on 11 November 2000
It has been a long time since the heady days when most people knew of Kraftwerk, but they still command respect from those who enjoyed their cold Teutonic accuracy of musical form, and it is only now that this veil should be lifted. Enter stage right the splendidly named Senor Coconut, a fellow german in disguise methinks, who has brought the warmth to the form that has been missing for so long. The Cha-cha-cha, and merengue merge seamlessly into the original music to breathe new life into old classics such as Autobahn, and Showroom Dummies. Do be warned though, this is not for those who take their music too seriously. The fit and finish of the songs is not always good, but the overall effect is one that will put a smlie on your face, whether you remember the originals or not. A worthy purchase!
on 8 July 2002
This truly is music to bring a smile to your face. Even if you don't know the original tracks, the cheeky humour present throughout this Latin sample fiesta will keep you guessing. If you are familiar with Kraftwerk's oeuvre, the thrill of finding out how Senor Coconut will deal with a particular bit of a track will leave you grinning like an idiot.
It does wind down a bit towards the end, and the cut-up techniques on "Tour de France" expose the computer-generated nature of the beast a bit too much for my liking, but all in all, a great listen.
on 24 August 2000
Kraftwerk unplugged is an old gag that Nick Hornby used in High Fidelity, but it takes a brave man to give the Ubermenchen of Electronic music the full latino treatment. Like the Dread Zeppelin of the early 90's (reggae zep covers band with a Vegas-period Elvis impersonator on vocals) and Frank Bennett (aussie crooner does "Creep" in a big band stylee) about five years ago, the joke runs a bit thin after a while, but for post techno fun (it's all sampling by a fellow german) this summer, it should put a smile on the faces of all but the most earnest Teuton.
on 11 August 2006
This has to be heard to be believed.
I read about it somewhere just as it was released and, being nuts about the Dusseldorf doyens nearly all my life, I decided to see what it was about.
If you've ever wondered what the immaculate Showroom Dummies or The Robots sound like rendered as Latin tunes, wonder no more as they're here plus other corkers like the truly brilliant Home Computer.
God himself knows what Ralf Hutter and Florian Schnieder think of it all but I dare say it makes them smile. It's also staggering to think of the sheer man hours Uwe put into this: knowing the songs intimately which he probably does is one thing but analysing what makes them work and then re-work totally differently is something else entirely.
Is he taking the piss? Of course! If he presented south American dance musics from Chile (where he lives) as full-on techno or austere electro, the transference would be reciprocated. That I'd like to hear! Since this album, he's covered Smoke On The Water and Jarre's classic Oxygene 2, again in a Latin style. It takes a brave man to do what he's done so fair play to him.
If that weren't enough, a new album Latinising the exemplary work of Tokyo electromeisters Yellow Magic Orchestra has just appeared too. I can hardly wait to hear him have a go at Sakamoto's steely "T-E-C-H-N-P-O-L-I-S...Tokyo!" vocal!
Brilliant but not everyone gets it.
on 15 October 2002
Imagine if Kraftwerk decided to re-record some of their classic
tracks in Chile and not Dusseldorf? Imagine if The Mix had been
mixed in the skinny South American country? What would it have
In case you have ever pondered this, the answer is at hand!
Senor Coconut (a pseudonym) has done just that. If you ever
wanted to hear The Robots rendered as an authentic
cha-cha-cha, here's your chance. It sounds like nothing else!
It could be said that electronic music - as exampled by Kraftwerk (the founding fathers of modern synth music) -
is the total opposite to Latin grooves with its emphasis
on ultra-tight timekeeping and minimalism. It's ironic
that all the sounds on this album were sampled and
sequenced on a PC!
I'm not quite sure if Sr Coconut is having the last laugh
at a sound which has always been seen as 'naff' with its
association with big flowery shirts and ballroom dancing.
At the end of the day, there is only twelve notes anyway.
It's up to you how you play them or to what tempo.