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Cluster Cluster II album cover
3.93 | 106 ratings | 15 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Plas (6:16)
2. Im Suden (12:50)
3. Fur Die Katz (3:05)
4. Live In Der Fabrik (14:41)
5. Georgel (5:37)
6. Nabitte (2:40)

Total Time: 45:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Dieter Moebius / organ, guitars, electronics, Fx
- Hans-Joachim Roedelius / electronics

Note : The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: seesaw

LP Brain ‎- brain 1006 (1972, Germany)

CD Spalax Music ‎- 14864 (1994, France)
CD Brain ‎- 07314 527564-2 (2004, Germany) Remastered by Willem Makkee
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- EREACD1029 (2012, UK)

Thanks to philippe for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CLUSTER Cluster II ratings distribution

(106 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

CLUSTER Cluster II reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album closes Moebius & Roedelius early radical experimentations in electronic, guitar/organ works. Compositions are always made of repetitive patterns, simple motifs, noisy and cerebral. However it features a better implication in term of "structures". The electronic exercises are shorter, more controlled. The album starts with a spheric music that surronds you, then it introduces a continuous organ line with perpetual static electronic "tones" and guitar's distortion. This tune van evokes the unit of perception. "Im Suden» used a hypnotic electronic bass pulse / guitar patterns to produce hallucinations inside your ears. Gradually it alternates the sound level of each part. Fascinating and visceral "Brain" music. "Fur Die Katz" combines modulating electric sounds with many electronic noises and effects in the background. The atmosphere obtained is very creepy, calibrated for a real discharge of intensity. "Live In Der Fabrik" is made of a repetitive, concentric, duplicated electric sound with a kind of abstract electric bass sound. Very industrial and chaotic. We can also hear modulating frequency harmonies, feedback in the performance space. "Georgel"is a haunted, dark organ work, irrevocably moving to a serie of changing, beating pitches. A sonic meditation, a pleasant cerebral massage. One of the most incredible, stimulating albums I've heard.
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Second album (with their name written with a C or else this would their fourth) from Dieter and H-J, after their superb but adventurous debut. And this album confirms what was developed before and even betters it. But we are still in the domain of early Popol Vuh, Zeit-era Tangerine Dream and the very early Kraftwerk (when those two did not use any synthesisers.

Yes the music is rather destructured music (sometimes resembling Tomita's mid-70's doodlings, no doubt he listened to what the Germans did before him) without melodies, harmonies and even clear rhythm patterns. Generally this kind of music does not sit well with many more conservative music listeners even among the progheads, but the least they can say it that there is something fascinating with this type of music. And this cosmic music is a far cry to what Cluster will do in a few years dishing out a sort of pre-new wave (as would Ralf and Florian of Kraftwerk also. While I personally think that this type of album is always of a certain interest, I can understand those people not getting the subtleties and just wanting to have one of those cosmic records. And the choice would come down between Popol Vuh's Astentude, Tangerine Dream's Zeit or Atem or Cluster's first two. Mine is: z) all of the above. ;-)

Review by Tom Ozric
4 stars It's always quite a tricky task to review an album of cosmic drones, spacey atmospheres, twittering electronics and strangely dark music, which is what Krautrock duo Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius - 'Cluster', have created here. To many ears, the compositions on this record may border on nonsensical, noisy, druggy noodling etc. but at least to my ears I hear a certain, organic ambience. The 'music' is a result of many layers of electronics, and 'natural' instruments that have often been 'processed' through various gadgets, and their use of repetitive motifs, swirling organs and distorted sounds really offers a hypnotic listening experience. 'Cluster II' features 'Plas' (6.00), 'Im Suden' (12.50), 'Fur Die Katz' (3.00) on side 1, and 'Live In Der Fabrik' (14.50), 'Georgel' (5.25) 'Nabitte' (2.40) on the 2nd side. The highlight for me is Live In Der Fabrik. As others have stated, this is similar to Zeit-period Tangerine Dream and the first few Kraftwerk records. Undeniably cutting-edge at the time of its release, Cluster II is a fine example of experimental music the way only the German Hippies can do.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars While not as spacey as their debut 71(I haven't heard anything that is) this is still about this dynamic duo trying to create a mood, an atmosphere,a soundscape for the trip you are about to take. Lets start by turning out the lights and putting on those headphones shall we, because were going on a voyage into deep space.

"Plas" reminds me of the debut with the waves of sound and pulsating electronics that shift and change throughout. "Im Suden" features the same melody(yes I said melody) over and over. It sounds like a guitar actually as other sounds wash in and out. That melody is eventually copied by electronics?. Very cool song.

"Fur Die Katz" has these high pitched noises at first that eventually soften. "Live In Der Fabrik" features strange sounds that come and go as pulsating sounds throb relentlessly. It gets very spacey 11 minutes in. "Georgel" reminds me of their debut record because it's so spacey. Like being in a cosmic wind storm. Incredible soundscape. "Nabitte" sounds like the machinery in some sort of assembly line. Vocal sounds can be heard as well.

My two favourite tracks are "Im Suden" and "Georgel". Highly recommended music if your going to take a long trip. If I had to pick between their first two albums i'd take 71 but it's close.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Cluster's second album finds them further exploring the electronic soundscapes from the debut. This is a highly valued album in the progressive electronic scene and as far as it concerns spatial exploration and sonic innovation it certainly deserves its high status.

Plas is an impressive piece. Low droning sounds suck you into the universe's darkest black hole. Layers of dissonant distorted 'who-knows-what-they-are' sounds wave in and out of focus. Heavily processed guitar strumming provides some rhythmic clue but apart from that it's an unsettling listen. No melody, no harmony, no rhythm and no emotion exist in this extraterrestrial space. I'm Süden has a sparse rhythmic pulse provide by 4 repeated guitar notes. They create interesting layers of atmosphere around it.

Für Die Katz' has a well chosen title. This one will be a very unpleasant listening for your cats. The tweeting high electronic effects and unexpected twists are guaranteed to distress the poor animals. Also Live In Der Fabrik remains very experimental and dense. There's not much here that you would normally define as 'music'.

The dissonant organ on Georgel has more appeal and electrifies the atmosphere with creepy tonalities similar to Ligeti's contributions for 2001: Space Odyssey. Nabitte ends the album with some vocal effects and a stark dark pulse. It's a very striking piece that sounds almost zeuhl and is way too short unfortunately.

When it comes to music that is so experimental and abstract as this, the extent to which you might be able to connect to it is very unpredictable. So approach with care, this is an album that is impressive for its artistic attitude, but there's no way predicting the possible enjoyment you will extract from it. Somewhere between intellectually essential and enjoyably good.

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars Dare I say it, I always found Cluster a bit on the dull side, much preferring Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream from the same period. Cluster were always just too minimal for me.

This however is one of their better releases. A creepy sounding album that has traces from (in my opinion) the superior Kluster when Conrad Schnitzler was on board strutting his dark foreboding technology.

The inappropriate album artwork doesn't get things off to the best of starts. It sounds nothing like it looks. Repetitive drones and extended electronic whines are the order of the day, all built on top of one another to create a spooky sound that would not appear on any of their subsequent recordings from the Seventies. 'Live in der Fabrik' is the lengthiest and best track taking what's best of these drones and whines and creating a very ghostly atmosphere. 'Georgel' continues in this vein and reminds me a lot of Coil's 'Time Machine's' from the late 90's. Quite experimental and a lot easier on the ear than Kluster ever were. Real haunted house stuff where ghosts appear through solid walls to terrify you in the middle of the night.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Cluster's second album is firmly in the vein of spacey, droney, trancelike Krautrock of the era, but is set apart from its competitors by the excellent production work by Conrad Plank, who produced or co-produced all the group's albums - truly a man with a strong claim to be the third member of the band. The band place themselves at an extremely minimalistic and experimental end of the German cosmic rock spectrum, with all of the conventional structures and approaches to composing music being regarded as strictly optional, to be utilised only if the composition absolutely demands it. It's one of the more challenging Krautrock albums, but well worth a listen regardless.
Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars The duo of Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius deliver nothing in the way of tunes or melodic moments on their second Cluster album from 1972, `Cluster II', nor is it particularly similar to the subdued spacey drifts of the frequently near- ambient debut. Instead, noisy experiments, druggy improvisations and cryptic instrumental collages of guitar, organ and electronics are the order of the day here, closer to the darker atmospheres of the early Krautrock-era works of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze.

