1. The Robots
3. Pocket Calculator
7. Trans Europe Express
9. Metal On Metal
11. Music Non Stop
All must bow before the altar of Kraftwerk…
For the uninitiated, Kraftwerk is the direct ancestor to which all today’s bands that use synthesizers or other computer technology to make music can trace their roots. These four Germans began to explore the realm of computer-generated sounds (in an orderly fashion, of course) in the Seventies, when home computers were an expensive novelty rather than commonplace household appliances. Long before anyone else had the idea of releasing albums with music constructed solely from electronic noises, Kraftwerk built a successful career making synthesized music.
The Mix is a career retrospective of sorts, encapsulating a handful of the band’s best tracks from the ‘70s and ‘80s, while slightly remixed for clarity. Take a trip down the corridors of music history as you listen to the progression from primitive beeps and boops in “Pocket Calculator” and the chorus of synthesized voices in “Autobahn,” to the slick, modern “Radioactivity.” And who can forget “Trans Europe Express,” a highly influential classic in the electronic music genre. Kraftwerk was even ahead of its time in predicting social ramifications of the computer age--“Computerlove” is about a lonely computer user dialing up a message board “for a data date.” Truly, Kraftwerk is a band that was ahead of its time.
If you don’t already own the complete works of Kraftwerk, make tracks to your local record store and pick up The Mix. It’s truly an essential part of any electronic music fan’s collection and you do yourself a grievous disservice by not owning a copy.
Review by Jonathan Arnett
Review date: 03/2000