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Kraftwerk : Minimum-Maximum Live
Electro pioneers' show-stopper
If you didn’t already know this, and many don’t, then NME wouldn’t recommend that you start your Kraftwerk education here. First, buy their classic 1970s analogue albums, ‘Autobahn’, ‘Trans-Europe Express’ and ‘The Man-Machine’. Although, straight after that, you should get ‘Minimum-Maximum’. Four middle-aged blokes playing laptops hardly sounds like a laugh riot but this, in an admittedly weak field, is one of the best live albums that NME has ever heard. Far from their shows being sterile affairs, Kraftwerk inspire a devotion that gives these two discs the atmosphere of exhilarating raves. The crowd noise during ‘Tour De France Etape 1’ brings things full circle; the fans roaring on the godfathers of house, adapting a style they didn’t know they had invented.
Elsewhere, familiar tracks are radically overhauled. ‘Numbers’ and ‘The Robots’ ripple with digital muscle – both thoroughly modern dancefloor monsters. ‘Radio-Activity’, once spindly, is now monumental. Tracks like ‘Aero Dynamik’ and the beautiful ‘Elektro Kardiogramm’, from 2003’s ‘Tour De France Soundtracks’ may not have the revolutionary credentials of ‘Trans-Europe Express’, but certainly have the precision and dynamism to match Kraftwerk’s heirs, from Plastikman to Cylob.
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