mercredi 1 janvier 2020

SYNTH&SEQUENCES keeps moving

Dear readers and followers, I want to thank you warmly for this massive support of you in the evolution of my Blog Synth & Sequences. Unfortunatly, du to the fact that it has a lot of stuff and a long list of artist whose music is reviewed here, I have to move this Blog to a more convivial way to read it and to find reviews. So it's the main cause of why this Blog is switching for a real website.

Now SynthSequences will need a new way to search from you, but you will see the differences between it and this Blog Please take to time to dig it will continue to read here. But you will remark that reviews will diseapper and reappear on the new website. Allready, more than 235 reviews have been removed and put on my new website.

I hate to do this, but this site cost me an average of 500$ a year. This is the reason you see the Donate sign. It's not an obligation for anyone, and it will be remove once this amount is reached each year.

Thanks and advance and long live to Electronic Music :D

Sylvain Lupari

mercredi 1 octobre 2014

DAN POUND: Life Giving (2014)

“Deeply ambiospherical, Life Giving is certainly one of the most seducing cosmic and sonic universe that I heard recently”
1 Life Giving 7:41
2 Age of Innocence 3:41
3 In Suspension 9:50
4 Only One 6:22
5 Passing Through Time 16:17
6 Taken by the Dream 12:39
7 Life Pulse 11:10
8 What Matters Most 5:56

Dan Pound Music (CD/DDL 73:40) ***½
(Deep cosmic soundscapes)
You should not really rely on the ambient noises and the monstrous organic tones which open "Life Giving" to judge this last album of Dan Pound. The delicate arpeggios which come down, like ashes of Vesuvius, will charm your ears and the muffled impulses which propel them, and eventually swallow them, will plunge you into an atmosphere of cosmic darkness. I quite liked this first contact with the music of Dan Pound. This prolific multi-instrumentalist from California presents an audacious approach by making travel a rather experimental ambient music in the corridors of Dark New Age and especially in the borders of cosmos with soundscapes drawn in a wide range of quirky tones. A sonic pallet to the colors of a rather audacious imagination and which can find anchoring in many ears, if we like an experience which is more sonic than musical. But the music, and its harmonies, is never too much far from these moods to the thousand paradoxes which stuff this impressive ambient fresco. And the title-track is a rather good indication of what our ears will go throughout the 74 minutes of “Life Giving” where synth lines and waves, as harmonious as ambient, float and shimmer in a sound universe where the serenity is next to storms of static ambient elements.
"Age of Innocence" is a beautiful small jewel of meditation where dreamy arpeggios float in beautiful synth lines to the soft perfumes of contemplativity. Longer and that would have been even more beautiful! The descent of joyful serpentines which liven up the introduction of "In Suspension" feeds all the paradoxes which surround the music of Dan Pound. Melodic and very charming, these serpentines wear an invigorating tone which challenges the soporific axes of an impenetrable cosmic music. And the parameters, as well as the depth, of the cosmic approach from “Life Giving” are doubtless among the most beautiful and the most complete that I heard. Here, the amorphous breezes of synth draw black horizons from where slender translucent filets leak out, whereas these small serpentines are unwinding a bright effect of weightlessness which sticks us on our earphones. This is very immersive and rather realistic of the visions from its author. The symphony of breaths from the long didgeridoos gives a rather tribal / ambient side to "Only One". The sampling of multilayer synth lines, as well as the didge breezes, amplifies the black vibes that even the delicate notes of guitar cannot uproot of its catatonic envelope. Didge burps are also opening the twilights of "Passing through Time" which mixes marvellously the heat of synths to the hoarse breaths of deserts' trumpets and of their jerky echoes. Some discreet sequences dance around this uncommon meshing, giving an appearance of rhythm to a long track which is a real sonic mishmash, both at the level of the elements and of this perpetual duel between rising rhythm and these atmospheres which in the end become very seraphic. "Taken by the Dream" is my crush on “Life Giving”. The structure is always soaked with this sonic confrontation between the serenity and the ambiospherical agitation. What is charming even more is this superb down-tempo, coming out of nowhere, which shakes the elements and which gives an unsuspected relief to an odyssey of sounds and distorted vibes which strews all the parameters of this surprising album of Dan Pound. This slow rhythm has a break in the middle of 12 minutes, making room to splendid arpeggios which draw a magnificent ambient glass musing. This is very beautiful, with a subtle dramatic crescendo, and every second which passes is overfed by a sonic fauna of which the wealth is such as it is impossible to discover it in full in a single listening. The music fades in the barriers of the nothingness of "Life Pulse". There where the life breathes weakly behind a heavy curtain of black vibes and stirs into organic gurglings and shamanic percussions which draw hypnotic lines. This mixture of cosmic music and spiritual witchcraft lets filter an armada of implosive impulses which forge the very ambiocosmic beat of "Life Pulse" which floats and floats like a long spaceship at adrift. "What Matters Most" concludes with a very meditative piano, among which the notes which pearl in a dense cosmic envelope awaken in me memories of Vangelis. And this, even if this small duel between these organic impulses and these waves of serenity which torment the ambiences to the nuances tinted with paradoxes of “Life Giving” can as well one day enchant and one evening tear the peace of mind of the listening of an album which plunges us literally into a sonic universe without borders.
Sylvain Lupari (September 30th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 29 septembre 2014

TANGERINE DREAM: Josephine the Mouse Singer (2014)

“Josephine the Mouse Singer follows the main line of the last works from the Dream, in particular the Sonic Poem Series”
1 The Four White Wooden Horses 6:08
2 The Bleeding Angel 4:00
3 Center of Now 6:33
4 Josephine the Mouse Singer 8:28
5 Arcangelo Corelli's La Folia 7:39

Eastgate 069CD (Cup-Disc 32:48) ****
(Theatrical e-rock)
Exit the  Eastgate years! Long live to the Quantum years! Unless a situational turnaround, “Josephine the Mouse Singer” should be the very last thing to pop out of these famous years when the income of Tangerine Dream will never have mopped the expenses. And this in spite of all those re-editions, the live albums, the so best-of, Booster and finally the Cup-DiscsVoices in the Net establishes that this “Josephine the Mouse Singer” is the 7th C-D of this edition. I counted 10, but I am rather going to come round to this excellent reference site on Tangerine Dream. We speak, we chatter! But of what returns the music of this last Cup-Disc? Distributed in limited edition (there is still some left in the Eastgate factories) “Josephine the Mouse Singer” was initially offered during the European Phaedra Farewell Tour 2014 and follows at the same time the main line of the last works from the Dream, in particular the Sonic Poem Series, being another poem of Franz Kafka.
"The Four White Wooden Horses" establishes a mood of darkness deliciously tamed with an obsessing slightly chaotic rhythm. A rhythm which merges its erratic jolts into the tails of unbridled movements of sequences as well as ones with organic tones. Just as well mesmerizing, the melodic membrane leaves all the room to the rhythm and frees delicate evasive chords while that a kind of African voice is singing some delicate tribal hymns of which the certain charms are merging to absent voices and very nostalgic synth breezes. This voice returns on the title-track which presents an ambient intro with synth lines which seem to draw a horizon to the colors of our imagination and which are clubbed by good percussions. Gradually the rhythm of "Josephine the Mouse Singer" is structuring itself around notes of a very pensive acoustic guitar. This rhythm stamped of melancholy adopts gradually the approach of a gallop from a solitary cowboy where we see the rider of deserts fading at the horizon. A little bit as the ending of a western movie where the credits unfold before our dreamy eyes. I quite enjoyed these two tracks, just as "The Bleeding Angel" which is a beautiful and very melodious down-tempo with a wrapping veil of melancholy. The effect of crescendo assures that our feelings follow the very poignant curve of this beautiful black ballad. We stay in the line of ballads with "Center of Now". A kind of ambient ballad, even morphic, which offers a rather nebulous approach and a structure which is complicated enough. There is too much in it to highlight anything that sounds appealing. It's like having too much to eat and not having something great to gulp. I do believe that one has to like the intense and black classical moods to appreciate to its full measure
Edgar Froese's arrangements on "Arcangelo Corelli's La Folia", which is a music written by Arcangelo Corelli. I cannot really pronounce, absolutely not knowing classical, but I found the arrangements, as well as these sequences which revolve and flicker all around this subtle movement of crescendo, as incisive as a descent in an alienation.
We can't find anything wrong on this new (last?)
Cup-Disc, which would easily have been able to be of use as springboard to this continuity of Franz Kafka's works put on music in Tangerine Dream's Sonic Poem Series. And I am fascinated by this doggedness, this perseverance of Edgar Froese to continue his work of creation. If it's true that we can criticize the orientations which he imposed to this cult band, we cannot deny that he has a great deal of talent and that his impact is as much necessary than it was essential in the development of EM. In fact Edgar, I would just want to tell you thank you... And long life to these years Quantum!
Sylvain Lupari (September 29th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:    

dimanche 28 septembre 2014

TANGERINE DREAM: Grand Auto Theft 5 (2013)

“GAT 5 is a good album which releases a delicate sonic perfume borrowed in both poles of TD's luxurious years”
1 Place of Conclusions 5:15
2 Streets of Fortune 4:54
3 Mission Possible 4:15
4 Downtown Los Santos 5:06
5 Blaine County Sunrise 5:26
6 Burning the Bad Seal 5:17
7 Beyond the Weakest Point 6:09
8 Sadness, Grief and Hope 4:38
9 Diary of a Robbery 5:36
10 Draw the Last Line Somewhere 6:13
11 The Dangerous Mile 5:42
12 Living on a Razor Edge 5:17

Eastgate 066 CD (CD 63:48) **** (Based sequences electronic Pop Rock)
A sinuous curve pierces the horizon. A mislaid chord falls. A fluid movement of bass sequences is slightly galloping and draws a soft and warm undulatory rhythm. All this, marinated to riffs and electronic spirals falling into electronic gas, leads us back to the nice time of Tangerine Dream. Only the fragile harmonies and the artificial voices annoy the ear and return us to the more contemporary years of Edgar Froese's works. The 5 minutes of "Place of Conclusions", to a few exceptions, dig up the rhythms, the atmospheres and the harmonies of this Edgar Dream's new album. An album which literally set ablaze the fans and scribbled the social media networks of laudatory remarks, while putting bootleggers to work, because “Grand Auto Theft 5” is available only in 2000 copies and only at the electronic shop of Eastgate. A whole version, with a gigantic amount of music and moods inherent to the famous video game, is also available. One can find it if we search minutely on the Net or on specialized sites (I heard it and I was not really crazy about it). At the beginning, I was rather sceptical. It is when I saw the game in action that I made the link. And when I took time to hear “Grand Auto Theft 5” closely, I came to the conclusion that Edgar is still very creative and that he still has some very good music in him.
"Streets of Fortune" offers a structure of sequences with a diversity of tones and strikes which forge an ambitious pattern of stable electronic rhythm. It is the harmonies which lug around this rhythm among which the interweavings and the disordered jumps of sequences, and percussions, revisit the ambiences of the
Flashpoint era with a light tint of modernity. If the harmonies of “Grand Auto Theft 5” inhale at times the lightness and smell the colors of honey, the movements of Edgar's sequences are striking and have nothing to envy to his former accomplices (I know; the technology is not the same here). You just have to hear the very wriggling "Burning the Bad Seal" or yet the stunning "Diary of a Robbery" which has downright ate up a huge part of Silver Scale. Very good! "Mission Possible", as "Draw the Last Line Somewhere" and the very good "The Dangerous Mile" are closer to the contemporary TD with moods and sneaky rhythms which would have been able to find a place on the Sonic Poem Series  saga or still  on Edgar's solo works. "Downtown Los Santos" offers a mixture of electronic percussions, kind of Iris Camaa bongo drums style, sequences and riffs out of Edgar's six-strings over two interposed structures of rhythms that left me of ice. This is a repetitive electronic rock without flavors nor colors, contrary to "Sadness, Grief and Hope" which sprinkles its redundancy of subtle nuances. "Blaine County Sunrise" is a sweet electronic ballad, dark with beautiful arrangements and which follows a light crescendo with harmonies charming subtly in aquatic tints. The same goes for "Beyond the Weakest Point", halieutic effects in less, where the bongo drums percussions erase not at all this delicate dreamlike approach introduced by a delicious Mellotron and its Arabian flutes. When I say that Edgar still has some good music in him... "Living on a Razor Edge" is another dark ballad which unifies marvellously both poles of Tangerine Dream. The somber rhythm, which climbs the curves of a relatively slow tempo, gives all the latitude to Edgar to let stroll the vibes and the harmonies of a very nostalgic six-strings and of its very evasive solos.
Some will say that
Tangerine Froese has dived into the ease. That “Grand Auto Theft 5” was made from old recipes skillfully updated in Edgar's workshops without regard for any originality. This just shows that no matter what the old fox makes, he always has the spectres of Baumann, Franke and Schmoelling on the shoulders. I am of those who think of the opposite. “Grand Auto Theft 5” is a good album which releases a delicate sonic perfume borrowed both in the old TD and the one more contemporary and closer to the great moods of the Sonic Poem Series. This is some great Froese that lands between our two ears. The old fox uses his wisdom and his experience to well measure his ambiences. To play with and annex them to rhythms and to melodies which follow skillfully all the nuances which make the strength of solid cinematographic music. Yep, “GAT 5” is definitively up to what we can expect from one of the big pioneers of the contemporary music. Hat to you Mister Froese!
Sylvain Lupari (September 28th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: 

mardi 16 septembre 2014

ALPHA LYRA & MOONSATELLITE: Live in Nancy 2013 (2014)

“Two styles in one 2 CD boxset; Live in Nancy 2013 is a great album of EM French School with 2 artists at their zeniths”
CD 1 (ALPHA LYRA) 69:36
1 From Berlin to Nancy 69:36

1 Emergence Part I 14:58
2 Sequenzer Part I 19:16
3 Patched People 8:42
4 Sequenzer Part IV 5:00
5 Low Life Part II 8:08
6 Missing Time Part I 20:34

