lundi 27 juin 2016

KRYFELS: Lifecycle (2016)

“Dark ambient music livened up by impulses of layers or of sequences, Lifecycle seems to sound like a missing link between the  first years of Klaus Schulze and those of Ramp and/or Mr Parsick”
1 Anteroom 5:06
2 The Choice 6:17
3 Open the Door 3:45
4 Life Edge 6:32
5 Mind Transit 4:32
6 Lifecycle 6:14
7 Burned Lands 8:34
8 Alone Again 7:39
9 Anteroom 2 (Parallel World) 6:05

Kryfels Music (CD 55:07) ****
(Dark ambient music)

I always attack a work of ambient music with a lot of detachment. I put myself the nose in a book and I let myself absorb by this sonic void which invades my senses, such these big waves of ink coming from a huge octopus. If the reading takes place without my ears rise up, I know that the music is soft, quiet and linear... It's when my eyes get loose from words of a writer (I read at the moment Faims from Patrick Sénécal) to connect in my ears that my senses have detected something impressive. A little like here with "Life Edge".“Lifecycle” is the 3rd album from the French synth wizard Kryfels. A quieter album, and especially darker, than Parsec where revealed us to be another follower of the primary years Klaus Schulze. And if the influence of Schulze always remains so present in the movements of ambiences of Kryfels, his music here inhales another perfume. That of occultism with strange sound shadows which eventually steal our eyes of the nothingness to fix them where Kryfels wants to bring us.
An austere shade rises of our loudspeakers. Spreading a sinister wave, it divides into many lines of which the sibylline colors also reveal abstruse chants. Multiplying the layers of dark ambiences, "
Anteroom" invades our senses with perfumes of ether and invites us to the 9 sound chapters of  “Lifecycle” with a very ambient and dark approach where chthonian murmurs and hollow winds harmonize their hold on our sense of hearing. The movements get organized around the last album of Kryfels with the slow arches, always very Mephistophelian, of "The Choice" and its sepulchral waves moved by layers of organ and beatings of steel doors. That makes very vintage ambient. "Open the Door" is dragged a little in these dead movements but with a halo of luminosity which irradiates such as voices of spectres buried in slow and sinuous oscillations of a vampiric bass line which will mislay a beautiful spectral melody towards the finale. We are always in the dark corridors of the fissures, even if the power of tones and the muffled movements of rhythm liven up little by little the moods of “Lifecycle”. "Life Edge" leads the charge with a storm of woosh which sweeps the sonic horizons. A delicate movement of sequences makes twinkle its keys which dance in a figure of rhythm more harmonious than rhythmic. Bright veils caress this chant of sequences livened by some beautiful astral embraces whereas "Life Edge" swirls as a xylophone in the form of a carousel. The sounds get more acute and the shadows more scarlet, while are grafted large groans of an chloroformed layer which little by little switches off the magic of the twinkling carillons of "Life Edge".
"
Mind Transit" proposes an ambient rhythm knotted around staccato effects from which the echoes swirl slightly on the sonic carpet of synth waves with very analog tones. One would say vapors of old Schulzian organ. The title-track is a real tribute to these ambient rhythms of the nice time of Klaus Schulze. Even if Richard Raffaillac tries to get rid of the influences of the German master, we cannot avoid the parallels, especially with "Lifecycle" and its somber rhythm which rises and falls, pursued by vapors of ether and of old organ. That's very beautiful and that brings us to the period of Timewind. The same goes for the very ambient "Burned Lands" which brings us near the nebulosity with a thick cloud of spectral waves which float in a mass of harmonies of robots-monks humming into deep gutters of which the narrow and willowy corridors seem to connect with cosmos. The touching layers which decorate the finale give shivers to the soul. There are dusts of rhythm of "Life Edge" in "Alone Again". Less circular, the structure is parading in fine limpid jerks and is eaten away from everywhere by the powerful woosh, by greedy hollow winds and by shouts of starving spectres. These ambiences are hot, like a storm of cracklings which attack the tolerance of the sense of hearing to analyze the abrasivity of tones. Gradually the calm settles down with soothing layers haloed by an aura of old organ. It's a sonic cataclysm avoided! "Anteroom 2 (Parallel World)" brings us in the somber corridors of dark ambient music worthy of the universe of Baki Sirros, the soul behind Parallel Worlds, where Kryfels attaches finely these missing links between the first years of Klaus Schulze and those of the last years when the dark ambient music spatters as in the most beautiful moments of ['ramp] and/or Stephen Parsick.

Sylvain Lupari (June 27th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find info on how to get this album on the Patch Work Music web site here

samedi 25 juin 2016

MYTHOS: Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes (2016)

“Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes is an ambitious sound fresco which we have still never heard and which brings us back to these big cinematographic”
1 Phileas Foggs Dream 4:22
2 Around the World in 80 Days 6:24
3 Across the Mediterranean Sea to Egypt 6:56
4 Steamer to Bombay 10:11
5 To Calcutta by Elephant 7:42
6 From Calcutta to Hong Kong 8:31
7 From Yokohama to San Francisco 8:32
8 Across the Atlantic Ocean 9:35
9 It's Off to Liverpool! 3:13
10 It Seems the Wager has Been Lost 7:31
11 The Triumph 6:59

Groove|GR-224 (CD 78:58) ****(Cinematographic EM)
As with Jules Verne Forever, writing a chronicle about this last album of Mythos is not an easy thing. Here, there is nothing as somewhere else, set apart Jules Verne Forever. A wave of sound spreads its reverberation which languishes in groans of didgeridoo. Tribal voices hoot whereas a line of sequences makes oscillate its keys in fine kicks of horse and that percussions spring out such as jets of blowpipe. The rhythm of "Phileas Foggs Dream", as well as all the universe of “Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes” is rather difficult to describe. Sometimes it oscillates as a big boa and other times it drums as a pony taken in ice. Without forgetting these moments of transitions which facilitate the passage of the one towards the other one. But each time, it's forged in sequences and percussions as organic as electronic with a harmonious portion which remains stuck on eardrums. This harmonious texture is moreover just as much fascinating with a caricatural approach which oversize a very tribal bucolic sound envelope in a sound fresco which brings us back to these big cinematographic deployments where traders of fairs and acrobats of circus walked around in crowded streets. Here we are, and it's completely identical to the 80 minutes of this other Stephan Kaske's odyssey, at the heart of the universe of Jules Verne. Here, everything is as much attractive than difficult to seize. In fact “Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes” is an album to which one becomes accustomed rather with difficulty so much the sound texture which extricates from it is as much audacious than unpredictable.
The rather Tibetan opening of the title-track leads us in a sound universe which challenges constantly the imagination. The ringing of bells is swallowed by a structure of rhythm which sparkles with its thousand pulsations and with the brilliance of these bells in order to crawl finally like shadows of vampires before flying on a more fluid phase where dramatic and imaginary elements are in confrontation in a baroque structure filled with sound effects and with bucolic elements as realistic as these grandiloquent movies inspired by the world of
Jules Verne. "Around The World In 80 Minutes" throws itself into "Across the Mediterranean Sea to Egypt". The rhythm is very electronic with a meshing of sequences, filled of criss-crossed acrobatics, and of percussions which click and resound such as wooden clogs. The sequences are feeding as much the fire of the percussions as the thin lines of harmonies twittered by absent voices and by effects of flutes. Every title here are tied in a long mosaic of 80 minutes with structures which are similar while being very distinct. So the structure of rhythm in "Steamer to Bombay" is a fascinating symbiosis of the first 3 titles but in a more hopping envelope. It's indisputably the first crush in “Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes” with this rhythm which cavorts cheerfully under the bites of the low sequences and the grapeshots of percussions so much shining than attractive. The effects of flutes and gurgling sound are built around so many mysteries as charms. "To Calcutta by Elephant" pursues the quest of elegance with an indefinable structure decorated with beautiful harmonies extirpated of a synth always in creative mode. The rhythm is ambivalent and enslaved in an atmosphere of jungle filled with dramatic effects.

"From Calcutta to Hong-Kong" follows with a structure always also batrachian but in an envelope of more ethereal oriental melody. A chinese violin and a mandarin flute accompanies the hatching of a green and abundant musical fauna while the track undertakes a more dramatic tangent with good harmonious oriental glassfuls. "From Yokohama to San Francisco" adopts the shape of a slow tempo, a little in a nuptial march mode, adorned of nice moments of harmonies of which the effects of jerks and of whirlings give the impression of hearing the fall of stars, some are falling with nice melodies here, on a boreal night. We enter into the quieter core of Mythos' last opus. Lighter but just as much mysterious, "Across the Atlantic Ocean" proposes a peaceful hopping structure with a mixture of tones in the movement of the sequences which offers a delicious crescendo between its phases of ambient moments. Very charming, the synth offers two lines of fluty harmonies which skip in unison with the delicate rhythmic growth of  "Across the Atlantic Ocean". "It's Off to Liverpool!" is the 2nd track of “Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes” to propose a more electronic rock structure loaded of Tangerine Dream's perfumes in their Jive era. It's a good title with a circular melody which swirls in electronic effects very near of Legend. "It Seems the Wager has Been Lost" is as much lighter than a Jazz music of a night club where some last lovers look each other with desire. The tribal approach which hides behind this curtain of romance offers a completely delicious cachet to this music which discloses its finale in jolts of cascades. "The Triumph" ends this other impressive work of Mythos with a magnificent melodious approach where effects of voices caress a beautiful movement knotted in the limpidity of a rivulet of sequences. The title evolves afterward in a beautiful down-tempo and reminds me enormously these attractive movements tinted of romance which decorated the music of Thierry Fervant or yet Walter Christian Rothe in his majestic Let The Night Last Forever.
Fascinating and audacious! Such are the first words which come in mind to describe better the universe of this last
Mythos opus. Still surfing on the dreams and the fantasies of our childhoods, closely linked to the tales of Jules Verne, Stephan Kaske always succeeds gallantly this audacious bet to put in music the tales and the visions of the famous writer from Nantes. And as indicates it so well Mythos, you have to give yourself the chance to listen to the album as a whole, with good earphones, in order to be taken by the waves of his last creation. And that comes rather fast.

Sylvain Lupari (June 25th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Groove web shop here or on Mythos web site here 

mercredi 22 juin 2016

OTARION: Constellations and the Red Thread Front (2016)

“From hard progressive e-rock to wild Electronica, Rainer Klein has this gift to extract the roots of feelings which hide under every pore of our skin”
1 Look up Your Eyes 7:15
2 Follow the Thread 5:45
3 The Constellation 10:22
4 Reverberation 7:43
5 Break Out 7:15
6 Flames 10:41
7 Inspired 12:06
8 The Mysterious 7:06

MellowJet Records| CD-r ot1601 (Cd-r/DDL 68:13) ****
(Symphonic E-Rock with a zest of Electronica)
We shall say what we shall want, and no matter the styles, Rainer Klein has this gift to extract the roots of feelings which hide under every pore of our skin. The proof? These notes of piano which traces a path to nostalgia in the tumult and the rumblings of the opening of "Look up Your Eyes"! There are 30 seconds to the meter only that already the sound textures of “Constellations and the Red Thread Front” swallow us. As in Monument. As in Genius! Breaths of big horns caress this melody, bringing sequences which flicker in its furrows. A line of bass makes, sneakily, its notes pound while the percussions put more weight to the emotionalism of the atmospheres. And these tears of guitar which squeak in the soft staccatos orchestrations are cementing the rather dramatic film approach to "Look up Your Eyes". And what would be these textures without these ethereal voices which float as those of fallen angels and a passage of dark atmospheres which end in a crescendo of emotionalism with a furious guitar and its solos which pierce the senses? Here it is! You have the picture of the last Otarion album. Of what I have read, “Constellations and the Red Thread Front” would be the conclusion of a trilogy begun with the splendid Genius in 2014. And it's very plausible because we find here these same ingredients which fed the charms of Genius and of Monument; catchy melodies, poignant piano, guitars with heart-rending solos as well as the pompous and enveloping orchestrations on a marriage of percussions and sequences which built rhythms sometimes progressive and\or symphonic rock and sometimes dance and\or Electronica but always in a cinematographic temperament.
"Follow the Thread" follows with a static rhythm forged by a movement of sequences which skip in a linear structure. The approach is similar to a ghostly rodeo which will explode for a good symphonic rock decorated with layers of old organ. Between its heavy rhythm and its seraphic atmospheres, the arrangements remain silky and the synth weaves a superb poignant melody which lead me back to those beautiful melodies that we heard on Genius. Heavy, dramatic and poignant! We are in the best phase of Otarion s universe. "The Constellation" begins its journey with a more electronic approach. Layers fall as these leaves deriving from its tree and the sequences sparkle and flash with their shadows which draw a more sibylline aura. The percussions which fall create a suspicion of Electronica which becomes a reality when the sequencing pattern is wrapped by orchestrations' momentums and by a the greater swiftness of the percussions. We are in a good Electronica mood where the percussive perfumes of Jean Michel Jarre are peppering the harmonious orchestrations of Moonbooter beneath the soft sedative fragrances of absent voices. I liked it, even if it is not in my tastes! There is a little something explosive in this title, as well as in "Reverberation", and its harmonious approach of sequences on a background of a rhythm of dance which does very Still Alive (Adieu) of Moonbooter. Except for the very trance and dance "Break Out", which drains as much our eardrums as our feet, every title of “Constellations and the Red Thread Front” lies  within an evolutionary envelope where rhythms and atmospheres follow one another with additional elements of swiftness. Of symphonic rock to cinematographic music while going in dynamic Electronica, Otarion takes pleasure to exploit these elements inside the parameters of time in each composition. "Flames" is a very good example and proposes a good symbiosis between Electronica and a solid e-rock with a guitar loaded of solos as striking as the riffs are lively. It sounds a bit like Jerome Froese, although that sounds also like dynamite inspired by the excellent Jean Michel Jarre's Chronology. "Inspired" adopts a little the elements of "Flames" with a big symphonic rock (the splendid layers of organ will seduce the fans of Procol Harum) which feeds of electronic candies (sequences travel in banks of fog and voices) on a long structure which proposes passages as meditative as explosive. Rainer Klein keeps constantly on the alert and our emotions need to breathe, to redo the height. And it's there that the conclusion leads us to the very silky, but dark, "The Mysterious" among which the slow ambient breezes and these notes of a piano always so pensive as those of Vangelis seem to drive us to the next stage of Otarion.
Sylvain Lupari (June 22nd, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the MellowJet Records shop here

lundi 20 juin 2016

NORD: Vortex (2016)

“Even in his clothes of massive EM maker, Nord always manage to draw the best of his imagination”
1 Circles 13:06
2 Spirals 18:06
3 Rotation 19:24

