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All posts by Beamer

Beamer is an avid surfer, programmer, and music/tech junkie based in SF. He has an extensive collection of analog synthesizers, rare Krautrock, Prog, and Italodisco vinyl, and knows more about Giorgio Moroder than any of us. Links: Beamer's Surf Blog, Beamer on Twitter, Instagram: @beamercola

The Alan Parsons Project – Pyramid

Posted by Beamer

pyramid.jpg

Where do I even begin? Alan Parsons is beyond epic. He never leaves my turntable, car, or iTunes playlists. Always on repeat.

At 18, Alan had his hands on the Abbey Road tapes while working at Abbey Road Studios, and shortly thereafter engineered The Dark Side of the Moon. This guy was a machine.

Pyramid is my favorite release of the group, though AllMusic calls it “average,” and claims that isn’t a necessity. Shame on them.

Which one is your favorite release?

The Alan Parsons Project – What Goes Up

The Alan Parsons Project – Hyper-Gamma Spaces

A semi-related treat:

College – Secret Diary

Posted by Beamer

College - Secret Diary

Well, I’ve been hyper-busy getting ready for the big move to California, so sorry for the lack of posting!

In my absence, I totally missed the release of College’s Secret Diary. The Teenage Color EP was great, but it lacked a little something. . . something to make it memorable. Secret Diary takes over and delivers just that. Great release.

College – The Energy Story

College – I Need a Better Engine

Harmonia – Immer Wieder (1975)

Posted by Beamer

Harmonia - Deluxe (1975)

Mmm, some more Michael Rother for you.

This is Harmonia’s second release just before Rother hit the studio to record NEU!’s ’75. Brian Eno joined them for their next release (Tracks and Traces (1976)).

Harmonia’s lineup was a match made in heaven: a perfect mixture of NEU! (Rother) and Cluster (Moebius and Roedelius). Wikipedia references them as a “Krautrock supergroup,” and quotes Eno as saying that they are “the world’s most important rock band.”

Deluxe was a departure from the trio’s first release Musik Von Harmonia (1975). It’s much more of a solid sound with smoother melodies.

It’s a long track (9:43), but definitely worth the full listen, as they fit quite a few movements into it.

Harmonia – Immer Wieder (1975)

See also:

Landscape – Shake the West Awake (1981)

Posted by Beamer

From the Tea-rooms of Mars...
Here’s a little New Romanticism for you, coming from the source: Richard Burgess.

Two years before this album was released, Richard teamed up with Dave Simmons to invent the Simmons SDS-V drum machine (you all know it). This was the first commercially available electronic drum kit.

This is Landscape’s second full-length, titled “From the Tea-rooms of Mars… to the Hell-holes of Uranus,” produced by Richard. This album is most known for its hits: “Einstein A Go-Go” and “Norman Bates.” I stumbled across this, and I just can’t get enough of this track.

After this release, Richard Burgess went on to produce Spandau Ballet’s Journeys to Glory and Diamond, along with countless other albums, including one of my faves: New Edition.

Landscape – Shake the West Awake (1981)

Cluster – Hollywood (1974)

Posted by Beamer

zuckerzeit.jpg

I might have to put this at album #2 right behind New Age of Earth. Unfortunately, I don’t have an original pressing, but the 180g re-press sounds great.

Cluster (then Kluster) was formed by Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, and Conrad Schnitzler in 1969. Schnitzler had recorded Tangerine Dream’s debut Electronic Meditation just two months before Kluster’s debut Klopfzeichen.

After Schnitzler’s departure three albums later, Moebius and Roedelius renamed the group Cluster and continued recording starting with Cluster (aka Cluster ’71), and following that Cluster II.

A year before Zuckerzeit, Moebius and Roedelius joined up with Michael Rother of NEU! and released two albums under the name Harmonia (which I will be posting very soon). After Rother left Harmonia, Moebius and Roedelius went back in the studio to record Zuckerzeit, and if you listen to Cluster’s previous releases, you can hear Rother’s influence practically bleeding through the tracks. Mmm!

Zuckerzeit has a very interesting structure. Each track was written solely by either Moebius or Roedelius and, except one track, cycles between the two. It gives a very interesting mixture of light and fluffy to a much more experimental noise-centric sound. I tend to like Roedelius’s tracks much more, but “Caramel” is the exception.

Cluster – Hollywood (1974)

NEU! – Neuschnee (1973)

Posted by Beamer

neu_2.jpg

My first interest into Krautrock beyond Kraftwerk. I found NEU! ’75 (1975, duh) when I was 17 and have yet to stop listening to it eight years later.

NEU! was the brainchild of Kraftwerk’s Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother. Anything Rother touches, I like; which you will see in future posts.

This track is off of NEU! 2 (1973) and is a fine example of Rother’s melting guitar melodies, and (along with almost every other NEU! song) displays Dinger’s self-invented Motorik beat.

NEU! – Neuschnee (1973)