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Autobahn Import


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Audio CD, Import, February 15, 1996
$24.99 $8.72
Audio, Cassette, 1974
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$9.99

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Biography

During the mid-’70s, Germany’s Kraftwerk established the sonic blueprint followed by an extraordinary number of artists in the decades to come. From the British new romantic movement to hip-hop to techno, the group’s self-described “robot pop” — hypnotically minimal, obliquely rhythmic music performed solely via electronic means — resonates in ... Read more in Amazon's Kraftwerk Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 15, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Emd Int'l
  • ASIN: B000007U6V
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,661 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Autobahn
2. Komtenmelodie 1
3. Komtenmelodie 2
4. Mitternacht
5. Morgenspaziergang

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Though they'd recorded three previous albums, Kraftwerk's modern pop legacy starts with the sounds of a few footsteps and a slamming car door--the beginning of a 22-minute musically impressionistic excursion down Germany's famed superhighway. An unexpected hit on both sides of the Atlantic, Autobahn's "fahren, fahren, fahren" refrain echoes "Fun, Fun, Fun" by the Beach Boys (just one of Kraftwerk's unlikely influences), while the entire concept recalls Brian Wilson's frustrated attempts at creating what he called "a pocket symphony." The rhythmic synth pulse that carries the title track will be familiar to Kraftwerk admirers, while cofounder Florian Schneider's flute work and other more delicate melodic touches hearken back to the band's prog-rock foundations (as do the atmospheric "Kometenmelodie 1 & 2," "Mitternacht," and "Morgenspaziergang"). Kraftwerk's fascination with technology has been well documented, but the revelation of Autobahn is the playful human spirit behind the robots' masks.

Amazon.com

Though they'd recorded three previous albums, Kraftwerk's modern pop legacy starts with the sounds of a few footsteps and a slamming car door--the beginning of a 22-minute musically impressionistic excursion down Germany's famed superhighway. An unexpected hit on both sides of the Atlantic, Autobahn's "fahren, fahren, fahren" refrain echoes "Fun, Fun, Fun" by the Beach Boys (just one of Kraftwerk's unlikely influences), while the entire concept recalls Brian Wilson's frustrated attempts at creating what he called "a pocket symphony." The rhythmic synth pulse that carries the title track will be familiar to Kraftwerk admirers, while cofounder Florian Schneider's flute work and other more delicate melodic touches hearken back to the band's prog-rock foundations (as do the atmospheric "Kometenmelodie 1 & 2," "Mitternacht," and "Morgenspaziergang"). Kraftwerk's fascination with technology has been well documented, but the revelation of Autobahn is the playful human spirit behind the robots' masks. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

The rest of the album is complete genius as well.
Andrew Orge
I really believe that this has to be one of the greatest electronic albums ever made, and probably one of the best that Kraftwerk has ever done.
HDR
The most influential band in electronic music has been Kraftwerk.
bill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Orge on July 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
If you are here, it is probably because you have some interest/newfound interest in Kraftwerk. Your open mindedness and good taste should be enough right? Well this album, (among the many they have) seems to be one of the better Kraftwerk albums.

Considered as their last step before going completely electronic on Trans Europe Express, Autobahn still maintains the idea of what a Kraftwerk album should sound like, but it is more organic, (as there seems to be guitar, flute, and other organic noises in the recordings). The beautiful track opener is a 22 minute ride that one must take completely. If your commute to school or work is that length or longer, I highly reccomend just putting Authobahn in and letting the cd take you were it needs to.

The rest of the album is complete genius as well. They begin songs with these organic underwater sounding interludes, almost having a creepy vibe to them,,,but then they would blast into an uplifting electronic melody and rhythms.

The last track is best described as if you walked into some mystical garden in the Shire and mostly everything organic around you grew an electronic voice. Birds, water, everything transforms and Kraftwerk is in the background accompanying/creating these electronic vibes. To me this song is just soothing and great to relax to.

To close, if you have an open mind and are interested to listen to a transitional ( and the foundation for electronic music to come) Kraftwerk record, then purchase this album. It is beautiful, and while the melodies can be understood by pretty much anyone on this earth (Kraftwerk's universal appeal makes them on in a million I believe), their structures and genius can astonish even the profound music lover.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By MotorMind on November 1, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
I am usually a bit weary of digital remasters of original analogue recordings, but this one has been executed very well. The sound is still there in all its analogue splendor, but the dynamics have been turned up a notch. Especially the last part of the main track has gained an immense level of depth--the bit where almost all the synthesizers drop out, leaving only the electronic percussion, makes my heart skip even more than before. Well done!
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Crazy Diamond on September 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
One thing that I haven't seen any other reviewers talk about is that one of the things that makes this album (and all the early Kraftwerk albums) so remarkable is that it was all composed entirely without the modern recording technology that artists have taken for granted since the early 80's. The main technology Kraftwerk did not have in their early albums was MIDI.

For those of you who are not musicians, you may not know what MIDI is. MIDI allows synthesizers to be played into a MIDI recorder (a.k.a. a sequencer). The sequencer then plays back all the parts electronically. Think of a sequencer as the paper used in an old player piano. When you click play on the sequencer it plays back all the sequenced parts in perfect tempo. All the great electronica, from pioneers New Order to all of todays electronic and techno artists use MIDI. In the early days of MIDI, New Order used midi mainly to play back repetitive notes such as basslines and drums.

MIDI did not exist until the early 80's, a decade after Kraftwerk started recording music. Kraftwerk had to play every single instrument live and in 1 take. That makes listening to their music that more impressive when you hear a 22 minute "live" masterpiece such as "Autobahn."

Anyone can mimic this music with today's modern technology, but these guys were doing it 30+ years ago with nothing more than some analogue synthesizers and a multitrack tape recorder. Impressive
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey J.Park VINE VOICE on September 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the things that strikes me about this 1974 release is that at times, it sounds a little bit like early eighties music even though it was released in the mid-1970's. To my ears, this has a lot to do with the synthetic rhythmic element along with the (rarely occurring) mechanical and monochromatic vocal parts (in German). There is also the selection of tone colors too - Kraftwerk seems to favor the colder synth textures instead of the warmer tones of (for example) the mellotron as used by Berlin School electronic composers such as Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze.

The compositions on this album include the massive 22'42" Autobahn, along with the 12+ minute Kometenmelodie, and two shorter pieces in the 3-4 minute range. The title track really is pretty good although there is very little of an "outer space" feel to the piece - a property that got me into electronic music in the first place.

There are however a few moments on the album where the spaciness of Berlin School electronica turns up (as on Kometenmelodie 1). The effect of this moment is diminished pretty rapidly however, with the bouncy rhythms and bright, cheery melodies of Kometenmelodie 2. Hands down, my favorite track on the album is the short and gloomy Mitternacht. I especially appreciate the experimental approach of this track and it is certainly the most interesting too.

Given my complaining about the mechanical textures, the album closes on a surprisingly pastoral note with the track Morgenspaziergang. This track does feature bubbling synth textures but disproportionately more in the way of acoustic textures including piano and woodwinds.

All in all, this is a pretty good album of electronic music and is worth adding to the electronic collection.
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