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Kraftwerk - Autobahn CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.52 | 309 ratings

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5 stars Fun, Fun, Fun at the Autobahn : )

I am a early KRAFTWERK fanatic, I believe they were at top of their Progressive peak in the early and mid-seventies.

Kraftwerk were no longer a duo when this album was produced way back in May 1974 in Kling Klang Studios, Verlag.

It was released on the Phillips and Vertigo labels, despite they are both owned by Philips.

Florian Schneider and Ralf Hutter wanted sessionists to help them record and produce Autobahn: they recruited Emil Shult (who creted the front cover and helped with the writing), Klaus Rohder (who played the violin and guitar), and Wolfgang Flur (who was a electronic drummer on the album).

This is not the first KRAFTWERK album to feature Synthetic Electronic Drums, it was first heard on "Tanzmusik" on the Ralf & Florian LP the year before (Kling Klang/Philips 1973), Wolfgang Flur also claims he invented the Electronic Drums and had assistance with the electronic components from Florian Schneider. (Schneider and Hutter deny this claim!!)

OK down to business now, in general I think this album holds the roots for techno and electroic music, and Synth Pop music which would inspire OMD, David Bowie, Afrika Bambataa and The Human League and so on.

"Autobahn" - 23 minutes of electronic/space rock heaven, this is like a sort of film giving a story of a motorway journey. Despite this being a electronic track, it is not 100% electronic, it has slightly acoustic intruments too, the flute and a guitar. This would also be the first track to feature vocals and lyrics, sung by Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider on the Vocoder sort of instrument "RoboVox" An interesting song which taks you through a journey, of the highway and traffic sounds done on the Moog Synths : ) This is the first time Wolfgang Flur would play the Electronic Drums on the recording, it tends to get more proggy to the end with all the Synth effects, very techno and electronic sounding but not in the same way as on the latter albums e.g. TEE and TMM.

"Comet Melody 1" - A very slow, build up track, with low and dark Moog notes, giving it that cold feeling, and daunting atmosphere, again a fairly interesting track, but has a slow build up and not much oomph, more of an experimental Moog piece.

"Comet Melody 2" - Now this has a more warmer and melodic touch to it, plus a more faster tempo beat, this is a more blatant electronic poppy prog track, with electronic drums played this time, the second version is a better and easier listen, oh and has a DO,RE, MI, FA, SO, LA, TI, DO structure to it, you can hear this better by pressing the skip fast button on a CD player : ).

"Mitternacht" - We have now passed the electro/techno stage now, we go into a more acoustic and monotonous setting, and is a dark, eerie, haunting track, with a eerie organ intro (possibly the Moog), then kick in a second humming of the same tune, then a lightly eerie violin compostion then comes in, the track actually recreates a midnight walk : ( (spare the thought), and the Violin does a wolf howling sound, and the Synths creating a herd of bats, and has an effect of a water drip in a possible cave setting done on a Moog???, it's very percussion sounding, the water drip sound. Not really a melodic or music track, just an experimtal track, based on sounds of Midnight, very industrial and semi-acoustic sounding.

"Morgenspaziergang" - a beautiful and a fully acoustic track all done with wonderful flute playing by Florian Schneider, piano by Ralf Hutter and a smooth acoustic guitar play by Klaus Rohder, don't really know if Wolfgang Flur participates on this track, unlike all other KRAFTWERK tracks with a sad, cold, industrial and experimental feel, this track has a more harmonic and a warmer presense towards it, OK not a full acoustic track, well it has a Moog at a starts simulating Birds singing and a Waterfall sound, which is not a easy sound to listen to: trust me : ), aain a very interesting listen and a nice tune.

This would be the first and last album to feature Klaus Roheder, his shoes would be filled by trained percussionist Karl Bartos at the dawn of the Autobahn tour, it was also decided that Wolfgang Flur would be a full time member when this album was recorded, as he was really speaking at the time a sessionist, which immediately became a full time percussionist with them. This album is a second start for KRAFTWERK, as these days they dismiss their first three albums and now count this as their first album in the back catalouge, I really enjoy this album and is a must for all Krautrock and Electronica fans.

PROGMAN | 5/5 |


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