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Tag Archives: Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk – Heavy Metal Kids

This is from the 1st phase of Kraftwerk, where they sounded like NEU! as imagined by Faust (the NEU! connection was obviously due to the fact that Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother were the rhythmic backbone of this incarnation). This is from some live material from 1971, about a year after they released their absolutely stunning debut album on Phillips; and is definitely in the same vein. Ralf Hütter was taking a break around this time, so this is essentially NEU! with Florian Schneider. (Kraut) Rock on!

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Kraftwerk – Pocket Calculator

Kraftwerk, the band who could single handedly dispute any Brit’s claims that german’s don’t “get” irony.  Pioneering Electronica from the true originator’s. Bleep’s abound on this track from the bands 1981 album ‘Computer World’.

Kraftwerk – Von Himmel Hoch

The last 2 and a half minutes of this track are the greatest 2 and a half minutes of music ever recorded; the first bulk of the track aint too shabby either.
This is from their 1970 debut album people; and shows a different side to the Kraftwerk that people are familiar with.
At this point, they were the pinnacle of ‘Krautrock’. Like Faust meets NEU!…..what can top that?

Kraftwerk – Tanzmusik

The real solid gem from Kraftwerk’s 3rd album, 1974’s ‘Ralf & Florian’; ‘Tanzmusik’ is a hypnotic glittering jewel full of chimes and beauty.

Kraftwerk – Vom Himmel Hoch (Live in Soest, 1970)

Here’s the original Kraftwerk with their ‘proper’ Krautrock sound with a live rendition of the closing track from their radical and revolutionary debut.

Kraftwerk – Rückstoss-Gondoliere (Live on the Beat Club, 1971)

Kraftwerk Mark 1 at their most NEU!-like on the Beat Club in 1971. The reason for this is probably due to the fact that Ralf was awol and Florian was outnumbered by Klaus and Michael. Krautrock people, Krautrock.

Kraftwerk – Ruckzuck

Kraftwerk manage to make the flute sound good on this, their debut from 1970. This album was before the whole man-machine thing they’re famous for; back during this time the band were a cross between NEU! (no surprise, as Rother and Dinger were part of the band before forming their own Teutonic blast) and Faust. Radical, wayward, and as Kraut as you can get, here is the original Kraftwerk.

Kraftwerk – Kling Klang

The opening track from kraftwerk’s second album, 1971’s ‘Kraftwerk 2’. This hints at the sound that the band are well known for and is a real step away from the hard-edged and wayward Faust meets NEU! sound they had on their debut. The electric flute is still in evidence; and also, just like on the first album, they manage to use the flute in a way that doesn’t make you want to run screaming from the room. ‘Kraftwerk 2’ is a strange and sparse album overall; incredibly experimental and avant-garde, but in a totally different way from the equally radical and wilder ‘Kraftwerk 1’ (1970); yet ‘Kling Klang’ really is a lovely listen and stands out from the rest of the album. An early drum machine (the first?) with a simple percussive line runs throughout a track that changes tempo midway, with twinkling synths and robust bass enveloping it; accompanied by the aforementioned lilting flute. The latter part of the track, replete with scratchy guitar, is a lovely surprise every time you hear it.

This is a master from vinyl and unfortunately there are a couple of jumps from the album; which is a shame as the bootlegs that are out there don’t have these jumps, despite also being mastered from the original vinyl release.

Kraftwerk – Von Himmel hoch

The last 2 and a half minutes of this track are the greatest 2 and a half minutes of music ever recorded; the first bulk of the track aint too shabby either.
This is from their 1970 debut album people; and shows a different side to the Kraftwerk that people are familiar with.
At this point, they were the pinnacle of ‘Krautrock’. Like Faust meets NEU!…..what can top that?

Kraftwerk – Stratovarius

Kraftwerk’s very first album was a Krautrock masterpiece that bears little resemblance to the robot obsessed outfit that they are well known for, Before the man-machine interface came fierce Avant-Rock with heavy psychedelic leanings.
This album sat somewhere between Faust and NEU!, which isn’t surprising seeing as half of Kraftwerk at this point were the duo of Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother; the two men who went on to form NEU!
This is the second track from the self titled debut. It starts with three minutes or so of discordant, whining noise. After some footsteps break the whine up the track crashes; then starts up again with a kind of off-kilter majesty. Here is where you can hear Schneider and Hütter’s tutelage under Stockhausen. The track picks up speed and it all feels like a reckless motorik sound that can collapse at any moment. In fact the track does collapse, and start up, and collapse again. The guitars sound scratchy and the drums are loose but propulsive.
The whole track is totally astounding and it must have sounded unlike anything else from that year (1970).
The very last section is a coda that builds and builds until it cuts out is laced with menace. True Avant-Rock.
This was the kind of krautrock that owed very little to the British or American psychedelic/experimental music scene (think Amon Düül 2, Tangerine Dream, Cosmic jokers); and was the dawn of a truly German sound that would bring in other outfits such as Faust, Cluster, and NEU!.
The album was, of course, produced by the mighty Conny Plank.

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