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Cluster & Eno
Cluster & Eno
Cluster & Eno
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Country, Alternative Rock, New Age, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

Originally recorded and released in 1977, this pioneer ambient music album brought together several legends of progressive electronic music: Brian Eno, solo artist and collaborator with David Bowie, Robert Fripp, and Roxy ...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Cluster & Eno
Title: Cluster & Eno
Members Wishing: 10
Total Copies: 0
Label: Water
Original Release Date: 1/1/2005
Re-Release Date: 3/16/2006
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Country, Alternative Rock, New Age, Pop, Rock
Styles: Ambient, Electronica, Dance Pop, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 646315715620

Synopsis

Album Description
Originally recorded and released in 1977, this pioneer ambient music album brought together several legends of progressive electronic music: Brian Eno, solo artist and collaborator with David Bowie, Robert Fripp, and Roxy Music; Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, both of whom had made dozens of ground-breaking recordings throughout the '70s, and Michael Rother, of the hugely influential Krautrock band Neu!. This album was the first of several celebrated collaborations between these artists, whose influence looms over many current artists such as Moby, Radiohead, Aphex Twin, Massive Attack, and Tortoise.

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CD Reviews

Beauty and melancholy.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 08/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Recorded during a time period of immense productivity and powerful music from Brian Eno ("Before and After Science", David Bowie's Berlin Trilogy), "Cluster & Eno" is a collaboration with German duo Cluster (Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius) and ambient pioneer Brian Eno. Eno, whose early ambient experiments yielded such high results ("Discreet Music", "No Pussyfooting") finds in Cluster collaborators capable of pushing forward his ideas of looping and ambient music. Perhaps more importantly, as his work with Bowie set the stage for producer/collaborator roles with Talking Heads and U2, his work with Cluster set the stage for the next decade of ambient albums for Eno.

Rather than being based upon repeated melody figures (as "Discreet Music" was), each piece on this record seems largely based around an instrumental combination, be it acoustic pianos ("Mit Simaen"), synths and guitars ("Steinsame"), or metallic percussion and synths ("Die Bunge"). The music has an odd sense of longing and melancholy to it, a dark sound and emotive content not found in any of Eno's earlier works-- this expressiveness is startling, with pieces ranging from downright depressing and haunting ("Wehrmut") to oddly and tentatively optimistic ("Fur Luise"). To my knowledge, this is the first example of minimalist or ambient music to have such an emotive content.

I haven't heard previous issues of this album, so I can't readily compare the reissue to them, but the sound is superb-- crisp, clear, full of subtlety and nuance, and really allowing the music to breathe. A Q&A-styled set of liner notes are provided detailing a bit about the record and its history. My guess is its a worthwhile upgrade, certainly in either regard, its a good album. Recommended."
Music to twirl and sway to.
Junglies | Morrisville, NC United States | 10/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first came upon electronic music through George Harrison's Electronic Sounds and Stockhausen's Hymnem - although having said that listening to Frank Zappa was also instrumental (no pun intended) in opening up that particular avenue. To so-called Krautrock, i owe an eternal debt to Mick Clark and Polli who first brought their albums to the Locarno Ballroom where I was fortunate enough to bring them to the attention of a considerably wider audience.

Among the pioneers were Kraftwork and the indomintable Can but one of my favourites was Cluster, with their crisp, sort of minimalist machine music (not) which one could benefit from particularly through the use of good quality headphones. Although the term industrial music has been associated with this movement that is too simplistic and certainly not in any way evocative of the music that was generated. Along with my other favourites, Faust and the more rock orientated Ash Ra Tempel, Cluster exemplified the best of the modern or more accurately post-modern music which happened to begin in Germany. For further information please refer to Julian Cope's book which should be available on one of the amazon sites and is very popular in Germany I believe.

In Britain, as always, there were some pioneers too among whom was the young Brian Eno getting a start in Roxy Music, and a lesser known figure, Eddie Jobson originally of Fat Grapple but who later associated with Curved Air among others. To cut a long story short the influence of Kraut Rock was absorbed into more mainstream music and I recall seeing a proto Human League in Sheffield at a gig organised by the Trades Union Congress who showed up, horror of horrors, with tape machines and no drummer, However, I digress, suffice to say much of the modern popular music idioms ould scarce have existed were it not for bands such as Cluster.

What has that got to do with this album you ask? Well slightly older Eno wanted to move in the Neu direction while many were disappointed that the Pink Floyd chose to follow the dark side rather than go down the Zeit route of Tangerine Dream. Eno and Bowie were the main advocates of a new direction and were together some of the major movers in achieving the cross fertilization. The German side were fond too of exploring new directions epitomised by the change of path by Kraftwerk into songs with the industrial feel viz. Autibahn.

Cluster and Eno is but one of three collaborative efforts previously available on CD but now reissued with a bigger, louder and cleaner sound. The length is only 36 minutes or so but the interaction produces some haunting melodies and interesting interplays some of which are reminiscent of the work of Ligeti. The combination of the artists produces something which is distinctive yet recognisable and again one is reminded of other collaborative efforts of Eno's such as that with Bob Fripp. Another reveiewer describes the tone as melancholy but to me they are more akin to ragas played at dusk and dawn. They are light but not airy and seem to be saying, this is the way, the truth and the light.

These pieces are fragments of an association which culminate in the work of other years down the line. The pieces themselves are of subtle fragile beauty almost escapist from grim urban realities. They offer a break from the four-four rock and roll past and hold out promise for the future. This music is revolutionary in that keyboards and synths no longer required programmers or competent musicians to play and so could free youth from the traditional hidebound structures of the past.

David Crosby once sang that you know the darkest hour was just before the dawn and to me this album represents a dawning of a new age of music. But then I am biassed. I love this album almost as much as other Cluster albums on their own. I would acclaim each of the three collaborations as essential pieces of anyone's musical collection who seeks to understand the development of popular music from the 1950s through the present and beyond.

And yes, as it happens, you can dance to this, maybe not with the dico beat but you can twirl and sway and lose yourself in it. It is a pity that Cluster and the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia never got together. Now that would be a heavenly improvisational instrumental session."