Exposé Online banner

Kraftwerk — Kraftwerk
((Not on label) WERK1, 1970/1995, CD)

Kraftwerk — Kraftwerk 2
((Not on label) WERK 2, 1972/1995, CD)

Kraftwerk — Ralf & Florian
((Not on label) WERK 3, 1973/1995, CD)

Organisation — Tone Float
(Germanofon 941000, 1969/1995, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-11-01

Kraftwerk Cover artKraftwerk 2 Cover artRalf & Florian Cover artTone Float Cover art

Kraftwerk, like many of the long running German outfits, was a completely different creature at its inception then after they rose to popularity. These albums, including the pre-Kraftwerk Organisation, were very far away from the minimalist techno-dance music of some later albums, and should prove to be of great interest to progressive rock and especially Kraut rock fans.

Organisation was Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider-Esleben (the long running nucleus of Kraftwerk) plus three extra musicians. As with Tangerine Dream's Electronic Meditation, which this resembles a guitar-less resemblance to, there are no electronics as such. Basically a highly inventive organ fronted space rock with lots of flute and a wide variety of percussion, bells, and other effects, this is one of the groundbreakers of the early German scene. Although transcribed from LP, the addition of a decent sounding bonus track, the superb "Vor Dem Blauen Bock" from the Beat Club May 1971, makes this an essential albeit shaky reissue.

The first Kraftwerk was fairly different from the Organisation album and definitely a move to that linear near monotonous electronic-like sound that the duo would refine over the 70s. While the instrumentation still remained the same as on the Organisation, the embyonic ideas of later Kraftwerk could be heard here. This was probably the last Kraftwerk album with a distinct Kraut-rock feel, the slowly mounting addition of electronics would change their sound for good.

Kraftwerk 2 shows the group toning down the heavier side and joining a parallel musical path to bands like Cluster or Neu. There are more spacey introspective parts, some gliss-like proto electronics, and a furthering of a style which would find itself developing over several albums into Autobahn and Radioactivity.

Ralf & Florian was more of the same, a gentle musical journey similar to Cluster's Sowiesoso, with electronics and loops. Rather low key in sound, it's amazing to think that the poppy Autobahn was to follow.

These are only cursory descriptions at best, all albums would be difficult to describe as all follow unique musical paths. Yet the group completely altered its direction as of "Ralf & Florian" album, and slowly moved into more rhythmic and less explorative music. All reviewed here (especially the Organisation) are more than worth a listen.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 8, 1995 releases, 1970 recordings, 1972 recordings, 1973 recordings, 1969 recordings

Related artist(s): Kraftwerk, Organisation, Klaus Dinger / La Düsseldorf / La! Neu?

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sanna Kurki-Suonio - Musta – With this release, Northside proves that their string of extraordinary CDs (see last issue’s overview) was no fluke. In addition, Musta proves that Sanna Kurki-Suonio is not just one of the Finnish...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues