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Cluster II Original recording remastered

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Jun. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Reactive - Esoteric
  • ASIN: B007XCH14Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,338 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a newly remastered edition of Cluster s classic 1972 album Cluster II . Hans-Joachim Roedelius & Dieter Moebius had been making experimental electronic music since meeting at Berlin s famed Zodiak arts lab in the late 1960s. Cluster II was their second work for a major label and was released in Germany on the Brain label in 1972. The sessions saw producer (and contributor to Cluster s first album) Conny Plank oversee the proceedings. Less industrial in feel to Cluster s debut work, Cluster II is nevertheless a classic, hailed by aficionado Julian Cope as a major album in his book Krautrocksampler . This Esoteric Reactive edition is newly remastered and fully restores the original album artwork and includes a booklet with new essay.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This, the second Cluster album, is like an extension of the equally essential first; both have now been reissued here by Esoteric's Reactive label. The mastering is superb, and it comes with a very attractive booklet with new interviews with both members. As they explain, the music here was all improvised in a couple of nightly sessions, Moebius and Roedelius weaving electronic textures together using primitive equipment and stone age effects devices, making ordinary instruments like the home organ sound positively other-worldy. Legendary producer Conny Plank is virtually the third member and it is likely that much of the all important shifting stereo placements are his work. "In the early '70's we didn't have access to synthesisers" says Moebius "we'd use whatever was around at the time". Necessity being the mother of invention, the duo put everything they could lay their hands on to good use.

The sum total is a throbbing, exciting sound world, free of melody and yet accessible, easy to listen to and yet a million miles from ambient music. It is truly a world of its own created through echo devices, oscillators, organs, guitar, wah-wah pedals all shifting around the stereo image constantly giving the impression of vast three dimensional sound shifts.

The individual titles are largely irrelevant (indeed on their debut they didn't bother with them, only durations), the six pieces add up 50 minutes of captivating, shifting sound which constantly reinvents itself and sounds like nothing else.
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Format: Audio CD
In a sense I suppose Cluster aren't really a Krautrock band at all. If one regards the organic, improvisatory genius of Can as the very pinnacle of Krautrock, then this is clearly a very different proposition. Although the term is used as a convenient catch-all for a range of experimental musical styles emerging from Germany in the late '60s and early '70s, it could easily be divided into various sub-categories: Can, although unlike any other Rock band before or since, played electrically amplified instruments (successfully experimenting with tape loops, electronic effects and so on), while Faust - often regarded as the enfants terrible of Krautrock - followed a similar, albeit even more avant garde, path. Tangerine Dream meanwhile, created icy sonic vistas using sequencers and synthesisers, while Kraftwerk, similarly inspirational in their creation of electronic music, took things a stage further, making pioneering use of drum machines and even going so far as to design and build their equipment. Neu!, then, must fall between these groups, trying to create a fusion of electronic and electric music, using a human drummer to try and create a sound like a drum machine; forcing conventional instruments to sound like something, well, new. So, it becomes apparent that there are a lot of different ideas being grouped together under this one title.
Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, or Cluster, are virtually another new strand in this knot of musical invention. As their field is essentially electronic music, it would seem sensible to align them with Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream, but the fact that they used electronic instrumentation, in effect, manually seems to place them closer to Neu! On this album there aren't sequencers like on a Tangs album, but there is electronica aplenty.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
'Cluster II' may not be about melody, but it's positively pop in its outlook by comparison with its predecessor, 'Cluster 71'. Sounding like another soundtrack to industrial progress, its textures possess explosions of colour to match the album's sleeve, whereas the previous effort was monochrome. Electronic layers, some repetitive, some twisted drones, are carried in rhythms that are often fleeting and hard to pin down. The repeated four note ascending guitar scale on 'Im Suden' meanwhile is the only obvious melody. I was intrigued enough by my first listen to want to play it again, but after subsequent plays much of the album remains elusive. There is nothing that stays in my memory, even though its sounds are familiar each time I play it. Its mood is never light, but only especially dark on the sombre 'Georgel'. 'Cluster II' is a progression, but the leap to the next album, 'Zuckerzeit', would have been unimaginable when it was released. By then, the duo had got hold of the analogue rhythm machine that would create the foundation for something more accessible and dazzling.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well this is a very good album of strange electronic sound experimentation, that reminds me of Klaus Schulz début,lots of whizzing sounds and fuzz type affects which is very hypnotic. well worth checking out if this sounds like your cup of tea, obviously this will not appeal to everyone but if your adventurous you real get a good purchase.
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By A Customer on 9 Mar. 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is truly experimental music; tuneless, rythmless and completely devoid of any connection to normal popular/rock music (unless you like Krautrock, that is).
It's the sound of hearing something monumental happening far away.
It's quite nasty in its refusal to be anything vaguely human.
Fantastic.
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