Responsible for molding and elevating the prog rock music subgenre known as krautrock, Dieter Moebius was unafraid and head-spinningly experimental in 1970s divided Berlin. His mostly improvised, minimalist sounds spread internationally, as he went on to form the cult bands Cluster and Harmonia and, collaborating with Brian Eno, reinvented the ambient movement. Last week, the Swiss-German artist’s death at 71 was announced by Michael Rother, member of German band Neu!, friend and frequent collaborator on Facebook.
Moebius’ influence on music and the contemporary scene is illustrated in the outpouring of tributes online by musicians, with the likes of Daniel Avery, Optimo and Tim Burgess taking to Twitter to remember the artist. As part of my monthly Synth Hero series with NTS, I put together a tribute mix in memory of the krautrock pioneer and international influencer, showcasing the most mind-melting tracks of his career. Spanning Moebius's solo and group work, the mix ends with a contemplative piano and synth piece by Joseph C Montanaro, a Chicago based musician who also records under the name of Moebius. Its emotive melody serves as a fitting outro to a composer who changed the course of electronic music forever.