jeudi 21 août 2014

THE LONG LIGHT: Our Waking Hours (2014)

“A deep ambient work, Our Waking Hours sounds so much like a hommage from Andy Codon to Brian Eno”

1 Our Waking Hours (Part I) 21:56
2 Our Waking Hours (Part II) 17:28

Glimmer Room Bandcamp (DDL 39:24) ****
(Purely ambient music)
The music of The Glimmer Room is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful, of the most romantic, even poetic, in the spheres of the modern EM. Rightly, I Remain remains doubtless the most sensitive and the most striking poetic work that have caressed my ears since moons. Why do I speak about The Glimmer Room? Well because The Long Night is a musical project which is parallel to the poetic universe of The Andy Codon. Except that here the music is purely ambient. And you are going to tell me that the music of The Glimmer Room is a kind of rather ambiospherical? It's true. But not as much as this one!
A fragile note of piano falls. Its reverberation spreads a shadow of melancholic melody which pierces a fog that only our perception can see. We listen to "Our Waking Hours (Part I)" as we look through the window at our memories of a day of greyness where the rain leaves the care to the branches to exterminate its last tears. The notes of a piano, as pensive as meditative, scatter themselves on a bed of mist like the most fragile of the dews. Their strewed harmonies accompany the chirping of the morning birds while our heart always hesitates between the shadows and the brightness of a day that we do not know to be autumnal or spring. Borrowing the very ambient paths of the works calcified by harmonies froze in time, “Our Waking Hours” remains a very intimist album where Andy Codon pays a kind of tribute to Brian Eno. Everything here inhales this oniric delicacy which characterizes the very immersive music of Eno. I like "Our Waking Hours (Part I)" and its inconsolable notes of piano of which the resonance in our ears ends to weave small melodic verses which enchant even the chirpings of our winged bandits of mornings. On the other hand "Our Waking Hours (Part II)" is less acoustic. The chords of piano are replaced by electronic similarities while the astral voices caress a melancholic sweetness which always floods its dreams in the singings of sparrows. If each part offers its analogies, their impacts remain different. We like the acoustic sweetness of "Our Waking Hours (Part I)" while the seraphic voices of "Our Waking Hours (Part II)" brings us to another level of contemplativity. But both parts remain as beautiful as soft. As poetic as oniric. And we surprise ourselves in wondering where flies the time, so much that our dreams fly away with its minutes. Sign of another very pleasant rendezvous with the very beautiful music of
Andy Codon. And this is true, no matter the names he borrows.
Sylvain Lupari (August 21st, 2014)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

mercredi 20 août 2014

REALTIME: Live in Cologne (The Dominikaner Session) (2014)

“Live in Cologne (The Dominikaner Session) is a good live album and a good way to be introduce to the lunar moods and beats of Realtime”
1 Deep Inside 13:58
2 Move on into Space 10:54
3 Lunar Habitat 5:55
4 Voyage to Virgo 9:43
5 Up up to the Sky 5:53
6 Equinocticum 13:00
7 Jam de Electronique 8:39

