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Trikolon - Cluster CD (album) cover

CLUSTER

Trikolon

 

Krautrock

3.85 | 8 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars A lost gem

Some months ago I received the suggestion of TRIKOLON for Symphonic, so immediately searched, found and bought the CD, I must say it was worth the effort (A bit expensive though) because the album is outstanding.

With great sorrow and despite the clear Bach and Mozart influence we had to say no to the addition, because it was closer to Kraut or Psychedelia than to Symphonic, but immediately sent it to another team. After some months being checked for different sub-genres, I was authorized to add it to Krautrock and immediately started a review.

The first thing I have to say is that their only album named Cluster is simply delightful, the band commanded by the "insane" keyboardist "Henrik Schaper", combine efficiently the frenetic exploration of Psychedelia with "Classical" Music (mainly Bach) and some Jazz, to create a fantastic combination of elaborate songwriting and jamming.

The album is opened by the dramatic Search for the Sun, a rhythmic song with Schaper in the vocals (more or less in the range of Mick Jagger) and Psych oriented keyboards, but nothing would be complete without the work of Rettberg (bass) and that human metronome called Ralf Scmieding in the drums. For the casual listener it may seem like pure jamming (yes, there's a lot of this also), but if you pay attention the elaborate structure is evident, and if we add the spectacular organ (with touches of Bach), we are before a 14:33 minutes epic that goes far beyond Psychedelia.

After this first track I was expecting no changes in the rest of he album, but Trumpet for Example proved I was mistaken, because Schaper and his hallucinating trumpet takes us into Jazz Fusion territory, but again well blended with frenetic Psyche passages that keep the listener at the edge of the sit. It's necessary to mention Scmieding, who proves he's not just a good drummer that can keep the time perfectly, but a versatile musician who is able to contribute with any style genre or mood that the band decides to play.

In Hendrik's Easy Groove, Schaper takes us deep into Jazz fusion, because this piano track seems like a tribute to great musicians as Duke Ellington, but always going a step beyond. This time we are talking about pure jamming by an obviously virtuoso keyboardist.

Blue Rondo is obviously based in Mozart's famous piece and Dave Brubeck's adaptation, but also in Keith Emerson's work with "The Nice" (without the annoying abuse of the Moog). Again the rhythm section is impeccable but as usual Schaper is the star of the band. As a special note, this version includes elements of Mozart's Rondo Alla Turk, unlike THE NICE's version which only pays tribute to Blue Rondo by Brubeck.

My edition has a bonus track called Fugue, a 22.22 minutes eclectic version of Toccata & Fugue in D Minor by Johan Sebastian Bach, a piece that may sound a bit rough today, but lets remember this is a self financed live album, and the band couldn't afford the best recording techniques or production, so it's amazing that it could be rescued in CD format after more than three decades and despite all the problems they had to face. Absolutely breathtaking interpretation.

Before I rate the album I must say that the beauty of Cluster relies not only in the virtuosity of the musicians and excellent musical pieces, but also in the fact that it's the only testimony that this obscure band left for posterity, so in my opinion we are talking about an excellent addition for any Prog collection, and a must have for fans of early Prog that deserves no less than 4 solid stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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