CLUSTER: I have fallen in love with this band, please help

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Not so keen on the Cluster & Eno I've heard thus far - just a little too laid back for my current tastes but other than that I've just spent an awful lot of money to get all the Cluster I can, along with Moebius/Plank's Rastakrautpasta, which has a song called "Two Old Timers" I heard many years ago and is the reason I would have known to check out Cluster in the first place. Zuckerzeit, Sowiesoso, Cluster '71: I am ENTHRALLED with all of these.

Yes I know I can download but in this case, it just isn't enough. This music is precious like gold.

Bimble (bimble), Saturday, 15 May 2004 22:55 (eighteen years ago) link

I only have Zuckerzeit, and it does rule quite heartily, as you say. So, with the other titles listed above, you are the one helping ME out.

Barry Bruner (Barry Bruner), Saturday, 15 May 2004 23:17 (eighteen years ago) link

I love them, too - there are few of their records I can listen to without smiling. The only one I really don't like much is "One Hour", and I don't own a copy. How can anyone help you? Just don't bother to buy Roedelius' "Auf Liesen Sohlen", Cluster's "Begegnungen" 1 or 2, "Stimmungen" or "Old Land", as they're all compilations, if you didn't know about these already. (I bought "Auf Liesen Sohlen" by mail some years ago, thinking it was a regular album I didn't have).

jazz odysseus (jazz odysseus), Saturday, 15 May 2004 23:19 (eighteen years ago) link

Thanks for the advice, jazz, but I'd already decided against getting those. One of the weirdest things in the world is to play Cluster all day and then suddenly switch to Orbital. Orbital took Cluster and put it through another machine.

Bimble (bimble), Saturday, 15 May 2004 23:26 (eighteen years ago) link

You may also like Conrad Schnitzler, who was in an early incarnation of Cluster (when they spelled it with a 'K'). If you're intrigued, start with early '70s albums Rot, Blau and Ballet Statique, which are full of sublimely psychedelic synthesizer experimentation--far better than anything the better-known Klaus Schulze did. Schnitzler's back catalog is huge and much of it is excellent, but these are fine entry points.

Dave Segal (Da ve Segal), Saturday, 15 May 2004 23:30 (eighteen years ago) link

I love that Roedelius album that came out on EG in the early 80's. I never hear that one get talked about. It's soooo beautiful. But it's, um, beyond laid-back so maybe you won't like it. I like it more than some cluster stuff even. maybe. i haven't listened to it in a while. I'll have to dig it out.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 15 May 2004 23:31 (eighteen years ago) link

"Gift of the Moment"? It's '86, I think. With the cello player? I love that one, too, if it's the one you're referring to.

jazz odysseus (jazz odysseus), Saturday, 15 May 2004 23:43 (eighteen years ago) link

I think it might be earlier than that. I should go check.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 15 May 2004 23:44 (eighteen years ago) link

It's '84 - I'm wrong.

jazz odysseus (jazz odysseus), Saturday, 15 May 2004 23:45 (eighteen years ago) link

Does anyone else like Tim Story's music?

jazz odysseus (jazz odysseus), Saturday, 15 May 2004 23:49 (eighteen years ago) link

I couldn't find it anyway. I did find my copy of David Bedford's Star's End though. I put that on instead. (one of those records i never play, but when i do i say: "hey, this is pretty cool for neo-classical space prog noodling with full orchestra and Steve Hillage.")

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 15 May 2004 23:57 (eighteen years ago) link

That's funny - I have a copy of that, too, and I almost never play it - I'd put it on now that you've mentioned it, but I have to replace the stylus on my turntable, and I've only been playing CDs. I don't know Steve Hillage much, although I have the feeling he's one of those people I'd do well to pay some attention to.

jazz odysseus (jazz odysseus), Sunday, 16 May 2004 00:09 (eighteen years ago) link

He's had such a long and weird career and it's kinda hard to encapsulate. From the 60's on. From Gong to The Orb, ya know?

scott seward (scott seward), Sunday, 16 May 2004 00:23 (eighteen years ago) link

Cluster II is wicked, dark and noisy. It is an early 70s precursor to some of Aphex Twin SAW II tracks. Some people don't seem to like this one, but I thought it was great. It is closer in spirit to early Tangerine Dream like Zeit than their later melodic sound. There are some great gurgling analog sounds on this record.

