Harmonia - Musik von Harmonia - Classic Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Harmonia - Musik von Harmonia

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:10 Release Date:1974-01-04
Harmonia - Musik von Harmonia
Harmonia - Musik von Harmonia

For any musical genre to be filed under such a term it needs a certain track record and musical traits that can be recognized as such. Krautrock, as a term that originated based on the music made by German musicians mostly during the Seventies, is no exception, even though it is still used to describe music created more recently.

Like any other genre, it has its heroes and forgotten faces and it has its supergroups. Well, with Harmonia, and its initial album Music von Harmonia we have the first Krautrock supergroup and possibly one of the best albums these musicians produced.

There is often a problem with supergroups as such, as they end up being a constant clash of egos, no matter how good the music could be, often leaving the good part more in the realm of ‘could have’. Go no further than Crosby Stills Nash & Young or even more so Blind Faith, to stick to the Seventies period.

The reason Harmonia worked, particularly on this first album, or even later on when Brian Eno joined in, is the fact that the musicians were able to harmonize their musical views and intuitions, and in this, case different strands that characterized Krautrock and come up with a unified musical vision. The process involved seems simple on the surface - Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius, also known as Cluster joined with former Neu! guitarist Michael Rother. Sounds simple enough and on paper should have sounded ‘just’ as a combination of the two bands.

Luckily, things are a bit more complicated than this, even though the music they produced on Music von Harmonia is much easier on the ear. What the then-trio did was actually combine all the strands that characterized the Krautrock sound at the time and came up with an overall catalog of the genre. From the predominant electronics of Cluster itself and bands like Kraftwerk (“Sehr kosmisch”), to Neu!’s motorik (“dino”), Can’s sampling and funk (“sonnenschein”), the psych of Amon Duul II “veterano”), Faust’s experimentation (“ohrwurm”) and world music signatures of Popol Vuh (“ahoi!”).

Still, it is neither imitation, not even musical quotations, ‘simply’ a process of incorporating all that you yourself produced up to that point and all you have heard from your contemporaries and rolled it up into a coherent enveloping, shall I say möebius strip. No pun intended, just musical admiration and enjoyment of one of the best of Krautrock’s achievements.

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