Zuckerzeit

Released

The shift after Moebius and Roedelius meet Michael Rother is huge. They’ve made the first Harmonia album by this point, and Cluster now sounds like an outgrowth of that. From Rother, they get a Farfisa and drum machine (more like a rhythm box, don’t get misled) but also a taste for calm repetition and brief, catchy song forms. They’re a different band now with a new focus, though that elegant exploration thing is here, the feeling that something will be found if they let sounds and patterns unfold for long enough. Now they feel more like an actual synth band, though the guitar surges are appropriately sharp. Towards the end of the album, shades of some toothy Kluster heave into view. The influence on Eno, who ended up working with them, is obvious: short pieces and plangent, loving sounds. (Before and After Science features the members of Cluster, as well as Conny Plank.) A delightful album.

Sasha Frere-Jones

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