Bureau B • 1983

In the division of labour at Cluster, the electronic pioneers of the Krautrock era, there was something of a rule between Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius that Roedelius was responsible for the pastoral, harmonic things, while Moebius took care of the quirkier, rougher stuff. Of course, you can’t do that all the time. And so on his solo début, or rather his first real solo album under his own name, »Tonspuren« (1983), Moebius showed that he, the autodidact who, in the spirit of punk, couldn’t play any instrument »properly«, had a thing for melodies and harmonies. Some of the tracks are quirky Moebius at his best, with stubborn grooves and rebellious squeaky frequencies. Others are wonderfully naive-sounding, introverted electro-pop, far from any suspicion of kitsch. Here and there you get the impression that Moebius, despite the gap of almost a decade, wanted to follow up the great Cluster album »Zuckerzeit« from 1974 with its rough-sweet synthesizer melodies. Even one or two of the sounds from back then seem to reappear on »Tonspuren«. Moebius manages to create some of the most beautiful tracks from the Cluster cosmos here, such as the stoically hopping »Hasenheide« or the laconic, wistful »Rattenwiesel«. A highlight in Moebius’ extensive solo oeuvre.