Opener `Plas' is a churning stormy drone that grows in stature amidst a heartbeat-like wavering klaxon and harsh ebbing and flowing serrated slivers. A snarling and grumbling electric guitar line repeats over and over into infinity throughout `Im Suden' with ambient distortion washes shimmering to the surface behind them, everything swamped in an unceasing brewing rumble of feedback. Chiming guitar tendrils try to snake their way through an air of shuffling electronic spirals and pulsing machine hisses that slowly abate to allow the briefest of light to enter, and`Fur Die Katz's alien-like twitches and scratchy distortion close the first side, a piece that could have easily found a home on Tangerine Dream's proto-dark ambient `Zeit'.

The suffocating `Live In Der Fabrik' on the flip side is a cavernous environment of chugging machine oscillations feverishly ripped apart by delirious electronic ripples, and the growing menace of `Georgel's sombre droning organ with the lightest of crystalline airy wisps flitting about could have easily worked its way out of the spacey improvised section of Pink Floyd's `A Saucerful of Secrets' and `Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' live performances from the late Sixties. Closer `Nabitte' wraps the disc on smiles and, wait, make that mucky clanging nightmares of brooding jagged piano and groaning eerie voices makes for deeply unpleasant stuff, pretty much the perfect soundtrack to the seediest snuff tape.

`Cluster II' really gets under the skin with grubby fingernails, making for supremely uneasy listening but also one that remains wickedly addictive and completely consuming, laced beginning to end with that dirty sense of danger that permeates all the most satisfying Krautrock works.

Four stars.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars Surprised at the sleeve of this album. And much more surprised at six senses full of darkness, distortion, and psychic rupture. CLUSTER as an offshoot of KLUSTER would have investigated 70s improvised experimentalism of elentronika. Although it's a pity their soundscape created by Dieter and Hans-Joachim got in the similar vein to the K initial combo, the two geniuses would have had a strong intention for developing themselves and their sound formation or construction. Their enthusiasm apparently sounds dominant for downtempo pataphysique electronic solution, authentic in around-1970 Krautrock / Electronic scene. It makes sense that Dieter and Hans-Joachim are thought as pioneers of German Psych / Electronic world.

This album is flooded with repetition and dissonance. The first shot "Plas" can be called as kinda heavy guitar-synth- fuzz-oriented electronic concerto in a depressive manner. Quite impressive is the rhythmic component gets altered suddenly. There is no comfort nor relief, but melodic malformation. "Im S'den" too has mysterious atmosphere. Intentionally and technically discordance tempo and phrase should be produced, you imagine easily. On the other hand, some crystallized melody line can be heard momentally. In "F'r Die Katz" ambient electrosynthesizer-based noise madness extents you an invitation into another sound dimension. A mixture of unfitting tones is eccentric but excellent.

Anyway slight uptempo moist sound hotchpotch is "Live In Der Fabrik", where lots of inorganic unstable electro- sound-depths. Every single noise is bursting like a golden star upon the shocking sleeve pic. Well, wondering why you are getting relaxed toward the end of this track. "Georgel" is another meditative stuff. Just like "Reise Durch Ein Brennendes Gehirm" by Tangerine Dream, you can grab something beautiful and solemn, whilst dissonant sound experimentalism launched all around. The last "Nabitte" is one of the darkest, most serious sound spiritualism like Fille Qui Mousse. You would be tempted to the gorgeous electronic explosion fully with sorta black magic, and it's a potential milestone of Krautrock. What a sour sweetness.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars On the second album, simply titled CLUSTER II, the duo of Hans-Joachim Roedilius and Dieter Moebius continue their collaboration with producer Conny Plank to craft another spaced out journey through some of farthest out there trips that the electronic side of Krautrock had to offer. This album came out in 1972 and was the first to land on the famous Brain label which would release the next couple of CLUSTER albums within its huge list of Krautrock and progressive rock roster. Technically Conny Plank was a member of this group on the first album and then continued to act only as the producer until his death in 1987 but as far as the end product is considered his contributions were immeasurable as a vital third member of the project.

