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Cluster 71 [Vinyl]

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Vinyl, September 21, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (aka Cluster) released this, their first album, after Conrad Schnitzler (Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream) left the group originally known as Kluster in 1971. On the outer edge of German space rock, Cluster 71 stands as a testament to minimalist 'cosmische' music. The three untitled tracks are exploratory, ever-changing pieces which focus on guitar distortion and synthesizer wails. This album deserves the many accolades it's been given, and holds up as an early landmark in the history of beatless ambience.
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
7:43
Album Only
2
30
15:36
Album Only
3
30
21:13
Album Only

Product Details

  • Vinyl (September 21, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4 Men With Beards
  • ASIN: B000FVRR0K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,396 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey J.Park VINE VOICE on May 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This excellent 1971 release opens with a wall of eerie mechanical sounds that are similar in texture to the soundscapes that Tangerine Dream was experimenting with on albums like Alpha Centauri (also 1971). Interestingly enough although the sounds on Cluster 71 are very futuristic sounding and highly electronic, the musicians did not use a single synthesizer. In fact, all of the sounds were generated with two organs, a violin, and a cello that were all heavily modified with analog echo machines, sound generators, and effects pedals. The musicians on this album include Deiter Moebius (organ, Hawaiian guitar, audio generator, amplifier), Hans-Joachim Roedelius (organ, cello, audio-generator), and Conny Plank, who not only contributed to the pieces, but engineered and helped produce the album. There are three untitled tracks that range in length from 7'38" to a massive 21'17" and are very similar in texture and mood (all deliciously creepy). My general take on this album is that it stretches the experimental "studio-wizardry" approach of late 1960s Pink Floyd to the point where recognizable form and structure are pretty much thrown out the window. There are no melodies to speak of and each piece is dominated by a creepy and pulsating wash of odd sounds and electronica-like textures. This album was re-issued recently and features the original cover art along with some informative liner notes by Steven Iliffe. All in all, this album makes for some serious listening and should prove to be very enjoyable for fans of 1970-1971 Tangerine Dream and "Berlin School" electronica in general. Highly recommended.

For those of you that are curious, Reodelius and Moebius would go on to form the group Harmonia. Their album Deluxe (1975) is very enjoyable and synth heavy too.
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Format: Audio CD
Originally released in 1971 (so it's noted). I've never seen or even heard of this reissue, until here recently. Looks to have been put out right between the time that Kluster's '70's 'Klopfzeichen' and '71's 'Eruption' had seen the light of day. Oh, 'Cluster '71' holds up to it's name, from every standpoint. Three untitled cuts (as C / Kluster is known for). It's obvious that members Dieter Moebius and Jiachim Roedelius had spent a good amount of time putting this piece of ambient / krautrock together. Track listing: #1 (15:33), #2 (7:39) and #3 (21:14). Felt that all three compositions here served their purpose well. If you're discovering this album for the very first time,like I did, 'Cluster '71' should provide many pleasant listens for you. Save maybe some of your best stash for this one. A should-have.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
1971 marked yet another extraordinary 'debut' from the experimental German Krautrock scene - a dynamic duo known as Cluster. The band actually began life as Kluster and had released three albums under this name until founding member Conrad Schnitzler left for a solo career. With Schntizler's departure in 1971, Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius carried on as Cluster and released a jaw-dropping self-titled album full of timeless innovation and experimentation.
36 years later, "Cluster 71" still sounds almost unlike anything from the period. It's also hard to believe that none of the soundscpaes heard on this album were made with a single synthesizer. Only electronic organs, a Hawaiian guitar and various electronic devices and amplifiers were used.
Right from the start, this album hits a person in the face with the full-blown industrial attack of the 15-minute opening track all the way through the 21-minute closing piece. The music gives the impression that it was recorded in a large industrial plant with various machines performing their own sounds. This is especially apparent in the album's final piece.
There really isn't anything that "Cluster 71" can be compared to (except for maybe Tangerine Dream's "Nebulous Dawn" from their 1972 classic "Zeit"). This album really takes on a life of its own once it hits the ears and is an amazing and somewhat frightening journey into the world of surreal sounds. As time would go on, Cluster would slowly begin to leave their abrasive soundscapes behind them opting for a more melodic and quiet approach. This album shows Cluster at the beginning though - a fresh duo of individuals who weren't afraid to experiment on all four cylinders and successfully pulling out all the stops in the end.
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To appreciate Cluster, you first need to forget about the question of what is music and what is sound. That may be great to teach fourth graders about basic verse chorus and verse. But for real music heads, who have loved both music and sound since babyhood, it is fact: drop a wine glass from three feet up and listen to it break, and there is the sound of music.

Cluster sets up white noise, and inserts sounds into it. They take their time, and their pieces are sonic shape shifters. Formless, they create their own form, and these mold to the curves of your ears, always changing, subltle shifts that bend into new ways to hear the same noise.

This music is totally subconsious, and will get into mind if you are listening or not. It becomes part of the environment, like passing cars, or paint.

You need to play this often to get the full impact of what Cluster is offering--the music of non-music. This music has no rhythmic impulse whatsoever.

But listen, or don't listen, and this will have an impact, before you know it.
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