Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express ( ' 77)
Kraftwerk - Computerworld (' 81)
Kraftwerk - R emi X e S
Elektric Music - Esperanto ( ' 93)
Yamo - Time Pie ( ' 96)
Various plastic surgery on The Model
Senor Coconut - El Baile Alemán ( ' 00)
Terre Thaemlitz - Die Roboter Rubato ( ' 97)
VA - Trans Slovenia Express ( ' 94 )
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Kraftwerk was founded in 1970 by Florian Schneider-Esleben (flute) and Ralf Hütter (keyboards), the pair setting up their Kling Klang studio in Düsseldorf. The two had met as students at the Düsseldorf Conservatory in the late 1960s, participating in the experimental music scene of the time which the UK music press dubbed "Krautrock". Early Kraftwerk line-ups (1970-1974) fluctuated, Hütter and Schneider working with around half a dozen other musicians over the course of recording four albums and sporadic live appearances - most notably guitarist Michael Rother and drummer Klaus Dinger, who left to form Neu!.
Their first three albums were more free-form experimental Krautrock jam, without the pop hooks or more disciplined strong structure of their later work. Kraftwerk, released in 1970, and Kraftwerk 2, released in 1972, were mostly exploratory jam music, played on a variety of traditional instruments including guitar, bass, electric organ, flute and violin. Post-production modifications to these recordings were then used to distort the sound of the instruments, particularly audio tape manipulation. With Ralf and Florian, released in 1973, the band began to move closer to its "classic" sound, relying more heavily on synthesizers and drum machines. Although almost entirely instrumental, the album marks Kraftwerk's first use of the vocoder.
Their breakthrough, both musically and popularly, came in 1974 with the Autobahn album and its 22-minute title track featuring the "motorik" beat, it intended to capture the feeling of driving on the Autobahn; from the high-speed concentration of the fast lane, to the tuning of the car radio, to the monotony of a long trip.The front cover of the original German edition was painted by Emil Schult, a long-time collaborator of Ralf and Florian, who also co-wrote the lyrics to the song "Autobahn".Conny Plancks name was later (85) scrapped as co-producer. With the joining of Karl Bartos for the Autobahn tour in 75 Kraftwerks line up was set for the next 12 years . A trio of albums that would exert a huge influence on popular music would follow— Radio-Activity (1975), Trans-Europe Express (1977) and the seminal The Man-Machine (1978).
Radio-Activity (1975). It was released in German as Radio-Aktivität. Unlike later albums, which featured different lyrics, only the titles differ between the English and German editions.It's the first Kraftwerk album to be entirely self-produced by Hütter & Schneider in their Kling Klang studio, and the first one to be performed by the "classic" Hütter/Schneider/Bartos/Flür line-up. All the music was written by Hütter/Schneider, with Emil Schult collaborating on lyrics, and designing the artwork.
Kraftwerks Trans-Europe Express (77 FLAC 249mb)
became their big break through album, a milestone Kraftwerk album notable for probably being their most-often ranked album, even on pop/rock lists. Much use was made of custom-built sequencing equipment, which helped Kraftwerk achieve the precise, minimalist pop sound distinctive of the album.
The Man-Machine (1978) was released in German as Die Mensch-Maschine. It contains the song "The Model" which was a #1 single in the UK in 1982 (early adapters those brits !) This was the first Kraftwerk album to see Karl Bartos co-credited with song-writing along with Hütter & Schneider. Emil Schult co-wrote the lyrics for "The Model". Musically, it builds on the already impressive Trans-Europe Express, further refining Kraftwerk's by then unique sound – the tracks are more concise, the melodies even stronger and the electronic percussion & sequencing even tighter.
"Interpol and Deutsche Bank, FBI and Scotland Yard , business, numbers, money, people ..computerworld" Kraftwerk really hit the mark at a time the PC wasn't even 'invented'. The whole computerworld album is uncanny visionairy and if nothing else a unique work, and they managed to translate this vision into 7 great tracks aswell . In keeping with the album’s concept, Kraftwerk showcased their music on an ambitious world tour and issued several versions of the single, "Pocket Calculator" – sung in German (Taschenrechner), English, French (Mini Calculateur)and Japanese (Dentaku).
In 1982, Kraftwerk had begun work on a follow-up album to their hugely successful and influential Computer World. This new album initially had the working title Technicolor, but this name had to be abandoned as that title was a trademark. The proposed title was changed to Techno Pop. Recordings were progressing, and one song from these sessions, "Tour de France" was released as a single in summer 1983, achieving moderate commercial success. However, shortly after this, Ralf Hütter suffered a serious cycling accident, leaving him in a coma, and unable to work with the band for at least half a year..
When work did recommence on the sessions, the band were reportedly now concerned that the album's production was not of a sufficiently ground-breaking quality to match their reputation as sonic innovators. A lot of studio rework was undertaken, and the final mix down of the album was completely redone from scratch. Finally in 1986 Electric Cafe was released.
Kraftwerk had build themselves a tall shadow from which they havent been able to escape since, their first try..Electric Cafe didnt convince either thematically or musically and with hindsight shows their uncertainty about where they were going. Having been the masters of electronic analog sound , the new digital age dawned, an age with relentless development of possibilities, high-end this year, mediocre next year..try to build innovative sound and music on that when being perfectionist.
The Mix (1991) featured newly arranged, re-recorded versions of a selection of songs which had originally appeared on the albums Autobahn through Electric Café. Hütter stated in interviews that he regarded The Mix as a kind of "live album", as it captured the results of the band's continual digital improvisations in their Kling Klang studio.The album met with a rather mixed reception on its release. The Mix was created entirely digitally, albeit during a period when the technology had yet to reach its maturity, and thus featured a sound which many listeners tend to find somewhat "sterile" compared to the superb analogue electronics employed on most of Kraftwerk's previous recordings of these songs.
Wolfgang Flur left 87, seen it coming or more likely some other beef-specially with Schneider . Things got even quieter when Karl Bartos (75-91) left frustrated by the lack of output, undoubtely financial squeezes hit both as they weren't founder members. They got replaced by the studio hired hands ( Fritz Hilpert & Henning Schmitz) for touring, likely because of the cultivated image of a fourman band. Creatively/financially (Kling Klang Publishing since 75) Kraftwerk is a duo. However, Bartos is credited for a number of tracks from the Man Machine-Electric Cafe era, as is Emil Schult the artist who painted/designed a number of Kraftwerk covers and (co)wrote some lyrics.
Whilst the nineties came and with it the era of electronic dance music (at wildly various speeds), Kraftwerk remained in retreat (Ruckzug opening track 1st album, visionairy again). They were requested to compose the opening/theme song for the Expo 2000 in Hanover and so right at the end in 99, after 13 years of silence the world got to hear some new Kraftwerk, this time they let others in, to remix it, b.t.w. i think theirs is clearly the best. Their next work was, again on commision as it where, to commemorate the 100th birthday of the Tour de France, it didn't make the start but it did release in 2003.
2004 for saw Kraftwerk go on a worldtour which resulted in their first official live album Minimum Maximum, 2CD aswell as a DVD. Like many of their studio albums, Minimum-Maximum was released in two different language versions: the band's native German, and English for the international market. However of the 23 tracks on the album, only the recordings of "The Model", "Radioactivity", "Trans-Europe Express" / "Metal on Metal", "Pocket Calculator" and "The Robots" are actually different between the releases . The album /dvd got a good response by press and public.
Their latest yet to be released officially named "The Catalogue" contains 8 remastered albums Autobahn (1974), Radio-Activity (1975), Trans-Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978), Computer World (1981), Electric Café or Techno Pop (1986) The Mix (1991) and Tour de France Soundtracks (2003). Scheduled for release fall 2005 it is now likely to see official daylight in 2007. We'll see, been waiting for some time now.
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Kraftwerk - Computerworld (81 ^Flac 204mb)
01 - Computer World – 5:05
02 - Minicalculateur – 4:55
03 - Numbers – 3:00
04 - Computer World 2 – 3:30
05 - Computer Love – 7:00
06 - Home Computer – 6:00
07 - It’s More Fun to Compute – 4:15
Kraftwerk @ Base
Kraftwerk @ Wiki
Kraftwerk @ Amazon
Emil Schult @ Base
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Kraftwerk RemiXes ( * 125mb)
Kraftwerk has never been very keen giving their work over to others, the assumption being we've put everything in it, why let it get fucked up by others, or worse improved. The remix culture of the early 80's wasn't that good , the tools too limited, this was different in the nineties and as Kraftwerk sweated over the millions of new possibilities, newbies went about remixing them without further ado, unhindered by the shadow of perfectionism. Not every tracks soundquality is up to scratch, partly because of bootlegged bootlegs. The showroom dummies remix is an interesting case of remixing back Senor Coconuts version towards Kraftwerk again . The last remix is done by the masters themselves .
