Cluster & Eno

Cluster & Eno

Originally released in 1977 (an auspicious year for Brian Eno — he also released Before and After Science and co-wrote many great songs on David Bowie’s Low and Heroes), Cluster & Eno was produced by Conny Plank, the studio guru behind Neu!, Kraftwerk, Can, and many others. It’s one of those largely unsung works that surreptitiously infiltrate future generations’ musical output like a recessive gene. Cluster’s Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius had by this point issued two astounding proto-techno and electro-pop albums with Neu!’s Michael Rother under the name Harmonia. But teamed with ambient innovator Eno, these German keyboardmeisters contoured their sublime melodic sensibilities into a new kind of holy minimalism — but fun! Sorta. Seriously, Cluster & Eno abounds with deliciously ambivalent moods, at once melancholy and wistful, doleful and enchanted. From the first minute, it’s obvious we’re in the presence of master manipulators of texture and emotion. Here lies one of the major inspirations for much of the ambient and abstract IDM that appeared in the ’90s.

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