Usually, box sets have a purely symbolic purpose. They are supposed to say: Look, this thing is over with. Or they are to establish a canon. For the box »Cluster 1971-1981«, both is true. The first meaning is based on the sad fact that Dieter Moebius, one half of the electro duo Cluster died last year. Hence, there is nothing else to be expected from the original line-up. Considering that there were a few more Cluster releases after 1981, the selection is also to signal: This was their crucial phase. And indeed, the seven records from this time of their creational period are the core of their works, which have been pretty unique in the extended Krautrock-cosmos. At the same time, the box illustrates the different stages of their development: from proto-ambient-industrial on »Cluster 1971« all the way to the rather abstract and synthetic »Curiosum«, there were new ideas to be tried and tested from record to record. Be it the artful and childish pre-synth-pop of »Zuckerzeit«, the confident and laid back reductionism on »Sowiesoso« or the pastoral miniatures on »Cluster & Eno« in one of their gatherings with Brian Eno – they never really went for formulistic routines. Instead, this is the chance to follow two pioneers on their very own expedition, always coming up with new and eccentric treasures on their way. In addition, there is unreleased gig-footage from Hamburg (1972) and Metz (1977), giving us a great idea on how the self-taught musicians Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius knew how to shine live, as well.