1977, Music

Cluster and Eno (1977)

This record definitely finds Eno and Cluster at a sort of middle ground, the kind of middle ground you might imagine if you had heard Cluster’s records and heard Discreet Music, or Eno’s other more electronic stuff. Coming back to this after you’ve heard any of the Ambient series, the music is notable for being considerably more attention-grabbing, almost as if there’s a direction.

This middle ground is both a good thing and a bad thing. On the one hand, it definitely feels as though Cluster is pushing themselves a little bit, into more ambient areas, a little more out of step with most (but hardly all) of their own music and the music made by their contemporaries in Germany. And, for Eno, it’s a a little more lively – so if you find Eno’s early vision of ambient boring, this might be more up your alley.

On the other hand, it definitely feels a little bit like a compromise of the two aesthetics – though it makes sense for them to have found this middle ground and, in the scheme of things, such a middle ground is kind of obvious, especially with the benefit of hindsight, it also feels less trailblazing, particularly for Eno, whose early ambient music sounds like it’s from another universe.

But, if you like ’70s electronic music, it definitely ticks a lot of boxes. And if you’re interested in the history of electronic music, you can definitely see a sort of “third way” forming, somewhere between the more lively, pulsating stuff and the really, really ambient stuff.

8/10

All songs composed by Moebius, Roedelius and Eno.

  1. “Ho Renomo” – 5:07
  2. “Schöne Hände” – 3:03
  3. “Steinsame” – 4:06
  4. “Wehrmut” – 5:01
  5. “Mit Simaen” – 1:30
  6. “Selange” – 3:30
  7. “Die Bunge” – 3:45
  8. “One” – 6:06
  9. “Für Luise” – 3:20
  • Hans-Joachim Roedelius
  • Dieter Moebius
  • Brian Eno

with:

  • Holger Czukay – bass on “Ho Renomo”
  • Okko Bekker – guitar on “One”
  • Asmus Tietchens – synthesizer on “One”

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