Review: 'The Man-Machine' is closer to the sound and style that would define early new wave electro-pop. Less minimalistic in its arrangements and more complex and danceable in its underlying rhythms. Like its predecessor, 'Trans-Europe Express', there is the feel of a divided concept album, with some songs devoted to science fiction-esque links between humans and technology, often with electronically processed vocals ("The Robots," "Spacelab," and the title track); others take the glamour of urbanization as their subject ("Neon Lights" and "Metropolis"). Plus, there's "The Model," a character sketch that falls under the latter category but takes a more cynical view of the title character's glamorous lifestyle. More pop-oriented than any of their previous work, the sound of 'The Man-Machine' in particular among Kraftwerk's oeuvre had a tremendous impact on the cold, robotic synth pop of artists like Gary Numan, as well as Britain's later new-romantic movement.
Review: As UR continue to revisit some of their finest hours, the Detroit techno powerhouse stops on one of the most life-affirming of all their releases. "Inspiration" is as jovial as anything you can expect to hear from Mad Mike and co., motoring through a heartfelt lead synth line and fist-pumping disco undercarriage in truly anthemic style. "Transition" meanwhile is a freakier number, combining spiritual lyricism with a righteous bump of house dynamics fuelled by those futuristic melodies that define the seminal label. If you haven't felt the soul power of these timeless jams, do yourself a life-changing favour.
Review: The R&S label has many similarities to the legendary Basic Channel label. Although the vibe isn't 'that technoid' anymore, an astonishing range of tracks is presented here. Every 12" so far stands for itself. 'Roll Off' is a deep shaped and pulsating ambient tune in two parts with a unique sound scape of organic chords and coloured noises.