March 2006

Kraftwerk - Minimum-Maximum
Astralwerks ASW 36292 / 0946 3 36292 9 5
Format: DVD
Released: 2005

by Eric Hetherington

Musical Performance ****1/2
Recording Quality ****1/2
Image Quality ****1/2
Overall Enjoyment ****1/2

These two discs feature the seminal electronic band from its 2004 concert tour. All of the most memorable tracks are present, including "Autobahn," "The Model," and "Trans Europe Express." Kraftwerk's music was inventive in the '70s, and the band's performance here is equally so. Each member stands behind a laptop computer and small synthesizer from which he performs. Video segments play behind the band to complement each song. The sole bonus feature is a performance from an MTV appearance. I am usually ambivalent about bonus features on music DVDs, but I would have liked to see a documentary about the technology that Kraftwerk uses in its performances.

There are two soundtrack options: DTS 5.1 and PCM stereo. Both are models of clarity, but the DTS version is truly excellent, helping to make this release one of the most entertaining music DVDs I have seen. The video is also well done and looks crisp, with good colors, but some old stock footage is used in the video segments.

Fantastic music, engaging visuals, and high-quality sound is a hard combination to beat. If you can't get enough of Kraftwerk on these two discs (I couldn't), there is a two-CD set with the same title, and it offers even more music from Kraftwerk's recent tour.