Monday, April 10, 2017

Harmonia - 2015 - Documents 1975

Documents 1975

01. Tiki-Taka at Harmonia Studio in Forst (6:26)
02. Live at Onkel Po in Hamburg (9:12)
03. Proto-Deluxe at Harmonia Studio in Forst (4:30)
04. Live at Fabrik in Hamburg (11:38)

- Dieter Moebius / synthesizer, electronic drums (3 & 4), nagoja harp and vox (1)
- Michael Rother / guitar (except 3), synthorchestra (1 & 3), electronic drums (1 & 4), cymbals and vox (1)
- Hans-Joachim Roedelius / electric piano, organ (2 & 4), vox (1)
- Mani Neumeier / drums (2 &4)

In the '90's, long after their heyday, and shortly after the close of the post-punk era in which they were first deified, the krautrock bands found themselves the darlings of various music collectors as well as EDM producers looking for inspiration. It was this climate that saw, for one, Harmonia getting their day in the sun, with "Tracks and Traces" dropping in '97, finally allowing their sessions with Brian Eno to be listened to by hordes of hungry fans. Surprisingly, though, it would take longer for some of their other archival material to surface - a collection of live recordings only surfaced in 2007, and only now have we this collection. These tracks represent the carefully recorded and preserved high quality tapes of a one Asmus Tietchens, a massive fan of tapes, Cluster, Neu, and Harmonia from Hamburg who recorded two live shows Harmonia did with Mani Neumeier of Guru Guru on drums in 1975 at different clubs in that city, and who also got his hands on rare tapes of Harmonia studio tracks from the same year. They have now been released in limited amounts to the listening public.
The first studio track, "Tiki-Taka", is a unique beast in the Harmonia discography, a dark track filed to the brim with skittering instruments, including a never before or since used by them nagoja harp. This alone makes "Documents" a revelatory release, showing a never before seen part of the supergroup's creative consciousness. Its studio cousin is "Proto-Deluxe", a standard though as usual fun and relaxing cut of theirs. The other revelations come from the live cuts, which merge their electronic styles and experiments with psychkraut jamming that compares to live Floyd and the first Ash Ra Tempel album. This is another very different side of the band. Altogether, this is a revealing and excellent little collection, proving once and for all the varied, versatile, and enduring creativity of these legendary musicians.

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