Nord Music (DDL 50:28) ***½

(Roumanian School)
Among the artists that I discovered in these last years, Nord is unarguably one of the most appealing. An artist who has a lot of experience, Sztakics István Attila knew how to develop a universe minimalism where are grafted a panoply of rhythms, lively or ambient, and of electronic elements which always follow the mainstreams of his ideas. Inspired by the rotation of the Universe, “Vortex” is already a 3rd album in 2016 and proposes 3 long evolutionary titles with as background a cosmic and filmic vision where the style of Nord brushes slightly the kind of The Dark Side of the Moog series and that of Otarion in his very good Genius.
A wave of sounds reveals a thick cloud of tonal waves which appear and forge a dense sonic tapestry which floats like these layers of ether in
Wish You Were Here. A piano gets loose from this wall of interstellar atmospheres, drawing a deformed melody of which the main attraction is to awaken a line of sequences with its keys which skip as a centipede with a multitude of broken legs. The rhythm limps in a dense synthesized coating. And a heavy effect of orchestration whips it in order to energize it in a rhythmic structure which meditates between trance and techno. The background regurgitates good cosmic effects which swallow this first brief structure of rhythm in "Circles" which leaves shyly its place to this piano which repeats its melody with a beautiful melodic schema where every note, strongly hammered, leaves its imprint in our ears. The atmospheres are rich and wrap this first title of “Vortex” in a wealthy cosmic cloth with a very beautiful synth which draws solos from which the forms derive such as the crumbs of a vessel which dissolves in the coldness of cosmos. The rhythm returns a little before the point of 9 minutes. More acid than its first part, I hear the  sequences being wilder here, it proposes a static approach decorated with very good solos of a very creative synth. As much in its harmonies, its acrobatics as its atmospheres. This is good Nord!
The first waves of "
Spirals" are feeding an ambient rhythm knotted in a cloud of static oscillations. The synth is very airy and throw some brief solos, like a solitary being who whistles improvised melodies. The rhythm becomes as lively as the 1st part of  "Circles", but with a very beautiful play of sequences which draw circles rhythmic as in a game of spirographs. The fusion of cosmic techno and of the movement of sequences is very successful. Especially with the effects of a synth which never stop to fill our ears. We note a light crescendo in the power of the rhythm which keeps however the same spherical swiftness. And the more the sequences are going and the more I hear Chris Franke in the 80-81years. The first 8 minutes are of fire, while the second part of "Spirals" proposes a circular melody, always fed by good electronic effects, at both cosmic and organic, which reminds unambiguously the minimalist approach of Mike Oldfield in Tubular Bells. A synth and its fluty breezes accompanies this ritornello which fattens its harmony of effects and crystal clear sequences. This movement shrink its harmonious spiral which will burst in a more livened up structure in its last minutes. "Rotation" is a little built on the same minimalist melodic mold, but this time it's the guitar which leads the game. Its notes get melting in a structure of sequences which makes its keys cavort in layers of a synth perfumed of melancholy. Tears of synth (guitar?) weave a soundscape where spectres are lamenting over a movement which rolls more and more in squeezed loops. The game of sequences is as much appealing as that of "Spirals", except that the rhythm goes more and more towards the explosion. The synths always remain as magic and creative while the guitar of Makkai Kálmán is eventually throwing airy solos which sound so much as those of Frank Dorittke. The solos turn into riffs, guiding "Rotation" and its cosmic effects towards a rhythmic evolution which will reach its peak at around the 13 minutes with explosive percussions rumblings. A fine strummed melody escapes from this rhythmic torrent, freezing a melody which will pierce time while quite slowly the last moments of "Rotation" are ending among some other nice incisive guitar solos and a surge of a more temperate rhythm, more in ballad mode.
There is some music in the imagination of
Nord! And some rather good for a synthesist who aligns albums as a cat makes kittens. “Vortex” is a beautiful album intended for those whom the coziness of the minimalist structures comfort. And Sztakics István Attila is rather strong in this game. The way he has to create crescendo, relatively quiet, around his structures makes of his music a musical box full of charms.

Sylvain Lupari (June 20th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on Nord Bandcamp page here

samedi 18 juin 2016

SEQUENTIAL DREAMS: Legends (2016)

“Legends is without a doubt the best opus, the more rock in any cases,from this project of Kuutana which gets better from an album to another one”
1 Mission to Shangri-La 6:12
2 A Day Like no Other 4:22
3 Kurenai 8:40
4 Through the Looking Glass 8:38
5 Event Horizon 5:45
6 Canyon Oasis 8:15
7 Mojave Midnight 7:25
8 The Kindly Beast 3:44
9 The Electric Monk 9:52
10 The Big Apple 5:44
11 One Giant Leap 7:54

Sequential Dreams (CD/DDL 76:34) ****
(Electronic Rock)
After a solid opus to start the year, Lost Dimensions, Ron Charron (better known under the name of Kuutana) puts back his clothes of composer and producer of EM of the New Berlin School genre to offer an album which is closer to the roots of the electronic rock of the 90's. Flanked of mainly by Bernhard Beibl on guitars and violins, Kuutana also surrounds himself of Ryo Utasato on synths and arrangements and of Kori Linae Carothers on piano as well as with a variety of musicians from the New Age environment to give a more melodious zest to an album which crosses easily the limits between electronic rock, New Age and some perfumes of Berlin School from the TD's best years...
"
Mission to Shangri-La" affix this signature of this last adventure of the Sequential Dreams vessel with a line of sequences which makes oscillate its keys in the winds of swiftness and in the layers of a keyboard loaded of very Tangerine Dream's perfumes of the  Green Desert's year. The synths are harmonious with short stylized solos which sing as these harmonies in the Flashpoint era. Percussions flog the atmospheres near the second minute, awakening a line of bass sequences which intensely waves in its sonic cocoon. It's rather the violin which will excite the state of embryonic rhythm of "Mission to Shangri-La" which goes out of the envelope to offer a good electronic rock that Bernhard Beibl softens a bit with an acoustic guitar which throws very pinched notes. This first title of “Legends” offers in 6 minutes the diversity of the atmospheres that we find in this last opus of Sequential Dreams. "A Day Like no Other" brings us in the very New Age American territories. It's a delicate ballad centered on a piano where implosions of bass and guitar riffs pitch a dramatic veil, while Noah Wilding spreads her very ethereal voice. It's the kind of thing that we listen to on a Sunday morning while we are daydreaming in the bed. "Kurenai" is a first crush here with a very good electronic rock perfumed of the ingredients from the best moments of Tangerine Dream in the Melrose years. The percussions and the arrangements forge a kind of good rhythmic ride while the effects of voices add an oriental touch to this track which is as much seductive than lively. "Through the Looking Glass" is another good track which proposes a rather long ambient introduction with an acoustic six-strings which scatters its dreams in some synthesized mists flavored by absent voices. A line of bass sequences, the bass envelope is very omnipresent in this album, lays an ambivalent structure of rhythm which eventually end by tumbling down in effects of rodeo coupled to moments of suspension of those rhythm momentums. The effects of very vaporous orchestrations are placed well here and the small fragments of harmonies throw souvenirs of  TD in our ears. It's the cornerstone of Sequential Dreams' foundations.
"
Event Horizon" is the jewel of this last opus of the international consortium of Kuutana. This is pure TD of the Green Desert year lost in the Exit years. Bernhard Beibl's guitar spreads harmonies under the forms of riffs while the synth throws very cosmic airs. It's rather the movement of ambient rhythm and the riffs of keyboard that gives us this desire to open a CD of Tangerine Dream. Very good and too short! "Canyon Oasis" is not outdone! Between two phases of atmospheres, the title offers a fiery electronic rock where Bernhard Beibl bursts out on his electric six-strings. If the 2nd part is softer, the guitar is more incisive with very good solos. We are in the best moments of “Legends”, to say the least for those who likes solid electronic rock. An electronic rock skillfully tamed, "Mojave Midnight" is my 3rd crush! If the guitar still seduces, the arrangements and the electronic effects, in particular those of the percussions, fill our eager ears. After the point of 4 minutes "Mojave Midnight" offers a superb crescendo, both in the rhythm and the harmonies tortured by the guitar and the arrangements. "The Kindly Beast" is a fascinating title. It's a ballad that one could consider written for macabre films starring phantasmagorical characters. The piano shines here with a fragile ritornello which rises in spiral on atmospheres of fear and on a structure of rhythm which draws these ballads in an obscure merry-go-round. This is very good. "The Electric Monk" is an electronic rock which is inspired by the TDI years with a furious guitar which throws its gall on a meshing of sequences and percussions which go in opposite directions. The 2nd part is as well explosive as the guitar can be furious. Yes, a huge electronic rock of the years Edgar and Jerome Froese. "The Big Apple" is quieter, although development reminds me that of Hamlet, from you know who, without the wild side A good rock slowed down by a beautiful approach of ballad. "One Giant Leap" ends “Legends” on a more theatrical approach which sticks easily to the Dante trilogy of TD.
The only drawback concerning this last opus of
Sequential Dreams is that it's mixed for those who will listen to it from an iPhone or another intelligent device. The sound of the basses sometimes smother the effects and the rhythm when we listen to “Legends” on a support other than that of the digital technology. A version for hi-fi system is to be hoped. But as for the rest, it's another very good album of electronic rock from the Borders Edge Music house. There is a beautiful balance between the hard-line rhythms and these melodies which go and come to moderate the rhythmic impulses or still to embellish atmospheres which sometimes touch these lands of sadness visualizations in these epic movies where the imagination supplants the fiction. There are tracks here which transcend all that Kuutana realized in date, Bernhard Beibl's presence is doubtless for something here, showing that the best of Ron Charron is yet to come.

Sylvain Lupari (June 18th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Sequential Dreams Bandcamp page here