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Kraftwerk - Kraftwerk CD (album) cover

KRAFTWERK

Kraftwerk

 

Progressive Electronic

3.34 | 148 ratings

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Pastmaster
3 stars Kraftwerk is the self-titled debut studio album from electronic innovators Kraftwerk. Kraftwerk's first two albums are very different beasts compared to their innovations and the creation of electronic music with albums like Autobahn, being much more in line with the experimental rock music of many other German bands of the Krautrock scene. What is Krautrock? Read on fellow music fans!

At the beginning of the decade of the 70's, the time of many new musical developments, the Krautrock movement in Germany was especially busy. Krautrock wasn't so much a genre, as it was a group of musicians expanding the boundaries of rock music. Can combined tribal rhythms, psychedelic twists, and a rough proto-punk sound. Neu! essentially jammed with hard rock riffs and droning dissonance. Tangerine Dream, another early electronic group, took psychedelic rock and basically left out the rock leading to ambient music. Kraftwerk, before going on to be pioneers of electronic music, were on the similar jamming path as Neu!. This is unsurprising as Neu! was formed a year after this debut by Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother, who were both part of Kraftwerk before leaving to form the aforementioned band. The former playing drums on the final song on the album.

As soon as the opening flute of "Ruckzuck" enters your ears, you'll hear how much of a far-cry this is from Kraftwerk's later material. This opening doesn't last for long though, as the song quickly gaining a repetitive riff with the flute sliding into the background. The song slowly increases speed before the random jamming begins. The next song, "Stratovarius", relies more on noise to disrupt your ears. However, unlike noise "music" of today, Kraftwerk remembers that they still should write a song. Once you get past the five minutes of noise, there's some great guitar riffs and soloing to be found here. "Megaherz" is unfortunately nothing but drone and noise, with no substance to make it interesting in anyway. Fortunately, the album ends on a high note with "Von Himmel Hoch" which certainly surrounds you with a wall of sound. The English translation of the title, "From the Sky Above", is very fitting as there are sounds of bombs going off combined with chaotic drums and droning riffs.

This entirely instrumental album may bear no resemblance to the Kraftwerk we all know and love, but it's still a pretty good album for what it is. Sometimes the noise and drone can get too much, and "Megaherz" is utterly pointless, but despite this it does have enough interesting bits to keep it interesting. If you want to hear electronic music, skip to Ralf and Florian or Autobahn. However, if you like noisy Krautrock jamming, this is probably right up your alley.

Pastmaster | 3/5 |

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