on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2013 5 Feb

Qluster: Lauschen

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

Lauschen frequently takes on a sinister edge but flows through plenty of tender and contemplative states as well. The musicians push at common objectives rather than one another, sliding into the grooves around each other’s staked-out timbres and frequency ranges. The record is divided into nine movements, each named for a different classical muse, and while they roll continuously one into the next, they are also admirably self-contained. The ominous but controlled threnody of „Kalliope“ runs right into „Urania“ before rumbling filter snaps begin a seamless transformation. The pitches are limited but their oscillation rates and periodic durations are constantly, calmly, and decisively nudged around. Held notes can be so intricately gated and filtered that their pitch and timbre contours verge on miniature compositions unto themselves. In the music’s mostly slow movement, you can track individuals having and implementing ideas, each putting a meaningful twist in the whole.

Any jam involves throwing some spaghetti at the wall, but Qluster flick their pasta with sniper-precision. The highlights for me are the silkily pooling tonality of „Euterpe“, the flutey Mesoamerican dream turned subterranean nightmare of „Terpsichore“, and especially „Melpomene“, which starts as a music-box ballet before majestic slopes of bass in the distance widen out the sense of scale. The invention only flags near the end, where „Thalis“ reprises the a theme from „Erato“ without putting much of a new spin on it. But if anyone has earned some placid victory laps after a lifetime of tireless exploration, it’s Roedelius. None of these Qluster albums are apt to become cornerstones of your kosmische discography. But all of them, including Lauschen, offer the pleasure of hearing a deep musical mind still paddling the stars, at consummate ease now in his weathered craft. (source: Brian Howe, pitchfork)

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