01 - Computer World (Klick Mix)
02 - Pocket Calculator (East Meets West Mix)
03 - Music - Non Stop (Cut Up Mix)
04 - Trans Europe Express (T.E.E. Mix)
05 - The Robots (Program Mix)
06 - Autobahn (Peoples Car Mix)
07 - Europe Endless (Open Borders Mix)
08 - Man Machine (Space Mix)
09 - The Model (Catbonic Mix)
10 - Neon Lights (Ton-Up Mix)
11 - Showroom Dummies (Nicolai SenoReMix)
12 - Tour de France (Thumpermix)
13 - Expo 2000 (Kling Klang)
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Elektric Music - Esperanto ( ' 93 * 307mb)
Between 1975 and 1991 Karl Bartos, was electronic percussionist with Kraftwerk. He was originally recruited to play on their US "Autobahn" tour, and his improvisations became an essential part of the earlier Kraftwerk recordings. He left the Kraftwerk, when founding members Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider became increasingly perfectionist in their attitude towards recording and releasing their music.
In 1992 Bartos founded Elektric Music, performing a style somewhat similar to Kraftwerk. Esperanto ( 1993), was the first album by him as "Elektric Music" (initially in collaboration with Lothar Manteuffel-Rheingold). The songs "Show Business" and "Kissing The Machine" were written and performed with Andy McCluskey of OMD; "Crosstalk" and "Overdrive" were co-written with Kraftwerk associate Emil Schult, who also art-directed the cover graphics for the early Elektric Music releases. Electric Music's second rather dissapointing album was released 1998. In between the two albums, Bartos collaborated with Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr on Electronic's 1996 album Raise the Pressure, and co-wrote material with Andy McCluskey which appeared on both Esperanto and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Universal album.
In 2000 Bartos released a track "15 min of fame", which coming thru teeny acts like K3 or Chipz, or whatever they is called these days, would likely have been a big hit,(with some slight textual adaptation) , alas not for Karl, the track can be found on his latest album thusfar and under his own name "Communication" (2003). It's pretty much a one-man show -- everything you hear was programmed, played, and performed by Bartos himself. It contains plenty of catchy tunes and we here Bartos sing but on the whole the shadow of Kraftwerk hangs over it.
1 - TV (5:44)
2 - Show Business (3:20)
3 - Kissing The Machine voc.Andy McCluskey (4:43)
4 - Lifestyle (4:46)
5 - Crosstalk (5:52)
6 - Information (8:35)
7 - Esperanto (4:41)
8 - Overdrive Ft. Emil Schult (5:23)
Karl Bartos @ Base
Elektric Music @ Amazon
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Yamo-Time Pie ( ' 96 * 319mb )
Wolfgang Flür (born 17 July 1947) is best known as a member of Kraftwerk playing electronic drums( 1973 - 1987) . But then Flür also built much of the group's studio and stage equipment in his workshop below the band's Kling Klang studio. Previously he had played a conventional acoustic drum kit in the Düsseldorf band The Spirits of Sound. (Another member of this band was guitarist Michael Rother, who also spent a few months as a member of Kraftwerk in 1971, before forming Neu! with then Kraftwerk drummer Klaus Dinger.
Flür is now the founding member of Yamo, who released an album Time Pie in 1997, produced in collaboration with Mouse on Mars. Flür's next release, the 12" and remix 12" "I was a robot" even climbed to number 6 in the German club charts. Collaborations with Pizzicato 5 and Der Plan founding member Pyrolator have been announced, and the lyrics to the song "Greed" are in Flür's autobiography, but this material remains unreleased.
Flür wrote an autobiography (2000), called I Was a Robot, showing the inner workings of Kraftwerk from the beginning. This book met with hostility and litigation from his former Kraftwerk colleagues Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider. The original Hannibal Verlag edition was soon withdrawn, following an injunction, but the book was republished in English and Japanese, with removal of a couple of embarrasingly homoerotic photos of Schneider and Emil Schult and re-wording of certain sections, for instance, there was the development of the electronic drumpads (74) which Schneider had patented quietly in 77, but most of the court attention centered around the recording of the song "Autobahn", and this point was decided in Flür's favor: The German court found that Flür did play drums on the Autobahn album. It is odd that Hütter and Schneider would take offence at this claim, since they credited him for doing so on the original edition of the album, and even later, credit-less, editions carry a band photo with Flür and his drum kit center stage.
For Flur as for Bartos the predicament is how to elude the shadow of Kraftwerk and dive into unknown territory in sonic exploration. Yamo tries to create elegantly, infectious electro pop and void of cheapness.
