1972’s Kraftwerk 2 album begins with the track King Klang. Industrial sounds echo into Kling-Klang with an approach taken to processing the organic instruments, production is key to sound.
Gone are the live drummers, replaced by mechanical rhythm machines, and a minimal more ordered approach bring the volume lower. It’s definitely Kraftwerk, in the beautiful tones and melodies arising through the repetition.
Tape is speeded up and slowed down, there is lightness to the sound – gone are the Hammond organ/distorted violin freak-outs left over from the hippie roots.
This moment could conceivably be the start of dance music as we know it.
Atem (meaning Breath) processing human breathing almost begs the invention of the Vocoder, as used on later albums. Ralf and Florian continue their scientific themed titles, Wavelength and electricity in Strom (Stream or Current). Kling Klang was becoming a laboratory for the science of sound.
This album would be the short lived Kraftwerk’s last, and brought them to a suitable end.
Kraftwerk brought the Tate’s website and phone lines to an end on Wednesday 12th of December 2012.
20jfg hope to continue their own Kraftwerk listening party soon.