180 gram vinyl LP version. Inner sleeve with liner notes by Asmus Tietchens. Wenn Der Südwind Weht (“When The South Wind Is Blowing”) is the seventh solo album by Hans-Joachim Roedelius, originally released on Sky Records in 1981 (also known under the title Selbstportrait IV). “Where on earth does Roedelius find such a beautiful array of notes?” wonders Asmus Tietchens in his sleeve notes for this reissue. Not an unreasonable question. Roedelius, a pioneer of ambient music, Krautrock and, arguably, synthesizer pop, member of such seminal bands as Cluster and Harmonia, revels in alien worlds on this record. This is “Music to be listened to quietly,” as Roedelius advised on the LP cover. Indeed, listening at low volume enhances the sense of otherworldliness quite considerably. And yet, this album can hardly be termed “spacy” nor psychedelic in the slightest. Electronic excesses are absent, aural exotica off-limits, bizarre cacophonies non-existent. The individual tracks are compact, lined up in quick succession, like a string of pearls. Wherein lies their fascination? From what distant place do they reach out to the listener? First of all, there is the Roedelian “quietitude.” Even when the music is turned up, it remains quiet in character, almost as if wrapped in cotton wool. The quiet nature of this music is inseparable from the serene and tranquil manner in which Roedelius goes about creating his typical harmonies and melodies on an electric organ of decidedly limited sonic variability. He leaves in the occasional blip and electric interference or tape hiss, but nothing can distract him from the inspiration of the moment as it feeds his music. The contrast with the perfect, yet impersonal precision of minimalism could not be greater. Improvisation is the driving force of Roedelius’ music. Without a trace of exhibitionism, he externalizes himself through his music with an honesty that could move one to tears. As a member of Cluster and Harmonia, such radicalism was never open to him. Südwind is an undisputed highlight in the Roedelius canon.