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NEWS This month 48 years ago KRAFTWERK released their second studio album KRAFTWERK 2

This month 48 years ago KRAFTWERK released their second studio album KRAFTWERK 2

15th of January 2020, 07:00

Kraftwerk 2 is the second studio album that was released under the moniker Kraftwerk. The album was written and performed by founding Kraftwerk members Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in late 1971, with the sessions produced by the influential Konrad "Conny" Plank. It was released by Philips in January 1972.

Hütter later commented in an interview: "Nobody wanted to play with us because we did all kinds of strange things...feedbacks and overtones and sounds and rhythms. No drummer wanted to work with us because we had these electronic gadgets."

Although one should expect the obvious, this album features no synthesizers, the instrumentation being largely electric guitar, bass guitar, flute and violin. The electronic tricks and experiments both gentlemen display here belong to the realm of 1960s tape-based music, with heavy use of tape echo, reverse playback and tape speed effects. Overall, the sound has a rather muted, twilit, dusky feel, similar in feel to "Megaherz" on Kraftwerk's debut album, as Hütter and Schneider explored the possibilities for electronic and auto-mechanical enhancement of their music.

The lengthy, almost side-long "Klingklang" which opens the album is notable for its use of a preset organ beatbox to provide the percussion track. A term which would later be used as their fifth virtual member in the shape of a recording studio.It starts with a clangourous Stockhausen-like metallic percussion montage and gives rise to the unmistakable Kraftwerk sound. Later, the song title also became the name of the band's own self-built studio, in Düsseldorf. "Atem" is a recording of breathing, while "Harmonika" features a tape-manipulated mouth organ.

The cover design, by Ralf and Florian, further hints at conceptual art, being a repeat of the first album's pop art design – except this time fluorescent green replaces the red and the number '2' is added.

No material from this album has been performed in the band's live set since the Autobahn tour of 1975, and to date, the album has not been officially reissued on CD. The band is seemingly reluctant to consider the release as a part of their legacy

In interviews, Schneider described the first three Kraftwerk albums as "archaeology".

KRAFTWERK 2

A1. Klingklang 17:36
A2. Atem 2:57
B1. Strom 3:52
B2. Spule 5:20
B3. Wellenlänge 9:40
B4. Harmonika 3:17


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