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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:19 pm 
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Location: Pak Kok Village
H-J Roedelius gig ~ 18/12/2016

by Nick the Bookman

It's the evening of 18/12/2016 and I think I've screwed the pooch in a manner of speaking. I'm trying to get to an intimate gig by Hans-Joachim Roedelius at some underground dive at the beginning of North Point. I forgot to bring the flyer with me today as I write this epic so I can't remember the address, but the promo flyer was put up as part of the Michael Rother gig review in early November. It was something 133 King's Road (?) North Point and I've enjoyed my upper-window-seat-on-the-tram ride all the way down to 900+ King's Road. Cue expletive deleted "£$%^&* (something like that) rant as I jump on another tram heading Central-wards to get to the show. If I'd walked back, I'd stilll be walking now. It was probably something like 2.5 miles to the venue and I have about 0.6 milliseconds to spare before the show starts...
I've got there (PHEW!!) and found the room where Roedelius is playing. He's about half an hour into the show and the 100 or so happy punters are nodding their heads in blissed approval like tiny spring dogs on a rear sill window in a car. Al, who was with me at the Michael Rother plays NEU! gig, is here. He tells me that Roedelius started on time and paid lavish tribute to his recently demised (about 2 years ago?) best friend/soulmate/fellow electronic musician extraordinaire Dieter Moebius. The two of them formed Cluster, later Kluster and also Cluster v Brian Eno in the late 1960's to early/mid 1970's. Came up through the KrautRock ranks with other luminaries such as Amon Duul 2, Ash Ra Tempel, Can, Faust, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. Tonight's solo performance features musical performances from all these incarnations of Cluster/Kluster/Cluster-Eno.

My gonzoid notes say "wonderful deep boombass noises...spacy synth sounds...all played through a lap top....I have ticket 0008 (which I carelessly misplace. but do have the flyers)...not fucking bad (show) for (someone who's) 82 (years old)...deep space sound bleeps...earlier a snatch of chunkier bass rhythm...unearthly (astral) noises in places...louder rhythm fade from quiet...bit of bird sounds and flute and hints of pulsing heartbeat rhythms". Al was absolutely right when he predicted that this show would be "more ambient than the MR trio". I catch up with Plato and Kate. We met at the recent Clockenflap Festival in Central and also at the afore-mentioned Michael Rother show. There's no noise from the audience because they're all in a state of respectful rapture-bliss.

It's half-time now. Roedelius thanks the audience and says it's time to have a beer and he'll do the meet-and-greet thing with the audience. Pose for photos. Sign all and any autographs (I got his twice. He was most gracious both times). As far as I'm concerned, he's Alice Cooper greeting Wayne and Garth (from "Wayne's World"). He's a Living Electronic Music Legend and he wears his Heavyosity Cloak of Grandeur with the Most Delicate Sense of Propriety and Lightness. Nothing is too much trouble for him and he seems to have all the time in the world to indulge us before he starts his Second Set. And now is the perfect time to introduce Mehran Hussein, a wonderful photographer who took the photos of Al, Roedelius and me which should be part of the picture history of this review. Thanks Mehran. Hope to catch up with you again, further down the Time Road.

Al tells me later that the first set was sad and trippy, but the final part of this most excellent concert is riveting stuff. To stick a rare U2 remark into this story (and frankly they're not worthy of even thinking of competing with him in Classiness) this set is "even better than the real thing". Especially the last 20 minutes or so. He opens with an electronic piano etude(?). Plays like a piano and sounds like a treated Moog. Horripilatory (there I go again!) huzzahs and howzats all round. In trebles no less. Other sounds include eerie spark plug crackles and bzzsts like a warm electronic fire. At times he seems to channel the gorgeous melodies of the more youthful (71 years old) Giorgio Moroder. It's coupled with blissful Bali-meets-Balearic beats and warmly joyful Vangelis orchestral moments. There are hints of Gamelan tunes and tempos. Treated feminine voices float over rippling keyboards. Kate Bush is recalled at times, underpinned by soaring seagull squawks and mesmeric tinkle plunks. Strange percussion interludes intrude which are similar to early Nick Mason from Pink Floyd's "Ummagumma" period, but not in any jarring way.

All too soon, the show has ended. A moment of infinite looping silence and heartfelt applause. Al and I thank him again. We also chat to the Mirage Music dudes who arranged this extraordinary show and plan to see them again at the next gig. Which is Tangerine Dream performing The Quantum Years Live in Hong Kong 2017. In Honour Of (the late) Edgar Froese. On 26/2/2017 at the AC Hall in Kowloon Tong. Followed the night after (i.e. 27/2/2017) by the long (un)anticipated return of Japan's Logic System at the Music Zone. Which is where Michael Rother performed.

It's Logic System's first concert in HK since he played at the AC Hall in 1982. I was there. It was a stunning show. A sort of 4-D sound which swirled clockwise around the Hall. Starting at 12 o'clock high on a watch dial which was his space point on stage. Electronic bees and insects and roaring animal noises and shrieks, peaking at 6 o'clock low and fading again as the full music circle was completed. He invited selected members on stage at one point to see the magic close up and instructed some of them on what to play and how to perform while he musically conducted and choreographed an impromptu jam then and there. A fabulous moment. Did I mention I was there? It was 1982. Oh, yeah I did. A happy memory and a pleasant chord to end this review. Now I've got to check what photos I've got to illustrate and augment this story.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:22 pm
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Location: Pak Kok Village
Photos from Mohammad Mehran Hussain:


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