So here we have the second of the albums that to my mind form Kraftwerk's Holy Trinity of albums. The aptly named 'Man Machine' the concept with which these four curious men from Dusseldorf really did blur the lines that distinguish man from machine, human from automaton. For me, and this may not make a lot of sense, 'The Man Machine' is both cold and warm at the same time. Cold in the sense that this is the world of robots casting a blank eye in the direction of A.I. and yet warm in terms of the richness of the melodies and the sounds that they coaxed from their machines within fortress of the Kling Klang studios. Take 'Neon Lights' for example, stark and cold by nature, but as Ralf describes his impressions of them as they shine down on him from tall Dusseldorf buildings in his gentle tones they too carry a warmth that is completely at odds with reality.
'Spacelab' is truly other worldly, this was 1978 and whilst the Western world was grappling with 'Star Wars' (1977 I know!), Kraftwerk presented the other sober side of space explorations...... no light sabres for the Kraftwerk boys, oh no, rather the serious task of gathering extra-terrestrial rock samples for some meaningful elemental analysis! May the Force be with you Herr Schneider!
Oh and 'The Model' is just sublime! 'Sie trinkt in Nachtklubs immer Sekt.... korrekt!'
For those with an interest in the band but don't have the albums or maybe have the albums in their English release versions, I would urge you to get the German language versions.... they are on Spotify. Admirable though it is that Kraftwerk recorded in English too, we are big enough and ugly enough to enjoy the material in German, even if we are collectively crap at languages.... and it sounds much better! Trust me.