The two Harmonia records are great and should be mentioned nearly as much as Neu!. Harmonia still sounds very modern and holds up well today. Bowie and Eno copped a bunch of the Harmonia sound on the instrumental tracks for Low and Heroes. Oddly enough, that Harmonia 76 record with Eno isn't nearly as good.

I've never been able to find a copy of "Cluster & Eno" or "Zuckerzeit" that wasn't priced to lunacy, so I can't anything about them.

I used to have an odd, perhaps boot CD version of "Sowiesoso", but the mastering was complete shit done poorly from vinyl. The music was pretty good, but the sound was really bad. Beware.

I wish someone like Warp or another decent sized electronic label would start up an imprint to reissue old electronic albums from artists such as Cluster.

earlnash, Sunday, 16 May 2004 00:33 (eighteen years ago) link

Check out the first Harmonia album, "Musik von Harmonia." Harmonia is Cluster + Michael Rother from NEU! and it is hands down one of my favorite albums of all time. It has all of the nice ambient aspects of the first two Cluster albums combined with the guitar experiments of Rother. Plus, there are a few sequencer driven tracks that truly sublime..."Dino" I think even out-does the motorik of some of the early NEU! tracks.

direct_program, Sunday, 16 May 2004 01:48 (eighteen years ago) link

Just downed two glasses of absinthe, so let's hope this is semi-coherent:

All 3 Kluster (Schnitzler, Roedelius, Moebius) albums - 'Klopfzeichen', 'Zwei Osterei', and 'Schwarz' are fantastic. The Schnitzler/Roedelius CD from a couple years back is also worth tracking down. The Liliental LP (Moebius, Plank, Asmus Tietchens, etc.) is a lost classic. Why has this never been reissued on CD?

'Curiosum' is amazing; 'Grosses Wasser' is OK. I grew to like 'One Hour' after some time. Have some patience with this one - it's well worth it. The last piece on there is really eerie but also strangely moving. I do admit that 'Apropos Cluster' (credited to Moebius/Roedelius) and that Live in the USA CD have never done much for me. The Cluster & Farnbauer cassette from 1980 is quite good too - it's now added to the 'Klopfzeichen' and 'Zwei Osterei' Kluster-with-a-K CDs as bonus tracks. Doesn't exactly belong there, but is good nonetheless and nice to have.

Roedelius solo: 'Durch die Wueste', of course. But I'm very fond of 'Lustwandel' from 1980. This one never gets talked about, for some reason. (Idiots dismissed it as "laid back" w/o having a clue about the real achievement of this album; I'm sure they never got past the second track.) It's quiet - sort of like Cluster teams up with Satie and then they all hop into the time machine in order to play parlor music in the Middle Ages. Very unique and charming. Just the record for those wintry grey rainy days. The 'Selbsportrait' series has great things scattered throughout. 'Der Ohrenspiegel'is another classic - right up there with 'Lustwandel'. Except 'Der Ohrenspiegel' is the most disturbing and extreme Roedelius album there is. Perfect Janus Head sonic thingy: 'Lustwandel' and 'Der Ohrenspiegel'. This man is a genius, truly. (There's also about 1,438 Roedelius albums I haven't heard.... )

Has anyone ever read that book about Roedelius? I didn't know about his early life - child film actor in the DDR, serving 2 years hard labour in same after trying to escape for the first time. Interesting indeed.

Moebius and Beerbohm is nice and trippy; much as I love Moebius and Mayo Thompson, the Moebius/Plank/Thompson collaboration disappoints, unfortunately. I wonder how the recent Dieter Moebius/Michael Rother concerts sounded?

Schnitzler: 'Conal' is probably his best, certainly his first "mature" work. This came out around the same time as 'Lustwandel' - I remember I got them both on the same day. Hard to describe the sonic texture of this one. Very unique. More subtle than prior Schnitzler works. His recent 'Piano Works' is quite something, like Nancarrow on acid. No one ever seems to mention Schnitzler's work after 1979. Honestly, his best work comes AFTER 'Con', but all I ever read is 'Rot' this and 'Blau' that. Good records, yeah, but he did move well beyond this in later years. ('Con 3', however, is a left-field electro pop album that he now disowns. It does have it's moments of inspired stupidity, though, but get all other Schnitzler records before dealing with this, as it's not in the least bit representative of his work. I do have to admit that these irritating, surreal ditties stick in your head whether you want them to or not. Consider yourself warned.)

