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PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Progressive Electronic definition

Born in the late 60's after the expansion of avant-gardist, modern, post-modern and minimalist experimentation, the progressive electronic movement immediately guides us into a musical adventure around technologies and new possibilities for composition. As an author or a searcher, the musician often creates his own modules and electronic combinations, deciding his own artistic and musical action. The visionary works of Stockhausen, Subotnick, John Cage ("concrete" music, electro-acoustic experimentation), La Monte Young, Steve Reich, Terry Riley (minimal, micro-tonal music) express a vision of total reconstruction in the current musical world. Luminous works such as "A Rainbow in Curved Air" (1967) and "Silver Apples of the Moon" (1967) bring an inflexion on opened forms and new ways to explore the essence and the physical aspects of sounds (through time and space). "Static" textures, collages & long running sounds, the power of technology previously exposed in ambitious classical works will have a major impact in "popular" electronic music.

After the artisan & innovative uses of magnetic tapes, feedback, microphones, etc., the instrumental synthesis, the elaboration of global sound forms and the psycho-acoustic interactions will be sublimated thanks to the launch of the analog synth. A great improvement happened in 1964 with the appearance of the first modular synthesiser (Moog). This material (or "invention") brings the answer to the technological aspirations of many musicians, mainly after the release of the popular "Switched on Bach" (Walter Carlos) and Mother Mallard's portable masterpiece (pieces composed between 1970-73).

At the beginning of popular essays in electronica, the pioneering technologies (in term of recording and sound transmission) will not be abandoned. For instance, "Tone Float" (1969) by Organisation (pre-Kraftwerk), "Zwei Osterei" & "Klopzeichen" (1969-70) by Kluster and "Irrlicht" (1972) by Klaus Schulze will carry on the domestication of the electric energy and the use of refined harmoniums, organs and echo machines. During the 70's decade, European groups & musicians such as Eno, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream will make their name in the music industry thanks to an abundant use of analog synthesisers and original electronic combinations. After weird, mysterious experimentation on conventional acoustic & electric instruments, Kraftwerk enjoyed huge success in popular music thanks to "mechanical electronic pop music". "Trans Europe Express" (1977) and "The Man Machine" (1978) figure as two commercial classics. The German spacey electronic scene launched by Tangerine Dream with their outstanding "Alpha Centauri" (1971) and Cluster "I" & "II" (1971-72) will have echoes everywhere, starting from the Berlin underground electronic scene (the Berlin School) with Klaus Schulze ("Timewind" 1974), Michael Hoenig ("Departure from the Northern Wasteland" 1978), Ashra ("New Age of Earth" 1976), Conrad Schnitzler's buzz-drones and repetitive electronics ("Zug", "Blau", Gold" 1972-74) . After several innovations always from Germany we notice the dark, doomy atmospheric manifests of Nekropolis (Peter Frohmader) in "Le culte des Goules" (1981), Asmus Tietchens in his colourful and engaged "Biotop" (1981) and the semi-ambient "Hermeneutic Music" (1988) by Lars Troschen (sound sculptor and synthesist).

In France, the "hypnotic" and "propulsive" electronic essays of Heldon ("Electronic Guerrilla" 1974) and Lard Free ("Spiral Malax"1977) introduce an inclination for industrial, urban and post-modern sound projections. The French "avant gardist" Philippe Besombes takes back the inspiration of " concrete music" (Pierre Henry.) and mixes it to a hybrid rocking universe (published in 1973, "Libra" figures as a true classic). Bernard Xolotl in "Prophecy" (1981), "Procession" / "Last Wave" (1983), Zanov (Green Ray, 1976) and Didier Bocquet (Voyage cerebral, 1978) will follow the musical path anticipated by Klaus Schulze in his kosmische electronic symphonies.

At the end of the 70's until the debut of the 80's Albums as "ambient 1: Music for Airports" (Brian Eno), "Cluster & Eno", "Deluxe" (Hans Joachim Roedelius side project called Harmonia) will announce the emergence of the famous ambient movement, musically characterised by gorgeous shimmering atmospheric textures.

