Cluster; 1971-1981Bureau B
BB 222 CD
Nine Compact Disc Boxed Set
Cluster's influence on the development of electronic music cannot be overstated. The original trio of Conrad Schnitzler, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, and Dieter Moebius released two seminal albums as Kluster before Roedelius and Moebius replaced the "K" with a "C" and continued as a duo. They produced eight albums in their most innovative period between 1971 and 1981, two of them together with Brian Eno. Cluster anticipated much of what would later emerge in such varied styles as industrial, ambient, electro, and even synthpop. Some call Cluster's music avant-garde, others krautrock or kosmische musik. Few would dispute their immense influence, despite their relative lack of commercial success. Hence their first album, as a microcosm of their entire oeuvre, made The Wire's 1998 list "100 Records That Set the World on Fire (When No One Was Listening)."
This box set contains all eight of the albums that represent Cluster's main phase, plus a previously unreleased album of two live recordings from 1972 and 1977. All of the albums have been remastered by Willem Makkee. Includes booklet with essays on each album, rare photos, and an exclusive text on the evolution and significance of the band by Asmus Tietchens, excerpted here:
"Cacophonous noise in the 1970s and 1980s masked the subtlety of Cluster aesthetics, diminishing their force of impact. Only since the 1990s, and all the more so today, have Cluster been identified and celebrated as pioneers. The somewhat hackneyed 'avant-garde' tag really amounts to nothing more than being ahead of one's time. . . . Now, twenty, thirty years later, with so many new aural experiences on offer, listening habits have changed to such a great extent that we are better placed to assess Cluster's importance, their influence on subsequent generations of musicians. . . .
The eight (official) Cluster albums presented here trace the group's arc of development over a period of around ten years. Not a particularly extensive oeuvre compared to many of their peers, but prolificacy was never a feature of Cluster's constitution. They only released a new album when they felt that they had taken a significant step forwards on their musical trajectory -- which goes some way to explaining how varied and different their LPs were. Cluster were no pedagogues, but their indirect influence on musicians and, more to the point, on listeners, resonates until today. Can a legacy be any more alive?"