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Album Review

After the sharp change in direction marked by the album Fernwärme in 1981, multi-instrumentalist Michael Rother turned even further toward the electronic, ambient side of his muse with Lust in 1983. What marks tracks like "Primadonna" and "Palemengarten" is the multi-layered textures and nuances that the keyboards lend the other instruments: bass, guitar, and electronic percussion. While the music here is full of movement and drive, it is not the insistent anthemic marching that characterized earlier albums like Sterntaler or even Flammende Herzen. Momentum is gradually created here via a subtle dynamic force that is deceptive in that it is present at all times, but increases its tension so gradually, the listener is in the middle of a wondrously lush and spirited series of crescendos (as on the title track) before he or she is even aware of it. Rother's musicality is deeply European and cosmopolitan. There are no pastoral passages in his mix, but even in the depths of his thoroughly electronic music there is real warmth and emotional transference because of his use of melodic devices and figures. He creates signatures out of riffs that are companion pieces to the glissando nature of the melodies he creates (as on "Cascadia"). The disc ends proper with "Pulsar," a gorgeously enveloping set of keyboard nuances that use a downward series of notes to create the framework for a melody that is filled in by more keyboards in the higher registers. It meanders very gently at first, looping itself around the listener, and becomes sketchier still as the tracks gradually wind to a close. The BSC CD reissue has four extra tracks added from 1994, the last of which is the wondrously mysterious "Nactpassage."


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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Lust, Michael Rother
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