Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Kosmische Through the Desert, Floating Upon a Twinkling Sea: Hans-Joachim Roedelius- Durch Die Wüste (1978)
Roedelius' solo debut is not just wonderfully challenging music but also somehow essentially summery. When the heat comes down and thoughts start to turn to maximum relaxation, there can be a tendency to shelve the weird stuff and take a break from bending the mind with sounds, but Durch Die Wüste is the best of both worlds: airy, light, pleasantly trippy, and restlessly experimental. I mean, it's not quite the summer-krautrock blue-ribbon holder that Can's Future Days or Soon Over Babaluma (or even Landed- I love Can on some smokin' hot days, brother, but then again they got those huge funky Liebezeit beats) might be, but it's still on the table, and it's its own weird thing anyway. With Conny Plank and Moebius pitching in, it certainly bears a resemblance to Cluster or Harmonia, but the warmth and organic-ness, the sometimes formless yet optimistic explorations, do give a sense of some new thing or sound happening. Of course it's ambient and electronic-- what else would you expect from Roedelius-- but there's some wonderful moments of tactility all throughout. "Johanneslust" sports an introspective acoustic guitar figure- the fact that it's probably made using a synthesizer doesn't ruin its sentimental humanity- and "Am Rockzipfel" is non-stop ripping on electric guitar over top of a sparkling rhythm section. "Mr. Livingstone, I Suppose" (likely the best track of all) sports an entirely human enveloping warmth, augmented by cymbal washes and vocal sighs. The title track is almost fourteen minutes of formless sonic dream-questing through synthy soundscapes, but even there you'll find less sequencer than untreated human voices, primitive percussion and actual recordings of ocean and rain, so the whole record feels tethered nicely to Earth in some way. It's really a great showcase for Roedelius, and likely his best as a solo. Enjoy it in 320, friends and fellows.
DURCH DIE Wüste