The last great Kraftwerk album, Computer World (Computerwelt) captured the band right at the moment when its pioneering approach fully broke through in popular music, thanks to the rise of synth pop, hip-hop, and electro. As Arthur Baker sampled "Trans-Europe Express" for "Planet Rock" and disciples like Depeche Mode, OMD, and Gary Numan scored major hits, Computer World demonstrated that the old masters still had some last tricks up their collective sleeves. Compared to earlier albums, it fell readily in line with The Man-Machine, eschewing side-long efforts but with even more of an emphasis on shorter tracks mixed with longer but not epic compositions.
Continuing to work with Conny Plank, who once again provides a compelling job as producer and engineer, Kraftwerk went right ahead and named their new album after their two remaining members – an understandable enough move. Like the first two albums, Ralf and Florian still has not seen official re-release, for all that one can practically taste Kraftwerk's leap into the beyond on it. Given that this was the last album before the most famous lineup was formed and Autobahn was released, it's appropriate to listen to Ralf and Florian as a harbinger for the future, though perhaps all too easy. Take it on its own terms – a further investigation of electronic possibilities in a more open-ended, less constantly structured fashion than would be the case later – and Ralf and Florian becomes most enjoyable.
Minimum-Maximum is the first official live album release by Kraftwerk, released in June 2005, almost 35 years after the group gave their first live performance.
The Man-Machine is closer to the sound and style that would define early new wave electro-pop – less minimalistic in its arrangements and more complex and danceable in its underlying rhythms. Like its predecessor, Trans-Europe Express, there is the feel of a divided concept album, with some songs devoted to science fiction-esque links between humans and technology, often with electronically processed vocals ("The Robots," "Spacelab," and the title track); others take the glamour of urbanization as their subject ("Neon Lights" and "Metropolis"). Plus, there's "The Model," a character sketch that falls under the latter category but takes a more cynical view of the title character's glamorous lifestyle. More pop-oriented than any of their previous work, the sound of The Man-Machine – in particular among Kraftwerk's oeuvre – had a tremendous impact on the cold, robotic synth pop of artists like Gary Numan, as well as Britain's later new romantic movement.
Computer World (German: Computerwelt) is the eighth studio album by German electronic music band Kraftwerk, released on 1981. The album peaked at number fifteen on the UK Albums Chart. Rolling Stone named it the tenth greatest EDM album of all time in 2012.
After finally releasing a new track, commissioned by Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany, Kraftwerk proceeded to open it up to a whole new set of remixers. Featuring four remixes by Detroit's influential Underground Resistance, one from British electronic musicians Orbital, one from seminal DJ/producer François Kevorkian, and several from Kraftwerk themselves, this ten-track CD shows what Kraftwerk can sound like in the modern world. Considering that Kraftwerk is often quoted as a major influence on Detroit techno, its unsurprising that the remixes by the Underground Resistance far surpass either of the other two mixes. Revamping the songs in a "Kraftwerk living in Detroit" sort of way, UR pay homage to one of the forefathers of their art. Fortunately, none of the mixes mimics another, a relatively difficult feat when working with material as sparse as a Kraftwerk song. All of the remixes are worthwhile additions to the vast canon of Kraftwerk material.