July 21, 2015

[RIP Dieter Moebius] Cluster - Sowiesoso, 1976

This post is in honor of the life of influential synth-based German musician Dieter Moebius, who passed away yesterday at the age of 71. He was most famous for co-founding Cluster and Harmonia, and for his longtime collaboration with Connie Plank.

Sowiesoso ("always the same") is Cluster's fourth full-length album, recorded over a period of just two days in Forst, Germany, and mixed in Connie Plank's studio. Compared to their other albums, Sowiesoso is gentler and more melodic, alternately wading through a dense jungle inhabited by robotic synth-chirp birds and picnicking with people you just met but already love. It's shimmering, warm, and surprisingly nostalgic, as far as Cluster goes, with track titles that translate to "For Eternity," "The Wanderer" (fretless bass!), and "Once Upon A Time." Outlier "Halwa," replete with middle Eastern kitsch, is a reminder that Cluster still deals in the scronky sense of humor innate to so many krautrockers. Closer "In Ewigkeit" ("For Eternity") is an opiated smoke drift, ghostly and sensual, a soundtrack to leaving the party at five am wide awake but with heavy eyelids.

 Safe travels, Moebius, and thank you for everything!

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