Rother

One of my Christmas presents was a copy of Flammende Herzen, a recent vinyl re-issue of Michael Rother’s 1977 solo debut. My kids did really well I think you’ll agree, West German progressive cosmische music being an area of knowledge for them both (with a little help from Santa Krautrock). I’ve written about Flammende Herzen before- five soaring, melodic instrumental songs recorded at Conny Plank’s studio with Rother on guitars, bass, organ, synths and keyboards and Jaki Leibezeit on drums. It’s a wonderful album, Rother playing fluid, free melodies, chiming guitars and toplines. I can’t recommend it enough and the vinyl re-issue sounds really good too.

Zyklodrom

Since then I’ve bought his third solo album, 1979’s Katzenmusik. On this one Rother, Leibezeit and Plank play fourteen instrumentals, all called Katzenmusik (and then numbered 1 to 14 and split into two suites one on each side of the record). Rother restricts himself to five note recurring melodies on the guitar, intricate and optimistic, self contained themes and tunes. Really lovely stuff. Annoyingly neither album came with a download code and I don’t have a rip of any of Katzenmusik at the moment so I can only offer a Youtube clip.

Now I need to fill in the gap and get Rother’s second solo album, 1978’s Sterntaler. I’m also kicking myself for forgetting to go to see him play when he did a gig at Gorilla a few months ago. Dumbkopf!