A very different kettle of fish from yesterday’s German band, Nine Days Wonder. I don’t think you could accurately call Cluster “rock music”. How about ‘German 70’s electronic avant-garde’?
LP CLUSTER PHILIPS DE 6305 074
1971 3 TRKS
CD CLUSTER WATER US WATER 160
1971 3 TRKS
LP CLUSTER II BRAIN DE BRAIN 1006
1972 6 TRKS
CD CLUSTER II UNIVERSAL JPN UICY-9557
1972 6 TRKS ('05 issue) kami sleeve, pictured
LP ZUCKERZEIT BRAIN DE BRAIN 1065
1974 10 TRKS
CD ZUCKERZEIT UNIVERSAL JPN UICY-9558
1974 10 TRKS ('05 issue) kami sleeve
Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius are the two musicians most closely associated with Cluster. They worked extensively with producer Conrad Plank; if you add Michael Rother, the band becomes “Harmonia” (who had two very nice albums).
Originally, the band was known as Kluster – and featured an additional member, Conrad Schnitzler. I have at least two albums by this version of the band (“Klopfzeichen” and “Zwei-Osterei”). One side of each album has somebody talking in German, the other side = nice instrumental electronic music!
How did I get interested? There was a definitely wave of experimental rock music from Germany that was fairly easy to come up with in Los Angeles. One could buy Faust, Amon Duul II & Can albums almost anywhere, in the 70’s. I started with “Cluster II” – I liked the Brain label, and it has the most astonishing cover artwork! You can always see (even from across a room) if someone has “Cluster II” in their LP collection!
The debut album is very noisy indeed; “Cluster II” a little ‘spacier’; compared to the other two, “Zuckerzeit” ( = “Sugar Time”) is positively ‘beat’ driven.
After the three wonderfully noisy electronic albums listed above (my favorites!) – they made more records, and eventually released a few albums as “Cluster & Eno” (records that did not interest me at the time; I suppose I should try them again). I understand they have been performing again in 2007 and 2008.
German space rock is not my favorite genre at present, but I thought enough of these three albums to get CD’s of them. I hadn’t heard the 1st Cluster album in years – I found my German original LP of it in Australia, in 1987, for A$1.