Wolfgang Flür – Magazine 1: Album Review

Electronic Pioneer Wolfgang Flür delivers a new opus with an array of special guests from the world of music.

As a part of the classic Kraftwerk line up, Wolfgang Flür already has his legacy cemented in the history of music. As a member of the German pioneers from 1974 – 1987 he was a part of a group that delivered some of the most influential albums of all time.

Now, Flür releases an all-new electronic album entitled Magazine 1. The LP has been crafted by Wolfgang Flür alongside some of the most famous names of synth-pop and electronic dance, past and present. It features Midge Ure, Peter Hook and Claudia Brücken, alongside the legendary Techno DJ’s Juan Atkins and Carl Cox and Electro-Pop titans U96. There are also appearances by celebrated alternative electronic artists and composers Ramón Amezcua (AKA Bostich), MAPS and Anushka. The array of artists adds blend together superbly to bring together the past and the present in a brilliantly produced modern record.

Magazine 1 announces itself with a downtempo beat and acid style electronics. Lyrically, words are spouted with plenty of electronic manipulation making for a solid opener. The pulse of the opener as it builds is hypnotic and not for the first time gets into your brain. Zukunftsmusik follows and hits harder. Translated as ‘music of the future,’ it is one of the most archetypal sounding Kraftwerk pieces on Magazine 1. You can’t help but smile as the song moves forth.

Best Buy hits at modern retail and advertisement and how we are inundated with ‘offers.’ Plenty of slogans are thrown at the listener – reminiscent of the sloganeering seen in Carpenter’s They Live; only in aural form. Das Beat slows things down a little and features Midge Ure. The two pioneers create something that is suitably 80’s sounding.

Claudia Brücken and Peter Hook feature on Birmingham, one of the albums true highlights. Brücken’s vocal adds a welcome diversity to the spoken output. The throb of the track, unsurprisingly, gives off New Order vibes with synth melodies and Peter Hook’s iconic bass sound playing an understated but vital role.

Brighton based duo Anushka assist on Night Drive, which evokes those twinkling lights of the night and the sinister things you might see in the darkness of the night. After the somewhat dissonant Night Drive, Electric Sheep, featuring Carl Cox, is much cleaner in its delivery and reverts to earlier motifs of electronic manipulation of voices to assist with vocals and transient statements.

Billionaire (Symphony Of Might) features Juan Atkins and takes the album in a more techno direction. Flür recites his messages of wealth atop reverberating synths and bubbling punchy keys. Say No! closes out the album with a solid message of having a strong spirit. The beat brings things full circle back to the tempo of the first track. Ably assisted by MAPS, Flür shows that he still has plenty to give musically and philosophically.

Overall, Magazine 1 is an excellent record that will satisfy fans of the genre. It manages to use the past to help create a forward looking record with a great array of artists that all add their own flourishes to the album.

Listen to Best Buy from Wolfgang Flür, featuring U96, below.

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