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KRAFTWERK (1 AND 2)

Kraftwerk

Progressive Electronic


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clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I'm so glad I have found this one - a set of first two albums. I got it by a miracle, and found it at friend's place - a friend who didn't had a clue what that music is about.

Anyway, this, should I say, compilation consists of first two Kraftwerk albums, named "Kraftwerk" and "Kraftwerk 2". How imaginative! Well, it suits cold-machinery Kraftwerk's music spleen very good. And on the other hand, similar album names are proportional to similar music. Really, it's not very diverse, and it's impossible to tell where the first album ends and second one begins, because they are similar in sound, concept and presentation of the ideas.

Warning to all of you: this is highly experimental. Most of the time it sounds like a collection of radio announcements rather than traditional songs. Most of the songs are simple structured: they are following one simple pattern, developing dynamics and layers (and sometimes tempo) until the end of the track. Do not expect anything unpredictable in the middle of the...ehm, songs. This is highly meditative conception.

Electronic experimentation is omnipresent, but there is no sign of synthesizers - at least not the keyboards with the purpose of synthesis. They will appear in years to come. All the electronic sounds here are simple-circuit-generated basic waveforms, with no drastic modulations or accented melody.

The main instrument here is flute. Not to be mixed with JETHRO TULL or FOCUS crowd; there's just one single pattern played by Herr Schneider (he plays flute with very mellow timbre, in a good old tradition of German classical music), often augmented by a tape echo units. Playing a consonant interval in the same time when tape loops the sound over and over again is producing ascending simple chord effect - no dub-like double-tap echo here. Creating an organic tapestry, band continues with minimalistic interventions of other instruments here - including the guitar, but only in traces.

All the songs are in the same vain, more or less, some of them sound lovely, some of them are emphasizing meditation concept, some of them are intentionally nasty. There is also a momentum that sounds like a background for Schlager (easy listening) music, which, in my opinion, is the most important chapter of this manifest whose idea is to deconstruct the music by it's particles and reconstructing it again in a intelligent, alternative way, paving the road for all the social impacts to the art of music itself, including the hedonism of using the helpful sound tools. The final artifact is undoubtedly a state of art, dehumanised piece made by human individuals, sounding clinical and beautiful at the same time.

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#102928)
Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
Eclipse
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars So yeah, this is a combination of their two self-titled albums, which were very good pieces of krautrock (not electronica yet). My reviews on both self-titled albums tell everything i feel towards this very interesting side of the band, so i can't add much here.

Okay, i know i'm looking like someone who doesn't have a life and keeps collecting reviews by making this pointless one, but i do have a point in this particular compilation: get the albums individually, and not the way they are here. Why? Because listening to both in a row can be a monotonous or simply just a plain awful experience (both are very experimental and inacesible) if you're not used to this initial KRAFTWERK approach. But, if you are a fan of this kind of music (as i am), maybe you'll find it interesting to listen to all in a row, and challenge yourself, since there's honestly no such a thing as "bad music" here, i mean, this is music to travel through, and if you can stand/love the 18-minute freak fest "Augmn" on CAN's Tago Mago right followed by a 10-minute freak supreme "Pekin O" you may find this quite catchy.

I want to make it clear that the two stars don't reflect the album's musical quality - which is pretty great IMHO. This is only for collectors, as you should get the albums individually to enjoy them in a better way and avoid a monotonous experience if you are new to this band's unique world.

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Send comments to Eclipse (BETA) | Report this review (#111942)
Posted Monday, February 12, 2007 | Review Permalink

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