September 28, 1981 12:00 PM


Kraftwerk co-founder Ralf Hütter says machines are the “serfs” of the 20th century and “pollution” represents the first stage of the coming “machine revolution…. We want to become friends with machines. We are musical technicians trying to start a healing process.” Hotter has been treating sick circuits, microchip in cheek, since 1968, when he and Florian Schneider—both classical music students—teamed up in their native Düsseldorf (where the band’s name, meaning “electrical power plant,” is pronounced KRAHFT-vayrk). Their ministrations have produced some interesting and humorous electronic music. Computer World, the now four-member group’s first effort since 1978, is full of unexpectedly attractive synthesized sounds, echoes, repeat patterns and processed voices, all moving to varied fluid rhythms. The album may not make you want to beg your toaster oven for forgiveness, but its cool, breezy and still visceral tone makes it highly suitable for the “healing process” known as dancing.

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