Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider-Esleben, Fritz Hilpert, Henning Schmitz
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Includes: 2 DVDs. This is the first ever official document of Kraftwerk's legendary live show. Features two hours of visually stunning live performances from the band's 2004 world tour, filmed and recorded with Kraftwerk... more »
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Somewhere between minimum and maximum...
svf | 12/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At long last... the reclusive mensch-machines from Dusseldorf have assembled an official "MusikFilm produkt"... Like the 2-CD collection of the same name, Minimum-Maximum was recorded live during Kraftwerk's 2004 world tour. The DVD has the same track listing as the CDs, in fact (with one "bonus track" on the DVD)... and yes, even the exact same cover art... just as you might expect from the "inventors of techno" who have embraced, emulated and literally embodied high technology, mass production, and robotic coolness for over 30 years.
I was fortunate enough to see Kraftwerk's live "produkt" in Chicago earlier this year, and the Minimum-Maximum DVD is indeed an accurate document of the concert experience -- only without the sticky floors, brain-melting volume, sweaty audience, and overpriced beer.
Of course this is a technical improvement over the bootleg DVD I've seen of a 2004 London Kraftwerk show (although the shaky digital camerawork added a somewhat welcome human element...) The graphics and menus are sleek, simple, and streamlined. There are Stereo and DTS 5.1 Surround sound options, and as you would expect, both mixes are clean, clear, and precise (with crowd sounds and applause present when appropriate... just like on the Minimum-Maximum CDs.)
Could a live performance by an electronic band possibly be that interesting to watch? Well, Kraftwerk's unique (and strangely irresistible) stage presence has to be seen to be believed: the band (four middle-aged, clean cut German guys identically dressed in a variety of subdued yet strange outfits) stand behind laptops and synthesizers doing whatever they do back there (maybe playing Solitaire or balancing their checkbooks? we never do get so see those laptop computer screens on the DVD...) and the one on the left (Ralf) adds minimal vocals now and then. You know it's 90% pre-recorded/pre-programmed music, but watching these four guys up there tapping their feet and bobbing around is somehow quite adorable and engaging. The big "theatrical" moment comes when the band members are replaced by creepy/kitschy robot versions of themselves performing the song... yes, you guessed it: The Robots. If you expect stage diving and guitar burning, though, you've definitely come to the wrong place.
Visually, the DVD is mostly a standard "concert video," with frequent wide shots of the stage area and the all-important visuals projected behind the band... essentially you'll see the show as if you had been there... sitting in the best seats in the house. Maybe this is as it should be -- just don't expect an electronica Woodstock or a techno Gimme Shelter... (wouldn't that be great, though?)
There are some occasional close-ups and attempts at "production touches" that are a bit awkward, such as showing the band members' hands and heads on the buttons of the "Pocket Calculator" (resulting in sort of a Brady Bunch/Hollywood Squares effect.) There's also a rather amateurish digitally pixellated pseudo-psychadelic freak out during Home Computer (do not adjust your DVD player...) Now and then there are split-screens and cross-fades, and when the background videos are in black and white, the band is also (not sure if that's supposed to be "artistic" or some kind of mistake...) And I noticed only one crowd shot during the entire two hour concert. Overall, in contrast to the highly stylized, synchronized, and very professional projected films used by the band, the production, direction, and editing of the concert itself has a surprisingly (and slightly embarrassing, especially for Kraftwerk) low budget digital video look to it (the credits list a three man camera crew, which is very obvious...) It's almost like they got a few of those bootleg camera guys and gave them a couple thousand bucks to improve upon their earlier efforts.
I would nevertheless recommed this release as an entirely functional live concert DVD of a legendary band... but I do have a few more gripes: Most importantly, why isn't there more bonus material? Yes, it's fun and weird to see Krafterk performing at the MTV video awards... but surely there are plenty of rare video goodies in the KlingKlang vaults that could have been included (like we got on Led Zeppelin's amazing double DVD.) And why not release the CDs and DVDs at the same time (or packaged together) rather than hitting the fans with the ol' "double dip" a few months after we've already bought the CDs (and possibly a concert ticket too)? It also doesn't indicate anywhere on the packaging or credits where any of this was actually filmed... it looks like it's all the same venue, but who knows (I guess who cares when the show is pretty much the same everywhere... but this info is to be expected on a live concert release -- and besides, the Minimum-Maximum CDs list the city and venue for each track!) ... sigh... well, let's wrap this up...!
Are you new to Kraftwerk? You need this: it's a good way to immerse yourself in the band... The less memorable new material (Expo 2000, Vitamin, an overlong Tour de France sequence) is much more enjoyable with the visuals, plus you get all the classic Kraftwerk hits (albeit in their digitized The Mix versions) and all the fabulous retro-futuristic imagery from the band's past and present all in one shiny package.
Are you a longtime Kraftwerk fan? You need this too (actually you probably already have it): True, you'll feel shortchanged by the lack of bonus material and surprised that the video produciton quality isn't at the same meticulously professional level you have come to expect from Kraftwerk. Regardless, you're grateful there's finally an official KlingKlang DVD, and if you've never seen the band live, this is the next best thing.
A final note for avid collectors, obsessed fans, and/or the independently wealthy: There's a deluxe limited edition "Notebook" Minimum-Maximum box set packaged as a fake laptop computer... it includes the DVDs and CDs plus an 88 page book of tour photos and technical data... (technical data...? would anyone really pay extra for that...? and who needs photos when you have the DVDs...? I think I'll pass, guys.... maybe next time...)
Bring Kraftwerk to your homes
Aulis Vierhovssen | Dallas, Texas United States | 11/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first official video release of Kraftwerk ever. Keeping up with their image of high profile / low productivity band, they sometimes forget about essential things for a modern music band. Something like releasing a DVD with videos. At last, enthusiasts of electronic music and Kraftwerk in particular have a chance to see this one of the most important electro bands playing live. Despite the fact that it's not a music video compilation, Kraftwerk look great live on stage, and anyone who saw them live will agree. There's a slim chance that they will release a music video compilation ever (they are 'up to date' on stage, yet old videos have Karl Bartos and Wolfgang Flur, what Ralf will never approve), so if you consider to purchase this release, don't think twice. In the last 31 years Kraftwerk didn't release anything disappointing, Minimum Maximum DVD set is no exception."
Incredible multimedia/home theater experience
insoc | Miami, Florida United States | 04/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are reading this, probably you are a Kraftwerk music fan. So, if you are I urgue you to buy this DVD now as you will experience a whole new multimedia experience from the songs you know and love. For the first time you will feel how all the songs you love so much from Kraftwerk come alive. Even tough this is a concert, it is much more than that. It is a video and audio experience, the videos and images melt perfectly with the music. Kraftwerk has done such a big effort and work with the images and videos that set a whole difference between the trend of just backing songs in concerts with random images (like most bands do) with actually making a new creature, one wich requires both music and video to come alive. The audio/video is such perfectly melted and combined that as I said before, this are not songs nor images/videos, this are multimedia units. If you love high end audio from your home theater this is also a great choice. There are a lot, a lot a lot of surronding effects and back and forth effects you will want to hear/see the song again and again. We couldn?t expect less from Krafwerk."
Wow! A great DVD for a long time Kraftwerk fan!
Homeschool Mom | Ohio | 03/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a fan of Kraftwerk since I was in high school in the early 80's. I was still listening to them in college in the late 80's. People used to think I was weird, but I would crank my "Computer World" in the dorms anyway. I was so excited to see that many of my favorite songs were now available on DVD. I just purchased this DVD and I really love it. The sound quality is great, the video quality is outstanding, and the songs are awesome! If you are looking for a lot of action by the guys on stage, you will be disappointed. This is not like a Devo concert! You basically see them standing in front of keyboards, while there are different videos playing in the background. It is well worth the money for the Kraftwerk fan!"