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Echtzeit (Bureau B)

Roedelius continues carrying the Kluster torch, again with another
album as the latest incarnation as a trio, Qluster. Roedelius changed
the name to mark the absence of his long-time partner Conrad
Schnitzler (R.I.P.) when Onnen Bock joined the ranks, but the project
took on its current sound more fully with the inclusion of
multi-instrumentalist Armin Metz. We wrote about Qluster’s previous
release, last year’s Tasten, an album that focused exclusively on
piano arrangements.

While Echtzeit finds the trio expanding their
palette again to include more electronics. In this way, Echtzeit
somewhat splits the difference between the more purely pastoral
passages of Tasten and the more active and layered electronic
explorations of previous Qluster collaborations. While the trio
continue to evolve their pieces and sounds from extensive recorded
experiments, it would be misleading to label the music
“experimental,” considering all of the connotations that brings
of glitchiness, abrasion, or otherwise difficult listening.

As with
most K/C/Qluster music, many of Echtzeit’s pieces float by like a
daydream, but the second half of the album feels more ponderous, less
easy, like the more taut, open-endedness of “Das Seltsame Tier aus
der Norden” or the lonely guitar drones of “Weg am Hang.”
Tasten was my first real acquaintance with the Qluster project, but
Echtzeit harnesses the trio’s abilities and power much more obviously
than the restrained piano arrangements of the former (though still a
solid album as well). Well worth a listen for anyone with an affinity
to Roedelius’s sprawling legacy of arcadian music.

Buy it: Boomkat | Bleep | iTunes | Amazon