Review Summary: Like laying on beach in outer space
Harmonia is a three piece supergroup comprised of two Cluster members and Neu!’s drummer, Michael Rother. Both of these bands played a potent role in the krautrock scene yet they don’t share many similarities. While Clusters sound was strictly guitar and keyboard based ambient music Neu! had a much more robotic, steady sound that was built around mesmerizing drums. As you might have guessed both of these groups combine styles and as a result the listener is treated with some bright, lush space music.
Although Clusters music was dark, cold, and almost haunting the sounds featured on Musik von Harmonia
are bright and uplifting. The albums opening number “Watussi” demonstrates the combination of Neu! and Cluster perfectly as the steady, repetitive drums last the entire song while the listener is surrounded by bouncy keyboard chords and quirky electronic sounds. The pulsing drum beats and radiant synth bleeps in “Sonnenschein” make me feel like I’m in some kind of tribal dance This formula is used throughout the majority of the album yet Harmonia change the pace and add in a variety of moods and visual imagery throughout the album.
Innumerable electronica artists use repetitive drums and odd samples to posses a mezmerising effect. While Harmonia do this every track on Musik von Harmonia
contains its own unique sound and that’s what makes this album so intriguing. “Veterano” incorporates a drum-machine into its sound surrounding the listener with an array of funky beats and loose, sublime guitar noodling. Midway through the song hypnotic beats are added which sounds like some sort of malfunction on an Aphex Twin record. On the other side of things“Sehr Kosmisch” is the longest and most ambient influenced piece on the album and it sounds like something that would be found on a Cluster album. Mixing together dark piano chords over ethereal keyboard soundscapes “Sehr Kosmisch” gives me a feeling like I’m lost in an icy cavern. Harmonia have a knack for creating innovative sounds and visual imagery while keeping a very simple formula intact.
The aspect that makes Musik von Harmonia
so great is how it has a very downbeat, atmospheric sound yet the keyboard sounds are strangely upbeat and goofy. With this unique sound Harmonia may not blow anyone away but at the same time Musik von Harmonia
is an eccentric blend of repetitive minimalism and jazzy krautrock that will get nearly any listeners attention.