Reissue of the second album originally released in 1972. Rare limited edition. Six tracks. Crown label.
Sean M. Kelly | Portland, Oregon United States | 09/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this record!!!As I have written in reviews of the 1st Kraftwerk lp and the "Tone Float" lp, if you are expecting "the Robots," or whatever your favorite Kraftwerk song is, this lp will not offer such tunes.What the lp DOES offer, however, is a band evolving from the long, psychedelic jams of "Tone Float," into a more cohesive duo, and with it, more solid evidence of the future Kraftwerk sound becoming evident. The real show of this is "Klingklang," the lp's 20 minute opener. After a Stockhausen-like opening 2 minutes of disonent bell like sounds, mixing a drum machine with Hutter's ambient keyboards and Schneider's ever present flute, the track settles into a trancy, ambient groove within which there are tempo shifts that could fit well in modern dance clubs (and in fact I mix this song in sets I do, and it goes over quite well).The rest of the lp shows the duo still rooted in their Stockhausen/ experimental mode, with varying levels of success, mixing in a track of guitar tunings, another with vocoders and harmonizers.This lp is the 1st major step taken towards what would be known as the Kraftwerk sound. The sound becomes even more pronounced on their 3rs lp, "Ralf and Florian," but "Kraftwerk 2" offers evidence that, however slowly, the shift was being made. It's a great lp, and well worth owning- indeed, many ambient and leftfield groups, such as Tortoise, Zoviet France, and Labradford, can be heard in parts of this lp. A very important lp, to be sure. Check it out!"
Embryonic genesis of genius
M. Detko | Scarborough, Ontario Canada | 09/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For KW fans, this is worth a listen. It is a very atmospheric (thanks somewhat to analog recording technology) collection and not as boring as others have said here. The first track does not "speed up and slow down at random". It actually sounds like they deliberately manipulated the tape speed 3 or 4 times, as the pitch also changes. The tune also has at least 4 distinct sections, each of which could have been represented as a separate track. The other tunes are shorter and simpler, but no less atmospheric. This album is very improvisational, so keep that in mind.
However you should BEWARE that this album is not available on CD, so if you buy this you will be getting a bootleg made from vinyl. Mine has scratches you can hear very clearly. It also has a bonus track of KometenMelodie from Concert Classics 1975. Still for me it is worth it. But you will be getting a vinyl bootleg, though decent."
Not So Boring
M. Detko | 02/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Others have said this album is a boring, noodling piece of crap but I couldn't disagree more. Yes "ATEM" is just breathing noises and "SPULE 4" has no discernible melody and at first glance "HARMONIKA" sounds like someone just randomly blowing into holes, but if you dig down beneath the surface you'll discover that the stronger tracks make up for this tenfold. (What a dumb word, eh?) KLINGKLANG starts off with a bunch of what sounds like windchimes and bells and moves into ambient-rock territory with Schnider's airy flute work and Hutter's quiet moving piano providing a very interesting melody. Then it moves into an organ/flute/electric cowbell trio that's more washes of sound than rhythm. This too is cool. The last section of the song is sort of propulsive, with semi-screechy, three chord guitar providing the foreground. ATEM is breathing noises with effects, like I mentioned earlier. STROM starts off with an unbelievably distorted guitar intro that moves into a quiet guitar/bass duet. SPULE 4 means queasy and that's all the info you need to know what it sounds like. WELLENLANGE is like SPULE 4 with harmony and a melody, just guitar and bass with some odd sounds and echoes every now and then, and HARMONIKA is just...uh...this is the end of my review. Hope this helps."
Their most unusual effort
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 11/20/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Before Kraftwerk became a robot pop group, they were a totally experimental band, and this, their second effort is by far their least accessible effort I have ever heard from these guys. Don't expect to hear "Trans-Europe Express", "The Model", "The Robots", "Pocket Calculator", etc. here. This is by far their most ambient album, and a lot of the cuts really defy categorization. At this point the band still hadn't used synthesizers on this album, but they used flutes, Farfisa electric piano, various guitars, violin, and a primitive drum machine were used. The opening cut, "Klingklang" is the closest thing to resemble a song as it sounds exactly like a precursor to "Autobahn". The next cut, "Atem" (German for "Breathe"), as you might guess, contains little else than just breathing sounds. The rest of this album contains rather odd noodling on guitars and effects, and is truly not to everyone's taste. The closing cut, "Harmonika" is not actually played on a harmonica, but rather a melodica, a little plastic keyboard keyboard instrument you blow in to in which sounds are created by reeds. I definately not recommend Kraftwerk 2 to everyone, and if you're expecting another Trans-Europe Express, this album will bore you, but if you like the more adventurous end of Krautrock, this album might be for you."
Not the typical Kraftwerk!
BENJAMIN MILER | 05/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This record is not one of Kraftwerk's techno classics, but in a silent way has very probably been heard by most postrock musicians or fans; it has a rough, definitely not charming mood enhanced by the really primitive electronic devices -among them the home made drumcomputer-, not as noisy or nearly industrial as the first album, but lacking the bubble-gummy sound of "Ralf & Florian" and the futuristic obsessions of "Autobahn" and so on. The first track, "Kling Klang" is a real classic for the group, with the opening bells leading to a tape-manipulated dialogue between flute (early Kraftwerk has a lot of it) and electric piano, setting with the drumcomputer and a simple bass line the standard rhythm structure of later works. The really icy flute-clanky synthesizer excerpt is twenty year older Tortoise sound, and the end shows lively interplay between guitar and violin with an almost bossa-nova rhythm on the computer. "Atem" is simply artificial breath. The second side is even more obscure, with the majestatic pace full of flute dissonances of "Strom", the musique concrète-influenced "Spule 4" -here the record turns really experimental, with no rhythm, no harmony and no melody-, the somber and monotone bass guitar drones of "Wellenlänge" and the arpeggios of "Harmonika". Sometimes very heady, but really rewarding if one gets the mood for it."