Just remembered another great Schnitzler CD: 'Con Brio'. This has some of his earliest piano experiments and a whole suite of medieval- sounding weirdness. Is this the frantic answer record to 'Lustwandel'? Never thought of that before. I should listen to both tonight and compare. I haven't heard these in a few years.

There's a lot to discover here. Try it out. Some things you'll like better than others but I've never heard anything that's outright terrible from any of these people.

kjoerup, Sunday, 16 May 2004 03:09 (eighteen years ago) link

Soweiso and Zuckerzeit are my favorite though very different. The former is very pastoral sounding, like the cover, it sounds like a bunch of people hanging around the front porch playing acoustic synthesizers. The latter is classic seminal proto-techno pop electronica genius and pretty essential. Tiger Sushi licensed "Hollywood" so there's definately some awareness in the current electronic dance music hipster scene.

I also have a Roedilus solo record with a white cover with like, red and yellow bits on the cover from the early 80s? I think it may be on EG, I don't know. I just know I'd listened to a lot of the solo stuff and never been that into it but this one struck my fancy, very beautiful.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Sunday, 16 May 2004 05:34 (eighteen years ago) link

Ah, I found it. Gift Of The Moment a.k.a Geschenk des Augenblicks

I have a pristine Japanese vinyl copy and yet there is still too much surface noise for such a delicate album. I might have to find a cd copy.

scott seward (scott seward), Sunday, 16 May 2004 18:27 (eighteen years ago) link

Zuckerzeit also = pop tunes, while Sowiesoso seemed more ambient leaning, as they moved in that direction for the rest of the decade.

Cluster II is really underrated - this record and '71 are IMO their most ambitious stuff, and darkest (unless you count the Kluster records). It's strange because right after this they really scaled back the experimental stuff (though I like their "pop" sound too).

dleone (dleone), Sunday, 16 May 2004 18:53 (eighteen years ago) link

i read somewhere that the 2 harmmonia albums are getting the re-mastering treatment this year... at last. definitely 2 of my favourites.

phil turnbull (philT), Sunday, 16 May 2004 21:44 (eighteen years ago) link

Cluster '71 is my favorite noise record, period — very epic. Not such a fan of the Kluster record I have (the red one, I believe). Zuckerzeit is all teeny, tiny tunes — which are great, but it's that Roedlius "Hollywood" which ends the record, if memory serves, that is the real knockout (Moebius's stuff, by comparison, is a little sillier, but also sweeter).

I disagree a bit w/ the "Sowiesoso is ambient" tag — it's clearly one step after Zuckerzeit and a touch more pastoral, but still has those great clavinet-synths-with-drum-boxes sound of its sugartiming predecessor...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 17 May 2004 02:51 (eighteen years ago) link

Dan I played the first track off Soweisoso last night.

hstencil (hstencil), Monday, 17 May 2004 02:56 (eighteen years ago) link

Well, I managed to get both the Harmonia CD's and several Cluster albums, but yet there are still some Cluster things I want that I can't get at all. I hit a real depressive crash over this tonight. I'll just have to be happy to download what I can. I can handle this. I am out of money anyway for the moment. Time to slow down. Don't have to try to get it all at once. There is time. I've already spent too much money. Maybe I should be lucky there are some of their CD's I can't get. Right?

I disagree about the difference between Sowiesoso and Zuckerzeit, Dan. They seem practically married to each other for me.

I heard the second track on Cluster '71 and thought "I have never heard music in my life that could SCARE THE LIVING BEJESUS OUT OF ME like that."

I found myself remembering the Fall lyric from Dragnet's "Dice Man":
"Some say music should be fun/like reading a story of love/but I want to read a HORROR STORY!"
I heard the first track on Cluster '71 and thought "Jesus! That is so fucked up! This music is so wonderfully totally FUCKED UP!"

Cluster are definitely related to Aphex's SAW II, no doubt. I mean, that's really the only adequate comparison at all that I know of.

I'm an absinthe virgin, unfortunately. Heard good things, though...

Bimble (bimble), Monday, 17 May 2004 03:53 (eighteen years ago) link

A vote for "Jardin au Fou" by Roedelius, lovely lovely lovely twinkly childlike stuff better than any of the "Selbstportrait" stuff, and I've got three volumes of them!

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 17 May 2004 07:52 (eighteen years ago) link

I think Zuckerzeit and Soweiso are very different. There's just something so much more organic about Soweiso.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Monday, 17 May 2004 14:37 (eighteen years ago) link

Thanks much for the recommendations, ilxors. I've only just begun. Gonna give some Schnitzler a go, and haven't even investigated solo Roedelius yet at all. Must rectify.

