A few more relics excavated from the tomb of “lost” Krautrock classic
Krautrock has become synonymous with a steady motorik pulse, but the German electronic-music vanguard of the 1970s was more diverse than that.
Cluster, for instance, had more in common with Brian Eno than Kraftwerk—and, after Cluster became Harmonia, the band collaborated with Eno in an epic jam session that remains mostly mythical. The recordings weren’t released, and Eno’s masters were lost. But one Harmonia member, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, edited together an album from the plentiful four-track material and released it in 1997 as Tracks and Traces. This reconstituted version includes three more tracks, selected by Rother. The new material includes “Welcome,” a dreamy braid of synthesizer and guitar, and “Atmosphere,” a minor-key creeper that practically screams “obscure Italian horror flick!” A synthetic/organic melting pot where experimental electronics meet birdsong and wind, Tracks and Traces
is a Krautrock classic with a heavily mediated release history that renders it ultimately mysterious—the more music we hear, the further we get from what actually happened in that room.