During the 80's, Maurizio Bianchi will be in search of the absolute industrial "post-nuclear" sound tapestry. His visionary musical experience is based on cyclical loops, abrasive concrete noises and vertiginous piano dreamscapes. ("Symphony for a Genocide" 1981 and recently the mesmerising "A.M.B Iehn Tale" 2005). Before M.B and the industrial-bruitist wave, the 70's Italian specialists of electronic experiments had been (among others) Francesco Cabiati (Mirage, 1979), Francesco Bucherri (Journey, 1979), and Francesco Messina for representative, lyrical and spacey orchestrations and also Futuro Antica (D'ai primitivi all'elettronica, 1980) or Telaio Magnetico (Live' 75) for tripped out minimalism.

In the early 1980s and after following the kosmische path of classic Klaus Schulze, The Bay Area / Los Angeles school of electronic created the so called "alchemical" / "Sacred" space music. The music offers a dynamic combination between ancient-traditional music of the West and synthesised sonic soundscapes. The most representative artists of this movement are Michael Stream (Lyra Sound Constellation, 1983) Robert Rich (Numena, 1987) and Steve Roach (Dreamtime Return, 1988).

In the early 80s Ian Boddy (Spirits, 1984 / Phoenix, 1986) and Mark Shreeve (Assassin, 1983 / Legion, 1984) unique spacedout synthesised sagas represented the british answer to the challenging Berlin kosmische school. Their music embodies timbral drone sequences, systematic arpeggiations and synth-pop textures.

Young contemporary bands and artists in electronic experimentation took their inspiration from the 70's "kosmische" analog synth psychedelica of Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler, Tangerine Dream, etc. In the spaced out synthesisers spectrum, modern Japanese artists as Yamazaki Maso (noisy avant garde experimentor who contributes to the Kawabata's projects named Andromelos, Christina 23 onna and Father Moo & the Black sheeps) or Takushi Yamazaki (Space Machine) are key figures. The minimal, moody / lysergic epic soundscapes of Omit (Clinton Williams), Cloudland Canyon, Astral social club or Zombi also contribute to the renewal of the "cosmic" synth genre. Many modern electronic artists have taken an original musical direction, surfing on post-krautrock ambient waves (Aethenor), on spherical "abstract" ambient minimalism (Pete Namlook, Biosphere, Robert Henke) or on trancey, (post) industrial drone hypnosis (Alio Die / Amon / Nimh for the italian side and Andrew Chalk with his respective projects Mirror, Monos and Ora).

To sum up things, the progressive electronic subgenre is dedicated to intricate, moving, cerebral, intrusive electronic experiences that get involved in "kosmische", dark ambient, (post) industrial, droning, surreal or impressionist soundscapes territories.

Philippe BLACHE


The responsibility for the psych/space, indo/raga, krautrock and prog electronic subgenres is taken by the PSIKE team,
currently consisting of
- Sheavy
- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree


Progressive Electronic Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Progressive Electronic | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.25 | 792 ratings
RUBYCON
Tangerine Dream
4.26 | 238 ratings
MIRAGE
Schulze, Klaus
4.56 | 26 ratings
CATCH WAVE
Kosugi, Takehisa
4.21 | 231 ratings
TIMEWIND
Schulze, Klaus
4.14 | 673 ratings
PHAEDRA
Tangerine Dream
4.18 | 123 ratings
EPSILON IN MALAYSIAN PALE
Froese, Edgar
4.11 | 208 ratings
X
Schulze, Klaus
4.26 | 41 ratings
AN ELECTRIC STORM
White Noise
4.37 | 26 ratings
IN COURSE OF TIME
Zanov
4.26 | 31 ratings
ALIO DIE & LORENZO MONTANA: HOLOGRAPHIC CODEX
Alio Die
4.03 | 154 ratings
AMBIENT 4 - ON LAND
Eno, Brian
4.16 | 45 ratings
INTEGRATI... DISINTEGRATI
Leprino, Franco
4.22 | 33 ratings
LUCIFER RISING (OST)
Beausoleil, Bobby
4.02 | 159 ratings
NEW AGE OF EARTH
Ashra
3.98 | 397 ratings
FORCE MAJEURE
Tangerine Dream
4.12 | 48 ratings
FILAMENTS
Rich, Robert
3.98 | 276 ratings
ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Eno, Brian
4.55 | 12 ratings
ARCHITEXTURE OF SILENCE
Alpha Wave Movement
3.95 | 325 ratings
THE MAN-MACHINE [AKA: DIE MENSCH-MASCHINE]
Kraftwerk
4.11 | 39 ratings
GREEN RAY
Zanov

Progressive Electronic overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Progressive Electronic experts team

MUSIK AUS DEM SCHATTENREICH
Frohmader, Peter
ALBERGO INTERGALATTICO SPAZIALE
Albergo Intergalattico Spaziale
TUSSILAGO FANFARA
Anna Sjalv Tredje
WUNDERBAR
Riechmann, Wolfgang

Latest Progressive Electronic Music Reviews


 Hyperborea by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.46 | 189 ratings

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Hyperborea
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by Walkscore

2 stars Hyperboring!

Tangerine Dream on autopilot. Not as New Wave as White Eagle, this album sees Tangerine Dream applying their by-now standard 80s formula, which involves endless repetition of drum loops, simplistic chord progressions, and synth sequences. All is not lost - the second half of the title track (but not the first half!) is decent, and there are parts of the long epic ("Sphinx Lightning") that are OK. But the overall effect is intensely boring (not sleep-inducing - if it had been there would have been more merit here, but it is difficult to get to sleep when you are frustrated by the music!). This one is slightly better than White Eagle, but not by much. I give it 2.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates as low 2 PA stars. Only for true fans.

 White Eagle by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.18 | 168 ratings

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White Eagle
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by Walkscore

2 stars Tangerine Dream goes New Wave.

With each passing album through the 1980s, Tangerine Dream would seem lower their bar further. They added drum machines on repeat, and the originality of their compositions declined. This album is their first truly New Wave album, with drum machine patterns that mimic those being played in the hit singles on the radio at the time (1982). However, unlike those radio jingles, this is still instrumental music, and the result is a constant fleeting with boredom. This album is not quite 1-Star material though - there are snippets of decent music in the long piece ("Mojave Plan") and, particularly, "Convention of the 24", which raise it just enough. But I can't sit through this album all the way anymore. Unless you love early-1980s new wave songs with no singing and stretched out for what seems like hours, I would avoid this album, which is sad because I really love their earlier work, which I find very original and inventive. I give this album 2.8 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is low 2 PA stars.

 Stratosfear by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.93 | 470 ratings

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Stratosfear
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by Walkscore

2 stars The first disappointing TD album.

Although recorded in between two excellent live albums (Ricochet, and Encore), this studio album is the first disappointing release from Tangerine Dream, and unfortunately set the pattern for a series of lesser-quality albums that would follow in the late 70s and 1980s. It is on this album they start using patterned drum sequences, and standard chord progressions on some of the tunes. The title track is the worst offender. Unlike on their previous, hypnotic compositions, the repetitive rhythms here are dull, and the chord progressions are simplistic and second-rate. While the other tracks are better, instead of hypnotic they border on simply boring. The best track, and the only one that stands up to repeated listening, is the short "The Big Sleep in Search of Hands", which features a flute lead and soft piano, and a classy slow synth lead. It is telling here that the best and only lasting tune involves mainly standard instruments, instead of TD's signature synths, but such was the problem that would be faced by Tangerine Dream going forward - by the 1980s their electronic music would become too straight and uninventive to be worth listening to. While Stratosfear is still better than any of their 1980s output, it pales in comparison to Rubycon, Phaedra or Ricochet. I give this 5.4 out of 10, which is in the high 2 PA stars.

 Rubycon by TANGERINE DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 792 ratings

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Rubycon
Tangerine Dream Progressive Electronic

Review by Walkscore

4 stars The Quintessential Tangerine Dream!

Their best album - very close to 5 Stars! In the 1980s Tangerine Dream would become cheesy, but on this album they are at their most inventive. They use a large swath of electronic instruments (the original analog synths) but also guitars, melotrons, and traditional instruments played through various effects (delay, etc) to produce a highly original and musical album. While they established the basis for their sound on the previous "Phaedra" album, it is on this one that they excel. The result is an original mix of psychedelic soundscape, haunting and emotive , futuristic repetitive synth sequences, and experimental musique concrette, but without the limitations of any kind of pre-set structure (no time signatures, key signatures or chord progressions to worry about). It works exceptionally well, taking you on a sound voyage that is like no other. Later on, Tangerine Dream would start using drum machines, chord progressions, and structured melody lines, which sometimes worked and sometimes did not, and in doing so lose some of the magic of unstructured but highly musical soundscape exploration that this album characterises. Highly recommended. I give this 8.8 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is just shy of my criteria for 5 stars. So, at the top end of 4 PA stars.

 THE PASSING by ROACH, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.00 | 2 ratings

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THE PASSING
Steve Roach Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Dynamic stillness.

I will be the first one to distrust serial simultaneous releases, by any musician, even more, when they sum up to 3 or 4 or 5...but Steve Roach, for starters, is quiet a surprising musician/magician.

"The Passing", 2017, a one track, a bit short of an hour long composition, is simply enticing, hypnotic and extremely well crafted.

The permanent flow of its ethereal, but solid, minimalistic elements depicts a dynamic stillness which is not necessarily placid, as one may assume, when the word dream appears in a sentence.

No pulse driven sections nor deeply disturbing nightmarish symphonic like passages, the long melodic structures are linear and expansive the same as vaporous and delineated and they subtly emanate a detached nostagia which permeates the gliding atmospheres, adding up for a very personal human touch which connects anyone with its passing.

**** 4.5 PA stars.

 Bardo by HAMEL, PETER MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Bardo
Peter Michael Hamel Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The second of two closely related solo albums from German professor Peter Michael Hamel is close enough in style and presentation to his "Colours of Time" (1980) that it might have come from the same recording session. Both albums were performed in collaboration with producer/synthesist Ulrich Kraus, and follow similar formats: in vinyl terms tracing side-long synth-and-organ journeys reminiscent of a minimalist KLAUS SCHULZE, circa "Picture Music".

Astute fans of Hamel's Indo-Krautrock ensemble BETWEEN might spot a brief quotation from the 1973 album "And the Waters Opened", just before the 16-minute mark of Side One's "Dorian Dervishes". The moment provides a nice touch of continuity in the middle of an otherwise loosely-organized improvisation drawn from Indian musical traditions: meditative drones under light-fingered synth arabesques.

The effect is dreamy and drifting, but there's a rigorous intellect behind the music that keeps it at arm's length from anything resembling New Age narcissism. Hamel is no DEUTER, in other words, despite the obvious parallels: two German composers finding inspiration in the Far East, both represented on the Kuckkuck record label.

The 26-minute title track breaks that mold, with its massive chords from what sounds like the largest cathedral pipe organ in Europe. It can't begin to approach the empyrean rapture of Florian Fricke's likeminded "Vuh", but when played loud enough this is transcendental stuff: lighter than air but totally grounded, anticipating the even richer tapestry of Hamel's upcoming "Organum" album in 1986.

It may not leave an indelible impression, but the album is evidence that challenging electronic music didn't become extinct in the 1980s.

 Colours of Time by HAMEL, PETER MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Colours of Time
Peter Michael Hamel Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Peter Michael Hamel never aspired to the popularity of kindred spirit Klaus Schulze, instead preferring the relative anonymity of scholarship over the impermanent rewards of Rock Music stardom. But it's still possible to hear the influence of Schulze and other Progressive Electronic pioneers in his fourth solo album, released in 1980.

The two long tracks, each filling one side of the original LP, are equal halves of a unified synth, sequencer and organ improvisation, flowing over its forty total minutes like a braided mountain stream: turbulent on the surface but placid underneath, and deeper than it first appears. The spirit of the music is entirely Eastern, reflecting Hamel's years of travel throughout India and Asia. And the mood throughout approaches a plateau of not-quite-blissful meditation, hypnotic in its gently agitated monotony.

Despite the apparent lack of any direction there's a larger structure to the overall album, albeit stretched so far over two complete sides of vinyl that it's hard to recognize. But in the end there's very little to distinguish the music from a crowded field of likeminded keyboard explorations, dating back more than a decade to the obvious taproot of Terry Riley's "A Rainbow in Curved Air" (1969). Hamel and Riley were in fact label mates on Kuckkuck Records in the early 1980s, and the Munich composer was a guest on two Riley albums recorded shortly after this one.

In retrospect the saving grace here is a welcome lack of symphonic pomposity, synth-pop commercialism, and vapid New Age conformity...in other words, it's a work of rare integrity for the nascent 1980s. Hamel's solo career was always closer aligned with academic trends in electronic minimalism, and can be enjoyed on the same erudite level.

 Painting In The Dark by ROACH, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Painting In The Dark
Steve Roach Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars In addition to the sublime `Shadow of Time', a pair of very different collaborations with upcoming electronic musician Robert Logan and a stunning archival live release `Pinnacle Moments', progressive electronic/ambient icon Steve Roach closed out 2016 with no less than three complete brand-new studio works, all offering glimpses of very different aspects of the artist's personality, genre bending and constantly exploring musical mind. Of the three, `Spiral Revelation' is rhythmic and lively and `Fade to Gray' a long-form moody drone, but this one, `Painting in the Dark' is a lightly psychedelic pure ambient work that carefully moves between dark and light. Frequently full of caressing movements and a lulling dream-like state, it also shifts into stark clouds of unease, but every time, the dark is ultimately consumed by embracing and hopeful light.

Opener `Threshold' undulates with serene lulls slowly pattered with a rain of magical rejuvenating glistenings, `I See Now' is a drowsy cavernous drawl with maddening ringing slivers and `Painting at the Edge' sweeps with a lightly cinematic dramatic elegance. The shorter `Orbit of Memory' offers emerging hope and sighing contentment, `Rapt in Moonlight' is teeming with life from rushing fluid soothing embraces, and `Phosphene View' is a shimmering, hallucinogenic closer that fizzes with a crystalline ethereal dreaminess.

`Painting in the Dark' perhaps presents Mr Roach at a good half way point. It lacks the more extreme unceasing free-form drones of his darker challenging works that can be difficult or unengaging for some ambient listeners, but it still holds plenty of long-form subtle unhurried drifts without employing any rhythmic elements or anything in the way of obvious themes (if you'd prefer those, look into the above mentioned `Spiral Revelation', which would be ideal for newcomers). This one likely won't win over too many new fans or change the minds of those who think Roach releases too many works in very similar styles, but established Roach followers will find plenty to appreciate here, and this intelligent, colourful and thoughtful work will prove a great reward for patient listeners.

Four stars.

 Computer World [Aka: Computerwelt] by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.80 | 208 ratings

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Computer World [Aka: Computerwelt]
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Kraftwerk's second best album

After 3 years of silence from the Germans, "Computer World" carries two heavy responsibilities. The first one is to take over from its iconic predecessor, "The Man-Machine". However, even more difficult is the second one: to open a whole new decade, the 80's, often slippery for 70's prog bands and not particularly tender for electronic music. Will KRAFTWERK succeed at fulfil these two complicated missions? So will the musicians continue to be still pioneering and pertinent in 1981? Pretty much.

Although the band had made vocations emerge for numerous young new-wave formations, and despite the style was beginning to gain huge popularity, KRAFTWERK do not follow this path. Keeping its pioneering status, the synth-pop fathers continue to pave the way for future genres to come. As a result, "Computer World" is one of their most influential release, especially for the techno genre, but also for other styles such as breakdance and even hip- hop. Featuring their coldest titles, the compositions were still ahead of their time for 1981.

Furthermore, this opus is - alongside "Tour de France Soundtracks" - the one where the thematic is the most explored all along the tracks. Personal computers were beginning to populate houses, as numerical devices, and electronic instruments were more and more common in popular music. Nowadays, the relations between human and algorithms still remains an important actuality topic.

Concerning quality and inspiration, the Germans manage to evolve again and to propose pleasant tracks on "Computer World", even if some of them are a little redundant, contrarily to its great predecessor...

Side 1 is overall nice but surprisingly not the most interesting. The title track is a very good opener and carries well its name with its synthetic blips. Cool! The playful "Pocket Calculator", whose variation is listed as "Dentaku" - its Japanese translation - at concerts, offers a few video-game sonorities but is rather monotonous and tends to become a little repetitive. The weakest passage of the album. The enigmatic "Numbers" sounds like a ramshackle calculation machine and introduces "Computer World 2", a short aerial variation of the title song.