PWM Distrib (2 CD 146:12) ****
(Cosmic e-rock a la French School style)
The French movement of EM continues to go out quite softly out of its borders. And this is a great news for the lovers of EM because the modern French School is as striking as the movement of the Dutch School. Alpha Lyra and MoonSatellite were invited to perform on the very famous E-Day Festival, held justly in the Netherlands on May 10th 2014. It's during this event that both rising stars of EM from France launched a double album, soberly entitled “Live in Nancy 2013”, which is an audio witness of two concerts given in Nancy on March 9th and 10th 2013. For those who are familiar with the music of Christian Piednoir, the man behind  Alpha Lyra, the latter presented the first sketches of his very good From Berlin to Paris, while MoonSatellite took his music from his magnificent sound saga which is Sequenzer as well as Missing Time and his brand new album Low Life which had just hardly landed in the stores.
It's with the bells of the Saint-Epvre Basilica that "From Berlin to Nancy" rings between our four walls. The intro is as much intense as noisy and gradually gives way to an astral choir which sings the peaceful harmonies of Midnight in Paris from the album
From Berlin to Paris. In fact, "From Berlin to Nancy" draws the main part of his 70 minutes from the bases of Alpha Lyra's last album. The rhythms are less heavy, less incisive and stay in a very ethereal approach of a concert where the influences of Bernd Kistenmacher, for the orchestrations, and Vangelis, for the very celestial approaches of synth movements filled of paradoxes, highlights marvellously the seraphic sweetnesses of From Berlin to Paris. The first minutes are more floating with a concerto for celestial choruses of which the singings become more emphasized or a bit eased at the wills of splendid orchestrations or some more cosmic movements. We hear the arpeggios of Beaubourg 16 pm sparkling with more vigour, while the choir pads are clearly more heavenly and more surrounding. Alpha Lyra multiplies the synth lines which move and float slowly like some shoals of clouds pushed by hot winds. The cosmic approach remains so very present, especially at the 25th minute where a delicate morphic melody invades our senses with a movement of sequences which shapes a mesmerizing ritornello in the shape of an astral cannon. A movement which is very typical to Christian Piednoir, although Michael Stearnsinfluences are very detectable here. It's from then that Alpha Lyra plays with the moods of "From Berlin to Nancy" by permuting its celestial ambiences and its delicate cosmic rhythms. After a rather static cosmic storm, pierced by some howling and superb twisted solos, we reach the nirvana of "From Berlin to Nancy" at around the 37th minute with a superb, but a superb, a sequenced melody even more poignant than the previous one. Constantly split between delicate rhythms and rich moods, "From Berlin to Nancy" continues to charm on the genesis of From Berlin to Paris but with many nuances, so much in the rhythms, harmonies and atmospheres. If the beginning of the show is rather slow, when Alpha Lyra borrows the paths of the rhythms he constantly returns to drink of it after brief ambiospherical passages, making of "From Berlin to Nancy" an unexpected complementary work to From Berlin to Paris. And the finale is grand. This is some great Alpha Lyra we have here!
The concert of
MoonSatellite is clearly more livened up. The French synthesist, of which the influences go from Jean Michel Jarre to Klaus Schulze, is unfolding a delicious cosmic setting with astral synth waves which will roll in the narrow corridors of a cosmos multicolored of thousand intersidereal tones. A very French School pattern that will bind the 6 tracks and the 77 minutes of this concert which begins with a track until then unknown to my ears, "Emergence Part I". The music is no surprise and still magically great. The intro is luxuriant with a dense cosmic fauna which carries the weight of sinuous synth waves which stroll while humming cosmic airs to the delicate lyrical distortions. This is a very rich ambient cosmic mood which quietly takes life with resounding pulsations; the birth of cosmic and loud rhythm. A movement of sequences gets loose. It makes scintillate its keys which dance with a subtle movement of harmonious undulation in the shadows of some other jumping sequencer keys. The movement accelerates. Tsitt-tsitt and bass sequences stir up a rhythm which widens its dimension with pulsations of bass sequences and Teutonic percussions, while the melody is dispersing its airs with a delicate subtlety in its detachment. This is huge cosmic rock at its best and MoonSatellite dazzled even more our ears with synth solos which always inhale this influence of Klaus Schulze. And these influences of Schulze will came to caress our ears throughout the splendid "Sequenzer Part I"; one of the great retro Berlin School music piece signed by Lone Wolf. The music may have come from different eras or from different themes that it pours harmoniously throughout this concert. "Patched People" inhales the rhythms and ambiences of "Emergence Part I" but with more relief and dynamism. After the very ambiospherical "Sequenzer Part IV", MoonSatellite offers us the very dynamic "Low Life Part II", as well as "Missing Time Part I" where the duels rhythms and ambiences are of pure magic and amongst the best of an electronic cosmic rock filled by a lot of soft interstellar madnesses. Sweetnesses which make me dream and which are the privilege of this very good double album; “Live in Nancy 2013”.
Sylvain Lupari (September 16th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: