Michael Rother - Fernwarme LP
Release Date: June 21st, 2019
We'd assume that the majority of Stranded regulars are largely familiar with at least one of Michael Rother's projects. Whether it be his work with Kraftwerk, Neu!, Cluster, or Harmonia, Rother's contributions to the last 30 plus years of music are innumerable. Still, his solo work has been conspicuously absent from most write-ups and record shelves. Perhaps that's because the early '80s saw Rother in a bit of transition period from his kosmische glory days to a point where he embraced New Age with arms wide open.
Like the three preceding releases, 1982's Fernwarme finds Rother accompanied by drummer Jaki Leibezeit of kosmische legends Can. Unlike the first three solo albums, this one shows Rother returning much closer to his days with Harmonia than attempting to incorporate elements from anything like, say, Kitaro. In fact, despite the lead guitar of opening number "Silberstreif" relying heavily upon the "Do-Re-Mi" tune taught in grade school music class, Fernwarme is an excellent contribution to an incredibly impressive career, full of simple beauty, a warm embrace of blissed-out pop melodies. Jaki's lightly propulsive motorik shuffle is the heartbeat pulse that underpins the harmonized guitar lines spun by Rother, his harmonies at times making us think of Citay's most exquisite moments... elsewhere Rother delves into darkly droning keyboards, and Fernwarme starts to sound not unlike a much mellower Zombi. A highly recommended early '80s spacey prog kosmische classic!