Qluster’s Echtzeit: featuring Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Onnen Bock and Arming Metz

15th February 2016

Tite: Echtzeit

Label: Bureau b

A quick recap. Qluster consists of Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Onnen Bock and Arming Metz who used to be Cluster which was Roedelius and Dieter Moebius who used to be Kluster which was Roedelius, Moebius and Conrad Schnitzler. Kluster were krautrock pioneers and both they and the ‘C’ word were much admired and praised from the likes of David Bowie and Brian Eno.

Qluster shows no restraint in terms of the sort of experimentation and exploration, in sonic terms, from the core of all three groups, Roedelius. When many artists age and lose their mojo, they make some money and become soft. They lose their hunger and their pain. They stop searching for truth and, in looking about them, they slow their forward searching, stop and dwell under a sunny bough to dream about the past.

Roedelius has aged. He is an old man of, what? He must be around 81 or 82 by now? Yet he, with his two compadres, show imagination and life, vigour and a curiosity about sound that breaths life into his, well, I hesitate to really call it music. He asks sonic questions and the answer is returned with a sequence of sound responses.

His electrical conversations, during the last album Tasten were all from and with the piano. Each group member played a piano and off they trotted, down the pathways and mountain tracks of sound. This time? They return to electronics for the group’s sixth album release (although the piano makes guest appearances).

Don’t think that this is piece of work without melody. There is plenty of that but often in tight scrolls that are sprinkled around the repeating phrases of the minimalist. The end product, though, is wondrous and magical while, in audiophile terms, it’s a nice master, no nasty bright frequencies to make you run for cover.

Make the most of Roedelius while he is here. He will journey beyond our sight in time, I hope it’s a long time.