Saturday, April 14, 2007

RARE Kraftwerk from 1971




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Kraftwerk
K4: Bremen Radio 1971 [SEIDR 026]
Live at Gondel Kino, Bremen, Germany, June 25, 1971.

I was just turned on to this amazing, extremely rare live Kraftwerk recording and I wanted to share it with you. The lineup is different and includes members of Neu! and has a very different sound than typical early Kraftwerk. It sounds very much like Can with the guitar driven lengthy Krautrock jams.

You can find the downloads and full album information on the BigO site:
BigO Worldwide Website
"There isn't any extra information about this unofficial release either in the liner notes or on the interweb thing - however, as you listen it becomes obvious that this is indeed a recording of the rather short-lived lineup of Kraftwerk that includes Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger in its ranks! That's right - Neu! as part of Kraftwerk!!!

"It's basically a whole CD of extended "side-long" jams in the style of the first Kraftwerk albums performed in front of a small but enthusiastic audience and broadcast on Bremen Radio in 1971. The members of Neu! really take a forward role here, with Rother's guitar driving things for most of the time and sounding quite rocking, with glimpses of his future soaring melodic sound in the extended jam passages. The guitar and drums are backed up by synth and I believe organ bass, with notable exceptions of flute taking the forefront on the great version of Ruckzack (from the first Kraftwerk LP) and is it distorted electric violin on K4? Maybe just Rother taking a violin bow to his guitar strings! Proto-Kraftwerk and proto-Neu! It's exciting stuff, and on top of that the sound quality is excellent - a professional radio recording.

"How has this recording not become better known over the past 35 years since it was made?! I don't know. It appears to be a newly released CDR edition with good-quality (but privately printed) packaging. Maybe it has stayed in the Radio Bremen archives until now? If you're sceptical about the authenticity I'm sure a listen will persuade you... and hearing someone in the crowd shout "Michael!" in the last second of the recording is the icing on the cake." - Little Bear [who shared the recording on the internet]

This isn’t the motorik, some might even say monotonous, electronic sound of Kraftwerk. Early Kraftwerk were more experimental with sounds and effects - not quite dance music.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very nice, but definetely neither Kraftwerk nor Neu! Most likely explanation: this is a live recording of an unknown group that in one song happened to quote Kraftwerk's "Ruckzuck" theme, which had become quite popular as it was used as opening music for a political TV magazine ("Kennzeichen D") in Germany at that time.

Once again: no Kraftwerk, no Neu! Too bad :-(

Nicholas said...

re: Anonymous's Dismissal

I'm not so sure that it's a fake. They didn't just "happen" to quote Ruckzuck, they also begin with Von Himmel Hoch, one of the great Kraftwerk noise jams from that era. If you actually listen to Kraftwerk's first two albums, and not just for long enough to know the "theme," you'll see that there's plenty on this recording that echoes those albums and Organisation's Tone Float quite convincingly. Even just the first minute or two of the album should do it; NO ONE but Kraftwerk at that era has relied on that particular sound.

In summary: This is a beautiful, heavy recording that is worth whatever lengths necessary to obtain. I'm convinced that it IS Kraftwerk/Rother/Ding, and beyond that, it's definitely the most exciting Krautrock album you've never heard.

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