Header

KRAFTWERK

Progressive Electronic • Germany


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Kraftwerk picture
Kraftwerk biography
Remaining one of the most influential bands in the history of popular music, we mustn't forget that KRAFTWERK typical sound is the result of many years and decades of experimentations, continuous works and researches in the possibilities offered by the acoustic, electronic and rock instruments.

In 1968, the two original members (Florian Schneider and Ralf Hutter, two longstanding friends) formed ORGANISATION. The famous German producer Conny Plank helped them to record their first album "Tone Float". Historically this album figures among the first albums released in the Krautrock genre, next to recordings from CAN, AMON DUUL, TANGERINE DREAM. The tone is floating but above all largely dominated by long, free improvisations, mixing organs, electronic experimentations with acoustic percussions.

During the year 1970, R. Hutter and F. Schneider dissolved the band to form KRAFTWERK whose name means power station (in German). Klaus Dinger and Andreas Hokman join the band and record an album called "Kraftwerk". Very minimalist, the record's cover is a perfect illustration of a repetitive music made of sound manipulations, punctuated by the flute and the electronic organ parts. The atmosphere is slightly "garage", a bit noisy, sometimes ethereal and spacey (Megahertz). At this time, the band's reputation remains discreet, despite a certain success. One year later in 1971, Klaus Dinger leaves the band to form NEU! with Michael Rother. "Kraftwerk 2" is released the same year and pursues on the way defined by the previous album (a lot of experimental guitar parts, distorted sounds, repetitive rhythms, gradual process.).

In 1973, Florian Schneider decides to put the stress on electronic percussions and contemporary sound researches. "Ralf & Florian" marks a turning point in the band's career. The melodies and the sound used begins more and more pop orientated despite that the recordings strive to bring to the fore the talent of Schneider and Hutter as musicians. In 1974, a new start announces the creation of the "Kling Klang" studio; a small laboratory entirely devoted to advanced electronic researches and investments in new synthesisers. In the album "Autobahn" the Mini Moog and others synthesisers supplant definitely the improvisations and the aleatoric experimentations.

With captivated and very efficient melodies this album is the first of a long commercial success for the band. The band's members settle down, Wolgang Flur, Karl Bart...
read more

Kraftwerk official website

KRAFTWERK MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

KRAFTWERK forum topics / tours, shows & news


KRAFTWERK forum topics Create a topic now
KRAFTWERK tours, shows & news Post an entries now

KRAFTWERK Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all KRAFTWERK videos (8) | Search and add more videos to KRAFTWERK

Buy KRAFTWERK Music


Computer WorldComputer World
Import
Elektra 2006
Audio CD$5.58
$4.95 (used)
AutobahnAutobahn
Parlophone 2009
Audio CD$14.58
Trans Europe ExpressTrans Europe Express
Remastered
Parlophone (Wea) 2009
Audio CD$25.99
$19.80 (used)
Trans Europe ExpressTrans Europe Express
Import
EMI Import 2003
Audio CD$25.96
$0.50 (used)
Tour De France SoundtracksTour De France Soundtracks
Astralwerks 2003
Audio CD$11.51
$3.78 (used)
Man MachineMan Machine
Parlophone 2009
Audio CD$13.85
$18.10 (used)
Electric CafeElectric Cafe
Import
Elektra / Wea 1990
Audio CD$9.14
$1.67 (used)
Radio-Activity [VINYL]Radio-Activity [VINYL]
Limited Edition · Remastered
Astralwerks 2009
Vinyl$32.15
$32.05 (used)
The MixThe Mix
Import
Elektra / Wea 1991
Audio CD$5.92
$2.23 (used)
Tour De FranceTour De France
Remastered
Parlophone (Wea) 2009
Audio CD$19.99
$19.97 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Kraftwerk + Kraftwerk 2 acd/osa 941001/02-2cds US $25.00 [0 bids]
1h 58m
LA DUSSELDORF s/t JAPAN MINI LP CD ORG.05 PRS (ARC-7112) Neu! Kraftwerk Cluster US $24.99 Buy It Now 2h
Kraftwerk: Autobahn 1974 STUNNING NEAR MINT 7" US $19.47 Buy It Now 2h
KRAFTWERK-COMPUTER WORLD-JAPAN CD C94 US $21.50 Buy It Now 2h 4m
KRAFTWERK: Radio-activity LP (orange label, inner sleeve, clean co, w/ sticker US $60.00 Buy It Now 2h 11m
KRAFTWERK Tour De France 2003 SIGNED Autographed PHOTO Print POSTER Shirt CD 002 US $5.67 Buy It Now 2h 15m
KRAFTWERK Tour De France 2003 SIGNED Autographed PHOTO Print POSTER Shirt CD 002 US $8.10 Buy It Now 2h 15m
KRAFTWERK Tour De France 2003 SIGNED Autographed PHOTO Print POSTER Shirt CD 002 US $24.34 Buy It Now 2h 15m
KRAFTWERK-RADIO ACTIVITY-JAPAN CD C94 US $21.50 Buy It Now 2h 41m
MACHINE SOUL An Odyssey Into Electronic Dance Music 2 CD Kraftwerk ORB Numan US $9.50 Buy It Now 2h 56m
KRAFTWERK "COMPUTER WORLD" BARTOS SCHULT SCHNEIDER HUTTER JAPAN CD ALBUM US $24.99 Buy It Now 3h 2m
KRAFTWERK MUSIQUE NONSTOP NICE SHAPE TOO I SHIP U 1986 ORIGINAL LP 45RPM NICE US $5.00 [1 bids]
3h 44m
KRAFTWERK "AUTOBAHN" / "MORGANSPAZIERGANG" 7" 45 RARE NEAR MINT- US $12.99 Buy It Now 4h 44m
KRAFTWERK METROPOLIS / EL MODELO ARGENTINA 7" US $41.38 Buy It Now 5h 45m
Kraftwerk Autobahn Original 1st Pressing Philips 6305 231 US $10.00 [0 bids]
US $13.00 Buy It Now
6h 16m
KRAFTWERK MINIMUM MAXIMUM 2/CD SET AUTOBAHN TRANS EUROPE EXPRESS MAN-MACHINE US $9.95 [1 bids]
6h 56m
Kraftwerk - 7" Musique Non Stop-CANADIAN PROMO -Electronica US $13.56 [0 bids]
8h 53m
KRAFTWERK Radio-Activity '75 NM LP ST11457 rainbow band electronic kraut oop US $55.00 Buy It Now 9h 23m
KRAFTWERK Autobahn RARE JAPAN CD OBI TOCP-50578 US $29.99 Buy It Now 9h 47m
KRAFTWERK Musique Non Stop 1986 EMI 12 inch single MINT US $12.18 [7 bids]
10h 15m
KRAFTWERK Showroom Dummies 1979 CAPITOL 12 inch single SUPERB EX+ US $15.42 [10 bids]
10h 18m
KRAFTWERK THE MAN MACHINE (1978) JAPAN CD CP21-6045 US $34.99 Buy It Now 10h 56m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 1 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 1 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 1 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 1 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 1 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 1 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 1 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 1 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 1 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 1 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 1 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 1 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 2 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 2 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 2 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 2 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 2 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 2 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 2 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 2 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 2 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 2 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 2 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 