Many brightly shining planets orbit the twin central star of Cluster (Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius). To be clear: as soloists Roedelius and Moebius have long since worked with all kinds of musicians whose congenial contributions add even more colour to the polychromatic Cluster world. Yet no matter how distinctly their guests' creativity is expressed, Cluster's character is consistently audible.

"Snowghost Pieces" very much fits the pattern: Tim Story, a distinguished electronic musician who had previous experience of working with Roedelius (Lunz, for example) and Jon Leidecker (Negativland, People Like Us), one of America's leading sonic pioneers using his Wobbly pseudonym, recorded an album of extraordinary complexity together with Moebius. All eleven pieces on the CD are rooted in hypnotic rhythm but are swept along in a bonanza of bizarre sound and noise which almost overwhelms the listener with information overload. "Snowghost Pieces" is no place for minimalism. On the contrary, new musical surprises come thick and fast, a blur of electronic and acoustic sounds. Moebius, Story and Leidecker always keep harmony within their grasp, sometimes even dropping in little melodies; there is a deeply humane quality to their improvised interaction, never descending into noisy abstraction.

The three musicians ensconced themselves in Brett Allen's exceptionally professional studio, high in the outlandish mountains of the state of Montana. The intimate studio atmosphere and surreal surroundings undoubtedly played their part in the creation of this fantastical music, the players availing themselves of abundant technical possibilities in the most brilliant and empathetic fashion. "Snowghost Pieces" is by no means a Cluster album, but to revisit the image at the top of the page, the distant reflection of the central star shone over the album recording sessions, radiating warmth for a whole week. The planets continue to circle in space.

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Moebius Story Leidecker
Snowghost Pieces


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