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Harmonia - Musik Von CD (album) cover

MUSIK VON

Harmonia

 

Progressive Electronic

3.90 | 75 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
3 stars One of the first German supergroups in the progressive music realms anyway was the Kraut / Kosmische HARMONIA which was basically the collaboration of the duo Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius who were better known as Cluster along with Neu! founding member Michael Rother (who also had a short-lived gig with Kraftwerk.) Despite being crammed into the Krautrock categories by many lazy databases, their debut album MUSIK VON ("Music From" which is actually supposed to be followed by the band name) is very much an ambient progressive electronic creation with emphasis on repetitive trance-inducing rhythmic pulsations of electronic sound with subtle counterpoints that slowly unfold as the rhythmic drive marches forth utilizing the Motorik 4/4 beat that was prevalent in the music of Neu! with some of the lysergic sonic textures of Cluster. Overall the music is much more accessible than the early Cluster album but not as so as early Neu! Brian Eno was such of fan of this album that he would later become involved in future projects.

The opener "Watussi" begins the all instrumental futuristic sounds with an upbeat rhythmic percussive drive and synthesizers taking on different counterpoint effects including a dripping sound as the guitar creates a distorted backdrop that adds a layer of fuzziness. The music itself sounds very simplistic for the most part. Many of the tracks follow this formula but some are much spacier than others. "Sehr Kosmisch (Very Cosmic)" is slowed down with percussion simulating a heartbeat while the synth and organs create an ethereal Berlin School effect which wouldn't sound terribly out of place on a Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze album. The key word with MUSIK VON is "subtlety." Everything creeps in and out like sine waves of sound slowly slinking through an echo chamber. Some tracks like "Ohrwurm (Earworm)" are downright scary as notes bend and distort as if traveling through a portal to another dimension while "Ahoi!" reflects a mellower mood that is gentle and less startling.

HARMONIA found reasonable success with MUSIK VON not only with the critics with underground music fans as well and would continue on to release one more album and enough leftover tracks for an archival third but ultimately the fertile cross-pollination of the Kraut and progressive electronic world ensured that the trio would not only continue with their retrospective bands of Cluster and Neu! but would also find new ways of musical collaboration. This is by all means an interesting album for those who dig minimalism and subtle ethereal changes in their music but i don't seem to be one of those who enjoys this album more than the albums by Cluster and Neu! themselves. The first few Cluster albums were absolutely brilliant in how they went to outer space and never looked back and likewise Neu! unapologetically rocked the house with their rhythmic drive and electronic embellishments. MUSIK VON seems to be a watered down compromise between these two extremes and while the result is certainly not displeasing it does come off as a step down from past greatness.

3.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |

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