Invariably mention the name Dieter Moebius to electronic / krautrock purists and the utterances of such phrases ‘legend’ and ‘godfather’ will no doubt liberally sprinkle the conversation. Strangely though drop the same into polite public house chatter and the chances are you’ll be met with curiously puzzled looks belonging to persons with furrowed brows. Its not as though Moebius has been – shall we say – hiding his light beneath the bushel, he hasn’t – rather more like fellow aural alchemist Hans Joachim Roedelius he has maintained a position in the wings just out of view of the celebrated gaze of attention bestowed upon a scene / work ethic and way of life forever entwined and associated by the likes of Kraftwerk, Can and Neu! Like Roedelius he has remained something of an unseen puppet master guiding, orchestrating and shape shifting a melodic DNA structure and ensuring its engagement and release from the confines and restrictions of the domains of experimental laboratory boffins to its acceptance in popular culture via his pioneering work with Kluster and Harmonia.
‘Kram’ – loosely translated as ‘stuff’ may not push the envelope any great deal in terms of that barrier forcing persona of yore yet what it does provide for is a streamlined entry level lesson in the embracing, the cross fusion and the melding of krautrock templates, ambient accents and electronic detailing – perhaps best viewed on the drifting chilled timbres of the elegantly bound ‘dauert‘ with its sedately coiled clockwork mechanisms and lunar swirls. Surprisingly light in tonality and easily digestible, Moebius takes you on a space age voyage, it’s a deceptively lush odyssey that along the way finds him piloting similar terrains as Plaid, that said don’t be too surprised if the weaving of the sound-scaped ghosts of Biosphere, Future Sound of London (especially on the busy sounding ‘lauert’) and 808 State become an all to obvious element of fascination for despite his advancing years this synthesising sexagenarian still has his head and ears wired to a state of the art currency.
‘kram’ finds Moebius’ continuing his ongoing journey into the same rhythmically enhanced sound-scapes that was the central feature of his ’nurton’ set from 2006 for blue pole, it perhaps provides for his most immediate and accessible body of work in some time, both efficient and clinical; lush and intricate in textural detail – across these ten tracks there’s a heavy reliance on ethnic sub culturing. Once availed of its quietly beset and confused half woken state the multi layered ’start’ soon emerges resplendently equipped and despatched with a subtle softly sheened exotic hue to assume mass, depth and density as all its disparate sonic stratas converge as one. Its contrast with ’steigert’ is acute the exoticism replaced by a tribal like Australasian primitivism, the mood dark and claustrophobic – but then it’s a given feature of ’kram’ in so far as the way Moebius fluently weaves between a canvas of dark and light tonalities to the effect of instilling an absorbing listening experience upon the would be viewer.
All said though ’kram’s nearest reference marker is Jean Michel Jarre’s ’Zoolook’ – non more so is this felt to be the case than on the parting ‘markt’ and ’rennt’ (and ‘rast’ which is pretty much the latters twin sibling though injected with a hypnotic proggy essence) wherein he crafts that self same sense of slow build stately euphoria eclipsing drama to the proceedings and sows in a veritable tapestry of mind expanding ethnic charms with the former proving a more a malleable and sultry excursion into mid ‘Architecture and Morality’ era OMD. Elsewhere there’s the ominously doom tweaked regal aura of the monochrome ’Schwitzt’ veering into worlds previously occupied by mid career Add N to X. The sets highlight for us personally is ‘kommt’ – a cosmic prog goliath of sorts, its classically retro shading and wide screen aspects combining to give it a sense of a soundtrack for some hyper driven sci-fi epic yet to be filmed, that said on closer inspection a fair number of you may well view it as sounding like Fleetwood Mac’s ’tusk’ albeit being given a futuristic refit by the ideas sharing pairing of Goblin and John Carpenter. Classy stuff.
Key tracks –
first transmitted – August 2009