ABC, Glasgow, Fri July 11 2008
As long lost super-groups go, the reignition of Harmonia is the musical equivalent of discovering some buried mythical city. Because when Michael Rother, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius got together again in 2007 following the belated release of their ‘Live 1974’ album, the prospect of seeing such doyens of the so-called ‘Krautrock’ wave of 1970s German experimentalists was a dream come true. Roether, after all, had been one half of Neu!, whose motorik rhythms had profoundly influenced latter-day pop boffins such as Stereolab. As Cluster, Roedelius and Moebious pioneered a form of proto-ambient space rock. When the two acts joined forces for two albums, 1974’s ‘Musik Von Harmonia’ and 1975’s ‘Deluxe’, plus a collaboration in 1976, ‘Tracks And Traces’, not released until 1997, the effect was quietly seismic.
“We did our first concert in Berlin last year”, says Rother, who played a low-key Edinburgh date with Moebius in 2006. “We didn’t have a chance to rehearse, but once we accepted that risk, it added to the excitement. I was overwhelmed by the reception to the album, though I’d had that tape in my archive for years, and it was one of our best concerts.”
While recording new material hasn’t been ruled out, Harmonia are currently concentrating on the live arena, with a mooted jam with Sonic Youth pending.
“It’s strange,” says Rother, “because we got lost in the 1970s and 80s. Now, it feels like our music has finally gone round the world and come back with an echo.”
The List, June 2008