Released five years after 1986′s Electric Cafe, The Mix answers criticisms that its predecessor didn’t keep up with dance trends. Essentially a replayed greatest-hits collection released in conjunction with the group’s return to live performance, the album presents Kraftwerk’s most enduring tracks in digital form. Rather than playing most of their synth lines and electronic percussion by hand, many elements here were created through sequencers, and the result is smoother, more automated. Reflecting then-popular club tempos, several cuts are considerably faster than their typically analog originals, and many pound with the four-to-the-floor bass drum thump of house music while suggesting the iciness of Depeche Mode, the synth-pop successors particularly evoked on a rewritten rendition of “Radioactivity.” Whereas the original spun puns of radio waves and radioactivity, this far more forceful remake cites nuclear disasters. “Chain reaction and mutation/ Contaminated population/ Stop radioactivity,” Ralf Hutter warns without a shred of his earlier ambivalence.
By Barry Walters on 06.18.12 in Icons
If you made a list of bands whose cultural influence and current stature outweigh its original popularity and sales, Can would show up somewhere near the top. But unlike most other cult acts that wowed rock critics, the...
By Marc Hogan on 12.16.14 in News
The record industry's older recognition-bestowing body has just shown up its younger sibling. Earlier today, when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2015 inductees, nominated candidates such as Chic and Kraftwe...
By Marc Hogan on 10.09.14 in News
This year, the current decade's '90s revival hit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in full force with the induction of Nirvana. The list of nominees for next year's ceremony keeps the door open to what used to be called Alt...
By Laina Dawes on 04.16.14 in Features
Laina Dawes talks with the German metal duo about their infernal influences.