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Flammende Herzen

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Album Review

Michael Rother was the guitar and keyboard playing half of the groundbreaking Krautrock group Neu, and earlier, a founding member of Kraftwerk. Flammende Herzen (Flaming Heart) is his first solo album, recorded by and produced by Conny Plank in 1976 and issued at the dawn of punk in 1977. Flammende Herzen is, in a sense, the complete and utter flowering of a vision Rother held from Kraftwerk through his work with Klaus Dinger in Neu and through his short-term collaboration with Moebius and Roedelius in Harmonia. Rother's signature guitar sound is twinned with an analog delay, the simple mechanical or "motorik" percussion all wound around simple, yet transcendent, melodies that are nearly anthemic in their strident execution. With percussion assistance from Jaki Leibzeit of Can, Rother crafts a driving, soaring ride into the sonic abyss that is rich with melody and rock & roll rhythm. For Rother, music is a thing filled with light, and tracks such as the title, "Zyklodrom," and "Karussell" feature a cylindrical weave of electronic and organic percussion, opaque but insistent synthesizers playing chord progressions, and, of course, acoustic and electric guitars either chiming in single- and double-string Brucknerian motifs or churning on two or three chords hypnotically into the ether. While some of the themes presented here later became the foundation for a ponderous kind of new age disc music, there is plenty of spaced-out psychedelia and churning rock & roll ellipsis here ("Feuerland") for fans of early Krautrock. This remains one of Rother's strongest and most visionary records. The CD reissue features two remixes of the title track from 1993.


Born: 02 September 1950 in Hamburg, Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Michael Rother was born in Germany in 1950. In the late '60s, he played for a group called Spirits of Sound and also Wolfgang Flür. The latter group would later become Kraftwerk; Rother also played with Kraftwerk in 1971. That same year he went on to the band NEU! He recorded three albums with them during his four-year tenure. He also worked with Harmonia (with whom he released two albums) starting in 1973, running concurrently with several of his years in NEU! In 1976, he recorded with Brian Eno....
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Flammende Herzen, Michael Rother
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