Ralf & Florian
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Kraftwerk's third album Ralf und Florian was released in November 1973 and its title is almost synonymous with a nickname for the duo. The front cover was taken by Florian's then-girlfriend Barbara Niemöller. The LP is a continuation of the ideas on the first two LPs, but the music has a much cleaner sound dominated by electric piano and soft electronic percussion. The first track 'Elektrisches Roulette' (Electric Roulette) is a rhythmically repetitive piece and I think that you can trace the later Kraftwerk sound in this song. The track features electronics, violin, electric piano and drums. It is very much a pop song and maybe the best track on the album.
Next comes 'Tongebirge' (A Mountain Range Of Tones) and it has closer resemblance to earlier LPs. It has Florian's typical flute arpeggios treated to a heavy dose of echo. 'Kristallo' is also the name of a hotel close to the studio and the song featured clear repetitive keyboard arpeggios showing Ralf further developing the automation feel to his playing. The track ends like a catalog of various recording tricks including backward tapes. 'Heimatklange' (The Sounds Of Homeland) which closes side two demonstrates the duo's increasing grasp of dynamics. Side Two opens with 'Tanzmusik' (Dance Music) a strange song with very simple wooden and metallic noises. The rhythm box is naturally present and actual hand claps appear towards the end of the song. The final track 'Ananas Symphonie' features some slide guitar but most important is the emergence of a primitive vocoder through which the words 'Ananas Symphonie' are discernable
Cat. number: GERMAN 941023