best album this year, so far!
Something for mr. C!
album number seven from the third incarnation of the legendary krautronic
project Kluster/Cluster springs a surprise with a minor sensation: sequencer lines! Using
an array of exclusively analogue instruments, HansJoachim Roedelius, Onnen Bock and
Armin Metz have recorded eight tracks which, at one and the same time, are intrinsically
hypnotic and sublimely beautiful.
In principle, “Elemente” was created in much the same fashion as earlier Qluster albums: the three
musicians met up in Schönberg, a remote hamlet in northern Mecklenburg. The eight pieces were
distilled from the original recordings of their lengthy improvised sessions, with additional elements
added to only three of the tracks in the production process: a synthesizer melody for “Zeno”, a
prepared piano for “Xymelan” and a beat for “Tatum”.
First special feature on the new album: the “tools of the trade”. In their choice of equipment,
Qluster reach back to their own history as Cluster, more than forty years ago, when legendary
albums like “Zuckerzeit”, “Sowiesoso” and “Curiosum” were made. “Elemente” has been crafted exclusively with analogue instruments: a range of analogue synthesizers, rhythm machines, a
Farfisa organ, a Fender Rhodes piano and various effects devices plus second special feature
and making its debut in the band’s narrative! a 1970s sequencer playing an endless loop of
manually recorded melodies, fed through effects and equalizers to achieve that typically hypnotic
sequencer character. Listen out for them on “Perpetuum”, “Xymelan”, “Tatum” and “Lindow”. By
way of contrast, “Weite” and “Infinitum” unfold in vast echo chambers, free of metrics. Between
these two very different musical forms lie “Zeno” and “Symbia”. The former pulsates with long deep
breaths beneath delicate sequences of notes emanating from the ARP 2600, the latter, “Symbia”,
layers a songlike Rhodes piano melody over an echoing, rhythmic Farfisa organ chord.
After four electronic productions and two piano albums, Qluster now invite us to visit eight new and
beguilingly beautiful worlds of sound on “Elemente”.