Eno, Moebius, Roedelius – Cluster & Eno/After the Heat

September 26, 2009

"Most of the Day, They Were at the Machinery" - Eno, Moebius, and Roedelius at the height of their powers

"Most of the Day, They Were at the Machinery" - Eno, Moebius, and Roedelius at the height of their powers

Hamburg-based Sky Records put out a bunch of really excellent records in the late 1970s. Recently, I’ve seen a few of the best come out again, on Bureau B Records, also from Hamburg. Wolfgang Riechman’s “Wunderbar” and Cluster’s “Grosses Wasser” were great to hear again. But more than anything else they left me wondering if Bureau B might also re-release the two greatest jewels from the Sky Record collection: the albums “Cluster & Eno” and “After the Heat” that Brian Eno made together with Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, aka Cluster, at Conny Plank‘s studio in 1977.

So I nearly jumped out of my seat when I saw Gustavo Turner’s excellent review of those albums in this week’s Phoenix. They’re now out, also on Bureau B.

Eno was at the height of his powers back then. Having just completed “Before and After Science” and produced David Bowie’s “Heroes,” in my opinion the greatest album that Bowie ever made, and about to embark on his ambient experimentations, which the first collaboration, “Cluster & Eno” anticipates nicely. “After the Heat” is even better, I’d say: with outstanding tracks like “The Shade,” “Old Land,” and especially “The Belldog” containing elements that echo the greatness not just of “Before and After Science” but the earlier masterpieces “Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)” and “Another Green World” as well.

I had both of these lps on vinyl back in the early 1980s. Those copies are long gone, but hearing the albums again today, I have to say they sound even better than I remembered, maybe because their influence has grown so much over the years, or maybe just because over time I’ve learned to appreciate this kind of music even more. Really great to have these two essential albums available again.

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