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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Grosses Wasser is a combination of Cluster's characteristic "ambient", "environmental" atmospheres (previously put in light with the beautiful "Sowiesoso") and modern "funky" electronic sounds. Made of efficient synth works and drum machines this album presents a total dissociation with their two first experimental, avant garde efforts. This one has similarities with Roedelius solo works ("lustwandel"...), especially due to the use of meditative, discreet piano lines. "Grosses Wasser" starts this serene adventure with a basic sequencer / synth repetitive composition 'Avanti" that can reminds some of Michael Hoenig / Ashra later works. Very different in style "Prothese" is a humorous, catchy composition which has a subtle "disco" flavour with an insistent electronic pulse in the background. The very short track "Manchmal" represents the summit of the album, a nice, peaceful song played for the piano. Not essential, this album shows an interesting variety of composition.
Report this review (#45727)
Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars A minimalistic and somewhat brittle release from 1979. Like most 'Cluster' it's simplistic, almost entirely electronic and sounds uncannily like 'Neu!' at many points. However it saddens me to say that I rarely listen to 'Grosses Wasser'. The Muppet vocals on 'Prothese' are quite engaging, especially as they're sung in German.

By most accounts 'Manchmal' is the most respected track on the album, but to me it just sounds like a Nursery Rhyme from baby school.

I guess comparisons could be made with 'Asmus Tietchens' early recordings, but this doesn't have the 'Psycho Killer Clown' approach that he offered. The cover sleeve is also very 'Tietchens'. I could be cruel and say that they spent as much time and effort on the sleeve as they did in the music, but that wouldn't be very nice would it?

A lot of the sounds are very dated, particularly the electronic string segments. The liner notes tell me that this was recorded using a super-duper highly expensive synthesizer. Surely I've stuck the wrong album on?

It's all very telling then, that their first two recordings from '71 and '72 sound far more relevant and timeless than 'Grosses Wasser', despite being recorded seven years later

Nothing new is introduced in the Cluster canon and the Peter Baumann (of Tangerine Dream) production sounds all too obvious on the first half of the recording.

Things improve a bit on the 18 minute title track with tom-tom drums and percussion taking centre stage for a large slab of the duration. Strange little fragments of electronica pitter patter throughout before an acoustic piano sees out the conclusion in a sort of limp manner.

This is Cluster on autopilot.

Report this review (#1426314)
Posted Friday, June 12, 2015 | Review Permalink

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