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Kraftwerk - The Man-Machine [Aka: Die Mensch-Maschine] CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.95 | 346 ratings

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4 stars German experimental electronic group was formed in 1970, and gained unexpected commercial success after the release of their fourth album Autobahn in 1974, and their popularity was still gaining momentum when Die Mensch-Maschine was released in 1978.

Dire Roboter, one of the classic Kraftwerk compositions, opens this release. A highly minimalistic tune, with simple but catchy and effective melody lines with intriguing contrasts created by the use of dark vocoder vocals. Spacelab and Metropolis follow, both with faster basic rhythms and more extensive use of floating synth textures creating a futuristic space feel. Das Model combines Kraftwerk's synth foundation with more regular vocals and pop-influenced melodies, and is arguably the most commercially oriented tune in the band's history.

Neonlicht is a longer tune, with a song segment explored for the first couple of minutes and then a melodic theme explored for the next 7 minutes or so. Die Mensch-Maschine ends the album on a minimalistic note, to some extent ending the album as it started.

Most of the tunes here are highly intriguing. The first two tunes are the best in my opinion, groovy and transfixing, and the next two tunes are really fascinating as well. Neonlicht is too repetitive for my taste though, and soon gets boring. Last track Die Mensch-Maschine also suffers from that, lacking elements creating variation and tension.

Still, this is without doubt a good album overall, highly recommended to any fan of electronic music in general and German electronic music in particular.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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