Harmonia & Eno '76

Tracks and Traces

BY Brock ThiessenPublished Oct 2, 2009

The history of Harmonia and Brian Eno's 1976 collaboration, Tracks and Traces, is a long and complicated one involving fleeting partnerships, lost tapes and eventually, fractured relationships. However, following a quickly deleted and inferior '97 pressing, this lost Krautrock artefact has finally been unearthed 33 years after it was originally recorded. With the seal of approval from all Harmonia's members — Neu!'s Michael Rother and Cluster's Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius — as well as presumably Eno's, the reissue is well worth the wait, sounding eerily contemporary as it shifts from improvised synth workouts to atmospheric transcendence, pastoral pop and abstract sound explorations. It's too ethereal to be pop but it has too much backbone to be straight-up ambient, with the three newly added bonus tracks — arguably the album's best — making the record more inviting than ever. A true gem of the Krautrock era, Tracks and Traces stands as an essential piece to the Harmonia puzzle and a must-have for any kosmische traveller.
(Grönland; High Wire)

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