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

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gogglesphere & Lafcadio - Babies in Hell & Sham Duvet – One might ask why these two discs are being addressed in the same review; it’s because both Gogglesphere and Lafcadio are essentially the same band – or that is to say they have the same...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues