Friday, September 07, 2018

Ohm Cookin'

Welcome to the weekend and the 2nd of two consecutive days of posts. Today we feature the 37th anniversary of one of my favorite bootlegs of all time, which I misposted a couple months back because of a date format error that made me think it was from July 9th and not Sept. 7th.
A friend and I were discussing these cats, and concluded that their music is as funky as white folks get. The Caucasian Funk Ceiling.
They emerged from Dusseldorf at the end of the 1960s, and by the mid 1970s had streamlined their already revolutionarily electronic leanings into something the world had never seen or heard before.
By the time of the 1981 tour we're featuring today, they had consolidated an influence over modern music that is almost unequaled for sheer sonic innovation, inspiring and permanently altering the creative conceptions of musicians from David Bowie to Afrika Bambaataa.
Pound for pound, they may have done more than any other single group of the last 50 years to shape the ongoing musical future.
Had they not happened, things would be very different, that's for sure. A lot less interesting, and a whole lot less danceable too.
The whole sound of Electro Funk and the whole trajectory of dance music since 1974 rest firmly in their vision and output.
And although there's no way they should be, they are one of the most astonishing bands to see in concert that have ever walked this Earth.
German for powerplant, they called themselves Kraftwerk and then proceeded, for decades, to live up to that industrious moniker.
Which brings us to today's thing, itself merely 75 minutes that makes the case for what archival music is really all about.
This cracking set of Robot Funk was captured at the advent of the tour in support of their Computer World record, and may have been taped for a Japanese radio broadcast that never happened.
Thankfully this segment of the show was gorgeously captured from the mixing desk and released in 1992, in unauthorized form, as the legendary boot CD Virtu ex Machina.
Surely one of the essential, Desert Island Discs of the bootleg world, we present it here in slightly remastered & optimized form, that it might transmit the fullest extent of its power.
Kraftwerk
Nakano Sun Plaza
Tokyo, Japan
9.7.1981

01 Beethoven's 9th Symphony, 4th Movement (Wendy Carlos intro)
02 Numbers 
03 Computerworld
04 Computer Love
05 Home Computer
06 Neon Lights
07 Autobahn 
08 Showroom Dummies 
09 Trans Europe Express
10 The Robots 
11 It's More Fun to Compute

Total time: 1:14:36

Florian Schneider - synthesizers, electronics & vocals
Ralf Hütter - vocals, vocoder, synthesizers, keyboards, electronics & percussion
Wolfgang Flür - synthesizers, keyboards, electronics & percussion
Karl Bartos - electronic percussion

EN remaster of the classic, original 1992 soundboard-sourced bootleg CD "Virtu Ex Machina"
444 MB FLAC here
This is one of those ultra-classic boots where it needs just a little sweetening to be as indispensable and sonically stimulating as the artists' studio catalog, which in this case is merely among the most influential in recorded human history.
For its 37th birthday I broke it out and applied only a very slight Graphic Dynamic boost in Sound Forge 11, plus a two decibel increase in the main gain to get it to be closer to the Redbook. 
 Anyway like I said this is one of the 20 greatest boots ever made and if you don't download my sweetening of it you're missing out, and need to take a ride on the Trans Europe Express immediately. Did I mention it's more fun to compute? Enjoy, Robots!--J.

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