While "Cluster 71" was about as amorphously abstract as a cosmic tripper could hope for, on CLUSTER II this trio began to rein such liberties and started to replace the disorienting and nebulous swarms of sound with rhythmic oscillations and while far from the world of commercial music at least allowed the listener to latch onto a familiar pattern while the sound effects sort of were expansions of the electronic pulsating sounds that oft employ the use of a repetitive guitar riff. "Plas" starts things off with a dark, cold as space detachment from the traditional music world while "Im Süden" takes a simple guitar riff and incorporates various ascending and descending pitches to simulate a journey into some unexplored regions of the cosmos.

CLUSTER II is definitely in the camp of what Klaus Schulze was crafting after his departure from Tangerine Dream. While the previous project Kluster was all about discordant proton-industrial soundscapes with a jarring disregard for convention, CLUSTER focuses exclusively on electronic sounds and electroacoustic manipulations and with the magic of Conny Plank turned rather mundane sounds into frightening even multi-dimensional phantasms that seemed to be reverberating and phasing out of the limited perception capabilities of our known reality. The accumulative effect is nothing less than amazing and the desired effect of crafting the ultimate transcendental escapism is without a doubt achieved.

Due to the fact that CLUSTER II has microbeats and percussive drive due to reverberations, oscillations and other frequency modulations, this set of six tracks makes me think of some kind of atomic disco party where where gluons are bumping and grinding with muons and electrons are getting all jiggy with neutrinos. The ambiguousness of whether this is a cold icy cosmic journey or playing Antman and going to the world of the molecular is totally up to the listener's imagination and the very reason i love this kind of tripped out inchoate romp through sound. This kind of "music" is truly one that activates the creative processes that allows the imagination to fill in the gaps as well as simply providing the soundtrack for an astral trip.

CLUSTER would refine their trippy ambient Kraut weirdness even more for the third album "Zuckerzeit" where avant-garde melodies would replace seemingly random swirls of sound as the main focus but for the first two albums, CLUSTER provided an anarchic liberating stylistic approach matched only by the earliest works of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. Having proved themselves in this arena, the duo would focus on tighter comparisons that included more "normal" sounding beats, recognizable melodies and less free floating soundscapes that evoke the deepest recesses of space and the quantum worlds. While i have to be in the right mood to endure these harsh soundtracks of the unknown, when i do have the hankering to escape Earth's gravitational pull, the first two CLUSTER albums rank high on my list to do so.

Latest members reviews

4 stars REACTIVE (Esoteric) reissue 2012: This, the second Cluster album, is like an extension of the equally essential first; both have now been reissued here by Esoteric's Reactive label. The mastering is superb, and it comes with a very attractive booklet with new interviews with both members. As ... (read more)

Report this review (#782635) | Posted by beebfader | Friday, July 6, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars WOW!!! And that's all what was in my mind after listening this album for the first time. Now, after several years, it still rings in my ears the right way. It's dark, industrial, it's fantastic, just must be heard. I realize not everyone likes this kind of music, but if you're open minded you ... (read more)

Report this review (#207535) | Posted by alionida | Tuesday, March 17, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars So disturbing that it's soothing. The only identifiable musical instrument to be found within this morbid aggregate of nominal sound experiments along with an array of synths and freak knows what else, is an overdriven electric guitar playing only four notes and therefore must be approached ... (read more)

Report this review (#190588) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Thursday, November 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's hard to review an album like this. Judging from the lack of reviews here, I don't think I am alone in feeling this way. The album doesn't have melodies, or songs you can hum. That presents a problem for a lot of people, and I can understand that. However, for music that is really just ... (read more)

Report this review (#98338) | Posted by Kronz | Saturday, November 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars This is almost like the first album and all the "Kluster" period, with Conrad Schnitzler. Every tracks here are only noisy experimentations, nothing comparable with what they do next, especially with Brian Eno. They start up the fluke and make annoying oscillations and random notes on guitar ove ... (read more)

Report this review (#87370) | Posted by | Wednesday, August 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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