Side 2 is the best. The soft futuristic synth-pop ballad "Computer Love" possesses some Asian accents, like YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA, the Japanese KRAFTWERK. This catchy title, depicting the loneliness of the man besides his computer, will even be covered by the rock band COLDPLAY in "Talk", from their 2005 record "X&Y". On the opposite, the dark beat of "Home Computer" is simply terrific, with a mysterious decomposing electronic loop reminding "The Hall of Mirrors". Furthermore, its follow-up "It's More Fun To Compute" is even more icy and thrilling! These two tracks will be remixed by numerous bands...

At the dawn of the 80's, as other KRAFTWERK releases, "Computer World" does not follow the new-wave flow, but instead shows the way for the genres to come, more modern and innovative. No wonder the Germans has inspired Detroit Techno with their futuristic sonorities and robotic beats. A page has been definitely turned and a new chapter is about to begin.

Unfortunately, this will be the last truly influential and impacting album of the Düsseldorf pioneers. After that, the musicians will be less inspired and visionary.

Although a bit dated nowadays and not as essential as "The Man-Machine", "Computer World" still remains a fun and very good pre-techno disc, as well as their most danceable! Very recommended to electronic music lovers!

 The Man-Machine [Aka: Die Mensch-Maschine] by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.95 | 325 ratings

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The Man-Machine [Aka: Die Mensch-Maschine]
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Kraftwerk's best album

4.5 stars

Seventh studio opus by the Düsseldorf music workers, "The Man-Machine" is the first and only one to feature only original and structured songs. This tune, the band has finally refined its formula and fully focused on every title: no more experimentations, no more fillers (such as the middle tracks on "Radio-Activity") and no variations from existing themes (such as "Metal On Metal" on "Trans-Europe Express"). Clean and precise. The result is simply one of the most successful achievement of electronica in history, pioneering for the 70's and highly influential for the decades to come.

By exploring the concept of interaction between man and machine, KRAFTWERK reaches its pinnacle of his retro- futuristic ambitions, musically speaking, and instrumentally too. Way ahead of its time, this clever mixture of cold robotic sonorities with catchy melodies foreshadows multiple genres, such as techno, new-wave, synth-pop, and will become a huge success all over the world. "The Man-Machine" also marks the first participation of drummer Karl Bartos at composition.

The first side is just gorgeous. I was blown away when I discover "The Robots" and its futuristic ramshackle electro pulse. This is nearly techno... in the 70's! An anomaly, a genuine sonic meteorite, truly innovative at a time progressive electronic was just turning melodic and becoming accessible to people. This sounds even more modern than 80's new-wave and house music! Needless to say more, simply my favorite KRAFTWERK song ever! After a mysterious introduction, the dreamy "Spacelab" will softly transport you in orbit. Supported by a disco beat à la Giorgio Moroder, this classy relaxing track is a real little trip to space. Beautiful! Certainly a reference to Fritz Lang's well-known science-fiction movie, "Metropolis" is on the contrary dark and oppressive, well transcribing the retro- futuristic vibe of the city. You're running through the Kafkaian city escaping an invisible threat, like Blade Runner, a few years before! The unexpected rhythm change is great, this section has maybe inspired Chris Huelsbeck for his "Turrican" video-game soundtracks.

The second side is also good but contains a few lengthy moments. Released as a single, "The Model" is a deliciously retro catchy synth-pop tune, foreshadowing DEPECHE MODE and new-wave during the following decade. Surprisingly, although KRAFTWERK contributed to its birth, the band won't follow the genre, even in the 80's, remaining faithful to their techno-pop direction. Longest title of the disc, the floating "Neon Lights" is also the slowest. Synthesizers display an enchanting and ethereal atmosphere, slightly evolving through nice crystalline additions. Pleasant, although a bit long. The album concludes with its title song, which is unfortunately the only average passage of the record. Quite odd, as, since "Autobahn", all title songs were the best tracks of their respective opuses. This robotic tune is rather fun and playful at the beginning, but repeats itself without much variations and therefore tends to become a little monotonous.

