Cluster — Cluster II
(Esoteric Recordings EREACD1029, 1972/2012, CD)
by Mike Ohman, Published 1995-07-01This 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.
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more