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Cluster – Cluster II

07 Dec 2013

Cluster - Cluster II

Ranked #15 on Julian Cope’s list of 50 essential Krautrock records, it’s hard to believe I haven’t featured this album before. Aside from finding original pressings of Cosmic Jokers records, I think the happiest I’ve been hunting for records has been finding Cluster’s classics. Although I can’t boast about owning an original copy of CLUSTER (I’ve held one before! It’s…cool) I nabbed a Near-Mint/Near-Mint CLUSTER II a few years ago and listen to it with some regularity. There’s SOWIESOSO and ZUCKERZEIT, the Eno stuff and beyond, but I think II is definitely my favorite.

Those spake Cope:

This was really Cluster’s first LP in terms of an available career that music fans could really buy into, yet it is musically as challenging as the previous three LPs that bore the Cluster name in its differently spelled guises. Dieter Moebius & Hans-Joachim Roedelius’ previous incarnation as Kluster, with Conrad Schnitzler, had produced two sonic experiments that bore more allgeience to Schnitzler, whilst the Phillips released Cluster, though a fabulous record similar to drumless early Kraftwerk, has always been virtually impossible to find. Again, Conny Plank is a mainstay of this recording team, even receiving co-credits for the writing of CLUSTER II. The six minute opener “Plas” is reminiscent of the first Cluster LP with pounding echoes of sound reverberating around the cosmos. CLUSTER II has much in common with early Suicide, indeed it is hard to imagine that Alan Vega & Martin Rev did not base many of their sound experiments on this music. The 12-minute “Im Suden (In The South)” features slow cyclical fuzz guitar repeated over a fading ominous backing track, whilst a treated early drum machine clatters in and out of the mix, creating an arid desert effect. “Fur Die Katz” closes Side 1, returning again to the same cosmic FX lunescape that so much of the early Cluster trip inhabits. Side 2 opens with the 14-minute “Live in der Fabrik”, another huge vibrational landscape where melody has no place and the unfolding of unworldly events is everything. But Cluster get closest to a normal world on “Georgel” where the identifiable organ makes a refreshing change, and the album closer is the percussive and surprisingly expressionist “Nabitte”, on which pianos clang back and forth over the same two chords as artificially generated rhythm ebbs and flows in a tidal manner. There is a timelessness in this music which releases it from restrictions such as bars and beats per minute, though Tangerine Dream would take this to its logical conclusion on ZEIT, and Cluster would later meet Neu!’s Michael Rother, and discover melody in music.”

Enjoy!

Cluster
Cluster II
(Brain, 1972)
MediaFire DL Link

01. Plas
02. Im Suden
03. Fur die Katz
04. Live in der Fabrik
05. Georgel [MP3]
06. Nabitte


3 Comments on Cluster – Cluster II

  1. Algae

    Finally something decent

  2. Tyler Kent

    Truly great stuff and to my ears real kosmiche spacerock.

  3. Gonzalo

    My sense of owe towards these albums has been growing within the years. I prefer loosing myself in the dark waters of Cluster 71 but this second issue perfectly shows the real sense of what electronic music should be. One of the greatest 10 lp cover ever?


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