Heard in 2012 (13): Kraftwerk’s ‘The Robots’ (1978)


It always surprises me to recall that Kraftwerk began releasing records in 1970. ‘The Robots’ opens their 1978 album Man Machine and the music still seems ahead of its time. While the group has been most influential in production techniques and technologies, their electronic style is genius in its own right.

I bought the remastered heavyweight vinyl edition of the album early last year and got lost in it from the first listen. There’s so much depth in the sound and brilliant use of empty space—I wonder if the xx consider Kraftwerk an influence. The staccato beats and the call and response between the vocal and the keyboards create a hypnotizing atmosphere that draws you in and can hold your attention for a great length of time. This is one of the few modern groups who have really changed the face of popular music.


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