Cluster

Delicate: Live at Karmasonics

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In 1996, groundbreaking electronic composers Roedelius and Moebius (performing together as Cluster) embarked on their first ever tour of the U.S.A. Very early in the tour they played at a small, relatively obscure venue, Karmasonics Music & Video, situated in downtown Asheville, NC. It's no wonder that an amateur bootleg video of the show surfaced, since camcorders were permitted in the store during the performances.

Delicate captures Moebius and Roedelius outside mingling/talking in front of the venue before the show -- an interesting touch. The bulk of the 22-minute video consists of one of the two 20-minute compositions they performed that evening. Due to the dim (but atmospheric) lighting, the resulting video appears somewhat grainy and dark. The compositions were especially mellow, and the sound is very soft and low (hence the title), recorded only through the built-in microphone on the camcorder. Another major drawback is the lack of good angles; the cameraman seems unable to secure any great vantage points to get revealing shots of the duo or their instruments. Despite its flaws, the video remains a curio for hardcore fans, appealing also in its uniqueness, as there are no commercial Cluster videos on the market. In 1997, the Purple Pyramid label released a two-CD set titled First Encounter Tour 1996, on which appears a three-minute segment of music from the Karmasonics performance.