mercredi 26 octobre 2011

LYONEL BAUCHET: The Secret Society (2011)

1 Introductory March to the Secret Society 6:26
2 Lifeworld 9:22
3 Ocean Spleen 4:19
4 Pavane K4816 7:02
5 So Much for Subtlety 3:51
6 Each Will Have His Personal Rocket 13:19
7 Dawn 4:23
8 Blissfully Ours 4:56
9 Thank You and Good Night 7:50

DiN DLL 11

Lyonel Bauchet's The Secret Society respects the precepts of DiN's label of contemporary EM; aeither be a dark and experimental music which oscillates between stagnant rhythms and ambiances on dark and experimental structures. Rhythms more implosives than explosives with reminiscences as eclectic as Tangerine Dream and Autechre while passing by Spyra and Namlook, here is of what is made this first opus of the synthesist of France. Far from being a newcomer in the universe of contemporary EM, Lyonel Bauchet possesses a vast experience at the musical level, having composed more than 2000 musical pieces for television, cinema and radio. But he haven't produced an album until then and it's to Ian Boddy that we owe this small jewel which is The Secret Society. While taming the complex and immense Buchla 200e modular synthesizer, Bauchet drawn the interest of Ian Boddy. He posted clips on Internet while explaining the process of his learning when the founder of DiN noticed him and invited him to realize his first opus. A first opus which lets glimpse interesting future prospects, as much as for us as for Lyonel Bauchet.
A metallic veil pierces the silence. A fine pulsation emerges from it, introducing The Secret Society's first stammering. Weaved in an intriguing and mysterious approach, where the indefinite rhythm beats on arrhythmic pulsations and felted percussions, "Secret Introductory March to the Society" progress in an ambiance in suspension. Ringing as Tibetan as abyssal, chthonian choirs, lugubrious mist and sinuous threatening reverberations decorate the sound setting of this track which tergiversates constantly between its ambiances and torments. A premise that will follow throughout The Secret Society. More livened up, "Lifeworld" moves in a nebulous ambiance, although its rhythmic structure is more insidious and hybrid. A somber and slow structure which progresses in a veiled approach with frenzied pulsations/percussions pounding and galloping on a circular rhythm to polymorphic core. A rhythm which increases constantly its strength with a tangent vitamined by tribal percussions, it slides towards a dark techno, kind of Juno Reactor style, to judder of a dislocated pace initiated by an array of tribal and metallic percussions. In another register, "Ocean Spleen" is a dark ambient with heavy wrapping synth waves, while "Pavane K4816" proposes a slightly more lively structure. It’s an experimental and lugubrious electronic ballad which evolves slowly on an ascending structure seasoned by tenebrous winds, sinister droning and a mephistophelic mist which wraps mislaid keyboards and\or electric piano chords and riffs. "So Much for Subtlety" is superb and catchy with its limpid arpeggios which ring and float slowly on a hatched circular structure. For a short track Lyonel Bauchet deploys it all on this melody fragmented in a shadowy eclectic universe and strongly livened up by good percussions which hammer a stroboscopic structure where the composite rhythms push the hammer of our eardrums.
Dark and in a constant and subtle evolution "Each Will Have His Personal Rocket" is a slow procession of an ambiguous and hesitating rhythm. The intro is obscure, even black, and progresses with pulsations which increase constantly their rhythmic duels beneath glaucous breeze, black winds ululating such as sirens and a bass line to humming notes. In mid-term the percussions bind themselves in this slow rhythmic procession. The tempo progresses then with the rollings of the electronic skins and a more spasmodic rhythm which gesticulates awkwardly under somber and icy synth winds. Another catchy track, but for totally different reasons, "Dawn" is the another jewel which will please undoubtedly fans of Tangerine Dream and sequences rolling as balls in Hyperborea and Poland albums. Superb, these sequences roll and follow a very nice oscillating curve beneath suave synth breezes, bringing us to memories of a good Tangerine Dream era. It’s a very great track which precedes the not less delicious "Blissfully Ours" which is as much catchy and inviting to stamp foot as "So Much for Subtlety", except the structure is curt and hatched. Another catchy tune than we don’t get tired to listening to, "Thank you and Good Night" closes The Secret Society with a supple tempo of which curves and elastic loops hang on to iridescent droning as well as to superb percussions. Percussions which shape a mesmerizing rhythmic canvas and of which clear and resonant knocks announce nice rhythmic modulations. Penetrating, the synth throws great layers as ethereal as wrapping, crossing at random lonely riffs and winds. It’ a great conclusion for an album to the antipodes of rhythms, influences and melodies.
I liked Lyonel Bauchet’s first opus. Navigating on several influences and rhythmic approaches, The Secret Society touches all the spheres and possibilities of styles that EM and synthesizers can influence. And spread out over 60 minutes, we have to admit that the variety is such that we have to quench our urge for exploration on several listening and still. Available in downloadable on the DiN website (http: //
), The Secret Society guaranteed you 60 minutes of pure magic and all the happiness which is linked with it.

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 Lyonel Bauchet website:

VARIOUS DiN: Submission 01 (2011)

1 Earthbound (Ian Boddy) 9:35
2 Summer Lawn Daze (Ian Boddy) 6:19
3 Out There (Ian Boddy) 9:18
4 Syntax (Dub Atomica) 6:42
5 Integral (Ian Boddy & Bernhard Wöstheinrich) 7:05
6 Mode 5 (Ian Boddy & Markus Reuter) 7:06
7 Rise (Arc) 10:58
8 The Bridge and the Mother (Markus Reuter & Zero Ohms) 10:08
9 Metaphore (Memory Geist) 8:13

Din label is the crossroads of experimental contemporary EM. Ian Boddy's label covers all spheres of EM, starting from ambient to somber techno while passing by Berlin School and purely experimental music. Faithful to the evolution of the alternating currents such as Internet, download platforms and social networks, Ian Boddy launched DinDDL as a supplement to his label in 2007 with the album The Final Question. As some of the following albums, it was the fruit of a concert given this time onto the waves of an American radio. As its older brother, DinDDL presents a compilation of its first 9 albums on this 10th edition. Submission 01 features so live performances and some studio works of Ian Boddy and his collaborations as well as cult groups in this label which redefines the bases of the contemporary EM.
Beautiful and sensitive, "Earthbound", from The Final Question, opens this compilation with all the delicacy of its morphic envelope. Long synth coats become entangled in a very beautiful oniric and cosmic ballet, such as waves rolling on the surface of Orion. That is a charm to hear these rangy synth lines get aroused in this slow spatial cruise where hollow tones resound in an oblivion flavoured of suave fluty breezes and tender suspended harmonies. As much intriguing with its domestic as landscapes samplings, "Summer Lawn Daze" (from the Three Dreams album) lies with an ambient solitude where misled piano notes roam among panoply of ambiance noises and atmospheres. After a gloomy intro, whipped by cold and lugubrious winds as well as by strange ghostly lamentations, "Out There" (The Mechanics of a Thought) emerges out of limbs with a great sequence of which chords alternate in a wonderful rhythmic cohesion. This sequential movement, which espouses movements of train criss-crossing mountainous valleys, accompanies a structure fed by tones as colourful as coloured with subtle variances in its setting.  Shouldering the universe of Arc, Ian Boddy displays a treasure of sound imagination to support a sequential movement of a minimalist appearance but of which subtle variations add a depth and a heat in this universe of sound iridescences. "Syntax", from Dub Atomica’s same album, leads us towards more deepened musical territories with a rhythm being situated between groovy and free jazz, harpooned by a beautiful percussions play and decorated with great sound effects. Percussions which structure a jerky rhythm covered by a synth to gleaming layers and impulsions which sound as guitar solos. More fluid and more musical, "Integral" (out of Hemispheres album) is a wonderful futuristic melody which lays on hybrid tones fine percussions, twinkling arpeggios and tearful synth/guitar which wraps this avant-gardist melody. It’s a great track rich in tone, musicality and emotion which flows like an iridescent lament made for rejected souls. Very good!
"Mode 5", from the Unwound album, plunges us into the somber spheres of a black ambient music. Floating and torn by breaths and spheres of influence of a synth which crystal iridescences howl in gaps, "Mode 5" course is besieged by metallic percussions, a panoply of ghostly winds and scattered notes of a guitar which also filters lugubrious lamentations. We are in a black and dark territory that Rise, from the Arc duet, awakens of its heavy and dark rhythm, worth of great Berlin School moments (see Rise chronic here). Markus Reuter and Zero Ohms’s"The Bridge and the Mother" is a little in the same vein as "Mode 5". The use of samplings plays a dominating role with the rustles of leaves which adds an intriguing dimension to this track which floats on slow synth and guitar strata, bringing us unmistakably at the door of Robert Fripp and his Frippertronics. Melodious, dark and enchanting, Memory Geist’s Metaphore (see full chronique here) encloses gallantly this compilation of dark and experimental music which is the privilege of the label DiN.
Submission 01is a beautiful compilation and a faithful reflection of the styles which nest within the label DiN. As for me, it’s the best way to tame this eclectic musical universe of where is hiding at least one element, maybe more, which sharpens our ears fond of tones and electronic delights. There are sure values, I think in particular of Boddy, Arc and Memory Geist works and other pearls of an audacious music and without borders which will know how to prick your curiosity. Available on the site of DiNDLL:
http: //

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 22 octobre 2011

BERTRAND LOREAU: Morceaux Choisis (2011)

1 Chuchotements 1:51
2 Soli Tune 3:16
3 Pour le Dire 2:13
4 Le Grand Voyage 13:37
5 Appel Intérieur 4:36
6 Pour Arnaud 4:02
7 Harmonie d'un Jour 4:20
8 Irisationd Part I 4:34
9 Irisationd Part II 3:24
10 Souvenir de Jeunesse 18:08
11 Pour Arnaud Part II 2:42
12 Frottements 1:32
13 Si Loin 4:19
Arpeggios of glasses hesitate to waltz in the unknown. Pushed by the winds of a quavering flute, they form a delicate glass ritornellos and whisper "Chuchotements" which flows as a river of pearl. Morceaux Choisis is another Bertrand Loreau's intimist work. After Sur Le Chemin, Réminiscences and Sequences, the synthesist of Nantes opens again to us the road of its interior and memoirs with 13 tracks written between 2006 and 2011. Very versatile, Morceaux Choisis shows the influences and a mood of Bertrand Loreau with tracks of an always enchanting sweetness and others more electronics, in the Berlin School genre. It’s a delicious mixture where Vangelis and Schulze meets in the heart of Trans Harmonic Nights' sessions (Peter Baumann) to end up in the oniric sweetnesses of a piano in the steams of Erik Satie.
"Soli Tune" continues on the call of "Chuchotements" to stroll as an aria on solitude. Keyboard keys espouse tones of a hybrid guitar where sounds of a harp blend to those of a piano to jazzy moods. Roaming in a dark night, they parade. Sometimes melodious, sometimes gauche. They parade in an uncertainty beneath pads of a fluty synth and a fine melancholic mist. Soft "Pour le Dire" flows into our ears with the same tenderness, but with more musicality, than the short opening track. It’s very good and delicate, as all these melodies that we find over Morceaux Choisis and Bertrand Loreau's previous works. I think among others of "Appel Intérieur" which turns upside down the soul with its crying flute on a bed of mist. This is a track which does its effect as the very melancholic "Pour Arnaud" and its crystal arpeggios crying the loss of a friend. "Le Grand Voyage" shows that Bertrand Loreau is capable of an extremely audacious and progressive music while staying melodious. Glass arpeggios to tones of xylophone spin. They are collided by a mixture of percussions, sudden chords, flute breezes and synth impulses. We are immersed by an influence of Vangelis, Opera Sauvage area, and Klaus Schulze, Dreams era. Twisted and incisive solos wave above this minimalist procession. High-pitched solos, sounding as laments of a solitary saxophone, escort this ascending structure of which the furtive rhythm is inlaid by dark keys which move stealthily. It’s a slow parade which swarms with a new life after the 6th minute, whereas crystal clear arpeggios turn up. More numerous, they dance and skip nervously on this minimalist cadence, before ending their journey on a dishevelled structure moved by synth and mellotron winds.
"Harmonie d'un Jour" plunges us into Berlin School structures with a clear influence for Tangerine Dream and mainly Peter Baumann era. The track waves shyly with sequences which undulate like on Sorcerer. But what strikes the most is the melodious envelope. We would definitively imagine being in Trans Harmonic Nights session with these twisted solos, riffs and harmonies which get free from it and feed a cadence which increases subtly. It is a real delight for nostalgic, quite as "Irisationd Part I" which offers a more nervous tempo with sequences alternating with more vivacity, under the aegis of metallic percussions and especially of these fabulous singings of synth which coo under a fine mellotron mist. "Irisationd Part II" offers a similar structure but with a more jazzy synth, more crystal clear and nervous sequences and electronic effects. "Souvenir de Jeunesse" encloses this Berlin School immersion with good sequences which shape an undulatory and hypnotic movement. Like an eternal march, sequence steps move and cross other ones, which are more hard-hitting and curt, in a mystic mist. The synth wraps this good sequential and rhythmic amplitude of cosmic impulses and soft shivering solos. The percussions fall and weigh down this hypnotic minimalist procession which grows rich of crystalline arpeggios sparkling among beautiful pads of an exhilarating synth. The tempo gets subdivided and enters within spheres of permutations, watered with sharpened and spectral solos, guiding the sequences of "Souvenir de Jeunesse" towards a foggy finale. After this wonderful intrusion in the Berlin School, Morceaux Choisis ends with 3 splendid tracks played on piano. These are tender jewels of tenderness and melancholy where Bertrand Loreau amazes and charms with a surprising dexterity.
As for me Bertrand Loreau is a treasure hidden in the world of the music. Musical, poetic and electronic, Morceaux Choisis solidifies my perception with a finely elaborated music where the composer and synthesist of Nantes shows off a surprising knowledge by handling styles which overlap in a surprising harmony. Whether it’s melodious or progressive Berlin School, electronic melodies or classical music, Bertrand Loreau weaves beautiful musical paintings which touch inevitably our feelings, the mark of a great composer.
Available via PWMDistrib

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 is the link to Bertrand Loreau website:

mercredi 19 octobre 2011

MYTHOS: Gallery Concerts (2009)

1 Analogdigitalpolyphomono 9:38 
2 Filtergatemania 10:19 
3 Improviflutecho 10:09 
4 Mysticauroraborealis 12:49 
5 Sequenctrumpetextasy 9:59 


It’s been a while since Mythos, or Stephan Kaske, had play in concert. For the occasions of private views, exhibitions, festivals and art galleries,  the mythical German musician began a series of intimist concerts where he shows all his dexterity, as musical as creative, over 5 tracks where finely polished structures cross a hardly perceptible improvisation, so much the tone is just. For those concerts Stephan Kaske used an array of electronic equipments, allying analog tones to digital ones without the uses of PC and/or Laptops. Gallery Concerts is the audio witness of an outdoor concert presented in Essen on August 2009. The result is a vivifying and warm EM where the rhythm evolves on sequences in crossing in the Mythos purest sound tradition, but with a more accessible approach.
Fine arpeggios waddle innocently on a sequence with airs of a lullaby on the opening of "Analogdigitalpolyphomono". A fine bass line shapes a soft and supple rhythm filled by a German psychedelico-electronic musical universe of the 80’s (Mythos, Clara Mondshine and Baffo Banfi). Charmer, Mythos integrates an electronic flora which stammers on metallic percussions, of which the rolls shape a strange automated military march, which pierces a crystalline cloudiness of a discreet groovy and psychedelic approach. A first rather quiet track before that boiling "Filtergatemania" skips and bites a hiccupping structure hoquetante. A structure livened up by cute jolts which titillates on a heavy and caustic bass line as well as a minimalism sequence drowned by good intrusions of synth to cooing chords and by good strikings of percussions. The more the concert progresses and the more Mythos tames his free public. If the first 2 tracks stick easily, it’s quite the opposite with "Improviflutecho" which wiggles on untidy arpeggios, bouncing in a shower of synth keys which come and go in a circular echo. We are at the crossing of analog and digital EM with this hiccupping structure hatched by scattered percussions and wrapped by a foggy synth and ochre ambiance, which is very representative of Stephen Kaske's eclectic sound universe. On a crushed rhythm, the German synthesist succeed in introducing a wonderful charming flute (the one we can see on the video), engendering a suite of fluty loops with languorous and sharp tones which are melting in a rhythmic to undulations which wave such as a carousel.
A very good track but there is better with "Mysticauroraborealis", the key track of this live album. A little as on the first 3 tracks, solitary keys roam in a sound world in evolution. A synth line encircles the track, such as a chipped stroboscope, which rolls on a rumbling bass line and percussions to excessive movements, creating a heavy and slow rhythm which would make Peter Gun's delights. Except that, brilliant, Stephan Kaske dresses "Mysticauroraborealis" of a psychedelic approach, from the flower power years (Iron Butterfly, Jefferson Airplane and others) with a simply delicious electronic bagpipe (which acts as an old organ) and a vocoder which seems out of its time. This is a superb audacious and inspired track which is going to make heads waddle. "Sequenctrumpetextasy" ends Gallery Concerts with heaviness. An avalanche of synth strata follows an intro with sinister tone to fall into a boiling sound puddle, hammered by percussions which find echo with heavy resonant pulsations. This synthesized intro becomes sequential, leaving all the liberties at the synth to exploit a symphonic approach with fabulous twisted solos in a structure which becomes more atmospheric and more ethereal, before taking back the heavy musical coat of its opening.
Well...I liked a lot this last opus of Mythos. Of course that I’m sold to the German synth man cause. Stephen Kaske produced so many small pearls that I fast became an addict. But on the other hand Gallery Concerts is not really representative of the works from the solitary German. It’s a rather accessible album which touches slightly the soft creative madness of Mythos, in particular with "Improviflutecho" and the superb "Mysticauroraborealis". So, fans of Kaske find their parts with these 2 tracks. While those who knew nothing about Mythos, or about its EM which is astride Berlin School and Krautrock, are discovering a complete artist who innovates and builds music to bipolar tendencies, hybrid rhythms and strangely enchanting ambiances. In short they have great performances tinted tinged with an approach which shows the innovative nature of the character.

Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

Here are two links where we can view Mythos live during this homeland tour:

Also, here's Mythos Website, where you could hear some MP3 snippets:

lundi 17 octobre 2011

MYTHOS: Unabsteigbar! (2010)

1 Live in Bochum 8:03 
2 Aloha Hawai 8:26 
3 EM-Breakfast in Bochum 11:04 
4 Unabsteigbar! 10:04  
5 Mythos Analog 6:36


Recorded within the framework of the electronic lunches, in the city of Bochum on December 16th, 2009, this new Mythos EP is in the same vein, and even a little more audacious, as Gallery Concerts. It’s a mini concert that is quite explosive for a lunch.
A sinuous reverberation opens "Live in Bochum". Hopping keys scroll in loops and are subdivided to create a series of chords which finds its harmony in a delicate minimalism echo. A synth line escapes from it, humming a melody triturated by slamming percussions, a vocoder, orchestral crashes and these infinite sequential loops which tumble on a synth of which twisted solos can’t be count  no more. A heavy track, livened up by feverish sequences and audacious solos, opens the menu of this musical lunch where Stephan Kaske displays all of his complex sound creativity with a master’s hand. Because Mythos’ music isn’t what we can describe as easy to imagined. It’s music rich in tones and rhythms of which the main rule is the duality of harmonies in front of a very heterogeneous musical contingent. "Aloha Hawai" is a good example. A pulsating sequence livens up a suave cadence centered on a fine line of bass. This soft rhythmic, with a slightly xylophone sound, is constantly sprayed by big serpentine sounds and percussions with uneven flows while the synth is structuring a robotic voice among light arpeggios which are dawdling in a sound fauna to short melodious fragments which are constantly fragmented. It’s a very experimental track which seduces with its sequential lines and sound multiplicity. "EM-Breakfast in Bochum" is the piece of resistance of this EP. It’s a very good track with a hesitating tempo which, gradually, gets dressed of its most beautiful sound assets which is multiplying ceaselessly. A nice structure where the harmonies fuse from everywhere on desynchronized sequences which remind cat steps of a drunk cat roaming in a rich musical universe on a minimalism and hypnotic movement. An excellent track! "Unabsteigbar!" follows with its synth-pop approach immerged in a psychedelic electronic universe. Halfway between Jean Michel Jarre and Daft Punk, Unabsteigbar! Swarms of a synthesized life in an eclectic universe, while maintaining its dance-floor beat. "Mythos Analog" encloses superbly Unabsteigbar! with a slow pulsation which progresses lazily in a musical world as rich as heterogeneous where strange synth solos shape an at once strange and enchanting sound world. The more the track progresses and the more it forms itself of a sound wealth which doesn’t stop charming, as these flittering wings which fly over and float everywhere over a sequence of which the heaviness doesn’t affect its magnetism and which remind these old galleys where slaves rowed.
Unabsteigbar! is some very good Mythos. An ingenious and creative Mythos which always maintains its balance between traditional EM, synth-pop and the psychedelic approach as much attractive as intriguing. A bit less accessible than Gallery Concerts, due to its very audacious arrangements, Unabsteigbar! will know how to charm Mythos’ fans and the followers of an EM which stretches its charms until the limits of psychedelic and metallic Krautrock.

Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

Here's Mythos Website, where you could hear some MP3 snippets:

samedi 15 octobre 2011

EMMENS/HEIJ: The Sculpture Garden (2011)

1 Rocky Lumps 10:33
2 Needle Tower 11:45
3 Pallisade 8:04
4 Jardin d'email 14:15
5 Concetto Spaziale Natura 10:53
6 Phyllotaxis 15:19


Inspired by a visit at the museum of Kröller Möller in the National park of Hoge Veluwe in the Netherlands, The Sculpture Garden presents 6 tracks which depict the beauty and mysticism of amazing artistic sculptures. An album where the heavy and nervous rhythms cross dark and experimental atmospheres, adding a challenge to our sounds perceptions and also bringing us near at the doors of a crossbreeding between the Netherlands School and Berlin School on rhythmic structures which smell those of Jean Michel Jarre. In fact it’s a simply delicious album where the percussions and sequences are use as ramparts to musical structures as stunning as the sculptures which they represent.
"Rocky Lumps" doesn’t waste time to make taking off this 5th work of Emmens and Heij. After an intro where sound spirals are escaping with acute tones, heavy nervous sequences pierce a metallic mist to wriggle feverishly. Soft synth pads of recover these sequences which alternate with velocity, while a range of percussions is deploying to reinforce the rhythmic approach with a superb fusion of cymbals, percussions and rattlers. A bass line adds more heat and depth to this rhythm which is cover by a nice metallic mist and beautiful twisted solos. Powerful solos which come and go on a furious structure, where permutations and modulations bring us in an enchanting fusion of Netherlands and Berlin School. It’s a little as if Tangerine Dream, with Chris Franke ahead, was secret co-workers of the Dutch duet. This perception takes more and more scale as we listen to The Sculpture Garden, in particular "Pallisade" with its nervous and slow rhythm which is submerged by a synth of which tones remind the years of the Dream. These 2 tracks are by far the most furious on The Sculpture Garden. "Needle Tower" is more nuanced in its rhythmic approach. It’s a good lugubrious track which begins with hoarse cosmic breaths, sinuous and heavy oscillations, a suave sequenced line and delicate pulsations. A dark intro, wrapped of intriguing streaks and of a mist imprinted by mystery, which progresses in a heavy atmosphere where spheres of the metallic hoops collide among delicious languishing solos. Solos that have foggy flavours and which surround the rising portion of this track which will know a delicious explosion at about the 8th minute with percussions rattlers and keys of a melancholic keyboard.
After a short atmospheric intro, "Jardin d’email" wakes up with a sequential movement which skips on the ashes of its intro. These sequences to curt oscillations throb convulsively through the breaths and synth solos to get thick to nice percussions of which the acoustic jingles charm constantly. On this sober rhythm, "Jardin d’email" continues its bewitching evolution where suave solos fade to let in a cosmic mist which frees wandering choirs and strange outer space voices. It’s a nice atmospheric passage which crashes on more nourished percussions, modifying a rhythmic axis became heavier by the presence of solos from a synth to diverse musical personalities and of a heavier sequence which paces a rhythm of which fine variations converge towards a dazzling final. Multiple eclectic tones introduce the stunning "Concetto Spaziale Natura". Slowly, these elements of an abyssal blackness are pushed by slow oscillations, drawing of elongated sound arcs, to plunge us into a chthonian universe where reminiscences of Tangerine Dream, vintage Klaus Schulze and contemporary Redshift ooze full our ears. The opening of "Phyllotaxis" continues to grow on the ambient and atmospheric roots, even skimming at passage Tangerine Dream’s atmospheres that we found on Force Majeure. A beautiful introduction where cogitates a spasmodic sequence which sneaks through an iridescent mist, icy choirs and resonant pulsations to emerge from its increasing cadence towards a rhythm sustained by brilliant percussions and daydreamers synth pads. The movement permutes in subtlety with more nervous sequences and rattler percussions which redefine another infernal rhythmic, lulled of synth solos as much oniric than lyric.
The Sculpture Garden is a major work, and doubtless the most accomplished work, coming from Emmens/Heij duet. It’s a powerful album which is in the continuity of Silent Witnesses of Industrial Landscapes, with fiery rhythms which cross intriguing ambiances and atmospheres that are finely fine-tuned. The percussions bring us to the borders of Jean Michel Jarre's rhythms while sequences return us inevitably to Chris Franke era from Tangerine Dream. But the strength of The Sculpture Garden lies in the more concrete exploration from the duet in these ambiances and atmospheres which are as much dominant as Gert Emmens' skilful solos. In brief, it’s a wonderful musical journey from which the canvas is inspired by amazing sculptures and the result inspires an audacious blend of the genres which suits well to the interbreeding of the creative and evolutionary rhythms of the Dutch duet.