01 - Time Pie (Minute Pie) (3:49)
02 - Mosquito (Hunting Feels Better) (3:44)
03 - Stereomatic (Stereomagic) (4:41)
04 - Awomanaman (The Kiss) (4:54)
05 - Aurora Borealis (Greatest Show For Free) (6:52)
06 - Guiding Ray (Space Journey To Funny Faces From Foreign Towns) (7:35)
07 - Tra Testa E Mano (Heart Between Head And Hand) (4:48)
08 - Speech Dancer (Talk Back) (4:18)
09 - Naked Japanese (Wrong Or Right) (4:33)
10 - Dr. U.G.L.Y. (More Than Slim) (3:57)
11 - U.G.L.Y. On The Run (Never Stands Still) (1:53)
Yamo @ Base
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Kraftwerks influence has not only been worldwide but impacted strongly on the global mind, considering that they were never a singles /hitband or sold many millions of albums, no mean feat. There must be something more to their music than meets the ear.
I've chosen three very different albums with interpretations of Kraftwerk's music, as for their one big hit "the Model" , it has been covered many times , i offer a small but wide ranging sample in 3 versions, one from Residents- Snakefinger ..likely one of the first released (79), Rammstein had some electrohardrock fun with it, as for the third ..it's in chinese..i feel the artist, Zhou Qisheng, is classically trained, as for the lyrics..who knows what he's made of it.
The different Model 29mb
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Senor Coconut - El Baile Alemán ( ' 00 * 319mb)
Uwe Schmidt (aka Atom™, Señor Coconut; born in Frankfurt, Germany) is a German DJ and producer of electronic music. Schmidt, also known as Atom Heart, as well as a number of other aliases, produced dance music during the first half of the 90s. In 1994, Schmidt started his own label, "Rather Interesting" with the aim of developing music that doesn't follow the traditional paths of electronic music. By 1996 he was thoroughly bored by European dance music and moved to Santiago, Chile to explore Latin music. He quickly adopted the intentionally ridiculous Señor Coconut moniker, and soon released El Gran Baile. His next release, in 2000, was the Latin-Kraftwerk fusion of El Baile Alemán. The album featured Kraftwerk classics reworked with Latin instrumentation and rhythm. El Baile Alemán was intended as a salute to, and a parody of Kraftwerk as evidenced by the intro to "Autobahn" which featured the sound of a car that wouldn't start. Together with Burnt Friedman under the name Flanger he released thusfar 4 electric/jazz albums (1999-2005). In 2006 Senor Coconut released "Yellow Fever" latin-covering Yellow Magic Orchestra tracks.
As for baile aleman; " imagine tracking thru the Andes, tired and stopping over at a small town for some food and drink at the local cantina, someone throws a dime into a decrepit jukebox...whaaa.. awesome ! Kraftwerk latino style, and it sounds so good, despite tiredness and the heights you're dancing ...." Alas it's nothing so romantic but i do think this album is a credit to Senor Coconut and Kraftwerk.
01 - Introducción (1:15)
02 - Showroom Dummies (Cha-Cha-Cha) (5:26)
03 - Trans Europe Express (Cumbia) (5:56)
04 - The Robots (Cha-Cha-Cha) (5:07)
05 - Autobahn (Cumbia Merengue) (6:32)
06 - Neon Lights (Cha-Cha-Cha) (4:52)
07 - Homecomputer (Merengue) (3:51)
08 - Tour De France (Merengue) (4:32)
09 - The Man Machine (Baklán) (4:26)
10 - Music Non Stop (Cumbia) (4:47)
Senor Coconut @ Casa
AtomTM @ Base
Senor Coconut @ Amazon
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Thaemlitz, Terre - Die Roboter Rubato ( flac * 172mb)
Now you might look at the cover of this album, having never heard of Terre Thaemlitz and possibly assume some piano muzak versions of Kraftwerks music, well then you have a surprise coming.
New York-based composer Terre Thaemlitz is one of only a handful of significant American artists working in the new ambient vein. He's released the bulk of his material through the Instinct Ambient label, but has also issued tracks (under his own name and as Chugga) on his own Comatonse label and through others. Although Thaemlitz's entre into electronic came in a somewhat traditional fashion -- as a house DJ -- his explorations in electronic abstraction have been anything but, focusing on themes of abjection, alienation, fracture, and contradiction in his music. Thaemlitz's recorded work, collected on albums such as Tranquilizer and Soil, is closer in tone to ambient-leaning industrialists He's also recorded with Bill Laswell, releasing Web in 1995, and done remix work for Interpieces Organization and the Golden Palaminos, among others.
