One avenue of the exploratory aftermath of 70s ‘Krautrock’ is further delved into this month as I fill gaps in my knowledge and rebuy sold vinyl on CD.
HARMONIA & ENO 76 – Tracks And Traces Remixed – Smooth but inessential contemporary set of remixes that I struggle to relate back to the original release in either execution or intent.
MOEBIUS & PLANK – Material – Inventive 1981 set showing a Krautrock template expanding in style and scope. Includes a lovely track (Osmo Fantor) that wouldn’t sound out of place on one of the Cluster/Eno albums.
MOEBIUS-PLANK-NEUMEIER – Zero Set – At its Wikipedia entry has it – “Zero Set is one of the earliest extensions of Krautrock’s possibilities on the dance floor, pitting the profoundly electronic sequence patterns of Plank and Moebius against the hyperactive percussives of Guru Guru drummer Mani Neumeier.” Not sure I agree with that assessment – it’s more stylistically diverse than that, and you’d need three legs and impeccable rhythmic sense to cut a convincing rug to it.
MOEBIUS & PLANK – En Route – their last (and uncompleted) album together prior to Plank’s death in 1986. A real curate’s egg of a proto-techno album, with shades of Les Vampyrettes (Czukay & Plank) and DAF amongst others.
DIETER MOEBIUS – Blue Moon OST – 1985 film soundtrack that for some reason bears a passing resemblance to some of The Residents instrumental work over the years. And yet it’s also quintessentially Moebius.
DIETER MOEBIUS – Blotch – originally recorded and released in 1999 (I got hold of a 2009 US reissue), Moebius by now following his own curious techno path.
ROEDELIUS – Lustwandel – I’m also exploring the Roedelius archives with keen interest , and this is another extraordinarily beautiful release (again courtesy of Bureau B) of predominantly mellifluous piano-centred chamber pieces. Sad that my younger self likely dismissed this as being radically out of step with the UK’s post-punk/new wave explosion of creativity.
ROEDELIUS – Offene Turen – although these tracks are from the same period as favourites Jardin Au Fou, Wenn Der Sudwind Weht and Lustwandel, they’re more ‘experimental’ and imho the synth palette employed has dated poorly – unless, perhaps, you can’t get enough of the current new wave of 70s analogue synth music. Not a classic, although it does have its moments.
And speaking of the current nwo70sasm, two recent releases…
ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER – Returnal – still to listen to this.
MARK McGUIRE – Tidings/Amethyst Waves – a solo set from someone from Emeralds – abrasive floaty yum!
DAVID THOMAS AND TWO PALE BOYS – How’s Things In Your Town? – paid download album from Hearpen. It’s simply not possible to have too much DT&2PB. This is another live set with more abrasive moments than typical, and Thomas is on sparkling form in his between-song banter.
KING MIDAS SOUND – Waiting For You…. – An offshoot project from the guy behind The Bug, this draws on Rhythm & Sound’s hiss-dub and (arguably) the lugubrious Tricky of Maxinquaye, moving beyond both to craft a deep dubby batch of songs that feel both contemporary and timeless. To these ears, this is much preferable to his work as The Bug – I hope there’s more on the way.
LITTLE AXE – Bought For A Dollar, Sold For A Dime – the first three Little Axe albums are already classics of contemporary blues/dub manipulation, but since then, to these ears returns have diminished with each subsequent release, as the source inspiration of blues, funk, soul and gospel become ever more obvious.
NURSE WITH WOUND – She And Me Fall Together In Free Death – seems there’s always something I’ve missed in the nooks and crannies of the vast NWW discography, and this limited ‘silk purse’ edition’s good to get hold of.
LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY – Mad Alien Dub – not sure of the provenance of this at all – according to its Amazon blurb it was originally released in the mid-70s, yet Boomkat states it’s recent work. Certainly, more than half of the set sounds modern – and I certainly don’t recall Perry sounding like this in the 70s, or the palette of dub sounds being as broad then. Not a classic, but not without interest.