Dieter Moebius was one of the founding members of the avant-garde experimental trio known as Kluster who formed in Berlin in the late ’60s. Along side fellow artists Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Conrad Schnitzler, they produced a trio of records which were abstract sound collages.
After the departure of Schnitzler (who was also a founding member of Tangerine Dream), the remaining duo re-branded themselves as Cluster. In this incarnation, the duo produced several recordings of wonderful minimalist electronic soundscapes.
In the early 1970s, new music from German began filtering into the UK. The sounds of Cluster along with Can, Amon Duul II, Tangerine Dream, Neu! and Kraftwerk began to make inroads outside of their native land.
One person whose ears were opened to these sounds was Brian Eno. He subsequently recorded albums in collaboration with the Cluster duo.
Both Moebius and Roedelius recorded many solo albums over the years. They also continued to work together as well as joining Neu! guitarist Michael Rother as a trio called Harmonia.
The sounds made by Moebius and Roedelius not only made an impact on a new generation of electronic music artists in the 1970s but, continue to be felt to this day.
In the early 1980s, I was half of an electronic music duo called M104 along with Werner Albert. The greatest compliment that we received about our music was that we were the Canadian version of Cluster. Enough said.
Obituary at The Guardian website.
The latest quartet of releases from Leo Records contains work from two saxophonists whose work has been very well documented by the label over the years – Ivo Perelman and Carlos Actis Dato.
Three of the four new discs feature Perelman in both duo and trio settings. Tenorhood with drummer Whit Dickey, Callas with pianist Matthew Shipp and Counterpoint with violinist Matt Maneri and guitarist Joe Morris.
All three recordings show Perelman in his element. In Tenorhood, he locks in with Dickey as they bob and weave to produce a tapestry of propulsive, percussive works.
With Matthew Shipp (on Callas), he produces a series of pieces (over two CDs) which have been inspired by the late, great opera singer Maria Callas. Each of the improvised works were subsequently named after one of the famous parts which Callas played (Aida, Norma etc…). While not specifically designed to mimic the music of any of these works, the inspiration of the serves to unify the theme in the minds of the players.
On Counterpoint, the trio which includes Morris and Maneri pull out all the proverbial stops to create an air of sonic surprises. The proceedings twist, turn and melt together to produce a cohesive picture of expansive proportions.
The Actis Dato Quartet include second sax player Beppe Di Filippo, bassist Matteo Ravizza and drummer Daniele Bertone. The context on the CD Earth is the Place focuses on compositions as opposed to improvisation. The works are up-beat and joyous in their presentation. It’s an uplifting atmosphere of a quartet locked in the moment and enjoying themselves as much as the listener.
Photos: Ivo Perelman (top), Carlo Actis Dato (bottom)
Leo Records website.