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 Emmens/Heij Website, where you could hear some MP3 snippets:

vendredi 14 octobre 2011

EMMENS/HEIJ: Silent Witnesses of Industrial Landscapes (2008)

1 Silent Witnesses of Industrial Landscapes (Overture) 10:06
2 Elements in Decay 12:59
3 Liquid Ore Finding its Way 13:02
4 When Night Falls 8:28
5 Point of no Return 7:55
6 Setting the Wheels in Motion 18:12
7 Silent Witnesses Of Industrial Landscapes (Finale) 8:04


The Emmens/Heij association just gave birth to a superb musical odyssey. The union of Ruud Heij’s heavy and nervous sequences to rhythms imagined and weaved by Gert Emmens shapes great EM which transcends the Berlin School and forks towards the heavy style of the Netherlands School where the influence of Ron Boots and Tangerine Dream can be heard on enchanting evolutionary structures. Silent Witnesses of Industrial Landscapes (what a title) is the 4th witness of this fruitful association. It’s an album where the musicality is comfortably sits on superb sequences, good percussions and bass sequence lines which undulate and twitch beneath great solos of a synth which also drops nice mystic mists. Elements which charmed fans of Berlin School, but this time the approach is devastatingly heavier.
"Overture" propels us in the tight-fitting spheres of Emmens’ last opus; The Nearest Faraway Place Vol.1 with a somber intro, less metallic, where we hear sequences wound in a cosmic nebulosity. A solitary keyboard punches this nervous sequential movement of its morose arpeggios, while "Overture" continues its slow ascension and ties to sober percussions while muffling oneself up under nice solos of a dreamy synth. Solos immersed by a strange nostalgia and which whistle in a beautiful melodious approach until the semi-darkness of the cosmos. Limpid sequences skip and crisscross with fineness to open the long and mesmerizing "Elements in Decay". A fine chthonian mist sprawls over this zigzagging movement and gets heavy with dense synth pads which cover sequences became more intense and which remind unmistakably the work of Chris Franke. Weighty and enchanting, "Elements in Decay" progresses underneath a sky darted by solos to wide sinuous arcs and grave under the yoke of percussions which espouse marvellously a revivified sequential approach as well as more incisive synth solos. Solos which find refuge in synth pads with tones that are very near Tangerine Dream’s soils, to re-appear in soft spectral breezes and conclude one of the great tracks on this album. "Liquid ore Finding its Way" presents an intro stuffed by very eclectic tones coming out of an abstract animal kingdom which crosses the howling streaks of a spit-fire cosmos. A great hyper active sequence comes out of this colourful atmosphere. It waves with velocity among sober and melodious keyboard keys, slow percussions, heavy sequenced momentums and spectral solos, drawing a subtle paradox between rhythms and ambiances. It’s a real whirlwind of sequences that encircles our ears when the rhythm permutes towards a solitary sequential ride, of which feverish chords alternate with a dithering speed which is dwindling beneath synth breaths as mysterious as unpredictable. Beautiful, dark and ambient, "When Night Falls" releases keys of a lonely keyboard. They lag in a cosmos full of a melancholic iridescent mist which drops fine dreamy solos among the soft shimmering of a delicate carillon to melodious ringings. Everything there is beautiful and perspires Emmens’ sensibility with these hesitating keys and these sidereal laments which merge in a taciturn cosmic landscape.
A nice ascending sequence emerges from an atmospheric intro, and a very electronic one of the vintage years, to pull "Point of no Return" out of its cosmic nest. It rises and comes down, surrounded of an iridescent mist, stars and other electronic sound effects, to bind itself with good percussions and pound a heavy and slow tempo, irradiated by curt pads. Under the thick coat of a dense mellotron, percussions and sequences bicker and shape an impermeable rhythm and a very beautiful cosmic melody. A rhythm which continues its ride under a sky filled of running streaks, cosmic mist and suave solos of a synth always so oniric. "Setting the Wheels in Motion" begins with a heavy and somber mellotron veil which releases a range of electronic tones. A sequence bass line pulses in an arrhythmic way, while another sequenced line frees crystal clear arpeggios which skip slowly under beautiful strata of quixotic violins. Sequences unite to create an untidy rhythm where chords alternate with more swiftness, in a movement which is not without reminding a mythical Berlin trio, and find refuge under intense twisted solos which came out from this huge mellotron mist. A little after the mark of 9 minutes, percussions come to assist this hypnotic oscillatory tempo. The rhythm becomes then more complex with the addition of another sequence which winds in high speed a structure always coated by furious solos and a quiet iridescent mist. "Silent Witnesses of Industrial Landscapes (Finale)" enclose this 4th effort of Gert Emmens and Ruud Heij with a similar structure as on "Overture", but with a more fluid tempo and a more present melody.
A very beautiful EM album where stormy and progressive sequences join superb melodious approaches, Silent Witnesses of Industrial Landscapes deserves a place of choice in any good discotheque of contemporary EM. The duet Emmens / Heij plunges in height rhythms on heavy and powerful structures which are the privilege of Netherlands School and which make relive the beautiful years of Tangerine Dream, Baumann, Franke and Froese era.

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 Emmens/Heij Website, where you could hear some MP3 snippets:

samedi 8 octobre 2011

BRAINWORK: City Lights (2011)

1 Lights On 9:22
2 City Lights 9:02
3 Sparkling Lights 9:12
4 Berlin City 10:09
5 Dark Lights| 9:33
6 Summer Lights 7:27


The last Brainwork album (Earcatcher) had left me on my appetite. Uwe Saher redeems himself and comes fill my ears with a splendid opus. City Lights is a charming and enchanting album where Uwe Saher slips his suit of Brainwork to concoct minimalist rhythms which juxtapose and piles up into fine meshing worth of the bewitching and hypnotic Berlin School movements. The Berlin synthesist floods our ears with suave rhythms and atmospheres so diversified as jazz, synth-pop and soft techno which bind themselves in sinuous hypnotic, sometimes dynamic but especially mesmerizing movements. City Lights soaks into contemporary Berlin School where rhythms and sequences keep pace with melodious dreamlike, romantic and melancholic structures. A great album which listens with ears well opened to get all the fine subtleties of the minimalist rhythms.
Fine arpeggios with glass tones skip in a delicate movement of alternation, as a prismatic carousel, to open the very soft and romantic "Lights On". They give up their circular movement to another series of limpid chords which swirls to espouse this delicate oniric ballet. In the purest Berlin School tradition "Lights On" dresses with series of chords which follow the rotations established by the arpeggios of origins, amplifying a slow melodious and hypnotic tempo of which the fragility survives to the rotary assaults of a bass line and electronic percussions. The increasing rhythm of emotionalism, "Lights On" becomes heavier. A static heaviness supported by a splendid daydreamer melody and crossed by a synth mist which floats as a lost thought, while synth solos swirl and complain over heavy reverberations. Some furtive muffled chords undulate on a nebulous ascending line to introduce "City Lights" while crystalline arpeggios adopt this intro, joined by discreet hatched vocalizes. Quietly the tempo becomes groovy with a good bass line of which the sensual movement is hidden by good percussions strikings. Pads and riffs of keyboards add more mordant to "City Lights", of which superb solos of trumpets and saxophones crisscross on a tempo undulating of sensuality, strengthen the groovy and lounge approach of this delicious track. "Sparkling Lights" is another great track in the genre of "Lights On" except that the circular movement is slightly more accentuated. A brook of nervous sequences flows under the breaths of an ethereal voice. It’s an intensely melancholic intro that percussions and keyboard riffs liven up of a finely jerky structure. Pleasant as one wishes, the synth roars wonderful solos shouting of solitude and melancholy. Solos which criss-cross a movement where a strange sadness comes from this very beautiful track which bursts the soul. And the solos … Hem, completely moving!
"Berlin City" offers a delicious mixture of hypnotic Berlin School and rhythms a bit wilders, a little like Element 4 but less weighty. A heavy sequential line activates with pulsations skipping fervently. Another line encircles this first rhythmic pattern with more crystal clear arpeggios which sparkle furtively. Synth pads throw a zest of melody, leading "Berlin City" towards a livelier rhythm with other wilder sequences which skip furiously in an exhilarating circular movement. A frenzied movement that percussions have difficulty to follow and where moments of calm allow to take our breath a bit, on an astonishing structure of crisscrossed rhythms darted by great synth solos. The cymbals which tsitt and tsitt at opening of "Dark Lights" engage no pace to come. Even if fine metallic percussions fall and embrace sequences which wriggle as a bench of smelts encircled by whales, even if these sequences multiply in crisscrossed movements, the tempo of "Dark Lights" remains imperturbably enchanting. Turning on itself and increasing constantly its rhythmic depth, this tempo remains dark, static and melancholic even with this delicate mist which falls of a sky ablaze by remorse. All the opposite, "Summer Lights" moves on a rhythm bursting of energy, a bit as in "Berlin City", with synth pads which cover sequences skipping in a furious rotary movement. The title wears well its naming with a heavy movement which skips in a technoïd atmosphere fed by good percussions, a good bass line and sequences with xylophone tones which are harpooned by wonderful synth solos as lyrical as incisive. It’s very catchy and melodious track which suits well in this musical trip at once enchanting and melodious.
Oh that I loved City Lights! Completely unexpected, this last opus of Brainwork comes to give a second breath to Berlin School style of EM with an array of minimalist movements that Uwe Saher decorates of great surges of affection with very beautiful melodies that fill us with nostalgia. For our biggest pleasure, Uwe Saher returns to his usual style and offers us an inescapable album where melodies, sequences, ambiances and minimalist rhythms intertwine in bewitching and hypnotic structures. Brainwork’s City Lights is a must and undoubtedly one of 2011 top 10.

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 Element 4 Website, where you could hear some MP3 snippets:

ELEMENT 4: Monotony in Motion (2010)

Clockwork| 7:37
Sunny Island (Element 4 Remix)| 7:34
Big Elephant| 7:53 
Deep Diving| 6:46
Motionless| 6:45 
Unusual Normality| 7:12
Stormland| 6:54
Frilly People| 6:24  
Caribbean Pearls| 8:18


After the explosive T.N.T. Uwe Saher undertakes a technoïd bend and leave the trance kind to embrace the dancing and joyful rhythms of house music. But no matter the styles, Monotony in Motion is a pure festival of minimalist techno. Up from its virtual stage, Uwe Saher swaps his Brainwork suit and puts a DJ one who gave as goal to stun his crowd. And he gets there. Monotony in Motion presents 9 tracks which are linked in fiery minimalist rhythms, where percussions play a dominating role. It’s more than 60 minutes of a furious music where dance festivals organizers would have an interest to throw an eye and all ears.
"Clockwork" begins this furious hour with a pulsating pace which is supported by a swarm of percussions. An intro which spreads all the arsenal of percussions that will feed Monotony in Motion and which fade in a resonant pulsation. Hypnotic boum-boum, tsitt-tsitt cymbals and keyboard riffs draws a tempo which gives the impression to run after its shade and that a beautiful sequential movement decorates with a good circular melody. Crystal clear arpeggios appear and over dimensioned this ascending melodious approach, which strange metallic gases accompany with the forms of hatched pads. A little as everywhere on Monotony in Motion, Uwe Saher stacks his rhythms with a surprising melodious approach based on beautiful sequencing which form the main axis of melodies, and great sound effects which add more depth to static rhythms. Rhythms which breathe with brief passages more atmospheric and which stretch among the 8 other tracks to rather similar structures. Subtly we deviate towards "Sunny Island (Element 4 Remix)" which borrows the same banging and rhythmic pulsations as "Clockwork", but with an airier and more festive melodious approach. Chords there are more nervous and flutter on a cadence which permutes discreetly towards a more accentuated rhythm while the synth draws beautiful breezes of trumpeters which float above the hopping riffs and pads. It’s a really catchy track of which the harmonious intensity increases with a progression which unblocks towards the tribal and festive percussions of "Big Elephant". A beautiful of bass line to elastic notes and synth riffs model a stubborn rhythm, interrupted by a procession of hatched sequences which pod its chords. The tempo is of lead and encircled by good sound effects which forge a stroboscopic belt on ingenious percussions, the key point of this 8th album from Element 4, and a humming bass line. "Deep Diving" pursues on the combination of hands banging, tsitt-tsitt cymbals, hypnotic pulsations and bass lines to the slow ascending curves which structure a minimalist rhythm. A rhythm which increases gradually on riffs and stationary pads where other notes are grafting and float in a hesitating harmonious shell. On a more fragmented tempo, "Deep Diving" accumulates shrill wild lines and bongo drum percussions which add more depth to this collection of percussions which are the bases of Monotony in Motion’s hypnotic rhythms. This and these indefatigable enchanting pulsations!
On "Motionless" we have the vague feeling that the tempo is more static, even if it’s always dresses by the same rhythmic elements. It’s a beat where keyboard riffs are more strewed and where their echoes get lost in the addition of metallic percussions which flit with a symmetry always so calculated. With its metallic tsitt-tsitt and chords which crisscross with hesitation, "Unusual Normality" is doubtless the least heavy track of Monotony in Motion. It’s a kind of rest for the ears just before that "Stormland" lands with its range of percussions which bicker with beautiful stereo effects to enter our ears. An incredibly heavy and ingenious track with a great fusion of reverberating pulsations, overflowing percussions and keyboard keys jumping nervously, "Stormland" is in perpetual movement and evolves by amassing superb crystalline arpeggios which cavort on an infernal pulsating and rhythmic structure. The finale is blasting and deviates all in strength towards the weighty hypnotic knockings of "Frilly People". A track where heavy resonant keys are grafting to thunderous pulsations and crisscross to furtive sequenced lines to create a beautiful harmonious blending. Lines which bloom to forge an unexpected melodious approach on a bed of stormy bangs-bangs and which forks off onto "Caribbean Pearls" and its so incisive rhythm where a so diversified melodious approach reigns and which make the wealth and the depth of Monotony in Motion.
Heavy, powerful, hypnotic and musical. These 4 qualifiers describe all the universe of rhythms and melodies which adorn Monotony in Motion. I am not really a fan of house, techno or trance. But there is always room in my ears for a music stuffed with things that catch and this last opus of Element 4 is filled of these. I like the subtleties and fluidities in permutations; Monotony in Motion is full of those. I like sequences, creative bass lines and percussions games; it’s the essence of Monotony in Motion, a rather surprising album which shows that tsitt-tsitt and bang-bang can be as well melodious as deafening.

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 Element 4 Website, where you could hear some MP3 snippets:

ELEMENT 4: T.N.T. (2007)

T.N.T. Intro| 2:41
Floorflower| 8:14
Silky Pieces| 7:56
Syncrider| 7:00
T.N.T.| 7:14
In the Wrong Club| 7:41
Fullmoon| 6:33
Elastic Beats| 10:08
Driven| 8:01
Fullmoon Remix| 5:44
T.N.T. Remix| 7:41

Explosive? Absolutely! You like it when it’s heavy? When that bangs and that the hairs in your ears vibrate in your eardrums? Here something that will intermingle them! T.N.T. is not simply a title chooses at random in order to throws dust in someone's eyes. No! It’s gunpowder for ears. It’s an album abounding of furious rhythms which gallop on tsitt-tsitt and boum-boum skilfully nuanced by a Uwe Saher in great shape. Beyond Moonbooter, Kraftwerk and other EM artists who make moderated techno, Element 4 bangs with strength a bit like Juno Reactor.
True that the intro is rather floating. An intro closer to Brainwork’s ecliptic atmospheres. But maybe it’s to better prepare our cardiac pulsations for a torrent of furious rhythms which take off as soon as the first pulsations of "Floorflower" can be heard. Heavy pulsations which hammer an unbridled intro and which are twinned to an undulating bass line to caustic reverberations. Hesitating between a syncopated rhythm or floating ambiances, "Floorflower"s intro matures its technoïd direction on ambivalent strata with waltzing harmonies. But a metallic serpentine slides above this hesitation, shaping the model of an explosive music on jerky sequences where tsitt-tsitt and cymbals of the same type are graft to synths streaming melodious vapours. A passage initiating a heavy techno filled of short morphic fragments which float universe of torrid dance floors. "Silky Pieces" continues in the same stride, while "Syncrider" and "Driven" are more of hypno-zombie techno style to turn pale Juno Reactor. With its curt hammerings to Kraftwerk whirlwinds (Trans Europe Express) "T.N.T." unwinds on a synth to nervous chords. Rhythmic pulsations adopt others to sucker tones on a wriggling line which surrounds a robotic techno structure to lunatic obsessive pulsations. It’s a track which is a bit less unbridled, quite as the melodious "In the Wrong Club", which offers a rhythm always so furious but on a more nuanced structure. A structure where harmonies and oscillating sequences go of pairs with heavy pulsations and a synth as psychedelic as stroboscopic. Pulsations accelerating on hypnotic tsitt-tsitt, "Fullmoon" waves on a strange bass line and a structure without precise rhythm. It’s a composite universe where percussions and robotics sound effects magnetize a lively structure on a very elastic bass. The Remix tempo is as much and always grooves on a bass to cawing reverberations. More wriggling and heavy, "Elastic Beats" offers also a rhythm all in nuance with a syncopated line girdling a structure which hesitates between a pure techno and a vaporous dance music. This is another nice track where the indecisive rhythm is stuffed with harmonious synths to catchy tunes.
With its 11 tracks which unwind with heaviness and its melodious instincts, a powerful album which addresses mainly to a public fond of techno and trance, but which can also pleased to a wider audience liking an EM strongly sequenced and lively. It’s a rather melodious opus where trance cohabits with synths to wrapping and harmonious strata, and this whatever the strength of percussions and syncopated sequential lines.

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 Element 4 Website, where you could hear some MP3 snippets:

jeudi 6 octobre 2011

GEIGERTEK: Soundtrack for City Living (2011)

1 Beyond the Garden (11:31)
2 Beauty in Decay (9:15)
3 Underpass (8:21)
4 Devil May Care (5:17)
5 Moonlight Interlude (4:50)
6 A Rainfall Moment (7:45)
7 West 9 (12:38)
8 Fast Lane (6:09)


