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Minimum Maximum

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Audio CD, June 7, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 2004, Ralf Htter, Florian Schneider, Fritz Hilpert and Henning Schmitz toured the world playing 69 shows that were unlike anything seen before. A truly unique audio / visual spectacular that prompted global headlines like this from the London Evening Standard, 'Is This the Greatest Show London Has Ever Seen?'. Now in 2005, EMI Records is proud to release a 2-CD live set entitled 'Minimum-Maximum' containing 23 tracks recorded throughout Europe, Japan and the US during the 2004 World Tour. Recorded and mixed with Kraftwerk's legendary precision, 'Minimum-Maximum' is a superb document of the Kraftwerk live experience, featuring virtually all of the band's classics in stunning live clarity. EMI. 2005.

The Godfathers of Glitch and the Kings of Kling-Klang come out of seclusion with a double live CD culled from various concerts on their 2004 tour. Minimum-Maximum is essentially a greatest-hits album with an audience applauding and occasionally shouting. Without them, of course, you'd never know the album was live, since Kraftwerk is the band that put the programming in pop music. Not much has changed with them since the 1980s. They're still wired to the same sonic circuitry as on Electric Café in 1986, sculpting glistening electro-soundscapes that pulse but never quite groove. And they still sing in that flat, German-accented English and French with Speak and Spell electro-voices. But rather than sound dated, this has a timeless charm, especially since Kraftwerk are among the few Kraut rock groups with a sense of humor. With only two studio albums in the last 20 years, you have to give them credit for not caving in to current electronica and techno trends--Kraftwerk remain resolutely electronic. Even their samples sound synthesized. But also give them credit for some of the most relentlessly glistening electronic music ever crafted, and a sound that remains surprisingly pure. All the hits are here, from "Autobahn" to "Tour de France," but nicely buffed to a high chrome finish. --John Diliberto

Disc: 1
1. The Man-Machine
2. Planet Of Visions
3. Tour De France Etape 1
4. Chrono
5. Tour De France Etape 2
6. Vitamin
7. Tour De France
8. Autobahn
9. The Model
10. Neon Lights
Disc: 2
1. Radioactivity
2. Trans Europe Express
3. Metal On Metal
4. Numbers
5. Computer World
6. Home Computer
7. Pocket Calculator
8. Dentaku
9. The Robots
10. Elektro Kardiogramm
See all 12 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 7, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Astralwerks / EMI
  • ASIN: B0009H9NE8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,399 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Louie Bourland on June 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
After more than 35 years of pioneering the genre of electronic music, the legendary German band Kraftwerk has conquered another first in their long career - a live album and what an album it is!!!

"Minimum-Maximum" is a double-CD recorded during Kraftwerk's 2004 tour and contains music from nearly every era of the group's career (except for their very early experimental period). It is essentially a greatest hits album performed live. For those who may fear that a Kraftwerk live album will sound identical to a studio release, fear not. The music performed here is full of fresh approaches and energy not apparent in their studio albums. The rhythms and sequences are heavier and have more of a punch. Also, the sound of a live audience heard over the course of the entire album adds even more excitement to the musical atmosphere. On "Dentaku", you can hear the enthusiastic Japanese crowd singing along while on "Music Non Stop", you can hear people clapping along with the song's relentless rhythm.

Indeed, all of the music on "Minimum-Maximum" is very well performed and proves that Kraftwerk is definitely an established live band and not just reclusive studio perfectionists. Besides containing great music, the CD booklet also includes several color photos of the band onstage during the concerts standing behind their workstations while images of the music's lyric content is projected on the large screens behind them.

"Minimum-Maximum" is Kraftwerk at their very best. Since they are a band who doesn't tour regularly, this double-live CD defnitely serves as the next best thing to being at one of their concerts.

Buy this disc, put it on, sit back and enjoy the ride!!!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By N. P. Stathoulopoulos on November 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Kraftwerk walk on stage at precisely the start time on your ticket. They don't say one word. The four of them take their places at their respective lecterns, each fitted with a laptop (looks like a Vaio) and the blips and beeps begin. Who knows what they're doing up there? They could be shopping for new drives or chatting to each other about the characters in the front row.

This is a compilation of lives tracks from the original electronic reich's 2004 tour around the world. It flows together like one show, since indeed they played the exact same set at just about every show.

How different can it sound? It just does. This album sounds amazing. If you've seen this incarnation of Ralf and Florien and the crew, they sound rich, full, punchy, magnificent on stage. The beats, the timbres, the blips, the vocoder action. This is one of the best live albums I've ever heard. It flows perfectly, starting with The Man Machine, which proves that Kraftwerk was inventing beats while everyone else was a census projection. The Tour de France suite is excellent, prompting you to move your head side to side, as if you're watching their colorful, hypnotic video screen while the men-machine themselves hardly move a muscle.

For Kraftwerk fans, it's...just get it, or you'll hear someone else raving about it. The hits are here, a healthy amount of the latest album (Tour de France soundtracks) is here, and about the only improvised part, the long breakdown sequence of Musique Non Stop/Techno Pop, closes the whole thing out. The thing rocks. Numbers is amazing. Radioactivity is heavy and menacing, then mildly pleasant as it reminds us that radioactivity is 'in the air, for you and me'. They sing about Vitamins, and they're obsessed with cycling.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By GraceNoteX on June 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Live albums serve one of four purposes:

- An opportunity to try alternate arrangements and versions of songs

- To capture the energy and expressiveness of a performer in a live setting

- To create a "best of" package that might also appeal to fans who already own the back catalog

- An excuse to pad the artist's catalog and create more product

Minimum-Maximum falls primarily in the first category. Kraftwerk get an opportunity to revisit and re-think some of their finest compositions and breath fresh life into them. Kraftwerk's greatest strengths have always been exploring interesting synth voices and building intricate rhythms out of multiple minimalist parts. The synths sound stunning.

For example, "Radioactivity" leaps out of the speakers with an impact and a richness that the 70s studio recording can't match. The slow motion, restrained, heavy momentum of the original is replaced with an energy and urgency in this version. When the synth hook melody line finally appears over hard hitting percussion and sparse but rich synth textures, it hangs in the air with a crystalline purity and beauty that provides a 3-D sonic depth.

This CD allows Kraftwerk to utilize their strengths (inspired synth programming and sound manipulation, brilliant production, creative variations on themes, exploration of rhythmic subtleties) without running up against their weakness (composition - not that their compositions are weak, but rather Kraftwerk have a hard time composing new material, as demonstrated by the years between releases, and the sparseness of total out-put over a 35 year career).
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