Dan, I will be more than happy to agree to disagree.

Bimble (bimble), Monday, 17 May 2004 14:47 (eighteen years ago) link

All I'm saying, Dan, is that they're more related than, say, Zuckerzeit and Cluster and Eno. BTW, I quite like After the Heat...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 17 May 2004 17:01 (eighteen years ago) link

Anyone else hear how much Cluster '71 and Cluster II seem to have influenced Fennesz, especially his early works?

Dave Segal (Da ve Segal), Monday, 17 May 2004 19:38 (eighteen years ago) link

Someone here mentioned Tim Story. Tell me more about him. I was looking around and his name stuck in my memory for some reason.

Bimble (bimble), Monday, 17 May 2004 19:41 (eighteen years ago) link

Yes, if you replace Fennesz with most anyone filed under "experimental ambient". Really, even the Kluster albums were "influential" in this regard; I think they don't get as much credit because they are themselves very indebted to Stockhausen (well, and they're not as good).


dleone (dleone), Monday, 17 May 2004 19:43 (eighteen years ago) link

Dadaismus OTM about Jardin Au Fou, too. Hardly anybody talks about that one.

Dave Segal (Da ve Segal), Monday, 17 May 2004 19:48 (eighteen years ago) link

I'd agree w/ the Fennesz comp, to an extent, esp. in that there's melody lurking underneath the crunchiness — though perhaps more in Fennesz. I'll say it again: loved that Cluster '71. What's particularly wonderful about it is that it just seems so very new and pressingly ambitious.

BTW, pardon the ignorance, does "x-post" mean "somebody already said this"?

Because, if so, that last bit was an x-post...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 17 May 2004 20:01 (eighteen years ago) link

man I need to get more of the early Cluster stuff.

hstencil (hstencil), Monday, 17 May 2004 21:50 (eighteen years ago) link

Cluster / Harmonia, every single album 1971-1981. don't miss out on 'Curiosum', it is incredible. What I like most about them is how drastically they change their sound and approach with each album, they never repeated themselves.

I own every single one of the solo records, 1978-1984, and wouldn't sell any of them. If you're hunting, I'd recommend 'Durch Die Wuste', 'Selbstportrait II' (or III), 'Jardin Au Fou' for Roedelius, and 'Rastakraut Pasta' & especially 'Zero Set' for Moebius & Plank (this one more futuristic by the year, still very few records in existence that have integrated live drumming this well, let alone in 1984. If you have not heard this record, buy it immediately).

The reunion records 'Appropos Cluster', 'One Hour', the two 1996 live records -- I don't have as much time for these. I saw three of the '96 shows, all radically different -- real improv. The shows I saw were much more aggressive and weird than the relentlessly mellow stuff they chose to release.

(Jon L), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 06:54 (eighteen years ago) link

check out Inoyamaland. Yasushi Yamashita and Makoto Inoue are like the Japanese Moebius & Roedelius. active since '78. 1984 Pithecanthropus is a good place to start, as it includes their very Zuckerzeit-like demo recordings.

echoinggrove (echoinggrove), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 13:29 (eighteen years ago) link

I got Zero Set for, like, $3 at the Oberlin Co-op during some sell-off. It's very, very underrated, agreed. Lots of great Conny Plank electronic textures with driving rhythms — kind of like Zuckerzeit's evil twin...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 15:28 (eighteen years ago) link

BTW, met Roedelius in Austin a few years back. Nice guy. Hott daughter.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 17:03 (eighteen years ago) link


dleone (dleone), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 17:23 (eighteen years ago) link

Pretty much

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 17:24 (eighteen years ago) link

Seriously, as I think back on it, the idea is like the Krautrock equivalent of marrying a Gore daughter...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 18:28 (eighteen years ago) link

Nice guy. Hott daughter.

Roedelius once sent me an email (after reading a web review I had done of one of their '96 concerts) with his phone number in Austria and told me to look him up next time I was over there. Still have it, too...maybe it's time to visit! ;)

Joe (Joe), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 20:50 (eighteen years ago) link

I realized that it wasn't Zero Set that I was talking about above, but Moebius and Beerbohm's Double Cut. I've never heard the former.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 20 May 2004 19:26 (eighteen years ago) link

I love Double Cut too... shockingly minimal. side two is the ultimate in mindless driving music... twenty minutes of that two note bassline.

