on 28 March 2001
This album nearly never made it to the shelves but thank your lucky kraftwerk stars that it did. From the introductory boing boom tschak to the closing Electric Cafe, the boys from Dusseldorf take you on a musical journey that sounds as revelatory now as it did in 1985. I remember Dave Stewart likening the opening three tracks to the dreams of an engineer, a criticism that is not as harsh as it sounds, since the tryptich builds on the roborhythm of Numbers and the industrial kling klang of Trance Europe Express, creating a tranced out aural landscape that imitators have failed to match. Side Two (sic) develops the emotional intelligence themes from ComputerWorld and Man Machine with pop songs about human remoteness (Telephone Call) and the incredibly erotic Sex Object. The latter has Schneider's girlfriend teasing "maybe, perhaps, yes" in various languages , including Spanish (apparently a Spanish version of this track exists somewhere...) and a tongue-in-cheek guitar riff (sampled, of course). After all that excitement, what better way to wind down than with the final track Electric Cafe, part TEE longe mix, part manifesto for an international world where music will always be a carrier of ideas. Es wird immer weiter gehen, they sang, but sadly this album has yet to be followed up with much in the way of original material. Ahead of its time and still ahead of ours.
on 3 February 2013
Not the best Kraftwerk or most influential Kraftwerk album to date, but still sounds incredible today. For electronic music this was considered as an audiophile record, it sounds that good. The current remastered version is a terrible, crippled victim of the loudness war... So get the original version while you can! Then you can get the remastered version which contains an previously unreleased track.