Tracks and Traces (Reissue)

by Lisa Kirchner

Reissues can be a little ho-hum, but this 1976 collab between electronic-music pioneer Brian Eno and kraut-rock darlings Harmonia (a side project of NEU!’s Michael Rother) is worth the attention.

Not only are its experimental sounds still totally groundbreaking, but the album is also a Nostradamus-like predictor of ’80s dark wave and ambient electro—though, due to missing tapes, Tracks and Traces didn’t officially debut until 1997. Original first track “Vamos Camponeros” still calls to mind later jams from bands like Suicide and Sigur Rós, but dreamy new openers “Welcome” and “Atmosphere” give the album a fuller, more optimistic and classic Eno context. With all the haunted sounds culminating in the ethereal space-synths of new closing song “Aubade,” Tracks finally feels complete. An absolute must-have for Eno and NEU! obsessives everywhere.

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