mardi 3 mai 2016

ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT: Kinetic (2016)

“What a change of cap for AWM! This Kinetic is a must for those of you who are into driven sequencer-based EM”
1 Kinetic 6:02
2 Dark Meridian 5:59
3 Machine Mambo 7:24
4 D.E.I. (Direct Emotion Interface) 12:40
5 Anoraxis 6:48
6 Synergistic Highway 5:33
7 Ecoutez 6:14
8 Metronomy 6:31

Harmonic Resonance Recordings | HRR160401
(CD/DDL 57:12) ****½     (E-Rock)
After a series of rather quiet albums, Gregory Kyryluk felt the need to explore a more driven EM. Being as much a big music lover as a composer, he admits that the music which he listens to has a direct incidence on the conclusion of his works. He thus turned away from the ambient and esoteric model to deal with a more lively, a heavier and more energic music with artists such as Zombi and Tyco. The idea was to write an EM built on good impulses of sequences and analog flavors, without copied the style of the vintage years. “Kinetic” is the fruit of this reflection. And we have to go back in the time of Thought Guild or yet Beyond Silence in 2005 to meet a Gregory Kyryluk as dynamic as here with a very good album which is going to amaze more than a nod to the music of YMO, ZOMBI, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream of the Jive years and even  Steve Roach.
One of the only esoteric elements of “
Kinetic”,  the other one being the synth layers in "Metronomy", is this Gong which opens the title-track. Afterward a line of sequences makes skip its keys which rise and fall in the reverberations of a pulsating bass. Pulsations, more in a kind of technoid model, knock out the dance of these keys while synth layers spread a melodious aura a la Tyger. "Kinetic" becomes a very inviting electronic hymn with a rhythm of lead, which does very ZOMBI's techno style or yet Mark Shreeve e-rock, which supports harmonies of a synth spinning in the form of solos. "Dark Meridian" is darker. Its intro is sewn by sonic waves which wave on a fauna of organic tones and layers of astral voices. A bass pulsation skips but limps while some fragile keyboards chords draw a line of harmonies a bit celestial. The set is rich with rather discreet airs of flute, electronic effects and arrangements which float on a debit of percussions ready for war, but which stand back, and sequences which fidget without taking also really a guiding line of rhythm. It's a static track with many harmonies in the chords which are a mixture of TD and also of YMO, according to my buddy. "Machine Mambo" carries its naming marvellously. It's a kind of electronic mambo with beautiful layers in the perfumes of these old organs which livened up the evenings of social dances on a bed of sequences with spasmodic jolts. We remove these sequences and it sounds so vintage that it is simply delicious. A title easy to tame but which abounds in electronic charms. There is some Thought Guild in there, but not as much as in the super and very Jarre rumba of "Ecoutez".
With its almost 13 minutes to the meter, "
D.E.I. (Direct Emotion Interface)" is the most complex piece of music of “Kinetic”. Its intro is filled with industrial vapors and mists from where extricates itself a beautiful line of sequences which makes oscillate tenderly its keys between some idle coats of synth. A bass line crawls over these elements, while delicate percussions structure a slow tempo, almost morphic. Sequences sparkle like the prisms of rhythms in Tangerine Dream's Underwater Sunlight, but the tempo remains slow until percussions whips it and that sequences are hiccupping in a syncopated way which is loaded of layers of voices and of mists. That sounds very Le Parc, in particular with the electronic percussions pattern. "Anoraxis" begins with fryings of old vinyl. A line of sequences which jump in a movement a little bit unstable awakens memories of Kraftwerk, while the clouds of mist which sing all over add a dose of onirism. And a kind of sonic serpentine lights the atmospheres and "Anoraxis" skips cheerfully like a hip-hop of electronic alley, a little kind of YMO, on nice synth harmonies and good electronic effects borrowed as much from the cosmos as these old banks of synthesis sounds of the 80's. "Synergistic Highway" is a good electronic rock which reminds me Synergy on his very good Games. The lively and very melodious side does not distort at all the creativity, even if sometimes the music is in a danceable mood, with good effects and with good very harmonious solos, the cornerstone of this album I should say, as well as a game of sequences with hyper excited keys. "Metronomy" brings us to another level with a music which does very Roach in his period Now/Traveller. Two lines of sequences cross their rhythms, one which runs in a loop and the other which is more linear, with rather discreet percussions which drum beneath an avalanche of synth strata with esoteric flavors as cosmic. It's a little as to look at the starry sky of a desert region which parades in accelerated mode.
Kinetic” is this kind of album that we didn't expected. To say the least, not from
Alpha Wave Movement! The reference with ZOMBI, a duet of Pittsburgh whom Gregory Kyryluk likes particularly, is very relevant here with a heavy, dynamic, melodious EM and especially very creative which could well make roast a crowd in an electronic party. A surprise and a must for those who enjoy this so driven sequencer-based EM!

Sylvain Lupari (May 2nd, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Alpha Wave Movement Bandcamp page here

dimanche 1 mai 2016

E-MUSIKGRUPPE LUX OHR: Live at Roadburn (2016)

“Live at Roadburn 2014 is the equivalent of a Greatest Hits of an EM suitable to go with the new Krautrock movement from Finland”
1 Die Suche nach dem Horizont 12:30
2 Durch den kosmischen Dunst 11:42
3 Hypnogenesis III 15:26
4 Traumraum 6:03
5 Spiralo IV 4:00
6 Spiralo V 7:11
7 Spiralo VI 4:50
8 Jenseits der Mauer des Schlafes 20:12

SVART Records (LP/DDL 81:54) ****
(Mix of Berlin School and Krautrock)

E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr is rather prolific these days. One E.P., Jenseits der Mauer des Schlafes, went out at the end of 2015 and now the group of neo-Krautrock of Finland tosses us 2 albums in concert which are available in vinyl (2LP) and in digital format on the page Bandcamp of the group. “Live at Roadburn 2014” redraws a concert given in the Netherlands within the framework of the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg on April 2014. The double album proposes very good extracts of Kometenbahn, with the delicious "Durch den kosmischen Dunst", and Spiralo. For the rest, Pertti Grönholm, Kimi Kärki, Jaakko Penttinen and Ismo Virta offer us some solid original music where the perfumes of Pink Floyd go alongside Tangerine Dream's movements of sequences and layers of mystic Mellotron.
"
Die Suche nach dem Horizont" begins the charm operation with noises of constellations which are gobbled up by waves of cosmic sounds. Wooden jingles which sound like anaemic cowbells twinkle among two repetitive mumblings of the bass, while the guitar throws cosmic sighs which fade out on a keyboard and the color of its tones which resuscitates the period of Ray Manzarek. A line of sequences makes its keys waddle in a structure of vintage electronic rhythm which rises up and comes down in a minimalist pattern ideal for a duel between a very airy guitar, even if its riffs and its furious solos are delicately aggressive. And little by little, "Die Suche nach dem Horizont" gets out of breath in order to faint in the wonderful chant of the Mellotron which opens the seraphic march of the superb "Durch den kosmischen Dunst". The interpretation, here as on the Face C of the album which includes 3 titles from Spiralo, and on Face D, which includes a little longer version of "Jenseits der Mauer des Schlafes", is delicious with a light difference in tones and nuances at the level of the Mellotron and the synths. This is real live stuff here and we can hear it, but at no moment the nature of the music gets lost in illogical suites "Durch den kosmischen Dunst" concludes the Face A of this double vinyl.

The Face B presents totally unreleased music. Twists of wiish and woosh seize our ears as well as lines of reverberations which waltz heavily in this storm of synth winds. There is a kind mixture of musical poles which intertwine here. I'm thinking of Led Zeppelin (Friends), Tangerine Dream (the chthonian choirs) and Pink Floyd (for the line of bass simply catchy). They unite their disparities in an opening of which the outcome we guess as the bass gets more aggressive, a little as in One of these Days and Echoes from Pink Floyd's Meddle. "Hypnogenesis III", the 2 first parts belong to the album Live at Sibelius Museum in 2010, takes off with this bass and a line of oscillating sequences which sculpt the hypnotic beauties of the vintage electronic rhythms. The Mellotron spreads its mists and the guitar is tear in two by spitting solos and riffs in a furious envelope deserving of the 77 tour of the Dream, but with a psychedelic approach which precedes a little this era. The Mellotron moderates a little the fury of "Hypnogenesis III" with beautiful fluty airs, but the envelope persists in maintaining its heaviness until its finale which serves as bridge between "Hypnogenesis III" and the most esoteric "Traumraum" which is no more and no less like these slow floating waltzes of the hallucinogens years with tears of E-Bow, chirpings and electronic effects which float and bicker on a soft rhythm which is as much anesthetizing than a mass for those who hallucinate of an interstellar world.
I do not know the universe of Krautrock, but if there are groups for E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, I am willing to stuff my face of it. It seems to me that the music of the Floyd, the pre Dark Side of the Moon, and of Tangerine Dream, pre Exit, give themselves a rendezvous in this universe where the basic instruments of rock go marvelously with those of the EM of the analog period. And it's exactly the source of the music of this Finland band which amazes and soaks me with sound happiness from album to album. From track to track! And this “Live at Roadburn 2014” is the equivalent of a Best Of an EM which is simply worth to hear. A very beautiful album!
Sylvain Lupari (April 30th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr Bandcamp page here

samedi 30 avril 2016

TANGERINE DREAM: L'Affaire Wallraff/The Man Inside (1992)

“I'm not a big fan of this TD era. So is L'Affaire Wallraff (The Man Inside) is worthy of its high price for object of rarities? I guees that only a true fan could answer to this question and I suspect that it will be a yes”
1 Wallraff's Theme 1:36
2 Tendency of Love 3:58
3 Addicted to the Truth 4:35
4 World of the Standard 4:10
5 Purposes Of Brevity 4:30
6 Tobel's Death by the River 4:22
7 Taboo Society 3:17
8 The Drive to Hanover 4:40
9 Correlation of Lies 3:45
10 Investigation 4:16
11 News and Morality 4:45

EMI France | 795 617-2 (CD 43:54) ***
(E-Rock)

I know that reviews about the works of Tangerine Dream arouse a great deal of debates. And it's not because it displeases that I won't have to write about it. On the contrary, if I was a neophyte of the Dream world I would appreciate a lot to read reviews and articles about the too numerous records of Edgar Froese group. I thus keep my momentum with another album very difficult to find; “L'Affaire Wallraff (The Man Inside)” which, unfortunately and in all objectivity, is far from being worth the price of its rarity. Composed in 1989, either at the time of Lily of the Beach, the music of this Bobby Roth's movie is boiling of these rhythms in boxes which furnish the tempos of the Dream music of its the so called Seattle years. “L'Affaire Wallraff (The Man Inside)” is consisted of 11 tracks of an average length of 4 minutes each. Thus if we look for marvels in evolutionary and a little bit complex structures, we have to look somewhere else! Four minutes with an intro and a finale, there not much time left to put some meat around the bone. With “L'Affaire Wallraff (The Man Inside)” we are on known territory where the percussions hammer and tumble down on structures which smell the warmed, as the dramatic "Addicted to the Truth" (a good title) which seems to have escaped from the Near Dark sessions, and other tracks which smell to the ears full of the sessions of Lily on the Beach, Miracle Mile and even Rockoon. So, a must for the fans of this period. The rhythms are heavy, the percussions are well worked  and there are even some patterns of sequences which radiate the vestiges of Chris Franke; "Wallraff's Theme", "World of the Standard" and "Taboo Society" although very cold and at times quite uniforms. The rest is rather insipid and without interest, except for lighter tracks such as "Tendancy for Love" and "New and Morality" where we manage to smell a kind of emotion. In brief; a  TD of the 90's where the emotionalism gives way to a cash register and where only the easy cash seems to be the principal source of motivation. If you have the means of your worship, it appears by moments on eBay, but you have to be careful and watch out because there are some pretty nice imitations out there which circulate from times to times. And there are at high prices too. Ah...this wonderful world of Tangerine Dream!
Sylvain Lupari (Firstly written on September 11th, 2010. Translated on April 30th, 2016
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

jeudi 28 avril 2016

E-MUSIKGRUPPE LUX OHR: Jenseits der Mauer des Schlafes (2015)

“This is a solid track of psychedelic electronic rock which plays constantly on the borders of Krautrock and of Berlin School”
1 Jenseits der Mauer des Schlafes 18:57
Svart Records | SVR417 (DDL/E.P. 18:57) ****
(Krautrock and Berlin School)

Here is a thing which was lying about on my desk and which I almost ignored. Yet, since the excellent Kometenbahn, released in 2013, I had the sting for this band which lead us a few years behind with a psychedelic electronic rock which plays constantly on the borders of Krautrock and of Berlin School. Written in the stride of Spiralo, “Jenseits der Mauer des Schlafes” is part of a common project with the néokraut group Hisko Detria which aims to expose both bands in a wider audience. If the Finnish label Svart Records has launched this new adventure in vinyl,  it is however possible to get “Jenseits der Mauer des Schlafes” in digital format on the Bandcamp page of E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr.
Carillons evaporate their ringings in droplets of stagnant water, whereas a line of riffs (tchoo-tchoo) chops boorishly the introductory atmospheres of "Jenseits der Mauer des Schlafes", a title which is inspired by a short story of H.P. Lovecraft entitled Beyond the Wall of Sleep. Nothing gets lost in the universe of E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr! If the carillons are running away towards the limbo, their imprints remain always present and ring cheerfully on the handle of a bass of which the spheroidal notes roam and crawl upright,  bringing heaviness and swiftness to a charmingly jerky and deliciously hypnotic figure of rhythm. An E-Bow is painting the whole thing with plaintive sighs and weeping solos whereas the synth calls some solos which roll in loops while crumbling some psychedelic electronic effects. We are in the pure cosmic rock of the Ashra years with this mixture of guitar and synth which make duel, as much in solos and harmonies as in the effects, on a repetitive rhythmic slightly spasmodic where always waltz these ringings which are now join by clinking of percussions a bit metallic. The rhythm loses its escalation at around 9 minutes to dive into the dark atmospheres which are inspired by the novel of H.P. Lovecraft. The bass and the percussions roam always in the background. With the effects of the synth, they weave a cabalistic envelope where the voice of Kimi Kärki recites a devilish incantation. The voice becomes voices and the envelope of ambiences becomes more chthonian whereas that little by little the structure of rhythm finds its vigour in a kind of jerky clanic trance where the psychedelic effects dominate the electronic ambiences. A very good track which wins all its flavor with a good headphone set and which proves that the Finland band of underground EM is far from being a flash in the pan.
Sylvain Lupari (April 28th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr Bandcamp page here

mercredi 27 avril 2016

ERIK WOLLO: Star's End 2015 (Silent Currents 4) (2016)

“This is the most quiet and meditative moments of this series and they will lead you to the door of your inner mind”
1 Silent Currents 4 60:13
Projekt ARC00100 (DDL 60:13) ***½
(Ambient)
Between the borders of a land of ice and the most white petit point in the horizons of the cosmos, a big humming roams while being flogged by the bites of sound stars. Heavy, this ambiospherical introduction opens Erik Wollo's the last performance at the famous Star's End radio show of 2015. This time, the Scandinavian electronic bard makes counterweight to Silent Currents 3 by spreading an immense mosaic of soundscapes where the breezes of the North and their haloes of hoarfrost infiltrate the whispers of the caves of ice. “Star's End 2015 (Silent Currents 4)” is doubtless the most quiet show of the series with linear and minimalist synth lines which intertwine their slow ambient arcs with some fine astral modulations in their caresses. We can hear the cosmos buzzing peacefully here as well as a thick cloud of seraphic voices, sometimes even a choir, which get lost in the hollow winds whistled by the high ice-cold tops. The whole thing forges immense sound waves which always leave cosmic residues before returning in cosmos. Layers of more seraphic voices swallow their rollings at around the 20th minute, freeing a more bright corridor where cavort crystal clear keys which wait only for a shadow of rhythm in order to take life. These small sequenced pearls gambol around and seem to shiver in the cold underground rivers of the Scandinavian caves, except that their brightness is too weak to make take out the rhythm of its den of serenity. It's as peaceable than soothing. The movement remains black and crumbles its minutes to the meter while that quite slowly is spreading the night over the shadows of Wollo in the studios of Star's End on WXPN-FM in Philadelphia. We arrive at the point of 30 minutes and the hollow breezes put on their wings another tone. That of a guitar that Erik Wollo caresses slowly with an Ebow, forging tears which get lost in our sense of hearing as were the ones of a synth. A suspended river makes its bed of sequences glittering which is singing with the sighs of the Ebow and this fusion of voice and of breezes which decorate the ambiences of "Silent Currents 4". A structure of minimalist rhythm makes skip the waterfall of sequences, structuring so an ambient rhythm which rings and resounds in layers of distant voices and in the shadows of the six-strings. This brief phase of aerial rhythm is swallowed by the anger of the winds which scold such as a distant machine of the cosmos, preparing the rather tribal rhythm which brings us to 50th minute. It's another short phase which fades out in rustles and in these immense layers of winds which accompany this quiet travel of our subconscious fed on serenity in the valley of Erik Wollo's silent currents.
Sylvain Lupari (April 26th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Projekt Bandcamp page here