Moebius - Musik Für Metropolis album review

Possibly the strangest score for Metropolis yet

Cover art for Moebius Musik Für Metropolis

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Dieter Moebius, as a founding member of both Kluster/Cluster and Harmonia, was a key figure in the growth of avant-garde electronica and krautrock, also working with Brian Eno and Conny Plank. His death in 2015 left more than one project unfinished, not least this radical score for Fritz Lang’s monumental Expressionist film Metropolis.

Berlin musician Jonas Förster has completed it with the help of Moebius’ widow and his two musical partners Jon Leidecker and Tim Story. The late pioneer’s vision was to pre-arrange tracks and samples which would then be treated/twisted as a live improv according to the film’s movement. Others have famously re-scored the film since Gottfried Huppertz’ 1927 orchestral original: Giorgio Moroder and pop star pals, rock bands, jazz bands, techno artists. Moebius’ muse shares nothing with any of them. Four pieces of around 10 minutes each lurch through passages of machinelike stomps, skittering glitches and creepy crackling which sounds like someone’s broken into the BBC Sound Effects library and knocked the shelves over. If you let it wash over you, it has the same illogically soothing impact as David Sylvian’s collaborations with Christian Fennesz. Can’t wait to loop it over the film.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.