MICHAEL ROTHER, "ESPARANZA"
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 soloalbum, originally released in 1996. The entire back catalog of soloalbums were digitally re-mastered and re-released at domestic prices in1999 by Germany's Random Records, each with bonus tracks and newbooklets (in German). Rother's solo music is mellow, light and airywith a flair for new age synth pads, samples and piano. Every track isinstrumental 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 basedcompositions over the past 20 years and now seems to favor shortertracks, most clocking in at under 4 minutes. If there is any guitar onthis album I can't detect it. "Esperanza" is pleasant start to finishbut there's 8 or so of the 17 tracks in particular that stand-out dueto their beautiful melodies. I don't enjoy any of Rother's solo work asmuch as that of Kraftwerk or Neu! but this music does fill a niche forsomething soft and chilled out for bedtime or background listening. Iown most of the re-mastered back catalog now and have been listening toit frequently. Also, the "Chronicles I" compilation on Cleopatra is agood overview of Rother's solo career. Rother is currently on tour withDieter Moebius (of Cluster) and Dead Voices On Air in Europe and hisnew solo album is due very soon via Random ...