mardi 3 mai 2011

PETER MERGENER: Phonetic Society (2010)

Those who doesn’t know Software or Mergener / Weisser duet misses something at the level of contemporary EM culture. This German duet knew how to mix the evolutionary technologies of EM equipments to create a unique musical blend where the variety of rhythms where shaping perfectly well with spatial atmospheres. After the end of this period, Peter Mergener got lost somehow in EM labyrinths. Though he was very creative and composed nearly 15 albums since the beginning of 90’s and, for some, his albums had a touch closer to synth-pop than EM if it wasn’t purely New Age with his association with Alquimia. But no matter the styles, Mergener always had this structured approach where melodies prevailed. With Phonetic Society, Peter Mergener returns to the fold. He renew with his Software roots by presenting a strong opus where criss-crossed rhythms born and kick down floors on nice oniric structures. Phonetic Society; a soft return towards the future!
The introductory rhythm of Mindflow is cooing. Arpeggios roll while floating in a nice and suave electronic mist, drawing a hesitating pace which skips with big stealthily in the breezes of a hybrid synth of which choirs are leaking away among lyrical layers. Survivor of this heavy mellotron veil, an isolated sequence waddles ingeniously and embraces soft fragrances of a dreamlike flute while another more wavy sequential line subdivides the rhythm which grows heavy by good strikes of percussions. Mindflow turns into a nice melody where limpid chords flutter on a rhythm encircled by a sequential line with strumming hits in a thick cloud of keyboard keys which are colliding on a rhythmic supported by good heavy percussions and criss-crossed sequences. Between the hard rhythm and the very electronic approach, Mindflow preserves its melodious approach with its ethereal choirs and flutes which disguise up a rhythmic a stalk syncopated and innocent. Arpeggios emerging out of Starflight cosmic intro breathes dance with lightness. It’s a strange dance where a gloomy draught protects this carousel to sinister chords which suddenly twirl with strength in a furious sequenced maelstrom where they are crossing, overlapping and multiplying in an infernal race. A robust track without concrete rhythm, Starflight becomes a powerful circular dance where a hyper active minimalism moulds a perpetual gyrating movement of a violent implosion. Shiva Connection is a good track where the cosmos meets techno with, in background, a tribal approach of the people of sands. Suave voices of celestial nymphs chant in a cosmos streaked with fine blades of synth to lead towards a Berber prayer recited on the ethereal breaths of its galactic intro. A delicious sequential movement with chords which alternate and spin in spirals emerges out of it. Sequences twirl and dance among tablas percussions and a strange line of bass to delicate pinched and hopping notes. The ambivalent rhythm of Shiva Connection, where the strength of a soft techno à la Element 4 and Moonbooter crosses a more ethereal beat, progresses with very good arrangements where the clan prayers unreel in dense mellotron pads and in a very electronic musical universe. Timepassengers starts with delicate crystalline arpeggios which cross their strikes on a rippling synth line, shaping a cosmic and oniric intro where euphonies flutter freely on a sequence with a heavy pace and chords which are intertwining in nervous doubloons. A subdivided tempo is grafting to this intro and criss-crosses its sequential lines beneath pads of a keyboard filled of old organ consonances and sinuous solos of a hybrid synth which drops its sound blades and discreet choirs among string bows in an atmosphere which becomes more and more explosive. Feverish rhythm and chords cackling beneath heavy mellotron pads, Timepassengers progresses in a multi-sequential Bolero with fat and resonant chords under a swarm of bows hits of which the violence isn’t limiting at all the sensual delight of its progression. A progression that runs out of steam to offers a peaceful final that a harmless tick-tock permutates in a clashing and noisy ending which, when we think of it, can only ends in such a way.
Rotation is a fiery and very techno track that rages better on a dance floors than our dreamy ears. It’s a heavy but well structured track that shows how Mergener has the sense of rhythm, a heavy and coherent one where we cannot avoid stamping. Transformation is a short track where ambiances surround an indecisive pace which revolves in sonorous elements as electronic as eclectic. I like those heavy mellotron pads that wrap this track, an element where Peter Mergener feels very at ease and which adds great depth to Phonetic Society. On the title track, Mergener exploits a very dance and techno approach heavy resonances which act firstly as sequences. Sequences on which leans another sequential movement with crystal clear chords that spin on a structure which grows heavier by good percussion strikes. Abraded by murmurs and heavy electronic sound effects, encircled by a beautiful synth line to oscillations lost in a noisy musical mass and swindled of a resonant bass line to jazzy cooing, Phonetic Society plunges the auditor into a stunning universe of futuristic techno where grand-sounding electronic sound effects are the key of a heavy techno which swirls of its crystal clear glass keys. Floating Energy closes this Mergener last opus with a soft cosmic intro that a line of bass to pulsing notes disturbs the tranquility. Here, as everywhere else on Phonetic Society, the synth spreads its hybrid layers where the metallic mist embraces ethereal choirs on an intro which is gradually livened up of a pre-technoïd heaviness with fine crystalline arpeggios which spin in a melodious carousel. Floating Energy is quietly letting lead in a progressive rhythmic with resonant chords which pound around a twinkling synth line of which synthesized strands flow between choirs and a dreamlike sweetnesses of a track divided between the calls of cosmos, the sensualist of its bass line and the firmness of a rhythm diverted of its lascivious sweetness by good percussions strikes. Just like the old days of Software!
Constantly torn between morphic and cosmic sweetnesses as well as evolutionary tempos overflowing towards alive and kicking rhythms, Phonetic Society is a very nice continuity of Software (Electronic Universe II and Digital Dance) works with a very good touch of contemporaneousness. Every track is forged straight from the roots of Software, phase’s evolution and equipments in more. In fact I would not hesitate to qualify Phonetic Society as being Peter Mergener's musical and electronic resurrection that, without denying his last works, finally draws from his musical recollections to offer a robust opus of a surprising musicality which is listening with the charm of sound discoveries that fly over these 8 tracks imprinted by rhythms superbly surrounded by this cosmic approach so unique to Software’s era.

BSC Music : Prudence(398.6808.2)

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

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