In fall 2011, I took my car-less in Los Angeles self over to the Echo, by way of two buses, to spend the evening watching the legendary Hans Joachim Roedelius. After talking my way out of a would-be disaster (I stupidly left my ID at my Cypress Park apartment), I made my way into the club that was populated, but not packed, with attentive Kraut lovers in their 20s and 30s. After a long wait, Roedelius, in all of his towering glory took the stage. The small, but fascinated audience packed tightly around the podium. This was something hat proved to be necessary, because Roedelius gave what might have been the quietest musical performance I had ever seen, and maybe the quietest in the venue’s history. The tones emanating from the dryers in the bathroom at one point blended with the electronic washes in Roedelius’s sound scape. Meanwhile, Dub Club, a weekly reggae party, was in full swing at the adjoining venue, and was far from being the quietest show in the venue’s history. As the boisterous sounds from down stairs vibrated into his classically inspired ambient sound scape, Roedelius considered calling it a night. If it weren’t for the crowds enthusiasm, I’m sure he would have. The set continued despite the noise pollution, and ended with Roedelius standing defiantly while a pre recorded version of the Ode to Joy played. He seemed like a bald headed general who was beaming with pride after conquering our village.
In light of the low key, low tempo atmosphere of that night, it feels ironic to be presenting this particular track today. With its exhilarating high hats and seductive pace, “Digitalo 3” is a loud call to arms, or just to the dance floor. If Roedelius had been in this mode on the night described above, he could have rivaled the vibrancy of the Dub Club with an equally intoxicating futuristic disco club. As amusing as it is, it goes to show that the Kluster member has as much command over slow brewing piano studies as he has over hypnotic beats.
Words: Samantha Cornwell
Hans Joachim Roedelius, “Digitalo 3”