Saturday, 7 May 2011

Michael Rother - Sterntaler

From 1978, this is the second solo LP by the Neu guitarist. He is quite clearly revelling in his freedom to be both more expansive, and more tuneful than he generally was in Neu. He has a good ear for melody, and the tunes on this album are very redolent of the period, too. Sometimes the songs veer toward the wistfully epic, especially combined with the driving, post-Kraut rhythms, which almost prefigure the headband-wearing sleeves-on-the-jacket-rolled-up excesses of bombastic 80s rock. However, these tracks always stop way short of cheese, because they are gorgeous, and because the love and enthusiasm of Rother is always shining through. Also it has Jaki Liebezeit on drums, but more importantly, is produced by Krautrock superhero Conny Plank, and therefore sounds lush, luminous and beautiful. What you have, then, is a set of guitar-led intrumentals with glorious melodies over driving, minimal grooves with shimmering, spectral synths, and it is rather wonderful.
I've seen Michael Rother play live with Moebius a couple of times, back in the early 2000s when Moebius was still using lots of analogue synths. They were both excellent gigs, but definitely had moments high on the cheese-ometer as Rother went into guitar hero mode, before reining himself in as the track gradually morphed into some warped analogue noodlings. They seemed to be semi-improvised sets, and hopefully they will team up again in the future.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tubbs and Crockett nice!