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

vendredi 15 juin 2012

TANGERINE DREAM: Machu Picchu (2012)

"Even if the melodies seem cold and calculated, Machu Picchu is a nice album which has its numerous winks of eye at the great years of the Dream"

1 Caminos del Inca 10:00
2 Machu Picchu 5:32
3 Adios a Cusco 8:09
4 Tayta Inti 7:26
5 Rio Urubamba 5:57
6 La Piedra Intihuatana 8:14

EASTGATE 056 MINICUPDISC (CD 45:16)

If we trust the guide of press, Machu Picchu is a very personal work that Edgar Froese caresses since 2002. The work reached its creative paroxysm further to John Peel's death, famous disc jockey of the British radio BBC, who was one of the first journalists to believe in the potential of progressive and electronic music in the 60’s, of which Tangerine Dream. It's in Peru, near the crowned site Inca of Machu Picchu that John Peel breathed his last breaths, so explaining a title and an album which bears a little to confusion. Confusion because nothing lets perspire any kind of tribute to John Peel. The music being very far from the embryonic years of the Dream, and the ambience which surrounds Machu Picchu has nothing to do with the influences of an Inca world. But is it good? Hum... I believe so ... and here is why!
Machu Picchu, it's the dream became reality! It's Edgar's reincarnation in the musical temples of Tangerine Dream. Really that I hear some of you whistle? Yes! But there's a snag ...there is always a snag somewhere. Leaned on a sequential pattern which weaves galloping and oscillating rhythms from the Stuntman and Pinnacles years and embroidered in sober and calculated melodies in the coolness of Edgar Froese's angelic synths, Machu Picchu is a surprising journey through the labyrinthine meanders and antipodes of the mythical German group. Surprising, Edgar spreads a superb pattern of sequences to hundred rhythms and ambiences that synths with melodies overused in an imagination dried up by an excess of productions are covered, by moments, of a melodic coolness which calls back the Miramar and TDI years.
Like a finger touching the surface of water to draw gleaming waves, a note falls and awakens the lamentations of a synth from which the breaths crystallize some weak scattered chords. One would imagine being in a musical lake of Tangerine Dream where the timeless sweetness of Legend caresses our ears. A bass line drops its notes which float in suspension, awakening some souvenirs of Flashpoint, while rippling synth vapors are cuddling the hesitation. These notes align themselves and form a fluid sequential movement which waves under a pensive melody, leading "Caminos del Inca" towards its first sequential rebuff. It’s a brief moment of revolt before that the soft rhythm takes back its rights which will be scoffed here and there by short interludes that Edgar is watering of an ethereal poetic approach which goes up until the title-track. By far the weakest track on this last CupDisc, "Machu Picchu" sits on sober slamming percussions and melodic chords to the timbres of the Eastgate years that a chirping synth wraps of an insipid northern melody. Even if the duration is relatively short, its listening turns out long and boring. It's the only stain to Machu Picchu which recaptures the hair of creativity with "Adios a Cusco", dedicated to John Peel, and its bed of sequences from which the oscillating crystalline keys are dancing like a frenzied duet and are lulling a progressive tempo. A tempo which gradually carries at rhythm's length a soft and ethereal melody full of sweet breezes of silk and its electronic drift. "Tayta Inti" is heavier and darker. Its percussions shake nervous sequences with interrupted flows while the synths and its iridescent spectres chant a mesmerizing night-melody. As on all the titles of Machu Picchu, the rhythm is broken by interludes, ambient or floating, before the tempo spurts out again with a little more energy. If the synths seem to miss airs, or melodies, the sequencing is always bubbling. A bit intriguing, "Rio Urubamba" presents a beautiful harmonious approach with a so romantic and nostalgic synth blowing its perdition on a bed of sequences dancing in a spiral disorder. It's really a very beautiful title! "Piedra Intihuatana" concludes Machu Picchu with a galloping rhythm which walks with a spur gait on a good melodious approach. An approach weaved in the shade of a synth always so melancholic but fed by a filet of hope. The pace is steady and minimalist before hitting a quiet atmospheric chaos where the hesitation of the floating arpeggios proposes a good ambient moment, as it pours almost everywhere on this long romance of 45 minutes.
Always according to the legends that Eastgate tries to forge around Edgar, Machu Picchu was suppose to stay in the vaults of the old fox. It's his wife who would have incited our debated eclectic character to put this album within the reach of his fans so much she saw fit. And I owe admit that the advice was wise. Machu Picchu is a beautiful album. There are lots of winks of eye at the great years of the Dream. If melodies seem cold and calculated, the sequencing forgives this small gap with superb lines to hundred forms and rhythms. In fact, it's an album which allies the rhythms and melodies of the empirical years of the Dream to those lighter and colder of the Miramar and TDI years. I think it's a must buy for any TD fans...
Sylvain Lupari (June 14th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=15302

samedi 9 juin 2012

EMMENS & HEIJ: Journey (2007)

