dieter moebius Kram (LP, £18.95)label: Bureau B
Dieter Moebius - one half of the legendary duo Cluster and the godfather of electronic krautrock - passed away in the summer of 2015. Bureau B are reissuing his final four solo albums. Following on from Blotch and Nurton (2016) Kram and Ding now complete the quartet. Liner notes were penned by Moebius's friend, the U.S. composer, producer and musician Tim Story. Recorded in 2008, Kram's playfully disjointed rhythms and shiny plastic surfaces give us just a glimpse perhaps of Moebi's own state of mind-content, at ease, and happy to be working on music. With small mobile recording setups in Berlin and Majorca where he and Irene split their time, he recorded when the muse struck (although he would hate the word "muse"). In English, "kram" means "stuff" and the title is fitting. Synthetic, toy-like sounds skitter across the soundstage, colliding with those unlikely rhythms, and modulating in real time with Moebi's unmistakable hand on the controls. Funny, warped, joyfully cluttered, Kram unapologetically embraces its disposable sounds and sly humour. Imbued throughout with his singular conception of music and sound, it's arguably Moebius's most cheerful and mischievous album, and it's all the richer for it. Moebi was a champion of the everyday-self-effacing in both his life and his music. In Kram, he elevates the commonplace, then promptly subverts the touchstones which make it familiar. The lack of overt "emotionality" in his work sometimes obscures the humanity and depth that's always there, lurking behind the fabricated surfaces. Kram is a perfect example. Though he would be quick to dismiss it, the warmth of Moebi's personality drifts indelibly through it.
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