mardi 16 septembre 2014

ALPHA LYRA & MOONSATELLITE: Live in Nancy 2013 (2014)

“Two styles in one 2 CD boxset; Live in Nancy 2013 is a great album of EM French School with 2 artists at their zeniths”
CD 1 (Alpha Lyra) 69:36
1 From Berlin to Nancy 69:36

CD 2 (MoonSatellite) 76:36
1 Emergence Part I 14:58
2 Sequenzer Part I 19:16
3 Patched People 8:42
4 Sequenzer Part IV 5:00
5 Low Life Part II 8:08
6 Missing Time Part I 20:34

PWM Distrib (2 CD 146:12) ****
(Cosmic e-rock a la French School style)
The French movement of EM continues to go out quite softly out of its borders. And this is a great news for the lovers of EM because the modern French School is as striking as the movement of the Dutch School. Alpha Lyra and MoonSatellite were invited to perform on the very famous E-Day Festival, held justly in the Netherlands on May 10th 2014. It's during this event that both rising stars of EM from France launched a double album, soberly entitled “Live in Nancy 2013”, which is an audio witness of two concerts given in Nancy on March 9th and 10th 2013. For those who are familiar with the music of Christian Piednoir, the man behind  Alpha Lyra, the latter presented the first sketches of his very good From Berlin to Paris, while MoonSatellite took his music from his magnificent sound saga which is Sequenzer as well as Missing Time and his brand new album Low Life which had just hardly landed in the stores.
It's with the bells of the Saint-Epvre Basilica that "From Berlin to Nancy" rings between our four walls. The intro is as much intense as noisy and gradually gives way to an astral choir which sings the peaceful harmonies of Midnight in Paris from the album
From Berlin to Paris. In fact, "From Berlin to Nancy" draws the main part of his 70 minutes from the bases of Alpha Lyra's last album. The rhythms are less heavy, less incisive and stay in a very ethereal approach of a concert where the influences of Bernd Kistenmacher, for the orchestrations, and Vangelis, for the very celestial approaches of synth movements filled of paradoxes, highlights marvellously the seraphic sweetnesses of From Berlin to Paris. The first minutes are more floating with a concerto for celestial choruses of which the singings become more emphasized or a bit eased at the wills of splendid orchestrations or some more cosmic movements. We hear the arpeggios of Beaubourg 16 pm sparkling with more vigour, while the choir pads are clearly more heavenly and more surrounding. Alpha Lyra multiplies the synth lines which move and float slowly like some shoals of clouds pushed by hot winds. The cosmic approach remains so very present, especially at the 25th minute where a delicate morphic melody invades our senses with a movement of sequences which shapes a mesmerizing ritornello in the shape of an astral cannon. A movement which is very typical to Christian Piednoir, although Michael Stearnsinfluences are very detectable here. It's from then that Alpha Lyra plays with the moods of "From Berlin to Nancy" by permuting its celestial ambiences and its delicate cosmic rhythms. After a rather static cosmic storm, pierced by some howling and superb twisted solos, we reach the nirvana of "From Berlin to Nancy" at around the 37th minute with a superb, but a superb, a sequenced melody even more poignant than the previous one. Constantly split between delicate rhythms and rich moods, "From Berlin to Nancy" continues to charm on the genesis of From Berlin to Paris but with many nuances, so much in the rhythms, harmonies and atmospheres. If the beginning of the show is rather slow, when Alpha Lyra borrows the paths of the rhythms he constantly returns to drink of it after brief ambiospherical passages, making of "From Berlin to Nancy" an unexpected complementary work to From Berlin to Paris. And the finale is grand. This is some great Alpha Lyra we have here!
The concert of
MoonSatellite is clearly more livened up. The French synthesist, of which the influences go from Jean Michel Jarre to Klaus Schulze, is unfolding a delicious cosmic setting with astral synth waves which will roll in the narrow corridors of a cosmos multicolored of thousand intersidereal tones. A very French School pattern that will bind the 6 tracks and the 77 minutes of this concert which begins with a track until then unknown to my ears, "Emergence Part I". The music is no surprise and still magically great. The intro is luxuriant with a dense cosmic fauna which carries the weight of sinuous synth waves which stroll while humming cosmic airs to the delicate lyrical distortions. This is a very rich ambient cosmic mood which quietly takes life with resounding pulsations; the birth of cosmic and loud rhythm. A movement of sequences gets loose. It makes scintillate its keys which dance with a subtle movement of harmonious undulation in the shadows of some other jumping sequencer keys. The movement accelerates. Tsitt-tsitt and bass sequences stir up a rhythm which widens its dimension with pulsations of bass sequences and Teutonic percussions, while the melody is dispersing its airs with a delicate subtlety in its detachment. This is huge cosmic rock at its best and MoonSatellite dazzled even more our ears with synth solos which always inhale this influence of Klaus Schulze. And these influences of Schulze will came to caress our ears throughout the splendid "Sequenzer Part I"; one of the great retro Berlin School music piece signed by Lone Wolf. The music may have come from different eras or from different themes that it pours harmoniously throughout this concert. "Patched People" inhales the rhythms and ambiences of "Emergence Part I" but with more relief and dynamism. After the very ambiospherical "Sequenzer Part IV", MoonSatellite offers us the very dynamic "Low Life Part II", as well as "Missing Time Part I" where the duels rhythms and ambiences are of pure magic and amongst the best of an electronic cosmic rock filled by a lot of soft interstellar madnesses. Sweetnesses which make me dream and which are the privilege of this very good double album; “Live in Nancy 2013”.
Sylvain Lupari (September 16th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 15 septembre 2014

AMONGST MYSELVES: The Past Is Another Country (2014)

“This album of dark ambient is deliciously filled by a subtle spirit of electronic folk music”
1 The Past is Another Country 6:03
2 Dark Places, Winter Shadows 11:19
3 He Who Bathes in the Black Sun 8:18
4 Cave of the Swimmers 6:43
5 The Day the Crickets Listened 7:39
6 Campfires of the Night Sky 6:19
7 In My Depths, All Treasures Dwell 12:49

SG17 (CD 59:40) *** ½ (Dark ambient music)
Long and slender synth lines, to the colors of melancholy, are floating and caressing waves which, sometimes, let hear a subtle sibylline singing. Profoundly meditative, "The Past is Another Country" transcends the borders of the dark ambient music with a very esoteric approach tinted by some fine dramatic nuances which isolates the listener in his thoughts. There are airs of Michael Stearns and Juta Takahashi on this title-track where the brightness illuminates the shadows with a delicate meshing of idle lines which seem to suffer as much that they seem to sing in an intense contemplative shroud. An envelope where the white is nibbled at its purity by fangs all black and which encircles our somber feelings up until the singings of discreet birds, meaning frankly that the past is actually another country.
Amongst Myselves is an interesting musical project of Steve Robert who is undoubtedly going to please those who love black and meditative ambient music, well for this one in any case. With 7 albums to his credit, albums a little bit closer of the celestial airs, the Australian synthesist takes another step by abandoning his usual style, which flirted with a more New Age kind, to switch for a more Dark Ambient music. And “The Past is Another Country” reaches this height of a dark music where Amongst Myselves doesn't deny entirely his rustic roots by flooding his structures of elements of an Australian nature which floods our ears of an absolute charm. Moreover this very last album presents the bound of this transition by mixing darker and serene vibes, even rather black, with sound effects where the sweetness of the nature crosses the sourness of the insanity. The chirping of birds may cheer up our ears that "Dark place, Winter Shadows" plunges, in spite of the soft caresses of a nature always charming, into gaps blacks. The surrounding noises establish a climate of worry, even of fright, with dark winds which hoot the distress. It's a little as when that Frodon Sacquet, and his good friend Sam, left the prosperous countered to enter into the lands of Mordor. There are growls which speak and reign over a fauna to thousand whispers. It's very enveloping as it's enigmatic but also very fascinating, like on the moods a little more musical over "The Day the Crickets Listened" where a timid guitar sings the romance to some very twisted reverberations. As darker as "Dark place, Winter Shadows", "He Who Bathes in the Black Sun" is clearly less threatening. Except for brief period, toward the end, with a mass of translucent lines from which we distinguish vaguely the singings of breezes. "Cave of the Swimmers" leads us to another level of intensity with synth lines to the colors of silver shouts which squeak over an indefinable nature. We perceive some unclear riffs of guitar and resonant chords trying a rhythmic breakthrough but the absolute void is swallowing "Cave of the Swimmers" into an ambiospherical and ambiosonic pattern which depicts quite well this tortuous glaucous universe of “The Past is Another Country”. "Campfires of the Night Sky" is undoubtedly the softest moment on this rather dark album with beautiful synth lines, to the colors of the romantic dreams, which float in an approach as poetic as ethereal. It's a good moment which catches up the lyrical bases of the title-track, while the very somber and penetrating "In My Depths, All Treasures Dwell" reveals a captivating symphony of hollow winds of which the somber atmospheres, fed by a thick cloud of sound drones, are titillated by scattered ringings of bells. These winds, at times tinted of refulgence, flood the ambiences of an album which sounds with fascination like some purely electronic ambient folk. Very immersive! And the fans of black ambiences will be extremely charmed.
Sylvain Lupari (September 15th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

samedi 13 septembre 2014

DIGIALSIMPLYWORLD: Essence of the Sequences (2014)

“This opus makes the apology of the sequencing art in a context where the imagination replaces guitars and voices in order to create above all a fascinating music”
1 Event Horizon of Sequences 11:46
2 Orbiter 6:43
3 Metal Heart 10:02
4 Sequential Glimmer 8:17

DSW Bandcamp (DDL 36:50) ***½
(Based sequences EM)
The universe of DigitalSimplyWorld feeds on his heterogeneity! After a film work which revisited the abysses of Blade Runner and an ambient work where everything becomes subtly music, the mysterious Polish synthesist comes back with an album where the sequences return to the cradles of the art of the sequenced rhythms. And beyond! “Essence of the Sequences” presents 4 minimalist movements where the sequences dress on forms as different as the rhythms. The music waves essentially towards rhythms but also towards melodies where the keys ring like strummed anvils, giving quite another vision that we could have about the role of sequences in the universe of EM.
And it is in the impetuous movements of
Steve Roach's Empetus and Stormwarning periods that the unbridled rhythm of "Event Horizon of Sequences" polishes our ears and makes us dance of the head. The structure leans on series of sequences which run at a brisk pace, entailing their shadows in a swirling rhythmic maze where roam attractive and soothing layers of a rather esoteric synth. The rhythm is hard and pure. No subtlety! Even when the sonic storm calms down, the agitators of ambiences and jumping keys are raging and kicking in cascade in a still pattern which leaves more charms to these synth pads filled so much with the aromas of Roach. This is a great track and one of the best in 2014! "Orbiter" proposes another kind of rhythmic structure with an intro which resounds like a majestic irascible piano. The rhythm turns around a brief cyclic ritornello with a repetitive movement which amasses some spectral harmonies forgotten in the sufferings of the anvils. One would say a prisoner who jogs in a cell too small for his ambitions. The movement becomes even more bouncy with the addition of other sequences which agglutinate and walk faster for a short period of time before that "Orbiter" finds again the paths of its obsessing sonic walk, but this time with fat chords to big resonant oscillations. The kind of oscillations which we also find on the very heavy and powerful "Metal Heart", by whom the cyclic beat is restricted just as much but which gets dressed of an attractive heaviness. A headache is to be planned if we put the volume too loud! And I have to inform you that I made heard this track to 2 of my friends and they find it very aggressive. I think they are right! The intro of "Sequential Glimmer" is a mixture between the moods of The City Dark Synth and the strummed rhythm, more furtive this time, of "Orbiter". Quietly everything is taking shape. The crackling of fire and the drumming of sequences converge on a pale and nervous structure of rhythm of which the shivers flounder under oscillations which have a very subtle sound of didge. There is a fine dramatic gradation in the moods which perspire a little those of Flashpoint or the Californian Deserts School with an attractive crescendo, as rhythmic as sonic. A crescendo which crashes in an intriguing ambient moment before retying with a little disordered finale.
Who says 
DigitalSimplyWorld, says EM which transcends the usual patterns with a clearly less commercial and resolutely more instructive approach. “Essence of the Sequences” quite means. It's an album which makes the apology of the movement of sequences, their airs as much as their rhythms, in a context where the imagination, the boldness and the resourcefulness replace guitars and voices in a music which aims to be so as well free as totally fascinating. This is why it is necessary to greet the creativity, without any commercial bounds, of the artists such as DigitalSimplyWorld. And needs to say that "Event Horizon of Sequences" is quite a great piece of EM!
Sylvain Lupari (September 13th, 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 11 septembre 2014

EFSS: Night On Ouddorp (2014)

“Night in Ouddorp is a totally unexpected surprise to be tidied up next to Node 2 and to Umbra from Arc”
1 Gate 5:03
2 Oblivion 6:30
3 Haunted 8:15
4 Circling 6:00
5 Ritual 9:38
6 Trails 5:05
7 Dissolution 7:40

