jeudi 16 décembre 2010

HARALD GROSSKOPF: Synthesist 2010 (2010)

Expect the Unexpected! That’s the warning we can read on back of the inside inlay of this 6th studio album of the famous German percussionist. And it’s completely true! Synthesist 2010 is a violent album. Full of rhythms, in constants permutations on minimalism and linear structures, Synthesist 2010 lurches between the wild techno and the intelligent one with a stalk of melancholy that betrays the nostalgia for this mythical character. Ashra Temple’s drummer (and also for other EM bands and artists, among whom Klaus Schulze,) Harald Grosskopf built a solid reputation of percussionist and machine man of electronic rhythms within the small world of progressive and EM. I had the chance to hear Digital Nomad and I was quite impressed by his very eclectic vision of EM and his much diversified approaches towards his rhythmic modulations. Synthesist 2010 is a continuation of the first solo album of Grosskopf released in 1980, simply entitled; Synthesist. Except that Synthesist 2010 is not a reprise of the original work. Only a work which complements the evolution of Grosskopf over the years and his fellowships with various groups (Sunya Beat, Ashra, Wallenstein to name but a few). A boiling and heavy album where rhythms cross minimalist techno and melancholic melodies in a rich sound fauna, stuffed with musical samplings as brilliant as hard-hitting, which exceeds the capacity that our ears have to assimilate everything in the same listening. But we were informed: We have to expect the unexpected!
As soon as Vivacissimo Con Moto starts, the musical universe of Grosskopf is drawing; heavy minimalism rhythms hammered by strong percussions which pulse in a heterogeneous sound universe. An odd cosmic reverberation is opening its first measures. Mellotron pads float and cross notes of guitar trapped in this heavy sound whirlwind. A heavy zombiesc waltz sways, while guitar notes are transformed into ethereal loops, forcing a rhythm which explodes with strong percussions hammering a heavy and lively rhythm, embraced by synth strata that waltz around a furious structure. We think that our ears are full? Error! Much more unctuous strata wrap Vivacissimo Con Moto which pulses with frenzy on a rhythmic structure interrupted by short moderate passages, hooked by sound serpentines and strata which creak as violin strings in flame on a furious rhythmic. A good track, quite as Vivacissimo Con Brio which is on the other hand heavier and more incisive, of which notes pianos merge with xylophones to give quite another technoïd dimension. More moderated Andante Amoroso is a fine romance which evolves on a structure with dark wavelets. Loops which continue to infinity and which hoot as an owl in the moonlight on a minimalist pace. A long track of nearly 11 minutes, Andante Amoroso is constantly transforming on a hypnotic tempo, taking melancholic airs with its soft nostalgic piano, ethereal airs with a synth filled of spiral loops which wrap a structure lurching constantly between a quiet hypnosis and semi techno. We observe the same phenomenon, although more eclectic, on Vivace Lugubre.
Heavy percussions, tribal tom-toms, syncopated sequence and big grand-sounding bass line, Allegro Con Fuoco criss-crosses a furious movement of which the run is drawing with a wild piano which zigzags desperately in permutation with a heavy hatched line. A superb heavy track, but lively, contrary to the slow and very weighty Largo Con Dolore which moves with big hits of bass, shaping a tempo which waves with gravity on beautiful synth layers. As much heavy, with its mordant bass, Moderato Giusto is livelier and is a nice mix of Allegro Con Fuoco and Largo Con Dolore. Ingenious and hard-hitting, Presto My Non Troppo brings us in a more techno universe and always stuffed with great sound effects. The tempo oscillates and skips on percussions which caw and chuckle strangely, as well as the other percussions which always add this strange impression that we are flying over a surrealist jungle. The synth spits hatched violins strata on wrapping mellotron pads. The duality of rhythms and melodies, which is attacked by a crowd of sound effects all so delirious some from the others, is as delicious as unsettling. While we believe to have heard everything, Andante Mosso is adding more with its spectral intro, where anvil percussions woo cymbals and where a slow hawing synth layer gets sort out and spits a rhythm of Irish parties. The tempo becomes rapidly a kind of techno with fractured movement and grinded by fine chiseled synth solos.
Synthesist 2010 is a bomb! A heavy and powerful album, full of live and which spits decibels at the same speed as Grosskopf harpoons its percussions. Filled with rhythms fragmented by surprising permutations, it is an intense album which demonstrates all the sense of rhythms which lives in Harald Grosskopf as well as his affinities with samplings his sound samplings which teem of 2010 heterogeneous tones. To listen at high volume…if we can!


Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

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