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Kraftwerk - Kraftwerk CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.33 | 180 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After the demise of Organisation, Ralf and Florian teamed up with drummer Andreas Hohmann to re-form under the new band name Kraftwerk. Hohmann didn't prove to be a very reliable band-member and since he was too busy with his own band Ibliss, Klaus Dinger stepped in for him. During this era also guitarist Michael Rother made live appearances with Kraftwerk. He would take Klaus Dinger with him to form Neu! in the next year.

This background shows how strongly Kraftwerk was tied in with the Krautrock scene before they changed into an entirely different but equally ground-breaking electronic direction. On this debut, the band presents themselves as a cutting-edge avant-rock act, and in just 4 tracks they lay down the groundwork of the more experimental side of Krautrock, serving as a source of inspiration for avant-Kraut bands like Neu!, Faust and Can (on their avant albums Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi).

Ruckzuck is probably the most accessible track. As with Neu, a steady pulsating groove drives things forward, while flutes, violin and experimental noise build layers of sound around it. My favorite track would be Stratovarius. The dark brooding pace, heavily treated violin sounds and rhythmical guitar strumming create a cosmic sound that must also have inspired early Tangerine Dream. The opening part before the drums join is magical. A little Kraut masterpiece this is.

More cosmic Kraut follows on Megahertz, with its droning organs and dissonant flutes this could have found its way on Tangerine Dream's Atem. It beats the Tangs though. Von Himmel Hoch is the most chaotic piece, a combination of sound effects, noise, free improvisation and ecstatic drumming. It's hard to describe how they manage to make this all work but it does. For me at least.

This is not your easy-listening Agitation Free type of Kraut, but a band that was a disconcertingly experimental and creative force. An essential Krautrock album and a challenging but rewarding musical experience. Don't go in if you need your music to come with melody and clear-cut structures. 4.5 stars for sure and ask me again in 20 more years.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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