I’ve been trying to dig Cluster’s first album for some time, really listening and trying to get along with it, shake hands, smile, maybe even give it a hug.
The verdict. It’s just too weird, it’s what happens when the drugs take over, or you don’t take enough.
However when Michael Rother of Neu decided to hang with the Cluster boys they created something totally different, well it was an entirely different band called Harmonia that none other than David Bowie and Brian Eno declared were important. So what makes it different, I think it’s the melodies, or the guitars that drone along and drill through your prefrontal cortex causing anxiety and fear as well as a deep feeling off well being. At times your fight or flight instinct will be triggered although if you play it loud enough you will be pinned to the armchair/couch/beanbag unable to move until the end of Side 1. at which point you will flip the record and delve into Side 2. and maybe repeat again and again.
It may also be the genuine attraction I feel towards any band that looks like a bunch of crazed scientists set up an experiment on stage with the intent of terrifying the audience. This is not ambient music, it is too in your face for that.
An added bonus is it will annoy anyone who lives with you.
In the UK and USA at the time the dinosaurs of rock and roll were rolling themselves out of bed and on the road with their blues braggadocio in full flight. In Germany they were concentrating on freaking each other out as much as possible with strange bleeps and blips and that motorik beat.
I am not ready to give up on the Cluster album yet.