mercredi 6 avril 2011

BERTRAND LOREAU: Sur le Chemin (1996)

With the hatching of Awenson and Alpha Lyra the French EM seems to gets one’s second wind. But had it really lost it? Or was it simply hiding in unknown and ignorance of local media whom seem to prefer synth pop (Air) and techno (Daft Punk) to EM as oniric than poetic? Since 1995 an association which aims at promoting progressive French EM is in place, PWM Distrib chaired by Bertrand Loreau (http: // www.pwm-distrib.com/), which gather together names as Awenon, Olivier Briand and Alpha Lyra to name a few. Those who revolve around French EM scene know Bertrand Loreau for his various implications in the electronic music art and his huge passion for the music of Klaus Schulze and, strangely, this passion is absent of all influences that surround Bertrand Loreau's 3rd opus. Initially released in 1993, Sur Le Chemin is a collection of beautiful musical odes where synths are dressing into chamber music. A soft melodious music where synths offer melancholic and nostalgic airs beneath musical fragrances so romantic as the violin, piano, acoustic guitar and even harpsichord. It’s a beautiful album of a pure EM where emotions are hearing on the tips of notes and are feeling as when we go see a movie about life. Fans of Vangelis bring on your handkerchiefs!
Point de Fuite opens the ball of emotionalisms with a rhythmic structure where fine sequences skip slightly. Keyboard is sober and melodious, reminding Tangerine Dream electronic melodies in Le Parc. The tempo increases in crescendo to form a beautiful celestial melody where notes sound as a harp. One of the liveliest tracks on Sur Le Chemin, as the title track and its slightly more nervous tempo with its chords which skip and become entangled behind suave symphonic synths as well as on the very lively Dernière Séquence. Those who know me and follow my columns also know how sensitive I am and I have to say that with Bertrand Loreau I found a superb author filled of emotion who knows pretty well how to transmit it. Jeu d’Enfant is astounding of ingenuousness and virginality, a wonderful track that starts with delicate arpeggios which swirl behind a soft ethereal mist. Notes of glasses dance delicately on a glance of tenderness where fine modulations are astonishment poignant and filled with a rare musical tenderness which, usually, dresses the most beautiful Vangelis’ musical epitaphs. Jeu d’Enfant is simply magnificent and throws its melancholic notes up to Dans le Miroir melody which is, on the other hand, more dramatic with a synth which blows beautiful twisted solos on a soft dreamlike structure and where arpeggios are disentangling such as a musical merry-go-round beneath synth impulses filled of breezes as apocalyptic as dramatic. Sur Le Chemin is stuffed with beautiful lyrical melodies where synths are according as instruments of romances. I think in particular to Demain Peut-être and its delicate piano which flows under violin pads, the tearing Une Autre Vie, the more joyful Des Illusions and the bitter Message Perdu. Tracks that we listening to as in an intimate concerto for chamber music.
Dedicated to a young Bertrand Loreau pupil, who died brutally, La Chaise Vide is a long track where synth chords are dressing up as notes of acoustic guitars or harps which roam in an ethereal mist and among mellotron layers that sound like quixotic violins. It sometimes sounds as a cosmic blues where we feel the author sadness and which gradually livens up with a joy of living on a more cheerful finale. Regard Réfléchis presents us a more complex Bertrand Loreau, always so dark and melancholic but more complex. A long music piece where the synth drags its nostalgic moods above an earth of sadness, the movement is slow and heart-rending. It crosses soft arpeggios which appear as the sun after ruins and boisterous with innocence beneath a synth line with hybrid sonorities where violins caress oboes as in the Renaissance period, on a structure which is similar to Au-Delà du Passé which is, on the other hand, richer in mellotron and synths.
The music of Bertrand Loreau is rather unique because the author privileges a more sober and classical musical approach than most of his contemporary colleagues with short and well structured tracks where the synthesist from France allows lot of room to melodious and poetic views. Sur Le Chemin is a nice musical album which transcends EM as we know it by a musical structure nearer the contemporary classical than simple EM. As for myself I see a sweet blend between a more contemporary Bernd Kistenmacher (Un Viaggio Attraverso L'Italia) and a very harmonious and philharmonic Vangelis.

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
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=14317

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