Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Two gigs bookending the career of the majestic masters Kraftwerk.
The first is a wonderful curio from the very early days.
Some say it isn't Kraftwerk at all, and in a way they're right.
Play it to someone. Ask them who it is.
I mean, Kraftwerk have a unique sound, right; unmistakable: easily identifiable.
Aural auteurs: the last thing you would expect is electric stun, fuzz guitar and violin sounds.
But it is Kraftwerk; well, I think it is; it just happens to come from a time when the outfit were in flux; a time before they found their niche; before they began making all their own instruments, and before they found the true Kraftwerk sound.
The band at this time included Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger, and as all you Kraut Rock freaks know, they're the guys who went off and created Neu!
And it's Neu! who I would have gone for if someone had played it to me and asked me who it was; coz that's what it sounds like.
And it's damn fine Neu! type noise, too.
Well worth checking out, this.
Especially if you dig stretched out sonic jams, big guitar sounds and monster riffs, all with a touch of trance and grindcore thrown in for good measure.
And it's an A+ recording - man, it sounds good!
Kraftwerk - Bremen Radio 71 (2006)
Heavy Metal Kids
CD rip to mp3s. Seventy minutes. Artwork included.
Go back to Bremen here
It was four years later the classic lineup of the band went on to create Autobahn, recorded entirely using home-made instruments, and as the BBC revealed at the time, not only did the music sound as if it was being made by robots, the pictures confirmed that robots were indeed responsible for manufacturing the bizarre sounds.
Autobahn became a big hit for the band, and in the second of the two gigs, recorded in 2010, 'Autobahn' gets a good airing, and even has a new middle section, one that is fresh, drawing from recent ambient developments; breathing life into the old beast.
The whole gig works like that.
It is a real 'Greatest Hits' set, but what they do with the tunes is quite remarkable; and those tunes we're all so familiar with; well, they sound as fresh as a Tory cut. Chop!
'The Model', a song that had been taken away from Kraftwerk for me by Albini's version on Big Black's Songs About Fucking, is claimed back by the originators.
It just sounds so much better in German.
The real highlight is 'Radioactivity'.
Just listen to that intro and try not to tremble.
Again, excellent sound, and nearly an hour of ear-poppin', Teutonic brilliance.
Kraftwerk - Live 2010
The Man Machine
Music Non Stop
Trans Europe Express
Ripped from DVD captured broadcast @320kbs.
Go back to the future here