Cluster - Japan Live (2015)
After Curiosum (1981), the last Cluster album to be released on Sky, Roedelius and Moebius turned their attention to solo work. It was not until the early 1990s that Cluster returned to the electronic music stage with Apropos Cluster (1990) and One Hour (1994). The duo also took to the road for live shows in Germany and Europe, followed by tours across the USA and Japan. Some of these concerts were recorded in digital quality and offer compelling evidence of just how dramatically Cluster's music had evolved -- to what degree Moebius and Roedelius had found serenity as they matured. The tracks collected here are gleaned from live performances in Osaka and Tokyo. In technical terms, and all the more so musically, the recordings are on par with meticulously prepared studio productions. The material thus provides an ideal opportunity to compare Cluster music of the past and the present (1996). Cluster had, of course, gone digital. Few analog sources made the cut, with keyboard samplers now their instrument of choice. It stands to reason that what amounted to an extrinsic decision did nothing to alter the style of such sophisticated artistic personalities, instead merely widening the range of creative possibilities available to them. Cluster were indeed unfazed by the multiple sonic sources now in their grasp. They avoided wallowing in endless narcissism, concentrating instead on relatively few elements of sound and form. Particularly in a live context, this led to immensely serene and engaging music. Tracing the arc of suspense in these improvisations, the equanimity and nuance that Roedelius and Moebius bring to their music becomes apparent, inciting a positive sense of excitement in the conscientious listener. This release consists of tracks from Captain Trip Records' 1997 CD Japan 1996 Live reworked into a new version and presented on vinyl for the first time. Includes liner notes by Asmus Tietchens and new artwork.