SKY 027 Grosses Wasser
Produced by Peter Baumann & Cluster
Released on 1979
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
SKY 027 cover  

A fter a pair of albums with Brian Eno, Cluster was ready to dive back into their solo career, this time with Peter Baumann (late of Tangerine Dream) behind the boards. Grosses Wasser returns to the corporeal, accessible style of Zuckerzeit on side one, giving the second half over to the title track, an electronic tone poem by turns moody, scary, calm. Unlike Tangerine Dream (who build music by shaping sounds) or Eno (who allows sound to take shape through repetition), Moebius and Roedelius continually fine tune their choice of sounds over the course of a melody. Thus “Manchmal,” the album’s most memorable moment, begins as a lullaby played on softly muted notes that are later brought into focus using a harpsichord texture; “Isodea” (the album’s other lullaby) also pursues new ways of treating the same theme. Cluster enjoys introducing new sounds as occasional commentary (literally, on the busy “Prothese”), best displayed on the side-long “Grosses Wasser.” Here the pair use electronics and percussion to paint an evolving portrait of water, from single drops to the vast expanse of ocean. The scent of old Europe (and with it whiffs of BowieEno's Low union) rises on a few of the songs here, but it’s unclear to my ears what (if any) influence Eno’s ambient experiments had on their sound; the influence of Baumann (notably his concisely conceived Romance ’76) is more obvious. Grosses Wasser remains one of my favorite electronic albums, stylistically situated between the scientific subversion of Kraftwerk and the abstract iciness of Tangerine Dream.


  1. AVANTI    4:44
  2. PROTHESE    2:04
  3. ISODEA    4:03
  4. BREITENGRAD 20    4:04
  5. MANCHMAL    2:05
  6. GROSSES WASSER    18:38

    All songs written by Hans-Joachim Roedelius/Dieter Moebius


Will Roper -- engineer

return to CLUSTER discography

GER 1979 Sky LP SKY 027  
GER 1992 Sky CD 3027  
US March 19, 1996 Gyroscope CD 6625  
JPN     CD PLCP-109 20-bit digital remaster



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