Nov 5, 2009

Vive la crackle: Kraftwerk drop a klanger with Der Katalog

So then, Kraftwerk's classic bleepiness has been digitally remastered in the form of The Catalogue, an eight-album box set.

Ralf Hütter has been digitally storing the Krafty ones' crumbling old master tapes for some time, so it was inevitable that some kind of redux release would end up on our shelves.

Now, don't get me wrong. Sometimes, remastered things make sense. The extra shiny bits in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind are quite nice. I much prefer the 1,400 page version of Stephen King's The Stand, if only for the trailblazing anti-hero Trashcan Man.

But what's wrong with analogue fuzziness? You wouldn't attempt an 8 bit version of Eno's Music For Airports and you wouldn't scrap your Minimoog because it oscillates too much.

I'm being too old fashioned and grumpy, and anyhoo a major music magazine has already beaten me to it with this withering review:

"Sadly, the remaster is a fiasco. The soft tones of Computer Love become sharp, the wide spaces of Home Computer contract into tunnels, and Pocket Calculator bears down on us like a spiked ceiling in a horror film.
"Equally poor is the remastered Radio-activity, where atmospheric crackles and hisses have been removed by noise reduction software. For pity’s sake, they’re part of the music!"


steve said...

Yikes! I was looking forward to this too. Sounds almost as bad as the New Order remaster fiasco.

I grabbed a copy of Mojo magazine the other day, since they had a big Kraftwerk feature (and a great free cd). I guess the first three albums will be remastered as well, which will be nice, since they're so hard to find, at least at a reasonable price. I just hope they don't ruin those too. Maybe I'll just stick to my vinyl copy of Ralf and Florian on second thought.

Fat Roland said...

Hey, don't take my word for it! Check it out anyway. You're very brave buying Mojo magazine - it almost exclusively deals with music about which I have absolutely no idea and it scares me that if there ever was something in there I liked, it means I'm officially getting old. Good job I didn't spot the Kraftwerk edition!

steve said...

Haha, yeah, normally I don't pay much attention as well to Mojo. I'd say they're very brave too, for featuring a band that seems to be far from the Mojo music set. I just wish they'd sell the Wire out this way again - it was the only music magazine worth reading anymore. Sigh.

Fat Roland said...

I think I like the idea of The Wire more than I like reading it. If you know what I mean.