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Kraftwerk-aktivitšt in the '90s


In February, the third annual unofficial Kraftwerk Convention is held in Blackpool, England, the last one held to date.

March sees an announcement in the music press that Kraftwerk will play at an event called 'Experience' to be held on 25th April at Lydd Airport, Kent, England. Reports mention that Ralf Hütter himself had visited the site. The 'Experience' event is later cancelled due to local residents objections.

CD's of 'Kraftwerk', 'Kraftwerk 2', and 'Ralf and Florian' appear, all LP's having long been deleted and thus unavailable.

The initial batch of the releases, on the Germanofon label, cause some confusion as they are stocked in large numbers by mainstream record chains in the UK under the impression that they are official product, which seems unlikely since the CD's are audibly mastered from vinyl LP copies! Quite why Kraftwerk have never issued these early albums on CD format remains a mystery, but these lesser quality CD's appeal to those fans without access to the original vinyl copies, which command a high price on the record collecting scene.

A second series is also available, with no label credit, distinguishable by the fact that the CDs each carry an extra 'bonus' track, but these ones appear to be of lesser sound quality, with clicks and static from the original vinyl LPs evident.

In addition, the pre-Kraftwerk band Organisation's 'Tone Float' album is also made available as part of this second series of CDs and is, still to this day, to be found stocked in mainstream record stores.

Despite the ever present rumours to suggest otherwise, there remains still no sign of new Kraftwerk releases. In November, an LP-length CD release of 'Tour De France' is listed on a new release schedule for the EMI-Electrola label in Germany. The release date came and went however and there was no sign of any such release.

So, further re-issues of past material continues; the US 'The Model' compilation CD is re-issued in a new sleeve design while the Cleopatra label go even further in their ongoing re-hash of Kraftwerk material with their CD release 'The Capitol Years' box-set, which contains the 'Radio-Activity', 'Trans-Europe Express' and 'The Man Machine' CDs. A further Kraftwerk compilation CD from Japan was also listed for release in May but by the years end had not appeared.

The Japanese language edition of Pascal Bussy's 'Man, Machine and Music' book is issued, in very different cover design.

In early May Elektric Music play their 'Virtual Summer' tour of Scandinavian countries, playing many new and unreleased songs intended for their second LP. On this tour they are supplemented by additional member Ralf Beck and also accompanied by long-time Kraftwerk collaborator Emil Schult on visual accompaniment. By September, Elektric Music perform on a German day-time TV show 'Mittwoch Live', performing two new songs ('State of the Art' and 'Solar Constitution') in addition to 'TV'. Surprisingly, Karl Bartos is not present in the line-up. The second Elektric Music LP that the band had been working on throughout 1994 fails to materialise by the years end. In June, Karl Bartos was also to be seen taking part in an electronic percussion workshop in Neuss, Germany.

In 1993, an interview in 'Select' magazine had intimated that Elektric Music would provide music for a film called 'Cyberstorm', but this did not materialise. Neither did the Japanese CD release (with extra track) of the 'Esperanto' album, despite being listed for release on the Alfa label.

The 'Trans Slovenia Express' album on Mute records featuring unique covers of Kraftwerk material finally sees the light of day with its release.

> 1995

  Updated: 16 : 5 : 2010