"Journey is a great album inspired by aggressive sequences as well as evasive and smooth cosmic synths"

1 Journey 8:01
2 The Endless Running Messenger 15:32
3 A City Awakens 11:46
4 Rolling Thunder in the Mountains of Hope 11:52
5 Red Clouds over a Misty Swamp 9:28
6 Regaining Breath in the Eye of the Storm 17:49

EMMENS/HEIJ: EH003 (CD 74:26)

It’s on the late that I discovered Gert Emmens & Ruud Heij's Journey. I adored Silent Witnesses of Industrial Landscapes  and The Sculpture Garden and it’s these atmospheres that I discover on this 3rd collaboration between both accomplices since 2004. Journey is a cosmic journey through evolutionary rhythms that the duet feed at knocks of sequences which challenge imagination. Audacious sequences which sometimes sleep but often jostle the order of things established by structures sometimes dreamy, strollers, poetic and melodious.
A beautiful sequence takes shape on gurgling and reverberations of a spatial intro to tones of arcade. It waddles and dances of its agile chords into rich layers synth filled of lines of mist.
As soon as the first breaths of
"Journey" float we are wrapped by this cosmic aura from the Dutch duet. A synth with choir lines adds a warm depth to a synth which espouses a circular movement waving and galloping like a cascade to grave intonations. The synths are fluids and pour beautiful solos typical of Emmens & Heij's tones. Loud and twisted solos which cover a rhythm fed by sequences of which the subdivided and shape shifting keys maintain a harmonious cadence. "The Endless Running Messenger" presents a more cosmic intro where synth breezes float under a rain and its cosmic thunders. While waltzing with oblivion, the synth offers silky lines which roam in loneliness, harmonizing their sadness in the drops which dry before reaching the ground. An oscillating sequence emerges in the shade of celestial choirs filled by grave timbres. It waves in a hypnotic movement, caressing the smooth floating synth layers to amplify its magnetism with strident solos which get lost in a heavy atmosphere and break on the cliffs of cymbals, while the synths take back their rights for an ambient finale. Hypnotic and melodic, the sequential movement of "A City Awakens" hops with a chime tone. The synth is quite enveloping and its lines are dancing out of balance on an aggressive sequence which moulds a spiral rhythm, multiplying its loops with a harmonious fluidity. And the finale is superb with its sequences dance which sparkles in an ethereal fog swollen by fine electronic sound effects.
If you like big weighty sequencers,
"Rolling Thunder in the Mountains of Hope" has something to satisfy your expectations. It’s a powerful track which flows with a restrained rhythm filled by superbly smooth and captivating synth layers caressing a heavy rhythm fed by flickering and motionless sequences. The 2nd portion is even heavier with fluid sequences which hammer a stubborn rhythmic under great soloing nasal breaths. It reminds me a little of the galloping rhythms of Tangerine Dream and the lugubrious ambiences of Redshift. "Red Clouds over a Misty Swamp" is a moment of atmospheric relaxation. It’s a long floating ode fed by a thick cloud of synth layers which invade our ears and invite us in an intense intra-personal reflection where those synth waves waltz in a cosmic nothingness covered of sound effects and choirs roaming like our thoughts wander. "Regaining Breath in the Eye of the Storm" is a superb track which takes root in some very atmospheric ambiences à la TD of their Pink years. A great cosmic and floating layer leads us on a tight-fitting sequencer, from which the divided keys dancing such as scatterbrained fires follow curves which are similar to those we find on "The Endless Running Messenger". These sequences wave with a contained frenzy under whistles from a dreamy synth, creating some structures with oppositions in movements. Rhythmic structures with modulations sometimes tortuous and complex which coil up on a synth to harmonious whistles before being melted in the sweetnesses of beautiful morphic strata, driving "The Endless Running Messenger" towards an angelic peace of mind and its atmospheric finale.
Journey is a very beautiful album. An opus inspired by aggressive sequences as well as evasive and smooth cosmic synths.
Gert Emmens and Ruud Heij blow our mind, ears and imagination on evolutionary structures with sometimes unexpected outcomes. There are no weak moments, no lacks of inspiration and have some great atmospheric passages all over it. There are some juicy winks of eye at the analog exploits of Tangerine Dream on good knocks of heavy sequencers à la Redshift, moulding an attractive album full of rhythms and ambiences which fill the empty spaces. In short it’s a creative, powerful and extremely pleasant album.Sylvain Lupari (April 20th, 2007 & Translated on June 7th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=9677

* You can watch a nice video of the title-track on You Tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzmIvqoDHEM
** You can also hear some MP3 snippets on Emmens&Heij website:
http://home.versatel.nl/emmens_heij/

jeudi 7 juin 2012

GERT EMMENS: An Artist’s Stroke (2012)

"An Artist’s Stroke is one of the best works of Gert Emmens, if not his best, and undoubtedly one of the jewels of 2012"


1 Cossack Temperament 13:53
2 The Long Walk (Towards the Black Sea) 13:14
3 Paintings-The Themes 16:44
4 Paintings-The Spirituality behind It 7:19
5 The Leningrad Years 12:2
6 Darkness Unfolds 11:40
7 Yuri Pugachov-In Memoriam 3:07

GROOVE: GR-189 (CD 78:30) 

Inspired by the life and works of the Russian painter Yuri Pugachov, from whom one of the paintings (The Garden in Toulouse) decorated the front artwork of The Nearest Fareaway Place Vol.2, An Artist’s Stroke unfolds in 6 musical paintings of which the beauty equals the most beautiful creations of Gert Emmens. The Dutch synthesist has dug at the bottom of his emotions to deliver us a superb album where his sequences and synths, unique to his poetic universe, weave the main lines of an album to rhythms floating in the breaths and lines of synth as harmonious as misty.
Divided into 3 segments "Cossack Temperament" goes out of the limbos with an oblong breath of a nasal synth which loses its threatening character in the voices of a cosmic choir. The rhythm begins with sequences which skip into fine undulations, drawing a rhythm emerging beneath nice foggy synth pads. These flickering sequences harmonize their indecision to undulate like snips of scissors in space and bind at sober percussions, structuring a rhythm oscillating into the layers of a synth to angelic vocalizes. An atmospheric passage smothers this first rhythmic flight with the ephemera threatening lines of the introduction. This time they darken the horizon of a heavy ochre veil which lowers one's guard and let go a sinuous bass line which awakens sleepy sequences in layers of ether. They skip in deep oscillating loops, dissipating morphic clouds which draw a bewitching melody as abstract as discreet before that the rhythm takes back its rights with some furious sequences which bounce and pound in a linear whirlwind. A lively tempo that percussions harpoon of incisive strikings and that a synth dresses of a strange serenade to nasal solos. This structure of "Cossack Temperament" is the skeleton of the titles which compose An Artist’s Stroke, where the intros and atmospheric passages engender some evolutionary rhythms which progress and float like planes carried by winds. Choirs wandering within electronic tones, threatening sequence which gallops slowly around hesitating chords and fleeting synth lines; the intro of "The Long Walk (Towards the Black Sea)" is as much scheming as fascinating. The percussions fall and go astray into sequences which skip finely under a synth injected by an iridescent fog. The rhythm fluid but delicate, "The Long Walk (Towards the Black Sea)" hangs on to a bass line to a slow gallop, shaping a strange sensual blues of which the cosmic environment makes it simply unreal. The chords of an e-guitar add a surprising and fascinating dimension of a western where we imagine a cowboy roamed in a plain full of living monoliths. The rhythm kicks back after a rather long atmospheric moment. Hardly more fluid it gallops in a plain with a fog as harmonious as symphonic, drawing a superb floating tempo which supports its delicacy into fine percussions of which the metallic jingles resound in a foggy angelic choral.
With its long structure to unpredictable outcomes "Paintings-The Themes" is one of An Artist’s Stroke's jewels. An apathic sequential line pierces the dark introductory veil. Its keys waddle, leading sweet carillons which espouse the slow tempo and sparkle beneath a dense cloud of a synth to hybrid tones where some nice angelic voices roam in ethereal mists. A bass line emerges from it and makes dance its notes beneath the gyrating eye of a synth to threatening waves, while slowly the rhythm takes the shape of oblong oscillating curves to wave under the spells of a synth with musical solos. The sequences are isolating to dance in solo, bringing "Paintings-The Themes" towards a brief atmospheric passage where thunders and cosmic tones prepare the entrance of a heavier bass line. Its agile notes pulsate frantically on a long intro before bursting with sequences which the alternate strikings dance beneath rippling synth layers. These sequences which skip in lanes of mist are the core of Gert Emmens' works. They shape a soft melodic rhythm on "Paintings-The Spirituality behind It", dancing a spiral ballet which gives itself to a superb synth with celestial harmonies. Sequences flickering with velocity pop out from the introductory fog of "The Leningrad Years". Like the wings of dragonflies they dance of a stationary movement before being harpooned by a beautiful line of percussions, bringing "The Leningrad Years" towards a tempo made languid. A rhythm which increases its intensity after a brief sequences solo where the harmonies and breezes of the synths move us closer to the melodic rhythms of TangerineDream and Paul Haslinger era. Always agile the sequences beat of their frenzied wings a tempo which wanders in the thin filets of a melancholic synth whereas that slowly the musical painting of "Darkness Unfolds" opens in an ambience tinged with nostalgia before espousing a rhythmic curve slightly more livened up, plunging this very beautiful title to dreamy nuances towards a kind of cosmic blues rocked by a superb synth to harmonies as contemplative as dark. "Yuri Pugachov-In Memoriam" closes with a beautiful electronic ballad inspired by shadows and lights, rhythms and ambiences which embroider the wonderful universe of An Artist’s Stroke, one of Gert Emmens' beautiful albums, otherwise his best, and undoubtedly one of the jewels of 2012.
Sylvain Lupari (June 6th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=15290

* You can watch a very good video trailer of An Artist's Stroke on You Tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbuSAdfkNeU

samedi 2 juin 2012

KELLER & SCONWALDER: Orange (2007)

"Orange is an album filled by rhythms evolving within hypnotic structures tinged of a harmonious sweetness"


1 Orange One 21:05
2 Orange Two 40:19
3 Orange & Blue 10:23

MANIKIN RECORDS: MRCD 7080 (CD 71:45)

Minimalism, languishing, hypnotic and ambivalent tempos flavored by plaintive synths and fluty Memotrons which stick both on musical structures and ears on rhythms; such is the menu of Orange, the in the last opus of Bas Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder, masters of modern-day Berlin School. Realized and produced in homage to Dutch EM fans, Orange continues the evolutionary approach on the theory of colors introduced by Noir. A series which gathers live recordings, as well as studio works, that the duet in stored in the course of last years. Bas B. Broekhuis brings a new dimension to the music of Detlev Keller and Mario Schonwalder by breathing life to rhythms which are similar to the floating ambiances of the Berlin duet that follows the paths of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze for the biggest pleasure of their fans. But you don’t have to be only a fan to appreciate the e-music of Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder. If minimalism rhythms which evolve within structures varying between groovy and soft techno, you should be easily appeal by the magic of this German trio to the soul as much poetic than energic and enigmatic.
Played in Culemborg on November 5th, 2005, "Orange One" presents a very atmospheric and deliciously electronic intro. It’s a spatial psychedelic approach, a little as at the time of
Body Love and Klaus Schulze's electronic bats. Shrill sound effects pierce a nebulous cosmic aura accompanied of hesitating Tablas which gain in confidence with the arrival of heavier pulsations. Rickety violins cross this foggy atmosphere before espousing a tone of languorous cellos, rocking the meanders of a dry oblivion. Subtly this movement switches into a great minimalism ceremony which progresses on a bewitching tempo, hiccupping of a firm pace and flooded by superb solos of synths flavored by a suave orchestration. It’s a track for fans of Klaus Schulze. Recorded at the 2002 E-Live Festival, "Orange Two" begins in a hesitating intro, drawing a hopping tempo that a smooth Memotron dresses of a cosmic splendour. Percussions and plaintive synths eye a structure which draws a rhythm minimalism dressed by fanciful violins. The rhythm is at the doors of a groovy techno, between increasing and decreasing processes, to embrace an atmospheric passage, where a cello is soaking in a floating and uncertain ambiance due to percussions and pulsations beating within loopy solos with a zest of spectral breezes. A wrapping crescendo takes back the road of a progressive tempo, always supported by strata of minimalism violins and breezes of ghostly synths, before failing in a contemplative nothingness. This is pure Berlin School at its best! "Orange and Blue" is a studio rehearsal of "Orange Two". We can appreciate the modulations and changes as well as the long progress of its improvisation. Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder continues to surprise by delivering an album filled by rhythms evolving within hypnotic structures tinged of a harmonious sweetness. With its progressive and hypnotic rhythms molded into layers of synths to multiple melodious flavors, Orange is a very beautiful opus rather representative of the nowadays Berlin School. A Berlin School matured and evolved which adapts itself with a renewed heat in the new instruments and new technologies of Keller & Schonwalder. The duet does very well in its task of guard dog of an enchanter style with nuances between a soft techno and a harmonious minimalist EM.
Sylvain Lupari (June 29th, 2007 & Translated on June 1st, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=9926