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Ralf und Florian

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Template:Album infobox

Ralf und Florian is a 1973 album by Kraftwerk. It has been suppressed by the band, along with their first two albums, and to date never re-issued on CD. However, it remains an influential and sought-after work, and bootleg CD discs were widely distributed in the 1990s on the 'Germanofon' label.

Track listing

  1. (04:20) "Elektrisches Roulette" - ("Electric Roulette")
  2. (02:50) "Tongebirge" - ("A Mountain Range of Tones")
  3. (06:20) "Kristallo" - ("Crystals")
  4. (03:45) "Heimatklänge" - ("Sounds of the Homeland")
  5. (06:35) "Tanzmusik" - ("Dance Music")
  6. (13:55) "Ananas Symphonie" - ("Pineapple Symphony")

As indicated by the title (and like their previous album), all the tracks were written and performed by Hütter & Schneider themselves, with the sessions produced by the influential Conny Plank.

It is interesting to trace the development of the Kraftwerk sound in these recordings. The album is still almost entirely instrumental (some wordless yodelling appears in "Tanzmusik", and more interestingly, "Ananas Symphonie" features the bands first use of the vocoder, which would later become a trademark of theirs). Instrumentation begins to show more obvious use of synthesizers (Minimoog and EMS AKS), however most melodic and harmonic keyboard parts are performed on Farfisa electronic piano/organ. Flute and guitar are still much in evidence. The band were still without a drummer, and several tracks make use of a preset organ beatbox (particularly "Tanzmusik"). "Kristallo" in particular features a striking rhythmic electronic bassline, however in general the album is much gentler and less rhythmically precise than Kraftwerk's classic electronic work.

The LP included a "musicomic" insert of cartoons by painter Emil Schult, who had been playing electric violin live with the band. (However, he does not feature on the album recordings.) Schult remains a collaborator of Kraftwerk's to the present day. There were cartoons illustrating each track on the album, and another of Düsseldorf with the caption "Im Düsseldorf am Rhein, klingt es bald!", which translates literally in English as "In Düsseldorf on the Rhine, it sounds quickly" (perhaps the phrase "the sound gets around" captures the snappy feel of the maxim better).

The album saw a modest success in Germany, with drummer Wolfgang Flür being recruited to play with Ralf and Florian for a subsequent promotional TV appearance in Berlin.

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