Exposé Online banner

Harmonia 76 — Tracks and Traces
(Rykodisc RCD 10428, 1976/1997, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2000-05-01

Tracks and Traces Cover art

1976 was a transitional year where Brian Eno changed his context for working with electronics to an ambient perspective. This was due in part to his meeting with synthesizer duo Cluster (Moebius and Roedelius), with whom he would later record two albums. This collaboration with Michael Rother was one where tone and atmosphere were as important as actually playing a single note on a keyboard or guitar. This explains the lack of rhythmic development across the album's nine pieces. The opening piece, "Vamos companeros," is a rackety rework of the backing track for "No One Receiving" from Eno's Before and After Science. The tempo has been slowed down and dark treatments performed on the song, which alters the complexion dramatically. Eno's role is not as leader since his contributors were already working together as Harmonia for two albums prior to this. Instead he adds bass, and synth although it's difficult to determine who is playing what on which track. "Luneburg Heath" is the lone vocal track which describes a location where you obviously don't want to get lost, while "Almost" is the most calming and serene piece on the disc. Also included is an early version of "When Shade Was Born," which would later surface in full pastel arrangement on After the Heat. Overall the album is relaxing and evokes dream like images but doesn't force you to passively count sheep. For a lost project which had been unreleased for over twenty years, I'd say it's as current as any techno project if only for the strength of the collaboration and the blurring of egos.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 19, 1997 releases, 1976 recordings

Related artist(s): Brian Eno, Harmonia, Michael Rother, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Dieter Moebius

Latest news

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

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lady Lake - Unearthed – By one scheme of reckoning, rarities collections come three categories: those that are only of interest to established fans of the artist, those that can serve as an introduction to a newbie, and...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues