home page

God, you can tell by now that I couldn’t really be arsed any more. I think this is the last news article on the old website. I was newly wed and suddenly time was no longer returning my calls. There was no time anymore. I had this lovely Harmonia live album and it took me weeks to get round to reviewing it. Every time I looked at it it pricked my conscience. I think the break for Was Ist Das was born then. Well, now it’s back and I’ll be doing most of my reviewing by pen while commuting. It’s the way forward.

HARMONIA - “LIVE 1974” (Gronland)

Where on earth did this come from? Harmonia, that most tantallising of supergroups (comprising of Michael Rother of Neu! teamed up with Cluster duo Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius), have left behind no bootlegs that I was aware of. I hadn't even realised that they'd ever been a live entity and here in my hands is a live album.

The two studio albums released under the name Harmonia have long been reverred as essentials of the German cosmic cannon and this live album does nothing to harm their reputation. This is an hour of these three musical legends doing what they do best. Rother plays some wild, sweeping solos on his guitar whilst Roedelius and Moebius make a vast, encompassing electronic soundscape.

The main difference between this and the studio work is a more raw, intimacy. The drum patterns here are more motoric, kind of pre-empting Kraftwerk's trips down the Autobahn and along the Trans-Europe Express. Rother's guitar sounds wilder and freerer, clearly untamed by studio process. The five tracks here are all essential for all Harmonia fans. You really can't afford to miss out on this one.

Review by Ned Netherwood

News Features Radio
frequently asked questions Links Forum