endpoint of Cluster's discography on these pages; now here's the midpoint. Ten years in to their working partnership, Moebius & Roedelius would take a break for most of the 80s, but not before recording this, the most minimal album of their career and one of the most singular and fascinating.
The polar opposite of the lush romanticism of Sowiesoso, where Roedelius appeared to be in the driving seat, Curiosum is very much Moebius' album in the Cluster canon. Possibly the most accessible track, Oh Odessa is up first, with a catchy zigzag melody repeating over a backing that only changes slightly as it progresses. From here in, there's the chugging, steam-powered electronic rhythms that first made an appearance on Cluster's breakthrough album, Zuckerzeit, given an ultra-minimal, airless update. Tristan In Der Bar is particularly reminiscent of that earlier record to my ears, if you can imagine both musicians upgrading to portable, battery-powered synths only to discover when they hit record in the studio that they've only got a couple of minutes' battery life left.
Roedelius the master of wistful melody isn't entirely supressed on Curiosum: Helle Melange has it in spades, albeit still sounding - like much of the album - like it's been recorded either on an echo-absorbent squash court, or at the bottom of a swimming pool. On Charlic we get a classic Roedelius waltz, if it was being distantly heard over a cement mixer. What I'm basically trying to say is that even for such a unique duo, this album remains an aptly-named oddity in their canon. Don't miss it!