Perfect Sound Forever


Hans-Joachim Roedelius interview
by Jason Gross
(December 2015)

HJR: "Sprichst du deutsch?"

ME: "Nein."

HJR: "OK, we speak in English then."

And thus began my conversation with a music legend, thanks to the magic of Skype. I spoke to former Cluster/Harmonia member Hans-Joachim Roedelius in mid-August, less than a month after his former musical partner Dieter Moebius had passed away on July 20th. The occasion for the interview luckily was something much happier- Harmonia’s complete works were coming out on a huge vinyl box set on October 20th on Gronland Records, with both of their studio albums (1974’s Musik Von Harmonia and 1975‘s Deluxe), the Harmonia And Eno collaboration issued as Harmonia `76‘s Tracks And Traces (originally out in 1997), the Live 1974 album (originally released in 2007) and the newly released (and wonderful) Documents 1975 live album. Here you have some of Kosmische musik’s (or Krautrock’s if you like) finest moments, done in a blissful, melodic haze crafted by Roedelius, Mobius and Neu! guitarist Michael Rother.

Roedelius himself has had an impressive career, counting more than a dozen lovely albums with Cluster, plus numerous solo albums (check out his Discogs entry if you think I’m kidding) and recent music with Qluster, a new duo he formed early this decade. Along with his work in Harmonia and Cluster, we talked for over 15 minutes about what effect it had on his solo work and vice versa and what his on and off working relationship with Moebius was like, what music he listens to nowadays and what words of wisdom he’d have to share with young musicians nowadays.

(Feel free to crank up the audio for the Soundcloud file below and have a laugh at the two of us finding out if we can see each other via Skype at the beginning)

Also see our 2007 interview with Roedelius

Check out the rest of PERFECT SOUND FOREVER