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Suessherz Und Tiefenschaerfe

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Album Review

On his sixth album, Michael Rother entered deeply into the ambient side of his music. Released in 1985, Suessherz and Tiefenschärfe is the first solid, intentional release of Rother's in the ambient trance realm, even though it wasn't being called that yet. His signature use of synthesizers to texturize spaces and silence with long, looping grooves, his trademark guitar style now slowed to a crawl to wring the maximum atmosphere from every note, and his pacing and hypnotic repetition are all evident. Perhaps the most startling thing about this recording is how much it echoes the earlier intentions of Rother's former band, Kraftwerk, by getting the very sounds that they had been striving for years before and abandoning because they were too warm, too amniotic, too human. The masterpiece track here is the 13-minute "Tiefenschärfe." With bubbling sounds, warm, glissando keyboards, a steady pulse that is mixed into the backdrop of the soundscape, and a purposeful five-note pulsing melody that weaves and loops through the glissandos, drops in seemingly found sounds form the ether, and pushes the beat through the middle so seductively, it's as if the listener is brain dancing and not even aware until she or he is halfway through. There is a slight break in the movement with "Glitzerglanz," a spare, minimal soundscape of keyboard layers without a rhythmic pulse. This small dreamscape is short-lived, however, in that it is followed by the careening Euro-trance of "Rapido," which pits guitars and keyboards against a steady but quickening motorik beat to create the illusion of quickly paced mind travel. The album ends two tracks later with the beautiful ambient soundscape called "Blaues Licht." It's a haunting keyboard drone interwoven with a minimal set of notes covering its frame with grace and elegance; it's almost an electronic hymn. The CD reissue is added to with two excellent tracks from 1994 called "Weserwellen" and "Weltes Land."


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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Suessherz Und Tiefenschaerfe, Michael Rother
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