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Kraftwerk - The Man-Machine (Die Mensch-Maschine) CD (album) cover

THE MAN-MACHINE (DIE MENSCH-MASCHINE)

Kraftwerk

 

Progressive Electronic

3.91 | 253 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Syzygy
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Not a lot to add to the comments of the other reviewers, especially Cesar Loyola's excellent in depth analysis.

This album is Kraftwerk's masterpiece, the result of several years of patient development of what was then a new aesthetic of 'pure' electronic music. By this stage Kraftwerk were using solely self built or custom built equipment, with not a conventional instrument to be heard. Karl Bartos had emerged as Ralf Hutter's principal co-writer, with Florian Schneider contributing to the composition of just two songs. The sound engineers specialised in disco rather than rock, and it shows in the heavy rhythmic tracks that underpin the whole album. This album was also Kraftwerk's most fully realised concept to date, exploring the relationship between man and technology and speculating on how machines were becoming more human and vice versa. The human heart still beat at the core, however - the detached romance of The Model and the admiration of the beauty of the city in Neon Lights balance the alienation of Metropolis or the creepy ambiguity of The Robots (the Russian lyrics translate as 'I am your servant - I am your friend').

Is it prog? Some will argue that prog shouldn't be this danceable, or will be put off by the overt pop sensibility evident in The Model. As other reviewers have pointed out, however, there is more than enough subtlety and complexity here to satisfy the broad minded prog listener, and the influence of this album on music of the last 25 years cannot be overstated. Essential listening.

Syzygy | 5/5 |

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