|Design||Expo logo: QWER studio (Iris Utikal & Michael Gais), layout: LMP (update thanks to John Coulthart)|
|Notes||Anyone acquainted with Hard Format will be aware of the highest esteem in which Kraftwerk is held in terms of music, design, discipline, humour and conceptual rigour – to name but a few of the aspects of the forty year project that this year produced KlingKlang Machine 1. See ‘also’ below for other coverage on Hard Format. One day the breathtaking Catalogue will also appear here, it’s just not one of those things that can be rushed.
In the meantime, here are the vinyl and CD formats for what was the group’s first new material in 13 years. The music and lyrics are as incisive, ambiguous and high-concept as ever (although it was at the time dismissed by The Wire’s reviewer as a corporate anthem). The central visual motif may be understood as a combination both of abstracted techno/rave visual tropes and an envisioning of the sort of radical decentering at work in contemporary transnational capitalism. Such an assertion may understandably be dismissed as ridiculous pretension, but such structures were the impetus both for the expo itself and for the commission to provide the show’s sonic identity.
The ident itself is a brief vocoder piece which was expanded into the single’s three mixes. The group’s characteristic, though often ignored, sense of playfulness is here evidenced by the use of a lenticular overlay on the CD jewel-case to provide a shifting, multi-view treatment of the motif as illustrated in the last two images above. The design for the 12″ release is suitably elegant with its bright colours on silver.
|Also||- Kraftwerk – Autobahn (non-UK version)
- Kraftwerk – Autobahn (UK version)
- Kraftwerk – Minimum Maximum
- Kraftwerk – Neon Lights 12″
- Kraftwerk – Pocket Calculator