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Hans-Joachim Roedelius - Lustwandel CD (album) cover


Hans-Joachim Roedelius


Progressive Electronic

3.89 | 16 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's surprising how much can be said about the music of Hans-Joachim Roedelius, considering how little there sometimes is to the music itself. As one half of the legendary Berlin-based electronic duo known as CLUSTER, Roedelius helped to break down a lot of musical barriers. But in his own, ongoing solo career he subscribes to the old, established artistic notion that less is definitely more, and this 1981 album (beautifully produced by kindred spirit and ex-Tangerine Dreamer PETER BAUMANN) proves the point with an elegant economy of effort.

It's certainly the best introduction for newcomers to the vast library of his solo work, revealing yet another colorful side to the multi-faceted gemstone of German electronic music. While his erstwhile Cluster compatriot Dieter Mobius was busy with his energized, electro-dub deconstructions alongside ace producer Conny Plank, Roedelius was working to refine his already simple keyboard technique, here playing (for the most part) little more than a solo acoustic or electric piano, sometimes with sparse percussive accompaniment (likewise acoustic and / or electric).

But unlike the amniotic New Age ambience of his endless "Selbstportrait" series, there's more of an edge to this collection, with a level of melodic invention in some tracks surpassing many of his later albums in their entirety. You'll notice a striking resemblance to the intimate musical palette of Erik Satie (imagine the 19th century French pianist employing a mellotron in his "Trés Gymnopédies"), although at least one of the tracks, the stark medieval dirge of "Wilkommen", wouldn't sound out of place on an early GRYPHON recording.

Depending on how you choose to hear him, Roedelius is either a Krautrock minimalist, a neo-classical miniaturist, or just a dedicated keyboard doodler scribbling away quietly in the corners of his own little musical canvas. At a time (the early 1980s) when mainstream musical culture was fast becoming defined by arena-rock bombast and New Wave clichés, such introspective grace was (and still is) like a small breath of fresh air.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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