Moebius

Tonspuren


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By 1969 at the latest, Dieter Moebius was synonymous with the avant-garde electronic music scene in Germany. He and Hans-Joachim Roedelius formed Cluster, a seminal electronic/ambient duo, whilst Moebius was also a member of the so-called Krautrock supergroup Harmonia (with Michael Rother and Roedelius), as well as collaborating on various other projects with the likes of Brian Eno and Mani Neumeier from Guru Guru. Somehow, it took Moebius until 1983 to release his own solo debut album, Tonspuren.

Tonspuren is an album of minimalisms, miniatures and stringent form, ten consistently concise and precise pieces. Moebius develops tonal variations out of minimalistic, rhythmic, harmonic basic tracks, sometimes coming close to tangible melodies. Yet this is exactly the point at which he purposely steers clear of electronic pop criteria. Nevertheless, Tonspuren is a pop album, its radically stripped down contents replenished with harmonious elements of prevalent popular music.

Echoes of Cluster notwithstanding, the music of Tonspuren is a separate entity altogether. Moebius seems to be avoiding improvisation as the devil keeps his distance from holy water. Each piece is thoughtfully composed, as Moebius crafts his miniatures layer by layer. Spontaneous inaccuracies have no place here, noise escapades are nipped in the bud. Baroque, folklore and frivolity are not admitted into the studio when the red light is on.

Thanks to Tonspuren, the keen listener now has the opportunity of direct comparison in his appraisal of the solo albums of Dieter Moebius, Hans Joachim Roedelius and Michael Rother. What role did each of the Harmonia triumvirate play in creating the style of the supergroup? Tonspuren thus represents a vital piece of the Harmonia puzzle.

Tracklist

01. Contramio
02. Hasenheide
03. Rattenwiesel
04. Transport
05. Etwas
06. Nervös
07. B 36
08. Furbo
09. Sinister
10. Immerhin