Ralf and Florian – Kraftwerk

It is strange how words become really popular after being barely used. The word deleted for instance, the only time I would have used that word as a kid would be to refer an album that was no longer available, like this one which we could never get hold of. I remember scouring the big music catalogue in record shops back in the day and it would always have the word deleted next to this album. Now pretty much everything is available, which isn’t always a good thing. Kraftwerk guard their canon and brand like ninjas and this album is still very difficult to get hold of.
I like the idea (or sheer brassneck) of naming an album after yourself, I don’t want to give anyone ideas though, the last thing we need is an album called Lebon and Taylor, or Bono and Edge.
Tanzmusik, is a great track and gives a little glimpse of what was to come, both in the Kraftwerk canon and pretty much everything else since. I tried to convince my daughter to dance along to this, she wasn’t convinced and sighed and shook her head (I think Kraftwerk will always be a lads band).
Hidden gem: Heimatklänge
Micro review: Flute playing from the German Treckies of pop

Trans Europe Express – Kraftwerk

I have been knee-deep in Kraftwerk for weeks now, I can’t seem to stop playing them, and this is the defining album from our boys from the fatherland. When it comes down to it this is probably my favourite Kraftwerk album, there isn’t really a weak track here.
Imagine a British band creating a concept album around the British railway network, riveting stuff. The stretch between Bristol Temple Meads and Exeter St. David would be a perfect Düsseldorf stand-in, instead of meeting Iggy Pop and David Bowie perhaps they could meet Keith Chegwin and Maggie Philbin (Non-UK readers, these were 1970s/80s avant-garde artists, who were years ahead of their time).
When we were kids, well a bit older than kids, we used to sing along to Hall of Mirrors, but we changed the line, Even the greatest stars, to, Even the greatest arse (in a bad German accent). Go ahead and listen, I still hear arse, but then that’s just me. The sonic centre (OK, calm down) of this album though really is Trans Europe Express, it is an incredible track, it uses the past and sounds like the future.
Micro review; The sons (or more like the distant German cousins) of Delia Derbyshire.
Hidden gem; Franz Schubert