Artist: Cluster
Album: Qua

Released: May 2009
Label: Nepenthe

Qua Cluster
Hidden in plain sight Cluster continue their decades long title as the most beloved and possibly eccentric artists in electronic sound. The duo of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius realize music on a path parallel to that of the mainstream and represent one of music's most enduring conversations through collaboration. Quietly treasured, their music fulfills the promise of the synthesizer to create sounds never before heard or imagined. Bypassing conventional tonal grammar for conflicted harmonies and unanticipated diversions, Cluster's work is still too playful to be considered Avant-Garde. Their CD Qua (54'47") is made up of 17 brief tracks. But Cluster really packs a lot into a two-minute piece. Form results from sharp encounters between their individual tonal spectrums as sounds are used to define mass and volume. Thank goodness for the rhythm, what with everything else going on in this music it is something reassuring to hold onto. Listeners are warned not to fall asleep during this album. That would be too dangerous. Without the conscious mind available to explain and filter this music Qua may inhabit at an elemental level. Where does the music come from? What is it saying? It's just Cluster - who seem like they have always been there. At this point Roedelius and Moebius must believe that Music is enough for one lifetime, but wondering if one lifetime is enough for Music?

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   20 August 2009

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