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Kraftwerk Ralf & Florian album cover
3.53 | 138 ratings | 12 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Electric Roulette (Elektrisches Roulette) (4:19)
2. Mountain of Sound (Tongebirge) (2:50)
3. Crystal (Kristallo) (6:18)
4. The Bells of Home (Heimatklange) (3:45)
5. Dance Music (Tanzmusik) (6:34)
6. Pineapple Symphony (Ananas Symphonie) (13:55)

Total Time: 38:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Ralf Hütter
- Florian Schneider / vocals, keyboards (Farfisa organ, Minimoog, EMS Synthi AKS, vocoder), string & wind instruments, drums, electronics, production

- Konrad "Conny" Plank / engineer

Releases information

Artwork: Robert Franck (photo)

LP Philips ‎- 6305 197 (1973, Germany) Never reissued on CD

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KRAFTWERK Ralf & Florian ratings distribution

(138 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

KRAFTWERK Ralf & Florian reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I would like to call it the album of transition, simply the perfect missing link between the sonic electronic pop "Autobahn" and first primitive experimentations on amplified acoustic instruments é feedback...This album is not very popular despite that it represents a little revolution in the genre. For the first time the duo decides to mix catchy melodies, a rhythmical emphasis to sound manipulations and electronic experimentations. "Electric Roulette" is a propulsive, imaginative electronic pop composition which launch this retro- futurist vision of thinking the "robotisation" of human behaviours & tempers. The song has a rather humorous, satirical dimension without being silly, thanks to strange, enigmatic, inventive collages. "Mountain of Sound" delivers a pastoral, floating, dancing flute line accompanied by large synth/organ textures. Similar to the atmosphere delivered in "Megahertz" (on the first album) without the "hallucinatory" progression provided by the electronic / semi- acoustic orchestration. "Crystal" is a dynamic, moving electronic composition with an almost funky bass groove and very kitsch crystalline synth melodies. "Dance Music" represents the clinical pop aspect of the band, for many the decline of things, I recognize that this song has something naive and mechanical. Slightly dated but a pioneering work. An album which need several listening to be correctly appreciated.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Well this is more melodic and less experimental than their first two records. Electric piano, electronic percussion, guitar, violin, flute, synths and xylophone are some of the instruments they employ. So yes there is more of an organic sound here when compared to the albums that follow this one. I think it would be fair to say that this record is a bridge between their old sound and the new sound that would follow.

"Elektrisches Roulette" opens with sounds that pulse as well as some high frequency noises. A melody arrives before a minute.Great sound. Drums 1 1/2 minutes in with piano a minute later. The tempo picks up 3 minutes in. "Tongebirge" features flute and synth sounds that come and go. This is a spacey song that drifts along. It recalls earlier albums. I like it.

"Kristallo" features an electronic beat with what sounds like processed piano. It settles right down before 5 minutes briefly before kicking back in even louder. "Heimatlklange" opens with some beautiful piano as waves of sound come in. Great tune. "Tanzmusik" is an uptempo and catchy song. Some hand claps late. "Ananas Symphonie" is the 14 minute closer. Harp-like sounds early with processed spoken words a minute in. An electronic soundscape takes over. It changes 2 minutes in to a pastoral, spacey climate. Nice. Another change 7 minutes in as we get an electronic beat with gentle guitar as the spacey winds blow.

Well this would be my second favourite KRAFTWERK album after their debut, although if we're counting Ralf and Florian's album under the name ORGANISATION I would rank IT second and this third.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars Third opus from ''Kraftwerk'' and second of the duo actually. It sounds rather pretentious right from the start: the cover, the title.

Their previous albums were just anecdotal IMO, and if they wouldn't have been famous later on, no doubt that they would have remained in the abysses of music.

This one is slightly better, and offers at least some fine pieces of music. It sounds that full experimentation has come to end and that the style which will make their immense success is well set in place here (''Kristallo'').

The ambient ''Heimatklänge'' is pleasant as well, although somewhat repetitive: but this is almost a trade mark by this band, so. Still, the global feeling remains positive so far. By no doubt my preferred ''Kraftwerk'' record up to now (but this was not very difficult).

Now, in terms of repetitiveness, ''Tanzmusik'' is doing alright. As such, it could have lasted for two or twenty minutes since so little variation is offered. One still will have to swallow six minutes of this monotonous track.

But in terms of monotony, the Palme D'Or here is definitely won by the closing ''Ananas Symphonie''. What a symphony indeed! Boring to death, extremely dull, tasteless. For some thirteen minutes. The culminating boredom point of this album.

Two stars, for the good start of this album.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Ralf & Florian" is the 3rd full-length studio album by German krautrock/electronic music act Kraftwerk. The album was released through Philips in October 1973. This is the album where Kraftwerk begin their transition from krautrock act to electronic music act. "Ralf & Florian" features nodes toward the electronic style that Kraftwerk would play on later releases but there are still krautrock elements on the album too.

The more extensive use of synths and electronic devices provides the music on "Ralf & Florian" with a new dimension compared to the first two albums by Kraftwerk. The structure of the tracks are still rather experimental though and even though tracks like "Kristallo" and "Tanzmusik" have repetitive beats there are still lots of more ambient experiments on the album.

I understand this is a very influential, and back then probably quite futuristic sounding album release, but to my ears large portions of the music sound directionless and experimental for the sake of it. Like odd ambient background music, which creates little emotional impact. A 2.5 star (50%) rating is warranted.

