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KRAFTWERK 2

Kraftwerk

Progressive Electronic


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Kraftwerk Kraftwerk 2 album cover
3.14 | 111 ratings | 11 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Kling Klang (17:36)
2. Breath (Atem) (2:57)
3. Current (Strom) (3:52)
4. Coil 4 (Spule 4) (5:20)
5. Wave Lenght (Wellenlange) (9:40)
6. Harmonika (3:17)

Total Time: 42:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Ralf Hütter / organ, electric piano, bass, rhythm machine, bells, harmonica
- Florian Schneider / flute, violin, guitar, bells, electronic Fx

With:
- Konrad "Conny" Plank / co-producer, engineer

Releases information

Artwork: Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider

LP Philips ‎- 6305 117 (1972, Germany) Never reissued on CD

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

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KRAFTWERK Kraftwerk 2 ratings distribution


3.14
(111 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
14%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
27%
Good, but non-essential (31%)
31%
Collectors/fans only (22%)
22%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

KRAFTWERK Kraftwerk 2 reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
2 stars Kraftwerk's second album is a mixed bag of excellent moments and failed experiments. It is a better example of their latter works than the debut is since the debut album has no synthetysers on it.

The first track is a sidelong one named after their studio and represents a series of improv over a slowly evolving but endless electronic rythm. One can actually ear the foundations of New Wave music some 10 years before its birth. don't let this scare you there is plenty for a proghead to like on this side of vinyl.

The second side is a series of severily flawed experimentations with loops and tape distortions and seem totally pointless nowadays but back then it was groundbreaking. The reason I use the term severely flawed is that this is totally boring for the average listener , proghead or not!

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Second Kraftwerk album with their guitar / flute / electric organ based formula. Embryonic experimentations on acoustic and rock instruments. If you are in touch with Cluster's first chaotic album and Kluster's theatrical psych / "garage" sound you will definitely enjoy listening this album. The thematic material is identical and the music is rather simplistic, very orientated to guitars repetitive sound manipulations. If you are familiar with Kraftwerk synthesiser group devoted to mechanical electro pop music you will be a little bit disconcerted by this very "primitive" album, entirely made of enigmatic, industrial experimental rock compositions (sometimes including non musical sources as breath). Although this album is not a standard of prog rock everybody must keep in mind that it is a landmark of early years in electronic (rock) music history.
Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This one is rather slow moving, minimal and experimental at times, but the two longer tracks make up for that with some good melodies on both. Klaus Dinger has left to form the band NEU! with Mr.Rother, and instead of replacing him they use a drum machine. Unlike the first album there is bass and guitar credited on this one though.

"Klingklang" for me is the highlight of this album. Even if it is repetitive, it is melodic with flute, keys, bass and other sounds. It begins with what sounds like bells and chimes with no real melody until 2 minutes in. The tempo picks up 10 minutes in until it seems to just die. It starts over with a different melody. Percussion and waves of sound lead the way now. This stops before 14 1/2 minutes and a new, more uptempo melody takes over to the end.

"Atem" features these loud sounds that expand and retract throughout. "Strom" opens with raw, distorted guitar. A beat takes over a minute in that is joined by some spacey waves of sound. Good song. "Spule 4" is a tough one after a minute to the end as there just isn't much going on. "Wellenlange" opens with guitar sounds,bass and other sounds at a slow moving pace. The tempo picks up a little after 3 minutes. It gets a little louder 6 minutes in and we have a melody a minute later. Some nice bass in this one. "Harmonika" has no melody as sounds slowly pulse in and out.

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This second ''Kraftwerk'' album shows a bit more the direction they will head for later works but by no means is this a good album IMHHO. The minimal line-up could only generates minimalist music.

The repetitive theme of the long''Kling Klang'' might well be a hint of future things to come, but it can't be compared to ''Autobahn'' of course. This second album is less experimental than their weak debut (only by an inch), but let's be honest here: one barely faces good music while listening to this album.

This type of albums are only considered because of the later grandeur of the band to be clear. This type of music was rather confidential in the early seventies: in terms of sales or radio airing. Which means that it was almost unknown at the time. As I have said, it is only thanks to their later work that one got acquainted with this type of album.

Now, to be honest if you like repetitive instrumental music, you might be hooked, but IMHHO, this is just too repetitive, and in the long run a definite feel of boredom prevails (especially during ''Kling Klang'').

The worst of this album being these three minutes or so of ''Atem'' (the well named). Some might call these noises/sound as music, but my perception of this track just sounds as if a person was breathing through a machine and got his breathe recorded. Awful, press next of course.

The problem while pressing next, is that you won't be confronted to any other feeling. One of the worst moment being achieved during ''Spur 4''. Fully in line with their debut. At this time, it is up to you to either press next or listening further on.

But when I have to endure almost ten minutes of '' Wellenlang''. I wonder if I shouldn't be listed in the World Book of Records. These are ten minutes painful as hell. I can hardly understand that some reviewers are rating this work with the masterpiece status. It leaves me breathless.

I will be generous with this one: two stars. But don't ask me to give one good reason to provide such a high rating, I wouldn't be able to give a proper answer. Maybe some good later works.or the ''Kling Klang'' epic which is by far the best you will get out of here.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Kraftwerk 2" is the 2nd full-length studio album by German Krautrock/electronic music act Kraftwerk. The album was released through Phillips in January 1972. Kraftwerk´s debut album featured glimpses of excellence but to my ears drowned in directionless ambient sound experiments. It´s still a relatively intriguing album though and for the time quite adventurous...

...the music on "Kraftwerk 2" pretty much continues down the same path as as the music on the debut. When Kraftwerk play their trademark repetitive krautrock beats and layer those beats with various sound effects and studio experiements like the do on the 17:36 minutes long opening track "Kling Klang" I´m pretty intrigued and want more but much of the rest of the album is ambient noodling and seem directionless. The music simply has a hard time maintaining my attention. The sound production is of good quality although the sound production on the debut album was actually slightly better.

"Kraftwerk 2" is upon conclusion obviously the work of a talented act. As mentioned above it just seems like the band haven´t yet figured out how to use all their experimental ideas within the context of a structured song, or maybe that´s the whole point and I´m just missing it. A 2.5 star (50%) rating is warranted.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars The second Kraftwerk album finds the band reduced to its two core members Ralf and Florian. It introduces the rhythm machine but it is still far removed from the electronic direction they would take a few years later. Actually, given the line-up, there's a surprising amount of guitar on the album.

My favorite track is the guitar experiment Storm. Here you get, right from 1971, the essence of post-rock (which is probably the last thing you would expect to hear on a Kraftwerk album). It has a noisy intro followed by slowly floating guitar arpeggio's. Layers of experimental electronic sounds weave spacey chords around it. The same brooding atmosphere and anti-rock guitar usage are continued on the ensuing Spule4 and Wellenlänge. Both tracks have less melody but are not less effective in terms of creative power and ambience. I find both to be little art gems of a band that was light-years ahead of its time.

Atem and Harmonika are two more concise experiments. Not the most essential listening but still interesting. I'm less enthused about the 17 minute KlingKlang, a track that would have worked better for me had Klaus Dinger still been around to provide real drums. With the rhythm machine it remains too lifeless and static for its long duration. At least for me it does, most listeners prefer this track to the rest of the album.

A daring, unconventional and at times visionary album, but unlike the debut and the Organisation albums it isn't one that I picked up for more then a few rare listens.

Review by colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Kraftwerk 2 marks an increase in electronic experimentation under the Kraftwerk name. Some of this album comes off as sounding like random synth-foolery that they just released for no clear reason, but it all seems to work together as a whole, in my opinion. The starter track "Kling Klang" is more of the krautrock that was present on the previous two albums, but with only slightly more electrical elements and it really is a very mellow song that sounds like a direct precursor to Autobahn. But the rest of the album is pure experimentation.

