The recent release of the new Kraftwerk album ‘Tour De France Soundtracks’ has no doubt both pleased and disappointed most that have heard the album itself, this is turn has lead to a number of people recommending a number of other and similar sounding releases that hold a more typical and expected Kraftwerk sound, the recently release Karl Bartos album ‘Communication’ being one of the more likely releases to be recommended. It’s against this background of these recommendations that the fourth album ‘Das Netz’ from the Dutch Electronic trio Elektronische Maschine was released last month. The eleven tracks (nine songs) of pure Electronic Pop with a heavy Kraftwerk influence should just as easily be included in this list of recommendations, all do having said that both the album itself and the band should easily gain the interest and attention with those who eagerly follow the fortunes of the German innovators without having to be attached to any type of list.
Elektronische Maschine produce a largely up-tempo brand of Electro Pop with neat and melodic synth lines combing with structured and bouncy rhythms that incorporate the general style and feel of the Kraftwerk albums ‘Computer World’ & ‘Electric Café’ while there is the occasional line of vocals, vocoders and various samples through out each of the tracks featured while being placed against a clean, clear and sharp production. ‘Das Netz’ features eleven tracks that includes two different versions of two tracks and a ‘Remake’ of the track ‘Analog / Digital’ which originally appeared on their second album ‘Energy’.
I could easily recommend any one of the nine songs or eleven tracks on offer; there is clearly a set style and pace through out the album itself that would easily leave you liking every track and version on offer. The two tracks that appear in two different versions on the album are the title track ‘Das Netz’ & ‘The Pursuit’, both appearing in ‘Album Versions’ & ‘Club /Radio Versions’, the titles and length of each version of the tracks reflect the track itself. Both tracks are equally excellent in either version with ‘The Pursuit’ opening with a series of samples of a car pursuit that is partially repeated later in the track itself while ‘Electro Feelings’ opens with some warm synth riffs before moving into a more mid-paced feel, ‘Industrial’ features some thin (but not weak) clattering metallic sounds while the lively ‘Synthetic’ features the sole lyric that could easily describe the band itself…“synthetic sounds, dancing around’ while one of the highlights here is ’D.J’s Dinner’, a bouncy and up-tempo track with swirling synths with a touch of clattering and stuttering Kraftwerk style rhythms while ‘Groove Unlimited’ features rigid, spoken female vocals that add a different feel to both the track and album in general while the title of the track ‘Trance Machine’ doesn’t in any way reflect the musical content of the track itself, instead this is another bouncy, up-tempo track with flowing synth work while the excellent ‘Remake’ of the ‘Analog / Digital’ track is one of the stronger tracks here, paced well with swirling and perky synths with a solid bass it fits in well with the remaining (new) tracks on the album itself.
‘Das Netz’ is simply another excellent and impressive release from this Dutch trio that easily mirrors the style and quality of their previous releases. Easily a release and above all a band that will be welcomed with open arms by those with an interest and affection for this style of purist Kraftwerk influenced Electronic Pop. But, don’t look upon Elektronische Maschine as just another Kraftwerk clone, they are clearly too good to just be placed in the shadow of Kraftwerk. ‘Das Netz’ will easily be among one of the better Electro Pop albums you will hear this year, highly recommended :-)
Elektronische Maschine have also released three other albums – ‘Reaktor’ which features eleven tracks and is unfortunately no longer available, ‘Energy’ which features fourteen tracks (eleven songs) with the addition of two bonus tracks from the album itself sung in German and ‘The Key To Compute’ which features eight tracks (seven songs). Like ‘Das Netz’ both are equally highly recommended.
Artist Link: http://www.home.wanadoo.nl/maschine