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Kraftwerk - Minimum-Maximum
Review: After years of innumerable but rare live bootlegs, the inventors of modern electronic music bring us a 2-CD set which is part greatest hits and part a retrospective of the learning curve that digital instruments have brought to popular music for the past three decades.
The brightest parts of it by far are the newest works, which sound most natural with the aesthetic and timeframe in which this live work is presented, but many of the older tracks fare well also, usually with minor updates but some with a large amount of changes, such as "Radioactivity." Where Kraftwerk maintain the mood of the original work, they do well, but where they try to make club hits out of songs which do not carry the aerobic insouciance of that genre, they fail. A case in point is "Pocket Calculator/Dentaku," which on this recording becomes an irritating worldpop intrusion of bounciness and vapidity.
Probably the best reworking is "Aerodynamik" from their most recent studio album, which comes to us both stripped down and texturally enhanced live. While it may or may not be a perfect capture of the live essence of Kraftwerk, this album achieves what "The Mix" set out to do, years ago, and "updates" the Kraftwerk classics to be competitive to the aesthetic sensibilities of the post-techno years, and will serve for many as a very functional introduction to this foundational band from Dusseldorf.