Review by colorofmoney91
5 stars Ralf & Florian is the album where Kraftwerk started to sound like Kraftwerk that we all know and love so much. The electronic experimentations from the last album have finally worked their way into intertwining with the music instead of just being junky noise. This isn't quite the Kraftwerk robo-electro progressive pop yet, though. This album is equal parts progressive electronic and krautrock, but you can hear the obvious development in sound that would become to define Kraftwerk.

"Elektrisches Roulette" sounds like a very poppy krautrock track, and is fun and springing with happiness and energy. Think a sped up Neu! "Tongebirge" always sounded to me like Yes' "The Fish" with ambient modification as done by Brian Eno. "Kristallo" is an obvious precursor to the additional tracks found on the Autobahn LP. "Heimatklange" is a soft keyboard track with a steady electronic drone in the back, and it serves the purpose of being a beautiful intermission before the last two (and best) tracks. "Tanzmusik" is a very danceable track with a fluttery, butterfly-like melodies. This track also seems like an obvious comparison to Neu! "Ananas Symphonie" is a great progressive electronic/ambient combination track, and is the most notable track on the album. It's the longest track and it moves through various soft passages and includes fine field-recording manipulations that really give it an organic vs. inorganic vibe.

Ralf & Florian is one of my personal favorite Kraftwerk albums. It really puts on display the slightly primitive electronic experimentations that would eventually develop to become the trademark Kraftkwerk sound. This album is also a perfect merging of krautrock and progressive electronic, done in a way that I've not actually heard before, which makes this album seem like one of a kind. A definite masterpiece.

Review by Warthur
2 stars Ralf and Florian finds Kraftwerk expanding their use of electronics and synthesisers. but whilst there's a wealth of experimentation going on here I find it rather unsatisfying. The overall impression created by the album is of walking in on the band as they try to work out what to do with all these cool toys - so they try a bit of noise here, some odd vocals there, and generally fiddle about with concepts that other Krautrock bands had already explored far more thoroughly at this point in time. I suppose it is interesting to see the guys fumble their way towards the cool electronic sound which would rocket them to stardom, but on this album they have a long way to go before they get there.
Review by Neu!mann
3 stars Their self-titled third album is still the neglected stepchild in the greater Kraftwerk discography, overshadowed on one side (even today) by the raw Krautrock grunge of their earlier 'traffic cone' albums and on the other by the international success of "Autobahn". The namesake duo refuse to even recognize it anymore, and to date have never sanctioned an official CD release, frustrating many older fans in the process.

And yet it was the first Kraftwerk album to formulate anything resembling a genuine group identity. The original cover photo shows the genesis of that immaculate Kraftwerk image, embracing an ironic caricature of German efficiency that would go a long way toward selling the band around the world. Ralf still wore the shoulder-length hair of a precocious chemistry professor, but how many young musicians in 1973 were dressed and groomed as neatly as Florian, complete with nerdy musical lapel pin?

Clearly this wasn't the same team of counterculture vandals who fabricated buzz-bomb attacks on their self-titled debut LP. But for the time being the two were still in the process of shedding their primitive Krautrock epidermis. You can hear it in the crude attempts at real melodic figures, and in the punchier rhythms of "Kristallo" and "Tanzmusik". The latter in particular was a brightly laminated road map to a lucrative future: the most upbeat tune so far in their rapidly evolving catalogue, and yet still disarmingly German (if that isn't an oxymoron).

And then there's the (almost) side-long "Ananas Symphonie", an evocative tone poem to swaying palm trees and undulating native girls, strikingly out of step with other German music trends at the time. The track doesn't really arrive anywhere after nearly fourteen minutes, but like the whole album it can be a very pleasant journey, and for Ralf and Florian the song was another confident step away from the labored Teutonic experiments of the past.

Maybe the two were later embarrassed by the low-tech clutter of their home studio, as it appeared in 1973 on the album's rear sleeve. Or maybe turning their collective back on the past was a calculated ploy to increase the cult appeal of those anomalous early efforts. Either way it's a shortsighted attitude: the sleek computer world of future Kraftwerk wouldn't look the same without the man-made nuts and bolts of makeshift analog albums like this one.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Ralf and Florian is the third studio album from electronic group Kraftwerk. While the strange Kraftwerk 2 didn't feature any electronic elements as well as having little to do with the self-titled debut, Ralf and Florian (named after the duo themselves, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider) shows the f ... (read more)

Report this review (#1536460) | Posted by Pastmaster | Monday, March 7, 2016 | Review Permanlink

3 stars In my very last year as teenager, I was to be one of the many who'd be marked for years by the album Autobahn. I would have then to spend 37 more years before finally discovering the present album from 1973! I missed it in the 70's and started my Kraftwerk flip time directly with Autobahn. Wha ... (read more)

Report this review (#516908) | Posted by Music By Mail | Wednesday, September 7, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another Kraut/Electronic offering from Kraftwerk!! The fist two albums are more experimental and mechanical, this sees Kraftwerk at a more electronical and lighter appearance, the album may not appeal to latter fans of Kraftwerk. The opener "Electrics Roulette" is rich with synths and keys, a ... (read more)

Report this review (#86936) | Posted by PROGMAN | Saturday, August 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars ...and then there were two... Another interesting release from KRAFTWERK from November 1973, the last of their Kraut albums, after this glorious Prog album we have the Techno nonsense that follows. This time we have a bit more melody with this album, their third album, Ralf & Florian, h ... (read more)

Report this review (#66714) | Posted by craig4 | Wednesday, January 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The perfect middle-point between their first krautrecordings and their change of direction towards pop music. More coherent than Autobahn and far less boring than Radioaktivitat. Kristallo shines as its title suggests, and with Elektrische Roulette and Tanzmusik they open the door to their future ... (read more)

Report this review (#45015) | Posted by | Wednesday, August 31, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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