Kraftwerk - Autobahn (Vinyl) Spezial Coloured Edition

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Autobahn is the fourth studio album by German electronic band Kraftwerk, released in November 1974. It was the band's first album to fully embrace the repetitive electronic sound they would become known for (although organic instruments still remained part of their sonic palette) and was inspired by the titular German motorway system.

Autobahn is not a completely electronic album, as violin, flute, piano and guitar are used along with synthesizers. The title track features both untreated and vocoded vocals; the remaining tracks are purely instrumental. Kraftwerk used a Minimoog, an ARP Odyssey, an EMS Synthi AKS, a Farfisa Professional Piano and various devices of their own design and implementation, such as their famous electronic drums.

The title track is intended to capture the feeling of driving on the Autobahn: from traveling through the landscape, the high-speed concentration on the fast lane, to tuning the car radio and the monotony of a long trip.

The remaining ambient tracks have a two-part structure—an introduction followed by a main section—and are loosely based around a theme of the night, beginning with twin tracks "Kometenmelodie (Comet Melody) 1 and 2" (inspired by Comet Kohoutek), then an ominous-sounding "Mitternacht" (Midnight) and the final track, "Morgenspaziergang" (Morning Stroll). This last track begins as a dawn chorus bird-song effect created by the electronic instruments, with an extended conclusion that uses a repeating variation of the melodic phrase heard in the first instrumental section of "Autobahn".

To say I'm shocked that this was released in 1974 is an understatement to say the least. Despite the incredibly repetitive nature of the entire album, there's always this forward moving energy pushing the entire album along. Considering the title of the album I get the impression that this may very well have been intentional. The title track, which also happens to be the opening track, is a monolithic 22 minute electronic monster that's always managing to stay fresh. I think this is the redeeming feature of this album, it manages to stay varied whilst sticking very closing to it's original set out theme from the beginning of tracks. This title track takes advantage of this strength and ends up being an incredibly fun and joyous track.

Based off this I assumed the entire album would be a pretty playful venture, but I was happily surprised to see that there was actually a relatively dark side to this album. The second track is surprisingly melancholy and eerie, which I welcome happily. These guys proved their expertise to me by the third track frankly, it reminded me of the transition from Opening into Floe on Glassworks. Just an explosion of blissful noise.

The rest of the album is very much of this ilk, with the last track again being a standout in my opinion. So yeah, a surprisingly solid album that hasn't dated as badly as I assumed it would have, clearly an important and beautifully crafted album.

By: LukaB16

Autobahn 22:30
Kometenmelodie 1 6:20
Kometenmelodie 2 5:44
Mitternacht 4:40
Morgenspaziergang 4:00


Comes with a sticker either in German 'SPEZIAL EDITION FARBIGES VINYL' or in English 'SPECIAL EDITION COLOURED VINYL'.

Includes full-size (12") 12-page booklet and picture inner sleeve.

Kling Klang ‎– 50999 9 66014 1 9, Parlophone ‎– 50999 9 66014 1 9

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered, Repress, Special Edition, Stereo, Blue Translucent, 180g