Boomkat Product Review:
'Schwarz (Eruption)' is a recording of Kluster's final concert in the band's original form, with Conrad Schnitzler, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius. Fathoms deep, industrial-tinged improvisational gear, it pre-empts some of the innovative sounds each member of the trio would experiment with in the following years.
Originally issued as a private press LP in 1971, 'Schwartz (Eruption)' is one of Kluster's knottiest, most mysterious releases. The original release was titled 'Kluster und Eruption', and when it was reissued it was credited to Schnitzler and renamed 'Schwartz', with Roedelius and Moebius credited as contributors. The mythical plate documents the original band's last show, recorded by Klaus Freudigmann at Göttingen University as the band were splintering. Schnitzler left the band shortly after it was recorded to focus on his band Eruption (with Freudigmann and Wolfgang Seidel), and since Schnitzler owned the name Kluster, Roedelius and Moebius became Cluster. So it's easy to work out how wires might have been crossed.
Thankfully, the material is worth the administrative headache. Made up of two lengthy sides, 'Schwartz (Eruption)' is less gut-churningly bonkers then its predecessors 'Zwei-Osterei' and 'Klopfzeichen'. There are no liturgical spoken word sections and no quirky interludes - it's time-fluxing improv material that starts to betray the kind of textural progress Moebius and Roedelius would channel into Cluster's debut, and the rhythmic intensity Schnitzler would bring to 'Rot', his 1973 solo masterpiece. Using synth, guitars and loose, clamorous percussion, the trio sound as if they're possessed, piping their mics through tape echo to accentuate its clouded dreaminess. The beginning of the first side is particularly surreal, with alarm-like bleeps and organ-style drones warped by pitch-wonked slapback and chugging pedal hum.
When the trio introduce guitar sounds, they're shattered into spiked distortions that intertwine with the synth's bleats before returning as placid picks and strums, over clanging, time-warped beats. The flipside is even more intense, a warehouse-strength, metallic industrial jam that initially sounds like an early blueprint for drone metal, eventually transforming into a spine-tingling bluster of flute puffs and barely audible whirrs. Kluster would never be the same again, but Moebius, Roedelius and Schnitzler ended on a high, that's for sure.