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KRAFTWERK

Kraftwerk

 

Progressive Electronic

3.35 | 102 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Kraftwerk" is the self-titled debut full-length studio album by German krautrock/electronic music act Kraftwerk. The album was released through Philips in November 1970. Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider had been part of the pre-Kraftwerk act Organisation that released the experiemental krautrock album "Tone Float" in 1969 and then disbanded. The two musicians joined forces with drummers Klaus Dinger (later of Neu!) and Andreas Hohmann and became Kraftwerk. Kraftwerk is mostly known for their later electronic music releases but their early albums are mostly in experimental krautrock territory.

The music on the album is in the repetitive krautrock style with driving beats and a psychadelic instrumental approach but there are also many ambient experimental sound parts on the album. Keyboards, flutes, violin and woodwinds are a part of the instrumentation in addition to the percussive assault. The album opens very strong with the excellent "Retreat (Ruckzuck)" which to my ears is THE highlight of the album. Itīs a great krautrock track with repetitive beats and some cool flute playing. After "Retreat (Ruckzuck)" the gas slowly leaves the ballon though. Already on the second track "Stratovarius" noisy ambient experimentation takes over and the experimental parts which provided "Retreat (Ruckzuck)" with an adventurous twist, are on "Stratovarius" a real challenge to get through (the middle section of the song is pretty great though). The remaining two tracks "Megaherz" and "From the High Skies (Von Himmel Hoch)" feature ambient and noisy experimental parts too and while that has always been a dominant part of krautrock, itīs a bit more avant garde/experimental here than on more easily digestable contemporary krautrock releases.

The sound production is of a very high quality considering the fact that this album was released in 1970. Producer Conny Plank is not without reason referred to as a legend by many. Upon conclusion "Kraftwerk" is an interesting debut album and fans of the more experimental and ambient part of the krautrock genre will probably enjoy this one greatly. For those of us who prefer a bit more structure, not as much improvised experimentation and more memorable songwriting, this is not really the place to start listening to either krautrock nor to Kraftwerk in general. A 2.5 star (50%) rating is warranted.

UMUR | 2/5 |

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