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KRAFTWERK

Progressive Electronic • Germany


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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...
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Kraftwerk official website

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Computer WorldComputer World
Import
Elektra 2006
Audio CD$5.80
$4.25 (used)
Trans Europe ExpressTrans Europe Express
Remastered
Parlophone (Wea) 2009
Audio CD$25.99
$101.24 (used)
Radio-ActivityRadio-Activity
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2009
Audio CD$13.24
$13.78 (used)
AutobahnAutobahn
Remastered · Import
Wea Japan 2014
Audio CD$15.12
$18.32 (used)
Greatest HitsGreatest Hits
Audio CD$16.95
The MixThe Mix
Import
Elektra / Wea 1991
Audio CD$5.84
$0.98 (used)
Man MachineMan Machine
Remastered
Parlophone (Wea) 2009
Audio CD$28.99
$17.86 (used)
Electric CafeElectric Cafe
Import
Elektra / Wea 1990
Audio CD$9.86
$5.85 (used)
The MixThe Mix
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2009
Audio CD$12.22
$16.79 (used)
Tour De France SoundtracksTour De France Soundtracks
Astralwerks 2003
Audio CD$8.99
$3.96 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Kraftwerk - Computer World CD remastered 2009 USD $7.77 [0 bids]
1h 41m
KRAFTWERK AUTOBAHN 180 gram USD $10.00 [1 bids]
1h 45m
THE EGYPTIAN LOVER Get Into It 12" NEW VINYL Electro Kraftwerk Em USD $11.99 Buy It Now 1h 57m
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2h
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cd KRAFTWERK VIRTU EX MACHINA Tokyo 1981 USD $14.99 [1 bids]
2h 12m
KRAFTWERK RADIO ACTIVITY 1993 CAPITOL/CEMA RECORD ISSUE FACTORY Sealed LP USD $59.49 Buy It Now 2h 20m
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3h 21m
KRAFTWERK - AUTOBAHN - GERMAN ELECTRONIC PROGRESSIVE - USA PRESS - REALLY NICE! USD $9.98 [0 bids]
4h 11m
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4h 17m
KRAFTWERK; POCKET CALCULATOR / DENTAKU (EMI 5157) 1981 VG / EX+VINYL USD $6.21 [0 bids]
4h 30m
TROUBLE FUNK Express 12" OG 1982 D.E.T.T. ELECTRO GO-GO Kraftwerk SEALED USD $9.32 [0 bids]
5h 49m
KRAFTWERK 'Autobahn' (Mercury) Original US Press LP STILL SEALED! USD $49.99 Buy It Now 6h 8m
Kraftwerk The Telephone Call 12" EP NM 0-20627 1986 USD $39.99 Buy It Now 6h 21m
KRAFTWERK Radioactivity Antenna Turkey Turkish Pressed Unique PS 7" USD $39.99 [0 bids]
6h 22m
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Kraftwerk - The Model - 7" Cat No. EMI 5207 USD $13.99 Buy It Now 6h 46m
Kraftwerk - Exceller 8 ( Vertigo LP - Ex ) USD $23.33 [0 bids]
7h 4m
Kraftwerk Trans Europe Express Remastered H/wt LP USD $38.89 Buy It Now 7h 29m
Michael Rother - Flammende Herzen 180G LP REISSUE NEW Neu! Kraftwerk USD $17.82 Buy It Now 7h 29m
Kraftwerk The Model 12 Inch Vinyl Single USD $77.81 Buy It Now 7h 31m
MONUMENTS Age LP NEW VINYL Mannequin ltd ed New Order Kraftwerk Chromagain Lisf USD $28.99 Buy It Now 7h 38m
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Kraftwerk Ralf & Florian 8 Track Tape TESTED USD $19.99 [0 bids]
10h 20m
Kraftwerk Autobahn 8 Track Tape TESTED USD $29.99 [0 bids]
10h 20m
Kraftwerk Trans-Europe Express 8 Track Tape TESTED USD $29.99 [0 bids]
10h 20m
