Style: kraut, ambient/electronic
Audio: mp3 |(256k)
Rather boring ambient/electronic band which was basically a cross between Neu! and Cluster. Although I like most progressive genres, the minimalist attitute of bands like this don't attract me whatsoever.
Excellent krautrock from a kraut-supergroup. Cluster and Rother (from Neu!) joined forces to make two classic, influential, and highly enjoyable albums. The music is generally performed with experimental electronics, analogue synths, early drum machines, and Rother's guitar; I largely associate it with Eno (indeed, Cluster and Eno collaborated several times) in that it's quite experimental and yet also highly melodic and well-crafted.
The first album is instrumental, and the songs consist of layers of melodic electronic/synth sequences played over gentle electronic rhythms, with extra rhythm and depth provided by Rother's guitar; the album also contains the track, "Cosmische: - a very blissful piece of spacey loveliness.
Hans-Joachim Roedelius must be considered as the grand old man of German rock. He was born on 20 October 1934, grew up in East Berlin and had reached the age of 34 when he started to play the piano and guitar (self taught) in 1969. His youth was very colourful, working in more than a dozen different places in just a couple of years. He was also a member of the DDR Nationalen Volksarmee, but deserted and had to spend two years in a prison camp. The legend says that Dieter Moebius (born on 16 January 1944) came across Roedelius when he was a barkeeper in a pub! Moebius had previously studied graphics in Berlin. In November 1969 they formed the trio Kluster with Conrad Schnitzler, who was simultaneously a member of Tangerine Dream (please see their entry for details of Schnitzler's past).
Klopfzeichen was recorded on 21 December 1969 in Rhenus Studio, Gedorf. It was released on Schwann, a publishing company usually associated with church music!!! The liner notes presented a totally unconventional new group: 'the ensemble Kluster is a progressive pop group. They personalise the perhaps most radical German underground music. Their playing technique is that one of Stockhausen and the group Nuova Consonaza'. The trio played piano, guitar, cello, percussion and organ that was electronically manipulated by engineer Konrad Plank. Their collaboration with Plank lasted for more than ten years and was extremely important for the development of the music. Technically he really has to be considered as a member of the group. The two long pieces of very radical music that made up Klopfzeichen were untitled. It contained what seems to be free improvisation. There were no rhythms, rather a floating continuum of creepy, unearthly and manipulated sounds. Side one ran for 24 minutes, and featured lyrics by radical German writers like Liselotte Raunes, Rudolf Otto Wiemer, Dorothee Solle, Wilhelm Wills, Eva Zeller and Uwe Seidel read by Christa Runge. Side two ran for nearly 22 minutes and was instrumental. Why someone chose to dub them a "pop band" on the liner notes is a mystery to me (was it a joke?), for they played a kind of weird contemporary classical music.