Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Organisation (Kraftwerk) - Tone Float (1969)
Organisation was the name of Kraftwerk before they were Kraftwerk. My oh my how things change. Here you will find no catchy tunes or lyrics about pocket calculators, no dance anthems about robots or mannequins, indeed not even a single synthesizer!
In contrast to their later all consuming fascination with the future, Tone Float is a downright primordial record. This is bona fide, old school Krautrock; raw, visceral and mostly improvised. The title track is a side long psychedelic trip centered around bells, drums and organ. It starts off very quietly and builds wonderfully into a shrieking Hammond-drenched nightmare. It is a remarkably well composed example of the twenty minute jam, all too common on these early seventies releases,with very focused playing by all involved.
The second half is a bit less organized, consisting of a series of shorter works, still probably improvisations. There's a weird, almost dance-like flute number called Milk Rock and some rather sloppy percussion experiments. We conclude with a nearly eight minute groove that is similar to the first side in its instrumentation and structure, although with strange, jittery amplified violin dominating.
Overall, this record has far more in common with early Amon Düül and Ash Ra Tempel than with the sound Kraftwerk would make famous later in the decade. Nevertheless, it's a charmingly idiosyncratic example of the genre and worth checking out.