The Godfathers of Glitch and the Kings of Kling-Klang come out of seclusion with a double live CD culled from various concerts on their 2004 tour. Minimum-Maximum
is essentially a greatest-hits album with an audience applauding and occasionally shouting. Without them, of course, you'd never know the album was live, since Kraftwerk
is the band that put the programming in pop music. Not much has changed with them since the 1980s. They're still wired to the same sonic circuitry as on Electric Café
in 1986, sculpting glistening electro-soundscapes that pulse but never quite groove. And they still sing in that flat, German-accented English and French with Speak and Spell electro-voices. But rather than sound dated, this has a timeless charm, especially since Kraftwerk are among the few Kraut rock groups with a sense of humor. With only two studio albums in the last 20 years, you have to give them credit for not caving in to current electronica and techno trends--Kraftwerk remain resolutely electronic. Even their samples sound synthesized. But also give them credit for some of the most relentlessly glistening electronic music ever crafted, and a sound that remains surprisingly pure. All the hits are here, from "Autobahn" to "Tour de France," but nicely buffed to a high chrome finish. --John Diliberto
are one of the most influential bands in pop history. In a career spanning more than 35 years, the German electro pioneers have been endlessly saluted and mimicked by each new generation of innovators. In the late 1970s, the post-punk futurists professed their devotion. In the 1980s and 90s, the leading lights of Chicago house along with Detroit and Euro techno paid homage. Kraftwerk are possibly the most sampled band on the planet, and their music continues to inspire. Last year, Ralf Hutter, Florian Schneider, Fritz Hilpert and Henning Schmitz toured the world playing 69 shows that were unlike anything seen before--a truly unique audio / visual spectacular that prompted global headlines. This 2-CD live set, Minimum-Maximum
, contains 22 tracks recorded throughout Europe, Japan and the US during the bands 2004 World Tour. Recorded and mixed with Kraftwerks legendary precision, Minimum-Maximum
features all of the bands classics in stunning live clarity.