vendredi 30 septembre 2011

JUTA TAKAHASHI: Silence (2011)

1 Ararat (The view from the summit) 13:23
2 Wet Dream (A dream without special consequence) 14:33
3 Continua Shift (The flow of life) 14:45
4 Silence (Sighs of purified night) 15:27

After having seduced me with the meditative approach of Hymn, Jutaro Takahashi does it again with an album which is more enlivened and more implosive. Released in November 2010, Silence is build around 4 tracks of an average time of 14 minutes. Four tracks impregnated of a certain melancholy where the Japanese master of ambient music plunges within interiority in order to moved repressed feelings. It’s a beautiful album where the feelings float on the surface of music.
"Ararat" is a strange melancholic ode which hears in a somber universe of metallic tones. A synth line emerges at far and rises to undulate delicately. As an iridescent river, this line flows and leads towards a more nasal and metallic one. She wraps with a pearly heaviness the soft oscillation of the introductory line, whereas another line joins this soft morphic introduction where line over line, "Ararat" floats of his breaths and hybrid cosmic winds. Notes, strongly pinched, a Dulcimer fall on these lines which get tangled such as slow cosmic waves and resound in a quite silvered musical meshing. They float, roam and draw from times to times brief melodies as well as melancholic perfumes of Japanese spiritualities. A long track where waves’ noise and ringings of the Wind Chime shape a mesmerizing oceanic ode, "Wet Dream" flows as a river of serenity. This track to delicate movements imprinted of a fascinating melancholy begins with shimmering synth waves which shine and lap in a soft aquatic maelstrom. Chords of a Wind Chime float and ring impromptuly on the surface of this quixotic water, such as pebbles hopping here and there to form imperfect circles. These waves hem, such as cosmic winds, with an oniric tranquillity, while those luxurious Mellotron violins caress the slow twinkling movements, adding a soft moving depth to this cosmico-halieutic musical poem. More atonal and less musical, "Continua Shift" is a long linear movement where breezes and cosmic winds get intertwined in an intense broth of synth strata. These layers float and embrace in an eternal morphic dance with slow cosmic implosions which wind around this long linear trip. With its synth layers which intertwine in an ode of silence, "Silence" is the most implosive track of Jutaro Takahashi’s last opus. It is a long crusade of serenity where moving and vibrating synth layers embrace long sighs of Mellotron and form intense implosions which throw an approach imprinted by a spiritual melancholy. Decorated by scattered piano notes, which roam among its long crisscrossing winds, "Silence" flows as a somber poem about peace of mind, there where nobody can enter.
How to investigate ambient music without repeating? Well, Jutaro Takahashi seems to have found the way. Although rather similar to Hymn, Silence distances itself by the addition of Mellotron strata which add more relief to his ambient introspections. Piano and Dulcimer notes which fall parsimoniously to wander between interweaving of synth and Mellotron layers add even more emotionalism to the music of the Japanese synthesist. But one in the other, the ambient music finds its strength in the fluidity and harmony of its movements, and in this respect, Jutaro Takahashi may easily be compared to Steve Roach, Michael Stearns and other masters of contemporary ambient. Available at CD Baby.


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:

For more information on Juta Takahashi and to hear MP3 extracts , one visits his Web site here:


Stratosphere (Gliding through ice dust in stratosphere) 19:23
Faraway (So far away, so long ago) 19:23
Hymn (Hymn to the universe) 20:27

Takahashi Juta is a Japanese artist who makes purely ambient EM since 2007. Released in January 2010, Hymn is an opus divided into 3 long musical acts of which morphic movements are unrolling into peaceful astral phases. These are 3 long tracks to different structures where the poetry and harmony of these intense atonal movements dandle in the shade of very nice modulations which insufflate a lot of emotionalism and relief to this7th opus of the Japanese synthesist.
"Stratosphere" opens Hymn with a fine wave of synth which blows such as a cosmic wind. Linear, with delicate symmetric modulations, this synth line progresses with a passion imprinted of melancholy. This long track is watered by some notes of an acoustic guitar which seem to fall from skies and resound because of the strength of their plucking. Scattered notes which fall in a fortuitous way on a long movement flowing such as a cosmic river where shine muffled stars on a structure swaying finely like interstellar waves. It’s a good and long ambient track, rich in synth structures which overlap with a tranquility fed by touching floating oscillations with a kind of celestial harmony. "Faraway" is another long quiet movement where intermingle sharp synth winds which crisscross in an intense morphic ballet. These are beautiful ethereal impulsions which oscillate, pushed by silent cosmic waves pushing back synth waves into submerging astral territories. The tones and tints of synth layers are so deep that they bring us to a vessel of relaxation and tranquillity. "Hymn", the titles track, is my favourite track on Juta Takahashi’s 7th opus. It’s a majestic work which reminds me of the wonderful M’Ocean from Michael Stearns. It’s a great ambient movement from which silent waves rush into twinkling arpeggios and under astral choirs which murmur such as cosmic wind. A very good track, always so intense, which fills our head of dreams and forgotten hopes, which resurface as we let ourselves invaded by this submersing morphic dance.
I was very surprised by the musicality of Hymn, a musical adventure which will please undoubtedly every fan of ambient music. I denoted a lot of influences of Michael Stearns, on "Faraway" and Kitaro (in particular on the title track). Floating, inspired and morphic, the music of Juta Takahashi is a musical tale which dandles us throughout its listening, Listenings that we multiply, especially before sleep time, by its beauty and its musicality which hatch out such as intense and powerful cosmic broth. Yes, a very beautiful album which brings us as much near to sleep as our interior. It’s an album that every fan of EM ambient should have. Available at CD Baby.


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:

For more information on Juta Takahashi and to hear MP3 extracts , one visits his Web site here:

mercredi 28 septembre 2011

JEROME FROESE: Nightshade Family (2011)

“Is Nightshade Family worth it if we already have Neptunes? I think so”
1 Intro 2:25
2 Radio Pluto 7:44
3 Decoding with Celine 8:22
4 Through the Moving Light 5:10
5 The Fade from Death to Afterlife 4:33
6 The Murder Mystery Dinner Train 7:14
7 Friendship 7 10:20
8 Microchannel Surfing (Excerpt) 1:48
9 A Room in the House
Closed to the Public 6:15
10 40 Sublunary Seconds :33
11 My Reality at 52 Degrees of Latitude 6:00
12 At Marianas Trench 5:36
13 Sky Girls

Moonpop | CD-754 (CD 73:00) ****
According to the press info, the pressures were strong so that Jerome digs his archives to put on the market a live album. Recorded between August 2005 and October 2006, during his performances at the Big Chill Festival of Eastnor, the Water Rats Theatre in London and in Berlin’s Radio Eins Show, “Nightshade Family” is witnessing Jerome Froese's performances linked to his 1st solo album Neptunes, released in October 2005. Alone on stage, Jerome is a real one-man band by manipulating synths and guitars on a bottom of programming. He unfolds Neptunes with a different track order and with a little more accentuated heaviness, in an ambiance which reminds me a bit of 220 Volts because of the tracks linking and highly charged passages but which also preserves all its melodious depth. The album is build over 13 tracks and 73 minutes. Only "C8H10N4O2 (Re-stirred on 2005)" is absent and replaced by a short extract of "Microchannel Surfing". For the rest, everything is almost identical to Neptunes. Maybe too even!
A bit neurotic voice calls us on the future of our universe. A voice of solitary preacher which fades out with the appearance of a synth wave stuffed with spectral winds. And "Radio Pluto" goes out of limbos in the same way as on Neptunes. All the introductory structure; spectral breaths and angelic voice on good sound effects, "Radio Pluto" scrolls with the same speed and enchantment. Whereas the rhythmic structure is absolutely identical; sound fauna, synth winds, percussions, cymbals tsitt-tsitt, everything is there. And it's what annoys a bit. The occasion was ideal to give more mordant to Neptunes, although there is some enough, by inserting more of riffs and solos. But no, there are really no significant changes between “Nightshade Family” and Neptunes, which restarts the debate to be known if it’s not a skilful studio editing rather than a real album in concert. Let’s be honest! Jerome is alone to perform the whole Neptunes and it’s stated in the press info that there are no overdubs or crowd noises. If we make the exercise to compare tracks between both albums one notices that everything arrives about in same time; rhythms, sound effects, riffs, percussions, etc... In fact, only the addition of bridges between tracks (“Nightshade Family” goes on 1 long track while Neptunes is a 12 tracks album) can create a certain diversions and let believe that Neptunes does soundlift, quite as the phrases that we hear here and there. And these bridges are very rich. They add some heaviness and a beautiful depth to the original work. Jerome also did some pruning by cutting in the time of certain tracks to shorten certain ambient structures and moved them into intros and outros on Nightshade Family’s other tracks. So we have the feeling that everything is more powerful and compact than on the original work. But it doesn’t matter! Whether it’s a live album, without crowd ambiances, or a studio editing “Nightshade Family” is as good as Neptunes. And, as it’s well stated in the guide of press, it’s the ideal companion as well as a complement to Neptunes. It has a more futuristic touch, with voices added here and there, while keeping intact this superb mixture ambiance, ballad and power that is Neptunes.
Is “Nightshade Family” worth it if we already have Neptunes? I think so. The linking of tracks, which are played in a different order, as well as the pruning of some tracks and the addition of bridges give quite another facet to this live version of Neptunes. And tracks such as"Radio Pluto", "Through the Moving Light", "The Murder Mystery Dinner Train", "My Reality at 52 Degrees Of Latitude" and "Sky Girls" seems to me different, presentrd in this order and with these light modifications, demonstrating all the impact of Neptunes.

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

JEROME FROESE: Preventive Medecine (2010)

“Preventive Medicine is the work which makes the least of compromised in the unbridled rhythms of the Guitartronica”

1 Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor (Stimulant) 6:01
2 Safe and Sound (Tranquilizer) 5:01
3 Delusions of Lunacy (Tonic) 4:09
4 Stiff Dose (Cialis) 6:21

Moonpop | CD-002 (CD 21:32) ***½
Here is an EP which created a lot of controversies. Released in only 500 copies and without artwork, “Preventive Medicine” was sold at a very high price (15 Euro plus shipping). The rumbling discontent was such that Moonpop reduced the price to 13 Euro, which is rather expensive all the same for 1 EP of 20 minutes. “Preventive Medicine” is an EP which mixes quite well humour; every track is preceded by a rather funny vocal sketch, to Guitartronica and where Jerome deepens a little more his heavy structures with good riffs and solo, with good percussions and feverish chords which jump up on wild rhythms. From Funk to heavy electronic rock by passing by TD and static structures, “Preventive Medicine” will glue you on your chair, earphones smoking by the strength of rhythms.
Heavy and resonant guitar riffs kick down our eardrums before that "Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor" forks towards a supple rhythm. A little bit funky / groovy tempo, decorated by sparkling chords which glitter on a heavy bass and a good beat box. The rhythm becomes heavier, devoured by a monstrous bass line and heavy riffs of a guitar which also spits beautiful melodious notes. Unbridled, percussions hammer a heavy rhythmic without defences in front of its attacks, while "Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor" escapes in the end with a delicate melody. "Safe and Sound" is a beautiful intersidereal ballad which begins by a hypnotic phase with arpeggios falling with a symmetric hesitation. Each of them creates a pulsation which forges a long linear movement interrupted by the falling arpeggio. An intro wrapped in a beautiful veil of synth mist, while fine notes of an acoustic guitar dive into an ambient universe which wiggles little by little with nervous chords. Chords which skip and intersect, such as scissors movements, among circular percussions and an ascending line pounded by percussions to resonant tom-toms and flitting sequences. It's an enchanting static structure with a muffled and furtive rhythm where sound effects float among choirs and where keys and sequences skip with cautiousness frenzy among guitar notes rolling in loops under streaks and layers of a blend of synth and guitar. "Delusions of Lunacy" is a great track which reminds TD's years and which begins with keys turning around with fury before falling in the skins of an infernal beat box. A hatched structure which undulates such as a hyper nervous stroboscope, "Delusions of Lunacy" is bitten by wild guitar and synth solos on a rhythm became ambivalent, and which dives back into its furious rhythmic of its introduction. It’s a very good track, quite as the boiling "Stiff Dose" which dives even farther with a hyper jerky rhythm which pounds furiously on spasmodic keys and drum rolls. To rest our eardrums, "Stiff Dose" takes refuge in a more pondered passage. But it is a brief lull because the steamroller that is Guitartronica and the massive percussions tear the rhythm which finds finally asylum in the ethereal breaths of an angelic choir.
“Preventive Medicine” is the work which makes least of compromised in the unbridled rhythms of the Guitartronica. Jerome's get wild and offers us 3 powerful tracks and a strange intersidereal ballad, where wild rhythms get loose from passages more or less ambient. A very good EP, expensive I agree on it, which demonstrates the great self-confidence and the evolution of Jerome Froese.

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

lundi 26 septembre 2011

JEROME FROESE: Neptunes (2005)

1 Radio Pluto (7:30)
2 Friendship 7 (10:35)
3 The Fade from Death to Afterlife (4:32)
4 My Reality At 52 Degrees of Latitude (5:47)
5 Sky Girls (6:29)
6 Decoding With Celine (10:12)
7 Through the Moving Light (5:21)
8 A Room In The House Closed To The Public (6:33)
9 C8 H10 N4 O2 (Re-stirred 2005) (7:34)
10 The Murder Mystery Dinner Train (6:56)
11 At Marianas Trench (5:17)
12 40 Sublunary Seconds (0:40)

WoW! There is some juice and power on Neptunes. An opus that I found rough and very rock but in the end and after several attempts, that I adored. It turns in loops in my car! It needs to understand that I am not really a fan anymore of heavy rhythms which undo floors, but if we compare this work of Jerome to 220 volts (remember how that shook fans of the Dream?); we discover all the charm of Neptunes. Except that this first solo album of JF is full of nuances. The heavy rhythms are in the heart of good ambiances with a good dosage of sequences, keyboard keys and synth layers or pads, but also good percussions and especially a guitar by moments ambient, harmonious and very heavy. The sleeve notes state that Neptunes was mainly builds around guitars. It’s heavy electronic rock that Jerome calls Guitartronica. Yes there are a lot of guitars and big ones, filled of incisive solos and powerful riffs. In fact, Neptunes gathers all the ingredients to please as much the fans of EM as electronic rock.
The first 2 tracks on Neptunes ("Radio Pluto" et "Friendship 7") are also on Radio Pluto. Two tracks to ambivalent structures where rhythms are next to more ethereal approaches (see Radio Pluto review). "The Fade from Death to Afterlife" moderates the ambiances and shows that Jerome also feels at ease with ambient tracks. It’s a very beautiful piece of music where a sparkling synth shimmers its twinkling chords which are surrounded by nice sound effects and a suave angelic voice. A very beautiful floating track as At Marianas Trench" and its guitar chords replace the angels’ voice and "40 Sublunary Seconds" which concludes of a brilliant way the 1rst opus solo of Jerome. After a rather floating intro, where a variety of chords and tones skip on a linear structure embraced by brief guitar solos "My Reality at 52 Degrees of Latitude" wakes up to rhythm with heavy resonant pulsations. Following a fiery guitar solo, which floats on this hesitating intro, the rhythm plunges into an abyssal heaviness with solid percussions and almighty twisted solos coming from a furious guitar. A heavy and powerful rhythm sculptured in a stunning bass and superb orchestral arrangements skimmed through a highly charged guitar which throws superb heart-rending and shrill solos. Definitively one of the good tracks on Neptunes, quite as "To Public Room in the House Closed to the Public" which presents a little more balanced passages, fed by big riffs. A somber wave of a foggy synth and chords of a dreamy guitar open "Sky Girls". Keyboard keys zigzag and accompany the guitar, whereas the synth mist is decorated with angelic choirs and crushed by riffs of a floating guitar. Slowly, "Sky Girls" goes towards a soft techno rock, a little as Radio Pluto, with a rhythmic which waves on nervous percussions and good guitar solos. A brief rhythmical passage which calms down with chords waving on an ascending curve, skimmed through by melancholic solos.
"Decoding With Celine" is another track which plunges us into TD era, like a sort of 220 Volts, with a good sequential movement which skips on a slender and rippling on a clouded line synth. The percussions start an awakening of the rhythm which is fastly joined by melodious chords of a sober guitar and a synth to plaintive solos. Always nervous, the rhythm reaches a breaking point where more floating ambiances and synth layers skimmed through percussions always so lively. And the rhythm starts again with chords which cavort and are harpooned by furious guitar solos, feeding the ambivalence of "Decoding with Celine" rhythms. Chords of an acoustic guitar a bit metallic open the very beautiful "Through the Moving Light". Percussions tumble to hammer a frank and curt rhythm, while a piano and a guitar throw beautiful chords and melodious solos on a slow and heavy rhythm. It’s a nice rhythm and a great melody, a kind of electronic Beatles song, where the melodious approach is subdivided by several instruments but it’s the guitar which prevails with beautiful chords, ethereal and dreamy coats layers as well as beautiful solos which unhook soul sighs. "C8H10N4O2
(Re-stirred 2005)" is slightly modified on Neptunes where it takes a nice techno rock tangent, which interrupt a rather ambient structure. "The Murder Mystery Dinner Train" plunges us back into ambivalent structures where the powerful rhythm is interrupted by more quiet passages. Furious and heavy rhythms, hammered by good percussions and bass/ guitars riffs as well as heavy incisive solos which tear the rhythmic canvas.
As much Neptunes is heavy, as much it’s melodious, divided and torn between ethereal passages, cosmic ambiances, nice melodies and heavy, brutal guitar riffs which bang on great solos. I was astonished by the power of Neptunes and its harmonious and ambient inserts. But I was especially amazed to observe his importance in the rhythmic approaches of the Dream. Alone freed from the yoke of Tangerine Dream who, at that time, tried to conquer 2 publics, Jerome feels at ease as much with guitars as synths and ambiances than rhythms. In fact, I wonder why the Dream didn’t borrow this way where the ethereal crosses marvellously heavy and unpredictable rhythms which abound on this sonny Froese's first solo opus. Neptunes is a solid opus which will know how to conquer you … It’s what arrived to me, after some years to make me pull the ear.


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

Here's Jerome Froese website:

JEROME FROESE: Radio Pluto (2005)

1 Radio Pluto (7:30)
2 Friendship 7 (10:38)
3 Microchannel Surfing (5:12)

I have to admit that it takes me time to seize well Jerome Froese's very heavy and noisy musical universe. It’s on the tips of ears that I listened to Neptunes and Radio Pluto. But with listening strewed here and there, and the discovery of the very good Shiver me Timbers as well as the release of Nightshade Family, I plunged completely into the universe of Neptunes, and by rebound Radio Pluto, and I discovered in it a brilliant artist who didn’t just fit any more in the bend of the Dream and its Dante trilogy. An artist who, once freed from the yoke of Tangerine Dream, will explode with robust opuses. But Radio Pluto still stays very near the roots of the Dream. An E.P. which includes 3 tracks among which 2 will be on Neptunes.
"Radio Pluto" offers a rather ambient entrance with angelic choirs which emerge from winds of a synth to rich sound effects and subtle modulations. The rhythm wakes up little by little with percussions which collide, creating a metallic effect of echo among light chords which cavort around it. A fluid rhythm crisscrossing sound effects and which bursts more and more with more alive percussions and heavy riffs of a caustic guitar, before that it mixes up to an ambient mood and its ethereal choirs to conclude "Radio Pluto". Heavy and languishing guitar layers open "Friendship 7", a track with heavy musical imprints à la TD of Jerome years. Fine notes of an acoustic guitar roam there while a nervous hatched sequence encircles the intro. Fluids notes of guitar sparkle there while percussions mould a nervous tempo, decorated by good pads of a synth which diverts the rhythm towards a more ambient passage. And throughout its progression, "Friendship 7" will be divided between heavy rhythms, hammered by good and nervous percussions, and more melodious passages where guitars and synth are exchanging nice solos as aggressive as ethereal. "Microchannel Surfing" is a nice ballad which sits on a good guitar with melancholic notes and a suave synth to solitary breaths. The tempo becomes heavier with the arrival of good percussions which whip a slow rhythm, surrounded by a synth with nostalgic whistles. The rhythm lands into the twinkling mists of a cosmic synth which redirects the tempo towards percussions to strikes with a little Amerindian touch. These delicate strikings are accompanied by a synth to harmonious winds and a romantic guitar which releases its notes among a pleiad of heterogeneous sound effects.
Radio Pluto is a good E.P. which is not a necessity if you possess Neptune. Although very good, "Microchannel Surfing" isn’t worth the price of Radio Pluto’s download, which is already out of print and only available in this format. But if you don’t have Neptune it worth it, but I strongly recommend you to get Neptunes first.


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


1 C8H10N4O2 (7:06)

Here’s the very first solo release of JF under the name of Jerome Froese. Froese Jr had to accompany his companion Ulrich Schnauss, who had participated in the compilation album Unpleasant Poems which Jerome had recorded under TDJ Rome's pen name for the label Ground Liftaz, for a mini concert to Eindhoven, in 2004. Both had to produce a track for this concert and sadly Ulrich Schnauss broke his hand. The track written by Jerome C8H10N4O2 (the chemical formula for caffeine) was recovered by the Dutch label Groove and put on sale in October, 2004.
"C8H10N4O2" hatches out with a somber synth wave which undulates behind guitar notes floating in an ethereal ambiance. Nice synth pads come to cover this delicate intro that a nervous bass and cymbals surround. And percussions break out with big riffs and reverberating lamentations of guitars. The rhythm panting, "C8H10N4O2" runs on a brief unbridled passage before falling in the arms of a synth with rocking pads on a rhythm supported by flitting and sober percussions. A melodious passage follows, with beautiful synth chords skimmed through by metallic layers. Held between ethereal ambiances and wild rhythms, the rhythm embraces the same paths as the Dream Mixes series (in particular 4) and brings us towards beautiful melodious passages (the piano in the 5th minute) which float into mellotron mists. Concluding thus this Jerome's first single, under his real identity.
If you like the Dream Mixes series, you will adore C8H10N4O2. A nice single which presents us a Jerome Froese still shy and little sure of him and who leans on the still quite fresh structures of DM.


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

samedi 24 septembre 2011

PAUL ELLIS: The Last Hiding Place of Beauty (2009)

1 The Unveiling Ravenous Evening 17:12
2 The Last Hiding Place of Beauty 16:17
3 The Note, The Walk In The Rain And The Umbrella 16:04
4 The Hydroelectric Spinning Heart 10:27

Groove | GR-158 (CD 59:59) ****
(Mix of ambient and sequencer-based EM)

Quietly, Paul Ellis carves out a solid reputation in the wonderful and complex universe of contemporary EM. “The Last Hiding Place of Beauty” (what a great title) is already his 11th work. First of all, let us greet this splendid artwork which presents an opus sculptured in the musical poetry where the Canadian synthesist draws from his vast musical experience to marinade all the styles with a rarely exploited philosophic sweetness.
"The Unveiling Ravenous Evening" presents a folk intro from the medieval era with a beautiful acoustic guitar supported by a soft fluty mellotron. It’s a delicious intro which gets lost early in a mixture of drummed pulsations and percussions which skip and flit nervously with a synth with harmonious chords rolling in loops. Enchanter, "The Unveiling Ravenous Evening" progresses on fine modulations of a beautiful bass line which drops long and sinuous reverberations increasing a crescendo fed by circular chords and more nourished percussions. It’s a harmonious ascension on a structure slightly in the shape of bolero where the sequencers, the synths, pthe ercussions and the pulsations gather themselves in order to forge a melodious gyrating movement. At around the 9th  minute the rhythm hiccups feverishly on a more nervous and hatched structure where the chords flicker to dive into beautiful synth impulsions which are besieged by slamming percussions and harmonious synth lines which cross in a superb rhythmic crossroads. A passionate passage which eases, guiding "The Unveiling Ravenous Evening" towards a more serene finale. After a short atmospheric intro, "The Last Hiding Place of Beauty" is a more boiling track which navigates on a nervous sequencer, switching on a synth to twisted reverberations. The rhythm beats to the measure of fines and hopping sequenced percussions on an electronic structure reminding me the first works of Jarre, but with a sharply more progressive touch. Arpeggios flutter nervously while the sequencer encircles the movement of a charming heaviness, leading the structure on a hypnotic, vertiginous and aggressive crescendo which explodes of a rhythmic to climbs parading in loops. It’s a very good track filled with energy on evolutionary sequential movements and a synth which follows the cadence, assisted by nice sound effects which attract the hearing.
Some nervous scribble on paper opens the misty and atmospheric "The Note, The Walk in the Rain and the Umbrella". It’s an intense musical novel which hears on a pleasant fluty and violined mellotron, waltzing slowly in a cosmic oblivion and under a fine rain and a dense veil filled with a cosmic mist. Slowly we dive into a more progressive musical universe, with a beautiful bass line which bites and dandles an always ambient structure where fine loops of guitars mould a solitary harmony beneath a cloud of ringing glasses. This fragile harmony is dying in the breaths of a forsaken mellotron and fluty laments which roam under a drizzle and stratas of quixotic violins, adding a nostalgic touch which pursues on the strings of an acoustic guitar on the opening of "The Hydroelectric Spinning Heart", another track where the progressive/electronic fusion is magnificently polished up by mellotrons to flutes and magic violins. But the peace of mind of the intro is jostled by a rhythmic to oriental flavor with a light festive tempo fed by drummed percussions and beautiful bass line of which resonance of notes is molding to tones of bells. Very melodious, the synth is also very lyrical and its melody is joined by a lovely piano which espouses its rhythm. "The Hydroelectric Spinning Heart" embraces a hesitating passage where the rhythm sways between atmospheres, before the percussions resuscitate him and reactivate a piano which flow its last notes on a heavy and lively tempo, streaked of layers of a spectral guitar and a joyful fluty synth.
In “The Last Hiding Place of Beauty”, Paul Ellis creates a stunning musical journey where rhythms have several faces. From purely electronic to sharply progressive, the music evolves according to the imagination of his author which suits to the spirit of its title. I was enchanted and amazed by
The Last Hiding Place of Beauty that I rediscovered by listening to his last opus, From out of the Vast Comes Nearness
. Showing thus that the music of Paul Ellis survives its time and deserves amply to be known by a vaster public. A public who likes sequences, rhythms and melodies covered of a fascinating musical fauna.
Sylvain Lupari (2009)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

vendredi 23 septembre 2011

REMY: The Great Church Trilogy (2011)

1 Overture 5:53
2 Belief 11:16
3 The Traveller (Part 1) 10:24
4 Silent Conversations 7:53
5 Sinfonia Senza Percussione (Part 2) 15:09
6 Sinfonia Senza Percussione (Part 3) 9:42
7 MMIX a.D.11:18
8 Requiem 5:58

Recorded during various concerts given at the Grote of St.Bavokerk between 2007 and 2010, within the framework of the annual bookmarket, The Great Church Trilogy respects Remy’s signature with a music imprinted by mysticism and mystery. It’s a very nice album with ambiances and atmospheres as much nocturnal as cosmic; it floats between our two hemispheres as music to contrasts of poetry without words. Music forged inside a world of fantasies, to 1000 dreams from an insatiate dreamer by the power of its illusions.
Recorded during the very first concert, on November 10th, 2007, "Overture" and "Belief" are 2 tracks which are linked and drag us in Remy’s heavy nightly atmospheres. A big tenebrous organ with layers floating such as spectres at night opens "Overture". They fly and roam with fine modulations, supported by a delicate movement of a bass line. A bass which drops more edgy notes, guiding a spiral of crystal clear and twinkling chords swirling as a carousel of glockenspiels among heavy and low metallic pulsations. The synth is as much lyrical as dramatic and weaves a sinister ambiance with layers and pads which float and sigh around tones of organ from darkness. The introduction of "Belief" is garnished of those hatched puffs which breathe furtively, crossing more ethereal synth pads which move with a bass line to muffled pulsations and fine crystal clear arpeggios. An intro moulded in the shadow of "Overture" but which becomes more musical with a progression in the rhythm, initiated by fine percussions which slam under discreet synth solos. Recorded the year after, on November 15th, 2008, "The Traveller (Part 1)" is a good minimalist work starting with heavy drum rolls which free fine zigzagging waves and a soft romantic piano. A piano from which the series of minimalist notes moulds a beautiful night-melody which turns and which misleads more melodious notes in the course of a tenor’s fat voice and discreet ghostly breezes. Very beautiful, this synth voice permutes into delicate romantic and spectral breezes. She floats over a piano with more harmonious notes and fine percussions, of which the arrhythmic beats increase the intensity of "The Traveller (Part 1) ", whereas fine teetering solos float and sway on the soft union of voices and piano to fine minimalist gallop. After the wonderful "Silent Conversations" (see EoD), "Sinfonia Senza Percussione" pushes us even more in the night owl’s blackness of Remy who takes an a little more cosmic tangent.
The 2009 concert has to be postponed because of the birth of Remy's son. In place, recordings were broadcasted in the Grote of St.Bavokerk. These recordings were replayed in concert during the performance of November 13th, 2010 of which the next tracks were performed. A symphony without percussions, "Sinfonia Senza Percussione Part 2" comes out under a cosmic sky where sparkle stars as in the beautiful analog years of Klaus Schulze. Streaks and threadlike synth layers to tones of violins float besides plaintive solo which roam among the discreet singings of a cosmic choir. Far off, we hear fine crystalline arpeggios coiled as a fine wave-like spiral. Arpeggios which cross other limpid chords, drawing a light sequential movement revolving under suave violin strata and solos of a synth always so dark. This delicate spiralled impulsion dances under foggy layers of a synthesized violin which also frees fine twisted solos, guiding this cosmic track towards the entanglement of "Sinfonia Senza Percussione Part 3". It’s a track as much ambient, but without sequences, where notes of piano roam among cosmic winds and hootings, creating a surrealist ambiance for a melody which tries to pierce a fossilized veil. Superb, "MMIX a. D." swirls as the carousels of those good old musical boxes, taking back a bit the sequential movement of "Sinfonia Senza Percussione Part 2". Except that here it’s more intense with crystal clear chords which spin more deeply while evolving on an ascending tangent. A mellotron synth frees a soft iridescent mist and strings of a quixotic violin caress the rotation of this beautiful sequenced spiral which is accompanied by a discreet choir and fine slamming percussions / pulsations which swirl and flit around this very good circular movement. And then choirs, violins and percussions are winding and hammering with more vivacity, whereas that long and sinuous fluty synth solo replace the fluty winds to plunge "MMIX a. D." in a powerful rotary rhythmic which lessens in the breezes of a finale which espouses the intro of "Requiem", a slow and ambient track where a piano releases its notes among dense strata of a powerful mellotron synth.
Once again Remy offers us an album where harmonies and melodies survive to structures at once dark and romantic, where choirs and fanciful violins throw veils of mysteries which suit so well the architecture of medieval structures as those of the Great Church of Haarlem. There are wonderful ambiances and melodies around The Great Church Trilogy, an album which gets a bit closer to structures of his famous Exhibition of Dreams and plunges us into a universe filled with a romanticism with all the colors of an unlimited imagination.