PIZZICATO FIVE MAKI NOMIYA Party People 2005 Limited CD JAPAN Kraftwerk B9335 USD $9.90 [0 bids]
10h 27m
KRAFTWERK 7" PS Japan SHOWROOM DUMMIES r9631 USD $24.00 Buy It Now 10h 52m
Kraftwerk - Trans Europa Express - CD (Electrola Kling Klang 8 Track Edition) USD $32.44 Buy It Now 11h 17m
Electric Cafe by Kraftwerk USD $10.00 Buy It Now 13h 40m
KRAFTWERK *TRANS-EUROPE EXPRESS* RARE DUTCH RELEASE CD LIKE NEW USD $32.04 Buy It Now 13h 43m
KRAFTWERK BY KRAFTWERK DOUBLE ALBUM 8X12 ADVERT USD $12.45 Buy It Now 14h 51m
KRAFTWERK Radioactivity / Antenna RARE 1975 US Pressing PIC SLEEVE Capitol 4211 USD $11.79 Buy It Now 15h 14m
Kraftwerk / Computer World orig LP electronic new wave synth USD $8.00 [0 bids]
16h 6m
KRAFTWERK Computer World orig vinyl LP '81 WB w/photo inner sleeve RARE electron USD $45.00 Buy It Now 16h 26m
KRAFTWERK - The Model ~ 7" Single PS USD $13.21 Buy It Now 17h 30m
KRAFTWERK original luminous Vinyl 12" EP Neonlights (1978) USD $89.99 Buy It Now 18h 24m
KRAFTWERK Vinyl 12" EP Instore Sampler KERVORKIAN USD $39.99 Buy It Now 18h 24m
KRAFTWERK original Vinyl 2LP The Mix (German Version, 1991) USD $79.99 Buy It Now 18h 25m
KRAFTWERK Vinyl 12" EP Das Model / The Model USD $39.99 Buy It Now 18h 25m
KRAFTWERK Vinyl 12" EP Tour De France / Computer Games USD $39.99 Buy It Now 18h 25m
KRAFTWERK black + rose Vinyl 2LP Central Passage ITALY USD $119.99 Buy It Now 18h 25m
KRAFTWERK white marbled Vinyl 2LP Live At Moma 13/4/12 USD $159.99 Buy It Now 18h 25m
KRAFTWERK The Man Machine LP & INNER SLEEVE 1978 UK ORIGINAL 1ST ISSUE USD $46.20 Buy It Now 18h 28m
KRAFTWERK "COMPUTER LOVE" / "TRANS EUROPE EXPRESS" RARE RED VINYL REMIX 12" USD $31.11 [0 bids]
19h 5m
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KRAFTWERK Computer world 180 gr SEALED LP Neu Can Eloy krautrock USD $31.12 Buy It Now 21h 56m
VARIOUS ARTISTS 'TWENTY WITH A BULLET' UK LP KRAFTWERK STRANGLERS KATE BUSH USD $12.43 Buy It Now 22h 11m
Kraftwerk - The Robots 7" USD $12.43 Buy It Now 22h 46m
Kraftwerk/Elektro Kinetik.1981 UK Vertigo Original LP USD $38.91 Buy It Now 23h
ELEKTRIC MUSIC Esperanto CD Germany 8 tracks SPV 084-92832 Kraftwerk USD $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Kraftwerk Tour De France 2003 4 track Uk Cd USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraftwerk - The Model Retrospective 1975-1978 USD $7.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Kraftwerk - The Robots CD´s Rare USD $5.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Kraftwerk Autobahn vinyl LP album record New Zealand 6360620 VERTIGO 1974 USD $99.52 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraftwerk Trans-Europe Express [Edited Version] UK 7" vinyl single record USD $35.71 Buy It Now 1 day
The Robots Kraftwerk 7" vinyl single record UK CL15981 CAPITOL 1978 USD $18.58 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraftwerk - Musique Non Stop - Rare UK 1st Press 12" Near Mint USD $25.68 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraftwerk Tour De France (Remix) - Stick... 12" record (Maxi) UK USD $52.83 Buy It Now 1 day
Tour De France Kraftwerk CD album (CDLP) UK CDSTUMM310 MUTE 2009 USD $24.11 Buy It Now 1 day
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TELEX -NEUROVISION GREEK 1st PRESS MINIMAL SYNTH POP LP NEAR MINT 1979 KRAFTWERK USD $24.99 [0 bids]
