Roedelius Wenn Der Südwind Weht

Roedelius Wenn Der Südwind Weht
There's no question Hans-Joachim Roedelius made a name for himself by playing with '70s Krautrock heroes Harmonia and Cluster. Yet by 1981's Wenn Der Südwind Weht, the prolific German's seventh solo album, he was clearly better off working alone. Unlike lacklustre Cluster album Curiosum, which was also released in '81, Wenn Der Südwind Weht ("When the Wind Is Blowing South") finds Roedelius still at his creative peak, rather than descent. Serene, tranquil and relaxed, the album is by all means an ambient record, with a synth-loving Roedelius even printing the message "Music to be listened to quietly" on the album sleeve. However, unlike most music under the ambient umbrella, Roedelius sidesteps the über-serious trappings and comes out with a record that's surprisingly playful. With most tracks under the five-minute mark, they go down easy, as Roedelius's electric organ and synthesizer melodies come across as some of his most beautiful and irresistible. Wenn Der Südwind Weht is by far one of Roedelius's most accessible pieces of work, in a good way, easily pulling you back again and again, even if the album is nearly three decades old. (Bureau B)