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

mardi 20 septembre 2011

TANGERINE DREAM: The Angel of the West Window (2011)

"The Angel of the West Window is not certainly as solid as The Island of the Fay, but it remains a splendid album"
1 The Mysterious Gift to Mankind (10:29)
2 The Evening Before Easter (5:50)
3 Living In Eternity (3:58)
4 The Silver Boots of Bartlett Green (7:22)
5 Hosanna of the Damned (7:50)
6 Dream Phantom of the Common Man (6:37)
7 The Strange Idol of Baphomet (6:31)
8 Hoël Dhat the Alchemist (7:10)
9 The Invisible Seal of the Holy Tribe (9:36)

EASTGATE: CD051 (65:43)
What did we have to expect after an album as solid as The Island of the Fay? Well, I would answer; an album as “The Angel of the West Window”. I’m saying this without sarcasm. The Island of the Fay took everybody by surprise with a powerful work where nice sequences to lively and random movements shape melancholic melodies which floated in heavy and somber atmospheres. That’s quite “The Angel of the West Window”'s pattern, except that this last opus of Tangerine Dream gets out of breath with a slight lack of originality. As whatever the quantity sometimes crushes the quality, which is often Edgar's problem.
A very robust track, "The Mysterious Gift to Mankind" begins with a sparkling sequential shimmering. Sequences alternate and slide with a surprising feverishness, drawing a curious nightmarish approach, while pulsations and another sequential line appear to create a fascinating static rhythm floating above an intro which progresses with a clear dramatic tension. This amalgamate of sequences and pulsations, coupled in this increasing tempo, converges on a heavy but motionless rhythm where plaintive guitar solos bite a musical structure torn by the harmony of its keyboard keys and riffs of synth. Edgar's guitar is wild and poignant. It tears rhythms and atmospheres of long plaintive solos while "The Mysterious Gift to Mankind" evolves through various rhythmic approaches, embracing at passage the tearful sweetnesses of violin hugs and orchestral arrangements which have an effect of pendulum on a rhythm which grows rich of good electronic percussions. Percussions which second heavy sequences and a rhythm became more limpid, with the appearance of synth layers which sweep the cadence of a romantic heaviness, while Edgar's guitar continues to bite its fragility. Yes, this "The Mysterious Gift to Mankind" is a very good track. Curt and flitted metallic chords harpoon deaf pulsations which pound on a slippery synth wave and propel "The Evening Before Easter" towards a nervous rhythmic structure. A track without percussions nor guitars, "The Evening Before Easter" reminded Exit with its metallic tone and synth pads which counterweight to stamping sequences on an undulate rhythmic structure, fed by feverish sequences and swept by brief synth pads to fluty winds and discreet choirs. "Living room In Eternity" is a soft electronic ballad imprinted of a certain moroseness which follows the spheres of influence of a synth filled of violin veils of which discreet percussion beatings hide delicate sequences which bring us back at the time of Legend. A chorus held in an ascending sequential oscillation opens "The Silver Boots of Bartlett Green". The rhythm is muffled and coated by synth layers. It beats on the rhythm of a bass which is escaping to forge another rhythmic structure imprinted of dark ambiances. A slow tempo, a bit heavy, and imbibed by a synth as melodious as captivating, "The Silver Boots of Bartlett Green" permutes constantly around brief melodies and superb arrangements, of which a very poignant passage a little after the 4th minute. It’s a good moment, and a very nice track, rich in musicality with sequences which are following up in a stunning fluidity under breaths and sighs of an absent synth.

"Hosanna of the Damned" is a kind of ballad. An electronic ballad sits again on a nice cadenced structure with sequences which pound and wriggle in a heterogeneous rhythmic fauna where sober percussions as well as muffled and felted pulsations are stowing in a synth to chords as nervous and jerky which run on a good harmonious structure."Dream Phantom of the Common Man" is another good track. It starts with slamming percussions and heavy vibrating pulsations which are wrapped by a synth with angelic choirs. It’s a track with nice harmonies of which the structure sounds a lot like "Hosanna of the Damned" but with better sequencings. Sequences which dance among good percussions on a linear movement to jerky undulations and flew over by intermittent layers of a discreet metallic guitar. But as much good as it is, it also shows the falling of “The Angel of the West Window” a musical world which is short of breath with "The Strange Idol of Baphomet" and its amalgamate guitar notes and sequences which wriggle nervously in the shade of a plaintive synth. Delicate piano notes add a stalk of gloom to a structure which shows a more beautiful musicality its 2nd part with a more nervous sequential movement and fine orchestral arrangements. After a slow intro, imprinted by a mellotron mist, "Hoël Dhat the Alchemist" emerges and offers a slightly oscillatory rhythm where keyboard keys prevail in a harmony without sparks and discreet sequences. Indeed, the rhythmic movement takes some momentums, but they are gobbled up by ethereal choirs which forge all the same a nice musicality. "The Invisible Seal of the Holy Tribe" stops the musical fall of TAofWW. It’s a great track, without precise rhythm, which hangs on a melody with an imperceptible dimension and which starts with a strange and enchanting sequential movement. Sequences and pulsations thrum frantically, like eternal rhythmic loops. They wriggle on an enchanting movement, fed by subtle impulsions of a discreet bass line, which follows a slow undulatory curve garnished with bells to heterogeneous ring. The movement progresses with more vivacity whereas a light dramatic effect forms around spectral synth layers which crisscross undulatory serpentine of tinkled chords. The melodious momentum stops abruptly, plunging "The Invisible Seal of the Holy Tribe" in a passage where violent percussions and knocks of bass jump with a sudden convulsion to undertake a dislocated dance, wrapped by a warm synth. The rhythm beating of an arrhythmic excess "The Invisible Seal of the Holy Tribe" recovers a different melodious approach where harmonies are crushed by a jerky movement, but keeps just as much the enchanting magnetism with a great final where everything matches, as if there had been no sequenced or rhythmic storm. But the whole track is superbly anchored in our ears which are dying of urge to re-hear it, except that there is this superb final with its melody and sequences which continue to charm, and charm, and charm, and so on...Quite a great track!
The Angel of the West Window” is not certainly as solid as The Island of the Fay, but it remains a splendid album where Edgar's melodies and sequential structures are subjected to the multiplicity test. According to me, it’s unthinkable and utopian to hope hearing stroke of genius after stroke of genius when creating mass music. The art is not some kind of an assembly plant. But by means of brave journeymen who agree to follow his strange evolution, Edgar Froese always manages to surprise and to amaze. In 2011, the old man pleasantly amazed me and I’m sure he did the same on you. And if sometimes I’m hard on him, I’m also capable of the opposite. So my hat to you Edgar, you have still made a success of another nice piece of music.

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

lundi 19 septembre 2011

TANGERINE DREAM: The Gate of Saturn (2011)

1 The Gate of Saturn  8:32
2 Logos 2011 6:36
3 Cool At Heart 2011  6:23
4 The End of Bondage  5:31
5 Vernal Rapture  7:22

Distributed during the English concert at The Lowry in Manchester on this year’s 28th of May, The Gate of Saturn is the 9th edition of the CupDisc series. A very good CupDisc I have to say, where Froese’s gang offers a great nice EM rock approach with 2 very good new tracks, among which the striking "Vernal Rapture", and 2 rather good  re interpretations of the Dream catalogue.
With its soft and strange melody which tries to hatch from a dark and hesitating structure, "The Gate of Saturn" presents an intro which soaks in an ambiance torn by cosmos’ blackness and the Gothic spirits. The rhythm is slow and lugubrious, supported by a fine sequential movement which gallops wisely with felted percussions beneath hybrid synth stratas which decide between a melodious move towards the Gothic mysticism and the dark spatial elegiac. By moment, there are crescendo effects with a more insistent and heavy sequential movement which draws arcs of cascade floating between the spectral atmospheres of the heavy atonal synth winds and a cadence which waves with a restrained frenzy in an ambiance imprinted by mystery. "Logos 2011" presents the melodious part of Logos with this rhythm drawn of keyboard keys winding in loops and at high speed to subdivide on long synth solos. It’s a nice extract which offers nothing really new except that it’s Froesed with the adding of mellotron pads and choirs a little warmer than usually. Always as beautiful and delicate as on Melrose, "Cool at Heart 2011" enjoys better arrangements on this version. More than Froesed, the track offers a depth non-existent on Melrose. "The End of Bondage" is the kind of track which catches instantly with its wild rhythm. A rhythm provided by heavy and frenzied sequences which roll on a linear movement surrounded by very fickle nice synth pads as well as by solos which float between pads and more aggressive passages. "Vernal Rapture" makes a great hit among the circle of members on the TDOC (Tangerine Dream Online Club) and with reasons. It’s a catchy track which starts with sequences and chords skipping and colliding in a static hesitation, before being absorbed little by little by lazy synth pads. A riff is making heard in distance and hits to give a new direction to "Vernal Rapture" which becomes a fiery electronic rock where crystal clear chords and hyperactive sequences split into furious minimalist doubloons in what we can call a frenetic electronic rock where sinuous solos which seem to don’t want to end anymore squeeze this unbridled cadence. A cadence which quiets down a bit, around the 5th minute, for a soft interlude where superb chords and sequences make of glass hammer a rhythm froze in its beauty, while hard-hitting gyrating sirens glance through with violence this wonderful hyper melodious interlude, making of The Gate of Saturn the most colliding CupDisc since Purple Diluvial

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

samedi 17 septembre 2011

FD Project: Water and Earth (2011)

1 Under Water 9:45
2 Norway - My Heart Is With You 9:24
3 Sunday afternoon 6:04
4 Earth 11:51
5 Sonar 12:36
6 Nightwalk 5:56
7 Evolution (John Dyson) 5:47
8 Live Studio Recording for Satzvey Castle Concert 2011 (Bonus) 13:21

It’s with a lot of emotionalism and passion that Frank Dorittke undertakes Water and Earth, a great album where melodies are charmingly moulded by superb sequential movements. Multiple sequences which crisscross under synth layers at once caustic and oniric, as well as a guitar with riffs always so heavy but with solos sometimes violent and sometimes melancholic.
"Under Water" opens with oblong and sinuous waves of a synth to hybrid tones which intertwine, whereas fine crystalline arpeggios hop and dance in a light zigzagging movement. These chords of glasses form a nice sequential movement which undulates of an approach slightly jerky, supported by a bass line by fine throbbing pulsations. This very good sequential spiral increases the tempo with the arrival of percussions that Frank Dorittke manipulates with strength, hammering a hypnotic tempo which follows the ascending arc of its sequences. The rhythm permutes slightly when the electric six-string wakes up to release sulphurous and languishing cosmic solo which chase away sinuous metallic waves and transport "Under Water" towards a warm cosmic rock which dances at the beat of its sequences. "Norway - My Heart is with You" is a real small jewel. Its intro dances with keyboard keys which jump, undulate and intertwine in brief and suave solos of a guitar which dreams beyond a fine quixotic fall. Everything is magical in "Norway - My Heart is with You". The fall metamorphoses into a cosmic wind where discreet celestial voices blow among scattered keyboard keys. The sadness and solitude can be felt with slow guitar solos which cross over the sweetness of an undulatory movement, swept by cosmic winds of a vaporous ambiance where a mellotronné veil encircles of a restrained passion and repressed on the borders of melancholy. Piercing, FD’s guitar floats as shouts of tearing under a synth line which sweeps the horizon of its dark and threatening tone. And the intensity of "Norway - My Heart is with You" reaches its peak with the arrival of percussions which shapes a lascivious sensual structure and draws the lines of a curious bolero where guitar solos abound with passion and acuteness among riffs which become heavier, shaping a sensual electronic rock shaken by powerful drum rolls. With "Sunday Afternoon" FD offers us a jazz/blues fusion on a sensual structure where twinkling arpeggios and dusts of stars shine around slow and sinuous solos of a guitar sometimes sober and sometimes shrill. A nice track à la Software, "Earth" offers a delicious spatial ballet with shimmering sequences of glasses which dance of a hypnotic tempo on a beautiful oscillatory sequential movement. Sober percussions, a bass line and strange pulsations with duck tones accompany this delicate oniric dance which lulls its sequential movement in a nice mellotron mist and increases a bit its tempo under beautiful synth solos.
"Sonar" is another brilliant track where FD demonstrates its dexterity to handle as much sequences as guitars. Tones of sonar emerge from the depths and forge an ascending sequential movement, of which the strikes sound as knocks of anvil, under a sky stuffed by resounding winds of a dark synth. Another sequential line is forming. Its chords are more delicate and are answering to the echo of the sonar resonances. Twisted synth solos encircle this static circle where heterogeneous pulsations dance on a sequential movement which grows rich of another line, whereas synth solos cross with indiscipline an arrhythmic movement which turns indefatigably in the whirlwind of its sequences. The percussions plunge "Sonar" in an infernal spherical movement with heterogeneous pulsations and powerful solos of a guitar which drops heavy riffs on a structure swirling ceaselessly. More fluid, "Nightwalk" flies of a beautiful oscillatory sequential movement. Sequences juxtapose on a melodious structure where cosmic winds are very musical and go alongside beautiful guitar solos on a beautiful rhythmic permutation. "Evolution" is a nice electronic ballad composed by John Dyson. A fluty synth sings among stars drawn by synth chords. A melodious synth which releases delicate solos, in accordance with the fine sequenced approach. But FD has fun with the drum and hammers a wildly undisciplined rhythm where furious guitar solos stow to bedazzled beatings while the structure of "Evolution" returns to the musicality of its point of origin. "Live Studio Recording for Satzvey Castle Concert 2011" is a bonus track written for this festival, but played and recorded in FD’s studio. It completes this 11th opus of FD Project with the same musical approach that we find almost everywhere on Water and Earth; a progressive movement encircle by reverberating and twisted waves which coo in a dark sky while sequences dance on a circular movement. Fine sinuous solos float over this movement which will have a descent into vaporous ambiances before being reborn of a more lively and curt tempo with chords to hybrid tints which slam a delicious movement as musical as hypnotic. We can view the integrity of this track, which lasts about 35 minutes, on YouTube.
Between his influences for Mike Oldfield and Tangerine Dream, Frank Dorittke continues to forge a name by aligning robust albums. To me, Water and Earth is his best album to date. We feel in it a FD more mature and surer of its means. A FD which undoubtedly learnt of its sessions with Ron Boots, because he likes surrounding his compositions of complex and evolutionary rhythms where melodies and atmospheres are besieged by sequences and synth lines to multiple musicality. The whole thing is always surrounded with a mordant and incisive guitar which sings as much as it cries, in the shade of its hypnotic structures.

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

Here's FD Project's website:
You can also watch FD's performance at Satzvey Castle Concert 2011on YouTube. Here is the link for the first part:

jeudi 15 septembre 2011

ERIK WOLLO: Silent Currents (2011)

1) Silent Currents CD 1: Live At Star's End April 27th, 2002 Part I to XII (52:28)
2) Silent Currents CD 2: Live At Star's End October 28th, 2007 Part I to XIV (51:43)

Do I like the music of Erik Wøllo. I learnt of this very good Norwegian guitarist through his collaborations with Steve Roach and with his album Gateway. He is a fine guitarist who succeeds to harmonize his guitar layers and pads to synths or sequenced impulsions of Steve Roach, Deborah Martin's tribal harmonies and the very experimental music of Bernhard Wöstheinrich. On Silent Currents Wøllo presents 2 live recordings performed in 2002 and 2007, on Chuck Van Zyl’s cult EM radio broadcast shows; Star’s End. Two concerts of an average length of 52 minutes, divided into about 26 segments. Live performances with enchanting musical textures which depict the dexterity, both in guitars and synths, of this brilliant musician where the maturity and ingenuity can be heard on this very nice 2 CD box-set where 7 years separate the concerts.
Recorded during the broadcast of April 27th, 2002, Silent Currents 1 begins its long musical journey with a fine linear movement from where subtle riffs emerge which link in delicate loops under a sky sieved by layers and strata of a synth/guitar fusion. The beginning of the movement is softly ambient and atonal with delicate modulations tinted by heterogeneous sound effects, emerging from Arizonian caverns, and surrounded by sweet layers of a spectral guitar which float beneath fine reverberations and which are criss-crossing among some elongated morphic pulsations, whereas that Silent Currents 1 embraces its first sequences at around the 17th minute. It’s a fine sequential movement with chords alternating in a suave succession, while some languishing lamentations from a melancholic six strings guides us towards a gleaming movement sparkling with guitar notes touching lightly the surface of tranquillity under the ghostly effect of undulate and sinuous guitar's waves. Silent Currents 1 becomes darker and heavier. "Part 7" floats in an abyssal heaviness with of tremulous line of a syncretic fusion which sway in a heavy metallic atmosphere before ending on a limpid movement where fine crystalline chords and delicate synth solos dance in a cosmic spiral. It’s a nice melodious moment before that heterogeneous pulsations of "Part 9" hop of a jerky movement, plunging us into a fusion of tribal and soundscape universes of Steve Roach; a delicious eclectic world surrounded by metallic hoops which collide in the shade of synth strata with choirs as discreet as notes of the guitar.
This seething dark passage diverts towards the oniric sweetnesses of "Part 10 "and its nice and soft guitar layers which roar with tenderness in a solitary desert, permuting into heavy synth layers which glide over a smooth linear movement. The first percussions are audible on "Part 11". They resonate with an arrhythmic movement on a sinuous metallic line filled of increasing white noises, to embrace the soporific sweetnesses of "Part 12" and its synth to sluggish angelic layers, sounding the hour of sleep with fists and eyes closed.
A long synth wind fragments its tones of glasses to draw a fine hatched line of which the echo is melting to loud reverberations and suave melodious choirs. Recorded during the broadcast of October 28th, 2007, Silent Currents 2 starts this concert with more emotionalism and warm breaths of synth which are sidling among twinkling arpeggios and layers of a static guitar. There is quite a whole sound wealth on this concert with a better fusion synth/guitar which multiplies the dreamlike layers into morphic structures filled with delicate sparkling. The first pulsations of a surrealist world appear on "Part 3". They hop of their echoes, shaping a surprising arrhythmia in a heavy atmosphere fed by brief guitar solos and heavy strata of a dark and captivating synth. Mixing stillness and harmony, with notes of guitar which roll in loops and brief solos which float in hybrids ambient movements, Silent Currents 2 criss-crosses its 14 segments with more fluidity and an intense musical fauna which was lacking on the 2002 concert. Erik Wøllo has ripened and has acquired a bigger dexterity, allowing him to interlace his segments with a bigger musical wealth. If the somber synth layers always draw spectral waves there is always a harmonious transparency which gets loose from it, juxtaposing two very different entities on the same movement as on "Part 6". The synth wanderings abound, weaving superb ambient movements which are often surprised by sudden pulsations as we can hear on "Part 7" and "Part 9" with its pleasant fluty chant in a universe to multiple sound dimensions. There are good passages where the guitar sprinkles its notes into soft echoing structure, embroidering surrealists but catchy melodies within dense synthesized incantations ("Part 8") or solitary movements shared with morphic synth layers in a desert of rattlers ("Part 10"). The universe of Silent Currents 2 is rich in sequential passages, "Part 11" and "Part 13", or oddly livened up of eclectic pulsations which make capsize the musical universes between the ambient, light rhythm and melancholic as on "Part 12".
In short, 2 worlds and 7 years separate both Erik Wøllo's performances and it shows. If Silent Currents 1 is more ambient and atonal, Silent Currents 2 is more lively and musical. We hear in it a Erik Wøllo with more maturity and assurance who isn’t afraid of rhythms and challenges to mastered several instruments in one concert. Silent Currents is a nice album which appeals mainly to fans of Wøllo, although the 2nd CD is of a stunning musicality and could please lovers of ambient music and diversified universes with rich soundscapes and landscapes tones. Notice the great artwork which wraps this very nice digipak box set and which is a nice work of art. Artworks which abound in the releases of Sam Rosenthal's label, Projekt.


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

Erik'swebsite is here:

mercredi 14 septembre 2011

VARIOUS GROOVE: Dutch Masters Vol.1

1 Nachtwacht ( 7:41
2 Ascending and Descending (Remy) 6:08 
3 Muurhuizen (Gert Emmens) 8:24
4 Nuit étoilée sur le Rhône (Eric v.d. Heijden) 7:20 
5 Temptation (Void) 7:21 
6 Tower of Babel (René Splinter) 5:57
7 Forrest Machines-Wuivend Riet (Bas Broekhuis) 10:14 
8 Tuin der Lusten (Ron Boots) 6:43
9 The Zeppelin (Rene van der Wouden) 8:04 
10 Back to Square One (Meesha) 6:41

Put into music the inspiration and comprehension that you have from a painting of a painter from our country, such is the basic idea of this new Groove Unlimited album. This rather original concept, and very audacious, germed in the mind of Michel van Osenbruggen ( and leads in the form of compilation album entitled Dutch Masters Vol.1. Now, I don’t really know my history of art, thus I cannot judge the degree of comprehension that every artist can makes from a painting, but I do know music enough to admit that there are great inspirations among the 9 countrymen of Michel who agreed to take up this artistic challenge. An album compilation represents as many ideas and orientations which emerge that styles which intertwine and Dutch Masters Vol.1 includes 10 tracks which don’t all converge in the same style and of which composers' talents differs from an artist to another. There are superb moments on this compilation, as there are holes and some lengths. But the editing and mastering made by Ron Boots correct these differents and made of Dutch Masters Vol.1 a beautiful hyper melodious album with very nice pearls.
The first pearl goes to and his "Nachtwacht". It’s surprising to see the progression and maturity this artist who offers here a gorgeous melody which sounds like the best of Vangelis. It starts with a violin synth which sings among bells and hubbubs of a public market. A delicate piano deposits its notes to espouse and replace the violin melody while a discreet sequence emerges to flicker and that a bass line adds more depth. Soon, synth and piano tune their harmonies. But the synth overflows and offers brief nasal solos, while "Nachtwacht" progresses slowly towards a sublime bolero with choirs which hum and a drum rolls and hammers a military march in a delicate ambiance as melodious as melancholic. It’s very nice quite as Remy’s "Ascending and Descending" who goes on with a theatrical track to nightmarish ambiances. Fine crystalline arpeggios climb the stairs in a movement which follows the music scale. They permutes into a sequential movement which goes up and down in a long spiral filled with composite tones. A hiccupping sequential line is add and draws a rotary movement, snatched by percussions which hammer a heavy rhythm and of long solos which chisel a crazy race, as much crazy than surrealist. Gert Emmens' "Muurhuizen" follows with a sober and suave rhythmic structure which will know some subtle permutations. Chords spin slightly in a synth mist, while drum implosions shake the structure and that spectral solos are circulating there, from which one is escaping around the 2nd minute to make deviated "Muurhuizen" towards a warmer tempo with its breezes of ethereal synth. Towards the 4th minute the tempo still delicately permutes with a nice dance of twinkling arpeggios, watered by great synth solos. A little as, Eric van der Heijden’s "Nuit étoilée sur le Rhône" is strongly tinted with a romanticism à la Vangelis. This is a pleasant surprise with a delicate keyboard which frees its chords in a beautiful melancholy wrapped with suave orchestral arrangements, among which a poignant violin which fetches the emotion. It’s very nice, soft, quiet and deeply moving with mellotron impetus which smooth such as spectres of sadness. After a soft intro Void’s "Temptation" plunges into a heavy rhythm supported by pulsating sequences and electronic percussions. Heavy, long and sinuous solo glance through this structure, which could easily be compared to heavy EM with a gradation in the intonations barely touching the influences of a Jarre and Mark Shreeve. It’s striking and a bit out of tune from the structure of Dutch Masters Vol.1 but it also gives the taste to discover the musical universe of Void.
Rene Splinter is the other unknown name to me and his track "Tower of Babel" shows a strong influence for the music of Tangerine Dream with a melodious structure of the 80’s where metallic sequences alternate in a sweet and complex anarchy beneath fine and delicate synth solos. I quite like this propensity for a bit complex structure with nice arrangements which end with a solitary piano. That’s another artist to watch for. Bas Broekhuis’ "Forrest Machines - Wuivend Riet" is another small jewel which dresses of a mesmerizing Berlin School structure à la Keller&Schonwalder. Soft chords sounding as an electric guitar skip slightly in a dense mellotron foggy. A mellotron violin which espouses the quiet sensualism of a bass line, shaken by cymbals to nervous jingles. The synth releases a scent of harmony with its violin which is floating of sweetness morphic on arrhythmic pulsations and percussions to delicate hypnotic strikes. Quietly "Forrest Machines - Wuivend Riet" evolves with its pulsating hypnotic structure which permutes in a fine technoïd approach, before resuming its mesmerizing structure which fades little by little letting glimpse these fine discreet choirs which smell with soft keyboard and piano notes which embrace the sweetness of its intro. Atonal but a stalk melodious with its synth to multiple violin layers which intertwine in an infinite melancholy, Ron Boots’ "Tuin Der Lusten" spreads its melancholy with hatched strata which intermingle in others more fluid. Complex, dramatic and corrosive, in accordance with Hieronymus Bosch paint, it follows very well the orchestral ambiances of "Forrest Machines - Wuivend Riet" but with sad plentiful layers which create a glaucous atmosphere. After an intro to various eclectic and experimental stages, René van der Wouden’s "The Zeppelin" takes its flight on hesitating sequences which increase the pace on an ascending minimalist movement, accompanied by a verbal synth and heteroclite sound effects. That’s an enchanting track, by its minimalist ascending approach, which will break the chains of its spellbinding to establish a dynamic rhythmic where crystalline arpeggios sparkle on heavy deviating rhythmic and resonant sequences. Strongly inspired by Jean Michel Jarre (Within the Parallel) Meesha encloses this last Groove Unlimited compilation with the very nice and lively "Back To Square One" where reminiscences of Jarre can’t be ignored on a beautiful melody forged in the spatial universe of the French synthesist. It’s quite a nice track surrounded with rhythms and sound effects à la Jarre, leading towards a galactic western which shows that the abundance of styles and the meshing of 10 ideas on a compilation album can bring its lot of interesting surprises.
Dutch Masters Vol.1 is a nice compilation which embellishes as we listen to it. It’s a great album that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend and which can serve the causes of EM and its fans, because those who are obstinately anxious to obtain all the tracks from Remy, Ron Boots or Gert Emmens will find beautiful finds with artists such as, Eric v.d. Heijden and Bas Broekhuis as well as heavier ones such as Void and René van der Wouden, while Rene Splinter and Meesha are undoubtedly worth a to be listen too.


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

mardi 13 septembre 2011

VARIOUS GROOVE: E-Day 2011 (2011)

1 Bahnhof Zoo (Rene Splinter) 4:29
2 Shadows of Ignorance (Remy) 16:34
3 Ataraxia 1 (Erik Wollo) 7:33
4 Ataraxia 2 (Erik Wollo)  7:38
5 Tunnel Vision (Rene Splinter)  9:13
6  E-Day live 1 (Harald Grosskopf &Sunya Beat)  9:13
7 E-Day live 2 (Harald Grosskopf &Sunya Beat)  9:14
8 E-Day live 3 (Harald Grosskopf &Sunya Beat)  6:36
9 Lemniscate Live (Rene Splinter) |8:12

A spring event very appreciated by EM fans of the grand region of Eindhoven in the Netherlands the E-Day festival, quite as the E-Live festival, also attracts hundreds of spectators from all around the world. E-Day 2011 was on its 6th edition and presented performances by René Splinter, RemyErik Wollo and Harald Grosskopf. Once again the organizers, Kees Aerts and Ron Boots, succeeded in presenting a festival high in tones where Berlin School goes alongside more progressive and more atmospheric music, while reminiscences of Tangerine Dream of the 80’s were also very present. And, as every year, Groove label produces a CD which wants to be a souvenir and an excellent window while being a complement to this festival where each artist offers unreleased music. It’s a nice collector's item for these fans of the artists performing on this festival and for those who want to discover them.
If you are a Tangerine Dream fan, mostly the Schmoelling years, René Splinter will know how to get your interest. "Bahnhof Zoo" is a superb track pulled out of the Exit and Thief years with a strong rhythmic influence of Kiev Mission. All that you will hear from this track will return you unmistakably in the core of this period. With its metallic chords, felted pulsations à Le Parc and its sequences which undulate such as a metallic snake skeleton, "Tunnel Vision" bathes in the ambiances of Le Parc and White Eagle, before criss-crossing a pulsating hypnotic rhythm, propelling by furious electronic percussions and surrounding of a magnetic sequential movement. Very fine and chiselled as whistles, solos hum on this structure to musical elements which are so near TD that we would believe to listen to unedited material of the Dream. The intro of "Lemniscate Live" always soaks into these TD atmospheres, except that the track elaborates a nicer melodious approach with synths to pleasant winds and metallic pads which stay in suspension on a structure filled of nervous flickering. A pulsation emerges out of it and beats stealthily an uncertain pace while a good sequential movement hiccups a circular rhythm to plunge "Lemniscate Live" into a rhythmic incoherence where the tempo will permute constantly into ambiances and solos always very near the roots of TD of the 80’s. Chords with dark pulsatory tones zigzag among percussions which shape weak thunders under a fine mellotron mist. Following the shape of Schulze’s work, Remy’s "Shadows of Ignorance" evolves with a delicate rhythm beneath fine synth solos to spectral night-wanderings. Solos which chisel nervously an evolutionary rhythm, even a bit groovy, which becomes incisive when the percussions fall for the first time at around 6th minutes. Then the tempo of "Shadows of Ignorance" will permute constantly, going from ambient phases to infernal rhythmic hammered by furious percussions, harpooned by mordant bass notes and fly over by superb solos of synths both spectral and piercing which let filter fine mellotron mists. It’s true that I’m a diehard fan of Remy whom I consider as being a Klaus Schulze’s equivalence, but I adored this great track which shows off all of his musical complexity on rhythms in constants permutations surrounded by striking synth solos. Those who still don’t know this brilliant synthesist and writer; it’s high time to put you to him.
Nervous riffs to jerky swaying hips dancing on tribal style percussions open "Ataraxia 1" which fine guitar layers wrap with a morphic membrane. A little as in his collaborations with Steve Roach, Erik Wøllo weaves strange and nice melodies, a bit tribal, on staccato rhythms where guitar riffs support solos which are melting to floating envelopes of synth layers. Very nice guitar solos fly over spasmodic riffs of "Ataraxia 1", creating a strange fusion between a hatched rhythmic structure and an ethereal ambiance. More melodious, "Ataraxia 2" proposes a more delicate rhythmic approach where solos of a spectral guitar hang over a rhythm livened up by riffs which unfold in loops, embracing even a bit a rock approach. One of E-Day 2011 highlights is the presence of Harald Grosskopf and his group Sunya Beat who presents a rather particular music style where cosmic rock embraces Krautrock. "E-Day Live 1" begins with heterogeneous tones encircled by oblong layers of a guitar which undulate with listlessness, whereas a bass shapes a slow and sensual tempo, accompanied by docile cymbals. Guitar laments turn into shouts where riffs and brief solos make strange syncretic chants on a languishing tempo which increases with the arrival of hammering percussions. And "E-Day Live 1" continues its progression on a rhythm always heavier where the guitar sculptures stunning tones and good solos which roll in loops on a pace pounded by more aggressive percussions. "E-Day live 2" starts with a dazzling guitar solo which seizes the audience while Harald Grosskopf grabs his cymbals and Tablas percussions to create a bewitching rhythm of a weird cosmic tribe. After a short atmospheric passage, the tempo returns with more strength to draw an approach a bit technoïd, (à la Ashra on Sauce Hollandaise) with wild percussions which strike in an eclectic atmosphere where the electronic style, with his shrill synth solos, embraces a cosmic rock fed by very nice and floating guitar solos. Notes of e-piano resound in the silence to awake the disjointed rhythm coming from the unbridled percussions of "E-Day Live 3". A bass with free jazz notes seconds this structure filled of composite tones which is very near the progressive roots of Ashra, especially because of these enchanting guitar solos. Solos floating constantly around a jerky rhythm where ethereal choirs daydream on a structure became more and more chaotic but which protects all the same its melodious approach with its piano notes which come and go in a strong musical tumult. Percussions, as acoustic as electronic, become unchained and Harald Grosskopf is offering to himself a furious solo, feeding the spasmodic and hatched rhythm of "E-Day Live 3" which quietly joins its point of origin.
For a compilation of unreleased tracks, E-Day 2011 is simply delightful. Once again Groove NL is not afraid of exploiting various musical styles in one festival, transposing its recipe on a CD which really has no weaknesses. There is for all tastes on this compilation which, in my opinion, is the best of E-Day and E-Live to date.


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