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KLUSTER

Krautrock • Germany


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Kluster biography
(between pure experimentation, noise and krautrock)

The formation of Kluster can be referred to the activities of Conrad Schnitzler, one of Joseph Beuy's students at the Düsseldorf's Fine Arts Academy. Schnitzler was a key figure in the underground art scene in Berlin in the late 60's. He participated in the formation of the Zodiak Free Arts in 1968, with amongst others Hans Joachim Roedelius. Schnitzler soon met Dieter Moebius, an other student of Beuy's and asked him to become the third member of the ensemble Kluster in 1969. The trio's music directly reflected the free form aesthetic of the Art Lab in lengthy improvisational performances. The two first Kluster albums "Klopfzeichen" and "Osterei" came about when Schnitzler noticed a newspaper item regarding a church organist interested in their music. The album was produced and released by arrangement with the church, hence the religious content of the text. The third and final Kluster album, "Kluster und Eruption" was released in collaboration with members of Eruption and released in a private pressing by the Block Gallery.

All Kluster's albums are precious and rare documents in progressive electronic / contemporary avant garde music.

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KLUSTER Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy KLUSTER Music


SchwarzSchwarz
Bureau B 2013
Audio CD$12.79
$19.98 (used)
Kluster: 1970-1971Kluster: 1970-1971
Water 2008
Audio CD$74.99
$39.39 (used)
AdmiraAdmira
Important Records 2008
Audio CD$4.49
$4.49 (used)
Vulcano: Live in Wuppertal 1971Vulcano: Live in Wuppertal 1971
Important Records 2008
Audio CD$10.98
$8.89 (used)
KlopfzeichenKlopfzeichen
Bureau B 2012
Audio CD$12.23
$11.99 (used)
Zwei-OstereiZwei-Osterei
Cleopatra 1996
Audio CD$59.07
$4.00 (used)
My LoveMy Love
Import · Single
Tinted Records 2001
Audio CD$9.86
$1.60 (used)
Easter EggEaster Egg
Import · Limited Edition
Japanese Import 2006
Audio CD$84.42
$19.61 (used)
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KLUSTER shows & tickets


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KLUSTER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KLUSTER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.62 | 15 ratings
Klopfzeichen
1971
3.69 | 12 ratings
Zwei Osterei
1971
4.35 | 15 ratings
Eruption
1971

KLUSTER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.13 | 5 ratings
Admira
2008
3.25 | 4 ratings
Vulcano - Live In Wuppertal 1971
2008

KLUSTER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

KLUSTER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Kluster 1970-1971
2008

KLUSTER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

KLUSTER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Klopfzeichen by KLUSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.62 | 15 ratings

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Klopfzeichen
Kluster Krautrock

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

3 stars Immeasurable sounds

Comprised of Conrad Schnitzler and the soon to be Cluster duo of Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius, Kluster is today seen as one of the pivotal names of the early experimental electronic scene. A far cry from the later velvety shadings of the Berlin school, their debut album Klopfzeichen offers up a grim industrial palette of ominous metallic music.

Schnitzler and Roedelius originally met in the underground scene of Düsseldorf, where all kinds of experiments took place. It started out at the Zodiac Free Arts commune that sported equal measures of psychedelic music, free jazz and avantguarde trickery. This was way back in 1968, and it shows us that Krautrock, as we today know it, developed over a long period of time. It was through new ideas of how to live, express oneself and communicate with each other that eventually metamorphosed into the outspoken musical freedom, that I personally have come to love so dearly.

Klopfzeichen came into being around the same time that Tangerine Dream's Electronic Meditation was made. Most places on the internet state that it came out in 1970, but Kluster's debut was in fact made a whole year earlier. Schnitzler played on both of these legendary albums, and while he never was ring leader of either band, you can certainly hear distinct similarities between the both. For starters, the production of these albums makes me think of an old abandoned factory hall surrounded by big piles of rubble and discarded rusty bicycle corpses. Raw and unfiltered like an iron smoothie with jaggedy nails and swinging hammers.

Born out of improvisation, Klopfzeichen balances a tightrope of brooding stretched out surfaces and experimental sways of music that literally flickers about in your living room, whenever you decide to take the plunge and let yourself emerge in the darkness.

Ominous piano clinkering, buzzing whirlwind effects, tick tocking metal sounds and unsettling soundscapes that'll have your eyelids twitching, this album is anything but a soothing relaxing electronic excursion. If anything, it offered up the blueprint behind the industrial palette that later on was defined and rearranged by acts such as Faust, Throbbing Gristle and Zoviet France. On here we find it in a muddy embryonic state that mumbles its way through a sombre marmalade wall that colours everything around it in contour-less grime and moist dust.

