Exposé Online banner

Cluster — Cluster II
(Esoteric Recordings EREACD1029, 1972/2012, CD)

by Mike Ohman, Published 1995-07-01

Cluster II Cover artThis is actually Cluster's fourth album, if you count the two albums for the tiny Schwann Studio label as a trio (named Kluster) with ex- Tangerine Dream member Konrad Schnitzler. The spelling change followed Schnitzler's departure for a solo career. For those not familiar with Cluster, they were a duo of multi-instrumentalists Achim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius, and one of the premier German electronic outfits. Cluster II was originally released on the legendary Brain label in 1972, and marks possibly the pinnacle of Roedelius and Moebius' experimental creativity. The most incredible thing about the album is no synthesizers were used, a fact hard to grasp after actually listening to it. The sounds on this album were created by various electric and acoustic instruments, mostly electronic organs, apparently, but also piano, electric guitar, steel-guitar, violin and cello. Good luck in trying to match a sound with a particular instrument, though, as the instruments are so distorted through various used audiolab electronics. The tracks on this album are mostly long, consisting of simple melodic motives slowly changing and distorting over the course of the piece, and ending up in quite a different place from where it started. This could possibly be likened to the music of minimalist composers such as Reich, but with a much harsher, rock element centered in the raucous electronic effects, which might even be termed proto-industrial. As it is, this is certainly recommended only to the adventurous. But those up for a challenge will find this a rewarding listen.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 7, 2012 releases, 1972 recordings

Related artist(s): Cluster / Kluster / Qluster, Hans-Joachim Roedelius

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lands End - Pacific Coast Highway – With a sound about midway between the pop side of the SI camp and the colorful and intense melodics of the Edhels/Mind Gallery school — perhaps with a bit of the Windham Hill sound thrown in, this...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues