5 Dec 2014

Album Review: "Kollektion 2: Roedelius: Electronic Music" Selected by Lloyd Cole

Reviewed by Nathan Ford

As someone with only a passing awareness of Lloyd Cole's music, I must confess that I'm surprised to hear that he's a rampant synthesizer fancier, and a big fan in particular of the music of Cluster's Hans-Joachim Roedelius (with whom he collaborated on the album "Selected Studies Vol. 1" in 2013). I'm told that Cole also released an excellent electronic album in 2001 called "Plastic Wood" which makes this influence even more explicit.

Bureau B have taken advantage of this obsession and commissioned Cole to select and sequence this immaculate selection of Roedelius's vintage synthesizer music, following up on Tim Gane's excellent Sky Records multi-artist selection from several months ago. It's one of two releases from Bureau B to recognize and celebrate Roedelius' 80th birthday (the other, which I haven't heard, is "Tape Archive 1973-1978"). "Electronic Music" (as this release is known) is pretty great.

Cole credits Roedelius with the melodic sensibility and warmth that made Cluster's music more attainable than a number of their peers, and those qualities are further evidenced by the solo selections chosen here by Cole, who had extensive access to Roedelius' solo archives during the selection process.

It sounds like pretty groundbreaking stuff, even now, with the envelope-pushing likes of Boards of Canada mining similar territory now that evokes wistful and slightly musty nostalgia in the best possible ways. And like all exceptional compilations, it paints an accurate and complete portrait of the artist concerned in a self contained fashion that makes it an ideal representation for those who feel they only need one disc of this stuff, or an excellent starting point for those (like myself) for whom it has instilled a hunger to investigate further.

Essential proto-electronic / kosmische. Hats off to Mr Cole for spreading the word.

Available on CD, and vinyl.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting! It's pretty stunning just how much innovation came out of that era. Cluster, Neu!, Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, Faust, etc. Julian Cope's "Krautrocksampler" is an interesting little book, and an unbelievably comprehensive resource is "A Crack in the Cosmic Egg" by Alan Freeman, though sadly both books appear to be out of print at the moment.

    I would not have guessed that Lloyd Cole would be so into this, but lucky for us that he is. If you don't have his seminal 1984 album (with the Commotions), "Rattlesnakes", I highly recommend picking that up. I was about twenty years late to discover that record, but when I finally did, it just immediately clicked for me and I somehow felt like I had known it for years - a strange, but welcome feeling.