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

THE MAN-MACHINE (DIE MENSCH-MASCHINE)

Kraftwerk

 

Progressive Electronic

3.92 | 259 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alucard
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars 'Die Mensch-Maschine' was released in 1978 and this record has to be mainly judged with outer musical criteria. Since their begining Kraftwerk was interested in combining music and art. 'Kraftwerk' come from the industrial region of Germany and expressed their interest for industrial processes an technic in general, hence their name Kraftwerk =Power Plant. As the programmatical title the cover, inspired by a work of constructiviste artist El Lissitzky, expressed the fascination for technic.The whole concept was reinforced by the idea to create dummies representing the members which/who were introduced officially during a Parisian press presentation , while the Kraftwerk members were hiding and showed up only at the end.(The dummies were used later during concerts)

Kraftwerk were not interested in direct political statements and the 'Man-Machine' is mainly a Fashion and Art statement, that would lead indirectly to the point of no return. Whereas in former records there were still hints of social commentary, the 'Man-Machine' run on it's own closed circuit. Kraftwerk had reached the highest point of their artistic expression and at the same time an esthetic overkill. Now what about the music : in the meantime Dance music had arrived and was made fashionable thaks to artists like David Bowie. 'Kraftwerk' invented with this record, that was largely played in discotheques, Electro Pop with catchy melodies and sequenced rhythm patterns.

'The Robots (Die Roboter)' a programmatic opener with an angular 'robot' rhythm and the Russian vocals another hint to the russian constructivism movement, followed by 'Spacelab' a soundtrack for a SF movie with large spacy movements.

'Metropolis' a hommage to the German director Fritz Lang with one of the most sampled trademark drum sounds.

Side Two opens with the hit single 'The Model (Das Modell)' maybe one of the most perfect pop tunes ever and the ultimate Kraftwerk song inventing here single handed Electro Pop. BTW the German Vocals are slightly ironic, a point missing in the English version.

'Neon Lights (Neon Licht)' a pseudo folk song with a oversimplified melody line corresponding to the banal lyrics, an hommage to big citys and their hometown Düsseldorf in particular. Still composition-wise the most interesting track of the record, with a phase shifted counterpoint melody using minimalism techniques.

'The Man-Machine (Die Mensch-Maschine)' is the only track with a hint of social comment "the man machine/ a being or an object" ("ein Wesen oder Ding") with a dark menacing athmosphere.

'The Man Machine 'is the most influancial 'Kraftwerk' record, that introduced Electro Pop and combined Fashion, Art and Music in a highly sophisticated way.

Alucard | 5/5 |

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