Born in Minnesota and raised in Missouri, Thaemlitz moved to New York in the mid-'80s to pursue art scholarship at Cooper Union. Soon distracted by the growing New York house scene, he began DJing at drag balls and benefits, leading to an Underground Grammy for best DJ in 1991. Although primarly a dancefloor DJ, Thaemlitz's insistence upon integrating house music's more simplistic monotony with challenging, complicated breaks and references earned him an uneasy relationship with club promoters looking for DJs whose only commitment was the 4/4 beat. Retiring from club DJing in the early '90s (although he continues to spin experimental electronic music at art galleries, one-offs, and in other marginal contexts), Thaemlitz began making his own tracks, beginning with house but quickly moving into genre defying fusions of funk, soul, disco, and musique concrete, and eventually settling into experimental ambient. One of his earliest works, "Raw from a Straw," in addition to limited release through his own Comatonse label, appeared on an early ambient compilation on Instinct, and earned him an almost instant reputation. He's since fortified that with a pair of full-length releases remarkably free of many of the cliched conventions of club-drived ambient. He continues to support new talent through Comatonse there's a superb page made up at Wiki, giving a complete and visually attractive expose of his work.Terre @ Wiki
Thaemlitz took the long road around expectation for his Mille Plateaux debut, opting for a set of solo piano extrapolations of songs by Kraftwerk. Built on a high-clearing deck of post-industrial cultural analysis over the course of its seven-plus pages of liner notes, the music on the disc requires little in the way of explanation. Thaemlitz' sparse, inventive interpretations are pleasing enough on their own. Thaemlitz: " I don't play piano, but I've always been aware of the ability for persistent "unskilled" improvisation to invoke a sense of competency, if not virtuosity. The tracks themselves were done by slowing playing in the Kraftwerk melodies one note at a time, and then using the computer to layer, invert and reverse those melodies. These more ordered segments were then combined with improvisational elements. I wanted to incorporate Kraftwerk's notion of an integrated human-technological process into my production techniques." Get Terre's inspired work .
01 - Die Roboter
02 - Ätherwellen
03 - Tour De France
04 - Computerwelt
05 - Technopop
06 - Ruckzuck
07 - Radioland
08 - Mensch Maschine
09 - Schaufensterpuppen
10 - Morgenspaziergang
Terre @ Base
Terre @ Amazon
Big Interview with Terre
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Comatonse Records, Terre Thaemlitz released a free best-of compilation CD. Physical copies are no longer in print, but MP3s are available for free download (along with a bonus track that did not fit on the original release). Comatonse Below Code (112kbps mp3)
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VA - Translovenia Express ( ' 94 * 413mb )
Slovenia is a small country hidden in the heart of Europe, it was part of the Habsburg empire for 5 centuries consequently architecture wise it looks middle europe, blessed with a diverse nature, it's a bit of a fairytale country. After the Worldwar they shacked up with the Slavs but ultimately it didnt become them, and they broke free from Yugoslavia in 91. Their best known music band is called Laibach, the german name of Slovenia's capitol Ljubljana. Since 1980 they have presented themselves as an art collective, it stands to reason that they eclipse this Slovenian re interpretation of the work of Kraftwerk.
Kraftwerk covers are always risky. If they follow the original too closely they become superfluous... depart too far and they can seem... desecrations. Mute records released this album (94) and 4 years later even a volume 2, testament to the quality and success of vol 1. It's a diverse range of covers and quiet possibly you will find fault with one or two but in general it's an agreeable album, and as always intriguing how the human mind is able to reshape.
01 - Zrcalo Sveta (Das Spiegelas Der Welt) (6:02) - Laibach
02 - The Robots (4:11) - Coptic Rain
03 - Trans Europe Express (5:21) - The One You Love
04 - Radioactivity (4:54) - April Nine
05 - Airwaves (4:37) - Beitthron
06 - Transistor (2:40) - Data Processed Corrupted
07 - Ohm Sweet Ohm (4:37) - Borghesia
08 - Neonlight (5:50) - Mitja V.S. Enzo Fabiani Quartet
09 - Antenna (4:43) - Z-Entropa
10 - Man Machine (5:24) - Strelnikoff
11 - Home Computer (4:16) - Random Logic
12 - The Model (5:01) - Demolition Group
13 - Kometnmelodie (Part I) (4:20) - 300,000 V.K.
14 - Spacelab (3:59) - Videosex
15 - Lie Werk (3 Oktober - Fleisch Und Blut Gemischt) (5:29) - Kraftbach
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* All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !