vendredi 22 juillet 2011


Phew! Sharpen your ears because it’s going to pass tightened! Bernhard Wöstheinrich is a colourful character who migrates between the various spheres of EM; IDM, ambient and experimental with a rather audacious dexterity. His project, The Redundant Rocker, consists in creating an EM with a more rock, progressive and industrial approach than ambient or simply Berlin School electronic style where a palette of style permutes in rhythms and atmospheres at once heavy and eclectic. Heart is moulded in this concept with of heavy and fluid rhythmic structures where percussions and bass form an intense rhythmic structure, whereas synths whistle for beautiful harmonious snippets. Awesome, Markus Reuter’s guitar chews rhythms and melodies by splendid solos when it isn’t by heavy riffs à la Robert Fripp.
"Gold" opens the ball with a bipolar electronic rock where pinched and edgy chords flow on a fluid, but a bit jerky, tempo to dance on guitar riffs and an acute synth to whistling singings while a cantatore voice, who seems a bit lost, tries to follow the parade. There isn’t 30 seconds to the chronometer that yet a bit anarchic symphony of sounds seizes our ears. And percussions fall. They are heavy and harpoon this limpid tempo. "Gold" becomes then a heavy postmodern rock which flirts between the melodic and cacophonic approach on a rhythm becoming curt, sharp and strongly wacky. A  tempo hammered by heavy percussions, bitten by a bass with incisive notes and grinding up by a guitar with languishing solos which converge on a cantatore who sings delirious psalms in a rhythm with a din split up by soft melodious snippets. "Hypostasis" is a bit softer and presents a jazzy-lounge approach with a soft keyboard which drops its keys on a nice structure moulded by echoing percussions and a bass line a bit grand-sounding. The rhythm fits to an oscillating line where synths free nice dreamy and silky layers which permute into more solemn singings while kind of anvil percussions pound short refrains. More discreet the guitar will let slip some good solos in loops furnished quite well on a structure which will keep its harmonious touch throughout its 6 minutes. With its melodious approach flooded in an avalanche of percussions "Compress" offers an excellent facet of the rhythmic duality which dominates in Heart. Keyboard keys draw circular arcs and twirl around in a harmonious limpidity whereas "Compress" is fast snatched by lively percussions. The bass is weighty, percussions are noisy and the rhythm is powerful but things quieted down a bit with inserts of whistling synth and keys of keyboard which turn in spiral. And the heavy and tumbling down rhythm resumes its ride beneath a delicate crystalline serpentine which hems of its limpid chords, accompanied by a synth with resonant layers, multiplying the harmonious dualities. "Renée as Yoko" is what we could call a beautiful ballad which shells its melancholy in a heavy atmosphere. A soft tinkled intro fed by crystal clear chords drive us towards reverie when a drum drops heavily its sticks on a resonant skin. Fluid and suave, "Renée as Yoko" swirls with the lightness of his heaviness under beautiful mellotron layers and a synth with tenderly hybrid breezes. It’s a very nice track which oscillates between tenderness and blackness, quite as "Alluvium".
Heavy and stationary, "Omnipotence" begins with pads of a synth violin while percussions fall and shape a curt but heavy tempo and while the bass stretches its heavy notes. We enter in a more orchestral sphere of Heart with many hatched violin pads which provide an orchestration of the most unpredictable. A synth embraces this languid rhythm which evolves inside the parameters of paranormal with a very dark approach, schizoid and imprinted by mystery with these hardly perceptible lamentations which hoot in secret beneath resonant guitar layers which are crumbling in fabulous solo. A punchy beat, sometimes ethereal, "Omnipotence" progresses on a tempo permuting subtly in a heterogeneous sound fauna wrapped of nice strata from a little bit metallic synth and a heavy pulsating bass, but above all a very Crimsonian ambiance. More rhythmic and very aggressive, "Odilon" offers also a structure very near the Crimson soils, in particular because of the demonic guitar and percussion beatings à la Bruford and also bass notes which harpoon a rhythm between free jazz and post progressive due to its structures as unpredictable as modern psychedelic. It is heavy, incisive, jerky and sometimes very fluid and it is also ground up by a very aggressive guitar. You shouldn’t trust the rather honeyed intro of "Heavily Dependent", because the track topples over a universe of the most anarchic where the rhythmic and harmonious structures of "Omnipotence" and "Odilon" are seen again and corrected with a more daring, heavy and just as much unpredictable approach, where quixotic violins scrape the pulsating rhythm while making it waltz between cacophony and melody. Let’s say that it’s a track for well evolved ears. Selected for an Austrian advertising "Alluvium" is Heart 2nd ballad and a very good one otherwise. It’s an electronic ballad which evolves on the other hand on a heavy rhythm and which begins with delicate twinkling arpeggios which make the flock on a tempo weighs down and slows down by good drum strikes. At once taciturn, sensual and heavy Alluvium progresses with wonderful tinkled notes which cross of tender and dense layers of a docile synth which flees its solos and hooting loops in a din tamed by its soft arpeggios which go and come, reminding us all the sweetness which is at the origin of this great track. Very beautiful! "A Change of Heart" concludes Heart with a track which has very elaborated orchestrations on lighter rhythms. A rhythmic structure which is a little less complex even if constantly evolving where everything rests on the strangeness of sounds and a very progressive philharmonic approach. Although evolutionary, the rhythm remains alive on beatings of more fluid and clear drum and the harmonies are being made by a synth with light solos which mixes marvellously the symphonic approach to a little more soppy progressive rock.
I have to admit that it is with an obvious apprehension that I approached the music of The Redundant Rocker. I imagined a musical abstract world where the sound fauna and the heterogeneous noises would fill the minutes, but it was all the opposite. Heart is a powerful album where the sound effects accompany an EM which goes out of its bed to flirt with a more rock, indie and progressive approach on surprising rhythmic structures to unpredictable forms. Always melodious structures, even in the most anarchic and intense moments, when each of 9 tracks of Heart possess a musical imprint of a previous track, pushing even farther the already very fickle musical reflection of the tandem Wöstheinrich / Reuter. You can get the album as a free download at;


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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