The Mix is a 1991 remix album by Kraftwerk. It featured re-recorded versions of a selection of songs which had originally appeared on the albums Autobahnthrough Electric Café. Hütter stated in interviews that he regarded The Mix as a type of live album, as it captured the results of the band's continual digital improvisations in their Kling Klang studio. The band had made a return to the stage in 1990, after a nine-year hiatus from touring. Most of the songs featured on their set list from this point to the present time have been heavily rearranged in a similar fashion to what appears on the album.
Stated reasons from the group explaining the release include:
- The group didn't want to release a traditional "Greatest Hits" or "Best of" collection.
- At the time, the band were in the process of reconfiguring their Kling Klang studio from analog to digital recording technology; integrating MIDI into their setup and creating sound archives from their original master tapes that were stored onto computers. This proved to be an ongoing task, as new upgrades and equipment were continually made available in the years following the album project.
- Despite no new, original recorded material or live tours outside of Europe, Ralf Hütter didn't want Kraftwerk to appear defunct to the public.
The album met with a rather mixed reception on its release. Many were disappointed at the lack of new compositions and, moreover, the production values of the re-recorded tracks did not strike many listeners as particularly cutting edge, something which Kraftwerk had previously been renowned for. The Mix was created entirely digitally, albeit during a period when the technology had yet to reach its maturity, and thus featured a sound which many listeners tend to find somewhat "sterile" compared to the analogue electronics employed on most of Kraftwerk's previous recordings of these songs.
The album sleeve was somewhat obtuse in the information it offered. Production is credited to Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider and Fritz Hilpert, the latter of whom had replaced percussionist and stage set designer Wolfgang Flür after Flür left the group in 1987. Karl Bartos also left the band in 1991 and was replaced by Fernando Abrantes. Bartos claimed in later interviews that much of his programming work was still featured on The Mix, uncredited.
A newly remastered edition of the album was released by EMI Records, Mute Records and Astralwerks Records on CD, digital download and heavyweight vinyl in October/November 2009. Because of licensing restrictions imposed by Warner Music Group, this version has only been made available in the US and Canada as a part of The Catalogue box set.
- "The Robots" (Hütter, Schneider & Bartos) – 8:56
- "Computerlove" (Hütter, Bartos & Schult) – 6:35
- "Pocket Calculator" (Hütter, Bartos & Schult) – 4:32
- "Dentaku" (Hütter, Bartos & Schult) – 3:27
- "Autobahn" (Hütter, Schneider & Schult) – 9:27
- "Radioactivity" (Hütter, Schneider & Schult) – 6:53
- "Trans-Europe Express" (Hütter & Schult) – 3:20
- "Abzug" (Hütter) – 2:18
- "Metal on Metal" (Hütter) – 4:58
- "Home Computer" (Hütter & Bartos) – 8:02
- "Music Non Stop" (Hütter, Schneider & Bartos) – 6:38
- "Home Computer" also includes elements from "It's More Fun to Compute"
- "Musique Non Stop" also includes elements from "Boing Boom Tschak"
- "Die Roboter" – 8:56
- "Computerliebe" – 6:35
- "Taschenrechner" – 4:32
- "Dentaku" – 3:27
- "Autobahn" – 9:27
- "Radioaktivität" – 6:53
- "Trans Europa Express" – 3:20
- "Abzug" – 2:18
- "Metall auf Metall" – 4:58
- "Heimcomputer" – 8:02
- "Musik Non-Stop" – 6:38
The original 1991 release gives credit for "Music Data Mix" to Hütter, Schneider, Hilpert. The 2009 remaster release gives more detailed credits for Hütter and Schneider in addition. Fernando Abrantes is shown as fourth member in one the booklet photographs while being actually recruited for touring.
- Ralf Hütter – album concept, music data mix, voice, vocoder, synclavier.
- Florian Schneider – album concept, music data mix, vocoder, speech synthesis
- Fritz Hilpert – music data mix (electronic percussion)