Kraftwerk / The Mix


Kraftwerk (German pronunciation: [ˈkʀaftvɛʁk]) is an electronic music band from Düsseldorf, Germany. The signature Kraftwerk sound combines driving, repetitive rhythms with catchy melodies, mainly following a Western classical style of harmony, with a minimalistic and strictly electronic instrumentation. The group’s simplified lyrics are at times sung through a vocoder or generated by computer-speech software. Kraftwerk were one of the first groups to popularize electronic music. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Kraftwerk’s distinctive sound was revolutionary, and has had a lasting effect across many genres of modern music.[1][2][3][4][5]

The group was formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in 1970, and was fronted by them until Schneider’s departure in 2008.

The Analysis:

The Robots—-Perhaps considered some of the founding fathers of the current Dance Music Revolution, when Kraftwerk emerged with their machine driven music, the entire world took notice. With a nice driving underlying bass sound and enough treble bits to give the track melody, this is nicely accented my machine manipulated vocals as well. The incredible thing is that this still sounds so fresh and current. Truly innovators, Kraftwerk inspired many of the musicians making popular music today.

Computerlove—-Swirling and full of bright treble based electronic sounds, this track also includes a nice pulsing Disco bass that gives the manipulations some nice backbone. This is fairly fast paced for a Kraftwerk track…but the most remarkable hing is the machine generated melody that ushers in the distant and cold vocal. This is magnificent…truly some of the best German exported music known to man kind.

Pocket Calculator—-Perhaps one of my favorite compositions from this group, it is laughable now to even mention Pocket Calculators…but at the time of this tracks release, Calculators were a pretty unique innovation. The simple idea that someday you could make a hand-held contraption produce songs like this were far off in the future…but today remarkably possible. This was a true glimpse into the future.

Dentaku—-Melding perfectly from the previous song, this has nice elements that are the same as Pocket Calculator. Bolstered by german vocals and an irresistible beat, this is full of little blips and beeps that still make me smile. This is wondrous…considering the time period and the abilities.

Autobahn—-Perhaps the crown jewel in this bands career, Autobahn is this huge extended track that features all kinds of effects and a remarkable melody that is almost impossible to remove from your head. The beginning of the track is the best for me…as it introduces the elements of the song…as it goes on, it is perhaps a bit too long, but this served a purpose on those real late night dance floors that needed something to keep people in their establishments. This is a defining track…this was the future…this is now the present.

Radioactivity—-Another track that really helped to elevate this band even further, this is much faster and much more bass driven. The vocals are complete machine generated German sounds that are matched perfectly by a melodic treble track that really makes up the foundation of the song. This is another true piece of history from a ground breaking and innovative band.

Trans-Europe Express—-One of the bands earliest singles and releases, I knew the first time that I heard this that this was something never before done. Combining a nice escalating synth sound that never goes anywhere and an instrumentation that is almost orchestrated…this would later become sampled by not only the Dance Community, the Disco Community but the Rap Community as well…this was a new and fresh sound that made you shake you head and wonder how the hell did they do that!!!

Abzug—-Full of a remarkable energy and a bass beat that belies the time of production, this is catchy as hell. this is just fantastic…the sound is so warm…but at the same time magically distant and cold as ice. the magnificent power of machines!!!

Metal On Metal—-Another track that lives up to the reputation of the band…producing sounds that conjure up huge machines that magically produce music that is cold and still enveloping. This is still wonderous…the main synth line that makes up the song still delivering an almost euphoric feel.

Homecomputer—-Again, magically peering into the future, no one i know of even knew that Home computers were a realistic vision…look at us now!!! This is fresh and full of treble based synth lines and a heavy German vocal that slips in and out of the song…producing a sound so cold…but remarkably human and accessible. This was a land mark track.

Music Non-Stop—-Making both vocal sounds and machine sounds that had never been realized before, this band continued its ground breaking output. This reminds me of 80’s style Herbie Hancock….this is danceable…cold and incredibly accessible. Taking bits and pieces of sound and constructing them into huge epic electronic instrumentation, this band has a never-ending place in musical history. This is just fantastic!

****1/2 out of 5


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