It was Father’s day recently and I received the gift of music from my favourite son. Now I know it’s not fair to single one child out over another, but I only have one, so it’s fine as, by definition, he is also my least favourite. Anyway, the gift I received was a re-issue of the 1974 Harmonia album ‘Musik Von Harmonia’. Here it is:
A1 Watussi 5:55
A2 Sehr Kosmisch 10:50
A3 Sonnenschein 3:50
B1 Dino 3:30
B2 Ohrwurm 5:05
B3 Ahoi! 5:00
B4 Veterano 3:55
B5 Hausmusik 4:30
Guitar, Piano, Organ, Percussion [Electronic] – Michael Rother
Music By – Moebius, Roedelius, Rother
Organ, Keyboards, Piano, Percussion [Electronic] – J. Roedelius
Producer, Cover – Harmonia
Synthesizer, Guitar, Percussion [Electronic] – D. Moebius
This album is the debut Harmonia, which was formed by the addition of Neu! guitarist Michael Rother to Cluster, the duo of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius. They recorded the album from June to November 1973, in Forst Germany and produced it themselves.
Now I fully appreciate that Krautrock, or perhaps Kosmische Musik (Cosmic Music) if you prefer, isn’t for everybody. It is at times gloriously dissonant, and for many, there has to be a balance of dissonance and melody to make something enjoyable. With Harmonia, and much of the genre in which they reside, there is both, but not necessarily at the same time. What you do often get is a lot of repetition from a basic track pattern with other sounds joining in and then falling away, to be replaced by a new sound, or nothing at all. It is the listeners role to enjoy this repetition and be appreciative of the sometimes subtle nuances that occur, or not, quite often not in fact, but I like it a lot.
A case in point is the opening track, ‘Watussi’, I think the previous paragraph is a pretty good description of it and, if you can handle your repetition, have a good listen. Think of it as a challenge!
I do, of course, recommend the whole album, as a piece of sound design it really is quite extraordinary and way ahead of its time..