Monday, April 10, 2017

Kraftwerk - 1972 - Kraftwerk 2

Kraftwerk 2

01. Kling Klang (17:36)
02. Breath (Atem) (2:57)
03. Current (Strom) (3:52)
04. Coil 4 (Spule 4) (5:20)
05. Wave Lenght (Wellenlange) (9:40)
06. Harmonika (3:17)

- Ralf Hütter / organ, electric piano, bass, rhythm machine, bells, harmonica
- Florian Schneider / flute, violin, guitar, bells, electronic Fx

- Konrad "Conny" Plank / co-producer, engineer

Kraftwerk 2 marks an increase in electronic experimentation under the Kraftwerk name. Some of this album comes off as sounding like random synth-foolery that they just released for no clear reason, but it all seems to work together as a whole, in my opinion. The starter track "Kling Klang" is more of the krautrock that was present on the previous two albums, but with only slightly more electrical elements and it really is a very mellow song that sounds like a direct precursor to Autobahn. But the rest of the album is pure experimentation.
After the first track, "Atem" might be frightening (definitely was the first time I heard it) and is essentially the sound of a breathing robot. In case you didn't know, robots aren't supposed to breathe. There's no music in this track at all... just harsh, windy, robotic breath. "Strom" is very doomy and industrial sounding ambient set at a sludgy pace. "Spule 4" is lonely, quiet, and abrasive sounding industrial sound effects from afar, and "Wellenlange" sounds like the exact same track except set at a longer duration. "Harmonika" ends the album with sad and lonely robotic sounding synth-harmonica experiment that is soothing and reminds me of later tracks like "Ohm Sweet Ohm" and "Kommetenmelodie 2".

I'm aware that my description of the tracks on this album must seem extremely unappealing, but this album has an extraordinary "junky" feel to it that is hard to come by. It is definitely an odd and experimental album, but fans of avant-garde music should find enough to enjoy about this album. I highly recommend this dark, industrial, post-krautrock junk experiment to anyone daring enough to dive into it.

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