Selbstportrait

Selbstportrait

by Hans-Joachim RoedeliusHans-Joachim Roedelius

CD

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Overview

Krautrock pioneer Hans-Joachim Roedelius took electronic music to new places in his trail-blazing work with Cluster and Harmonia, but by the time he started his solo career in the late '70s, he was concentrating on subtler, simpler sounds. His third solo album, and first for the Sky label, 1979's aptly titled Selbstportrait ("Self Portrait") is an even more intimate, meditative outing than its predecessors, which sound relatively more polished in comparison. The record is something of a sonic diary, essentially consisting of ideas Roedelius laid down in an ad hoc, lo-fi fashion between 1973 and 1977 while spending time in Germany's Weser Uplands region. In addition to his modest recording methods, Roedelius employed the most basic of musical tools to put these tracks together. Many of them are based around the tones of the Farfisa organ, with occasional interjections from other keyboards and a cheap-sounding rhythm machine. The pieces themselves don't quite qualify as miniatures -- they're generally between three and five minutes long -- but they're still small-scale in their sound, structure, and intent. This is ruminative music, the sound of a man taking the time to set himself off a bit from the hustle and bustle of life and take a long, close look at both himself and his surroundings. While there's more motion in some of these tracks than there is in, say, the contemporaneous output of Roedelius' sometime-collaborator Brian Eno, one could still call much of Selbstportrait ambient music. It's full of simple melodic motifs repeated with subtle variations, for an atmospheric, hypnotic effect, and if that's not ambient, what is?

Product Details

Release Date: 01/18/2011
Label: Bureau B
UPC: 4047179527026
catalogNumber: 63
Rank: 8504

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