It has been nearly 17 years since Kraftwerk released a proper album.
It has been nearly 17 years since Kraftwerk released a proper album. While there have certainly been remixes, singles and the occasional gig, the group left it to its electronic-dance progeny to bring techno-pop to the masses. Despite new technology and aesthetics, Kraftwerk plugs in to the same circuitry as "Electric Café" in 1986, sculpting glistening electro soundscapes that pulse but do not quite groove. Kraftwerk eschews any organic samples, crafting its sounds purely from microchips. Vocally, Kraftwerk remains charmingly, if anachronistically, robotic, although the supercilious voice that recites lists of hormones on "Vitamin" or muscle movements on "La Forme" does get tiring. For all its influence in the pop and dance world, Kraftwerk remains surprisingly avant-garde, Bauhaus-spare in its delivery and relentlessly electronic.—JD