mardi 3 mai 2011

MERGENER & HOFFMANN-HOOCK: Visions of Asia (2006)

Peter Mergener and Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock are 2 pioneers of the German EM scene. In 1989 Mergener, then member of regretted Software duet with Michael Weisser, participated in Mind Over Matter's album; Trance’n’ Dance. Since then, they collaborated on several musical projects. Visions of Asia is Peter Mergener's personal thought on his numerous journeys in Asia. Knowing Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock’s immense passion for this culture, he asked him if he would like to collaborate on this project by bringing to it his own musical vision. It results from it in an album where the cultural points of origins of these two old accomplices are criss-crossing to give a nice EM opus to fragrances as varied as musical approaches of Mergener and Hoffmann-Hoock.
A light violin strata opens the road to a Chinese guitar, which pinches its ropes with address, and a splendid fluty mellotron filled of Asia’ scents. Soon sober percussions give a light rhythm, like a ballad style, to Cinnamon which coos on a beautiful movement of bass. Circular, and hardly hatched, the tempo is wrapped with a harmonious sound wealth; a dense synth, solos to miles spins, spiralled harps and a small Chinese guitar refrain that comes to haunt us leaving a musical scar after each passage. Pearls of chime ring water open Waterchimes which becomes a harmonious carousel where notes on limpid tonalities bewitch as much as the echo mermaids’ breezes. The movement metamorphoses with an infinite softness, drawn by an enchanted flute on a slightly hopping movement which is dressing of its most beautiful harmonious strata. The hypnotically slow tempo of Road to Mandaly brings us closer of a tribal civilization. The mellotron and guitar float in a desertic atmosphere, where we hear short moaning of the intro. The rhythm becomes more sustained with heavy strata which flutter lasciviously whereas the tempo accelerates its pace to fall under the lightings from the powerful Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock’s guitar solos. And what solos we have here! We would believe being into Mind Over Matter's psychedelic era. That’s a must to all KHH fans.
If Road to Mandaly is nearer of MOM’s soil, Dreams of Tibet is on the other hand a very Mergener style track. A very tender and lyrical track where an intro filled of cosmic ambiances is slowly turning into a spatial carousel which floats among moving strata that dance among delicious mellotron harmonies. It’s quite a nice track loaded of an infinite tenderness which reminds me of Mergener’s first works. Deuda is an atonic Hindu hymn on electronic sitar. Shakti pursues this brief intrusion on nomadic territory with tribal percussions which lose their ancestral fragrances to adopt a beat more and more cadenced. A strange synth line splits the atmosphere to bring Shakti near a more modern era by a hatched sequencer and sound effects which bite on a rhythm bordering soft techno’s style. Visions of China ends this fabulous travel with an atmospheric intro which introduces a rotating impulse on percussions and notes filled of a strong Chinese essence. Slamming, the percussions increase a circular rhythm caressed by a mellotron in the nostalgic harmonies.
Visions of Asia is a strong album. Mergener and Hoffmann-Hoock managed to build 7 stories of a sculptural beauty. These are superb tracks with lot of cosmic ambiances and atmospheres at once magical and astral. It’s a hearing symbiosis of a great creation where sensibility flirts with nostalgia. This is great music by two legends that pushed the limits of creativity beyond their experiences and reputations. Visions of Asia is certainly one of the good albums of EM in 2006. I simply hope that we won’t have to wait another 20 years before hearing another collaboration from these 2 great EM legends.

BSC MUSIC: PRUDENCE (398.6729.2)

Sylvain Lupari (2006)
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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