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Recent LP acquisitions: part III

Cole/Roedelius album artLloyd Cole & Hans-Joachim Roedelius Selected Studies Vol 1 LP (Bureau B, Germany)

The noble Bureau B label has undertaken the long-overdue (and admirable) job of re-releasing the Sky Records catalog on high-quality LPs. Sky issued some of the best German electronic music of the late 70s/early 80s, but the vinyl nearly always crackled and popped, and wore poorly under repeated plays. Bureau B has cleaned up the recordings and pressed them on better vinyl.

Bureau B isn’t limiting itself to reissues. One of its newest recordings is an instrumental collaboration between British singer-songwriter Lloyd Cole and Cluster keyboardist Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Selected Studies Vol 1.

This potentially odd couple work well together. Parts of the album sound as though this could be Roedelius solo. I’m not sure if that’s a feature or a bug for folks looking for more, but I’m a fanboy for Hans-Joachim’s Germanic and winsome keyboard stylings.

There’s no shining new sound that’s greater than the sum of the collaborative parts, or anything. And this is no Lustwandel or Jardin Au Fou. Most of the selections could pass for Roedelius’ basic approach to instrumental electronic background music. A couple songs have a darker, more atmospheric (and sometimes menacing) feel, sounding a bit like less-freeform concepts from recent Cluster live shows. My favorite track concludes side 1 of the LP:  “Still Life With Kannyu” has some impressionistic, echoey piano work overlain with floating synth pads and slowly phased drones. My kind of music.

Packaging plus: the LP includes a CD of the same music.

Packaging minus: the album cover artwork looks pretty generic– a simplistic graphic consisting of wavy gradations of blue.

To sell or not to sell?

This one could grow on me. I think some late-night listening on headphones could win me over. Keeper.

I didn’t look too hard but it doesn’t appear this album is available for digital download sale other than iTunes’ 256kbps AACs.

Buy the LP+CD or CD from Bureau B

Buy the LP+CD or CD from Forced Exposure

Buy the LP+CD or CD from Boomkat