DIE ROBO SAPIENS is the “ultimate 100% electro EBM project” by the members of trailblazing industrial metallists DIE KRUPPS.

Despite their electronic roots in Düsseldorf during the burgeoning Neue Deutsche Welle movement that emerged post-punk, DIE KRUPPS have become more metal than machine over the past decade or so. But their leader Jürgen Engler plus Kameraden Ralf Dörper and Marcel Zürcher were seeking a Sonderkraftfahrzeugfor for some of the more synthesizer-dominated material that had been written but couldn’t be used in today’s rockier template of DIE KRUPPS.

Mit Gitarren verboten, DIE ROBO SAPIENS is that Sd.Kfz. – “Imagine the Düsseldorf sound of KRAFTWERK mixed with hard DIE KRUPPS EBM” said Jürgen Engler, “This combination of styles has been spooking around my brain for a while, and it was time to put it into action”. The resultant album ‘Robo Sapien Race’ is conceived around the dehumanization and technological dependency of mankind… “without it you are nothing… so conform or revolt!”

Opening proceedings mit keine melodien, ‘Teufelskreis’ is a barrage of Teutonic bliss contained within a vicious circle of devilish hooks and infectious rhythms.

Not deviating too far out, ‘Transrapid Rapid’ really is the KRAFTWERK meets hard EBM template that the press releases promised. The thumping ‘Robotimierung’ probably has the most prominent percussive presence of all the tracks, although there are hints of YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA in a darker take on ‘Camouflage’, the very track that the German synthpop trio from Bietigheim-Bissingen named themselves after.

With a rumbling squelch, ‘Robo Normativ’ is fierce sci-fi disco but ‘Düsseldorf’ is a total surprise, a pretty crystalline instrumental in tribute to their home city. But the energy all ramps up again with the marvelous eponymous statement ‘Robo Sapien’, the English language track by DIE KRUPPS that seeded the concept and an example of the more machine than metal approach, like RAMMSTEIN being eaten by DAF.

The brilliant robopop of ‘Tanz Mit Dem Roboter’ does what it says on the tin while hard and fast with a stuttering offbeat as ‘Automatenland’ nods towards melodically to KRAFTWERK as vocoders and synthetics sweep through. However, ‘Niemals Stillstehen’ is even more frantic, speedy in many ways as a laser battle with a cyborg invasion, there really is no opportunity to stand still. Then embracing a tension reminiscent of DAF’s ‘Der Mussolini’, ‘Electro / Spannung’ has its darkness offset by pretty ‘Computerliebe’ keys.

For those who miss the earlier template of DIE KRUPPS or wished KRAFTWERK had been more aggressive, ‘Robo Sapien Race’ is that perfect body musik solution; powerful yet accessible, Germanic yet melodic, hard yet upbeat! The message is “Volle EBM Kraft Voraus!”

‘Robo Sapien Race’ is released as a CD, limited deluxe double CD with remixes, vinyl LP with turntable slipmat and download by Alfa Matrix on 28th October 2022, available from https://store.alfa-matrix-store.com/product/die-robo-sapiens-robo-sapien-race-2cd/





Text by Chi Ming Lai
26th October 2022