Ready or not, a Cluster 9CD box is coming on Bureau B!

Ready or not, a Cluster 9CD box is coming on Bureau B!

WHO’S pumped to dig up nine boomboxes with CD players in them and listen to every single heady, ambient-pioneering, experimental synth-pop-innovating Cluster album released between the years 1971 and 1981 all at once??? (Hint: no, not me; I’m a little busy listening to a giant playlist of every instrumental recording of “Ave Maria” I could find right now…) That’s right! YOU ARE.

Or at least, you will be ready to do that by April 15, because that’s when the German Bureau B label is officially unleashing Cluster: 1971-1981, a big hefty box of nine “compact discs” (smaller, shinier records), comprising reissues of the eight studio albums released by the legendary duo of Roedelius and Moebius (yes, yes, including those two they made with that Eno guy), as well as a “previously unreleased album of two live recordings from 1972 and 1977.” Ave, Maria!

Each album has been remastered for the box by Willem Makkee; and each includes a fresh booklet with “essays,” “rare photos,” and “exclusive text on the evolution and significance of the band” written by Asmus Tietchens, which, since I know you wanna know so bad, goes a little somethin’… like this:

Cacophonous noise in the 1970’s and 1980’s masked the subtlety of Cluster aesthetics, diminishing their force of impact. Only since the 1990’s, and all the more so today, have Cluster been identified and celebrated as pioneers. The somewhat hackneyed ‘avant-garde’ tag really amounts to nothing more than being ahead of one’s time… . Now, twenty, thirty years later, with so many new aural experiences on offer, listening habits have changed to such a great extent that we are better placed to assess Cluster’s importance, their influence on subsequent generations of musicians… . The eight (official) Cluster albums presented here trace the group’s arc of development over a period of around ten years. Not a particularly extensive oeuvre compared to many of their peers, but prolificacy was never a feature of Cluster’s constitution. They only released a new album when they felt that they had taken a significant step forwards on their musical trajectory — which goes some way to explaining how varied and different their LP’s were. Cluster were no pedagogues, but their indirect influence on musicians and, more to the point, on listeners, resonates until today. Can a legacy be any more alive?

Okay, ready to shop-til-you-drop, already? Check out this linkage right here for pre-order info and a complete listing of the albums included in the box. They’re only making 1500 of these things too, so look alive. But before I get out of your hair, here’s the undisputed best song by Cluster. No arguments, right?

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