Katzenmusik marked the third and final collaboration between multi-instrumentalist Michael Rother and producer Conny Planck, as well drummer Jaki Leibezeit, on loan from the group Can. Essentially a suite in two parts, Katzenmusik remains Rother's opus. It's an enchanting, entrancing, swirl of colors and simply pronounced melodies that's at once powerfully majestic and esthetically sublime. Rother's multi-tracked guitars ring from the plaintive to the screaming in the upper registers, layered around four different five-note melodies that recur either as single string statements triple-track or stark chords supporting them. Through it all, in a middling yet even-handed pace, is drummer Jaki Leibezeit, playing his version of the Motorik sound (the one created by Rother and Klaus Dinger in the band Neu! a few years before) in 4/4 time with little to no variation. Rother's re-harmonizing of his original melody throughout the piece in various segments has a mirroring effect over its 37 minutes; it's as if we are taken into the nether-side of his composition and feel its various spaces and textures from all angles. Still, no matter how deeply wound the composition gets, its theme is very simple, and therefore always draws the listener closer to its euphoric chiming and whispering. Rother could very well have titled this album "Blue Sky Music," because despite the appearance of such on the cover, this music seems to be soaring there all on its own. If we just draw near, his glorious language of emotion and tenderness will carry us along too. Katzenmusik cannot be heard too many times. Artists usually get this close only once in a lifetime. Michael Rother has gotten close to this with many of his albums, but this one is singular in its achievement, a perfect melding of taste, dynamics, pace, melodic invention, and emotional and spiritual honesty, all woven into the spirit of rock & roll.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek