Kluster and Friends - 1969-1973
Qbico Records (Italy 2009)
Wow, a seriously amazing unearthed holy grail of early germany experimental proto-industrial/noise...
6 Lps of early Kluster shows pre and post Rodelius and Mobius. Conrad Schnitzler unearthed all these live recordings as a gift to Qbico Records for their supposed final release by the label. And what a gift it is!
As far as we know many online sellers have some copies still available. I seriously recommend if you love Kluster to pick this before its gone and selling on ebay for much more than the retail price.
All the Lp's in the box are in Black Sleeves with no information on the Black Labels. I've titled the Lp's by the unique name on the hub of each Lp. (ASA, Beta, CVS, DAV, EX, & Fungi!)
The audio fidelity of these live recordings is really incredible. Especially when you consider what time period these shows where recorded!
Vinyl Rip by your truly.
Qbico Label Notes: Here is a big one for you Qbico is going out with a BIG!!! BIG!!! BANG!!! When i mailed the news about the closure of qbico in 2010, some friends and musicians wrote me back... one was Conrad Schnitzler wondering if i wanna close with THE BOMB ! i said "yes, why not !?". so Con sent me 6 CD-R of UNRELEASED Kluster music, rec. in 1969-73 (along with Klaus Freudigmann and Wolfgang Seidel) ! he said to choose yr favourite 40 (+/-) from the 1 hour lenght of each CD-R, so to adjust to vinyl format... well, that's was one of the most joyful experience of my life ! this 6LP box collect that music which it's simply some of the most outstanding and revolutionary music that i ever heard !!! One of the most legendary release on Qbico ?! YES (screaming)!
Conrad Schnitzlerl about Kluster:
"Kluster was never over. There is KLUSTER until today. If we friends met, we didn't think about, under which name we met. It is the style of the music which comes out. No other group made such music. This is Kluster-music,it is a style. It is an invention of Konrad Schnitzler 1969 Schnitzler / Freudigmann / Seidel & Friends, was before Achim Roedelius came to the band and after.
I founded the music group Kluster after my exit 1969 from the group GERÄUSCHE (Zodiak with A.Roedelius and Boris Schak). Between 1969 to 1972 I worked with different friends, with Tangerine Dreams among others. With them I tried to perform the music of my imagination. Finally Klaus Freudigmann and Wolfgang Seidel remained at the work continuously over the years. In addition there were several actions with A.Roedelius and D.Möbius where the LPs KLUSTER Klopfzeichen,Osterei and Eruption were made. Instruments, amplifier and effects I gave D. Moebius because he had had no own equipment. I didn't want the music to remind of the normal. My criterias were not folk music, not rock music, not pop songs and not dance music. The idea for "Cluster" later "Kluster"(I wanted to avoid Americanisms) is not only a name for a group but a form of music. I had amplifier, instruments, contact mikes and effects, that could used by the others, too. Klaus had tape machines and microphones. In addition he constructed instruments and electronical sound generators, which made the most undescribable sounds. Wolfgang had everything connected with drum and base and in addition amplifier and effects.
Klaus had rooms where we could work out our music performances. The tapes "Electric Meditation" with TD were made in one of those spaces. Most of the performances happened with friends who took part in the actions; therefore Conrad, Klaus,Wolfgang and friends. For special activities we used the name ERUPTION. The idea was to make sounds without melodies, sounds comparing to industrial noises. I had different friends with me to play. No money was to be earned with this music. No fame, to attain with it. By the way I'm not a musician; I'm an intermedial artist and composer. With the different Kluster groups we did some live concerts. 'Eruption' (Ausbruch) is the title of the LP. Of that I had produced an edition of 100 LPs. Later the Gallery Block had made another edition of 100 LPS of it for the 'Block Box' with a label without Moebius' and Roedelius' names though. Later in 1996 Joe (Marginal Talent) produced a CD of it. I The group `Kluster- was a conglomerate of total different players and artists over several years. But all those years Klaus Freudigmann was involved sometimes as player, or as sound engineer or even as inventor of instruments. It was him, who taped the last Kluster Concert. Therefore he was named equally to the others on the label. After and previously off the splitting from R+M. I still did a lot of activities with the group Kluster there was Kluster befor and after Achim Roedelius+Dieter Moebius It was not popular music Kluster did. Not many people were interested. Therefore, No photos of Kluster, or posters, or tickets, or newspaper cuttings, or anything related left. It is about 35 years ago."
Wolfgang Seidel about Kluster: "Summer of Love? Kluster was formed in West-Berlin - much closer to Siberia than to San Francisco, Haight Ashbury and Golden Gate Park. What came to Berlin with a two years delay were only the outer fringes of the "Summer of Love". Its blossom would have died soon in the Cold War breeze. And 1970 a lot of the optimism of the mid 60ies had already ceased. It became obvious that creating a better world needs more than flowers in your hair. But the political movements of the late sixties were a child of the same optimism that fuelled the rapid developments changing not only the material side of life but also arts, music and the way people interacted. The new left and the hippie movement where all these ideas concentrated wasn't the result of poverty but build on the belief that with modern technology there is enough for everybody. It's only a question of a fair distribution.
That optimism had a soundtrack that was based on the same technology. From the electric guitar, reverb and echo units to the first synthesizers, everything was welcome that sounded as if it came from the future. Future meant space travel - so it's quite natural that the first effects wildly used where those who send you to a space you've never been before: artificial reverb and echo. A lot of people had their first encounter with this new music at the movies - watching scifi-film like Forbidden Planet with the electronic tonalities of Louis and Bebe Barron (1956 - and their work wasn't called music to avoid paying royalties and having to quarrel with the conservative musicians trade unions). For a few years rock music was the most popular of new sounds and for a lot of people the door opener. It was one of the rare moments when you could be at the same time avant-garde and mainstream. But this did not last long. Pop music quickly became old music with new instruments when it turned into highly standardized entertainment. And the use of the electric guitar developed rules like any other traditional instrument.
Amongst that people that met to form Kluster were Klaus Freudigmann and Wolfgang Seidel, who both grew disenchanted with pop music and Conrad Schnitzler who came from a complete different direction as sculptor. While the others discovered the new territories of sound via psychedelic music Schnitzler was a fan of Stockhausen, Cage etc. but was distracted by the highbrowed elite attitude with which this music surrounded itself in Germany. What met was the self empowerment of early rock music with the search for new sounds and structures of 20th century avant-garde music.
That Kluster made simple music on DIY instruments, droning and banging on one note for half an hour, did not mean we were into any kind of primitivism. We hated the bongo playing hippie and his backward dreams of tribal 'healthy' societies (forgetting that hunger, war and oppression were not invented this year). To us the longing for sweet melodies was a regressive refuge from a world that isn't sweet. We did not want to go back. If the future was inevitable, we wanted to shape it - at least sonically. That we preferred slow tempos sometimes gets mistaken as 'dark'. We just gave every sound enough time to be listened to. And we wanted to draw a line between us and the 'look I am the fastest' guitar heroes that began to rule the stages. What we did was getting rid of the schemes of pop and popular classic and find out, what else we can do with our tools, polishing and lubricating them for a future music.
But no matter how far your mind is in the future - your stomach is still on earth and demands feeding. When things got tougher in the 70ies, the people that met under the labels Kluster and Eruption had to look for ways to earn their living. Conrad Schnitzler started his long solo voyage, Klaus Freudigmann took part in the squatter’s movement, and others took ordinary jobs and surfaced now and then with some new piece of music. What's left are some tapes and a few minutes of film documenting an installation Conrad Schnitzler sat up at Galerie Block (1970) reflecting the ideas behind Kluster. Violins that had bought cheap from the flea market were equipped with contact microphones and plugged into radios that had been mounted to the wall as amplifiers. The visitors (hopefully no musicians) experimented collective with the sounds from the violins hearing themselves in the radio."