There are few songs with the ability to transcend dancefloors and become a worldwide phenomenon. ‘Kernkraft 400′ is of them. Whether you know the track by name or not, I guarantee you have heard it. If you have heard it, I’m sure you’ve sung along to its infectious melody at your local sporting event. This track from Zombie Nation is one of those rare songs with the ability to shatter barriers. Leaving the dancefloor behind, this is the story of how the track has grown into its popular place.
In their new series titled ‘THE STORY OF‘, VICE follows the story of some of pop culture’s most iconic hits. The initial episode features Darude’s ‘Sandstorm‘, while the second is the viral internet video ‘End of Ze World’. In the third installment of their series, VICE follows the story of Kernkraft 400.
Released on March 15, 1999, the track saw initial success – but it wasn’t until a couple of remixes later that the song came to be what we know today.Originally a techno tune, the track was composed by the duo of Splank and Mooneron on analog gear. Kernkraft was played in “illegal parties”, which took place at “empty houses, and empty industrial spaces” in Munich, Germany.
The Track We Know Today
Upon production, the track was sent to a label, where it was eventually signed by Munich’s Gigolo Records. The track later got sent to Italy for further distribution & licensing, which is where the tune initially got remixed.
To the dismay of the initial producers, Dj Gius added some subtle changes to track, including a four-on-the-floor beat, some hi-hats and a “little break in there”. From there the track further spread, with distributors even omitting the fact that this was a remix to begin with.
It wasn’t until 6 months later that the “Stadium Chant Mix” – the one we’re all familiar with – was released, and the rest is history. Reaching a worldwide audience, the track can still be found in clubs, festivals, and sports stadiums alike.
You can watch the full episode below.