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Harmonia & Eno 76 - "Tracks & Traces" (Groenland)


The problem with "Tracks & Traces" for me was that the idea of Brian Eno collaborating with German cosmic supergroup Harmonia back in their 1976 heyday was too mind-blowing for the results to actually live up to. It was never a bad album, but not a patch on the two Harmonia albums that preceded it and not Eno's finest hour either.

Now the album has been re-released with 3 bonus tracks taken from Michael Rother's session tapes (the original album was mastered & released by Roedelius without any input from the other members).

The fascinating thing is that Rother's added tracks bookend the album, 2 of them now opening it and then 1 other closing it, with the original album playing in it's previous sequence in-between the new songs. The effect is dramatic. It seems that Rother has diagnosed the albums problem.

The previous sequence has an overly polite beginning that failed to announce its presence. Now beginning with the aptly named “Welcome”, the album begins with a proper introduction that pulls your attention in more. There can be absolutely no doubt, these three bonus tracks change the whole album for the better and make this new version an essential purchase. I am not usually a fan of “bonus tracks” being added to albums or of messing around with original tracklistings but this is a very satisfying reissue.

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