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LIVE

Cluster

by Jody Godoy

On July 3, Daikanyama Unit celebrates its sixth anniversary with German electronic music patriarchs Cluster, internationally known space-rockers Boris and minimal techno mainstay Fumiya Tanaka.

Contemporaries of Kraftwerk, Cluster (Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius) were at the forefront of the German experimental scene of the 1970s. While their early recordings leaned toward the atonal and ambient, their work with Michael Rother on “Zuckerzeit” (1974) featured layers of warm keyboard and catchy rhythms without losing their avant-garde sensibilities. Cluster’s endeavors helped lay the groundwork for generations of electronic music from New Order to Hot Chip.

Roedelius and Moebius have also collaborated together and individually, with Japanese artists including Susumu Hirasawa, founder of the seminal Japanese techno-pop band P-Model.

July marks Cluster’s first appearance in Japan since their initial tour here in 1996.

“It’s always a really great pleasure for me to be in Japan,” Moebius told The Japan Times in an e-mail. “The performance itself will be almost the same as everywhere on the globe, but how our Japanese friends and organizers take care of us when we’re there, this is outstanding. Also, to be in Japan is like being in a different world because everything in Japanese culture is about art/aesthetics, even the most profane procedures.”

Atsuo of Boris called Cluster’s aural experiments “a definite influence.” “I’ve listened to the albums “Cluster 71″ and “Cluster 2″ over and over. I’m not familiar with their sound these days, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

While on the heavier side, Boris shares Cluster’s penchant for improvisation and evolution. Since their start in 1992, the trio has gained recognition abroad for their eardrum-pounding guitar music ranging in style from experimental metal, to ambient drone, to more melodic progressive rock. Guitarist Michio Kurihara of the legendary psychedelic band Ghost will contribute dexterous licks at the Unit show.

Cluster, Boris, Fumiya Tanaka and others play at Daikanyama Unit on July 3. Tickets cost ¥5,000 at the door. For further information, visit www.unit-tokyo.com