The road electronically taken: looking back

Griffon Tabor, Staff Writer

In the 1970s, breakthroughs had been made through the genre of electronic music. One such breakthrough is the 1975 album “Autobahn” by the German group Kraftwerk. Autobahn is a fantastic blend of electronic synthesizers and sounds to create an audible vision like no other.

The 22-minute title track creates a highway (autobahn is German for highway) that paves through with electronically-created sounds of cars zooming by, horns honking, the chaos of the busy roads, and a final sense of relief narrowing down to the end of a country road.

The next four tracks all come together to create a vision of day to night. The piece starts with a “comet melody”, creating the day filled with the early hours of the morning, the brightness of the sun and the settling of the evening.

Halfway through, the piece focuses on the hour of midnight, which gives it an eerie tone with sounds of its quiet atmosphere, all through the synthesizer. The final piece consists of the morning, walking outside to hear birds, flutes, and fountains.

“Autobahn” was a huge success in the United States during its release, and it still holds up after over 40 years. This album is a masterpiece from beginning to end, and I consider it to be one of my favorite albums of all time.

I highly recommend “Autobahn” for anyone who enjoys electronic music, 1970s music in general, and, of course, for anyone who is looking for new driving music.

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