In the world of progressive space and ambient music, the German group called Cluster were eccentric wizards, musical alchemists who defied traditions, even the ones they helped create during the space music days of 1970s Berlin. Hans Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius have released dozens of albums as Cluster, and under their own names, over the last 45 years.
Cluster influenced three generations of ambient composers, beginning with Brian Eno and continuing through Robert Rich, The Orb, Ulrich Schnauss and countless others. Although they were lumped in with the space music of Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk in the 1970s, Cluster always followed their own path, creating sonic landscapes that could quaint and spacey, like a surreal music box, slightly sprung, or they could assault the walls of dissonance.
Now, one half of this influential band has flipped the off-switch for the last time. Dieter Moebius died on July 20 at the age of 71.