Boomkat Product Review:
Durch Die Wüste was first released on Sky Records in 1978 as the debut full-length solo album by the great Hans-Joachim Roedelius of Cluster and Harmonia fame. This album was studiously pieced together over a two-year period between 1976 and 1978 at Conny Plank's studio outside Cologne, it's eventual arrival sandwiched between 1977's Cluster & Eno album and 1979's Jardin Au Fou, which was given the Bureau B reissue treatment earlier on in the year. Durch Die Wüste has aged incredibly well, and that's not just because the world's ears seem to be especially sympathetically inclined towards all things kosmische at the moment - it's just a wonderfully deep, restless love letter to sound. 'Am Rockzipfel' might initially wrongfoot you with its gnarled, phased guitar solos and funk-spelunking basslines, but there are all manner of peculiar sonic interludes and gaps lurking within the main body of the track, meaning that by the time the abstract sonic explorations of the title track come along we're not too surprised. This fourteen minute analogue voyage is a magical thing, full of bewitching tape details and fizzing modulatory experiments, and although the pastoral 'Johanneslust' sees a return to more recognisable compositional formatting, its immersive, ear-cushioning production is anything but conventional. The beautiful, poly-instrumental arpeggios of 'Glaubersalz' mark another triumph, meandering blissfully through some of the most subtly verdant sound designs in all of the krautrock canon. The final two tracks take a turn in a more psychedelic direction, with 'Mr Livingstone's pentatonic pitchwheel antics carving out Chinese-inspired harmonies while freeform percussion filtered through vintage echo reels clatters in the background, and 'Regenmacher' thriving on an arrangement of similarly Eastern beat developments while electronically morphed concrète recordings layer the piece in a coating of wind and rain. A true classic of vintage German electronic music, this reissue of Durch Die Wüste is not to be missed.