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The Guardian JULY 21, 2015 - by Nancy Groves
DIETER MOEBIUS, KRAUTROCK PIONEER WITH BANDS CLUSTER AND HARMONIA, DIES AT SEVENTY-ONE
Bandmates Michael Rother and Hans-Joachim Roedelius confirm the death of the co-founder of two Krautrock groups and electronica pioneer.
Dieter Moebius, a pioneer of electronic music and co-founder of the Krautrock groups Cluster and Harmonia, had died at the age of seventy-one.
His bandmates Michael Rother and Hans-Joachim Roedelius took to Facebook on Monday to confirm the news, though not the cause of death, and to pay tribute to their musical companion.
"Very sad news today for all friends of Dieter Moebius and his unique music," Rother wrote. "Our friend, neighbour and collaborator passed away this morning... He will be missed dearly by all of us."
Born in 1944 in Switzerland, Moebius grew up listening to classical music with his pianist mother but had his mind blown when when he heard the rock'n'roll of Chuck Berry and the arthouse stylings of bands like The Velvet Underground.
He studied art in Brussels and, later, West Berlin, where he became part of the nascent Krautrock movement that combined heavy synth and minimalist arrangements.
After meeting at Berlin's Zodiak Free Arts Lab in the late 1960s, Moebius and Roedelius, together with Conrad Schnitzler of Tangerine Dream, formed the band Kluster in 1969. The band changed its name to Cluster when Schnitzler left. In the decades that followed, the pair released fifteen albums, including two influential collaborations with Brian Eno.
Roedelius wrote on Facebook that "Sowiesoso describes best... our aim since we decided to become musicians/composers - just to do it. To do what we liked to in the way we were able to and [have] fun with it."
The Cluster duo also joined forces with Rother (of the band Neu!) to form Harmonia, releasing two albums, 1974's Muzik Von Harmonia and 1975's Deluxe, as well as collaborating further with Eno. Moebius also recorded over a dozen solo albums in his career, including 2014's Nidemonex.
In a recent lecture, Moebius and Roedelius reflected on their careers and the atmosphere of collaboration and shared living that formed their musical style.
"Sometime when we play festivals we get in touch," Moebius said. "We get to hear modern electronic musicians... and some of them are really great, but a lot of them, they have certain programs they can use and, how do I say this, I feel that it's not so deep and warm in a way."
Musicians influenced by Moebius took to social media on Tuesday to pay tribute to his output. "Ah. Dieter Moebius," tweeted Luke Haines. "Fearless electronic free rock pioneer, and just fearless. Maximum Electronic Rock n Roll."
DJ and producer Erol Alkan wrote that "the music he left behind is beautiful".