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Alternative & Indie - Released May 26, 2017 | Parlophone UK

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Electronic - Released October 12, 2009 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Released on 10th May 1981, Computer World marked Kraftwerk’s last big record, and the last work from the group’s series of concept albums which began in 1974 with their fourth album Autobahn, quickly followed by Radio-Activity, Trans-Europe Express and The Man-Machine. All of them were recorded at their private studio Kling Klang, where they devised a mobile equipment system which they carried with them for the first time for the Computer World tour. The dawn of a new decade saw a dazzling number of new styles come to life. The band led by Ralf Hütter, at the time still accompanied by the two other legends Florian Schneider and Karl Bartos, offered up a concept album based on the rise of computers in Western societies - all the tracks confronted the topic either directly or indirectly. Above all, with this concise (a full half hour of music!) and minimalist record, Kraftwerk opened doors for a whole generation of producers, introducing them to electro-funk with Numbers (which would inspire Afrika Bambaataa the following year for Planet Rock, marking the beginning of hip-hop) or laying the foundations of mental techno on Computer World and synthpop on Computer Love. Ten years after their debut, Kraftwerk prove that they are still several steps ahead of the rest. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released October 6, 2009 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The Man-Machine is closer to the sound and style that would define early new wave electro-pop -- less minimalistic in its arrangements and more complex and danceable in its underlying rhythms. Like its predecessor, Trans-Europe Express, there is the feel of a divided concept album, with some songs devoted to science fiction-esque links between humans and technology, often with electronically processed vocals ("The Robots," "Spacelab," and the title track); others take the glamour of urbanization as their subject ("Neon Lights" and "Metropolis"). Plus, there's "The Model," a character sketch that falls under the latter category but takes a more cynical view of the title character's glamorous lifestyle. More pop-oriented than any of their previous work, the sound of The Man-Machine -- in particular among Kraftwerk's oeuvre -- had a tremendous impact on the cold, robotic synth pop of artists like Gary Numan, as well as Britain's later new romantic movement. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Electronic - Released October 6, 2009 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
With the emergence of the new wave, all kinds of synths and keyboards were being integrated more and more into rock instrumentals. In Düsseldorf, Germany, Kraftwerk were capturing the spirit of the age and the industrial civilisation in their completely synthetic and electronic melodies. With their sixth album which was released in 1977, entitled Trans Europe Express, these avant-gardists who were driven by contemporary music reached sublime perfection. Coldness turned into art, minimalist aestheticism and atmospheric harmonies, Kraftwerk’s music would fascinate David Bowie (cited with Iggy Pop in the song Trans Europe Express) and Brian Eno just as much as the first rappers (Afrika Bambaataa) and the future popes of electro. For when this forerunning universe of Kraftwerk collided with the stakhavonist groove of disco, techno would be born… © MZ/Qobuz
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Dance - Released October 6, 2009 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Although Kraftwerk's first three albums were groundbreaking in their own right, Autobahn is where the group's hypnotic electronic pulse genuinely came into its own. The main difference between Autobahn and its predecessors is how it develops an insistent, propulsive pulse that makes the repeated rhythms and riffs of the shimmering electronic keyboards and trance-like guitars all the more hypnotizing. The 22-minute title track, in a severely edited form, became an international hit single and remains the peak of the band's achievements -- it encapsulates the band and why they are important within one track -- but the rest of the album provides soundscapes equally as intriguing. Within Autobahn, the roots of electro-funk, ambient, and synth pop are all evident -- it's a pioneering album, even if its electronic trances might not capture the attention of all listeners. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Electronic - Released October 6, 2009 | Parlophone UK

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Electronic - Released October 6, 2009 | Parlophone UK

Among electronic artists (as well as virtually the entire record industry), only Kraftwerk could construct a viable album by making only minimal adjustments to a sound they made definitive more than 30 years earlier. Tour de France Soundtracks, the group's first record in more than 15 years, is quintessentially Kraftwerk but still fits in well with contemporary dance trends like the experimental microhouse scene (highly influenced by the group's ultra-minimalism). The story of Tour de France Soundtracks actually begins 20 years earlier, in 1983, when Kraftwerk released the "Tour de France" single. Recorded in tribute to one of the sporting world's most grueling events, the track was a hi-res piece of dance-pop that made lyrical reference to various biking landmarks (like the infamous mountaintop finish at Tourmalet) and an assortment of sonic references as well (including a bike chain in free spin and the belabored breathing of a bicyclist -- in rhythm, of course). Techno-Pop, the album Kraftwerk scheduled to accompany "Tour de France," was postponed and later canceled (ironically, after a serious biking accident by Ralf Hütter, one of the group's resident biking maniacs). The track resurfaced two decades later, just in time for the centenary anniversary of the race, though Kraftwerk still missed the deadline -- only the rejuvenated single was available during the race. It has little in common with the original, but the new "Tour de France" is impressive nonetheless, boasting the kinetic power of a 100-strong peloton, a guttural Teutonic vocoder of the type beloved by fans, and a recurring tag so sublime Jan Ullrich could hum it through each of the Tour's 20 stages without fear of annoyance. Except for a closing reprise of the original "Tour de France," the rest of the album isn't as focused on biking; Hütter and Schneider construct sublime beatpieces with conceptual lines close to biking topics ("Aéro Dynamik," "Titanium," "Chrono," "Vitamin"), but never confront the listener with yet another track dropping bike terms like peloton or a l'enfer du nord. "Chrono" is the track closest to the Kraftwerk ideal, with its future-shock synth and percussion precision, while "Vitamin" is the farthest away (a downbeat track that still could only have escaped from the Kling Klang studio). Tour de France Soundtracks is a successful record on anyone's terms; it's one that fans won't need to cringe from, and one that newcomers will be able to enjoy for what it is. © John Bush /TiVo
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Pop - Released June 6, 2005 | Parlophone UK

For rock bands, hauling gear across countries and continents has not changed a great deal in the past several decades. The same can't be said for Kraftwerk. Grappling with sensitive cables and other technical gadgets in extreme climates has become a thing of the past. For them, everything has become easier to manage and transport, so it's natural that they'd become more enthusiastic about touring. Recorded during the group's 2004 journey through Europe, Japan, and the U.S., Minimum-Maximum is a two-disc representation of their revitalized live show. Visuals are such a crucial aspect of their performances that the set will naturally fall short of making you feel as if you are there -- whether it's Moscow, Warsaw, Budapest, or San Francisco -- while in your car or living room. More crucially, who really knows exactly how much live manipulation is going on with the elements of each track? Whatever the case, it all sounds good -- sharp, vibrant, alive. The original arrangements are often altered slightly, the tracks are tactfully sequenced, and the crowd noise is kept to a minimum (either near the close of a track or in recognition of one as it begins), so the release is sort of a glorified greatest-hits collection. Along with some wise selections from 2003's Tour de France Soundtracks, there's plenty of the expected classic material, all of which has given life to so much industrial, dance, and rap music. (You could, in fact, walk into the average techno club or turn on a mainstream radio station the week this was released and hear traces of Kraftwerk in one form or another.) "Radioactivity" and "The Robots," two of the more altered tracks, contain the greatest thrills; the former's permafrost placidity spirals into a frictionless dancefloor charge, while the latter is more muscular than ever, acknowledging advancements made by acolytes Model 500 and Underground Resistance. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Dance - Released October 12, 2009 | Parlophone UK

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Electronic - Released October 12, 2009 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 26, 2017 | Parlophone UK

The copious 3-D The Catalogue brings together Kraftwerk's 3-D concerts, remastered in a pretty startling way, thanks to the 3-D high definition and the Dolby atmos surround, new cutting-edge technological standards which fit nicely with the efforts of the pioneering German group led by founder Ralf Hütter. Here is a way to enjoy their gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork) in the comfort of your own home. 3-D The Catalogue covers the group's eight albums, played live between 2012 and 2016 at MoMA in New York, the Tate Modern in London, Tokyo's Akasaka Blitz, the Sydney Opera House, Norske Opera in Oslo, the Amsterdam Paradiso, the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris and Berlin's Neue National Galerie: Autobahn (1974), Radio-Activity (1975), Trans Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978), Computer World (1981), Techno Pop (1986), The Mix (1991) and Tour De France (2003). A vast repertoire, which could hardly have been more influential, is taken by the Germans and re-worked in often very original ways (the re-working of  Trans Europe Express, for example). Even if this treasure chest is aimed first and foremost at die-hard Kraftwerk fans, it can also serve as an introduction to one of the most innovative groups of their times, without which many artists on the electro scene (and even the rap scene) would never have seen the light of day. © CM/Qobuz
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Pop - Released March 6, 2004 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 26, 2017 | Parlophone UK

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After remastering all of their full-lengths from Autobahn onward for the long-in-production 2009 box set The Catalogue, pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk began performing the albums in full during series of retrospective concerts, beginning at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2012. As with their concerts since 2009, the group designed special three-dimensional visuals for the performances, and equipped the audience members with 3-D glasses straight out of a 1950s movie theater. Box set 3-D The Catalogue is an audio document of the arrangements devised for these concerts. No crowd noise is audible, but there is somewhat of a rough quality to the vocals, so they sound like live takes rather than polished studio perfection. By no means are these arrangements carbon copies of the album versions -- they're arranged to flow as performances rather than home-listening experiences, which means that track orders are sometimes shifted, and several songs are shortened, sometimes drastically so. (The entire Trans-Europe Express album is perversely cut down to 24 minutes!) Additionally, as with all of Kraftwerk's performances since the '90s, the songs are often performed in the updated versions created for 1991's The Mix rather than the originals, making "The Robots" and "Computer Love" (among others) sound stuck in the early '90s when the originals sound timeless. The fact that Kraftwerk count The Mix as a proper album and include it as the seventh disc in this set just makes it overly redundant. However, they do include "Planet of Visions" (a rework of the 1999 "Expo 2000" single incorporating elements of Underground Resistance's remix of the track) at the end of the disc, as it had become a staple of their live shows. In terms of sound quality, all of it sounds fantastic; the recordings are awash with details and production effects that simply would not have been possible when most of the pieces were originally composed. There are technological drawbacks to the set, however. The Mix is credited as being a Surround Sound 3-D mix...but specially mixed for standard headphones only, making it hard to tell the significance of the special mix. Plus, there's the whole aspect of these arrangements being designed to accompany 3-D visuals. Obviously, the ideal way to experience this set (other than attending the actual concerts) is the Blu-ray edition; without the visuals, the music itself is certainly excellent, but doesn't exactly replace the original albums. © Paul Simpson /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 22, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released February 28, 2003 | Parlophone UK

Kraftwerk's first new song after a nearly 20-year break, this song was commissioned for Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany. In fact, they received such a lucrative commission for it that German taxpayers complained about their paycheck. The song is audibly Kraftwerk; the simple melodies and drumbeats are there. However, instead of sounding innovative, it has started to sound a bit dated. It's still good, but one would think that a group inventive enough to write "Trans Europe Express" in 1977 could do better in 2000. © Joshua Landau /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 26, 2017 | Parlophone UK

After remastering all of their full-lengths from Autobahn onward for the long-in-production 2009 box set The Catalogue, pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk began performing the albums in full during series of retrospective concerts, beginning at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2012. As with their concerts since 2009, the group designed special three-dimensional visuals for the performances, and equipped the audience members with 3-D glasses straight out of a 1950s movie theater. Box set 3-D The Catalogue is an audio document of the arrangements devised for these concerts. No crowd noise is audible, but there is somewhat of a rough quality to the vocals, so they sound like live takes rather than polished studio perfection. By no means are these arrangements carbon copies of the album versions -- they're arranged to flow as performances rather than home-listening experiences, which means that track orders are sometimes shifted, and several songs are shortened, sometimes drastically so. (The entire Trans-Europe Express album is perversely cut down to 24 minutes!) Additionally, as with all of Kraftwerk's performances since the '90s, the songs are often performed in the updated versions created for 1991's The Mix rather than the originals, making "The Robots" and "Computer Love" (among others) sound stuck in the early '90s when the originals sound timeless. The fact that Kraftwerk count The Mix as a proper album and include it as the seventh disc in this set just makes it overly redundant. However, they do include "Planet of Visions" (a rework of the 1999 "Expo 2000" single incorporating elements of Underground Resistance's remix of the track) at the end of the disc, as it had become a staple of their live shows. In terms of sound quality, all of it sounds fantastic; the recordings are awash with details and production effects that simply would not have been possible when most of the pieces were originally composed. There are technological drawbacks to the set, however. The Mix is credited as being a Surround Sound 3-D mix...but specially mixed for standard headphones only, making it hard to tell the significance of the special mix. Plus, there's the whole aspect of these arrangements being designed to accompany 3-D visuals. Obviously, the ideal way to experience this set (other than attending the actual concerts) is the Blu-ray edition; without the visuals, the music itself is certainly excellent, but doesn't exactly replace the original albums. © Paul Simpson /TiVo
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Pop - Released July 4, 2003 | Parlophone UK

A hit song without an album, this was prized vinyl for many years (Warner Bros. 20146-0 A), until EMI smartly rereleased it on compact disc in 1999 with a little multimedia built in, whose centerpiece was a basic video for "Tour de France," assembled from old film footage of the aforementioned cross-country bicycle race. Fueled by heavy breathing, clicking bicycle spokes, and precise electronic syncopation, this single had all the elements of a breakdancers' paradise. Dreamy harp trills shimmered in response to an almost Asian melody line, punched by bass guitar pops, keyboard stabs, and ethereal string samples, suggesting the expansiveness of the French countryside and rolling hills, without ever forgetting that the race is in progress. The lyrics here (sung in French) are atypically human, giving an added warmth that other Kraftwerk songs have dismissed in the past in their endless pursuit of pure mechanization. Due to the subject matter, it's an appropriate choice to leave the robots away from the microphone. The similarity in the three mixes here are slight, so to hear them in succession may wear thin. The third and final mix, however, is worth the wait, giving extra time to all the percussive elements that help make this EP so rewarding. © Ken Tataki /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 21, 2017 | Parlophone UK

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Classical - Released March 19, 2020 | Cult Legends

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Pop - Released September 14, 2007 | Parlophone UK