The first part of Hans-Joachim Roedelius' Selbstportrait (Self-Portrait) series was originally released under the title 'Sanfte Musik' on Sky Records in 1979. Now, some forty years later, a new instalment has arrived in the form of an album entitled 'Wahre Liebe'.
One of the initiators of the Berlin Zodiak Free Arts Lab in 1967, Roedelius went on to co-found Kluster/Cluster and Harmonia, unleashing a new and free form of music which, with the benefit of hindsight, can be considered a milestone in the historical context of Kosmische Musik and Krautrock.
In the late 1970s Roedelius began to increase his activities as a solo artist, building up an extensive and multifaceted body of work over the ensuing decades. Across this timeline, the Self-Portrait albums represent an intensely personal and noteworthy corpus in their own right.
As the artist himself notes: "With his self-portraits, this Roedelius has earned the ardent admiration of many listeners around the world, "playing" his way into their hearts whilst continuing to evolve – even though his attention has shifted "solely" to the piano, his freshest, strongest and truest love, truer than true love itself. The same spirit seems to be present in all of Roedelius' works, from vintage equipment productions to the pianoforte."
Over the past ten years, the Hamburg-based label Bureau B has reissued numerous Hans-Joachim Roedelius albums, both solo and collaborative efforts, introducing him to a new generation of potential devotees. In 2014, label founder Gunther Buskies approached Roedelius to suggest that he record a new instalment for the Self-Portrait series, using the same instruments which dominated his productions in the late 1970s: a Farfisa organ, drum machine, tape-delay and a Rhodes. Together with Onnen and Wolf Bock, the album 'Wahre Liebe' (True Love) was created.
Roedelius explains the process: "The 'Wahre Liebe' album was commissioned by Gunther Buskies, who wanted to know if the elderly Roedelius, armed with vintage tools, was capable of "beaming back" to his youthful years, reaching into the sonic past of the Self-Portrait series to deliver similarly persuasive results. What better proof could there be that true love, age-old love never dies?"
Sure enough, this album successfully and seamlessly connects with its antecedents. Miniatures, improvisations, atmospheric images and dreamlike introspections of an individualist are articulated in that innate Roedelius language which is at once brittle and as light as a whisper, a pastel ribbon weaving its way softly through the full range of sonic topographies.
Hans-Joachim Roedelius is pleased with the outcome: "Roedelius has been granted the opportunity to become intimately acquainted with his own self in order to achieve that of which he is ultimately capable, namely his calling: to follow in the footsteps of his ancestors, to create authentic art, be it music or words, or anything and everything else which fascinates him."
The Tape Archive Essence 1973-1978 is available on April 10th, 2020.
Download the info sheet (PDF): English
Hans-Joachim Roedelius, born in Berlin in 1934, starred as a child in a number of UFA films. He fled Berlin in 1943, moving from one place to another before being conscripted into the National People's Army (NVA) of the German Democratic Republic. Again he took flight, only to end up in prison. He trained as a male nurse, then as a hospice orderly. Having relocated from East to West Berlin, he went on to meander through Europe (as a thatcher, detective, masseur, bartender, cleaning toilets), before finally becoming a freelance artist, with avant-garde music his prime focus. Co-founder of Berlin's first free art studio, the Zodiak Arts Lab (1967), he was also a founder member of various groups, namely Human Being, Kluster, Cluster, Harmonia, Tempus Transit and Lunzprojekt.
He played on around 160 record productions either as a soloist or with band projects. Some 1600 musical works bear his name, plus a similar number of texts (poetry, prose etc.).
Music for dance theatre productions, oratorios, radio plays, symphonies. Cultural award winner in his home town of Baden, near Vienna, stipendiary of Vienna's Alban Berg Foundation. Honorary President of the Moving Culture Festival in Tirana (Albania), Honorary member of the Happy Valley Foundation in Ojai (California/USA), artistic director of the More Ohr Less symposum and festival at Lunz am See, Austria. Collaborations with artists all over the world, including Brian Eno, Holger Czukay, Susumu Hirasawa, Tim Story, Dwight Ashley, Dieter Moebius, David Bickley, Jurij Novoselic, Stanislaw Michalak, Fatos Qerimaj, Fabio Capanni, Nicola Alesini, Michael Rother, Stefan Schneider, Alquimia, Yuko Matsuzaki, Clementine Gasser, Bernadette Reiter, Florian Tanzer, Georg Taylor, Neil Mac'Coll, Felix Jay and Lloyd Cole
BUREAU B RELEASESIn KLUSTER (with Conrad Schnitzler, Dieter Moebius)
Zwei Osterei (BB111)
Schwarz (Eruption) (BB112)
In CLUSTER (with Dieter Moebius):
Cluster 71 (BB58)
Cluster & Eno (BB31)
After The Heat (with Brian Eno) (BB30)
Grosses Wasser (BB26)
Durch die Wüste (BB28)
Jardin au fou (BB23)
Selbstportrait I (BB63)
Selbstportrait II (BB64)
Selbstportrait VI/The Diary of the Unforgotten (BB52)
Wenn der Südwind weht/Selbstportrait IV (BB41)
Wasser im Wind (BB69)
Gift of the Moment/Geschenk des Augenblicks (BB62)
Wie das Wispern des Windes/Like the Whispering of the Wind (BB66)
Momenti Felici (BB68)
Piano Piano (BB67)
Plays Piano/Live in London 1985 (BB78)
Offene Türen (BB127)
Selbstportrait III/Reise durch Arcadien (BB126)
In QLUSTER (with Onnen Bock):
With STEFAN SCHNEIDER:
With LLOYD COLE:
Selected Studies Vol. 1 (BB124)
Wikipedia on Roedelius