The Mix (Kraftwerk album)

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The Mix
The Mix.jpg
Studio album by
Released11 June 1991 (1991-06-11)
RecordedApril 1991
StudioKling Klang (Düsseldorf, Germany)
GenreElectronic
Length65:15
Label
Producer
Kraftwerk chronology
Electric Café
(1986)
The Mix
(1991)
Tour de France Soundtracks
(2003)
2009 Edition
2009 remastered edition cover
2009 remastered edition cover

The Mix is a studio album by German electronic music band Kraftwerk. It was released on 11 June 1991 through Kling Klang and EMI in Europe and through Elektra Records in North America. It featured entirely re-arranged and re-recorded versions of a selection of songs which had originally appeared on the albums Autobahn (1974) through Electric Café (1986). Some of the songs even came with new additional melodies and/or lyrics (The Robots and Radioactivity for example).

Beside its somewhat confusing title (inspired by the inflationary tendency in the early 90s to remix classic Kraftwerk songs), The Mix is not a remix album in the proper sense and the band itself never called it a remix album. They always listed it as their "Number 7" studio album since their turn to electro pop with Autobahn in 1974, as it can be seen in their "Catalogue" releases.

Ralf Hütter stated in interviews that he regarded The Mix as a type of "live" album, as it captured the results of the band's continual digital improvisations in their Kling Klang studio. The band had made a return to the stage in 1990, after a nine-year hiatus from touring, and since then the band's live setlist has used arrangements drawn from The Mix rather than the original recordings.

Background[edit]

Stated reasons from the group explaining the release include:[citation needed]

  1. The group didn't want to release a traditional "Greatest Hits" or "Best of" collection.
  2. At the time, the band were in the process of reconfiguring their Kling Klang studio from analog to digital recording technology; integrating MIDI into their setup and creating sound archives from their original master tapes that were stored onto computers. This proved to be an ongoing task, as new upgrades and equipment were continually made available in the years following the album project.
  3. Despite no new, original recorded material or live tours outside of Europe, Ralf Hütter did not want Kraftwerk to appear defunct to the public.

The album sleeve was somewhat obtuse in the information it offered. Production is credited to Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, and Fritz Hilpert, the latter of whom had replaced percussionist and stage set designer Wolfgang Flür after Flür left the group in 1987. Karl Bartos also left the band in 1991 and was replaced by Fernando Abrantes. Bartos claimed in later interviews that much of his programming work was still featured on The Mix, uncredited.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Almost Cool9/10[2]
Drowned in Sound5/10[3]
Robert Christgau(3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)[4]
Mojo3/5 stars[5]
Q4/5 stars[6]
Select5/5 stars[7]
Uncut4/5 stars[8]

The album met with a rather mixed reception on its release. Many were disappointed at the lack of new compositions and, moreover, the production values of the re-recorded tracks did not strike many listeners as particularly cutting edge, something which Kraftwerk had previously been renowned for. The Mix was created entirely digitally, albeit during a period when the technology had yet to reach its maturity, and thus featured a sound which many listeners tend to find somewhat "sterile" compared to the analogue electronics employed on most of Kraftwerk's previous recordings of these songs. Nevertheless, The Mix placed first in The Wire's year-end poll, the first time the magazine—previously known for its focus on jazz—opened up an all-genre category.[9]

Re-release[edit]

A newly remastered edition of the album was released by EMI Records, Mute Records, and Astralwerks Records on CD, digital download, and heavyweight vinyl in October–November 2009. Because of licensing restrictions imposed by Warner Music Group, this version has only been made available in the US and Canada as a part of The Catalogue box set.[10][11]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The Robots" ("Die Roboter")8:56
2."Computer Love" ("Computerliebe")
6:35
3."Pocket Calculator" ("Taschenrechner")
  • Hütter
  • Bartos
  • Schult
4:32
4."Dentaku" (Japanese: "Calculator")
  • Hütter
  • Bartos
  • Schult
3:27
5."Autobahn"
  • Hütter
  • Schneider
  • Schult
9:27
6."Radioactivity" ("Radioaktivität")
  • Hütter
  • Schneider
  • Schult
6:53
7."Trans-Europe Express" ("Trans Europa Express")
  • Hütter
  • Schneider
  • Schult
3:20
8."Abzug"
  • Hütter
2:18
9."Metal on Metal" ("Metall auf Metall")
  • Hütter
  • Bartos
4:58
10."Home Computer" ("Heimcomputer")
  • Hütter
  • Bartos
8:02
11."Music Non Stop" ("Musik Non-Stop")
  • Hütter
  • Schneider
  • Bartos
6:38
  • "Home Computer" also includes elements from "It's More Fun to Compute"
  • "Music Non Stop" also includes elements from "Boing Boom Tschak"

Personnel[edit]

The original 1991 release gives credit for "Music Data Mix" to Hütter, Schneider, Hilpert. The 2009 remaster release gives more detailed credits for Hütter and Schneider in addition. Fernando Abrantes is shown as fourth member in the booklet's centerfold.[12] Abrantes can also be seen in the video clip for the album's single release "The Robots"[13] and on press photos regarding the album release.[14]

[15]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[16] 12
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[17] 83
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[18] 7
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[19] 33
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[20] 20
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 27
UK Albums (OCC)[22] 15

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] Silver 60,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Images[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Henderson, Alex (2011). "The Mix – Kraftwerk". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 28 March 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Kraftwerk – The Mix". AlmostCool.org. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  3. ^ Power, Chris (2011). "Kraftwerk – The Mix: Remastered". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 28 March 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: Kraftwerk". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 9 July 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Snow, Mat (November 2009). "Gut Vibrations". Mojo. London: Bauer Media Group (192): 110. ISSN 1351-0193.
  6. ^ Q (5/95, p.123) – 4 Stars (Excellent): "... a revised history of the band, throbbingly danceable and one of the best party records of the past decade ..."
  7. ^ "New Old Albums". Select. Retrieved 24 January 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Cavanagh, David. "Uncut Reviews: Kraftwerk – Reissues". Uncut. Retrieved 22 October 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "The Critics' Choice 1991". The Wire. No. 94/95. London. January 1992. pp. 56–57 – via Exact Editions. (subscription required)
  10. ^ "Der Katalog (The Catalogue) remasters release info". Astralwerks Records. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "The Catalogue – Klangbox 002". Discogs. Retrieved 28 March 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ https://archive.today/20181203220416/https://i.warosu.org/data/lit/img/0112/69/1528167330464.png
  13. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9iDrSeFR8c
  14. ^ https://archive.today/20181203223543/https://archivedmusicpress.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/david-stubbs-interviews-kraftwerk-20th-july-1991.jpg
  15. ^ The Mix (Digital Remaster) (CD). Kraftwerk. Great Britain: Mute Records. 2009. CDSTUMM309.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  16. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks" (in German). Hung Medien.
  17. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  18. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  19. ^ "Album Top 40 slágerlista – 2020. 42. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ.
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks". Hung Medien.
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks". Hung Medien.
  22. ^ June 1991/7502/ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Kraftwerk – The Mix". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type The Mix in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]