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Ersatz II

BB 092CD BB 092CD

Bureau B reissues the second collaboration between Dieter Moebius and Karl Renziehausen, originally released in 1992 on the Spanish Nova Era label. Liner notes by Asmus Tietchens. "Two years after the release of Ersatz (1990), Moebius and Renziehausen issued Ersatz II as the culmination of their ongoing studio collaboration. It is as meticulously-crafted as Ersatz, dipped in the same luminance and confounds with a similar wealth of musical ideas. And yet Ersatz II does not simply carry on where Ersatz left off. Moebius and Renziehausen composed and improvised quite intuitively on Ersatz, emptying their music of messy ballast, yet adding decorous, delicate detail. This is even more true of Ersatz II, with the marked difference that the music has become even more transparent and the individual tracks shorter in length. The two sound artists reach an almost ascetic level with their unwavering concentration on musical substance and the deliberateness of their creative approach. 'Almost' is the word, for this is a pop album with all of the vibrancy associated with this world. It is neither minimalist in the academic sense nor suitable for any form of meditative exercise, the brevity of the tracks already enough to preclude this. The album also differs from Ersatz rhythmically: it is almost danceable. Again, only 'almost,' as Renziehausen and Moebius defy conventional rules of rhythm to such an extent that one might easily stumble. Harmonies and melodies, on the other hand, appear immediately familiar. Nevertheless, listeners will still have a sense of standing (or listening) on shaky ground. Ersatz II defines pop music in an idiosyncratic, rather odd manner, using the same pieces but coming up with whole new patterns. If there were such a thing as a kaleidoscope with asymmetrical pictures, then this would be something to which one could compare the music of Ersatz II. Colorful, shimmering and always a little off-kilter. When Ersatz II appeared almost 20 years ago, this form of electronic music had no place in the hype of the early '90s. Moebius and Renziehausen were not bothered in the slightest, instead working towards the goal of their own musical world, a place as vivid and imaginative as possible. Far removed from turgid abstraction, Ersatz II is particularly enjoyable as the two musicians can really be heard playing with one another, intelligently, spontaneously and more than adeptly." --Asmus Tietchens