Kraut Rock Legend Hans-Joachim Roedelius celebrated his 80th birthday this weekend (October 26th). Roedelius is an electronic music innovator and original member of both Kluster (with a K) including Dieter Moebius and ex Tangerine Dream Member Conrad Schnitzler and Cluster (with a C) a duo without Schnitzler but including legendary CAN collborator and famed German producer/engineer Conny Plank in various roles including as a musician/composer. His next project, Harmonia had a new configuration that included Moebius and Michael Rother from Neu and the Jazzy Aquarello was a collaboration with two Italians, Fabio Capanni and Nicola Alesini.
There have been many other intriguing projects – some with famous collaborators such as Brian Eno – others with like minded fans of his music, most recently American composer Tim Story. If you click on the link for wikipedia and look at his deep discography, it’s very difficult to know where to start but his work with Cluster and Harmonia remain his most admired . I have many of his solo albums, so rather than posting a link to his better known work, I have posted a link here to his first solo album Durch Die Wüste (Through The Desert) from 1978.
When I lived in New York in the late nineties Roedelius came to The Knitting Factory and I went to see him play. I thought he was old then (Ha Ha)! I loved his soundscapes, his noises, his minimalist piano and after the show I met him and his daughter. (His daughter was doing the merch). A lovely man he was happy to talk about his music and his life and I left there with a wonderful warm feeling from the man who had been manipulating machines all night.
I hope you are able to discover and enjoy the mountain of work that Roedelius has created since he began making fascinating music in the sixties. Happy Birthday Hans.
(Picture is Harmonia from the seventies, Roedelius with Michael Rother from Neu and fellow Cluster band mate Dieter Moebius.