Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Kraftwerk - Computerwelt

By the 1980s, the world had at least somewhat caught up with Kraftwerk's chilling musical vision. Synthesizers were everywhere, and the automation of music was developing with alarming speed. As pioneers of the genre, Kraftwerk was hitting its stride as the rest of the pop music world was taking its baby steps. 1981's Computer World serves as an ominous reflection of our evolving technological world, and it's a seminal influence on electronic music to come.
Kraftwerk's music had always been completely based in technology, all the while reflecting a healthy fear of global automation. This album met that fear head on, from the plaintive musical theme and lonesome everyman protagonism of Computer Love to the chilling Home Computer which foretells the PC revolution via the group's trademark marriage of relentless, melodic electronic music and stark, touching human imagery. Other landmark compositions include the infectious, oft-sampled Numbers and Pocket Calculator a cut which stands out even on this album as a milestone in quirky, Teutonic synth-pop.The surprise album from the German electronic pioneer scientists surfaced in 1981, three years after their final monumental Trans Europe Express album. In the US, they shifted gears by electing to record for Warner Bros after many years with EMI (where they remained outside the US). Computer World was a revelation in that the band's sound was so totally refined and perfected, sounding almost other worldly for the times.... and that notion still holds true on listening to it today, as the tracks seem to have a cryogenic quality to them, sound fresh and modern. The flow and sequence of the songs is like an elaborate electronic symphony that is playful, intense, tongue in cheek and ultimately exhilarating.


raul_dook said...

i have been looking for Computerwelt, thanks for this!

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