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Kraftwerk set to release new album

A heartfelt sight of relief and a collective "Ja" echoed across Europe’s middle-aged cerebral boffins at the news that Kraftwerk are about to release a new album.

The electropop pioneers are frankly a disgrace to Germany’s reputation for reliable productivity, having released nothing since 2003’s Tour De France. Although, to be fair, their work-rate is still impressive, at least according to frontman Ralf Hütter. "We didn't fall asleep," he told the New York Times. "The 168-hour week is still going on since the beginning, since 1970."

They have recently completed a residency at New York’s Museum of Modern Art that was part performance, part installation, with the group reinterpreting their old music, to the extent that the material was not always recognisable. "We are operating, we are upgrading, we are updating continuously," Hütter said. "There's continuous reprogramming going on, and composition and new concepts are also coming."

In 2009, Kraftwerk promised an album in 2010. That never transpired, but it now seems likely that their 11th album in a career that has spanned 42 years may emerge in 2012. It will be their first without Florian Schneider, who left in 2009.

Kraftwerk’s music used to be the sound of the future. In the digital age, they remain unique, and whenever their new material emerges it is unlikely to sound like anything else around, even if Hütter does admit to listening to contemporary pop and dance. "We learn from noise, and we learn from going to clubs," he said. "Music is never finished. It starts again tomorrow."

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