Kraftwerk "Trans-Europa Express" (digital remaster)


Although Autobahn was a left-field masterpiece, Trans-Europe Express is often cited as perhaps the archetypal (and most accessible) Kraftwerk album. Melodic themes are repeated often and occasionally interwoven over deliberate, chugging beats, sometimes with manipulated vocals; the effect is mechanical yet hypnotic.

The song "Trans-Europe Express" (featured here) is similar in concept to "Autobahn," as it mimics the swaying motion and insistent drive of a cross-continent train trip.

Overall, Trans-Europe Express offers the best blend of minimalism, mechanized rhythms, and crafted, catchy melodies in the group's catalog; henceforth, their music would take on more danceable qualities only hinted at here (although the title cut provided the basis for Afrika Bambaataa's enormously important dancefloor smash "Planet Rock").

Fog - Fog

Fog - Fog

Did you look at the tags? Hip-hop! I know. Not really what I expected, though actually I was prepared to expect the unexpected with Fog... anyway, it's a scratchfest in here.

I think this is Fog's first album. The basic makeup is scratch driven beats (by which I mean often the entire drum line is made some individual scratch samples) with acoustic guitar providing much of the main rhythm. The majority of the solos are a short sample such as a single horn note cut to oblivion and reconstructed to surprisingly melodic effect.

I can see why a fan of the earlier stuff might not be particularly impressed with their last offering. Really original stuff on offer here.

Fog - Ditherer

Fog - Ditherer

Umm... drop everything right now. Nothing else matters... get down on your knees and worship Fog.

Got hold of a copy of this (even though it's not out until August) just before going away on my trip last week - stayed up listening to it even when i needed to sleep because I was so enraptured. Several times during my trip I stopped to think about how much I was looking forward to getting back home to give it another listen.

These are pop masterpieces... they must be, I'm on the second listen (the first being over a week ago) and I already know lots of the hooks. Here's the thing though - it twists and turns so much that everything takes me by surprise.

Is the old Fog work as good as this? Should be able to tell you soon - just purchased the entire back catalogue. Man, I can't wait to catch these guys at the Goldmund Festival.

As Fog themselves put it -

"There are people in the world that like weird noises and there are people in the world that like pop songs and then there are some people that like both... and we're those people."

See, I'm those people too. Now it all makes sense.

Aphrodite's Child - 666

Aphrodite's Child - 666

Before Vengelis was famous for such classics as the Blade Runner Theme he helped to put together one of the classic prog-rock concept albums. I guess this is probably what made him famous in the first place.

The whole thing is based on The Book of Revelation. I'd heard The Four Horsemen on a mix cd some time ago - man, it's a hot track.

A couple of other things jumped out on first listen. Have I heard The Seventh Seal and Seven Bowls sampled by Enigma? Maybe not sampled but it sounds mighty familiar.

I haven't attacked the second disc yet but I'm told it's a hard listen. We'll see.

Joan as Police Woman - Real Life

Joan as Police Woman - Real Life

I stumbled across Joan on the internet one day and was very impressed by the few samples I heard... then I forgot about her/them. It was seeing them billed for Rock Werchter that refuelled my interest.

It sits reasonably close to standard american, piano playing female pop rock, but the deviation is wide enough that one has to give it more attention. Eternal Flame jumped out at me straight away - very interesting chord progression. The whole thing is quite dark.

Listening to it again I think that it was the loss of the subtleties in the concert killed a bit of the inspiration for me. This is actually really cool.

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