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MICHAEL ROTHER, "ESPARANZA"

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Michael Rother was a major player in the 1970s 'Krautrock' scene as a member of Kraftwerk, Neu! and Harmonia (with Cluster and Brian Eno) and as a solo artist from 1978 to present.
"Esperanza" is his 9th and most recent solo album, originally released in 1996. The entire back catalog of solo albums were digitally re-mastered and re-released at domestic prices in 1999 by Germany's Random Records, each with bonus tracks and new booklets (in German). Rother's solo music is mellow, light and airy with a flair for new age synth pads, samples and piano. Every track is instrumental and relatively simple, most with a subtle beat pattern. It's much closer to "Hearts of Space" than Kraftwerk or Neu! really. Rother has gradually shifted from guitar to electronic based compositions over the past 20 years and now seems to favor shorter tracks, most clocking in at under 4 minutes. If there is any guitar on this album I can't detect it. "Esperanza" is pleasant start to finish but there's 8 or so of the 17 tracks in particular that stand-out due to their beautiful melodies. I don't enjoy any of Rother's solo work as much as that of Kraftwerk or Neu! but this music does fill a niche for something soft and chilled out for bedtime or background listening. I own most of the re-mastered back catalog now and have been listening to it frequently. Also, the "Chronicles I" compilation on Cleopatra is a good overview of Rother's solo career. Rother is currently on tour with Dieter Moebius (of Cluster) and Dead Voices On Air in Europe and his new solo album is due very soon via Random ...

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Last Updated on Friday, 15 July 2005 12:49  


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