Kraftwerk - Aerodynamik

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A1: Aerodynamik (Kling Klang Dynamix) 7.01
A2: Aerodynamik (Alex Gopher / Etienne De Crecy Dynamik Mix) 7.42
B: Aerodynamik (Francois K Aero Mix) 7.52

‘Tour De France Soundtracks’, Kraftwerk’s comeback album after a self-imposed twenty year silence (bar the 1991 digitally reworked hits collection ‘The Mix’ and 1999’s ‘Expo 2000’ single) received a warm critical reception upon its release last year, even if in the meantime between records, the rest of the world had caught up sonically and technologically. While much of the electronic music technology that Kraftwerk helped pioneer is now ubiquitous, ‘Tour De France’ showed that Kraftwerk could still stand out distinctively in the midst of a veritable ocean of their musical progeny, at least temporarily silencing critics who suggested Hutter and Schneider were running scared, despite stories leaking out from the Kling Klang studio compound about an 8-hour day recording regimen.

‘Aerodynamik’ is the second 12” to be lifted from ‘Tour De France Soundtracks’, and in its original form stands out as one of the more obviously house-tinged and dance-oriented tracks on the album. On the A-side of this 12” release, Kraftwerk themselves rework and extend ‘Aerodynamik’ into the ‘Kling Klang Dynamix’ – adding a shimmering extended intro and stretching original track’s elements atmospherically out in the mix, rather than adding too many extra bits of production. What’s curious is that (as in the original version) the vocoded robotic spoken vocals appear to say a heavily accented ‘Au-di-o-dynamik’ rather than the title’s suggested ‘Aerodynamik.’

Also on the A-side, French producers Etienne ‘Super Discount’ De Crecy and Alex Gopher virtually completely dis-assemble the original track and transform it into groovy electro-infused house, with a squelching acid bassline that calls to mind some of Motorbass or Hardfloor’s most thrilling moments, through which fragments of vocoded robotic vocals flit. There’s some absolutely massive builds and a slight underlying rave / hardcore influence in the way that the acid bassline rides the groove over clicking percussion, in an absolutely storming rework that’s well worth checking out.

On the flip, longtime Kraftwerk associate Francois K (heck, he was around to remix the original 12” version of Tour De France released way back in 1983, not to mention contributing to the studio sessions that became 1991’s ‘The Mix’ and remixing 1999’s ‘Expo 2000’) reworks ‘Aerodynamik’, paring down the original’s atmospheric airiness into a more robotic tech-house rhythm, punctuated with swooshes and cyborg rattles. It’s beautiful deep atmospheric stuff, perhaps best dropped during the peak of a particularly electro-tinged and techy set.

Another strong single lifted from Kraftwerk’s solid comeback album ‘Tour De France Soundtracks’, with a quality selection of remixes from diverse ends of the electronic spectrum. Well worth hunting down.

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