lundi 31 janvier 2011

AXESS/MAXXESS: Contact (2004)

Axess & Maxxess is the encounter between two virtuosos; a synthesist and a guitarist. The result is an EM unusual mixture where the guitar prevails of its solos in an electronic universe where synths and sequencers orchestrate structures without borders.
From the depth of an atmospheric abyssal filled by genial effects, a heavy drone gets Tsunami out of its torpor. A linear sequence is hatched by rotary pulsations and acoustic percussions to gets the movement progressed on a tempo which become animated at each refrain, where the guitar of Maxxess bites the harmony with full strings. On each passage the tempo is accentuating on heavier riffs, nimble and incisive slender solos on a permuting sequence and astonishing percussions. The title track, Contact, begins on subtle tinkling, accompany by a beautiful acoustic guitar. The impulsion progresses beneath ethereal choirs and an electric six-strings which charms the ears with its notes and tearing solos. The sequence is slinky until a big riff gets the movement wilder. It’s the explosion! Strong guitar riffs and percussions hammer the atmosphere among breezes of a mellotron synth. The tempo becomes corrosive with a furious acoustic guitar which harnesses a sequential movement waddling beneath a cloud of violent riffs and aggressive solos. Contact is heavy with superb orchestral arrangements where strings synths subtly frame the wild madness of Maxxess. Metallic percussions resound in a silent desert where a synth layer is flooding of harmonious pads. A fine sequential procession waddles its cheerful chords which are leaking away in the echotic mazes of percussions. Quietly Indian Skies takes form on a minimalism tempo, shaken by notes and solos of limpid guitars. The sequence accelerates on a galloping rhythm, pursued by a threatening six-strings. The tempo boils on powerful staccato riffs which lead to wild solos and rhythms. This is a great electronic rock move! This concept of atmospheric intro, slow processions and segmented rhythms is reproducing also on Close Encounter and Exile; two fiery titles.
We have to wait until Behind the Mirror to really get an equitable blend of electronic and progressive music. Like all of the others intros, this one is atmospheric and is mainly leaned on synth layers with sharp-edged curves. As much atmospheric, and on a very Floydian sonority, the guitar fuses plaintive and nostalgic solos on superb stagnant pads filled of celestial harmonies. A waving sequence, sustained by a good bass with loop effects, initiates a very Berlin School movement with small keys waddling in harmony with the impulsion. Around the 7th minute the riffs, as well as electronic as electric, burst in a perfect symbiosis. We are in the embryo of a superb sequential movement with hypnotic and hammering percussions to dazzling reverberations as well as ethereal choirs on a fluid movement with intermittent metallic pulsations, souvenirs of the riffs symbiosis. It’s an intense musical monument which slows down in half-time with a waddling movement which dies out on atmospheric breezes, where choirs and wind blow. A sequential loop is reforming a mutation in tones with tonality in mutation on unbridle acoustic percussions and heavy sequential pulsations that a synth layer wraps before the guitar explodes in fury. Behind the Mirror is a superb track which is the result of a perfect symbiosis.
Contact is an album resolutely more rock than progressive and/or electronic. Put aside Tsunami and Behind the Mirror, as well as the intros, the guitar prevails of its aggressive solos and riffs.I liked, but I would have appreciated a little more synths. It seems to me that the strident solos of Axess would have matched perfectly those of Maxxess. On the other hand, sequencers, sound effects, percussions, as well as arrangements, are amazing. In fact, I guess that it was necessary to leave some room for the guitar. Under this angle, Contact achieves its goals; to combine the ingeniousness of EM, like its sequential subtlety, to heavy riffs and guitars rock. It’s a solid album which contains too many small jewels to let it pass. For fans of rock and guitars on inventive sequences and EM fan, Contact is among the musts.


Sylvain Lupari (2006)
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