CD ER03 (CD-r 48:11) *****
(Analog vintage Berlin School)
Two heads are better than one! So what is happening when there are four? The modular synthesizers are instruments which generate an infinite sound creativity. Imagine now when 4 musicians, each follower of the modular synths, merge inventiveness and boldness! Well, it gives an album to the attractive rhythms, in parallels and criss-crossed, which takes a very enviable place in the dark and territories of an EM to the fascinating analog perfumes. Jörg Erren, Bert Fleißig, Jochen Schöttler and Christian Steffen are four friends and musicians who share their passion for an EM of the analog kind since2010. Regularly they meet and challenge their capacities with an impressive range of modular equipments. The result of these sessions found itself on two compilations; Ouddorp Tapes in 2011 and Ouddorp Takes in 2012. “Night in Ouddorp” comprises the fruit of such sessions improvised at the beginning of 2014 and reveals to our ears an impressive album which is advantageously in the same lineage as Node 2 and Arc's Umbra, either one of the most imaginative albums of 2014.
"Gate" plunges us into the magic of “Night in Ouddorp” with a quite small melody livened up by a ritornello of crystal clear sequences and their circular ringings. You remember
Edgar Froese's Stuntman? This is the best parallel to be made to describe better this style of gyrating rhythm which meets another line of rhythm, this time with sequences more black and soaked of organic tones. Other sequences, in percussions mode, drum a structure of rhythm lighter and more sober than that of the bright sequences. Another figure of rhythm comes to create havoc in this mixture of sequenced rhythms which pound as much that they serenade in a delicious rhythmic jumble where 4 phases of rhythms criss-cross and where we are free to choose which one will make dance best our imagination. One of the numerous charms of “Night in Ouddorp” is this sensation of tension, of mysticism which encircles its some 50 minutes. Here, there is a subtle spectral melody which roams through this attractive pattern of mixed rhythms which seem to be inspired by Tangerine Dream and mainly Edgar Froese. The other charm is these rhythms which jump up with a thick cloud of sequences to tones as different and divergent as their directions. Like in "Oblivion" where our feet bang instead of our fingers when the rhythm binds itself to these bass sequenced technoïd pulsations which hammer a vertical structure of rhythm where dances a mass of rebel keys. Heavy and mysterious "Haunted" makes roar out its industrial machines on a loud rhythm. A rhythm which makes its keys scamper in the twilights of this Orc industry which redden the hell over the now decimated and carbonized forests of Bilbo Baggins' adventures. Still there, this rhythm is buried by lines of sequences which are pounding, breathing and dancing in an intense static magma. It's between ['ramp] and Redshift. Totally infernal! The structure of rhythm on "Circling" pays tribute to its name with lines of sequences which zigzag and join to hammer a rhythm which sparkles with its finely jerky agreements in beautiful veils of Mellotron which fill the atmospheres of ethereal caresses. Our fingers are dancing with our imagination. I like these moods of sordid where roams a ghostly melody. And "Ritual", the sublime of the sublimes, feeds my passions with a wonderful music, deserving of the best horror movies. A spectral singing roams over a nest of snores of an animal and of its thousand wires and knobs. The air is as well mesmerizing as frightening with devilish hummings which wakes a line of sequences of which the curt steps entail other pulsations just as much jerky. A soft Mellotron comforts our anxiety and follows the delicately jerky jolts of sequences. And we always hear the rustles of the animal and the spectral melody which turns and turns. The ears riveted to our loudspeakers we notice hardly another line of sequences, to tones of light metal, and another one, with melodious chirpings, to give more relief to a track which spreads its satanic hold up to its last snores. Outstanding EM! "Trails" follows very closely the finale of "Ritual", we even hear here these muffled organic pulses pounding, by offering a structure of bouncing rhythm. Sequences skip and hop in a controlled anarchy where float ethereal clouds and of which the sweetness watches over a herd of keys which threatens all the time to overflow in a rhythmic and harmonious phase which gets closer to that of "Gate". "Dissolution" drags us in the territories of dark and ambient music of EFSS. It's a dark piece of EM with synth waves which crawl of their slow oscillations and buzz of their linear reverberations with a ghostly melody which sighs in the background. We have the impression to be at one thousand leagues beneath the ground, or under the sea with submarine noises, or still to be alone in the cosmos so much the sensation of solitude assails our ears.
Night in Ouddorp” is a totally unexpected surprise. The kind of thing which occurs that too rarely and which restores to EM its letters of noblesse. It has to be tidied up next to
Node 2 and to Umbra from Arc. Hat to all of you Jörg Erren, Bert Fleißig, Jochen Schöttler and Christian Steffen!
Sylvain Lupari (September 11th, 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 9 septembre 2014

ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT: Horizons (2014)

“Horizons is another strong opus where Gregory Kyryluk offers the best in cosmic e-rock without ever denying his roots”
1 Horizon 5:15
2 Traveller 9:51
3 Impressions 4:18
4 Starbound 10:10
5 Shanti 3:05
6 Remnant 6:04

HRR 090114 (CD-r/DDL 38:46) ****½
(Cosmic Rock)
What strikes the most as soon as we hear the first measures of “Horizons” is this rich and very textural musical envelope which wraps an electronic cosmic rock whose fragrances and interstellar sound effects bring it to another level. The ethereal, almost esoteric signature, which characterizes Gregory T. Kyryluk's EM remains very present. Except that “Horizons” is distancing itself in his discography with an architectural envelope which is veneered of heaviness. There is a very melancholic, sometimes somber, presence which comes from his synths and of their airs a bit jazzy which float on rhythms in constant movements. Heavier and lively than Archaic Frontiers, “Horizons” reveals 5 energetic compositions, "Shanti" being very meditative, with a massive use of electronic percussions which hammer some lively rhythms or which are timing the hypnotic tic-tac of metronomes of which the fusion heaviness/slowness is charmingly taken away by clouds of Mellotron with violin harmonies.
And it begins with "Horizon" and its trembling manual percussions which tickle the caresses of the romantic violins. And the rhythm takes off. He is heavy and ambient, like a big symphonic e-rock. Pulled by good percussions and lit by sequences which sparkle such as bright wings of butterfly, it crawls slyly beneath vampiric synth waves. Waves to two tones which reveal superb orchestrations, while "Horizon" gathers like a bee brief moments of ambiences, among which a beautiful reverie on piano. And at each time this rhythm, which sleeps shortly and snores of impatience, bursts with more and more dense philharmonic envelopes and a delicate technoïd approach which collapses under the heaviness of its structure. Navigating through its slow rhythms, always well hammered by good percussions, and its ethereal ambiences, "Traveller" finally sails between a cosmic electronic universe and an approach little bit funky with synth solos to the fragrances a tiny bit jazzy. Its intro is filled up by cosmic tones and violin strata which float in an intersidereal Eden, while the harmonies are rocking on delicate tablas kind of percussions, which are very present in these first moments of “Horizons”. The cosmic effects a la
Jarre abound, we even hear these percussions which click as some metallic wood, on this track which mixes pleasantly rhythms and moods with an approach as cosmic than very human. Always covered of dense cosmico-orchestral embraces, "Impressions" offers a delicate melody which hums of its charming airs on a slightly hopping rhythm. Catchy, the track evolves with a subtle crescendo, both in the tone and in its outcome, and with a small touch of complexity which takes out the sweet ethereal approach of its comfortable cosmic bed. A little as "Traveller", "Starbound" offers a structure in movement but with a clearly more voracious rhythm. A soft ghostly melody hums on a tempo puts on the beat right away by a hypnotic metronome and which is excited by percussions making noise with hyperactive sequences. Sequences which bubble in a static, sometimes stroboscopic, magma and which drag the rhythm at a more agitated level, while that very electronic solos, as lyrical as twisted, overhang a rhythm whose swiftness hangs onto a flight of very lively percussions. A brief ambient passage, very colored, cuts the legs to this rhythm which takes back its life under superb solos of a multidimensional synth. This is very good. I imagine that it is what Jean Michel Jarre would have made before falling in his metamorphosis phase. Oh... this "Shanti" is beautiful and restful. I hear here these airs of forsaken trumpets and saxophone forgotten in the rain of Blade Runner. And Alpha Wave Movement can't avoid the comparisons with Steve Roach or nor of the Californian Desert School, because "Remnant" plunges us there downright. The rhythm forges a spheroidal kind of walking where we constantly have the impression to climb the staircases in spirals of a mountain without top. This is visibly inspired by these ambient ballads of the Californian deserts with sequences, a bit organic, which quaver in stroboscopic hiccups, splitting an attractive approach as much hypnotic than ethereal and whose fragility rests on a sound decoration painted by synths to the  harmonies and atmospheres divinatory.
From album to album,
Alpha Wave Movement never disappoints. Gregory Kyryluk masters the art of renewed himself without denying his roots. “Horizons” explodes of an unsuspected vigour. A sound dynamism where the rhythms set ablaze these completely unusual avenues to the Alpha Wave Movement's repertoire, who manages all the same to preserve a meditative cachet which stands out even more in this album which will seduce, both by the tone of the synths than the diversity of its rhythms. Guaranteed!
Sylvain Lupari (September 9th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: