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Various Artists: Kollection 01: Sky Records

Album Review

Superb selection of semi-obscure Kraut-tronica.

Sky Records was formed by Günter Körber in 1975, when many consider Krautrock’s golden age was reaching an end.

Yet the roster purveyed a brand of quality electronic music that extended into the 90s. Twelve of the 17 tracks here feature at least one member of Cluster: a unifying factor and a demonstration of Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius’s eclectic approaches developing over time. Doppelschnitt by Moebius and Gerd Beerbohm (1984) is an extraordinary mixture of distressed drum machine and phasing, percolating electronics, at once kosmische and prescient of 90s German techno. Contrast that with Roedelius’s stately, lyrical keyboard piece Glaubersalz (1997). From ’77, Eno, Moebius and Roedelius’ The Belldog is sung by Eno over a pulsing, circular synth pattern decorated with twinkling detail. Other highlights are Asmus Tietchens’ exquisite mosaic Wein Aus Wien (1982) and Wolfgang Riechmann’s lush, synth-swathed Himmelblau (1978). The odd ones out – Günter Schickert’s haunting In Der Zeit, Michael Rother’s propulsive Feuerland – are particularly impressive. 

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