Kraftwerk ‎– Radio-Aktivität (German)

Kraftwerk - Radio-Aktivität
Kraftwerk - Radio-Aktivität


With insert

A concept album exploring themes of broadcast communications, Radio-Activity marked Kraftwerk's return to more obtuse territory, extensively utilizing static, oscillators, and even Cage-like moments of silence to approximate the sense of radio transmission; a pivotal record in the group's continuing development, the title track — the first they ever recorded in English — is their most fully realized electro-pop effort to date, while “The Voice of Energy” precipitates the robot voice so crucial to their subsequent work.

The German version is far more coherent than the insipid translation on the one sold in the USA. Even if we just give Kraftwerk's lyrics to Alta Vista, we can see that Radio-Aktivitat is less an anti-nuke protest, though the title track was redone as one later, and more a dreamy evocation of short wave radio. One can practically see the glow of the radio tubes on the ceiling at four in the morning. One can smell the hot dust on the pilot lamps, and hear all the world's languages and funny radio noises washing together in that wonderful, phase-shifted ambience that is the ionosphere.
Musically, this is Kraftwerk's first all-electronic album, full of wonderful sounds, clever short sequences, and homages to pioneer composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. The sine waves wash over us like ionospheric whistles, and at the end we meditate right along with Ohm Sweet Ohm. It all reminds us why we ever got interested in electronic music in the first place. What we see here is the perfect alternative to post-modern dance thumping. It's one of the great bands just hitting its stride, all done experimenting, but not yet locked into the industrial/techno groove they went on to pioneer.
Not for everyone, but then that's the whole point.

1 in stock

%d bloggers like this: