Tracks and Traces

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Tracks and Traces
Studio album by Harmonia '76
Released 4 November 1997
21 September 2009 (reissue)
Recorded September 1976 at Harmonia Studio, Forst
Genre Krautrock
Kosmische Musik
Experimental Music
Electronic music
Ambient Music
Length 53:52
64:01 (reissue)
Label Rykodisc (USA), S3
Grönland Records (reissue)
Producer Brian Eno, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Michael Rother, Dieter Moebius
Harmonia chronology
Deluxe
(1975)
Tracks and Traces
(1997)
Live 1974
(2007)

Tracks and Traces is the one and only album credited to Harmonia '76, but it is generally regarded as the third album by the highly influential Krautrock/Kosmische Musik group Harmonia. Harmonia was formed by the addition of Neu! guitarist Michael Rother to Cluster, the duo of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius. British ambient musician Brian Eno joined the group at Harmonia's studio in Forst, Germany for the September 1976 recording sessions which resulted in this album.

Although Tracks and Traces was recorded in 1976, it was not released until 4 November 1997 by the American Rykodisc label (originally in Germany by the label S3, remastered by Eric Spitzer-Marlyn and Othmar Eichinger),[1] at which time the labels appended "'76" to the group's name.

Background and recording[edit]

Various websites quote Eno as saying that Harmonia was "the world's most important rock band" in the mid '70s, including Sherman Wick in his review of Musik Von Harmonia, the first Harmonia album. Daniel Dumych, who also cites that quote, writes in his article for hyperreal.org: "Perhaps Eno's reason for praising Harmonia so highly was that their music fit the requirements of ambient rock. Its music was equally suitable for active or passive listening. The careful listener found his/her attentions rewarded by the musical activities and sounds, but Harmonia's music was also capable of setting a sonic environment." Clearly Eno had been very impressed with both Musik Von Harmonia and Cluster's fourth album Zuckerzeit and had joined Harmonia on tour, first playing with the group at The Fabrik in Hamburg.

After Michael Rother left Harmonia Eno continued to work with Moebius and Roedelius, recording two albums: Cluster & Eno in 1977 and After the Heat in 1978. Harmonia also continued to influence Brian Eno's work long after its demise. A review of Musik Von Harmonia on the Cult Cargo website cites the track "Ahoi" as "the blueprint for a couple of the tracks on Eno's Apollo LP, with its minimalist picked guitar and simple piano runs."

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars link

Jeff Melton, who reviewed Tracks and Traces for the Expose Progressive Music website, described the album, in part: "Overall the album is relaxing and evokes dream like images but doesn't force you to passively count sheep. For a lost project which had been unreleased for over twenty years, I'd say it's as current [as] any techno project if only for the strength of the collaboration and the blurring of egos." The album has only one vocal track, "Luneburg Heath". Jess Barnett, writing in her review for FensePost, comments that the song "has a strong Eno presence and a disembodied voice singing, 'Don’t get lost on Luneberg Heath'. The synth lines are twangy and muffled, repetitive but not boring." Ned Raggett, writing the review for Allmusic, says in part: "Having already created two excellent albums, the core Harmonia trio was easily placed to whip up a third, with Eno the wild-card factor who turned out to be a perfect addition. While contributing some lyrics and singing at a time when he was steering away firmly from both in his own solo work, most of the time Eno lets the band speak for themselves musically, most notably adding snaky, quietly threatening basslines."

Harmonia & Eno '76 - 2009 reissue[edit]

Tracks and Traces was remastered and reissued in 2009 by Grönland Records. The new release featured three additional recordings, new artwork and was credited to Harmonia & Eno '76. A 12" of remixes was also released, coupling "Sometimes In Autumn" and "By The Riverside" re-fixed by Dubstep-producers Shackleton and Appleblim/Komonazmuk. In 2009 a full album of remixes was released.

Track listing[edit]

Music written, performed and produced by Brian Eno, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Michael Rother and Dieter Moebius. "Luneburg Heath" vocals and lyrics by Brian Eno.

1997 release (Rykodisc/S3)[edit]

  1. "Vamos Companeros" – 4:32
  2. "By the Riverside" – 9:31
  3. "Luneburg Heath" – 4:53
  4. "Sometimes in Autumn" – 15:49
  5. "Weird Dream" – 6:39
  6. "Almost" – 5:28
  7. "Les Demoiselles" – 3:59
  8. "When Shade Was Born" – 1:30
  9. "Trace" – 1:31

2009 reissue (Grönland Records)[edit]

  1. "Welcome" - 3:01
  2. "Atmosphere" - 3:24
  3. "Vamos Companeros" – 4:32
  4. "By the Riverside" – 9:31
  5. "Luneburg Heath" – 4:53
  6. "Sometimes in Autumn" – 15:49
  7. "Weird Dream" – 6:39
  8. "Almost" – 5:28
  9. "Les Demoiselles" – 3:59
  10. "When Shade Was Born" – 1:30
  11. "Trace" – 1:31
  12. "Aubade" - 3:33

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ S3 discography at Discogs

External links[edit]