Every Record I Own - Day 241: Cluster Sowiesoso
I’ve mentioned it before, but there isn’t a lot of electronic music that resonates with me. But generally speaking, I’d prefer to enjoy more things in life than to close doors on whole realms of art and deem them “not my thing.” I’d like to enjoy more electronic music, but it just feels like a different language.
I wouldn’t expect an average joe to pick up a Gorguts album and fall in love with it. A lot of music requires some background knowledge, and it often requires an understanding of what musical forces led artists to their current work. Like, Gorguts might be unlistenable for most folks, but if you can get people to wrap their heads around Black Sabbath, then get them to appreciate early Metallica, then get them to appreciate Dismember, then maybe Gorguts would start to make sense. I figure it’s the same with electronic music—you need to know the basics before you dive into the headier stuff.
And so we arrive at Cluster. The duo of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius weren’t the first musicians to generate all their sounds out of electronic machinery, but they felt like pioneers nonetheless. Sowiesoso is a blissed-out instrumental venture rife with ambient banks of melodic synths and bubbling percussion, and yet it still feels like there is a very strong human presence behind it all. Roedelius and Moebius churned out way more abstract electronic noise in ‘69 and ‘70 when they were a trio with Conrad Schnitzler under the name Kluster, and their swath of influence was arguably larger when they teamed up with Neu!’s Michael Rother for Harmonia, but Cluster still feels like the guiding force behind it all.
I love this record, though I’m not sure if my appreciation for electronic music has grown enough for me to tackle the Autechre discography quite yet.