This is the fourth solo album by German keyboardist Hans-Joachim Roedelius, originally released in 1980 on Sky Records. With Selbstportrait, Roedelius gave unequivocal confirmation that he no longer was treading the hitherto common paths of electronic music. Selbstportrait - Vol. II corroborated the findings: for Roedelius, electronics would no longer be a means of creating abstract, noise-like music in the future, nor of generating utopian, mechanical rhythmic structures. His own utopia was quite a different place, more in keeping with his own personality and view of the world. Hence both self-portraits, in particular Selbstportrait - Vol. II, are programmatic. Uniquely among musicians of the German electronic scene at the time, Roedelius succeeded in blending European and extra-European musical styles quite intuitively, developing his own language of music, neither epigonic nor weighed down by stereotype, as often occurred in the emerging world music genre of the period. There is a fascinating simplicity to the music of Roedelius: his vision does not reside in cloud-cuckoo-land. His utopia is founded in reason, his vision sustained by a simple base: not only did he ignore musical traditions, he also sought to create something new out of them. He succeeded where many of his contemporaries failed, going to ground as they attempted to bridge the postmodern gap. Not Roedelius. Roedelius' music is littered with stumbling blocks. The listener may not necessarily lose his footing, but will not exactly find himself sitting comfortably as he listens. With this album, Roedelius has drawn a clearly delineated picture of himself. Few musicians can say the same, few even harbor such aspirations. Transcending styles, hypes and modernisms, Selbstportrait - Vol. II is electronically-sourced music, yet sounds anything but technical, dismantling the misconception that electronic music has to sound cold and distant. Selbstportrait - Vol. II has never been released completely before. Includes 5 tracks never released on CD! Liner notes by Asmus Tietchens.
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