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

dimanche 27 avril 2014

TANGERINE DREAM: Chandra: Phantom Ferry Part I (2009)

“Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part I is a nice album but I was expecting much more. But isn't what we all hoped from years?”
1 Approaching Greenland at 7 PM 7:49 
2 The Moondog Connection 3:59 
3 Screaming of the Dreamless Sleeper 6:56 
4 The Unknown is the Truth 7:31 
5 The Dance Without Dancers 5:41 
6 Child Lost in Wilderness 7:07 
7 Sailor of the Lost Arch 7:53 
8 Verses of a Sisong 7:37 
9 Silence on a Crawler Lane 4:05

Eastgate ‎| 037 CD (CD 58:39) ***½
(E-rock with a zest of pop, dark ambient and New Age)
It's of a frenzied and hyper ventilated way that opens this fascinating musical story based on a manuscript found in a military camp of Greenland, near Thule. A fictitious story where the Carlos character meets a strange entity which seems to know more on him than himself. This is a beautiful basic idea which is spread out over 9 very distinct pieces of music, from where the feeling of unlikelihood in order to create a musical story which wants to be at the height of its so surprising outcomes. Alone, Edgar Froese seems to be afraid of creating. He is lacking of inspiration, boldness and originality. Becoming then predictable, even boring by moments. Nevertheless the story of “Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part I” seems to have an interesting musical reach for EM; a musical art which has the advantage of becoming theatrical, filmic with a pleiad of instruments able concoct a whole range of possibilities. But Edgar never touches upon this interesting possibility. Our silver fox is very drab, colourless. Not that “Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part I” is that boring, far from it. It's a beautiful opus, but the boldness of its story is missing.
With "Approaching Greenland at 7 PM", it's clear that it sounds like a wild race. The rhythm is nervous, jerky and runs on a bass line which espouses the shade of sequences spread like keen knocks of percussions. This is a good track. A good enter with moves of funk and with sequential variances coated by fine Tangetized layers. Imho, it's too short and a real kicker. "The Moondog Connection" spits a somber sensibility with a smooth play of synth from which the lines waves in loops and a discreet mellotron are filtering harmonies through some reverberating mist.
Edgar spices the whole thing of tuneful scattered chords which decorate this soft melody of a dark greyness that continues up until "Screaming of the Dreamless Sleeper"; a black title, but without souls with these vocalizes tinted of false feelings which glean here and there on a rhythmic progress which is lacking creativity. This track is so much sounding like the repertoire of the Melrose years and seems to be way out of this work of fiction, just like "Child Lost in Wilderness" and its choirs obscured by a so fade poetic approach. Not bad, but we speak about Froese and TD here. "The Unknown is the Truth" starts with a black linear wave blown by sonic arches tinted of blowpipes. This is an intro vaporously original which switches mood for a more nervous pace, seasoned of delicious crystal clear arpeggios which float in this universe closer of chaos than of harmony. The rhythm there is sluggish and stumbles into hallucinogenic psychotronic limbos which recall the first artistic gaps of the Dream. I liked it. It's a very good track which releases an abyssal mood where the remorse shows up in all the hidden recesses. Synth with intriguing laments, fluty and discreet mellotron with arrangements of a sadness to graze the soul; "The Dance without Dancers" is a baroque black ballet which spins in a bitterness subdued of a fragile hope. I think it's a very nice track which calls back the period of Legend. "Sailor of the Lost Arch" is a beautiful ballad taken from a New Age soil. It flows well, but we are far from a well structured EM, even if Edgar adds his heterogeneous tones. And the more we progress and the more we fall in a kind of musical easiness. Melancholic themes which repeat and which only have by tasteless synth lines which glean here and there, making believe in any emotional evolution while that everything sounds so much like old rehashed.
All and all, “Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part I” is a nice album but I was expecting much more. But isn't what we all hoped from years? An unequal album where some pretty good music parts are getting lost in pretty poor and weak moments. Moments and tracks which show all the difficulty of
Edgar to surpass himself. Edgar is getting old and becomes very gloomy. And this gloom perspires on this album where the rhythms and ambiences have difficulty to find original forms. It's good and it listens pretty well, but something is missing there.

Sylvain Lupari (Originally wrote on November 9th, 2009 and translated on April 26th, 2014) &

samedi 26 avril 2014

TANGERINE DREAM: Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part II (2014)

“Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part II is a fair album with a music that we are used to hear. No surprises and no deceptions”
1 3 Rotcaf Neila 8:24
2 Aldebaran 6:56
3 Dnammoc Su 5:53
4 Capricornus 9:30
5 Apus 5:57
6 Auriga 8:03
7 Columba 8:54
8 Cygnus 5:24
9 Centaurus 8:04
10 Monocerus 8:36

Eastgate ‎| 067 CD (CD 75:41) ***½
(Mix of e-rock and dark-ambient Berlin School)
How we can jump from almost being excellent with the Sonic Poem Series and switch to something very average with a studio album such as “Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part II”. Or should I begin this by asking if a suite to the Chandra: Phantom Part I was really needed? Already that the basic idea was good and that the musical outcome seemed totally disconnected, so why going there around 5 years later. But let's say it from the start; I quite enjoyed the musical ride of “Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part II”. And this even if I always had the feeling of déjà-heard which floats here and there. Déjà-heard which flirts with the Eastgate years of the Dream but also with the beautiful years of Froese, Franke and Baumann, from where my interest in it. I even hear, yes yes, synths with Mephistophelian fragrances of the Ricochet times here and there.
"3 Rotcaf Neila" presents a beautiful ballad whose soft airs are disconnected from the feverish bed of sequences which makes feel it keys so nervous. The style is very Eastgate with melodious and sober synth lines and discreet idle singings. "Aldebaran" is another track like we are used to hear quite often over the last years of
TD's repertoire. The rhythm is ambient, quite as a helicopter which floats with a lot of effort against the multiple synth layers a bit swampy. In the end it's just as good as easy to listen to, just like "Cygnus" which is very lively on the other hand. But we have already heard these musical structures so often. "Dnammoc Su" is a track which hooks immediately the ear with a rhythm as effective as attractive and good guitar solos. Good e-rock there! And the more we move forward in “Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part II” and the more we let ourselves be seduce by moods which at the end seem to fit with Edgar's tale. "Capricornus" is a somber ambient melody where we have difficulty in distinguishing the chords of a melancholic guitar from chords of a keyboard/synth just as much gloomy. Synths draw shoal of nostalgia with a black elegance which suits very well to the very dark approach of the track. In the same style there is "Centaurus" which drags its shagreen on an a little more stormy structure of rhythm. "Apus" presents a nervous, a lively  rhythm with percussions of felt-tips which lets its beat to be nibble by sober keyboard riffs. The ambiences are tetanized by numerous pads of a synth and of their lugubrious aromas which float on a rhythm of which the fine modifications live within knocks of percussions. Good but without surprises, this is TD as we are used to hear whereas that "Auriga" and "Columba" exploit the same structures but with ambiences and sequences which bring us very near to the Flashpoint era. I really liked those 2 tracks. "Monocerus" ends with an approach as much sad as sinister where Edgar vaporizes his very Tangetized synth pads on a slow rhythm. One would say a march of a solitary cowboy who leaves a city that he cleaned of its bandits.
One cannot say that “Chandra: Phantom Ferry-Part II” is a bad album as well as we can't say that it's a genius one. Alone...
Edgar feels very lonely. It's an honest album which can turn out to be disappointing if we fixed our expectations very high about Edgar Froese's creativity. Me? It has been a long time since I fixed my bar of hopes at a fair height. This is probably why I like this new chapter in Edgar's fantasies.

Sylvain Lupari (April 26th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: 

jeudi 24 avril 2014

ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT: Myriad Stars (2011)

“Myriad Stars is yet another fine album of cosmic and ambient rhythms skilfully built up by Alpha Wave Movement”
1 Beacon I 2:59
2 The Dark Lure 6:22
3 Beacon II 3:10
4 Gravity Well Flux Part I 2:54
5 Gravity Well Flux Part II 5:24
6 Beacon III 3:46
7 Anatomical Universe 7:19
8 Singularities 9:30
9 Star Birth 14:05
10 73 74 61 72 5:24

HRR1011 (DDL 61:08) **** (Ambient and cosmic EM)
Dusty winds make sing their prismic particles which mutate into long guttural drones. On a carpet of finely drummed percussions and scattered noises of ballasts, "Beacon I" shakes its frail ambient rhythm which skips in sinuous hoarse voices and synth pads to the soft airy caresses. It's with pleasure that my ears get stuffed again of the very cosmic universe of Alpha Wave Movement. Composed between 2006 and 2011, “Myriad Stars” is a fascinating fusion between the very cosmic sequenced style of Thought Guild, another Gregory Kyryluk's project, and the ambient music a little more down-to-earth of Alpha Alpha Wave Movement whose cosmic fragrances are filled of influences by Vangelis and Steve Roach.
"The Dark Lure" follows with astral synth waves which float as angels' sighs. The onset is profoundly ambient with lines of synths which interlace into soft crystalline chirpings. A line of bass frees furtive chords, shaping so a cosmic rhythm which moves stealthily in order to finally adopt a tangent a little more livened up with metallic jingles and soft absent percussions which put the table to a beautiful line of sequences to the nervous jolts. Swirling and zigzagging under the caresses of a synth which prefers the cosmic moods to some brief ethereal solos, the rhythm of "The Dark Lure" becomes spheroidal and also becomes a prelude to the very beautiful "Anatomical Universe" and its cosmic fury à la
Jarre. After the very cosmic, extraterrestrial and ambient rhythm à la Roach (all this there in hardly 3 minutes) of "Beacon II", the saga Gravity Well Flux brings us in the most enveloping borders of the cosmos such as seen by Gregory Kyryluk. We would believe to be in a space shuttle, immersing from a long cryogenic sleep, with slow morphic moods of "Gravity Well Flux Part I" and its waltzing and philharmonic synth waves à la Vangelis. "Gravity Well Flux Part II" falls in our ears with a resounding intro, kind of THX, before evaporating its astral waves with the coming of a strange rhythm which is panting on a fascinating meshing of sequences from which the hatched jumps are structuring a cosmic Roach dance beneath slow and morphic synth pads. Nervous and very lively, with good synth solos filled by the Berlin School perfumes. We dive back into the industrial cosmic darkness à la Blade Runner with "Beacon III" which aims to be a beautiful and adequate intro to the very good and entailing "Anatomical Universe" where Gregory Kyryluk mixes skilfully his Jarre and Roach influences in 7 too short minutes. Brilliant! The introduction of "Singularities" shows at which point how Alpha Wave Movement handles to perfection the cosmic structures rich in sound depths. We would guess to be in a lunar base observing a dance of stars which sparkle around celestial bodies and cosmic auroras borealis. A line of bass sequence spreads chords as slow as heavy whose resonance draws a furtive ambient rhythm which swirls delicately, like a rangy stroboscopic filet, under the more and more present singings of interstellar oracles. "Star Birth" adopts the same precepts but in a longer frame and with a beautiful ambient rhythm finely drummed in tandem with more crystalline sequences. "73 74 61 72" presents a structure clearly more exploratory with a thick cloud of cosmic tones which slide over radio transmissions and the hootings of strange extraterrestrial bugs. It's an audacious track to conclude an album which mixes marvellously the ambiosonic boldnesses, the always serene exploratory moods as well as the cosmic rhythms as much lively as restful. In brief an album just as the image of Alpha Wave Movement; an artist who never stops amazed and whose discovery I strongly recommend.
Sylvain Lupari (April 24th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: 

mardi 22 avril 2014

FRANK KLARE: Soundtrack for Dreams (1998-2010)

“Frank Klare is an amazing artist who can goes between the Teutonic rhythms as well as deep minimalist Berlin School but Soundtrack for Dreams is mainly a deep and great incursion in the filmic moods of TD. Awesome!”
1 Labyrinth 2:56  2 Unknown Excursion 3:11 
3 Orientalic Excursion 6:34
4 Through the Spheric Timegate 6:51  5 Stratospheric Impression 4:47
6 Living Illusion 1:50  7 Twilight Situation 4:45
8 Timegate through Underwater Worlds 3:42  9 Cosmic Lovescene 3:55
10 Confrontation 5:29
11 Dream-Surrender 1:06
12 Running Away 2:52
13 Vision of a Timebridge 4:57
14 Garden of Wonders 1:40
15 Awakening out of Dreams 6:51 16 Rising Back to the Dreamlands 4:29
Dreamgirl on the Broadway
- Dream or Reality? 3:42
SynGate | CD-r FK09 (CD-r 69:37) **** (E-rock à la TD)
Dark riffs of keyboard dances on heavy percussions. Lighter chords float at the same time as some very ethereal choirs. We frown and we wonder if we are not listen to a piece of music forgotten in the vaults of Tangerine Dream, periods Thief or still Flashpoint. With its rhythm hammered in a relative nightmarish sweetness "Labyrinth" spreads all the weight of its paradox between the naming of its album and the sudden way of finding the heavy electronic rock of Tangerine Dream very inviting. Playing on the various creative stages of the famous Berlin trio, “Soundtrack for Dreams” has nothing of a soft invitation to reverie. It's an album of pure and hard electronic rock which drinks of the influences of Tangerine Dream and of its more cinematographic approach with short tracks, filled of beautiful moments of ambiences, where one hears with pleasure reminiscences of the Thief to Poland while passing by Le Parc. But let's start of its genesis …“Soundtrack for Dreams” was initially realized in 1999 on Frank Klare's personal label (Traumklang Self-Released TK-CDR-9). This first version offered 11 tracks named Dream 1 to Dream 11. A first remixed and remastered version saw the light of day in 2006 on the German label SynGate with 6 new pieces of music. Rapidly sold out, “Soundtrack for Dreams” saw a 3rd edition, always on the SynGate label and on the same format as in 2006, on October 2010. Although written between 1998 and 2006, the music of “Soundtrack for Dreams” is a mosaic of heavy and lively e-rock which doesn't suffer at all from the artistic gap between its 8 years of writing, thanks to a very good mixing of sequences (made by Valleyforge's Thomas Bechholds) and a very beautiful remasterisation made by Bernd Moonbooter Scholl, such as we can discover when listening to "Labyrinth" and "Unknown Excursion".
The first sequence of rhythm of "Unknown Excursion" is directly attached to the last beating of "Labyrinth" and the track offers a strong electronic rock à la Bondy Parade or still Dr Destructo. "Orientalic Excursion" presents a superb melody imprinted by perfumes of East on a bed of twinkling sequences. The rhythm takes time to take shape. Floating between harmonies and ambiences, he flogs the time with powerful electronic percussions which pave the way to a great silky melody and therefore a catchy musical itch. Lively and harmonious, we shake of the head and we stamp of the feet such as in the summer of my 14 years with a soft perfume of Patchouly. The symphonic synths of "Through the Spheric Timegate" caress a structure of circular rhythm where spheroidal sequences are harpooned by percussions of which the hammered knocks melt down again the rhythm in a more linear approach. Still there; Bondy Parade or Dr Destructo, but in more ethereal mood. "Stratospheric Impression" offers a more evasive structure where the rhythm is slow and pounds with a certain heaviness, a little as in "Twilight Situation" and its filmic approach which reminds me of
Near Dark. Jingles and percussions hit a hypnotic rhythm that the voice of Sabine Klare overhangs of esoteric singings. "Living Illusion" falls in our ears with a wave of sequences of which the undulations flutter nervously before tumbling in the filets of percussions and their electronic military rollings. Simple but efficiently catchy! And as we go on into our discovery of “Soundtrack for Dreams” we find that the rhythms and the moods which are hiding there are all of known territories. And the music is heavy. If we hear with obvious fact the influences of Tangerine Dream, we also hear the very personal approach of Frank Klare whose creativity has nothing to envy to the multiple faces of Edgar's bands. When our ears uncork "Timegate through Underwater Worlds", we perceive a subtle different between the eight new tracks which separate both releases. Here, the recollections of the Dream are closer to the Le Parc years with a movement of sequences of which the vaporous tones remind me of Poland. The rhythm is more clear, less heavy, and remains very lively with this structure which flutters like the wings of a butterfly prisoner of his vertical tube. After a quite cute and lively "Cosmic Lovescene", "Confrontation" dips us back into the moods of a Thief perfumed of the powerful blackness of Near Dark. It's a great track with a brilliant game of electronic percussions which ends in the bouncy Teutonic sequences of "Dream-Surrender" which leads us towards something like ambiences of The Keep with "Running Away". And if we miss the moods of Optical Race, we listen to the very melodious hypnotic tick-tock of "Vision of a Timebridge" which, at times, adopts a little the harmonies of Underwater Sunlight, especially with a very dreamy guitar. The harmonies are melting in the very ambient "Garden of Wonders" which brings us up to the heavy and powerful "Awakening out of Dreams" and the very incisive guitar solos, as well as mordant riffs, of Max Schiefele which float and gallop such as of melodious threats. Very good. "Rising Back to the Dreamlands" and "Dreamgirl on the Broadway - Dream or Reality?" end a surprising album among which the essences and the spirit embrace the cradle of the influences of an artist who got himself literally the sound of TD from the 80's, as much by means of the equipments as by an obvious passion for the film music from Franke, Froese  and Schmoelling. And I, I hear souvenirs of Le Parc floating in my ears after that the last notes of "Dreamgirl on the Broadway - Dream or Reality?" have fallen.
Sylvain Lupari (April 22nd, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: