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Dieter Moebius has died

Cluster and Harmonia founding member has died age 71

Krautrock pioneer and hero of many, Dieter Moebius has died age 71. As a founding member of Cluster and Harmonia, he was a pioneer of electronic music, paving the way for ambient music, and was a central krautrock figure, who was key to the genre’s development and influence.

The Swiss born musician met Hans-Joachim Roedelius at Berlin’ Zodiak Free Arts Lab, where they formed Kluster, along with Conrad Schnitzler. Schnitzler left soon after, and Roedelius and Moebius switched their name to Cluster.

In 1973 Michael Rother quit Neu! and joined Moebius and Roedelius in rural Germany, forming Harmonia, with the aim of creating an accessible, pop friendly form of experimental music, described by Biba Kopf in this magazine in 1999 as “representing a curious reconciliation of a need for stillness and contemplation with motorik’s incurable itch.”

Cluster and Moebius collaborated with many, frequently with Conny Plank both as Cluster and as a solo musician, and also with Eno (on Cluster & Eno, and After The Heat, with Moebius also appearing on Eno’s Before And After Science).

Cluster disbanded in the early 1980s, with both members pursuing solo careers, but the duo reformed in the 1990s and touring widely.