1 day
KRAFTWERK, THE MODEL / COMPUTER LOVE.Spanish edition 1982 USD $18.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraftwerk - Radio-Activity (2003) CD - MINT USD $17.10 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraftwerk vinyl LP album record Exceller 8 + stickered sleeve UK 6360629 USD $83.96 Buy It Now 1 day
Autobahn Kraftwerk 7" vinyl single record Canadian VE203 VERTIGO 1974 USD $51.28 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraftwerk 7" vinyl single record Showroom Dummies Japanese ECR-20658 CAPITOL USD $52.83 Buy It Now 1 day
Minimum-Maximum by Kraftwerk SACD Brand New Factory Sealed!! Perfect! USD $399.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Promo - KRAFTWERK Homecomputer Lp UK - Kling Klang USD $49.90 Buy It Now 1 day
KRAFTWERK " THE MODEL " EX+ COND.IN Or.PIC SL. USD $2.47 Buy It Now 1 day
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1 day
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Kraftwerk Exceller 8 - 1st UK vinyl LP album record 6360629 VERTIGO 1974 USD $52.83 Buy It Now 1 day
KRAFTWERK-MAN MACHINE-CAPITOL 1978-ITALIAN REISSUE! USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraftwerk ~ Computer World LP ~ Warner Bros USD $7.99 [1 bids]
1 day
Kraftwerk-Live at the Museum Of Modern Art New York 2012-NEW2LP WHITE USD $56.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Kraftwerk Ralf & Florian Japan LP Top Copy Kraut Electronic LP Philips BT-8102 USD $159.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraftwerk Amsterdam 1976- Retro POSTER Size 84.1cm x 59.4cm - approx 34''x 24'' USD $15.55 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraftwerk - Neonlights 1978 UK 12" CAPITOL LUNIMOUS VINYL USD $9.32 [1 bids]
1 day
Trans-Europe Express by Kraftwerk (Vinyl, Nov-2009, Warner Bros.) USD $60.00 Buy It Now 1 day
KRAFTWERK - Kraftwerk I & II 2LP Gatefold UK 1972 USD $99.99 Buy It Now 1 day
KRAFTWERK - AUTOBAHN 45' original uk 7' single electronica, prog, new wave USD $6.21 [0 bids]
1 day
Expo 2000 by Kraftwerk USD $18.89 Buy It Now 1 day
Showroom Dummies by Kraftwerk USD $18.59 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraftwerk Computer World orig.1981 Warner Bros 3549 w/inner sleeve liner notes USD $17.00 [0 bids]
1 day
KRAFTWERK Autobahn 1974 UK ORG Vertigo LP ELECTRONIC Prog MINTY Vinyl !!! USD $60.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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1 day
KRAFTWERK "The Single Versions" (20 Singles & Edits!) USD $11.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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USD $27.00 Buy It Now
1 day
THE BALANESCU(string)QUARTET-Possessed/KRAFTWERK/Miranda Sex Garden/DAVID BYRNE USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
KRAFTWERK Autobahn 7 Inch 45 Single 1974 Vertigo VE-203 Morganspaziergang Nice USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Kraftwerk Polyrock Yellow Magic Orchestra Trio RARE CD USD $43.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Radio-Activity by Kraftwerk (CD, Oct-1998, Capitol/EMI Records) USD $6.99 [0 bids]
USD $9.50 Buy It Now
1 day
LP 2 ~ USD $22.58
LP live ~ USD $21.71
LP radio activity ~ USD $17.25


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KRAFTWERK shows & tickets


  • Kraftwerk 1 . Autobahn on 6 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk : 2 . Radio-Aktivität on 7 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk : 3 . Trans Europa Express on 8 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk : 4 . Die Mensch-Maschine on 9 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk: 5. Computerwelt on 10 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk : 6 . Techno Pop on 11 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk : 7 . The Mix on 12 Jan 2015
  • Kraftwerk : 8 . Tour de France on 13 Jan 2015
  • 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 - The Catalogue - 12345678 - Autobahn on 26 Feb 2015
  • Kraftwerk - The Catalogue - 12345678 - Radio-Activity on 26 Feb 2015
  • Kraftwerk - The Catalogue - 12345678 - Trans Europe Express on 27 Feb 2015
  • Kraftwerk The Catalogue 12345678 - The Man-Machine on 27 Feb 2015
  • Kraftwerk - The Catalogue - 12345678 - Computer World on 28 Feb 2015
  • Kraftwerk - The Catalogue - 12345678 - Techno Pop on 28 Feb 2015
  • Kraftwerk - The Catalogue - 12345678 - The Mix on 1 Mar 2015
  • Kraftwerk - The Catalogue - 12345678 - Tour De France on 1 Mar 2015
  • Kraftwerk at Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona on 22 Apr 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)

3.26 | 60 ratings
Tone Float (Organisation)
1969
3.34 | 103 ratings
Kraftwerk
1970
3.18 | 75 ratings
Kraftwerk 2
1971
3.46 | 70 ratings
Ralf & Florian
1973
3.50 | 212 ratings
Autobahn
1974
3.10 | 125 ratings
Radio-Activity (Radio-Aktivität)
1975
3.93 | 227 ratings
Trans-Europe Express (Trans-Europa Express)
1977
3.92 | 259 ratings
The Man-Machine (Die Mensch-Maschine)
1978
3.78 | 153 ratings
Computer World (Computerwelt)
1981
2.25 | 70 ratings
Electric Café (AKA "Techno Pop")
1986
2.73 | 46 ratings
The Mix
1991
3.27 | 71 ratings
Tour de France Soundtracks
2003

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

3.90 | 14 ratings
Concert Classics
1998
3.27 | 38 ratings
Minimum Maximum
2005

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

3.90 | 24 ratings
Minimum Maximum
2005
4.10 | 10 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
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kraftwerk 2
1975
1.34 | 10 ratings
Exceller 8
1975
3.00 | 5 ratings
Doppelalbum
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kometenmelodie 2 (Compilation)
1976
3.67 | 3 ratings
Pop Lions - Autobahn
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kraftwerk 1
1977
3.33 | 3 ratings
Highrail
1979
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Capitol Years: Three Originals
1994
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Model
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Kraftwerk
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kraftwerk (Box Set)
1997
4.84 | 10 ratings
The Catalogue
2009

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Ruckzack
1970
3.71 | 6 ratings
Kohoutek - Kometenmelodie
1973
4.20 | 5 ratings
Kometenmelodie 2
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mitternacht / Morgenspaziergang
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Trans Europa Express
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Showroom Dummies
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Les Mannequins
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Das Model
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Die Roboter
1978
4.11 | 8 ratings
Neon Lights
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Computerwelt
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Numbers
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Taschenrechner
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Computer Love
1981
3.81 | 16 ratings
Tour De France
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Musique Non Stop
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Der Telefon Anruf
1987
4.29 | 7 ratings
Die Roboter
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Robotnik
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Showroom Dummies (1992 Single)
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Homecomputer
1997
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
0.00 | 0 ratings
Elektro Kardiogramm
2003
2.40 | 6 ratings
Aerodynamik
2007

KRAFTWERK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Trans-Europe Express (Trans-Europa Express) by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.93 | 227 ratings

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Trans-Europe Express (Trans-Europa Express)
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by aglasshouse

4 stars Well, out of all of the Kraftwerk to review first, I decide that Trans-Europa Express is my best option, seeing as it has several of my favorites on it. Now, before I begin I must note that Kraftwerk was stuck in a limbo-like state, due to the more mainstream sound of Radio- Activity and the still remaining experimentation of Autobahn. So they ultimately decided to take a slice of both cakes and put them on the same plate. Thank god that plate didn't fall out of their hand only for the cake to make a large pile of frosting and disappointment. All similies aside, onto the review.

The album starts out with the most known track, 'Europe Endless', which reminds me of the same traveling tunes that 'Autobahn' had some of. Both are free-flowing, giving the sense of travel and adventure. They are quite nice for a car ride, or in this case, a train ride in the morning. 'Showroom Dummies' has a basic beat with a what sounds like one-man choir singing in the backround throughout the song. The song speaks of, you guessed it, the viewpoint of shop window (or in this case showroom) mannequins. It is quite interesting upon listen, it's actually one of my favorite tracks from the album. The second most known song would have to be the title track, 'Trans Europe Express', with groovy fluctuations and synth blasts. The song is undoubtedly a foot tapper, and is actually an interesting listen. This song perhaps may be my favorite song on the album (and perhaps my favorite Kraftwerk song besides 'Sex Object' from Electric Cafe). 'Metal on Metal' has the exact same beat, except this time there's different strange noises thrown in. 'Abzug' continues the similar beat, even going to far to have the same line of "...Trans- Europe Express...". Except this time, it's slightly less creative due to the lack of most any other words. This is my main problem with the album. If you're trying to have a creative album, especially one that mainly uses electronic elements, don't make a large majority of the tracks base off of eachother. Having 'Trans-Europe Express' alone would be better without these two copy songs.

'Franz Schubert' provides not much in the way of different music, in fact it's sort of bland in the way of music on this album. A nice ambient electronic track, but in no means matching the sound of the other songs. 'Endless Endless' is a really nice way to end the album, with the same free-feel that the album opener gave us. Listening to it just reminds me of a city- scape speeding by under a sky of blue. It's a quite nice little minute-long ditty.

So there you have it. Although Trans Europe Express may not be as known as Autobahn, The Man Machine, or even Computer World, I think it deserves a space up there with the bigger Kraftwerk releases.

Go give it a listen.

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 Tone Float (Organisation) by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.26 | 60 ratings

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Tone Float (Organisation)
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by aglasshouse

1 stars I really had not expected an entrance like this from the electronic band Kraftwerk. In fact, this album is the very last thing I'd think they'd come out with.

This little krautrock gem is a five track release that was recorded by Organisation (pre-Kraftwerk) back in 1969. Mind you, this was before they became Kraftwerk with their 1970 eponymous release. I'd hate to bash on a genre so innocent as krautrock, because I happen to enjoy a number of bands that apply to it, especially Can. But it is obvious after listening why Organisation couldn't stay the way they were.

Wow, these guys tried WAAY too hard to be as experimental as they could possibly be. And when I say that, I mean that they made their music sound excruciating in the name of art. I honestly don't know how people can seem to enjoy this. Sure, I guess you could say that it was 'influencial', but I haven't exactly seen any band that says: "Oh, well we were inspired by the band Organisation. Me and my friends would listen to them all the time while we were kids. Their 1969 album Tone Float really inspired us to make our own sound." If you've heard that from a person, please let me know, because I sure haven't.

I really hate the fact that I have to hate this album. I mean, these guys sure did try and all on this, and it's true that it doesn't sound anything like Kraftwerk, but oh my god. I couldn't even make it through any of the songs during this review. The album has the twenty minute long title track, a compilation of echoes and rhythms, with a third quarter that actually sounds nice. Other than that, this album is completely worthless. 'Milk Rock' could have managed to be a standable track, but instead we get some guitar doodling and incoherent keyboard, all the while a stabbing synth rhythm buries itself in your brain. 'Silver Forest' is worthless, floaty fanfare with unnecessary cymbal crashes and glittery synthesizer. 'Rhythm Salad' is probably one of the most annoying songs I've ever heard, with a ton of people randomly jamming on what seem to be bongos, castanets, and maracas to make something to use as an excuse for art. The finale epic, 'Noitasinagro', is a strange yet painfully boring song with very little context or overall need.

So if you are seeking some good old classic krautrock, here you go. This would be perfect for you, but be warned; if you are searching for krautrock like Can or Neu!, then you are sadly mistaken.

I do not recommend this album.

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 Autobahn by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.50 | 212 ratings

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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.

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 Radio-Activity (Radio-Aktivität) by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.10 | 125 ratings

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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.

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 Radio-Activity (Radio-Aktivität) by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.10 | 125 ratings

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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.

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 Autobahn by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.50 | 212 ratings

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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.

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 Concert Classics by KRAFTWERK album cover Live, 1998
3.90 | 14 ratings

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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.

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

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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.

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 Autobahn by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.50 | 212 ratings

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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.

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 Ralf & Florian by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.46 | 70 ratings

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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.

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