Hans-Joachim Roedelius is better known for his work as a founding member of the bands Cluster and Harmonia, both household names for fans of 1970s krautrock. This solo album, Selbstportrait Wahre Liebe, feels like a more clinical approach to krautrock, with all of the difference and repetition and none of the bombast. Filled with stately electronic keyboards and synthesizers, this minimalist document has the hair-raising effect of a calm, deliberate tea ceremony.
The opening piece, "Spiel im Wind," is a shifting kaleidoscope of small repetitive figures, like an avant-garde song in the round. "Wahre Liebe," translation "true love," is a piano led piece that unfolds like a poem, in a meandering stream of thoughts both beautiful and unsettling. "Winterlicht," loosens the formalism of earlier tracks and explores a duet like an open conversation, with pauses for contemplation. "Nahw√§rme" has many layers of sound, with the principal piano voices subsumed by ambience that lifts the curtains to let the sunshine in. "Gerne" conjures the spirit of Steve Reich with its propulsion in repetition, and interlocking pieces moving like the gears on a steam engine.
The tone remains consistent throughout the album. It is engaging enough to place full attention on while still having the quietude of a soundtrack to a slideshow film. Fans of krautrock, minimalist composition, and even some post rock will find this album engrossing.