Not long after Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, together, the core of Cluster, first started working with Brian Eno, in the late 70s, Moebius went off and made a supergroup of his own, one he called Liliental, presumably after Otto Lilienthal, a German aviation pioneer. The music does indeed soar, a gull tracing a long, wide spiral as he glides down to the ocean below, though its journey is unexpectedly brief; the self-titled album—the only one recorded—is a very modest thirty-five minutes.

It pulls off an alchemy I've never witnessed. Magical. It takes the heavy, mystical spaciness of 70s kraut and hybridizes it with something sweeter, hookier, something that's more resemblant of the radio-friendly art-rock of Robert Fripp, Siouxsie and the Banshees, David Bowie, maybe even some Lennon and some downtown NYC experimental scenesters like Peter Gordon.

The hallmarks of that decade's cosmiche high-water marks, like Tangerine Dream's RicochetRalf und Florian, Agitation Free's 2nd, are unmistakably there, and yet they're not at the crux of the LP's most successful moments; they're the backdrop, the tapestry upon which other genres and moods are laid. A song like "Gebremster Schaum" is a dance between saxy AOR pop and slide country more than it is prog, and the woozy closer, "Nachsaison," conjures the Cotton Club before elektronische.

And that's certainly because the band is made up of, in addition to Moebius, a cerebral synth wizard, and Conny Plank, a cheeky yet rigorous production master, a grab bag of wackos, like Kraan's Johannes Pappert and Hellmut Hattler. The hippies' self-indulgent, free-roaming, proggy whimsy serves to soften the hard-eyed intensity of Moebius and Plank. Meeting in the middle rarely sounds this sublime.