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Kraftwerk - Kraftwerk CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.33 | 180 ratings

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1 stars You can take something that's totally monotous, dress it up with conceptual packaging, call it minimalist and (apparently) even call it progressive. But if it doesn't challenge you, doesn't grow on you and gives you no enjoyment whatsoever, you eventually need to walk away.

So it was with Kraftwerk, the brainchild of Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider. I knew they were famed for the synth pop themes of Tour De France and The Model, but I took it at face value when I was assured that Kraftwerk had once been a progressive rock band, even if it was with a strong "electronic" element. After all, many great 70s bands had travelled that route. That this record also featured future Neu! star Klaus Dinger made it doubly enticing. Or so I thought.

I tucked into this debut album and soon found that almost everything about Kraftwerk repels me. The repetitive thump of most of Ruchzuck, the 12 minute sound-effect laden fade-in, fade-out discordant Stratovarius, which thankfully adopts a hypnotic structure halfway through (yes Kraut-rock is the word I'm looking for!). The space station freak outs that kick off the frequently inaudible Megaherz. Von Himmel Hoch was Stratovarius all over again, except the percussion is punchier. Overall, though, this was one of the most ardous albums I've ever had to endure.

Listen to me go on. Perhaps I should just try and find something nice to say about this album. Hmmm. Oh yeah, the playful flutes at the very beginning of Ruchzuck were decent and I also thought that the keyboard swells on the seventh minute of Megaherz weren't entirely repugnant. I even thought I heard a real organ for a moment during the latter piece.

But really, the best thing I can say about Kraftwerk's debut album is that it made me appreciate my previous favourite target Can a little more. I hasten to remind you that I have a strange relationship with Kraut-rock, cos I really love Amon Düül II, quite like Faust and intensely dislike some others! Apparently these guys went on to make a 22 minute piece about the tedium of driving on German highways the next year (the title track of 1974's Autobahn). But this is torture enough for me.

I can see how someone might call this sort of thing "art." But to my ears, this is not even music. 8% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 1/5 |


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