Anyway, "The Man-Machine" remains KRAFTWERK's artistic summit and a visionary disc. By polishing their formula on each track and applying delicious melodies on futuristic sonorities, the German delivers here the best electronic pop album of the 70's, fully opening new horizons for numerous artists for the years to come.

A milestone, the one to start with if you don't know the band, and simply essential for anyone interested in electronic music in general!

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Progressive Electronic bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
12 FOLLOWERS United States
6LA8 Pakistan
ACI Germany
AEON France
AETHENOR Multi-National
AFTERLIFE United States
ILDEFONSO AGUILAR Spain
PEKKA AIRAKSINEN Finland
AIRSCULPTURE United Kingdom
ALBERGO INTERGALATTICO SPAZIALE Italy
ALIO DIE Italy
ALLEGORY CHAPEL LTD United States
DAEVID ALLEN MICROCOSMIC United Kingdom
ALLUSTE Italy
ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT United States
ALTO STRATUS United Kingdom
AMBER ROUTE United States
AMON Italy
PETER ANDERSSON Sweden
ANDROMELOS Japan
ANNA SJALV TREDJE Sweden
ARC United Kingdom
ARPANET United States
EDWARD ARTEMIEV Russia
ARZATHON Sweden
ASCOIL SUN Finland
ASHRA Germany
THE ASTROBOY Portugal
ATOMINE ELEKTRINE Sweden
AUBE Japan
AUTOMAT Italy
AWENSON France
MARVIN AYRES United Kingdom
HARVEY BAINBRIDGE United Kingdom
AIDAN BAKER Canada
SIMON BALESTRAZZI Italy
BAFFO BANFI Italy
BASS COMMUNION United Kingdom
PETER BAUMANN Germany
BAUMANN/KOEK Germany
BEAR BONES LAY LOW Venezuela
BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL United States
CARLOS BELTRÁN Mexico
LÁSZLÓ BENKő Hungary
PHILIPPE BESOMBES France
BETWEEN INTERVAL Sweden
MAURIZIO BIANCHI Italy
BIG ROBOT Norway
BIOSPHERE Norway
TIM BLAKE France
BLUE MOTION Switzerland
BLUE SAUSAGE INFANT United States
WOLFGANG BOCK Germany
DIDIER BOCQUET France
IAN BODDY United Kingdom
GASTON BORREANI Italy
ADAM CERTAMEN BOWNIK Poland
OLIVIER BRIAND France
MICHAEL BRÜCKNER Germany
FRANCESCO BUCCHERI Italy
HAROLD BUDD United States
MICHAEL BUNDT Germany
FRANCESCO CABIATI Italy
ROBERTO CACCIAPAGLIA Italy
CALDERA United States
TOM CAMERON United States
DALLAS CAMPBELL United States
CELLULOID United States
CELLUTRON & THE INVISIBLE United States
ANDREW CHALK United Kingdom
JOHN CHRISTIAN United Kingdom
CHRISTINE 23 ONNA Japan
THE CIRCULAR RUINS United Kingdom
CLOUDLAND BALLROOM Ireland
CLOUDLAND CANYON United States
CLOUDLAND CANYON/LICHENS United States
COIL United Kingdom
COMA VIRUS Germany
PASCAL COMELADE France
COMPUTERCHEMIST United Kingdom
CONTRASTATE United Kingdom
COSMIC DEBRIS United States
COSMIC GROUND Germany
COSMIC HOFFMANN Germany
CRAWL UNIT United States
CREMATOR United Kingdom
CROP CIRCLES France
CROWS LABYRINTH Netherlands
CULTURAL NOISE Austria
FRANCESCO CURRÀ Italy
CYBOTRON Australia
DEAD VOICES ON AIR United Kingdom
NICOLAS DICK France
DIN A TESTBILD Germany
DIONNE - BRÉGENT Canada
DOLULUS Switzerland
HEINRICH DRESSEL Italy
E-MUSIKGRUPPE LUX OHR Finland
EARTHSTAR Multi-National
EDEN France
ELEKTRIKTUS Italy
ELICOIDE Italy
EMERALDS United States
J.D EMMANUEL United States
ENDOPLASMIC FLOW Multi-National
BRIAN ENO United Kingdom
ENVENOMIST United States
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