Deluxe (Harmonia album)
Deluxe is the second album from the West German krautrock group Harmonia, featuring Neu! guitarist Michael Rother with the duo Cluster (consisting of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius). It was recorded in June 1975 in Harmonia's studio in Forst, Germany. It was first released on the Brain Records label in 1975.
|Studio album by|
|Released||20 August 1975|
|Producer||Harmonia, Conny Plank|
Deluxe was produced by the band members and legendary Krautrock producer, Conny Plank. The trio were also joined by drummer Mani Neumeier for the release. It was officially reissued in 2004 by Universal.
For Deluxe, Harmonia worked with producer Conny Plank (who had previously worked worth both their main projects Cluster and Neu!). He brought a 16-track recording machine and mixing desk to the band's country studio. Plank brought along drummer and Guru Guru member Mani Neumeier to perform on several tracks. Deluxe emphasized Rother's rock and pop sensibility over Cluster's more improvisational approach, which led to some creative tension between the members.
Ned Raggett's review for Allmusic describes the album as "a touch more immediate and song-oriented than its predecessor, but no less enchanting and lovely to hear," noting that "the motorik pulses and rhythms, however soft and subtle, still dominate the proceedings, while the glazed, warm feeling of the whole album is astounding." PopMatters called the album "a deeply beautiful record that redefines the word meditative and shimmers with breathtaking passages of unhurried, received music." Less positively, writer David Stubbs opined that "by comparison with the first album it feels just a little too light, lacking the gravitational pull of Moebius and Roedelius's influence; they feel like guests on what is more a Michael Rother album—a fine one, to be sure [...] but the hearts of the Cluster duo were in it less and less."
CDs of Deluxe first appeared in 1994 on the Germanofon label. This dubious company based in Luxembourg released numerous Krautrock albums without proper authorization or paying royalties, in effect producing bootlegs that somehow found their way into mainstream distribution. The Germanofon CDs were transfers from vinyl LPs and generally were of inferior sound quality. The album was not properly released on CD until 24 October 2004 on the Motor Music label, a subsidiary of the Universal Music Group. It was also reissued by Universal in Japan in 2005, by the Russian label Lilith in 2006, and by the Revisited Records label in 2007.
Music and concept by Rother/Roedelius/Moebius.
- "Deluxe (Immer Wieder)" ("Deluxe (Again and Again)") – 9:45
- "Walky-Talky" ("Walky-Talky") – 10:35
- "Monza (Rauf und Runter)" ("Monza (Up and Down)") – 7:07
- "Notre Dame" ("Notre Dame" / "Our Lady") – 4:15
- "Gollum" ("Gollum") – 4:35
- "Kekse" ("Biscuits") – 5:35
- Deluxe (Vinyl back cover). Harmonia. Brain. 1975.CS1 maint: others (link)
- "Story". Grönland. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
- Woodbury, Jason P. "40 Years of Krautrock Supergroup Harmonia". Pitchfork. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
- Raggett, Ned. Allmusic review. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
- Stubbs, David (2015). Future Days: Krautrock and the Birth of a Revolutionary New Music. Meleville House.
- Cope, Julian. Krautrocksampler: One Head's Guide to the Great Kosmische Musik – 1968 Onwards. 1995, Head Heritage, ISBN 0-9526719-1-3
- Rother, Michael. Harmonia web page. Retrieved 2 September 2007.