I want to read some of the liner notes to you which were written by a friend of the band Asmus Tietchens who also has been making electronic music since 1965. He says, "It equalled a sensation when music journals announced in 1973 that Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Michael Rother were planning to work together. Under the name CLUSTER, Moebius and Roedelius had already occupied an indispensable place in the electronic music scene from 1969 on. Rother was known as one of the 1971 founding fathers as well as flamboyant member of the band NEU! Yet the prospect of the three of them joining forces seemed all too delicate to be true. By then, the CLUSTER album "Zuckerzeit" had not been
released, and thus prospective listeners had to wonder about what Roedelius and Moebius were actually coming to produce when indulging in rhythmic experiments. The fact that they were going for rhythmic music was clear as day, Michael Rother's name itself representing a guarantee for that. His compositions as well as his unmistakable way of playing the guitar and the keyboards could in fact be considered as crucial for the success of the project NEU! People could not wait to listen to HARMONIA, as the three of them called themselves. It was as early as 1973 that HARMONIA started playing gigs before finally releasing their first album with the plain title "Musik Von Harmonia"(Music By Harmonia)".
He goes on to say "Musik Von Harmonia is a beautiful and elegant, a minimalist and lively album that is almost completely played "by hand", apart from the fact that they used an automatic drum machine. Just like CLUSTER and NEU!, they made do without hybrid sequencers or gigantic synthesizers, but rather focussed on reacting in a sensitive way to each other as well as on creating what seemed like extremely odd sounds and noises". Also "Musik Von Harmonia is experimental pop music in the very literal sense of the words. When regarding the harmonious and rhythmic structures and pieces(pop) and the exquisite sounds and noises as well as their arrangements(experimental), there can be not a single doubt about that".
"Watussi" greets us with that familiar beat and those high pitched sounds HARMONIA would be known for. Other sounds join in on this motorik track. "Sehr Kosmisch" is my favourite. It's fairly dark with these heart beat-like beats along with pulses and waves. Piano and high pitched sounds before 4 1/2 minutes as the mood changes somewhat. A distant sounding rhythm will build until it dominates. It will end though before 7 minutes as it turns spacey with sparse piano. A beat around 9 1/2 minutes pulses as the piano stops and spacey sounds continue. "Sonnenschein" has a driving beat with all sorts of sounds helping out. Catchy stuff, I like it! It stops abruptly. "Dino" is another uptempo motorik sounding track and I like the guitar too.
"Ohrwurm" has these mechanical-like sounds that move around starngley as other sounds hover and pulse. This is somewhat eerie and dark. "Ahoi!" is pastoral with picked guitar and other sounds helping out. At 3 1/2 minutes a different soundscape comes in and replaces the first one fairly quickly. "Veterano" is an uptempo track with a driving rhythm once again. Piano and beats lead the way as the guitar plays over top. "Hausmusik" has piano and percussion standing out to start but a minute in a different sound arrives and it eventually over-takes the previous soundscape. It's rhythmic but spacey then the piano returns as that rhythmic soundscape fades away. There's a melancholic vibe to this track.
A great start for these guys and the magic will continue on their second release "Deluxe".
Review (Extract) by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer: 4 stars
1. Watussi 06:00
2. Sehr Kosmisch 10:59
3. Sonnenschein 03:57
4. Dino 03:33
5. Ohrwurm 05:10
6. Ahoi! 05:15
7. Veterano 03:59
8. Hausmusik 04:33
Dieter Moebius - synthesizer, guitar, electronic percussion, nagoya harp, vocals
Hans-Joachim Roedelius - organ, piano, guitar, electronic percussion, vocals
Michael Rother - guitar, piano, organ, electronic percussion, vocals
Harmonia is a Krautrock supergroup from Germany. They formed as a collaboration between Michael Rother of Neu! and Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Möbius of Cluster and later included the British musician Brian Eno.
Brain POCP-2387 Japan 1995
Reissue of Brain LP BRAIN 0040.123 from 1974.
Includes insert with liner notes in Japanese.
Part of the German Rock Collection series.
Recorded and produced June - November '73 in Harmonia Heimstudio.