The reissue of the week reviewed by TONY CLAYTON-LEA
Autobahn (1974), Radio-Activity (1975), Trans Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978)
Mute/EMI **** (all)
Pioneers of commercial electronic music are hardly 10 to the penny, which is why Kraftwerk are both important and unique. Besides being crucial to the development of hip-hip and dance music, these four slightly avant-garde pop minimalists inspired the likes of Human League, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode and New Order. With yesterday’s sound of tomorrow remastered for today (and the sound is reassuringly pristine), it is individual tracks rather than albums that stand out. Taken as a whole, however, they constitute the resilient framework of electro-pop and electronica we hear today. And if there are more simple, warm and beautiful pieces of electronic music out there than Ohm Sweet Ohm, Neon Lights, Europe Endlessand the title track of Autobahn, then this geezer has yet to hear them.
Download tracks: Neon Lights, Europe Endless