CLUSTER

Cluster can be counted among the most important international protagonists of the electronic avant-garde. Some credit them with having invented ambient music, others as pioneers of synthesizer pop, whilst to some they are firmly embedded in the krautrock universe. There is some truth in all of these notions.

Cluster (or Kluster in the beginning) were founded 1970 in Berlin by Conrad Schnitzler, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius. A change in direction and musical differences moved Moebius and Roedelius to split from their third member. The duo recorded 10 regular studio albums between 1971 and 2009. Their debut album ("Cluster 71") is one of the "One Hundred Records That Set The World On Fire", according to The Wire. Bureau B re-released six Cluster albums (see below) and several solo works of the two musicians (see Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius)


KONZERTE 1972/1977

The two authorized recordings presented here vividly conjure up the atmosphere, perhaps even the magic, of a Cluster performance back in the day. One took place in 1977 during a science fiction festival in Metz (France). The other dates back to an earlier show in Hamburg's Fabrik venue. Cluster played three gigs in the city in 1971/1972, including the one partially included on "Cluster II".

Cluster shows routinely lasted six hours or more, luring both the band and the audience into a state of intoxication, no doubt acutely enhanced by the intake of certain substances. The buzzwords of the moment were: psychedelic, magical, ritualistic, corresponding more or less to the Dionysian hedonism which pervades certain styles of contemporary music culture today. It is worth noting this context as useful background when listening to the live recordings presented here.

In the beginning, Cluster's music was rough, brutal and spontaneous, created with the most rudimentary tools. Unlike many of their colleagues in this pioneering age, Cluster did not use any synthesizers, sequencers or high- end amps. But this proved to be their strength, rather than a disadvantage. Roedelius and Moebius played in the truest sense of the word, untroubled by mechanical processes. They used their machines but were not dependent on them. Intuition was the dominant force, the risk of potential failure was readily understood to be as much a part of their vibrant art as success. Perfection had become a concept associated with convention. Indeed, anyone who was lucky enough to witness Cluster play in the 1970s will testify that things sometimes went badly wrong. But mostly they did not, and then the real magic was tangible. A utopian, previously undiscovered world of sound was created in the presence of the beholder.

The sound quality of these two documents is average. A successful performance was considered more important than a perfect recording thereof. We as listeners should accept that today. Our reward is a short journey into the nascent heart of Cluster's creative universe, just after the big bang.


Read the info sheet (PDF) in German
Download the info sheet (PDF): English
Download press kit here


BUREAU B RELEASES


QUA (2009)
(Read more about the release in English / German)


CLUSTER and Farnbauer Live in Vienna (1980)
(Read more about the release in English / German)


Konzerte 1972/1977
(Read more about the release in English / German)


Boxset 1971—1981 (Read more about this boxset here)


KOLLEKTION 6: CLUSTER compiled by JOHN McENTIRE
(Read more about the release in English)


Cluster 71
(Read more about the release in English / German)


Sowiesoso (1976)
(Read more about the release in English / German)


Cluster & Eno (1977)
(Read more about the release in English / German)


Eno Moebius Roedelius: After The Heat (1978)
(Read more about the release in English / German)


Curiosum (1981)
(Read more about the release in English / German)


Grosses Wasser (1979)
(Read more about the release in English / German)


Apropos (1990)
(Read more about the release in English / German)


One Hour (1994)
(Read more about the release in English / German)


USA live (1997)
(Read more about the release in English / German)


Japan live (1997)
(Read more about the release in English / German)

LINKS

Wikipedia on Cluster

MUSIC



Samples from Cluster albums in chronological order



PICS


KONZERTE 1972/1977 — click for Hi-Res version


Click for Hi-Res version


Click for Hi-Res version


Click for Hi-Res version


BUY


Cluster
9 album box set 1971—1981



Kollektion 6: Cluster
compiled by John McEntire



Cluster
Japan live



Cluster
USA live



Cluster
One Hour



Cluster
Apropos Cluster



Cluster
Apropos Cluster



Cluster
Cluster 71



Cluster
Sowiesoso



Cluster & Eno
Cluster & Eno



Cluster
Curiosum



Cluster
Großes Wasser