People have been so enthralled with Kraftwerk's rhythmic innovations that they overlook the band's fantastic tunesmithery -- you could play its songs on pennywhistles, castanets, and washboards and they'll still move you like nobody's business. So while the 'Werk's first three albums established new heights for psych/prog rock and Autobahn birthed electronic pop, the band is best known for conceiving the blueprints for both techno (Trans-Europe Express) and electro (Computer World). If ever there were musicians who deserved to rest on their laurels, it's the German synth pioneers.

But Kraftwerk came back in 2003 with the respectable Tour de France Soundtracks and a subsequent tour that covered thirty years of stellar productivity. That they looked like fiftysomething bankers checking your account onstage only added to the reality that these legends could render their storied output without embarrassment. Minimum-Maximum chronicles highlights from their recent world jaunt and serves as a tribute to the band's durable melodic majesty, efficient beatmaking prowess, and frugal funkiness.

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