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Cluster - Cluster CD (album) cover





3.91 | 88 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars When Cluster first started their career, they were one of the most adventurous and influential duo, to this day remain one of the unsung pair of heroes of Krautrock, with our great collab Philippe Blache championing them. While Tangerine Dream already existed for a few years but the time of this album's release, it is clear that TD did listen to Cluster's debut and obviously inspired their future pink-era works on this album. But one must know that a previous incarnation of this band (that is Kraut grandfather Rodellius and his younger Moebius colleague) existed before and they were spelled Kluster as a trio with another legend Konrad Schnitzler, who was also in Tangerine Dream. (Are you sure you are following me?)

While the music is still quite similar with their Kluster days (although they are a duo now instead of a trio then), the music is completely instrumental (if you can consider this electronic stuff instrumental) and the radical poets reading their texts are now gone. The result is that the album was much better received by the public and critics alike since it was not catalogued as radical Polit Rock. But just like their previous two album, the three tracks were still unnamed, which of course can be confusing and unnecessarily minimalist. If I spoke of electronic music, it is only partly true as there are a few instruments and very few real synths: we are dealing with organs through pedal effects, cello, slide guitars and electronic devices. Stuck in the middle of the cold war in the West Berlin enclave like their cross-town rivals TD, this strange cold, doom-like atmosphere was probably responsible for this free form music hovering between Musique Concrete and free-jazz all laced in with saturated amplifiers.

The album was extremely well recorded by virtual honorary member, the producer Konrad Plank and the music is rather stunning, but not easily accessible. If you are familiar with TD's Zeit or Atem, this is about as accurate as humanly possible. A stunning album, but can this be recommended to everyone? I think not.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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