörper who was part of the initial line-up which created the highly acclaimed early recordings "Stahlwerksynfonie" and "Wahre Arbeit Wahrer Lohn" in 1981 left the band in 1982 to found the band Propaganda. Propaganda became one of the few German bands which were internationally successful in the 80s. In 1989 Ralf Dörper initiated a collaboration with Nitzer Ebb on an old Die Krupps track (i.e. Machineries of Joy, a cover of Wahre Arbeit Wahrer Lohn) which he produced together with Jürgen Engler. The chart-success of the record (Billboard-Charts) led to the reactivation of Die Krupps fronted by Engler and Dörper.

The initial Die Krupps sound throughout the 1980s combined synthesizers with metallic percussion. Die Krupps were key in the Europe wide progression of Electronic Body Music culminating with the collaboration in 1989 with British band Nitzer Ebb. In 1992, they began to utilize guitars and more sounds derived from heavy metal music, with the release of their album and the EP Tribute To Metallica, which consisted of covers of Metallica songs. Combining electronic and metal elements was a pioneering move which led to a number of other bands using the electronic/metal combo as a template in keeping with a deeper industrial sound. The band continued in this vein through the 1990s, releasing II - The Final Option (with a cover influenced by Deep Purple's Machine Head) in 1993. A more experimental and pensive III - Odyssey of the Mind followed in 1995. After the release of the heavily metal-influenced album Paradise Now in 1997, the band disbanded.

Jürgen Engler founded the project DKay.com and released two albums in 2000 and 2002.

Die Krupps celebrated their 25th anniversary with appearances in some major European festivals as well as solo appearances in 2005 and 2006. In fall 2007, two greatest-hits albums were released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Die Krupps: "Too Much History - The Electro Years Vol. 1" and "Too Much History - The Metal Years Vol. 2", both in digipak format. Both albums were combined as the 2-disc "Too Much History".

The influential back-catalogue of Die Krupps has been remastered and expanded. So far four of their previous albums "Stahlwerksynfonie" "Volle Kraft Voraus", "I" and "Final Option" have been re-released.

To celebrate thirty years of "True Work" Die Krupps announced a joint European tour with Nitzer Ebb in spring 2011.

^ Die Krupps launch two best of albums^ Die Krupps re-release their classic albums 'Volle Kraft Voraus' and 'I' with bonus-material


Jürgen Engler – vocals, guitar, synthesizers and programmingRalf Dörper – synthesizers and programmingMarcel Zürcher – guitarVolker Borchert - drums
Former members[edit]
Rüdiger Esch - bass guitarChristoph "Nook" Michelfeit - drums, electronic percussionBernward Malaka - bass guitarFrank Köllges - drumsEva Gossling - saxophoneChristina Schnekenburger - keyboardsWalter Jäger - ?Christopher Lietz - programming, samplesLee Altus - guitarDarren Minter - drumsGeorge Lewis - drumsOliver Röhl – drumsAchim Färber – drums
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Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
09.04.15 Loreley Freilichtbuhne Sankt Goarshausen, Rhineland-palatinate Germany
09.06.15 FZW Dortmund, NW Germany
09.08.15 Nachtleben Frankfurt am Main, Hesse Germany
09.15.15 Le Divan du Monde Paris, ?? France
09.16.15 The Garage London, London UK
09.17.15 Kulturfabrik Krefeld, North Rhine-westphal Germany
09.21.15 Lucerna Music Bar Prague, Praha Czech Republic
09.30.15 Knust Hamburg, HH Germany