Cluster / Farnbauer

Live in Vienna, 1980

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

This set documents the only collaborative performance between the German electronic duo Cluster (Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Mobius) and percussionist Joshi Farnbauer. Cluster were one of the major kosmische groups coming out of early-'70s Germany alongside Tangerine Dream and the work of Schnitzler and Klaus Schulze. Their endless interstellar journeys via analog synth had a somewhat creepier vibe than those of TD, and were less robotic/inhuman than Schnitzler's work, without being as lush as Schulze's. This live performance, perhaps due to the limitations of the source recording, has a thin quality, and the sound occasionally wavers, but overall it's bound to be of great interest to fans of the duo. The music travels through a variety of moods and zones over the course of nearly 90 minutes; "Piano" and the closing "Ausgang" are quite beautiful piano pieces, the latter also featuring Farnbauer on delicately tapped cymbals. "Drums" features him cutting loose on a thundering beat that almost prefigures industrial, while "Metalle" gradually moves from humming soundscapes to droning Krautrock reminiscent of Faust's collaboration with violinist Tony Conrad, Outside the Dream Syndicate. Farnbauer adds a great deal to this album/performance, absolutely earning his co-billing status, and new listeners will find this every bit as fascinating as longtime Cluster fans.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
20:16
2
12:10
3
3:21
4
5:20

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
24:28
2
14:05
3
7:01
blue highlight denotes track pick