Composer/poet Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Kluster, Cluster, Harmonia) is one of the most prolific musicians of the German avant-garde and a key figure in the birth of Krautrock, synthesizer pop and ambient music. Jardin au Fou is his second solo album, originally issued in 1979 on France's Egg label, and produced by former Tangerine Dream member Peter Baumann. This record was all the more noteworthy as it bore no resemblance whatsoever to what was expected of avant-garde electronica and displayed none of the typical Krautrock characteristics. A rhythm machine, sequencer and abstract sounds are conspicuously absent, and listeners at the time were stunned by one of the most beautiful, charming, ethereal and peaceful albums in the history of German rock music.
None other than Asmus Tietchens, friend and artistic companion to Roedelius, has written the following in the liner notes for the reissue: "Jardin au Fou (Fool's Garden) is a thoroughly romantic album, bursting with joie de vivre and unadulterated joy. With the greatest of pleasure, Roedelius cranks up a carousel of fairground organs, popping corks, waltzes and sweet melodies. Musical ideas come thick and fast. If you listen carefully and immerse yourself in Jardin au Fou, you might hear traces of the baroque in this romantic music."
Roedelius concentrates here on keyboards, and, in particular, the acoustic grand piano. He played most of the tracks by hand, exploiting his virtuosity to the full. The sweet disposition of the album as a whole borders on the naïve, bearing none of the Krautrock hallmarks one might expect. Sweet and light it may be, yet the music of Roedelius is more complex than it first appears. It carries a certain gentle gravitas borne of maturity, reflecting the ongoing quest of a musician for new paths and forms. Jardin au Fou confronts the listener with an unfiltered, open perspective - today, some 30 years after it was created, this music has lost none of its shine or charm.
This is not the Roedelius album you would expect, and it does not mean anything bad; on the contrary. Hans-Joachim Roedelius' second solo album is so simple and pretty that it stands out from his vast oeuvre...Taken as a whole, the album showcases Roedelius' versatility as a composer and virtuosity as a performer. It also features his introspective side, something that was new to his listeners back in 1979...
- Vinyl LP
- All Original Album Tracks
- Liner Notes by Roedelius' Friend, Asmus Tietchens
- Fou Fou
- Rue Fortune
- Café Central
- Le Jardin
- Gloria Dolores
- Schöne Welt