Thursday, December 9, 2010

Roedelius - Selbstportrait Vol. III " Reise durch Arcadien"

In the early days of my friendship with my bandmate Owen he introduced me to Roedelius and Cluster. At this time I was somewhere near the end of college and he was still in high school. Owen knew about everything. He had a sort of academic thoroughness to music even back then. Plus he was just past the generational split a few years younger than me where people really knew how to use the internet in a complete way. I was still dependent on the old ways of learning about music, meanwhile he had downloaded the last 50 years of music.

Anyway, one day we were shopping at Moondog Music in Dubuque. Roedelius was shelved in the New Age section at that store. They had one of his later selbstportrait recordings on cd and Owen picked it up. He told me about the music, but all I could imagine was something from Music From the Hearts of Space. In fact, it probably was played on that radio show, but I didn't yet have room in my psyche for a reformed understanding of that sound.

We popped the cd on in the car and drove to a park on a bluff overtop the Mississippi. We were driving across the ridge of Clarke Drive when Owen noticed that the cd was actually released by a Dubuque record label, a record label located on Clarke Drive. We were driving right towards it, maybe two blocks away. We didn't stop by the label guy's house, but we should have. The feeling that came over me listening to that music and feeling that kind of synchronicity matches exactly with the sort of soaring design of Sky Records' LP Label. Something else so perfect about its design is that the sky itself is so placid and plain, a real Dubuque miracle sky.

Years later Owen and I played a festival with Cluster in Baltimore. Both of our groups spent most of the day hanging out in the lounge backstage. At some point Owen's girlfriend came in to see us. She was drinking a huge bottle of Old English. Roedelius immediately noticed this beautiful girl. He stood up. He's enormous, and he leaned back down towards her. "What is that?"


"May I?"

Roedelius took the bottle and took a long, delicate sip. He straightened up back to his full height. Then he smiled with big white teeth, a smile beautiful like Kinski's, Beuy's, or even Althoff's.

"It is delicious."

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