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Harmonia 76: Tracks And Traces

With the swelling Krautrock rediscovery coming to a head (if not already on the decline), now is the best time to release Tracks And Traces, a 21-year old collaboration between Harmonia—Hans Roedelius, Deiter Moebius and Michael Rother—and Brian Eno. Given their mutual experimentalist bent, it's a good match. While later collaborations featuring Eno, Moebius and Roedelius have been released under the name Cluster And Eno, Tracks And Traces is a document of their first work together. As such, it's a tenuous step toward the brilliance to come. That's not to say it's a bad record, by any means: The members are more than capable of making electronic music that holds your interest without going too far into the experimental structural jungle. Most of these songs are melodically simple but pretty, falling just above ambient electronica and below the threshold of pop songs. The only problem is that they sometimes fail to stick to the theme at hand: The warm analog synthesizers are periodically interrupted by a random bleep or buzz, as if everyone involved wanted to use all the equipment they had available. Overcome that, and you should have no problem enjoying the album. Tracks And Traces sounds a bit dated, but it still sounds more innovative than most music made today.


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