Moebius Tonspuren

By 1983, Dieter Moebius had already established an enviable reputation as a pioneer of electronic music via his seminal work with Hans-Joachim Roedelius in Cluster, as well as through his Krautrock credentials in Harmonia, with Roedelius and Michael Rother. The early '80s saw him enter into a series of one-off collaborations with a select group of musicians at Conny Plank's recording studio, so it was with belated surprise that he finally embarked on his first solo album in 1983. Tonspuren is a spare, wholly electronic album that connects the dots between Kraftwerk's Radio-Activity and the Detroit techno experiments that began to filter out in droves in the mid-'80s. Minimalism and rhythm are key phrases here, and the results are appealingly hypnotic and warm with analog textures. Bureau B has been reissuing much of the Moebius/Roedelius catalogue this past year, and as a result, we now have once again an essential portion of proto-techno available to help fill out this necessary period of Teutonic music history. (Bureau B)