August was another month of doldrums, listening-wise, much like June. Despite not really enjoying the one album I got this month—in fact I think I only listened to it once!—my lack of new acquisitions hasn't spun me into any sort of malaise. Actually, I feel like I listened to a lot of music this month—just not new-to-me albums. Rather, I spent a lot of time with instrumental and ambient records while writing and doing some freelance work, and going back to some old favorites/musical comfort food in the mornings and evenings. I've also managed to stay on top of some of my favorite music blogs, downloading more stray mp3s this month than any other so far in 2011. Also, I'm learning the pleasures of Spotify, which lessens the need to import every album I want to hear into my hard drive.
On the news that Conrad Schnitzler had passed away earlier this month (great obituary by Geeta Dayal, by the way), I was reminded that I had yet to check out any Kluster-with-a-K—i.e., the period in the early 1970s when Schnitzler was part of the group with Roedelius and Moebius (without him, they switched to Cluster-with-a-C; and now, apparentyl Roedelius has a new outfit sans Moebius, Qluster-with-a-Q!). I've learned, via the earliest records by Kraftwerk, Klause Shulze, Ash Ra Tempel, and Tangerine Dream, that the primordial krautrock albums are generally not really my thing. They tend to be exceptionally long improvisations with only sparks of inspiration here and there, and are otherwise ominous/brooding/aimless/noisy/meandering space-outs that might've been fun to experience live, or are sometimes worth listening to straight through once or twice. Ultimately however most of these albums are worth hearing for the sake of understanding the context in which the larger genre existed and evolved from, but not really for pure pleasure. Zwei-Osterei falls into that category, and actually ranks among the worst of those early krautrock albums. The spoken word on the opening track, even though I can't understand a word of it, feels dumb. As for the music, nothing here gives the sense that Soweisoso or Zuckerzeit (or Con) are in these guys' future.