2 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 44m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 3 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 3 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 3 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 3 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 3 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 3 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 3 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 3 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 3 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 3 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 3 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 3 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 4 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 4 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 4 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 4 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 4 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 4 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 4 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 4 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 4 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 4 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 4 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
AN New KRAFTWERK Black Pop Robots Blue 4 hoodie sweatshirt (longsleve available) US $59.99 Buy It Now 11h 45m
Electronic CD Album by Exciting Valence - sounds like kraftwerk omd ebm mesh(us) US $3.50 [0 bids]
11h 46m
(DR1) Kraftwerk Neon Lights UK 7" single 45 Superb Excellent!! US $11.36 Buy It Now 12h 58m
KRAFTWERK the mix 1991 YUGOSLAVIAN transparent CASSETTE orange label US $18.00 Buy It Now 13h 3m
KRAFTWERK - Autobahn ~ VINYL LP SPACESHIP US $60.86 Buy It Now 13h 47m
KRAFTWERK AUTOBAHN ULTRA RARE AUSSIE CASSETTE TAPE! US $80.36 Buy It Now 13h 51m
Kraftwerk "The Robots" RARE UK 3 tk CD from 1991 US $36.11 Buy It Now 14h 24m
Kraftwerk - Robots 7" ( Rare Demo with fold out cover ) EXC. CONDITION 1978 US $56.82 [0 bids]
14h 29m
KRAFTWERK COMPUTER WORLD 1981 RARE EXYUGO LP US $28.69 Buy It Now 15h 14m
BASSKRAFT - A Bass Tribute To KRAFTWERK (CD 1998) Electronic/ USA Pressing US $11.36 [0 bids]
15h 53m
Kraftwerk Electric Cafe 1986 1st Press ARCHIVE MASTER Ultrasonic CLEAN US $72.00 Buy It Now 16h 22m
Kraftwerk-Instore Sampler-Rare U.K. Promo 4 Song 12" Remix LP-Kervorkian-HEAR US $19.99 Buy It Now 16h 48m
TRANS SLOVENIA EXPRESS JAPAN CD 2500yen kraftwerk laibach coptic rain april nine US $59.99 Buy It Now 17h 11m
Kraftwerk - Computer World CD US $16.35 Buy It Now 17h 45m
Kraftwerk Tour De France 2003 Expo2000 2CD EP Set US $4.99 [0 bids]
17h 59m
KRAFTWERK - 3 x Vinyl LPs RADIO-ACTIVITY/TRANS EUROPE EXPRESS/MAN MACHINE +7" EX US $21.93 [9 bids]
18h
Machine Soul Rhino 2 CD Odyssey Into Electronic Music Numan Kraftwerk Moby Mode! US $15.00 Buy It Now 18h 26m
DEPECHE MODE MUSIC FOR MASS BLUE PUPPLE VINYL GERMANY LP DMM KRAFTWERK EX US $39.00 Buy It Now 18h 28m
PAUL VAN DYK 12 ORIG DOUBLE VINYL ORIGINAL 1997 UK EDITION EX+ LP KRAFTWERK US $29.00 Buy It Now 18h 28m
DEPECHE MODE I FEEL LOVED DOUBLE 12 VINYL USA EDITION 2002 KRAFTWERK US $29.00 Buy It Now 18h 28m
Kraftwerk Autobahn 1974 Vertigo vel-2003 1st Press Masterdisk, ULTRASONIC CLEAN US $30.40 Buy It Now 18h 42m
KRAFTWERK Electric Cafe CD Japan 6 tracks EMI CP32-5175 US $15.50 [2 bids]
19h 7m
Radio-Activity By Kraftwerk CD, 1992 CEMA US $10.75 [0 bids]
19h 42m
KRAFTWERK "TRANS EUROPE EXPRESS" BARTOS SCHNEIDER HUTTER SYNTHPOP JAPAN CD + OBI US $39.99 Buy It Now 20h 6m
KRAFTWERK "TRANS EUROPE EXPRESS" BARTOS SCHNEIDER HUTTER SYNTHPOP JAPAN CD + OBI US $29.99 Buy It Now 20h 10m
KRAFTWERK "ELECTRIC CAFE" ORIG UK PRESS LP EMD 1001 US $25.96 [0 bids]
20h 24m
KRAFTWERK ? TRANS-EUROPE EXPRESS ? 1977 IN SHRINK SW-11603 US $36.00 Buy It Now 20h 39m
KRAFTWERK THE ROBOTS PS 45 1991 US $1.98 [3 bids]
21h 6m
KRAFTWERK MUSIQUE NON STOP 45 PIC SLEEVE USA US $12.75 Buy It Now 21h 9m
8-Bit Operators - 8-Bit Tribute To The Music Of Kraftwerk [CD New] US $9.48 Buy It Now 21h 38m
Kraftwerk "The Model- Retrospective 1975-1978" Rare US CD CLEO57612 US $8.10 Buy It Now 22h 22m

More places to buy KRAFTWERK music online Buy KRAFTWERK & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for KRAFTWERK DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

KRAFTWERK shows & tickets


  • Kraftwerk - Autobahn 1974 on 16 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk - Radio-Activity 1975 on 17 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk - Trans Europe Express 1977 on 18 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk - Man-Machine 1978 on 19 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk - Computer World 1981 on 20 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk - Techno Pop 1986 on 21 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk - The Mix 1991 on 22 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk - Tour de France 2003 on 23 Jan 2015

KRAFTWERK discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KRAFTWERK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 62 ratings
Tone Float (Organisation)
1969
3.35 | 99 ratings
Kraftwerk
1970
3.19 | 72 ratings
Kraftwerk 2
1971
3.46 | 66 ratings
Ralf & Florian
1973
3.50 | 206 ratings
Autobahn
1974
3.10 | 122 ratings
Radio-Activity (Radio-Aktivität)
1975
3.94 | 216 ratings
Trans-Europe Express (Trans-Europa Express)
1977
3.93 | 251 ratings
The Man-Machine (Die Mensch-Maschine)
1978
3.80 | 144 ratings
Computer World (Computerwelt)
1981
2.26 | 67 ratings
Electric Café (AKA "Techno Pop")
1986
2.75 | 44 ratings
The Mix
1991
3.28 | 68 ratings
Tour de France Soundtracks
2003

KRAFTWERK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 13 ratings
Concert Classics
1998
3.29 | 36 ratings
Minimum Maximum
2005

KRAFTWERK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.74 | 29 ratings
Minimum Maximum
2005
4.38 | 8 ratings
Kraftwerk And The Electronic Revolution
2008

KRAFTWERK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 8 ratings
Kraftwerk (1 and 2)
1972
1.34 | 10 ratings
Exceller 8
1975
3.00 | 5 ratings
Doppelalbum
1976
3.67 | 3 ratings
Pop Lions - Autobahn
1976
3.33 | 3 ratings
Highrail
1979
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Capitol Years: Three Originals
1994
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Model
1994
4.84 | 10 ratings
The Catalogue
2009

KRAFTWERK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.71 | 6 ratings
Kohoutek - Kometenmelodie
1973
4.20 | 5 ratings
Kometenmelodie 2
1974
4.11 | 8 ratings
Neon Lights
1978
3.81 | 16 ratings
Tour De France
1983
4.29 | 7 ratings
Die Roboter
1991
1.69 | 7 ratings
Expo 2000
1999
4.17 | 6 ratings
Expo 2000 (Remix)
2000
4.00 | 7 ratings
Expo Remix
2001
3.83 | 6 ratings
Tour De France 2003
2003
2.40 | 6 ratings
Aerodynamik
2007

KRAFTWERK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Autobahn by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.50 | 206 ratings

BUY
Autobahn
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by MonsterMagnet

2 stars Autobahn, innovative album precursor of electro pop. It came of course from Germany, as the country had opened rock's gates to electronic influences.The titles are built around the concept of a trip on the highway. Autobahn is the long part of the trip when the road is full; then it's Kometenmelodie, the nightfall (composed of a contemplative first part and of a more festive and joyful second one); followed by the stranger Mitternacht; next it's Morgenspaziergang describing the sunrise with birdsongs imitated by synths which is added a little flute melody reminiscent of Grieg's Morning Mood. Autobahn may be appreciated for its sweet naivety but it sounds pretty easy to me, even boring sometimes. In fact I would say it has a lack of creativity, of inventiveness. However it's true that this music feels comfortable, so you could ask me why it doesn't please me. On a certain point of view you're right, but for musical expectations Autobahn is rather poor. If this album was part of a property catalog, I'd give it more stars because it fills well and decorates nicely an atmosphere. Good to relax, maybe, not to listen to.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Radio-Activity (Radio-Aktivität) by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.10 | 122 ratings

BUY
Radio-Activity (Radio-Aktivität)
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Realising they had hit on an intriguing new direction on Autobahn, Kraftwerk doubled down on the followup album Radio-Activity by relying still further on electronic instruments. This time, they experimented with the potential of crafting wholly electronic works which functioned as satisfying pop numbers as well as exercises in testing the limits of electronics. Of course, once the late-1970s/early 1980s synthpop wave hit this would all sound rather obvious, but it would be wrong to downplay the importance of this album in laying the groundwork for an entire new genre of music. At points it does feel like rough sketches towards more confident subsequent releases like Trans-Europe Express or The Man-Machine, but it's still an important release in its own right.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Radio-Activity (Radio-Aktivität) by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.10 | 122 ratings

BUY
Radio-Activity (Radio-Aktivität)
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I seem to be going out on a limb here with my five stars for Kraftwerk's undervalued 1975 album. As of this writing, ten out of fourteen ProgArchive collaborators (a convincing 71%) all agree on its 'good, but non-essential' status, and not without reason. The general consensus is that the album was patched together under pressure to recreate another 'Autobahn', a conclusion I don't buy. Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider always enjoyed total creative control over their music, and have never failed to know exactly what they were doing. So why should this album have been any different?

