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Kraftwerk - The Man-Machine [Aka: Die Mensch-Maschine] CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.95 | 346 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Eclectic & C/JRF Prog Team
1 stars The Minimal Machine

Sub-genre: Progressive Electronic
For Fans of: Klaus Schulze, early Tangerine Dream, flashing lights and mirrored disco balls.
Vocal Style: Minimally melodic male with semi-spoken word and synthetic robot voices.
Guitar Style: Nein
Keyboard Style: Programmed loops, various synthetic waves.
Percussion Style: again, programmed loops.
Bass Style: sigh, programmed loops
Other Instruments: Nein
You are not likely to enjoy this album if: you want to hear instruments beside synthetic programmed loops.

Summary: I grew up enjoying the spacey, ethereal yet complete sounds of Kraftwerk's classic Autobahn. I was steered in the direction of this album much later in life. I picked up Die Mensch-Maschine in the local record store's bargain bin and began my 35-minute decent into horror. This was not the cosmic journey I expected after my experience with Autobahn. This was a decidedly lo-fi step back for the electronic ensemble; lo-fi and embarrassingly cheesy. Even taken into chronologic context, the electronic voice on the opener, The Robots, is obtusely painful. I like to listen to my music fairly loud, but when the corny voice started I immediately trimmed the volume and looked out the window to make sure the neighbors were not out there snickering at me. But more than that was the lack of quality the programmed sounds had. Autobahn had I shimmering, ethereal quality to the synthesis that felt innovative. Die Mensch-Maschine had synthesis that really sounded like they were simultaneously going back to the drawing board while spinning more poppy arrangements. The bottom of the barrel was the stiff-as-a-board The Model, which I suppose in the strictest sense conveyed the un-pragmatic lifelessness of the modeling world. It was nonetheless a merciless drowning of painfully simplistic melodizing. The album closes with the title track, which attempts to recall the halcyon etherealness of Autobahn, but again misses the mark with a completely boxed-in sound.

Final Score: This is a warning against the "If you like A by (insert band), then you will like B by (insert band) even more" method of choosing what to listen to next. It is usually a pretty safe way to go, but it can fail pretty harshly. On the progressive music scale, this album gets a "Huh?". Die Mensch-Maschine should come with a first-aid kit. 1 star.

Tapfret | 1/5 |


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