Renowned as a child actor in Nazi Germany, Roedelius had a post-war career path of relative obscurity, working as a coal miner, salesman, nurse, gardener, waiter, and masseur until finding himself in the midst of Berlin’s own version of the cultural revolution of the 1960s. A brief encounter with several future members of the infamous Baader-Meinhof gang convinced him that art, not politics, was the form of protest best suited to him — and thus began a life in music that for the next four decades inspired a generation of musicians who followed.
Through the Berlin arts scene, Roedelius met Conrad Schnitzler, a kindred spirit with whom Roedelius ultimately co-founded the Zodiak Free Arts Lab and the 1968 happening known as Human Being. The project’s eventual demise gave rise to the trio Kluster, featuring Roedelius, Schnitzler and a young, unknown Swiss art student, Dieter Moebius. When Schnitzler left after two short years to pursue a solo career, Roedelius continued with Moebius as Cluster, going on to produce several albums in the late 1970s that defined electronic music of the era.
In the 1980s, Roedelius turned his attention to solo projects, which ranged in style from experimental to neo-classical. By the turn of the century, Roedelius had more than 50 albums to his credit, and was still hard at work on solo projects and collaborations, touring periodically with Cluster, and routinely performing at festivals throughout Europe, Asia and the US. In 2010, he and Moebius completed another Cluster studio album, Qua, produced by Ohio-based composer and Roedelius’ long-time collaborator, Tim Story.
In 2011, Roedelius and Dieter Moebius broke-off formals ties with each other and Cluster. Roedelius then went on to form a new variant of Cluster called Qluster. The new configuration is lined up with Hans Joachim Roedelius and Onnen Bock.
To read more on the life of Roedelius, read the wonderful biography written by Stephen Iliffe; Painting with Sound: The Life and Music of Hans-Joachim Roedelius.