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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Zuckerzeit

Cluster

1974

Zuckerzeit
Album Summary

This album has been submitted by a user and is not included in any edition of the book.

Zuckerzeit (German: Sugar Time) is the third studio album by German band Cluster, released in 1974 on Brain Records. It was co-produced by Michael Rother, their bandmate in side-project Harmonia. The music on Zuckerzeit marks a shift from Cluster's abrasive early work toward a more rhythmic, pop-oriented sound. Pitchfork ranked the album at number 63 on its list of the top 100 albums of the 1970s, while writer and musician Julian Cope included Zuckerzeit in his "Krautrock Top 50" list. John Bush of AllMusic described Zuckerzeit as "an unexpected jump from the extended kosmische jams of Cluster 71 into uncharted territory [...] fusing the duo's haunted melodic sense with crisp, scratchy drum programs." Andy Beta of Pitchfork described it as "electronic pop at its most protean," and compared it to "a sugar overload: giddy, infectious, manic and a little queasy." Peter Cauvel of Vinyl Me, Please stated that "even with drum machines and synths, Cluster pushed past the rigidity that defined their more successful peers in Kraftwerk, making spacier, improvisational electronic music."

Wikipedia

Rating

2.75

Votes

76

Genres

  • Electronica
  • Pop

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Reviews

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Tue Jan 09 2024
5

1974 was a watershed year for electronic music. Tangerine Dream released the spacey, kosmische "Phaedra," and Kraftwerk released their epic ode to the German motorway with "Autobahn." Both albums which are part of the official 1001 list, and rightly so. But somewhere in the liminal space between those two more famous albums lies "Zuckerzeit," which was also released in that most auspicious year. "Zuckerzeit" is much more tightly packaged and catchy than the loose and atmospheric "Phaedra," but it is far less rigid than the conceptual "Autobahn." It was a turning point in Cluster's work, moving away from their noisier and more abrasive past in Berlin, and towards something closer to IDM, which would take another 2 decades to fully develop.

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Sat Feb 17 2024
5

There are multiple ways to read the boiling down of the music herein, attach something to -ness and file the record as precursor. At worst, think of the decent video game of the middle stretches; Otherwise, consider at least two label catalogs I could name, or motorik beats on a machine, or synths that bite back. Really, though, krautrock remains rarefied air, and Cluster master a pop expression of it in still-expansive form.

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Tue Jan 09 2024
4

I quite enjoyed this, listened a few times. It comes off as such friendly music despite being extremely experimental.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
4

A really fun time listening to ambient german beats! Somewhere between vaporwave and retro-german-techno-futurism. What a cool find!

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Thu Feb 01 2024
4

Electro pioneer Germans always get my vote. Ausgezeichnet!

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Thu Feb 15 2024
4

7/10. Had no idea what this was going in, and enjoyed it. Good instrumental music.

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Thu Sep 07 2023
3

Kinda spacey krautrock stuff, drawn out and stoned. Moogs and drumkits and bass and whatnot. Great vibe, maybe a bit *too* drawn out in places, but still a good 3/5.

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Fri Mar 01 2024
3

Very synthesized, almost ambient "jam music." Ze Germans always had a good corner on this particular type of music. Had never heard of them until now. Based on late 60's-70's timeframe I'd imagine lots of bands watched these guys and took notes for the late 70's-80's synth "noise bands."

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Sun Jan 14 2024
2

Couldn't come around on this one, just synthesizer noodling.

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Wed May 01 2024
2

Interesting at times, but overall not my thing. It was 37 minutes long but it felt like an hour and a half. 2 stars.

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Tue Jan 09 2024
4

Fun and happy sounding instrumental Krautrock. I can't say I've listened to much Cluster so this was a fun revisiting.

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Wed Jan 17 2024
4

Pretty good Krautrock, although I think the selections on the list cover the genre quite well.

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Tue Oct 31 2023
3

Classic German artist style beat.

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Wed Jan 17 2024
3

Perfectly fine and foundational early electronic music, but nothing here blew me away like contemporaries such as Kraftwerk, Jean-Michel Jarre, or Can.

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Sat Feb 03 2024
3

Comparisons with their fellow Krautrock peers are inevitable and I must say I much prefer the more melodic Kraftwerk or the spacey/prog sound of Tangerine Dream. I think these guys really start cooking when they're joined by Eno, but alas Eno is nowhere to be found on this album.

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Sun Mar 24 2024
3

I'm not a fan of Krautrock at all. I've never been able to get into the sound of the genre's big names like Can or Faust, so when I saw this album by a lesser-known band like Cluster, I was all over it. I was wrong. It's not an album that changes my opinion of the genre, but it's the most accessible thing I've heard from the era. Short instrumental tracks that could almost work as protosynth-pop. An enjoyable and appreciated listen

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Thu Mar 28 2024
3

Typical Krautrock. Not bad, but not really my first choice of music

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Tue Jan 30 2024
2

Pas trop mon style, meme pour un album genre electro.. 2.75

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Thu Feb 15 2024
2

I really wish I was more open-minded when it comes to musical genres that live in the more outer regions of the musical spectrum. I would really love to actually 'get' music like Cluster's. But I don't. I can't wrap my head around why this would be even remotely interesting for anyone to listen to. Luckily there are many people that do 'get' this. Makes life a lot less plain and boring. But still, to me this sounds like endless noodling on electronic switch-boards. I envy those that hear actual music in this.

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Thu Feb 15 2024
1

Als het openingsnummer al geen zang bevat, maar wel elektronische gelaagdheid weet ik genoeg.

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Sat May 11 2024
3

Incredibly impressive for 1974, the use of electronics is bright, atmospheric, and able to induce feelings of calmness, energy, and hope. It sounds incredible, very clean and you're able to pull apart the layers. There are some amazing unique styles on here. My major complaint is that it does sometimes come off as a bit harsh, with moments where it sounds like the dudes are just abruptly hitting random keys. It's more noticeable in the eerier more experimental tracks, which I don't think are very good compared to the brighter, fuller ones. I think one reason it sounds a bit harsh and weird at times is because the technology is dated (rather than their skill or precursor artists), and I'm sure it would sound so much smoother had they used stuff from just a few years later.

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Fri May 17 2024
2

Eh. It is just synthesizers and techno. Thankfully it was short.

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