Qluster - Lauschen - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Qluster - Lauschen

by Rich Morris Rating:7 Release Date:2013-02-04

Qluster is legendary Krautrock group Cluster minus founder member Dieter Moebius. The original duo disbanded at the end of 2010 following their excellent swansong Qua. Since then, Hans-Joachim Roedelius has recruited Onnen Bock to release four albums as Qluster, of which Lauschen is the latest.

Since Cluster started out as Kluster (before a third original member, Conrad Schnitzler, left after three albums), it's not really sacrilegious that Roedelius should carry on under an almost-identical name. Besides, Cluster were never one of those groups where each member had a clearly defined role. During their 70s creative peak, Roedelius and Moebius were happy to welcome outsides such as Brian Eno and Neu!'s Michael Rother into their creative bubble, eager to explore new dynamics and ways to create.

Like The Fall with its legendarily unstable line-up, the music Cluster make is always different, always the same. This time around, Roedelius and Bock have collaborated with multi-instrumentalist Armin Metz, resulting in this live improvisation. The pieces on Lauschen are, as you would expect, very accomplished works of ambient music. Each feels completely immersive while remaining placid and inscrutable. The opening 'Euterpe', with its wandering church organ and deep-sea ambiance, is a master-class in how to introduce just enough variation to make music such as this a fascinating, emotionally-engaging listen.

It feel a little pointless to run through the album track by track - there really are only minor variations between each piece, but 'Erato' and 'Melpomene' in particular sound out as great works of ambient music. The former features synths gliding like tectonic plates over deep, tense bass pulses, while the later boasts some utterly gorgeous proggy synth noodling.

This album is definitely for those who like their ambient Eno-side-up: its glacial, mysterious, yet somehow engulfing. You can lie back and let it swallow you whole.

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