Exposé Online banner

Cluster & Eno — Cluster & Eno
(Water 156, 1977/2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Cluster & Eno Cover art

It’s really hard to understand what this music meant at the time it was recorded. Intellectually we can recall that ambient music was in its infancy, with the term only coined (by Mr. Eno) about the same time. According to the liner notes, Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius relocated themselves to a small village in rural West Germany in order to discover what music could be like freed from the conventions of the day. With an eccentric collection of high- (for the day) and low-tech devices, they set up a studio and got to work. At the same time, Brian Eno, finding himself disillusioned with the whole glam rock thing after leaving Roxy Music and putting out a few solo albums, had started experimenting with other ways of making music. Discreet Music groped in one direction; this recording gropes in another. Rather than being programmed (even randomly), it is manifestly the product of human hands and minds, of people playing instruments, making sounds, and manipulating the results. What’s so exciting about this music (if “exciting” is a word that can be applied), is the sense of discovery; like a bunch of curious kids let loose in a music shop, they acknowledge no rules, and throw together whatever seems to make sense at the moment. Sometimes it’s an arcane combination of effects on a simple set of chords, sometimes it’s a sitar, sometimes it’s a drunken warbly synthesizer, always it’s interesting. An absolute classic.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 33, 2005 releases, 1977 recordings

Related artist(s): Brian Eno, Cluster / Kluster / Qluster, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Dieter Moebius, Holger Czukay

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...

Clogs - The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton – It's an actual place: Lady Walton's Giardini La Mortella acts as a foundation in memory of her late husband, the composer Sir William Walton, provides the setting for classical performances and –...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues