Friday, May 20, 2011


Track 1 - Prologue
Track 2 - Tour De France Etape 1
Track 3 - Tour De France Etape 2
Track 4 - Tour De France Etape 3
Track 5 - Chrono
Track 6 - Vitamin
Track 7 - Areo Dynamik
Track 8 - Titanium
Track 9 - Elektro Kardiogramm
Track 10 - La Forme
Track 11 - Regeneration
Track 12 - Tour De France

I know it's probably not cool to admit this but "Tour De France" is my favourite Kraftwerk album and "Aero Dynamik" has been on high rotation ever since I saw them perform it on an MTV music award show several years ago. It was created in 2003 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Tour and has since been re-released in 2009. The title track was actually put out in 1983 and reached a respectable 22 on the U.K singles chart, other songs of note include the hypnotic, pulsing "Tour De France Etape 2" and "Chrono". Whether it succeeds in evoking images of cyclists punishing themselves on the roads of France is debatable but as far as ambient techno goes you can't go wrong with this. You can find another Kraftwerk related album here.


Tex said...

By strange coincidence (explainable only through the Funky Forces of the Universe,) I just the week before this went up started plugging the Katrina-made holes in my Kraftwerk collection. This album survived the Cataclysm, and got it's first spin when I got it back in 2003. Sorry to be a killjoy, Mr.C, but listening to it again thanks to this post, I can see why I didn't play it again after that first time.

With this album of new material, and the previous one of remixes (The Mix,) Kraftwerk went from innovators to near-imitators.

It seems so strange to me, hearing Kraftwerk blending their own sound with the style of those who imitated them (like if Jack Kirby inked over early Barry Smith pencils, or Conan Doyle used a Sherlock Holmes pastiche as the basis for a new story.)

I'm afraid it's only because it's a Kraftwerk album that keeps me listening to it to write this out (having been a diehard fan since the 70s.) The modern electronic sound of it gives it a rather soulless feel, in stark contrast to, say, Autobahn or Radioactivity--and yeah, I know it sounds strange to mention soul in relation to Kraftwerk. Deal.

This lack of soul could be due to the fact that only two of the longest-serving members of the group, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, were left by this time (Wolfgang Flür and Karl Bartos having departed after Electric Cafe and before The Mix.) And with the departure of Florian Schneider in 2008, I'm afraid the soul has long since left the machine.

What with only one original member left, and a long-promised new album remaining just that--long promised--this could be the last we hear from Kling Klang (save for live shows and maybe a B-sides collection.)

That said, all of you good Frolickers reading this who haven't acquired it yet, please do so. It's still an important album to have in the collection so as to trace the arc of Kraftwerk's career (and it's light years ahead of the Drekno being crapped out today.)

(still the operator of his pocket calculator)

Mr. Craig said...

Well, in my defence I should say that I'm a far more casual enthusiast of Kraftwerk than your good self.

My journey into the world of electronic music began around 1992 listening to community radio, it was mainly trance and ambient around that time. 1994 saw me become obsessed with hardcore techno and that lasted about 18 months. Then my tastes spread to include Aphex Twin, Amon Tobin, Orbital, Chemical Bros. and a few others. Around 1998 I discovered Bruce Haack and Raymond Scott (previously I had believed Kraftwerk invented electronic music!). The last 12 months have seen another broadening of my appreciation for the genre as I've been exposed to so many of the pioneers from the 50's to 70's. I am also a big fan of Jega, Venetian Snares, Squarepusher and Autechre. It really is a world of endless possibilities.