Kraftwerk are adding a plethora of previously-unavailable materials to streaming services. On July 3rd, five original German-language versions of classic albums, as well as the audio/video documentary 3-D The Catalogue, will be released on TIDAL and Amazon HD.
The records in question are such beloved LPs as Trans Europa Express, Die Mensch-Maschine, Computerwelt, and Techno Pop, as well as the remix album The Mix. Until now, these German-language efforts were only accessible in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. One does hear from time to time that the original studio versions in Kraftwerk’s native tongue are ever-so-slightly superior. Some fans talk about improved flow to the melodies, with extra crackle from those throat-clearing consonants. For the first time, the rest of the world will be able to judge for ourselves.
The releases are being kept off of lower-fidelity streamers (sorry Spotify users) but expect Kraftwerk and Parlophone to take advantage of TIDAL and Amazon HD’s more advanced audio capabilities. In addition to the five albums listed above, three other records — Autobahn, Radio-Activity/Radio-Activität, and Tour De France — are also getting a high-fidelity digital release, though otherwise they’ll be identical to previous versions.
As for 3-D The Catalogue, the documentary film is presented in Dolby Atmos / HD surround sound, while the audio version will be streamed in the same stereo version as the 2017 release. Notably, both editions will also be available in German for the first time, under the original title 3-D Der Katalog. As with the original studio recordings, the audio/video documentaries will drop on July 3rd.
Earlier this year, Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider died at the age of 73. The surviving members had planned to embark on a 50th anniversary tour this years, but those plans were sidelined due to the coronavirus.