But it's no 'Zero Set', which is maximal & covered with overwhelming detail.

All these records were reissued on Gyroscope in the late 90's, and are _already_ all out of print again. 'Durch Die Wuste' already going for $30 used through retailers. So if you find them, do not hesitiate.

Stylus should really do a two-part overview...

(Jon L), Thursday, 20 May 2004 21:06 (eighteen years ago) link

For now, this’ll have to do

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 20 May 2004 21:54 (eighteen years ago) link

nice. you just write that?

I wouldn't call the Harmonia/Eno CD 'failed'; it's a collection of demos, not an album. It wanders around a bit, but I still like it a lot (though I always skip the first track).

(Jon L), Thursday, 20 May 2004 22:20 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, inspired by this thread, really. And you have a point, though I actually liked that first cut. I've always looked at it kind of like a Holy Grail of Krautrock -- sort of what you'd imagine in your (broken) head.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 21 May 2004 02:29 (eighteen years ago) link

it's no holy grail. but it's fun. I like the way they end the disc with the demos of things that ended up on the two cluster/eno albums.

seriously could not live without everything from 71-84, but here's my bloodstained guide to post-84 solo albums:

Moebius: the first three albums with Plank are the place to start: 'Rastakraut Pasta', 'Material' and 'Zero Set'.

I like 'Tonspuren', a lot.

Both the albums with Beerbohm: 'Strange Music' lives up to title. Noisy, demented, repetitive. 'Double Cut', even more minimal.

'Blue Moon' - his Casio CZ-101 album. a few effective simple tracks I enjoy very much, but wouldn't start here.

avoid Moebius & Plank's 'En Route'. attempt at coming to terms with new digital gear, quirky but stiff & unfinished, and the Moebius/Plank/Thompson 'Ludwig's Law', which is simply Mayo Thompson ranting over a lo-fi dub of 'En Route'.

'Ersatz' and 'Ersatz II' by Moebius & Renziehausen -- soft spot in my heart for these. Though they are pretty silly & have a lot of preset sounds, they are mainline motorik fun, and strange.

His recent solo album 'Blotch', don't like much. And the recent live reunion album with Neumeier, advertised with the line 'Sounds like Zero Set' -- no. It's not bad for a mellow improv session, but that's all it is.

Roedelius went increasingly acoustic after 84. avoid anything that mentions saxophones on the back cover, except for 'Sinfonia Contempora No. 1', 'La Nordica' and 'Der Ohrenspiegel'; he got back into experimenting with electronic textures on those three, they all have great moments.

The 2001 collaboration with Conrad Schnitzler 'ACON', is a single evolving drone split across many tracks; they spend about 20 minutes warming up, then get into some interestingly bent textures. Worth picking up used if you can find it.

The Selbstportrait series are archival compilations of the solo tracks he made in the 70's while in Cluster; basically sinewave organ chords & melodies with no further ornamentation. They're braindead simple, and beautiful. especially II, III, and 'VI (Diary of the Unforgotten)', which has a lot of excellent demo tracks & mixes from the Harmonia period.

The CD of 'Selbstportrait I & II' drops several outstanding tracks from the vinyl version of volume II. Skip the disc, find the vinyl.

(Jon L), Friday, 21 May 2004 03:49 (eighteen years ago) link

Wow, thanks for all this information - I still feel overwhelmed! Heard some of Jardin Au Fou and Tonspuren and agree these stand out. Surprised to find I love Grosses Wasser as much as Sowiesoso and Zuckerzeit!

Cluster II reminds me of Spacemen 3, oddly enough. The Harmonia is okay, but I eagerly await the other Harmonia album.

Curiosum leaves me a bit cold. Too woozy. Haven't yet spent a lot of time with their earliest works, but stay tuned...

Bimble (bimble), Friday, 21 May 2004 20:36 (eighteen years ago) link

Harmonia's DeLuxe is better than at first thought. But still not enough to quench my desire for more music from these two.

Bimble (bimble), Saturday, 22 May 2004 05:56 (eighteen years ago) link

Well bimble, if you've just got DeLuxe, then there is that first Harmonia record waiting for you; although I have to say I actually prefer Deluxe to the other one. Honestly, it is one my all-time favorite albums. I don't want to come across as patronizing, but one thing I would say is maybe slow down a bit; take your time with some of these records you're acquiring, and give them a chance to open up! I only say that cuz I totally know where you are coming from. Many is the time I've discovered a new band/record, and I'm like "oh man, I need EVERYTHING. NOW." And I always enjoy getting all the rest of the stuff, but it never quite matches that initial impact of something that really connects with you. I always have to tell myself to relax, that the records will always be there, etc.

Deluxe really comes alive at night, I think, or in the dark. It conjurs up the color orange, for me. Amorphous 70s architecture. The soundtrack to Romper Room, maybe. Did Romper Room have a soundtrack? I can't remember. Anyway, some long-buried early childhood impressions of sound. I guess that's the kind of thing people get out of Boards of Canada or something, I dunno. I get it from these classic two records, which were in fact released in the 70s.

I just love the title cut, with that simple rhythm box backing, those vocals, and the way it breaks down into that long meditative middle part before the reentry of that big glorious fanfare. I love Rother's slide guitar on "Walky-Talky". I love the way that marching theme on "Notre Dame" just falls away, and all these sparse synth blurps take over, before it returns again. And I find something really affecting about the melody of "Kekse", the final track. It's very sweet, like a lullaby. And then it melts away into those marsh sounds, insectoid chirps and amphibious croaks... Yeah, top 3 AM stuff!

Broheems (diamond), Saturday, 22 May 2004 06:36 (eighteen years ago) link

but seriously, Sowiesoso is amazing, did these guys do anything else like it?

frogbs, Tuesday, 27 September 2011 19:05 (eleven years ago) link

There are moments that echo Sowiesoso spread throughout Moebius' and Rodelius' respective discographies.
Like this tune has that vibe imo

Trip Maker, Tuesday, 27 September 2011 19:12 (eleven years ago) link

Roedelius is playing at a small club here in town next month, very curious to see what that'll be like.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, 27 September 2011 20:17 (eleven years ago) link

thats a sweet tune Trip

frogbs, Wednesday, 28 September 2011 00:28 (eleven years ago) link

three months pass...

go Geeta

Milton Parker, Friday, 20 January 2012 20:36 (ten years ago) link

i want to start a Zuckerzeit vs. Sowiesoso poll but i don't know if enough people here have heard those albums

lol @ this

51 fewer calories (Lamp), Friday, 20 January 2012 20:38 (ten years ago) link

tbf I think a lot of those posters left but yeah lets do it

frogs you are the dumbest asshole (frogbs), Friday, 20 January 2012 20:39 (ten years ago) link

36 votes: CLUSTER / Moebius & Roedelius solo & group recordings 1970-1986 poll

almost started Moebius solo poll. there is no Moebius solo thread.

Milton Parker, Friday, 20 January 2012 20:43 (ten years ago) link

Cluster II, the one with the stars on the cover, we made with Conny Plank. It was all very big improvisations, and we recorded it in Hamburg. We didn’t have a lot of time, because it was not our studio. I think we made it in one night, or something like that.

the star of many snuff films (Edward III), Friday, 20 January 2012 21:09 (ten years ago) link

good interview

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 20 January 2012 21:10 (ten years ago) link

there is that 15 minute track 'Live In Der Fabrik' on Cluster II, so probably not quite all in one night. but yeah these guys had this music on tap, those early records are incredible

Milton Parker, Friday, 20 January 2012 21:14 (ten years ago) link

yes, sweet interview! I would love to participate in a Moebius solo thread or poll, I think I have almost all the albums. The other poll had way too many great albums so it was impossible to really get any worthwhile results IMO.

liam fennell, Friday, 20 January 2012 21:23 (ten years ago) link

thanks for reading, guys! glad this is finally up, so i can focus on the next Big Frieze Piece, which also involves germany & the 1970s & electronic music

geeta, Friday, 20 January 2012 21:33 (ten years ago) link

germany & the 1970s & electronic music


(plz to link on ILX when up, thank you)

saw Moebius live a year ago and he seemed genuinely touched that people (and a pretty young crowd) came out and were into it - seemed like a super nice guy

Schleimpilz im Labyrinth (a passing spacecadet), Friday, 20 January 2012 22:31 (ten years ago) link

