30 Days: 30 Albums | Hans-Joachim Roedelius – Selbstportrait Vol. III / Reise Durch Arcadien

30-days-30-albums-headerHans-Joachim Roedelius is a musician who has  a prodigious amount of music under his belt in a lifetime of composing and performance. There are nearly a hundred albums that one could buy in an effort to “get it all.” In that respect he reminds me of another musician I like, Bill Nelson. Nelson also has “release incontinence” with handfuls of albums released per year; some multi disc boxed sets. Roedelius also is like Nelson in another regard in that he often works quickly with an “audio sketchbook” approach to get ideas on tape quickly. Nowhere is this more evident and explicit than in his Selbsportrait [“self-portrait”] series of recordings.

Bureau B | GER | CD | 2013 | BB 126

Bureau B | GER | CD | 2013 | BB 126

# 22 • Hans-Joachim Roedelius: Selbstportrait Vol. III / Reise Durch Arcadien GER CD [2013]

  1. Sonntags
  2. Geburtstag
  3. Fieber
  4. Hochzeit
  5. Geradewohl
  6. Erinnerung
  7. Zuversicht
  8. Stimmung

This album reminds me of a recording I love by Fripp and Eno; “Evening Star” in that it has a largely melodic A-side featuring brief compositions with a more experimental B-side that plays longer. “Sonntags” [“Sundays”] is as winsome a melody as one can imagine; the happiest face that synthesizers are capable of making. The playful excursion is like a precursor to synthpop given that it was recorded by Roedelius in the ’78-’80 period.

“Geburtstag” [“Birthday”] could have only been recorded on October 28th, just as a wild guess! The gentle, brief melody plays like dappled sunlight on a lake and reminds me of the impressionism that Kraftwerk once allowed themselves before they adopted their rigid image. Fortunately, Roedelius has no time for such games! There is all of life to experience and report on with his music.

Side one gets some foreshadowing of side two with “Fieber,” [“Fever”] a minor key pulse drone composition that runs twice as long as most of the first half of this album. This composition points towards the Kluster sound much more than the shorter pieces here.

What was once side two is comprised of just two long pieces, “Zuversicht” [“Confidence”] and “Stimmung” [“Tendency”]. Where the bulk of the album is formed from brief, playful interludes, these two return to the somber tone of “Fieber” and the attendant introspection that accompanied that piece. The album as a whole is focused on capturing emotional snapshots; the many faces of Roedelius as it were. That this is number three in his self-portrait series, suggests that he had much time ahead of him for self-reflection on his lifelong artistic trek.


– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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7 Responses to 30 Days: 30 Albums | Hans-Joachim Roedelius – Selbstportrait Vol. III / Reise Durch Arcadien

  1. Echorich says:

    Rodelius is a genius…I will admit to not “getting” everything I’ve heard immediately, but his work requires continued listening and that dedication is rewarded more often than not.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – I’ve listened to about eight of his albums in the last year [with many more to come even this month] and so far only one has not been compelling to me. He’s definitely got a lot to offer and I am mentally kicking myself for not seeing him in 2011 when not only was he at Moogfest [along with Eno, who was eager to hear his set after his talk!] but also at a local club a few weeks prior. At the time I had about $500+ tied up in Moofgest tickets to make certain I got to see Eno’s talk [long story…] so I didn’t go into hock to see Roedelius at The Grey Eagle!!! Bad move!


      • Echorich says:

        Love to know your thoughts on the Roedelius/Lloyd Cole album from earlier this year. I absolutely love it. In a year without any new Sylvian work, this album goes a long way to fill that void while also having some wonderful soundtrack-y and Asian inspired moments.


          • Echorich says:

            Yeah, I already pre-purchased…foot being put back in mouth…It has a bit of a similar feel to Jacqueline from 2009. If he just provides one wonderful pop song a year, I can be satisfied. I will always travel along his experimental road with him. The new project with Fennesz and Mathieu, The Kilowatt Hour, may be quite interesting if they commit anything to record.


            • postpunkmonk says:

              Echorich – The last Sylvian album I got was “Blemish,” but I only got it three years ago! I’m legendary for my waiting to find a release at a used price, due to my uh, thriftiness.


              • Echorich says:

                Monk you have given me the opportunity to say “it’s never to late to discover Sylvian’s work.” There said it. I still return to 1986’s Gone To Earth album regularly, no only because it contains one of the greatest songs ever written – Before The Bullfight, but because it was on Gone To Earth that Sylvian began an experimental journey that has seen him release, for me, a remarkable canon of music.
                Any opportunity to go over the top about David Sylvian will be taken…


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