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Cluster II

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Audio CD, September 11, 2007
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Revisited / Brain Records
  • ASIN: B000QUCNK4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,331 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Plas 6:00
2. Im S√1/4den 12:50
3. F√1/4r Die Katz' 3:00
4. Live In Der Fabrik 14:50
5. Georgel 5:25
6. Nabitte 2:40

Editorial Reviews

The most important and consistently underrated space-rock unit of the '70s, Cluster (originally Kluster) was formed by Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Conrad Schnitzler as an improv group that used everything from synthesizers to alarm clocks and kitchen utensils in their performances. Continuing on as a duo, Moebius and Roedelius eventually recorded many landmark LPs - separately, as a duo, and with all manner of guest artists from Brian Eno to Conny Plank to Neu!'s Michael Rother - in the field of German space music, often termed kosmische. Cluster also continued to explore ambient music into the '90s, long after their contemporaries had drifted into tamer new age music or ceased recording altogether.

Cluster's second album as a duo is a January, 1972 recording that is similar in style to their previous works. Cluster II is mostly an album of drones and industrial atmospheres; an ambient album before the label began to be applied to music. For the first time Cluster broke down their sound experiments into some bite-sized pieces that reflected their strange kind of humour.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By W. T. Hoffman TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Cluster is a fun band to explore. Partly perhaps from the total pain and sacrifice you go thru, trying to locate their CDs. I have the early KLUSTER cds, but not Cluster 1, so I am not sure how they got here, but the sound overall is just so advanced. The formal connections to Tangerine Dream from that period, and perhaps KRAFTWERK I & II can be discerned. Nevertheless, there is something here, some formal structures, and attempts at various sounds, that really makes this title an early example of KRAUTROCK, and electronica in general. I've read some reviews of HARMONIA, that suggests that those titles are perfect examples of KRAUTROCK, and are a MUST. Well, if that's the case, then you have this title as a MUST as well.

PLAS, the first song, starts out like an ambient soundtrack to a film about Dante's Inferno. Next, IN SUEDEN (in the south) finds our ears treated to nearly 13 minutes of the same four note ascending melody, floating in a atmosphere of constantly pulsing and morphing sounds and eventually, even a bit of countermelody. Naturally, the connections to Philip Glass, and minimalism are being explored. But the fluidity, and liquid shimmering of the backing for these notes, goes far beyond the very tight structures seen in the highly composed pieces by Glass from that period. FUER DIE KATZ' (For the Cats) again seems like film music for dancers from the Adromedia Galaxy. Lots of random, microtonal, swirling sounds, create an atmosphere of total sonic abandon, as opposed to the four note structure of the previous song. On what must have been the first song on side TWO of the LP, we get LIVE IN DER FABRIK. (It's a famous place to gig in Hamburg. Embryo as a live CD from that place too.) If this song is completely live, then I'm just floored.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robert Carlberg on July 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album, in retrospect, is probably the highlight of the Krautock movement. It exemplifies the aesthetic that electronic music could be beautiful without conventional signposts, while also showing that ugliness was the flip side of beauty. This is pure e-musik before the stain of money corrupted the movement. It takes the hardcore experimentation of Kluster and Cluster 1 and refines it, creating musical tone poems of great subtlety, depth and emotional power, all without conventional instruments, rhythm or melody.
The only other release that competes for the title of the zenith of Krautrock might be Tangerine Dream's "Atem" -- but it's much more dependent on the aesthetic of contemporary classical, like Stockhausen and Webern. "Cluster II" is all the more startling because it is so totally original, trailblazing really.
After 28 years it still sounds fresh -- but then, it's rarely been imitated and never been equalled, so why shouldn't it?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Patrick Wade on October 21, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You've returned to consciousness in the engine room where you hid after stowing away on this event horizontal skimmercraft that seems to be deriving some additional power from the Earth's oceans and is perhaps even recharging itself this way. Good to know, especially if the thing starts to get moody when you try and land it. On a whim, you close your eyes and try and reach the cockpit on intuition and tactile sensation alone, perhaps more than a little influenced by a timbre of alien idealism. Just as you are feeling a wet thermodynamic null seep in through your exploring fingers and smile to yourself about a possible encounter with a security guard who finds you absolutely adorable and side steps you in perfect silence to watch you toddle on, the texture of light through your lids alters as if you had been under a serving platter's voila dome, a side dish for an all-business lunch. You fight the urge to clear your throat, not wanting to give the impression of being tainted meat almost as much as you'd rather not be eaten. Turns out you're just garnish for the Venusian Ostrich Fish marinading in mobius serenity and hovering above you, free of all restraints, a kind of zero-gravity contra-veal. It's taking an awful long time for this lid to lift and the roasting fumes, never noticed until now, begin to overwhelm. Suddenly, the two most disconcerting words in the language are "palate cleanser". You haven't lived this long to snuff it as prelude to alien face sucking, right after the "well, that meeting went well, shall we seal the deal?" blink code, so you run for it and for a moment you think no one's noticed. That is until the multi-source slash of laughter and lasers, often indistinguishable from one another and often each heralding the other.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BENJAMIN MILER on November 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I am so glad I discovered Cluster, they were a group I was long aware of, but for some reason it took me until now to buy any of their albums. I have been long a fan of the more experimental end of Krautrock, ever since I discovered those early Tangerine Dream albums, and I have to say Cluster does not disappoint. Cluster II finds the band recording for Brain, after being dropped by Philips. Like its predecessor, all the sounds were created off guitars, organs, and various generators and echo chambers, courtesy of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius, but this time around, each of the cuts actually have real titles, and the cuts are shorter, but it's simply a great album emphasizing lots of industrial type of drones, pulses, and spacy sound effects, a lot of it with a rather sinister feel. I hear plenty of sound effects that sounds familiar to those who heard Can's Tago Mago (especially "Aumgn") and Tangerine Dream's Atem ("Circulation of Events"). A lot of Cluster II has that minimalist approach, so if minimalism isn't your bag, don't bother with this album.

The CD reissue I own also describes Cluster and their musical approach, and it describes how so many acts at that time were using sequencers, which in 1972 isn't true. For one thing, Tangerine Dream had yet to discover sequencers (the sequencers didn't play a role in that group's sound until Phaedra, in 1974).
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