(plz to link on ILX when up, thank you)

i will! if you liked the moebius piece you will love the next one - it incorporates some quotes from moebius & also new insights from eno & many other people i'm talking to for it - it's a real labor of love along the lines of the conrad schnitzler piece i did a few months back

geeta, Friday, 20 January 2012 23:21 (ten years ago) link

geeta, are these pieces heading in the direction of a book? b/c that would be nice

rob, Friday, 20 January 2012 23:22 (ten years ago) link


from what i've heard, a book on krautrock is already in the works with a major publisher & it's not by me

but i wouldn't want to write a 'krautrock' book per se but something more specific

geeta, Friday, 20 January 2012 23:50 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

For those of you who might be interested, I have posted the entire Kluster / Cluster / Harmonia / Roedelius discography here - along with the album reviews here:

Best wishes, Stephen Iliffe (author of Painting with Sound - the life and music of Roedelius)

Stephen Iliffe, Thursday, 24 January 2013 23:04 (nine years ago) link


new lp sounds great on first listen

koogs, Friday, 1 February 2013 17:39 (nine years ago) link

a fourth one already? yikes

being a return to analog synth sound design, these are some of the most casually listenable Roedelius CDs in a long time; they're pretty and floaty, like new age versions of the first three Kluster records. but as unedited improvs, with no tunes, there's not much to hang on to once they're over. I'd probably love this live.

Milton Parker, Friday, 1 February 2013 18:44 (nine years ago) link

wait, who is Qluster

frogbs, Friday, 1 February 2013 19:25 (nine years ago) link

Lauschen very synthy, yes. i had a quick listen to one of the others (Antworten) online and it was more acoustic piano.

koogs, Friday, 1 February 2013 21:41 (nine years ago) link

three months pass...

The updated complete album reviews of Cluster/Harmonia/Roedelius albums is now available here:

Stephen Iliffe, Friday, 17 May 2013 19:42 (nine years ago) link

are you any relation to April Iliffe, formerly of the Legendary Pink Dots?

Flat Of NAGLs (sleeve), Friday, 17 May 2013 22:22 (nine years ago) link

wow, can't wait to read these

frogbs, Saturday, 18 May 2013 20:29 (nine years ago) link

I have to rep for the first two Selbsportrait volumes, extremely pretty pastoral stuff. Roedelius is a true genius.

brimstead, Sunday, 19 May 2013 00:02 (nine years ago) link

two years pass...

Digging around spotify tonight thinking about Moebius led me to check in with Roedelius - did not realize Qluster just put out a new album a couple of weeks ago, Taten:

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 23 July 2015 04:34 (seven years ago) link

er, Tasten

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 23 July 2015 04:35 (seven years ago) link

five months pass...

What is this "Cluster" tour notice for an April show in MA I just got in my Songkick? Qluster?

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 04:56 (six years ago) link

He says on Facebook he will tour "all around the world!" in 2016, but the only April listing now is in Belgrade.

mutually aquatinted (doo dah), Wednesday, 6 January 2016 12:15 (six years ago) link

two years pass...

Trivial query: Does anyone know why After the Heat is credited to Eno Moebius Roedelius, rather than to Cluster & Eno (as Cluster & Eno was?). Given the array of collaborative groupings in the Cluster/Harmonia/Neu! universe, it's as if there was deliberate effort to undermine any sense of group identity. I could see putting Eno's name first as a marketing decision, but on the other hand having his name be one of three might indicate his contribution was proportionately less, or that you were getting individual efforts from these three people (as the similarly-credited Begegnungen comps later were, in part; these did have less Eno, overall).

I probably had no idea that Cluster consisted of Moebius and Roedelius when I first saw the albums (not that it's that tough to figure out). Visually, Cluster & Eno (with the microphone in the clouds) had a stronger identity than the three names in a row against a landscape; the first looks more like a progressive rock record and the latter more a jazz/new age/avant garde document.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Tuesday, 2 October 2018 00:20 (four years ago) link

I think that's exactly right - the songs on Cluster & Eno have more of a Cluster-vibe and the other tracks show more of a dominant Eno-vibe, so they labeled the albums thusly.

It's all some of the most magical music I've ever heard.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 2 October 2018 01:02 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

fun little demo of the Elka Drummer One, which Cluster & Harmonia used quite a bit. I recall some interview with Moebius where he said some of the weirdo rhythms on Zuckerzeit were made by pushing the tango & cha cha buttons at the same time? or something like that? idk I find that super cool, because that album has some rhythms on it which strike me as very "undefined", plus I think this is the exact approach that modern IDM groups use. like I think of Cluster as less the peers of Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze and more as a proto-Autechre/Mouse on Mars.

frogbs, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 18:50 (five months ago) link

cool! I've always loved the drums on the first track of Zuckerzeit, the way they sound as if they are turning inside out is very trippy

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Wednesday, 22 June 2022 18:56 (five months ago) link

Sly Stone did the same thing recording There's a Riot Goin' On, pressing multiple buttons on his rhythm boxes to get something less square than any of the individual beats.