I have no way of describing this album in a befitting manner. Two long cuts of music made for a romantic meeting between ancient shipyards and oilfield workers. Or maybe it would make for an outstanding soundtrack to a tale of an interstellar blacksmith with robotic bees in his joints. This whole record actually feels like an aching body - like rhythmic arthritis in a man that magically takes on the unnatural form of correlated iron and reverberating screeches.

Klopfzeichen is not your everyday bip bip album, as you probably will have picked up by now. Every sound uttered by either the piano, strings or organs are thrown into that marmalade wall I was on about before. It's those treatments that transform this album from an early Stockhausen like experiment, to the boundary pushing electronic record it is.

To make matters even more incomprehensible, Kluster's first two albums were indeed sponsored by the local church. The in-house organist was drawn to the immeasurable sounds of the group and somehow found a way to sponsor their early endeavours. This is also the reason behind the archaic female incantations of the first cut, that dabbles in esoteric religious motifs and other such guilt fuelled mind constellations. The revolution as often referred to, is on the verge of being on the verge - as always really, but on here you sense a strange symbiosis of wild unhinged youth and the towering biblical escapades of some 2000 years tumbling together.

This is not an easy listen by any stretch of the imagination. It's a curiosity - a rare fluke of experimental music that somehow miraculously got to see the light of day through the help of the most unlikely of places, and still.................I feel lucky to have this in my possession. I played it this morning with a high fever and felt delirious for 40 minutes straight - I climbed the ceiling in a highly inelegant manner and went out of my body, only to land right back where I came from. The journey had taken me out on watery metal surfaces that tricked me into believing that I was gone, away from this earth, if only for a short while. Now that is a feat in itself, and one I surely dare to duplicate the next time I feel like a run-over turd. 3.5 stars

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 Zwei Osterei by KLUSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.69 | 12 ratings

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Zwei Osterei
Kluster Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars KLUSTER released three albums in 1971 and this is the middle album. Moebius and Roedelius would then change the band's name to CLUSTER and for me the soundscapes would become much better, especially on CLUSTER's first two classic albums. Listening to those recordings is like taking a trip outside in a severe wind storm, they're great. This particular album is made up of two side long suites.

The first is really tough going for me because of the German spoken words that come and go throughout. Very annoying ! Apparently the band was sponsered by a church and so the spoken words are religious in nature. For me it ruins the whole album. I mean who wants to listen to some guy spread this message in a language you don't even understand. Anyway the second part is much better.Very spacey at times with random drums being banged along with lots of other sounds coming and going. A loud outburst comes in after 16 minutes.

No more than 3 stars and the best was yet to come from this duo in CLUSTER.

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 Zwei Osterei by KLUSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.69 | 12 ratings

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Zwei Osterei
Kluster Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch

4 stars 'Zwei Osterei' or 'Two Easter egg' is very similar to 'Klopfzeichen for the simple reason that it was recorded on the same day.

I recently discovered the rather disturbing fact that in 1968 Kluster journeyed to Corsica where they set up a nudist camp in the mountains! At night they played music until dawn, with Roedelius stating that he found real spiritual music during a full moon. Hmmm... Three naked men battering oil drums in the middle of the night doesn't appeal to me at all. In fact it sounds downright gross. Germans seem very keen on removing their clothes. I've seen enough of that on beaches abroad whilst on holiday, thank you very much.

In 1969 the church, of all establishments, decided to finance these first albums by Kluster, on the condition that religious texts be added on one side. Thankfully my German isn't too good and I'm led to believe that the translation into English sounds incredibly corny.

Record label 'Schwann's tag line was "The workshop of new church music". Well, if I heard music like this in a church I'd be down there every Sunday morning paying my respect to God. This is damn creepy stuff... Their playing technique resembles that of Stockhausen. There are no beats. It's floating, unearthly and atonal with lots of sound generators and electronic filters used throughout. Fans of 'Zoviet France' and early 'Throbbing Gristle' will love this.

Turned up loud, 'Zwei Osterei' is superb for terrifying the neighbours in the middle of the night resembling sounds from the Pittsburgh steelworks replete with sparks flying everywhere.

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 Klopfzeichen by KLUSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.62 | 15 ratings

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Klopfzeichen
Kluster Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch

4 stars An atonal, sprawling mass of machine noise that must have been completely out of synch with all other albuns created in the very early 70's. Personally I love this kind of stuff. 80's experimental band 'Zoviet France' surely took inspiration from these three guys from Deutschland.

Conrad Schnitzler who had recently appeared on Tangerine Dream's 'Electronic Meditation' is at the helm of this most experimental of early 70's bands. 'Klopfzeichen' sounds remarkably like Throbbing Gristle's 'Journey through a Body' & 'Shadow of the Sun' from 1981.

You won't find any guitars, drums or bass here. What you get instead are bowed metals and numerous acoustic objects pushed through electronic filters.

There's not much in the way of music or tunes present. This one's all about atmosphere - and it's pretty bleak stuff, complete with spoken German female vocals which add to the desolation that is conjured up.

Played back loud, it produces thoughts in my mind of the aftermath in Dresden in February '45.

Heavy stuff indeed.

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 Klopfzeichen by KLUSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.62 | 15 ratings

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Klopfzeichen
Kluster Krautrock

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

1 stars I won't pretend that I like this album, or that I appreciate its place in history of Prog music. By my opinion, it's more Prog Electronic, but this fact is not so important. I've ranted in past, I'll rant in future and today dear readers, I'll rant too. It's not happening too often, because mostly, I listen albums that I suppose I'll like. Not this time.

Yes, this won't be nice and some of you may not like me because of that and for that, I'm sad. In these (in total) 44 minutes, there's about 3-4 minutes of interesting "sounds", the rest is either empty, or repeated so much that blood bleeds through my ears. Klopfzeichen should mean something like "pulsing" and yes, there's certainly Tangerine Dreams type of pulsing, the Space Rock one (celestial sounds), but that doesn't mean much to me. And German spoken text certainly doesn't help it at all (again, because some of you may feel offended, I don't hate Germany or its people, but the language sounds unpleasant to me).

Sad thing is that there's nothing I can really appreciate, only majority of album full of boredom, unbearable sounds and the minority is comprised of sounds that I can stand.

1(+), concept I wasn't able to understand, or there's nothing to understand at all ?

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 Admira by KLUSTER album cover Live, 2008
3.13 | 5 ratings

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Admira
Kluster Krautrock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Apparently a live album of the Kluster group from the same year that the K became a C, when Moebius and Roedelius decided to keep the group's name (albeit slightly changed), once Schnitzler left the band in May 71. Sooooo what to do with this posthumous release, claiming to be live from that very same year, but having Schnitzler, but not Moebius and Roedelius, unless the last two are included in the "And Friends"? According to Asbjornssen, Kluster's last concert was in May 71 in Gottingen,, but I don't explain the line-up that doesn't mention Dieter and Hans. All I can say it that sonically speaking, this is certainly a real "K"luster album, going as far, if not even further than even Faust dared to. 12 tracks (ranging from 1 to 8 minutes) without names, with only one or two that have a structure or some kind of repeating pattern that can be either seen as rhythm or thread, Admira is certainly a weird disc, but by no means stranger than the Kluster preceding it or the Cluster following it. Often nightmarish, sometimes hypnotic, never melodic, always surprising, these tracks lead you from total insanity to complete madness without you even realizing it in just over one hour, but somehow the album manages to stand on its own and completes its quest for its grail without even battling it out, since its implacable logic leaves no room for discussion. Definitely a must for the "KC"luster fans, but it's hard giving 4 stars to such an album.

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 Eruption by KLUSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.35 | 15 ratings

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Eruption
Kluster Krautrock

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Being already, by two grand and more than hypothetically connected albums, a band of pure revelation and clear industrial marooning, Kluster, by the craft and chaos trio of Conrad Schnitzler , Dieter Moebius and Hans Roedelius, does another mind-dazzling, style-culminating and imperiously deprived composition, in the same year of the 1971 and in the same motive of creation and destruction. In fact, it is a fundamentally thicker and more unimaginable experiment, in contrast with the other two classics, and it is almost a parable to the fact that, after enough innovation and "absurdification" in the realms and inconvenienced tastes of krautrock, acid rock, electronic waste, sound-feast, noise and independent wave special signs and treats, an even more dark, conceptual, sardonic, cold-blooded and mechanical exploitation is close to unreal and paradigmatic. Add the avant-garde, for sure, because nothing is of simple logic, blatant technicality or fantasy of an enjoyable convention. Instead, this excelled program is nightmarish, haunting, neurotically and industrial, fractal and micro-tonal, insensitive and without color, harsh and without gravity, colossal and without sensibility. It's a freakin' masterpiece.

Titled as Kluster & Eruption, this album also wants to be a sort of Kluster and Eruption collaboration, though the Trio plays the music and the entire sense, and only the mix, the arrangement and the producing effort gets a tenacious help from Klaus Freudigmann. In a listened way, there's no possible chance you can differentiate the music's brand from the band's geniality - so that it is a clear-clean Kluster. Only musically it is so different, strong and deep-imploded that it seems the bigger and more audacious artistic work of the band with a special influence - the Eruption on. Anyway you take it, this creation is droopingly unbelievable in force, gluttony and sensation.

From scratching the living aesthetic out of you to studying the microcosms of a sound's second, this work has nothing to do with normal metrics and patient forms. First of all, hardly there is allowed a melody, a calibrated rhythm, ambiance or self-simple vibrations - which can make the beautiful music lovers have a grunge against this entire avant-garde; also it can point how interesting it is that this postmodern, narcissistic, derisory and malformed album is recommended among the most essential works. At least without doubt it is worthy its independent subtlety. The German krautrock lies under transfigurations and transformations, and the acid of it is touchingly depressive and aggressive. The electronic fiber is impossible to pronounce as absurd or rather accomplished, but it sure lies on edges, mechanics and supporting breaks - though a lot of "traditional" electronics and components do the massive thing. By experimentalism this is big, studying brutal minimalism, clenching great lengths of tone and sound rictus, reaching nerve collapses and valorous techniques of undetermined raw sort. Noise, the last ingredient, is ultimate, exploiting almost every heavy, dystrophic, tech-macabre resource imaginable.

This is a violent art and a heartless creation, but it also resembles a suffering of improvisation towards perfection. I personally regard this a masterpiece and Kluster's best because the detail of their initial protological and scientific experiment has reached a crass and overwhelming idea: electronic/krautrock mechanical and psychotic satisfaction on the extremest verge of a restless noise and minimal improvisation. An essential, visceral and hardly accessible rage craft album in the genre or the big movement.

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 Zwei Osterei by KLUSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.69 | 12 ratings

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Zwei Osterei
Kluster Krautrock

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Out of the two authentic Kluster albums (because Eruption, though not obligatory so, is more complex under the circumstance of a collaboration and a total avant-garde strange unleash), Zwei-Osterei is a more splendid, characteristic and memorable creation. Yet the 'two-easter eggs" of Kluster are both albums, motivated under the same precision, year of music and combination of explosion and surprises. And both complement the pivotal trio of Schnitzler, Moebius and Roedelius (the first a grand soloist of electronic, kraut and German rock himself, the other two artists with a more hard excellency down the future Cluster albums or general electronic manipulations).

What makes Zwei-Osterei ticks and twist is in fact the ultimate and prolific minimal sound manual or the greatly evolved set of special effects, most progressively distinguished between the bad dreams and the hectic noises of krautrock, the independent and reactive sound forms, the electronic birth and mirth of significantly achieved expressions, the noise clutch and the acid ubiquitous involvement, and, more personally, the act of art and avant-garde. The better parts contain more angry and saturated moment, more depth and carnal experimentation, more strange focuses, more sensitive over-blows of something that, for sure, seems both exaggerate, has the incoherence of a grand sound festive and also, gently, aspires to be unique, tough, klutzed. Still having in mind that Klopfzeichen was slightly weaker, the ambient and melody-stretch over there is hardly tested in here as well. For aficionados, this Kluster material is both the extended art that sends doubtful qualities and similar traces into any other contemporary genius of the kraut, cosmic, electronic or electro-dementia field, but also relaxes of referentiality itself, having in mind a rahing individual manipulation.

Part One privileges again a powerful narration - religious, metaphysically and philosophically based - this time with a more gripping, side-dark and hollow reverberation, unlike the most mystic and confounding similar message that Christia Runge practiced in Klopfzeichen. The amazing thing is the sobriety, yet the foolish affection for hard words, in memorable echoes and brand-acid colors; the lines evoke riot, life, demise, war, methodical insatiety and indistinction. The instrumental involvement is a bit forgotten, likewise, but the interest in a narrative experimental piece is remarkably conducted.

Part two of the medical progressive album is fascinating and difficult, experimenting in all the mentioned marks and values (noise, kraut, electronic technicality, sound-licks) a piece of heavy rhtyhms and groaning breaths, tough artificial chemistry and over-worked electronic production (out of mentioned instruments and related experiments, that, themselves, are between facile and up-stirring). The indescribable essence only means that the acid piece is something for a listener's great and deeming adventure. Numerous generally influences, such as those of palpitating atonal beats, sequencing atypical reactions, high decibels of drone melt emphisis, numbness and cosmic avidity, technical and surrounding suspense or dark fluency, cracking or bursting emotions of loneliness, sense-demise or psychedelic atrophy. Outside this symbolical, powerfully induced or predisposed experimented values, Zwei-Osterei becomes a music of total avant-garde and senile fantastic artistry.

The album, upon being a re-release, includes a second piece from a Cluster & Fernbach concert, one not fundamentally fantastic, but not purely electronic either.

Heavily recommended.

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 Klopfzeichen by KLUSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.62 | 15 ratings

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Klopfzeichen
Kluster Krautrock

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Without hesitation, one of the most important, hard and astounding electronic class band is Kluster, made entirely out of an express desire to challenge the art and the movement of its kind (a kind to be discovered, entirely by one's own listening and recommendation). Revealed a lot as magisterial under the progressive electronic school of thoughts, dynamics and experiments (German-style, naturally, despite some influences that seem totally private, and others that numb out no particular music at all), the band's musical concept is yet far from such an easy definition (or even a ragged-drone one), mixing the hysteria or the silent respect of the krautrock/acid movement, deepening the experiment towards intricacy, desperation, no-logic, mechanical motion and abstractionism, or creating noise or independent electronic movements.

Conrad Schnitzler's vast past-60s experience is a good point of reflection leading to these early 70s years, when, not just in Kluster, but also in Tangerine Dream or in solo measures, his visions strode deep into challenging music, touch and artificiality in incomparably hard, technical, edasic and veracious ways. Moebius and Roedelius are a compact important duo joining Kluster, in a way that will continue into the good to great Cluster later albums, but not that much as to say that the Kluster moment of music, electronic, kraut-noise and experimentalism-dependency, was something far from retched, quasi-original, tonic, influential or drastic.

The Kluster sessions strike, dramatically, only three albums and only one year of work. But mixing a lot of progressive electronic, Berlin School music dynamics and elementary art-strain evolutions into your perspective leads always to the impression that the trio of Kluster have made some radical and brand astonishing moves, while other artists slept on a bit more easy or atmospheric, transitory or sound-reflexive tastes (not that many, for sure, since the classic years remain devoted to electronic excellencies, yet almost sensible, in the link between progressive and experimental, cosmic or mechanic, etc.).

Specifically in the Kluster dynamic of appreciation, Klopfzeichen is keen on being the most pointed out. It has a lot of the "elementary" power and details that the trio uses, in order for their gumble-art, organic-note or experimental-cause music to get the special shine. It's more introverted and ambient-shaded, in order for the orientation of electronic with noise and kraut to seem very clear and very impressive. But, down the artistic measure, the other two albums made by Kluster are entirely better, more rough, more skeptical regarding the electronic or sonic impulse.

Interesting, captivating or so-to-say full of exultation in Klopfzeichen are fragments of music, expression and expiration. The first part has a large side of low-mono sound and deep-physical voice narration, this last thing leading to imagining something from Floh de Cologne or Cosmic Jokers, but resembling actually neither. The topic is vast, acid or superficial, respectively, whether we're still talking about the word play, or of the actual effects of music, ambiance and primary sounds. The second part is more cold and ravishing, mixing an ambient "krust" of music, but also focusing the positive, artistic and magical moments of the noise-shrud, the experimental-surround or the typical abstract feel.

Klopfzeichen, with minimal, experimental, ambiental or collage elements of the electronic, kraut-docile, noise-sound or "kluster" blend of genres and illusions, is a sophisticated new brand and progressive effect; yet the most peaceful, intuitive, large-echoed experience too.

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 Eruption by KLUSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.35 | 15 ratings

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Eruption
Kluster Krautrock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Content Development & Krautrock Team

4 stars This is Conrad Schnitzler's atypical music during the activities of the avant garde collective "Zodiac free art lab". Extremely experimental, cerebral, maniac proto-electronic atmospheres. The compositions are made for a small ensemble of electric guitar, cello, tape loops and percussions. It contains haunting, noisy fragments exploring the darkest side of the subconsciousness. "Part One" starts with monotonous, almost "gothic" cello chords surrounded by chaotic noises and echoing bass lines. The track ends up with claustrophobic sounds, an imminent explosion of sounds, totally crazy and druggy."Part Two" is much more industrial with massive, doom like bass guitar parts, destroyed guitar lines and heavy noises, a true apocalyptical soundscapes. The track also features high frequencies and pre- sampling techniques. Conceptual, extreme, painful, creative primitive electronic exercises.

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Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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