SynGate | CD-r RT04 (CD-r 68:02) ***½
(Ambient and cosmic e-rock)
The beauty of the Internet and its various download platforms is this link of friendship which exists from now on between an artist and his public. Let us take the example of Realtime which since its 2nd breath with the Solar Walk album republishes its first two works while giving some live shows. Following this new craze from their Berlin fans, the duet gave a concert in April 2014 at the Cologne Cathedral. A well welcomed concert where Realtime performed old tracks from the first 2 albums; "Move on into Space", "Lunar Habitat" et "Up up to the Sky". Besides "Voyage to Virgo", from Solar Walk, Thomas Bock and Norbert Hensellek have performed nearly 40 minutes of music. In front of the very positive reaction of the public and the requests of fans, Realtime has put on-line, via the SynGate platform this concert soberly entitled “Live in Cologne (The Dominikaner Session)”.
Basically the new music proposed on this album in concert is the equivalent of what we find in
Solar Walk with ambient rhythms, set apart the very energetic "Up up to the Sky" and of its spacey Jarre structure, which try to emerge from dense ambiocosmic veils. And it's in this environment that "Deep Inside" extricate itself from the loudspeakers. Noises of interstellar machineries and rather black breaths of Orion suppress a minimalist lunar rhythm of which the flow of normal march and a little more accelerated one merge into an evasive rhythmic structure a bit jerky. This slow stroboscopic thin line spreads its sequences which hiccup quite slowly before dissolving into an ambient passage full of interstellar noises. A line of bass remains snuggled up well at the bottom, pounding randomly in search of a rising rhythm. A rhythm which reappears a little after the mark of 8 minutes with keys of bass sequence which beat delicately under the aegis of a concert of cosmic voices which hum in good orchestral arrangements. This is good ambient cosmic rock which reminds unmistakably the vintages years, especially with the electronic arrangements which breathe the Picture Music years from Klaus Schulze. Arrangements that we recognize easily on the following 4 tracks with interpretations which pushes us a little bit more in the lunar moods of Realtime. "Equinocticum" is the 2nd unreleased track on “Live in Cologne (The Dominikaner Session)” and its intro inhales the orchestral arrangements of Software with veils of synth which float in discreet solos perfumed of melancholy and of dark voices of which the secret singings throw a veil of mysticism to this intro which exceeds the 6 minutes. Come then some delicate ions which skip in the ashes of voice and the envelope of violins with jumps rather timid and whose symmetry forges a delicious rhythm as much minimalist than morphic. It's with a rhythm a little more frank, a little more jerky that "Jam de Electronique" ends “Live in Cologne (The Dominikaner Session)”. If the rhythm possesses all the ingredients to offer a solid e-rock, it remains on the other hand rather passive by struggling in a cosmic broth multicolored by streaks which scroll like oversize stars. A brief ambient passage, fed by voices of cosmonauts, separates the track which grows heavy with pulsations of a technoïd kind which get "Jam de Electronique" heavier and more alive, without never reaching the summits of "Up up to the Sky", and which concludes a good album which can easily serve as front door in the universe of Realtime.
Sylvain Lupari (August 20th, 2014)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

lundi 18 août 2014

EBIA: Herrscher im Orbit (2014)

“Herrscher im Orbit is a great soundtrack fill by a sweet poetic, and cosmic should I add, approach that will haunt you for many hours to come”
Herrscher im Orbit Part I 7:44
Herrscher im Orbit Part II 2:48
Herrscher im Orbit Part III 7:22
Herrscher im Orbit Part IV 3:14
Herrscher im Orbit Part V 7:11
Herrscher im Orbit Part VI 4:01
Herrscher im Orbit Part VII 8:48
Herrscher im Orbit Part VIII 9:50
Herrscher im Orbit Part IX 9:52
Herrscher im Orbit Part X
8:34