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 19:09 (five months ago) link

Hollywood's rhythm track sounds like it's rotating between 2 or 3 different settings at various intervals. I don't know if there's a steady pattern to it. If there is it's probably in some time signature like 29/24 or whatever. I love it too because it's not unlike what I used to do as a kid when my keyboard would generate little rhythms like that

frogbs, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 19:34 (five months ago) link

God I love those primitive drum machines so much. I have a Realistic Concertmate Electronic Accompanist, which is a cheap scaled down version of that type of rhythm box sold at Radio Shack in the 80s. Run it through a delay pedal and hit the Rock and Foxtrot buttons, you've got hours of knob-twiddling fun!

J. Sam, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 21:25 (five months ago) link

I love the fact that one of their frequent collaborators is a guy named Tim Story, always makes me think of On Cinema

frogbs, Thursday, 23 June 2022 03:09 (five months ago) link

husband of semi-famous Windham Hill artist Liz Story!

thinkmanship (sleeve), Thursday, 23 June 2022 03:56 (five months ago) link

three months pass...

Curiosum is such a baffling record. I've listened to it 4 times in the last 24 hours and can't figure out if it's a load of wank or a portal to some primitive form of consciousness. "Oh Odessa" has been in my head constantly. "Tristian in der Bar" makes me laugh. "Seltsame Gegend" makes me wanna play QWOP. "Ufer" makes me crank the volume up and then I'm so calm I forget to turn it back down again. This is what they did after Grosses Wasser?? What other albums sound like this?

frogbs, Wednesday, 19 October 2022 14:05 (one month ago) link

I'm obsessed with Oh Odessa, it's got this childlike primitive quality that I can't get enough of.

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Wednesday, 19 October 2022 14:39 (one month ago) link

(xp) Maybe some Moebius albums? Though the childlike quality is more Roedelius' thing.

Fronted by a bearded Phil Collins (Tom D.), Wednesday, 19 October 2022 15:13 (one month ago) link

Haha yeah, it's a deeply weird and addictive record. "Portal to some primitive form of consciousness" is OTM. A couple tracks have a kind of "demented clown" vibe, which I'm not that into (e.g. "Oh Odessa", "Seltsame Gegend"). The queasy major-key waltz duo of "Tristan In Der Bar" -> "Charlic" is probably my favorite part of the record.

I haven't heard anything else that sounds exactly like Curiosum, but parts of Moebius and Beerbohm's Double Cut sound like a slightly less primitive version of its more menacing moments, like "Proantipro" with a hardware update.

J. Sam, Wednesday, 19 October 2022 15:19 (one month ago) link

I heard "Oh Odessa" on a Cluster compilation, sounds to me like a theme song from a public television educational kids' show from the era.

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 19 October 2022 15:52 (one month ago) link

yeah, also get a little bit of a hardcore devo vibe from "oh odessa"

love this record

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Wednesday, 19 October 2022 18:39 (one month ago) link

great 420 record too, close your eyes and put on "Tristan In Der Bar" and you will see a man tumbling around in a laundromat dryer

frogbs, Wednesday, 19 October 2022 18:49 (one month ago) link

lol YES

J. Sam, Wednesday, 19 October 2022 19:17 (one month ago) link

Tristan in Der Dryer

J. Sam, Wednesday, 19 October 2022 19:51 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

listening to Sowiesoso yet again now and something that comes to mind is that a lot of this sounds like you're hearing the most incredible, cool, and joyous music ever but it's somewhere in the distance. so your mind fills in the blanks. like you know how some people say books are more intense than movies because your mind fills in images that will match the emotion? that it kind of what happens here. I think this is what James Ferraro was trying to do with all those lo-fi "Summer Headrush" albums.

frogbs, Thursday, 24 November 2022 04:27 (three days ago) link

yeah for sure it’s this sorta pointillist quality that it shares with the vibiest lofi stuff eg older James Ferraro and that amazing KWJAZ album. Walking through benevolent fog on a starlit night..

lets hear some blues on those synths (brimstead), Thursday, 24 November 2022 19:05 (three days ago) link

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