After the first track, "Atem" might be frightening (definitely was the first time I heard it) and is essentially the sound of a breathing robot. In case you didn't know, robots aren't supposed to breathe. There's no music in this track at all... just harsh, windy, robotic breath. "Strom" is very doomy and industrial sounding ambient set at a sludgy pace. "Spule 4" is lonely, quiet, and abrasive sounding industrial sound effects from afar, and "Wellenlange" sounds like the exact same track except set at a longer duration. "Harmonika" ends the album with sad and lonely robotic sounding synth-harmonica experiment that is soothing and reminds me of later tracks like "Ohm Sweet Ohm" and "Kommetenmelodie 2".

I'm aware that my description of the tracks on this album must seem extremely unappealing, but this album has an extraordinary "junky" feel to it that is hard to come by. It is definitely an odd and experimental album, but fans of avant-garde music should find enough to enjoy about this album. I highly recommend this dark, industrial, post-krautrock junk experiment to anyone daring enough to dive into it.

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The second Kraftwerk album is one of only two performed by just the core duo of Ralf and Florian (the other was titled exactly that), and the lack of any collaborators may explain the more uniform minimalism of this effort compared to the scattershot Krautrock grunge of their 1970 debut.

The stripped-down sound was also a reflection of the unsettled state of the band at the time. More than on any other Kraftwerk album there's a distinct connection here with the kindred Düsseldorf pioneers of NEU!, whose first album followed this session two months later. You can see it in the parallel pop-art simplicity of the cover design, and in the collage of Polaroid photos inside the original gatefold sleeve. And you can hear it in the absence of Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger, interim bandmates of Ralf and Florian before leaving to pursue their own destiny.

With the group suddenly reduced to a twosome, and without the benefit of an actual drummer, the new album would become a prototype slice of dark, almost industrial electronica, miles away from anything resembling the bouncy techno-pop of later incarnations. It's still weird to hear guitars as the primary instrument on a Kraftwerk album, conspicuously on Side Two, in the distorted radio identification signal of "Strom" and the ambient monochrome drift of "Wellenlange".

But the two remaining men-machines were still beating the air(waves) for a stable identity beyond that familiar traffic cone logo, testing vague ideas instead of performing solid compositions. The new music had more internal logic than it did on their debut, but still lacked a clear sense of direction, with only one promising signpost to the future: the (almost) side-long "Kling Klang", a title that would resonate through Kraftwerk lore in more ways than one.

Without the crutch of synthesizers (beyond a primitive rhythm box) the pair was forced to experiment with more organic sounds, like the evocative bells and gongs heard at the top of the track. But once the music reaches cruising speed fans should recognize an obvious ancestor of "Autobahn", lacking only the structure and discipline of that breakthrough hit, still three years away at the time. The random tempo changes are in irritation, but less so than the entire next track "Atem": three long minutes of labored electronic respiration (and nothing else).

Research and development of this sort can often be rewarding, with a little help from a sympathetic listener. "Kraftwerk 2" wasn't quite the light bulb moment Ralf and Florian were aiming for, but the album deserves more consideration than they've given it themselves.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Kraftwerk 2 is, as the title suggests, the second studio album from electronic band Kraftwerk. With the departure of drummer Klaus Dinger, who went to form the band Neu!, Kraftwerk was reduced to the duo of Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider. With no drums, how do they continue with a Krautrock sound ... (read more)

Report this review (#1536459) | Posted by Pastmaster | Monday, March 7, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It is odd how a Metalhead like me listens to Krautrock, well with Kraftwerk, Neu!, Can, GuruGuru, Ashra Tempel who can complain!! I love this record well not as interesting as the first album and thr pre-Kraftwerk Tone Float but still a cracker of a listen!!!!! It consists of long, p ... (read more)

Report this review (#65404) | Posted by craig4 | Wednesday, January 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The group was going through some line-up changes that almost resulted in the end of KRAFTWERK but fortunately Florian and Ralf remained in the band. They lacked a drummer so they have to use a rhythm-machine. I'd rather hear real drums and percussion but the music sounds good in spite of this. ... (read more)

Report this review (#34596) | Posted by terramystic | Wednesday, April 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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