Harmonia – Deluxe

Musically, for those that don’t know, this dates from 1975 and marked the meeting of musical hearts and minds that was the duo Moebius & Roedelius of Cluster alongside ex-Kraftwerk/Neu guitarist, Michael Rother on a second album that was so much more cohesive and powerful than the first. Leading on from the first album, Cluster’s ‘Zuckerzeit’, Rother’s first three solo albums and some of the more languid Neu tracks, this album is dominated by the stunning trio of long tracks that open the album. With extra rhythmic help from Guru Guru’s drummer Mani Neumeier on two of the tracks, these three tracks could have easily been of any of the first three Michael Rother albums, for it is that influence that predominates, the electronics and keys from the Cluster musicians, more forming the icing on the cake or the backdrop to some of THE most stunning and gorgeous, powerful and dynamic, laguid and cohesive, electric guitar work from Rother over the trademark metronomic Can-like rhythmic base, and nearly thirty minutes of pure bliss no matter how many times you play them.

A trio of four-five minute tracks ends the album with more of a ‘Zuckerzeit’ feel to them as the Cluster guys take centre stage with swirling organ, electronic drums, deep bass and lush strings on ‘Notre Dame’, a more La Dusseldorf sounding ‘Gollum’, and ending with the near six minutes of ‘Kekse’, a sedate closer with undulating electro-percussive beats, swirling electronics, slowly flowing melodies and the sound of birds over a coda of lush acoustic guitar. The latest remaster brings out everything that this album is – and makes it positively timeless in the process.

Reviewed by Andy Garibaldi

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