Monday, December 19, 2005

KRAFTWERK: MINIMUM MAXIMUM BOX SET

I couldn’t resist any longer. After seeing the new Kraftwerk box set Minimum Maximum at the end of last week, I had to have it. This great release documents the band's 2004 tour and features 2 CDs and 2 DVDs plus a book in a silver box, which is meant to look like a laptop.

Kraftwerk are undoubtedly one of the most influential bands in the history of modern music. Their impact on the music world is equivalent to that of Elvis or The Beatles in that they opened a whole new way for others to follow, a way where the computer became part of the creative process. Before Kraftwerk, electronic music was very much the stuff of scientists and mathematicians. Computers were slow and synthesizers were the size of a house. With technology progressing, they all became a lot smaller and more accessible, yet Kraftwerk took the machines and did with them things that no-one had really dreamt before – democratising electronic music by making it accessible to a wider audience. For a very interesting insight into the band and their career, check out this excellent article written by Colin Buttimer for themilkfactory a couple of years ago.

I’ve only watched part of the DVDs and will be playing the CDs tomorrow on my way to work, but it just dragged my back to Saturday 20 March 2004 at the Brixton Academy. That night, Kraftwerk played two shows, one at 8pm, the other at 12am. I was lucky enough to go, and it remains one of the most impressive and thoroughly enjoyable live shows I've seen.

The gig was just what I was expecting: four guys spending pretty much the whole set static behind their minimalist keyboards/computers. Yet, these guys have such a presence, and the music was just great, and illustrated with fantastic high quality visuals behind the band.

As mentioned above, the box set features two CDs, two DVDs and a superb book with photos taken during the various concerts together with some of the visuals used.



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