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

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Seamus - Zealotry Sterblichen Schizophrenia – Seamus is a French/English band that takes on the monumental task of portraying the horror of the Holocaust. The music is very intense, even abstract at times, as Seamus tries to convey the anguished...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues