Kraftwerk - 3-D The Catalogue album review
The Men Machines live sets collected over myriad formats
Looking back at the 70s, within the musical climate that gave this magazine its name, Kraftwerk were a far from easy proposition for some people. Computers were a largely unknown quantity and there was a distrust of the machines ‘playing themselves’, like a nightmarish subplot from George Orwell’s 1984. And so a group like Kraftwerk, who were flaunting their relationship with hardware, were seen by some to be the epitome of fake, soulless music. This was not helped by a certain post-war xenophobia. When, in 1975, journalist Lester Bangs asked if theirs was a musical “final solution”, the group’s Ralph Hutter countered by extolling the “superior mentality” of the German people. It’s clear now that with Kraftwerk, the German sense of humour was also greatly underestimated. And it still runs freely through these releases, from a single DVD of selected highlights to the full live reworkings of the eight albums from Autobahn onwards.