Kraftwerk: Tour de France Soundtracks
This was a surprise find. I was under the impression that Kraftwerk had hung it up. A new album, after so much time, can also be suspect. Can they still deliver the goods? The answer is yes. This may not be as impressive as “Autobahn” or “Trans-Europe Express,” but it still has a lot to love. It is an updated sound, but still pure Kraftwerk.
What is so enjoyable about this album is the purity of concept. It takes you through the whole Tour de France experience. I am a bicyclist, so it’s even better while I am riding. The rhythms, energy levels, ups, downs, are all there. I love the use of specific effects, such as the running chain. Heavy breathing on “Elektro Kardiogramm” puts me right into the mind of climbing a hill. But, even if you’re not into bicycling, the music still does its job.
Kraftwerk is almost always a pleasure, but yet, not everyone’s cup of tea. If you are into it, this album will not let you down. In comparison to the classics, it does not come off as an essential item. There are other Kraftwerk albums you should get first. However, this is quite good.
Ralf Hütter – keyboards, electronic instruments
Florian Schneider – keyboards, electronic instruments
Fritz Hilpert – electronic percussion, sound effects
Henning Schmitz – electronic percussion, sound effects