Meeting The Magus
An affectionate tribue to early Cluster with a fresh and original sound all of it's own.
"Attempting to get a grip on Aqueous is like trying to pick up water with a salad fork" said Misfit City critic Dann Chinn of the liquid ambient music of Aqueous duo Andy Heath and Felix Jay. Unlike the legion of retro Kraut acts - think Stereolab - who roll out pastiche albums but barely improve on the original article, these guys don't hide their debts (the sleeve notes name-check Cluster). Yet Meeting the Magus is less concerned with borrowing the metronomic rhythms of Kraut than to rebirth the improvisational muse that inspires it's unpredictable output. Played live in a single session with no multi-tracking or overdubs, Aqueous unfurl strange cloudscapes of gorgeous tone colours with vapour traces of Satie, Britten, Miles, AMM. Felix Jay's minimal just-so Rhodes electric piano offers pointillist flickers of light breaking through the clouds. Roedelius plays on half the tracks and adopts the Moebius role of disturbing the flow with gentle angular lop-sided chords or sound effects. Successive tracks slowly build and disperse until we reach a dramatic climax with the thunderous keyboard drums of "Magister Interludi" emerging like Omar Sharif out of the heat haze. Then the album gradually falls away once more into delicate pastel watercolours. Too subtle for Krautrock, too active for ambient, Aqueous falls into a category all of its own.
Source: Stephen Iliffe