I can't say I'm surprised by the prevailing low opinion of it. But when revisiting the album after several decades what I hear is the first, full realization of the classic Kraftwerk ethos. At a time when rock music (and Progressive Rock in particular) was approaching its nadir of decadence, Ralf and Florian simplified their budding commercial impulses and fashioned a unique retro-futuristic self-image, combining elegant suits and poses with antique radio equipment and state-of-the-art musical technology.

For a German band it was a brilliant aesthetic concept, leapfrogging European history from the 1930s to the 1970s as if National Socialism had never happened. A happy side-effect to the new style was that it rendered the music all but timeless, even today, and despite the dated bleeps and buzzes of all those analog synthesizers, because the image of the group itself was already backdated forty years.

From a musical standpoint it's true the album is a bit thin. Of the dozen indexed tracks maybe a third are genuine songs; the balance is effects, transitions, and cyber-social experiments. The resulting collection can seem uneven (and I'm sympathetic to that criticism), but it can also be heard as an evening's old-style radio broadcast, complete with news, intermission, and frustrating on-air equipment tests. The non-musical digressions are more frequent on the second half of the CD (Side Two of the original vinyl). But in the context of their larger career the discomforting sine-waves and primitive vocoders heard in 'Radio Stars' (which I find perversely soothing, in a comic sort of way) marked an affectionate farewell to the long-haired laboratory research of Ralf and Florian's Krautrock infancy.

The album was also hugely influential, almost singlehandedly spawning an entire generation of synth-pop imitators, especially in England. 'Autobahn', by comparison, was only a fluke: a flash-in-the-pan novelty song from a pair of reluctant rockers still clinging to their guitars and flutes. Here their true musical identity suddenly emerged whole and complete, a preview to the even more streamlined packages of 'Trans-Europe Express' and 'The Man Machine'.

All this is of course subjective. But it's important to remember that 'essential' doesn't necessarily mean 'perfect' (it might not even equate with 'good'). 'Radio-Activity' is hardly the most perfect Kraftwerk album - that would arguably be either of their subsequent two releases - but there's a lot more here than just unfulfilled potential and atonal filler. It was a glimpse of the future as it might have been imagined in 1935, performed (with deadpan irony) in the present-day of 1975, and sounding no less weirdly anachronistic as I write this in 2013.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Autobahn by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.50 | 206 ratings

BUY
Autobahn
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Contrary to what the band itself would have you believe, "Autobahn" wasn't Kraftwerk's debut album. Ralf and Florian have officially denied the existence of anything recorded prior to their 1974 breakaway hit, but despite its reputation as a pioneering slice of embryonic electronica the record was actually the last of their formative efforts, sharing more common ground with the band's Krautrock roots than with the robotic archetypes of later albums.

In retrospect the 22-minute title song was an obvious preview of coming attractions. But at the time the band was still more Man than Machine, with flutes and guitars very much in evidence, notably on Side Two of the original LP, divided into four shorter instrumental tracks. "Kometenmelodie" presented a more symphonic refinement of their earlier techno-pop single (dropping any reference to the cosmic dud of Comet Kohoutek); "Mitternacht" was a darker, ambient refugee from the band's experimental adolescence; and the gentle flute of "Morgenspaziergang", complete with tacky electronic birdsong, quietly reprised the "Autobahn" melody in a nice bit of understated (acoustic) closure.

Nothing too revolutionary, which may be why the latter half of the LP is often dismissed as filler. But in career terms the album has to be considered a landmark recording, breaking new ground (for both the band and for musical posterity) by embracing the brave new world of synthesizers in a pop music format. Before "Autobahn", most electronic innovators (think TANGERINE DREAM) were stuck in a deep exploratory rut. But Ralf and Florian made the canny decision to abandon the influence of Stockhausen in favor of The Beach Boys, and the result was a hit that made them unlikely global superstars.

The next few Kraftwerk albums would define the newly-minted KlingKlang ideal for all time. But it's the lingering echoes of their closet avant-rock adolescence that make this album special: the still warm fossil of an all-too human impulse the band would soon and forever turn their backs on.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Concert Classics by KRAFTWERK album cover Live, 1998
3.96 | 13 ratings

BUY
Concert Classics
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It looks like a throwaway bootleg, and certainly isn't endorsed by either Ralf or Florian. But this belated live album is pure gold to fans of classic Kraftwerk, offering a rare glimpse at an era unrepresented elsewhere in their official discography, early in the band's electro-pop puberty after the success of the 1974 "Autobahn" album.

The packaging is sketchy, with inaccurate credits, misnamed track titles, and no information about the gig itself (May 1975 in Denver, according to my research). And the band photos shown on the album cover and CD image are all wrong, dating from years later in their career. But the audio quality is better than expected: a soundboard rip, I'm guessing, complete with stray feedback, long silences between songs (several minutes in one instance), and a curious phasing sound in the background throughout the entire concert.

The tunes depart significantly from their studio models, too. "Kling Klang" (not "Morgenspaziergang, Part 1", as it's listed on the cover) is really a new melody altogether, improvised on the spot, and miles away from the immaculate laptop extravaganzas of later concerts. At one point Ralf Hütter actually apologizes for the delay caused by a malfunctioning drum machine.

But the occasional performance goof and technical faux-pas have the not unwelcome side effect of humanizing the budding man-machines on stage. In Middle America circa 1975 the band was little more than a funny German novelty act, still performing on homemade instruments built from tin foil and household glue. This was Kraftwerk playing music instead of merely programming it, and their growing pains only make the show more appealing.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Kohoutek - Kometenmelodie by KRAFTWERK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1973
3.71 | 6 ratings

BUY
Kohoutek - Kometenmelodie
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Kraftwerk's first single is noteworthy for several reasons, beginning with the unlikely fact that two erstwhile Krautrockers like Ralf and Florian were contemplating the singles market in the first place: a rare commercial move in counterculture Germany. Their debut 45 predated the epiphany of the "Autobahn" LP by almost a year, but clearly anticipated the more popular electronic grooves of future albums, albeit in a primitive lo-fi vernacular far removed from their later Man-Machine avatars.

Collectors will appreciate the value of the artifact itself (7" vinyl! Never officially digitized!); fans will be surprised by how far it departs from the more familiar album version. The same melody on the "Autobahn" revision would become an almost majestic synth-rock boogie-woogie stomp. But the earlier recording, named after the much-hyped comet discovered the same year, reverses the arrangement of tempos: the B-Side is the slower movement here, and was closer aligned with older currents of Kosmische Rock than its long-playing cousin.

The A-Side of the single is rinky-dink kid's stuff by comparison, but years ahead of its time. In just a few bouncy minutes it plants one of the first seeds for the British techno-pop invasion a decade later: Depeche Mode, OMD, the Silicon Teens, you name 'em. Not too shabby an accomplishment for a pair of young bourgeois rebels from suburban Düsseldorf, still searching for a musical style to call their own.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Autobahn by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.50 | 206 ratings

BUY
Autobahn
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by TCat

4 stars Kraftwerk has to be admired for one thing and that would be that they found a place in popular music for electronic music which has helped spur several periods after the release of Autobahn of when electronic music has been well accepted among the masses. Although straightforward electronic music is not always my preference or my strong point in progressive rock, I do enjoy listening to it once in a while.

Regardless of my own preferences and that I usually seem to be attracted to the more experimental side of electronic music than the popular side, I have always been a lover of both "Autobahn" and "Trans Europe Express" having been a passenger on both back in the early 80s and I have loved the way that both of these tracks have effectively captured those experiences. I can close my eyes and it's just like I am back in Europe and the atmosphere of the way of life is manifest in the music and in my mind. Since "Autobahn" is on this album, it is a personal favorite of mine. I love how it captures the essence of travelling through Europe in a way that only those that have experienced it can relate. And the nicest thing is, this is a 22 minute track which seems to be broken up into a "theme and variations" type piece which never seems to wear out it's welcome. Some people may find it sounds dated, but if it is, that doesn't bother me. It reflects the time that I spent in Europe, so it works for me.

The second side (or half) of the album consists of 4 tracks. The first two are linked as part 1 and 2 of Komentenmelodie (Comet Melody). You can hear why they are linked as you listen to them even though they are distinct; part 1 being a study in minimalism and part 2 sounding like an attempt at making another popular track with a boogie feel to the supporting instrumentals. Neither one of these are ground breaking or stand out tracks really. Track 4 is named Mitternacht (Midnight) I find to be a more experimental track and I find it a lot more interesting. It is aptly titled as I feel that it portrays midnight quite adequately. Nice sound, calming but not as minimalistic as track 2. The last track is a very nice melody which is very accessible yet nice to listen to in a very simple way.

