The Cologne-based trio's second album attempts to transcribe the kinetic, robotic release of Kraftwerk into an organic setting. Using a mixture of live studio recordings with a moderate amount of digital manipulation thrown in, the group blows steam and chugs through fluid, jerky instrumentals that hit on all the right reference points, from Miles Davis to Can. It's a great sound that never completely soars, but does manage to maintain its inventiveness over the course of the record. The title track, "Import/Export," provides the one expansive moment that allows the group to find the right balance between analog and digital and venture outwards from there. The opening track, "Al Green" (as you might guess), has very little to do with the much beloved Southern soul singer and instead invokes almost an antithetic response, with a hiccupping rhythm and a pulsating drum attack. Another strong track is "Aachen-Brussel," with its clipped guitar intro and organ whirr that manages to invoke images of a more lunar version of Booker T & the MG's. The most interesting thing about these songs are the guitar patterns that come in to drop decorative, slightly askew lines into the whole equation -- making for great segments and showing how the war of man versus machine need not always be won, it can work just as well as a compromise.
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AllMusic Review by Jon Pruett