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    Harmonia, 1974.

    Formed in 1973 when the German experimental electronic music duo Cluster (Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius) joined forces with Michael Rother from the krautrock band Neu!, Harmonia released two albums on the Brain label in the mid 1970s that have since been widely discussed in drawing rooms worldwide. Peppering their sonic soup with organ, synthesizer, piano, percussion and, less obviously, guitar, they proceeded to produce unprecedented electro-pop of an order taller than a giraffe. Thank you.

    Harmonia - Musik Von Harmonia.

    Their first affair from 1974, titled Musik von Harmonia, ranges from nice, bouncy, upbeat tunes steeped in trance repetition to sounds that suggest a more overcast cloud hovering over a vast cathedral full of heavy, pulsing dreambience. As a funny exercise in pop art, a detergent bottle emblazoned with generic typesetting sits inside a screen-tinted starburst on the cover.

 The second album from 1975, Deluxe (featuring Mani Neumeier of Guru Guru on drums), floats in a very similar artery–although it’s even more poppy and rhythmic–and is just as worthy of your dollars, attention and maybe even saliva. It’s chock-full of more perfect electronic-driven pop dream songs and pensive sound feelings–largely without vocals. The perfectlty matching and pleasing cover art sports the band name and album title written in maple syrup superimposed over a nice, sunset orange sky.

    Harmonia - Deluxe.

    After batting two for two, Harmonia stepped up to the plate with a third album in 1976 with its biggest fan–and one of ambient music’s pioneers–Brian Eno. Called Tracks and Traces, it’s a collection of contemplative, brooding, synth-washed songs that promptly entered the Official Recording Tape Graveyard, where it remained for two whole decades until it was finally pressed for the first time ever in 1997. And that abstract art on the cover is a surefire winner.

    Harmonia - Tracks and Traces.

    Amazingly, after over three decades, new life was breathed into the Harmonia hot air balloon in 2007 when a hitherto unknown tour recording was rescued from the mists of time, held up high in the warm light of day, and released to wide acclaim. Entitled Live 1974, it’s chock-full of the kind of cyclical dream grooves, corroded synthscapes and tranced-out delirium that is every bit as transporting as their first two albums. In fact, the response to Live 1974 was so good, the band even reformed to play their first live shows since the ’70s. In 2015, all of the albums listed above were collected together in lavish vinyl and CD box sets. Although Harmonia was only active for three short years in their original ’70s incarnation, their recordings have gone on to influence a whole generation of ambient rockers.

    Harmonia - Live 1974.

    More: Discogs, Official

    Text ©2008 Arcane Candy

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