Tonspuren is an album of minimalisms, miniatures and stringent form, ten consistently concise and precise pieces. Moebius develops tonal variations out of minimalistic, rhythmic, harmonic basic tracks, sometimes coming close to tangible melodies. Yet this is exactly the point at which he purposely steers clear of electronic pop criteria. Nevertheless, Tonspuren is a pop album, its radically stripped down contents replenished with harmonious elements of prevalent popular music.
Echoes of Cluster notwithstanding, the music of Tonspuren is a separate entity altogether. Moebius seems to be avoiding improvisation as the devil keeps his distance from holy water. Each piece is thoughtfully composed, as Moebius crafts his miniatures layer by layer. Spontaneous inaccuracies have no place here, noise escapades are nipped in the bud. Baroque, folklore and frivolity are not admitted into the studio when the red light is on.
Thanks to Tonspuren, the keen listener now has the opportunity of direct comparison in his appraisal of the solo albums of Dieter Moebius, Hans Joachim Roedelius and Michael Rother. What role did each of the Harmonia triumvirate play in creating the style of the supergroup? Tonspuren thus represents a vital piece of the Harmonia puzzle.
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