In Memoriam: Dieter Moebius (1944-2015)


Dieter Moebius, who passed away on July 20 at the age of 71, was in on the ground floor of so many innovations it’s hard to imagine what the music world would have been like without him. Certainly, krautrock, ambient music, and electronic music in general would have sounded very different in his absence. The Switzerland-born, Germany-based pioneer first made musical history at the end of the ’60s by forming the electronic group Kluster (later changed to Cluster). With them, Moebius crafted alternately chaotic and meditative (but always cutting-edge) electronic music. Right before Brian leapt into his ambient phase, he worked with Cluster, and his own landmark ambient albums were surely influenced by Moebius and company.

The ’70s also saw Moebius working with supergroup Harmonia, alongside Eno and members of krautrock legends Neu! and Guru Guru. But Moebius was never one to get stuck in a rut — his output at the end of the ’70s and the albums he made with famed krautrock producer Conny Plank in the early ’80s were at the forefront of post-punk and synth pop. And his ’80s solo albums prefigured too many later electronic styles to count.

The tireless Moebius never stopped pushing forward, either. He continued working with Cluster all the way through the 2000s, and released his final solo album, Nidemonex, just last year.

Below you’ll find just a few highlights from the long, rich career of a man who will be greatly missed. If you haven’t already made your way into Moebius’s world, start exploring.

Jim Allen

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