Musik von Harmonia

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Musik von Harmonia
MusikVonHarmonia.jpg
Studio album by
Released January 1974
Recorded June–November 1973
Genre
Length 42:05
Label Brain
Producer Harmonia
Harmonia chronology
Musik von Harmonia
(1974)
Deluxe
(1975)

Musik von Harmonia is the debut album from the influential German krautrock group Harmonia, released in January 1974 by Brain Records. 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 Cluster's Forst recording studio. It was self-produced by the group using a primitive mixer and three tape recorders.[1]

Background

In 1973, Cluster were living in the rural West German village of Forst when Neu! guitarist Michael Rother visited, hoping the duo would serve as a backing band for Neu! live performances.[2] Upon jamming with Moebius and Roedelius, Rother claimed that "it was sort of a musical love at first sight, really [...] it was just something I hadn’t experienced before."[2] He dropped his plans and remained in Forst to record with the duo as Harmonia.[2] Rother would also bring some of his equipment, including Farfisa organs, a stereo mixer, and an Elka Drummer One rhythm machine.[3]

Releases

It was first released on the Brain Records label in 1974. There was an official CD release from German Polygram in 1992, which was deleted fairly quickly. 1994 saw the appearance of CDs on the Germanofon label. This dubious company, supposedly based in Luxembourg, released numerous Krautrock albums without proper authorization or paying royalties, in effect producing bootlegs that somehow found their way into mainstream distribution. The Germanofon CDs were transfers from vinyl LPs and generally were of inferior sound quality.

There were official Japanese releases (again from Polygram) in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but the next official Western CD release was not until 23 February 2004 on the Motor Music label, a subsidiary of the Universal Music Group. It was also reissued in 2005 by the Russian label Lilith, and by the Revisited Records label in 2007.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
Head Heritage very favourable[5]
Pitchfork Media 8.5/10[6]
Uncut very favourable[7]

Ned Raggett's review for AllMusic opens: "The debut Harmonia album is at once a product of their source bands and a fine new twist on them, resulting in music that captures what for many is the Krautrock ideal..." He adds, "...it's at once playful and murky, steady and mechanical, a supergroup of sorts who easily achieves and maintains such a seemingly overstated status by embracing a variety of approaches that work wonders."[4] Uncut named the album and its 1975 successor Deluxe as "among the best Krautrock had to offer, gentler than Can or Faust, but with their shimmering keyboards and mechanical rhythms, every bit as compelling.[8]

Pitchfork stated that the group's debut "was a precise meeting of their constituent parts—Roedelius’ eerie beauty, Möbius’ sense of tension, Rother’s cool exploration—with each member contributing to the sound equally."[9] It was Musik von Harmonia that reportedly had Brian Eno proclaiming that Harmonia was "the world's most important rock band" at the time. Daniel Dumych writes: "Perhaps Eno's reason for praising Harmonia so highly was that their music fit the requirements of ambient rock. Its music was equally suitable for active or passive listening. The careful listener found his/her attentions rewarded by the musical activities and sounds, but Harmonia's music was also capable of setting a sonic environment."

Musician, writer, and rock historian Julian Cope includes Musik von Harmonia in his Top 50 Krautrock albums.

Track listing

All tracks written by Moebius/Roedelius/Rother.

  1. "Watussi" ("Watusi") – 6:00
  2. "Sehr Kosmisch" ("Very Cosmic") – 10:50
  3. "Sonnenschein" ("Sunshine") – 3:50
  4. "Dino" – 3:30
  5. "Ohrwurm" ("Earworm") – 5:05
  6. "Ahoi!" ("Ahoy!") – 5:00
  7. "Veterano" – 3:55
  8. "Hausmusik" ("House-Music") – 4:30

Personnel

References

  1. ^ "Story". Grönland. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Woodbury, Jason P. "40 Years of Krautrock Supergroup Harmonia". Pitchfork. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  3. ^ Stubbs, Dusty (2015). Future Days: Krautrock and the Birth of a Revolutionary New Music. Melville. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Harmonia: Musik von Harmonia". Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ "Uncut Album Reviews: Harmonia".
  8. ^ "Uncut Album Reviews: Harmonia".
  9. ^ [3]
  • Raggett, Ned Allmusic review. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
  • Rother, Michael Harmonia web page. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
  • Dumych, Daniel Harmonia article. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
  • Wick, Sherman Musik Von Harmonia review. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
  • Cope, Julian A Krautrock Top 50. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
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