Overall, I think Kraftwerk made a very nice album here with a lot of variety and not the feeling of sameness that a lot of the electronic artists seem to have problems with. Historically, I think this is an important album but technically, it is nothing new or special and that is always not a bad thing. If you are interested in electronic music, it is an excellent addition. If you want to enter into the world of electronic music, this is a great place to start.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Ralf & Florian by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.46 | 66 ratings

BUY
Ralf & Florian
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

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.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Tone Float (Organisation) by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.31 | 62 ratings

BUY
Tone Float (Organisation)
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Organization was hardly a fitting name for such a ramshackle outfit. And if the band hadn't been an incubator for the man-machines of KRAFTWERK it's doubtful many people would even remember them now.

Their only studio album was actually one of the earliest expressions of the German counterculture on record, but it never enjoyed the same influence or significance as other embryonic Krautrock: compare it to the more passionate racket of early CAN or AMON DÜÜL, for example. A lot of circumstances conspired to undermine the effort, including the decision to release it through the British RCA label, which didn't exactly raise the band's local profile at home. The English-language name and track titles effectively camouflaged the band's German identity as well, reducing the album's novelty value just when the market for Krautrock was shifting to interstellar overdrive.

Because of the later Kraftwerk connection it's a fascinating album in retrospect, but hardly successful on its own naïve yet charming hippie-trippy terms. Opening Side One of the original LP with a too-loosely structured twenty-plus minute jam, that itself begins with almost ten rhythm-deprived minutes of haphazard percussion, was probably a miscalculation, serving only to underline the band's lack of any true musical direction.

Organization lacked the sterling underground credentials of their better-known contemporaries, and the impression left by "Tone Float" is of a young band riding the coattails of other, more experienced Krautrockers. But Ralf and Florian were smart enough to ditch the bongo drums soon afterward, on their way toward becoming household names (in smarter cosmopolitan neighborhoods, at least). Their ex-bandmates Basil, Butch and Fred would remain minor footnotes in Krautrock history, as would the album itself: a collector's treasure for Kraftwerk completists but otherwise lacking enough sparks to even qualify as a flash in the pan.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Kraftwerk 2 by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.19 | 72 ratings

BUY
Kraftwerk 2
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The second Kraftwerk album is one of only two performed by just the core duo of Ralf and Florian (the other was titled exactly that), and the lack of any collaborators may explain the more uniform minimalism of this effort compared to the scattershot Krautrock grunge of their 1970 debut.

The stripped-down sound was also a reflection of the unsettled state of the band at the time. More than on any other Kraftwerk album there's a distinct connection here with the kindred Düsseldorf pioneers of NEU!, whose first album followed this session two months later. You can see it in the parallel pop-art simplicity of the cover design, and in the collage of Polaroid photos inside the original gatefold sleeve. And you can hear it in the absence of Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger, interim bandmates of Ralf and Florian before leaving to pursue their own destiny.

With the group suddenly reduced to a twosome, and without the benefit of an actual drummer, the new album would become a prototype slice of dark, almost industrial electronica, miles away from anything resembling the bouncy techno-pop of later incarnations. It's still weird to hear guitars as the primary instrument on a Kraftwerk album, conspicuously on Side Two, in the distorted radio identification signal of "Strom" and the ambient monochrome drift of "Wellenlange".

But the two remaining men-machines were still beating the air(waves) for a stable identity beyond that familiar traffic cone logo, testing vague ideas instead of performing solid compositions. The new music had more internal logic than it did on their debut, but still lacked a clear sense of direction, with only one promising signpost to the future: the (almost) side-long "Kling Klang", a title that would resonate through Kraftwerk lore in more ways than one.

Without the crutch of synthesizers (beyond a primitive rhythm box) the pair was forced to experiment with more organic sounds, like the evocative bells and gongs heard at the top of the track. But once the music reaches cruising speed fans should recognize an obvious ancestor of "Autobahn", lacking only the structure and discipline of that breakthrough hit, still three years away at the time. The random tempo changes are in irritation, but less so than the entire next track "Atem": three long minutes of labored electronic respiration (and nothing else).

Research and development of this sort can often be rewarding, with a little help from a sympathetic listener. "Kraftwerk 2" wasn't quite the light bulb moment Ralf and Florian were aiming for, but the album deserves more consideration than they've given it themselves.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.86 seconds