SynGate | CD-r EM07 (CD-r 69:24) ****
(Cosmic and ambient rhythms wrapped in Berlin School) 
There are things that we just cannot explain. Things which at first sight seem devoid of senses and which quite slowly obsess them. The last time that I heard the music of Ebia goes back to Hunter of Worlds. I had found the music good. A good mixture of everything where Jörg Bialinska has never aimed one genre in particular, if not a kind of spacey techno. It's a bit different this time with “Herrscher im Orbit”. This time the genre embraces downright the Software's beautiful years of New Berlin School. Except that the music has the appearances a bit muddled. All of this last album of Ebia rests on hesitating structures where the ambient rhythms are doing stop'n'go, shaking serpentines of finely dislocated melodies in structures of rhythms which seem always unfinished and which quite slowly coil up between the ears by taking the care of forming some fine and silky earworms. Everything you need to become infatuated with. All which has of more voracious! And if I had a link to make, that would be with the quite delicious and tenderly poetic Sebastian im Traum from Frank Specht.
NASA voices making the countdown are propelling the first measures of “Herrscher im Orbit” in the shells of our earphones. The skeleton of the ambient rhythms spreads its charms with volatile swirling sequences of which the resounding chirpings live with the pulsations of a hesitating bass line. Although threatening, this structure of unstable rhythm flickers beneath the jingles of crystal elytrons and the more steady pulsations of a bass-drum and of its bang-bang which brush the sweet hammerings of a cosmic techno. A quiet, almost soporific, techno which beats beneath dense layers from a morphic synth. The sensation of floating between two worlds assails our senses while that quite slowly the lunar rhythm of "Herrscher im Orbit Part I" crosses the corridors of ambiences perfumed by synth streaks and of which their gaudy colours and the restful shrill singings are floating just like the sweet caresses of Morpheus. We feel for sure a rhythmic fury pointing out on all horizons. And if this rhythm pierces a little bit this interstellar fog, it's to let escape a structure more harmonious than killer which always wraps itself of these soft aromas; as cosmic than paradisiacal. Ambient and very cosmic, with its lunar choruses which put down a shroud of serenity, "Herrscher im Orbit Part II" drifts quite slowly towards the first jewel, the first track that really starts this surprising passion for this absolutely abstract work; "Herrscher im Orbit Part III". I spoke to you about ambiguous rhythm? About ambient rhythm which refuses to rock down the house? Well, it's all the charm of "Herrscher im Orbit Part III" that will shake its obsessing earworm until the last second of “Herrscher im Orbit”. The delicate knocks of astral tones' anvils at the end of Part II are ringing up to its intro which reveals a superb line of sequences with keys jumping on-the-spot. Percussions hammer a rhythm as sweet as slow while that another line of sequences deploys its keys which hiccup in a coquettish stroboscopic filet. And there, there are synth tears. Tears which sing sinister verses soaked of melancholy and which, without any warning, find a way through the ears for many hours later. While our feelings are hypersensitive, an unexpected dreamy piano throws some morphic notes in the air which skip on an already very striking electronic hymn. And thus are going the next minutes of “Herrscher im Orbit”.
Using at fullness, and with good reason, the deeply moving soundtrack of "Herrscher im Orbit Part III", weft
Ebia forges the following parts by bringing to it just what it's necessary of modifications to avoid any kind of redundancy. Delicate and enigmatic, "Herrscher im Orbit Part IV" and "Herrscher im Orbit Part V" remind as much the Machiavellian bed songs of Mark Shreeve as the futuristic atmospheres of Software. And when the percussions fall, we follow the curve of their feelings. Very strong moments here! "Herrscher im Orbit Part VI" brings us a bit closer to the cosmic momentums of Jean Michel Jarre with a liquefying structure where are glittering some liquid stars. This more ambient movement serves the depth of "Herrscher im Orbit Part VII" and to its structure of rhythm traced on the skeleton of Part I. The solos change the pattern a bit with superb twists which coo in an intense spatial environment. Here as everywhere, a dreamy piano spreads melodic fragments with evanescent harmonies which melt easily in all the harmonious setting of “Herrscher im Orbit”. We never stop of being seduced. More ambient, although very shaken by strikes of percussions and very synchronized palpitations from a rather dark line of bass, "Herrscher im Orbit Part VIII" offers a clearly more sinister approach with roarings of synth which rage against the moon. A little bit long but we forgive this gap when "Herrscher im Orbit Part IX" falls in our ears with its furious cosmic electronic rock. We plunge literally in the years of a little more progressive synth-pop. "Herrscher im Orbit Part X" closes “Herrscher im Orbit” smoothly. The rhythm remains ambient and swirls at the whim of sequences which unfold a delicate lunar melody of which the bevy charms as much our ears as the sweet and very dreamy synth solos.
My love says that there is nothing more beautiful than preliminaries! I completely agree. And this last album of
Ebia is a long process of preliminaries which once explode from time to time before reaching its rhythmic nirvana with "Herrscher im Orbit Part IX". In fact, “Herrscher im Orbit” is simply charming. Jörg Bialinska depicts a cosmic story where every sonic inch is furnished with an electronic bouquet as much dreamy than melancholic. The very big strength of his last album is this sensation to always hear the same elements, the same tunes which, without being totally certain of it, run throughout its 70 minutes. And this is there that the seduction, that the dependence if I would dare to say, becomes an insidious object of worship and fascination. We listen again to a track, as another one, and we hear all these nuances which caress our carefreeness to let ourselves be dominated by an oniric beauty which breathes of an astounding lunar approach as much electronic as poetic. I was totally seduced (but I’m telling you; it needs 3 to 4 listenings) and still I am. A very beautiful work of Ebia!
Sylvain Lupari (August 18th, 2014)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
Here is the Bandcamp link

dimanche 17 août 2014

EBIA: Hunter of Worlds (2009)

“What we have here is a nice album of Space Techno which beats in the sheets of an old Berlin School style”
1 Galactic Quest 6:13
3 Hunter of Worlds 6:15
3 Passing Tripoint Station 6:14
4 Solar Eclipse (Dub Mix) 7:17  
5 Voyage in Night 6:18
6 Invader 6:50  
7 Brothers of Earth 5:52 
8 Cosmic Flight (Remix) 6:04  
9 Gates of Chaos 7:23
10 Faded Sun 6:43

SynGate | CD-r EM04 (CD-r 67:09) ***½
(Space techno and lunar down-tempos in a Berlin School sauce)
Faithful to its trademark, SynGate takes the bet to make us discover new artists who get out yokes of traditional EM in order to embrace a more libertine musical style and by ricochet a more accessible one. Ebia is the musical project of Jörg Bialinska who presents his 4th album in “Hunter of Worlds”. A title far from reflecting an extraterrestrial vision but rather a collection of 10 tracks which borrow the spheres of a lively rhythmic music. One can say that it's a kind of music for dance-floor which battles between melodious ambiospherical layers and wild rhythms beaten by percussions which drive with strength and dynamism.
And "Galactic Quest" starts the moods pretty well and depicts this musical universe that will fill the ears on this last opus of the German synthesis. After an ambient intro enriched of a guttural voice and some very nice ambiosonic synth pads, the percussions fall down and crush the moods with powerful knocks which hammer a stroboscopic and neurotic structure. A rhythm where the speed of percussions fits to the undulation of bass sequences and run on a synth filled of beautiful harmonies and some childish tunes which fly off the handle on a heavy and lively musical structure. Jörg Bialinska has the beat in the blood and the title-track borrows the same pulsating path but with a more unctuous, a more harmonious synth, quite as on the structures of "Voyage in Night", "Invader", although sharply more cosmic, "Brothers of Earth", "Cosmic Flight (Remix)" and the aggressive "Gates of Chaos". "Passing Tripoint Station" offers a different mood with a slower intro which beats by the means of some fascinating rubber kind of resounding percussions and hands banging. Bit by bit, this intro becomes delicately misty with a zest of a languishing techno wrapped by a synth with charming lyrical stratus. This is what I could call a kind of soft techno or either a soft down-tempo, quite as "Solar Eclipse (Dub Mix)" which marinates for a long time in an ambiospherical intro filled of childish and mocking vocal harmonies before increasing and decreasing its crescendo. This is one of the good tracks of “Hunter of Worlds” with also Faded Sun which flows in the ear like "Passing Tripoint Station".
I finally ended by liking this “Hunter of Worlds”. What Ebia offers here is an album of Space Techno which runs between its very paradoxical nuances and vibes. These spacey elements coil up both in fierce rhythms and their paced beats and the ethereal mists of a spatial music build upon the basis of old Berlin School style with some very nice floating and harmonious layers.
Sylvain Lupari (August 22nd, 2009 and translated on August 17th, 2014)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You can read the French version here

samedi 16 août 2014

JOHAN TRONESTAM: Compunctio (2014)

“Compunctio is a nice meeting point between lot of old Berlin School reminiscences well mixed in a contemporary scent”
1 Intro 3:13
2 Loneliness 7:40
3 Between the Lost and the Coming 8:16
4 What is the Truth 6:42
5 Rituals 6:56
6 Rituals II 6:32
7 The End and the Beginning 7:18
8 Ritual Combinations 7:20
9 Recognition 8:19

SynGate | CD-r JT01 (CD-r 62:19) ****
(Melodious Berlin School with analog rhythms)
The beauty is often in the simplicity! We remember these years where the cosmic rock surfed on Teutonic percussions, of which the rattlesnakes' tones sat imposingly on robotics beatings, and lovely synth solos filled of dreamy coils? This is downright what we have with the universe of “Compunctio”. A meeting point between the fluid rhythms of Michael Garrison, and those more cosmic of Jean Michel Jarre, as well as Klaus Schulze's vibes of ether, this last Johan Tronestam's album is a real gold mine for those who like the lively rhythms of the cosmic rock in what it of more traditional there. Another electronic rendezvous wisely selected by the SynGate label which, undoubtedly, amazes more and more.
"Intro" throws us the first measures of an album where the rhythms are forged by a docile complexity. Lively percussions and line of jerked sequences a bit staggering, the rhythm is as melodious as lively with words effects that will remind the essays of
Jarre on the use of voices in sound effects. The synth is magnetising with a soft ghostly melody which floods its obedience in synth pads filled of ethereal voices and electronic chirpings of which the alternations will stabilize the sonic fights of “Compunctio”. Except these ethereal cosmic effects, the synth embroiders some very pleasant lyrical solos which call back the beauty of the analog years. And down from its 3:14 "Intro" modifies subtly the axis of its rhythm, showing the unpredictable colors of an attractive album of electronic cosmic rock. The beginning of "Loneliness" let hear knocks of percussions which roam in wind corridors ventilated by hoarse breezes and twists. This start of ambient rhythm forms a strange carillon filled by knocks of percussions which flutter in dark winds. Moreover, the last groans expel a march of resonant sequences of which the sinusoidal knocks root a rhythm as heavy as tottering. A delicate melodious membrane is covering this rhythm which stuffs itself with percussions and of their fluttering knocks while that quite slowly Johan Tronestam spreads a melodious shroud that will be our first earworm of “Compunctio”. Set apart this melody, the synth, which will always be so charming, throws these effects of mist and voices of outer world that will channel all the cybernetic beauties of a work which aims to be the mirror of pain, as physical as spiritual. Each detail matters in this last album from Johan Tronestam. If the rhythms are at the effigy of the Teutonic cosmic rock, the ambiences are modelled on the interstellar model of the French school as established by Jarre himself. At this level, "Between the Lost and the Coming" shows off both models. And even more! The intro is embroidered in the mystery with percussions to the skin of rattlers which ring in somber moods. Twisted breezes adorn the mysteries while that quite slowly a Germanic rhythm spreads its hold with big staggering steps. This ambient rhythm is submerged by beautiful solos with psychedelic essences and cosmic gurglings, whereas that quite slowly pads of ether a la Schulze ennoble "Between the Lost and the Coming" which swings constantly between the rhythmic simplicity of “Compunctio” and the a little more progressive ambiences.
After this almost ambient interlude, "What is the Truth" skips in our ears with this meshing of sequences and percussions which forge the cosmic rhythms of “Compunctio”. Multilingual voices hold our ears on the alert, knotting a tiny link between the docile and melodic rhythms of Kraftwerk, while the synths are mixing mists and solos full of an oniric sweetness. And, a little in the greatness of “Compunctio”, the rhythms evolves in delicacy at the whim of percussions slamming in the winds of Orion and sequences which become a little more incisive. We enter into this phase where the influences of
Tangerine Dream besiege the compositions of Johan Tronestam. "Rituals" presents a lively and very catchy rhythm. A rhythm which follows variable curves and which is submerged by a very creative synth among which the superb twists and solos pierce some very nice orchestrations as well as voices filled with mist. This is a 2nd crush which sticks on the very first listening. You have to hear these very sweet cosmic solos which infuse essences of Jarre. Splendid! "Rituals II" is somehow a bit dreamier. This is a kind of music piece which charms at each new listening. The mark of a good track which proposes a rhythmic structure as ambient as on "Between the Lost and the Coming" while the ambiences are kissing those of Jarre in his Ethnicolor. We remember the ping-pong fight on Concerts in China? It's what jumps to ears with the very ambiospherical opening of "The End and the Begining" which eventually adopt the structure of the sinusoidal sequences in "Loneliness". Except that this time the rhythm is clearly more robotic, a la Kraftwerk. It's a solid old vintage cosmic rock with electronic percussions which hammer a Teutonic beat covered of robot voices and good, very good, synth solos of which the hybrid tones don't get rid of their hold as ethereal as cosmic. We stamp of the feet! Here and on the superb "Ritual Combinations" which is, and by far, the most beautiful track of “Compunctio”. The fans of the analog rhythms of Garrison will be filled here. And the melody.... Hum, simply great! "Recognition" ends this Johan Tronestam's first album outside the lands of TeamQuasar with a rather ambivalent rhythm. Sometimes uncertain and sometimes incisive, it flutters between moods sometimes ethereal and sometimes rather cynical of a track which is the logical conclusion of an album which blurs ears with very beautiful structures in constant permutation and the logic of Tronestam with morphic ambiences a la Jarre on vaporous rhythms a la Garrison or robotic a la Kraftwerk. And sometimes we hear nebulas reminiscences of Schulze and even from TD, testifying of a very beautiful album which will reunite a whole generation of fans for an EM of the vintage years coated with a nice contemporary scent.

Sylvain Lupari (August 11th, 2014)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
Bandcamp Page