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Cluster and Eno

12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 13, 1996
$39.77 $9.88

Editorial Reviews

The first collaboration between the prolific avant-garde German duo and the synthesist and future U2 producer bore tasty musical fruit. Meshing Cluster's affinity for loops and repetition and Eno's penchant for processing sounds, the trio proves that ambient music does not merely consist of drawn-out drones and insipid keyboard tapestries. Certainly many of these nine tracks play off of sustained sounds and atmospheres, but their shorter running times make them more digestible, as does their variety of moods and textures. Highlights include the angelic atmosphere of "Für Luise," the classically inspired piano interlude "Mit Samaen," and the Indian-influenced "One," a trippy progenitor of ethnoambient music, ripe with sitar drones, guitar noises, and exotic percussion that features contributions from Okko Becker and Asmus Tietchens. The group also usurps their spaced-out predilections with the off-kilter "Selange"--a cyclical piece for keyboards and drum machine with a tricky rhythm change to discombobulate its otherwise smooth flow--and the upbeat Western gallop of "Die Bunge." Cluster & Eno is a worthy model for the eclectic possibilities of electronic music. --Bryan Reesman

1. Ho Renomo
2. Schone Hande
3. Steinsame
4. Fur Luise
5. Mit Simaen
6. Selange
7. Die Bunge
8. One
9. Wermut

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 13, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Gyroscope / Sky
  • ASIN: B0000035DD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,397 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By rubidium84 on November 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Cluster live and work in Berlin. They like Eno, and Eno likes them. They call him up and say "come to Berlin and We'll make a record". Eno's friend David Bowie calls, says "I'm depressed." Eno says, "Come to Berlin, we're making records. oh and hey, bring Fripp along." Bowie and Fripp show up with Iggy Pop - he came along because He's a big fan of Fripp (believe it or not!).
And that's the story of how "The Berlin Albums" came to bieng. They are: "Cluster and Eno" and "After the Heat" by C&E, "Low" and "Heroes" by Bowie, and "Before and after Science" by Eno. Such an amazing quintet of albums was never before or since put together and released all in the space of one year. To get the full effect, you really have to listen to all five at the same time in one of those five-tray "random play" CD players.
But on to the review. "C&E" is probably the darkest and most unsettling of the five, featuring instruments such as Theremin, Fretless Bass, Assorted Percussion (of the pots-and-pans variety), Sitar, Piano Trio, and the ubiqtuous Synthesisizer. In fact, Eno's little VCS3 dominates the record, but in many places it takes the role it did with Roxy Music, merely treating the other instruments.
Like I said Before, you have to but all five. the "Berlin Group" creates a complete musical micro-universe within themselves.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on August 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Recorded during a time period of immense productivity and powerful music from Brian Eno ("Before and After Science", David Bowie's Berlin Trilogy), "Cluster & Eno" is a collaboration with German duo Cluster (Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius) and ambient pioneer Brian Eno. Eno, whose early ambient experiments yielded such high results ("Discreet Music", "No Pussyfooting") finds in Cluster collaborators capable of pushing forward his ideas of looping and ambient music. Perhaps more importantly, as his work with Bowie set the stage for producer/collaborator roles with Talking Heads and U2, his work with Cluster set the stage for the next decade of ambient albums for Eno.

Rather than being based upon repeated melody figures (as "Discreet Music" was), each piece on this record seems largely based around an instrumental combination, be it acoustic pianos ("Mit Simaen"), synths and guitars ("Steinsame"), or metallic percussion and synths ("Die Bunge"). The music has an odd sense of longing and melancholy to it, a dark sound and emotive content not found in any of Eno's earlier works-- this expressiveness is startling, with pieces ranging from downright depressing and haunting ("Wehrmut") to oddly and tentatively optimistic ("Fur Luise"). To my knowledge, this is the first example of minimalist or ambient music to have such an emotive content.

I haven't heard previous issues of this album, so I can't readily compare the reissue to them, but the sound is superb-- crisp, clear, full of subtlety and nuance, and really allowing the music to breathe. A Q&A-styled set of liner notes are provided detailing a bit about the record and its history. My guess is its a worthwhile upgrade, certainly in either regard, its a good album. Recommended.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Junglies VINE VOICE on October 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first came upon electronic music through George Harrison's Electronic Sounds and Stockhausen's Hymnem - although having said that listening to Frank Zappa was also instrumental (no pun intended) in opening up that particular avenue. To so-called Krautrock, i owe an eternal debt to Mick Clark and Polli who first brought their albums to the Locarno Ballroom where I was fortunate enough to bring them to the attention of a considerably wider audience.

Among the pioneers were Kraftwork and the indomintable Can but one of my favourites was Cluster, with their crisp, sort of minimalist machine music (not) which one could benefit from particularly through the use of good quality headphones. Although the term industrial music has been associated with this movement that is too simplistic and certainly not in any way evocative of the music that was generated. Along with my other favourites, Faust and the more rock orientated Ash Ra Tempel, Cluster exemplified the best of the modern or more accurately post-modern music which happened to begin in Germany. For further information please refer to Julian Cope's book which should be available on one of the amazon sites and is very popular in Germany I believe.

In Britain, as always, there were some pioneers too among whom was the young Brian Eno getting a start in Roxy Music, and a lesser known figure, Eddie Jobson originally of Fat Grapple but who later associated with Curved Air among others.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 13, 2009
Format: Vinyl
Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius comprise the seminal Krautrock band Cluster, and they have a long and storied history. This 1977 album represents a highlight in their long existence, being recorded with Brian Eno, before Eno would reach superstardom producing albums for U2 and others, and one year before Eno released "Music for Films", one of ambient's all-time standards.

"Cluster & Eno" (9 tracks; 37 min.) is actually a step a way from Cluster's earlier repertoire in which Moebius and Roedelius tended to bring longer pieces, often driven hard by synthesizers. This album is instead a collection of purely ambient sounds, generally short pieces, with no melody, just atmospheric. It's hard to pinpoint any highlights among the 9 tracks, as this plays as one long mood piece, but it works just beautifully. It's amazing to hear this, 32 years after its original release, and how fresh it still sounds, and moreover how you can see the origins of Brian Eno's many ambient releases that would follow. This 2007 re-release comes with great liner notes as well, shedding some light on the way Cluster and Eno came about this album.

If you are interested in exploring Cluster's more electronic's side, I would readily recommend "Live 1974", available here on Amazon. Cluster would record another album with Eno in 1978, "After the Heat", which is also most definitely worth checking out. Meanwhile "Cluster & Eno" is a must for both fans of Cluster and Eno.
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