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Essential Kraftwerk

Discussion in 'music' started by davidsrsb, Oct 23, 2022.

  1. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    Although "Autobahn" from '74 ain't too shabby - well, it's better than "The Man Machine". :)
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’ve always felt Autobahn a bit of a one-sided album, side two far weaker to my mind than the superb title track. Must dig it out for a spin and reevaluate it. It is the only one of my Kraftwerk collection that could do with an upgrade too. I’ve had it forever, certainly since I was at school, and it was bought second hand then. Looks clean enough, but is a bit crackly, especially side two IIRC.

    PS I’m not a fan of The Mix and later versions ofAutobahn at all. A totally different approach due to the entirely different instrumentation, and it loses just so much IMO.
    VanDerGraaf and ciderglider like this.
  3. Alex N

    Alex N pfm Member

    Just the 890 samples listed:

    There’s even more of course, as many songs that sample Kraftwerk are then sampled. Cybotron’s ‘Clear’, very obviously based on ‘Home Computer’, has featured on dozens more tunes since, such as this understated banger, ‘Lose Control’, by the singular talent that is Missy Elliott.

    Aside from Computer World having curiously prescient themes, beaming itself into the future and even having a track almost about internet dating, it really is still heard everywhere.

    I’ve a soft spot for The Man-Machine, as it’s the one I remember from being very young, so of course I instantly loved the robot and space stuff. Also (and it’s given me goosebumps remembering this, and I’ve still no idea what it’s made on), it properly fizzed out of my brother’s Mission 700s!
    Weekender and Seeker_UK like this.
  4. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    If you need more, there's also Komputer

    I'm sure there was another UK band kicking around in the 80s and 90s who were influenced by (OK, sounded like) Kraftwerk, but I can't remember their name.
  5. Alex N

    Alex N pfm Member

    Dopplereffekt are often very Kraftwerkian electro, from the ever-enigmatic Gerald Donald (also of Drexciya, UR, and more, ofc). I posted their Infophysix EP recently, and its title track has a lovely soaring melody Karl could’ve come up with...

    I’ve not kept up with more recent releases, but there’s some particularly great early tunes with the strangely alluring Kim Karli on vocals... On the above EP, ‘Pornoactress’ (not quite as dodgy as it sounds) is a good way in, and more easily (and much less expensively) found on the roundup of early tracks, Gesamtkunstwerk.
    farfromthesun and CTank like this.
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator


    This was posted (uncredited) to the Facebook Horn Speakers group recently and is allegedly the late Florian Schneider’s system! Very cool indeed if true. Klangfilm horn speakers I think.
    moon63, Robn, irons1965 and 4 others like this.
  7. Alex N

    Alex N pfm Member

    Some other lad in Florian’s apartment, 1979…


    A bonus mark awarded for ID-ing the record on the floor by the Micro Seiki.
  8. tedmanzie

    tedmanzie pfm Member

    I agree with Tony’s album ranking and opinion, Kraftwerk are legendary. I do think The Mix is worth it just for the ultra clean production and don’t forget the original Tour De France single. I just finished Karl Bartos’ autobiography - he describes in detail how after Computer World they started trying to compete with other electronic club music and ended up in a mess, sounds like Electric Cafe was mixed so many times that it drained the life out of it. Then digital technology turns up and the fun goes out of the whole thing (he leaves after Electric Cafe out of boredom).

    There’s a fantastic video on youtube of them playing live during the Man Machine tour, quite a contrast to how they are now.
    Robn likes this.
  9. Mike Hughes

    Mike Hughes pfm Member

    “All” is a good call but I do find Tour De France as excruciatingly dull as it is live and Electric Cafe is the sound of a group standing stll.
  10. cupples

    cupples pfm Member

    I remember hearing Radioactivity as a child of the 80s and thinking how very sparse and yet weirdly organic it was. Still my favourite album, followed by Tour de France Soundtracks. I'm reading Uwe Schütte's book Future Music from Germany about Kraftwerk, which is semi interesting so far. I also enjoyed Karl Bartos' album Communication.
    Mike Hughes and theadmans like this.
  11. theadmans

    theadmans pfm Member

    I took home the import copy with a load of stickers... an idiot these went straight on school exercise books and my bedroom door.

    The album from Ainley's Leicester was going back...

    ...then my dad who worked in the energy sector said:-

    Hey that's a Geiger Counter!
    Big Tabs and cupples like this.
  12. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied Me in another jacket

    Personally for me, my favs are TEE, Autobahn (just for 22 minutes of fab motorway travelling :)) but I also like Comet melody 2 on side 2, Radioactivity, love all that airwaves stuff & finally Man machine.

    Just bought to add to my original collection + later reissues o_O TEE German version & remixes on vinyl (seemed cheap for 3LP). So yea look at the German versions too makes for interesting

    You should also get the radio edit 7" single of Autobahn which actually includes Comet melody 2 on side B :D
  13. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    The UK release had "Kometenmelodie 1" on the B-side.

    "2" was the follow-up single.
    per-Sony-fied likes this.
  14. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied Me in another jacket

    I should know this as I have the single but not seen light of day for a long time :D
  15. cubastreet

    cubastreet Espresso Fiend

    Trans Europe Express is my favourite, but probably because it's the first I bought.
  16. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    Did you get the pic from this blog? If not, well worth a read.
    MotelBlues and Alex N like this.
  17. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    "Radioactivity" is a great album as a mix of 'experimental' tracks in the style of early Kraftwerk ("Geiger Counter", "Intermission", "News", "The Voice of Energy", "Radio Stars", "Uranium", "Transistor") and more conventional songs / tunes ("Radioactivity", "Radioland", "Airwaves", "Antenna", "Ohm Sweet Ohm") and it always felt to me Kraftwerk's pivotal album, where they could have carried on in that vein / gone more experimental or develop the song / poppy side. I guess that after "Autobahn", it was inevitable. They chose the poppy path, and, began a process of reducing it down to the bare essentials as heard in "Man Machine".
    kendo and Robn like this.
  18. Alex N

    Alex N pfm Member

    Of course, and yes, it’s quite interesting. Try sitting like Ralf… exceptionally uncomfortable, unless you’re a robot, maybe.
    Seeker_UK likes this.
  19. uncl_nigel

    uncl_nigel pfm Member

    Saw them live at the Suvilahti power plant, Helsinki, some time back. The music was great but boy was I cold at the end of the performance even if it was summer.
    My personal favorite albums:
    Man Machine
  20. Weekender

    Weekender pfm Member

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