Album: Kraftwerk

Minimum - Maximum, EMI
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The Independent Culture

One of Kraftwerk's great accomplishments has been to demolish the canard about synthesiser music being cold, impersonal and inflexible. To attend a Kraftwerk show is to be astonished at how different the live performances of songs are from their studio versions, how fluid and endlessly malleable the group make these supposedly stiff examples of machine-music. Unlike some electronic musicians, there's no doubt that the humans control the machines, and it's not the automated, push-button experience you might expect. Minimum - Maximum is a two-disc memento of last year's world tour, with performances of classic material from as far afield as San Francisco, Riga, Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, London and Berlin (but not, alas, Düsseldorf). It's as sleek and polished as you'd expect, every last bleep, tick and boing of tracks such as "The Model", "Pocket Calculator", "Autobahn" and the mighty "Trans Europe Express" perfectly sculpted and sequenced. While the band's reputation as dance-culture pioneers is well

One of Kraftwerk's great accomplishments has been to demolish the canard about synthesiser music being cold, impersonal and inflexible. To attend a Kraftwerk show is to be astonished at how different the live performances of songs are from their studio versions, how fluid and endlessly malleable the group make these supposedly stiff examples of machine-music. Unlike some electronic musicians, there's no doubt that the humans control the machines, and it's not the automated, push-button experience you might expect. Minimum - Maximum is a two-disc memento of last year's world tour, with performances of classic material from as far afield as San Francisco, Riga, Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, London and Berlin (but not, alas, Düsseldorf). It's as sleek and polished as you'd expect, every last bleep, tick and boing of tracks such as "The Model", "Pocket Calculator", "Autobahn" and the mighty "Trans Europe Express" perfectly sculpted and sequenced. While the band's reputation as dance-culture pioneers is well served - personally, I would have preferred fewer percussive break-down sections and vocoder voices - their achievement in composing some of the late 20th century's most graceful, elegant melodies is somewhat underplayed by the non-inclusion of gems such as "Europe Endless" and "Computer Love". But only slightly.

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