Boomkat Product Review:
Not Cluster, or Kluster, but Qluster, a project which sees Hans-Joachim Roedelius collaborating with Onnen Bock rather than his usual partner Dieter Moebius. Bock is a musician and sound installationist who has played in Zeitkratzer (the avant-garde ensemble known for their work with the likes of Carsten Nicolai, Keiji Haino and Terre Thaemlitz), and he's been exchanging musical ideas with Roedelius since 2007. Existing fans of Roedelius needn't worry: his gorgeous analogue keyboard improvisations are very much at the core of Fragen, but Bock really brings fresh character and emotions out of them by setting them in strangely torrid electronic ambiences. Some of the pieces here, like opener ‘Los Geht’s, reach a level of volatility and intensity that you don’t usually find in Roedelius’s work outside of Cluster; others are elegant affirmations of his time-honoured pastoral drift vision. The reverb-drenched piano tones of ‘Haste Tone’ recall Harold Budd’s early noughties work with John Foxx, but it’s the creeping minimalism of 13-minute centre-piece ‘Wurzelwelt’ that best encapsulates Fragen’s balance of craftsmanship and experimentation, continuity and futurity.