Label: Bureau B
For those not in the know, this is the third incarnation of one of the most prestigious of all krautrock bands, Kluster/Cluster formed by Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Conrad Schnitzler. The trio played in electronics but on an experimental and improv level while throwing in the odd ‘found sound’ just to make things interesting.
Moebius and Roedelius were soon left to their own devices while visitors such as Brian Eno, Conny Plank and Neu!’s Michael Rother joined and left the party. Kings of the kosmische, the band emerged from Berlin’s art/music collective named the Zodiak Free Arts Lab, which held future members of legends such as Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, Guru Guru and more.
More recently, Dieter Moebius has sadly departed this particular dimension to enter a modular universe of a different kind, so Roedelius is the last of these particular Jedi.
In this Qluster incarnation, he is joined by Onnen Bock and Armin Metz. Eight pieces have been created and, unlike previous albums, sequenced into a full blown electronica work.
Elemente has been created by analogue synths, there’s a Farfisa in there along with a Fender Rhodes, ARP 2600 plus other effects goodies.
The pieces bubble with attractive melodies, tonal gems and set-piece soundscapes on Elemente. There is a gentle strength behind all of this music that talks of confidence through experience with varying textures that are sometimes expansive and broad in scope while, at other times, constrictive of space and almost claustrophobic in approach. Beats vary in pace while some areas of the album have no beats at all. They simple ‘are’, wafting in a solar wind like some sort of analogue daisy in a field of tones. As such, there’s plenty to explore in this work and, as such, it is always fulfilling and satisfying. Hans-Joachim Roedelius is now 83 years of age. Appreciate the man while we still have him. I, for one, will find it hard to let go.
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Dermot21st October 2018 at 3:42 pm
“Appreciate the man while we still have him”
Ah Hans Joachim Roedelius! I clearly remember trying to source a vinyl edition of his then new opus Jardin Au Fou from my local record shop. They thought I was bonkers. Of course they couldn’t get it. Luckily I came across Lotus Records in my weekly Sounds rag and the rest is history. But, my oh my, what a start to a fantastic voyage of discovery which continues to this day. He was the one who got me out of the more popular and readily available Pink Floyd/Tangerine Dream axis – nothing wrong with them at all. In fact I still love them and always will. There was simply a treasure lode of other music on the outskirts of infinity which very few knew about. And, it was my secret and no one else’s! So a humble thank you to Joachim for shining a huge orb of light my way which has never diminished one iota and, to people like you, Paul, who keep it switched on……and, Tim Story too, who has done more than his fair share to keep that flame burning bright. We’ll never see his like again and, even though I won’t be able to let go too, at least we still have his vast body of music to glide us gently into his mad garden of heavenly delights. Plus no one, and I mean no one, can play a piano quite like our Joachim……
Paul Rigby21st October 2018 at 4:48 pm
Thanks for you thoughts, Dermot.