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

vendredi 20 novembre 2015

RON BOOTS: Awakening At Booth's Palace (2014)

“Ron Boots' music lost in the boldness of MorPheuSz, Awakening At Booth's Palace is a solid album of progressive electronic rock!”
1 Morphology 11:25
2 At the Booth Palace 28:39
3 DGF 16:29
4 Sometimes it Works 10:45

Groove Unlimited ‎| GR-215 (CD 67:18) ****
(Progressive Electronic Rock)
Ron Boots is a central character in the universe of contemporary EM. The one that we can easily compare with big names such as Klaus Schulze and Edgar Froese opened the barriers of EM in his native Holland by setting up a prestigious label, which aligns constantly works and artists of high quality, and by organizing major festivals of EM; E-Day and E-Live, two events which underline the spring and the autumn one of Ron Boots' favorite seasons. At the same time he takes part in other festivals, bringing with him the fresh sound breezes of the Netherlands School. This is how he finds himself in the famous The Awakenings festival in Burton upon Trent in England on September 13th, 2014. A special evening which stars some big names of the Dutch EM of which the road was laboriously opened up by Ron Boots. Flanked by Eric Van Der Heijden on keyboards, Frank Dorittke on guitars and by Harold van der Heijden, superb on drums, Ron Boots offered excerpts from Standing in the Rain in a musical approach which included the magic of MorPheuSz, in particular the elements of the very good Tantalizing Thoughts at the Dawn of Dreams. The encore, "Sometimes it Works", regrouped all the Dutch artists present in this evening, either MorPheuSz, Beyond Berlin, Rene de Bakker and René Splinter in a moment of pure magic with a great minimalist Berlin School track. Offered in a limited edition, and possibly in a download format, “Awakening At Booth's Palace” is the audio witness of this great special event.
Confused murmur of voices behind a microphone, waves of synth twisted by melancholy and  metallic noises which clink behind a wide bank of sizzling smoke, the introduction of "Morphology" shakes these atmospheres in order to merge all these elements in some hoops of metal which clash their circles in a figure of rhythm as much charming as abstract. Floating riffs of keyboard get out from these mists while
Frank Dorittke's guitar wakes up quite slowly and take the harmonic control of a lively and spasmodic phase of rhythm. The six-strings of F.D. is riding on the rhythm of "Morphology" which is supported by a good drum and by the fluty airs of the synths. Effects of synth add a touch of psychedelism with loops which roll on a structure of which the anarchy will never have been so melodic. "Morphology" turns out to be a very nice electronic rock with a good drum and good guitar solos while that Ron Boots and Eric Van Der Heijden assure the electronic part with good effects and a sober sequencing pattern. Between the melancholic and melodious approaches of Standing in the Rain and the progressive lanes of MorPheuSz, the breezes of Tantalizing Thoughts at the Dawn of Dreams are floating all around here, “Awakening At Booth's Palace” is an album at the height of
From the Forgotten Rooms of a Lonely House; a split album where Ron Boots and MorPheuSz divided the 60 minutes of music in it. Except that here, the four artists are together on stage all the time in the MorPheuSz outfit. "At the Booth Palace" exploits completely its 29 minutes to develop an introduction misted by nebulous fog which is pierced by a waddling movement of sequences. The guitar lets float some chords which get mix to the dark pulsations while a synth shapes a kind of a suspended brook and whereas the other one frees harmonies gently whistled. Little by little "At the Booth Palace" weighs down its atmospheres with a line of bass sequences which climbs an invisible peak and a synth which plasticizes a sound wall braided by placid waves and by drizzle. Slow and heavy, it is rather lively. We wave of the neck. It's more electronic with some very present synths which create warm atmospheres on a rhythm where the bass sequences gallop slightly on a sober play of percussions. The music becomes more silent at the 13th minute point where the effects of brook remain and where a breeze of flute amazes our more attentive ears. Frank Dorittke is seasoning this moment of serenity where the fragrances of the 70's (Stratosfear on top) embalm our senses. And quietly "At the Booth Palace" wakes up to reach a finale which will switch its heavy rhythm for ambient phases and a cosmic blues fed by good solos, and by the guitar and by the synths. After a slow and very electronic introduction, "DGF" proposes a rather lively rhythm which is sculpted by slow circular undulations. The structure reaches a wall of atmospheres in the halfway, where the shadows of the initial structure always roam, before taking back its flight with a more steady structure. There are perfumes of Pink Floyd here, and that smells the improvisation at full nose. But not as long as on "Sometimes it Works" where Beyond Berlin, Rene de Bakker and René Splinter are joining MorPheuSz for one encore which comprises all the perfumes of the EM from the analog years and the strength of the electronic progressive rocks of the Dutch quartet. The introduction is magnetizing with lines of synths perfumed of the trumpets of Jericho which shout on a hypnotic down-tempo. The guests add their touches on this slow rhythm which is bitten and thrown by the guitar of F.D. towards the galloping tops, a structure of rhythm which returns constantly in this album.
I don't know if there are copies left at the moment I wrote these lines. “Awakening At Booth's Palace” was printed in a very limited edition. I saw some copies left on the Groove web shop. If so, I suggest to the fans of a wild and heavy progressive EM a la Porcupine Tree and Ozric Tentacles to jump on this occasion because I am convinced that the fans of
MorPheuSz have jumped at both feet on this rather creative album for an evening where the music of Ron Boots gets melt so smoothly to that of MorPheuSz, and vice versa. This is solid progressive electronic rock!
Sylvain Lupari (November 20th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Groove Web shop here
There is also a very nice video of this event here

lundi 16 novembre 2015

UNISPHERE: Endless Endeavor (2015)

“Endless Endeavor is a solid album which exploits mostly a good rhythmic and melodic balance with a lot of  TD moods and a zest of Vangelis' perfumes”
1 Pivoting Pathways 6:30
2 Radiant Realm 6:28
3 Vulnerable Values 5:43
4 Jocular Jive 5:51
5 Compromising Colors 5:09
6 Endless Endeavour (Part 1,2 & 3) 15:18
7 Liberating Loyalty 4:22
8 Eloquent Exposure 5:45
9 Obviously Orbiting 7:01
10 Contemplating Calmness 8:44

Groove | GR-220 (CD 70:53) ****
(Electronic Rock Music)
UNIsphere is the sum of 2 Dutch musicians who are fascinated by an EM based on a rhythmic and melodious approach. If one, René Splinter, likes a rhythmical EM which is strongly influenced by Tangerine Dream's Schmoelling era, the other one, Eric van der Heijden, is a melodist in the lineage of Vangelis and likes arrangements which add a very beautiful depth to a style which links skillfully the bridge between the Greek magician and the gang of Froese in the 80's. “Endless Endeavor” is the direct reflection of these poles of influences. This first album proposes 10 piece of music which respect the ABC of EM Berlin School style with structures, for the majority, which develop slowly in order to switch for ambient rhythms and to some good sequenced rhythms. And in the end, the biggest merit of “Endless Endeavor” is to plunge the listener into a universe which has no secrets anymore to the fans of the kind... except those secrets of René Splinter and Eric van der Heijden. And as soon as the first colors of the sounds of "Pivoting Pathways" are falling between our ears, the magic of UNIsphere infiltrates our senses with a structure which uses completely its 6 and a half minutes.
A woosh decorated with metallic particles strikes the wall of nothingness with a big bang. Thousands of scarlet fragments are fading as some irregular percussions and hopping sequences unite their contrasts in order to sculpt a figure of rhythm which skips under the strikes of the electronic percussions. The tone of the rhythm does very
Tangerine Dream, kind of Le Parc. The synth spreads its wall of woosh which turn into layers of ambient melodies while the rhythm, always lively and undisciplined, does contrast by wanting to accelerate the pace of "Pivoting Pathways" which tries a little more to exploit its envelope of ambient melody. Riffs of synth in tones of the Dream strews the paradoxical race of "Pivoting Pathways" which collapses beneath layers of dense rolling of percussions. A moment of atmospheres comes then where a piano changes its notes for those of a keyboard and lies down an ambiguous melody which will anchor a movement of sequences which makes roll its keys into threatening undulatory loops. The sound decoration, the slow growth of the rhythm and its breakaway with sharp sequences borrowed from the repertoire of the Thief exhilarate our ears and make no doubt; we are going to spend a pleasant moment with UNIsphere. We love "Pivoting Pathways"? We are going to adore "Obviously Orbiting" which proposes the same kind of structure. The first seconds of "Radiant Realm" are weaved in mystery. A fog of London covers the intro and we hear a heartbeat. Strands of sequences come to roam around the beats, as well as electronic graffiti which squeak like blades which make the walls of steel crying by a black night. A piano adds to the weight of this sinister atmosphere with short series of notes which runs in loop but whose melody is effectively attractive. This is the way "Radiant Realm" is progressing. Sequences and percussions sculpt an ambient rhythm which catches quietly an effect of crescendo, while the piano accepts cracklings of synth to decorate a melody which will find all its charm with the addition of the breezes of a completely unexpected flute. Ambiospheric and ambiosonic, "Vulnerable Values" is a moment of ambiences where the sound flash of Tangerine Dream abound. We feel a little as being in a space shuttle to devour celestial bodies. "Liberating Loyalty" is also an ambient track with mourners fluty synth lines and twinkling arpeggios which throw a veil of nostalgia. The arrangements are very good, just like in "Eloquent Exposure", a very beautiful ballad on a soft rhythm where synths make duel while weaving nice ear worm.
"Jocular Jive" does so very
TD with a lively rhythm raised on a meshing of sharp sequences, hopping pulsations and rolling percussions. Synths spit smoke clouds, vampiric harmonies as well as layers of astral choirs when the rhythm calms down. That does very theme music of the The Park is Mine's years. "Endless Endeavour (Part 1,2 and 3)" is a long track which feeds on the essences of this first UNIsphere opus. The introduction offers a rhythm of ballad with beautiful harmonies struck on a kind of anvil. We feel that sequences are chomping at the bit in the background, but they remain united to this first part which is sculptured in the approach of electronic ballad. A dark piano spreads its veil of melancholy in the 2nd part. That does very Schmoelling! Little by little these notes get lost in atmospheres of Legend. Pulsations resound and sound the awakening of the sequences which spread two crossed lines. Lines which cavort with such a fluidity that we could believe to hear Chris Franke in his interpretation of Purple Waves on his album The London Concert. And quietly, in a figure of rhythm forged in elements of complexity, "Endless Endeavour (Part 1,2 and 3)" grazes its minutes before exploring a rather lively finale where sequences wave and gallop into flavors of Franke. We are a little mislaid after the 1st listening, but in the end "Endless Endeavour (Part 1,2 and 3)" turns out to be a very interesting track to be discovered and to be rediscovered. The same goes for "Contemplating Calmness" whose ambient rhythm, fed by rivulets of sequences which wave in a very Franke pattern, wins in velocity as the synths are weaving cloud of smokes and are pulling convoluted harmonies with twisted solos and others vampiric ones which exchange their effects of spectres for some nice fluty breezes. It is just like “Endless Endeavor” ! A very nice album of very good polished up EM and where the rhythms in evolutionary mode, the atmospheres, the ballads and the melodies interweave their charms in very good arrangements and especially in Tangerine Dream's influences without that we ever find it neither exaggerated nor misplaced.
Sylvain Lupari (November 16th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Groove Web shop here

mercredi 4 novembre 2015

DEBORAH MARTIN: Eye of the Wizard (2015)

 “Eye of the Wizard is a nice music tale to which we listen to for the pleasure of the music and to read a book the eyes always riveted on the safe of our soul”
1 Dance of the Faeries 5:20
2 Watchers 5:28
3 Lords of the Vale 4:26
4 Waiting 4:52
5 Metamorphic 8:18
6 The Alchemist's Robe 4:51
7 Eye of the Wizard 6:01
8 Into Mist 3:11

Spotted Peccary | SPM-0505 (CD/DDL 42:28) ****
(Tribal ambient folk)
I admit! I've been downright caught by the charms of this other one very appealing album from Deborah Martin. Evidently that we are very far from the Berlin School lands or from the cosmic ambient territories, except that “Eye of the Wizard” is skillfully divided between the acoustics and the electronics with a skillful crescendo between both forms before exploding with a superb, and totally unexpected, piece of Electronica with the wonderful "The Alchemist's Robe".
But before all "Dance of the Faeries" begins this new chapter of the sonic stories written in Amerindian ancestral essences by a breeze which makes ring bells and makes dream an acoustic six-strings. The notes are in the tone of an introduction where the singings of the synth feign those of an Ocarina. The approach of ballad starts up after 80 seconds of thematic musing with notes of guitar which dance with manual percussions. Little by little the subtleties of synths weave the atmospheres with a beautiful mixture of fluty singings and sibylline murmurs while the rhythm follows the lively blows from the riffs of the acoustic six-strings. "Watchers" is rather of the ambient ballad kind with a nice and subtle game of sequenced pulsations which form a sort of structure nesting near a tribal down-tempo. Less sibylline and more lively, "Lords of the Vale" is another ballad braided in riffs of acoustic guitar, which is rather lively, and decorated with ornamental ringings. The melody is rather elegiac with nice layers of evasive voices which hum and melt themselves in very film orchestral arrangements. "Waiting" leads us quietly towards the more electronic portion of “Eye of the Wizard”. It's a very meditative piece of music with synth lines in the very scarlet colors which interlace their brilliant shadows in an intense mass of abstruse waves. "Metamorphic" calms our ears scratched by this sound storm with some notes of an acoustic six-strings which drag its dreamer's swage in breezes warmer than these perfumes of violin which always release these elegiac sighs. That does very folk ambient, kind of the Peace'n'Love years, even if the percussions and the shamanic rattles eventually draw a more tribal rhythm. The sonic skin of "Metamorphic" undertakes its 3rd metamorphosis with a more lively structure of rhythm where the quavering of rattles and the percussions forge a passive duel beneath the caresses of the violins which float in a horizon where little by little the rhythm takes the shapes of a setting sun. I liked this a lot. That threw me in the acoustic psychedelic years from our country with the music of Harmonium or still Daniel Berthiaume in the Nouveau Souffle. "The Alchemist's Robe" is simply brilliant. It starts with a very tribal ambient folk mood which throws itself into a superb Electronica. We see nothing coming, we are enthralled and we want to re-hear. And so on, so on.... The title-track embalms of these perfumes, but also of a tribal approach closer to the Middle East. The rhythm stays in suspension with nervous rattles which eventually dissolve their anxiety in philharmonic layers filled by the perfumes of the desert's people. And "Into Mist" ends this fascinating sonic adventure of “Eye of the Wizard” with this delicacy, with this dreamy approach so dear to Deborah Martin's lyrical odes. Yes, I got caught and I adored that. It's the kind of album to which we listen to for the pleasure of the music and to read a book the eyes always riveted on the safe of our soul.
Sylvain Lupari (November 4th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album or a link to order it on the Spotted Peccary webshop here

mardi 20 octobre 2015

REDSHIFT: Life to Come (2015)

“Bravo Mark Shreeve! Life to Come is the best thing which can be produced by analog machines this year. And 2015 was a great year in this field. A superb album my friends”
1 Soft Summer Rain 10:16
2 Vampyre 11:38
3 Mission Creep 8:47
4 Bloom 5:31
5 Slam 12:58
6 Circling Above 8:25
7 Life to Come 6:12

Distant Sun DS013 (CD/DDL 63:52) *****
(Pure analog sequencer-based style)
From the first seconds of "Soft Summer Rain" the Redshift signature for dark moods is gobbling up our brain out! The rhythm and the life take shape through breezes which are lost in dark industrial ambiences. Felted explosions, knockings of clogs, pulsations and abstract sequences, which answer to their echoes, are shaping an ambient rhythm which tries to take root with its scattered tentacles. Murmurs of a bass line breathe over this ambient anarchy, releasing big snores which chew a line of rhythm divided of its chaos. The movement remains magnetizing with a thick cloud of sequences which skip as imps and their hooves in a figure of a rodeo for dwarfs Capuchin. "Soft Summer Rain" becomes heavy and black, as a Gothic ballad, where sequences lost in the snores are eventually weaving a strange melody while another storm of sequences comes down to break up our loudspeakers and crush this portion of melody nevertheless more devilish than seraphic. Some people will say that it's not music. I'll say that it's the pure magic of the analogue world; build a life from nothingness!
This last opus of
Redshift was more than unexpected. It was madly desired for years! In fact, many of us thought that the adventure was well and truly ended. Arc took over with two wonderful albums which are marked of the Redshift seal. And even if there was Colder in 2011, we have to go back as far as 2008, with the boiling and incisive, Turning Towards Us to have new and original music to put between our ears produced by the mythical English entity. And it's Ian Boddy, the partner in crime of Mark Shreeve in Arc who gave the game away with a tweet on Twitter which announced a return for Redshift. It was like to put of the fire to a powder trail! The combustion sowed  a kind of collective enjoyment and all the fans of EM were looking forward to this “Life to Come”. Me, the first one! And what a feast my friends.... Heavy, powerful, dark and fiendishly melodious, this last opus of Redshift inherits from the past of Mark Shreeve who, once again, raises the standards of excellence for all those who aspire to the Redshift throne. The big Moog Modular spits the fire and the effects of its reverberations find echo in a tumult of sequences which have difficulty in containing the proposed structures of rhythms. The atmospheres are chthonian and remain soaked with a somber industrial veil unique to Redshift. I have listened to it several times, to dissipate all the doubts of my fanaticism towards Redshift and Mark Shreeve. My first idea changed in a certainty; “Life to Come” is a pure master work! It's one ton of bricks in the face and I savored with delight this magnificent fusion of both entities where Mark Shreeve, of his Assassin and Legion eras, is watering a Redshift always so dark and loud of a literally more harmonious water. By doing so, we have the best of both universes of England School between our ears. And if the ambient, but always howling, structure of "Soft Summer Rain" doesn't convince you, what is to follow is going to destroy your doubts!
"Vampyre" spreads its cloud of sonic intrigues with breezes coming from hell. An electric piano begins the drilling of a ghost melody which scatter its chords in fogs filled of white noises. A rattle titillates our ears in the background. The approach radiates these of Rick Wright's evasive melodies, while the hooting of spectres infiltrate insidiously our ears. The voices are as much beautiful and the piano is so much dark. While this contrast exhilarates our senses, a movement of sequences knocks down its keys which gallop at good speed now. The rattles become rolling of industrial percussions which push in the back of the galloping keys. And
Mark Shreeve settles his tenebrous moods. A delicious guitar makes counterweight to this structure of rhythm which seems so threatening, scattering its harmonious loops in the doubtful chants of the spectres. The bass line breathes a second life at this structure which will keep the course of a steady rhythm where the sequences flicker keenly in the slowly undulatory breaths of the bass line. Between a heavy, sometimes explosive,and a fluid rhythm, decorated with sonic intrigues, "Vampyre" weaves a beautiful bridge between the initial works of Mark Shreeve and the somber paintings of Redshift. The basis of “Life to Come” is anchored well and truly. It only just needs to fix its ornaments. "Mission Creep" wears judiciously its naming. Its intro is forged in the tumults of the spectres who decorate hell. A fascinating pattern of rhythm emerges from it a little after the 2nd minute. It skips as in a kind of heathen trance with nervous pulsations which are knotted with the bangings of bones and the jingles of chains. The effect is intrusive with a heavy structure which feeds on its echo and from where is coming a superb melody of horror which will leave its traces many hours later. Yes, Mark Shreeve will have never fed so well Redshift! A short track full of spectral atmospheres on a heavy and vindictive rhythm where sequences are forged in the hammering of silversmith's trade which tames the assault of these moods, "Bloom" leads us to the pinnacle of “Life to Come”.

Pulsatory heavy and humming sequences are dancing with jingles. Our ears hear well this mooing of the darkness, but our senses remain oriented to this feverish dance of sequences which fidget as spasmodic skeletons. A shadow of a melody lies down with dreamy chords, except that we feel the breath of the beast. The murmurs disorientate our senses and we feel that "Slam" is going to get wild. And it does! Of its long evolutionary structure, which feeds on many bites left for crumbs up to here in “Life to Come”, "Slam" travels between two universes with a structure always near the horror and near these macabre atmospheres. The rhythm goes and comes, always bent in the rotary arcs of the sequences movements which flicker like fireflies racing in a long oscillatory tube in order to flee the light. Avoiding the din, as much as the peace of mind of the harmonies sung by horned angels, it opts for a wild race at around the 6th minute. The rhythm becomes then explosive with a troop of analog sequences which avoid the bites of the percussions in order to run wild beneath a thick cloud full of fanciful violins. The flow of the sequences is as much indescribable as being breathtaking for the senses. Lost, a line of sequences makes jump up and clink its crazy keys in anarchic jerks 2 minutes farther, restoring some gas to "Slam" which runs again to lose breath and always by stepping on the accelerator of the indecision. This is huge Redshift my friends. "Circling Above" moderates the moods with a long dark introduction which flirts with gothism. Percussions dance a little before the point of 4 minutes. Sequences come to peck at this soft rhythm with the effects of attacks from giant flies. And while our ears are centered on this surprising meshing of ambiences, the rhythm spits a strange poison of white noises. It's heavy and vicious. The chthonian choruses add to the intrigue while the track fetches refuge in a very theatrical mooing. The title-track reborn again out of these ashes, throwing an ochred mist where are shouting the sparrows along with the hooting of spectres. The synth pads, and this is as in every corner of “Life to Come”, are as much black than weighty, wrapping an intro in a shroud of horror where will gambol a superb melodious approach which is knotted in suspense. That does very Mark Shreeve. That does very Legion and that feels good. And it also ends a splendid album which plays in loops in my cd player for already one week. “Life to Come” is a huge album my friends. It's a huge work from Mark Shreeve who does everything here. An inescapable and undoubtedly the best of 2015 which nevertheless showed some solid albums here! Yes, a big year for EM! There was only missing new music from Redshift and it's now done. Hat to you Mark!
Sylvain Lupari (October 20th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Redshift Bandcamp page here