Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
The most important and consistently underrated space-rock unit of the '70s, Cluster (originally Kluster) was formed by Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Conrad Schnitzler as an improv group that used everything... more »
The most important and consistently underrated space-rock unit of the '70s, Cluster (originally Kluster) was formed by Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Conrad Schnitzler as an improv group that used everything from synthesizers to alarm clocks and kitchen utensils in their performances. Continuing on as a duo, Moebius and Roedelius eventually recorded many landmark LPs - separately, as a duo, and with all manner of guest artists from Brian Eno to Conny Plank to Neu!'s Michael Rother - in the field of German space music, often termed kosmische. Cluster also continued to explore ambient music into the '90s, long after their contemporaries had drifted into tamer new age music or ceased recording altogether. Cluster's second album as a duo is a January, 1972 recording that is similar in style to their previous works. Cluster II is mostly an album of drones and industrial atmospheres; an ambient album before the label began to be applied to music. For the first time Cluster broke down their sound experiments into some bite-sized pieces that reflected their strange kind of humour.
A sound 30 years ahead of its time
W. T. Hoffman | Pennsylvania, United States | 12/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cluster is a fun band to explore. Partly perhaps from the total pain and sacrifice you go thru, trying to locate their CDs. I have the early KLUSTER cds, but not Cluster 1, so I am not sure how they got here, but the sound overall is just so advanced. The formal connections to Tangerine Dream from that period, and perhaps KRAFTWERK I & II can be discerned. Nevertheless, there is something here, some formal structures, and attempts at various sounds, that really makes this title an early example of KRAUTROCK, and electronica in general. I've read some reviews of HARMONIA, that suggests that those titles are perfect examples of KRAUTROCK, and are a MUST. Well, if that's the case, then you have this title as a MUST as well.
PLAS, the first song, starts out like an ambient soundtrack to a film about Dante's Inferno. Next, IN SUEDEN (in the south) finds our ears treated to nearly 13 minutes of the same four note ascending melody, floating in a atmosphere of constantly pulsing and morphing sounds and eventually, even a bit of countermelody. Naturally, the connections to Philip Glass, and minimalism are being explored. But the fluidity, and liquid shimmering of the backing for these notes, goes far beyond the very tight structures seen in the highly composed pieces by Glass from that period. FUER DIE KATZ' (For the Cats) again seems like film music for dancers from the Adromedia Galaxy. Lots of random, microtonal, swirling sounds, create an atmosphere of total sonic abandon, as opposed to the four note structure of the previous song. On what must have been the first song on side TWO of the LP, we get LIVE IN DER FABRIK. (It's a famous place to gig in Hamburg. Embryo as a live CD from that place too.) If this song is completely live, then I'm just floored. It pulses with energy, that sends you to some kind of transtemporal, metaphysical sonic extraterresial world, you never want to leave. In fact, the song seems to go on forever (nearly 15 minutes), but it doesnt get boring. The next song, GEORGEL, is dark, deep, mystical. If this is a film soundtrack, its one for a trip next to a galactic black hole. Finally, NABITTE, starts out with piano and some voice, but then takes off into the same strange atmospheres that are explored in the other songs. I will say this. If you listen to this album, recorded in January 1972, you really see how ENO, or the Berlin period BOWIE, recieved their influence, and from there, everyone else into electronica, from the overdubs on New Wave bands like TALKING HEADS, right up to the present day bands like ZERO7, or AIR, or THIEVERY CORPERATION.
So, is this an essencial purchase? Well, in the arts, two things are important. Who started a style, and who perfected it. With maybe ALPHA CENTUARI being the only other work, that seems to be in this vein, I would say that this is important. Because unlike TANG DREAM from the 1971 period, CLUSTER had no use for percussion of any type. Since CLUSTER ONE is coming out on CD, and CLUSTER AND ENO just was released, I would guess that this might be rereleased soon, if you want to wait, and get CLUSTER ONE first. But, if you have the money, and can't wait, go for it."
Lovblad | Geneva, Switzerland | 01/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beautifully recorded and very influential. Very special also. You can see why Brian Eno would work with them."