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Kraftwerk - Minimum-maximum

  by Jon Rogers

published: 5 / 6 / 2005

Kraftwerk - Minimum-maximum
Label: EMI
Format: CD


Impressive double CD and first official live album, recorded during last year's universally praised world tour, from seminal German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk

'Minimum - Maximum', the seminal German electronic pioneers' first official live album, is basically a souvenir from last year's world tour that was met with universal praise. The two disc set that spans from the opening 'The Man Machine' to the closing'"Music Non Stop' captures the spectacle in all its crystal-clear clarity (minus the visuals, obviously). Instead of taking a recording from one particular night, Ralf Hütter and co. and seamlessly segued the songs from a variety of dates from places such as Warsaw, Budapest and Tokyo. What struck Pennyblack when it attended the group's gig at the Royal Festival Hall in London and is reinforced by this album is just how much Kraftwerk still like to experiment and that behind their machine-like persona there is, in fact, an awful lot of humour there. Many songs like 'The Man-Machine' and 'Trans Europe Express' get radical re-workings. 'Radioactivity' gets turned from an ode to radio communication and the benefits of mankind into a bleaker portrait of nuclear radioactivity and the harm it can bring. The line "it's in the air for you and me" now taking on an ironic tone. And there's an awful lot of (subtle) humour there too. For all electronica's supposed cold, impersonal stance, Kraftwerk here have their tongues firmly in their cheeks. Anyone who brings on their robotic dopplegängers for the seven minute '"The Robots' (and gets the biggest cheer of the night) must be slyly smirking to themselves. Likewise, anyone wearing a day-glo neon suit can't be po-faced. As you would expect, Kraftwerk deliver a note perfect set of their most famous songs and shows you just why the group are so revered and are still far ahead in their field. Despite having lost some ground in recent years they are still the benchmark others must still reach. They're still sleek, polished and captivating. Unfortunately, any sound recording of their recent tour is going to have one, important drawback. It doesn't capture the four Germans in all their stunning visual glory.

Track Listing:-
1 The Man-Machine
2 Planet Of Visions
3 Tour De France Étape 1
4 Chrono
5 Tour De France Étape 2
6 Vitamin
7 Tour De France
8 Autobahn
9 The Model
10 Neon Lights
11 Radioactivity
12 Trans Europe Express
13 Metal On Metal
14 Numbers
15 Computer World
16 Home Computer
17 Pocket Calculator
18 Dentaku
19 The Robots
20 Elektro Kardiogramm
21 Aéro Dynamik
22 Music Non Stop

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