Durch Die Wüste

BB 028CD BB 028CD

The Bureau B label reissues the first solo record by composer/poet Hans-Joachim Roedelius, one of the most prolific musicians of the German avant-garde and a key figure in the birth of Krautrock, synthesizer pop and ambient music. Durch Die Wüste was originally released in 1978 on Sky Records, and fans of German electronica awaited the LP with particular anticipation, as the founding member of Cluster/Kluster/Harmonia had played a major role in the development of synthesizer music. They were in for a shock, however, as Durch Die Wüste turned out to be anything but an electronic album; in the avant-garde landscape of popular music, the record was a beacon of innovation. Initial reaction was rather less auspicious, centering around the question: what did this music have to do with Harmonia and Cluster? Anyone who has listened carefully to Cluster's 1974 effort Zuckerzeit will have come to recognize Roedelius' stamp on this and all subsequent Cluster and Harmonia albums. Just how far Roedelius would develop his own compositional technique and mode of playing would only become obvious when he was set free from the ensemble environment. Listeners at the time were baffled by just how little electronically-generated sounds were a feature of the album. Synthesizers and electronic effects did play a part, but Roedelius integrated them so seamlessly into the arrangement, that one barely noticed them. The rhythm machine was relegated to the status of metronome. In fact, Roedelius' decision to distance himself from electronic music, rigid in structure as it had become, and turn to a new form of musical expression, is what really gave the album its experimental character. Recorded over a 2-year period assisted by engineer Dave Hutchins and Conny Plank, who also contributed his unmistakable guitar and percussion style, and Dieter Moebius, who, in spite of everything, set a few significant markers with the synthesizer. There is a space-y, organic, relatable warmth to this record that absolutely transcends time. This reissue is housed in a digipak including a booklet with liner notes by Asmus Tietchens. Vinyl version pressed on 180 gram vinyl.