For Neil Fellowes, the main idea behind Soundtrack for City Living was to get away from the spiritual influences bound to his first 2 works, The Garden and The Timeless Mind. A city man, Geigertek spreads all his cities’ influences and visions over a surprisingly diversified album. Yes, I know that The Timeless Mind was already very changeable, but on Soundtrack for City Living Neil Fellowes shows that he set a great deal of assurance since his last opus. An assurance and a confidence in its means which results in a more powerful album, more melodious and better constructed than The Timeless Mind. Geigertek sign musical pieces always so ambivalent, except that the polishing and the harmonious links are incredibly tightened, giving a great album where the arrangements give shivers and sighs to our souls of dreamy wanderings.
This journey through the meanders of a quixotic city begins with "Beyond the Garden" which is a beautiful track evolving on a progressive structure where harmonies are hiding behind structures to fine transpositions. A fine synth wave spreads its ethereal breaths up to the suave riffs synth which takes the appearances of a virtual guitar, drawing a rather lounge ambiance. An ambiance which evolves and permutates towards a jazzy tendency with wandering keyboard keys and a piano which frees melodious notes under a soft synthesized mist. Always so rich, Geigertek’s universe deploys with a beautiful synth solo and violins of mist which accompany a tempo of which the cadence evolves subtly. After a brief passage where the silence is perturbed by flittering cymbals and a synth line swaying finely, a bass pounds around  disco style wah-wah and a piano running freely on the sketch of a rhythm to come. And it comes! With tortuous solos of an incisive synth which blows in the neck of a heavy and galloping rhythm which gets out of breathe after 3 minutes of infernal dance in a night where shooting stars fly above rare automobiles rolling in deserted streets and which a solitary piano is being the only witness of this sudden emptiness. After a shadowy intro fed of caustic and metallic synth waves, "Beauty in Decay" unveils its melancholy with a nostalgic piano from which notes roam among fairy stars that glitter in darkness. The rhythm moves. It draws a structure of greyness where angelic voices and breezes of violins cry and float on sober and dark percussions and a piano which mislead its notes in the abyss of a world of sadness. It’s a very good track immersed by a somber mysticism, quite as the tenebrous "Moonlight Interlude" and its heavy notes of piano which drag nearby the laments of a forsaken saxophone.
With "Underpass" we penetrate into the adjoining zone of Endless Night where Neil Fellowes shows that he possesses a beautiful moving voice (for those who missed Endless Night) and that he feels at ease as much in structures of a rather progressive synth-pop as in EM. A beautiful bed song with a devilish piano, a bit like Carpenter’s Halloween but more melodious, pierces a dark veil where voices get lost among dense synth waves. From then on a catchy melody floods our ears with a structure which is similar to those of Ultravox and which we find on Endless Night. Fractured by atmospheres and ambiances and hooked to felted and conventional tones percussions, the rhythm is slow and languishing. The melody find it basis on this famous line of piano and a good union of man/women voices which crosses a somber ambiance that fanciful violins amplify. It’s a very nice track, quite as "Devil May Care" which is more mysterious and where Candice Wells’ voice is as much poignant as the saxophone which cries in a beautiful synth mist. For me, "To Rainfall Moment" is the most intense moment on Soundtrack for City Living. It’s a wonderful electronic ballad where a superb melodious line winds of an ascending movement sober percussions which are encircled of poignant élans of mellotron violins. A piano comes to strengthen this great ballad while keyboard keys delude our ears with a tone of guitar. It's incredibly delicious and it’s the kind of track which marks our ears. Too beautiful and too good, I would have wanted that it lasts longer. Taking well advantage of its 12 minutes, the structure of "West 9" is more complex, passing from ethereal and cosmic ambiances to a more jazzy approach to end in a great electronic final. After a slow floating intro, the rhythm settles down. It’s light and livened up by some keyboard riffs, skipping sequences and cymbals as well as a suave bass line to elastic notes. Sharp solos are transformed into saxophone breezes, lulled by a beautiful group of mellotron violins. Always so delicate, the rhythm is abandoned but the melody stays and is supported by a piano to notes as much melancholic as jazzy. On a shilly-shally structure, flooded by trumpets breezes and heavy reverberations of a city which wakes up, "West 9" takes back the road of rhythm with a more electronic approach where sequences pulse by increasing the pace while another line is encircle the rhythm which adorns of beautiful solos to tones of trumpets and of a more cheerful piano. "Fast Lane" wears very well the weight of its title. A track sat on nervous sequences, hypnotic pulsations and good synth solos which wrap a synth-pop rhythm. After having listened to automobiles passing by, the rhythm returns heavier with good percussions which frame dazzling synth solos. Not in rest with regard to other tracks "Fast Lane" unwinds on an ambivalent structure, dressed of a very varied musicality, where the frenzied rhythm crosses some more atmospheric passages in accordance with the works of the synthesist and musical visionary whom is Geigertek.
Soundtrack for City Living is a superb album. Very confident in his means, Neil Fellowes aligns 8 compositions where all the essences of EM meet in very beautiful structures in constants evolutions and where the melody is next to a surprising variety of the genres. There are several jewels on this last opus of Geigertek, by far his best 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

Here's Neil Fellowes Website:

mercredi 5 octobre 2011

GEIGERTEK The Timeless Mind (2010)

1 The Stirring of Echoes 5:32
2 Passing 6:33
3 What Dreams May Come 7:20
4 Until the End of Time 6:38
5 In Another Light 9:04
6 The Embrace of Eternity 13:13
7 The Timeless Mind 5:31
8 Spirit-Walking 5:18
9 The Gift of Goodbye 3:03


Neil Fellowes (Indigo Code, Callisto and Trinity) is the man behind Geigertek. A musical project where the structures espouse various facets in accordance with influences very diversified of Neil Fellowes, which go from John Foxx to Billy Currie, while passing by Ultravox, Gary Numan and Enigma, as well as Isao Tomita, Erik Satie and David Wright. These influences get transpose on The Timeless Mind where the 9 tracks evolve in ambivalent structures. Structures where curt, unbridled and hyper rhythms precede or outstrip cosmic or ethereal ambiances. Ambiances and rhythms fed by nice melodies, arrangements and incursions of a divinely poignant piano.
Hanging back, "The Stirring of Echoes" voyages between its rhythms and ambiances. It starts with a lugubrious synth wave which roars and pushes hesitating limpid chords to migrate towards a more melodious approach. We expect a rhythm which is going to hatched with an amalgamation of nervous percussions to flittering, felted and metallic strikings which resound in a silvered mist. Everything is in suspension when the rhythm goes out of its shyness with twisted synth solos which roar spectral breaths and take up undulating bends to float on a melodious rhythmic approach fastened to galloping percussions and a rumbling bass line. "Passing" is a strange track which hesitates in its ambiances imprinted by mysteries and melancholy. The 1st part abounds of heavy symphonic élans which crush melodious snippets as dark as deeply touching, while a gloomy synth veil emerges from it and criss-crosses tenebrous passages to land in the notes of a very beautiful dreamy striking piano. These musical structures in constants permutations proliferate on Geigertek 2nd opus. After a soft intro where the piano makes float its notes with a flavour of nostalgia, the rhythm of "What Dreams May Come" wakes up slowly with muffled pulsations and discreet percussions which beat under an intense mellotron mist. A slow rhythm, fed by a beautiful sound fauna, which quietly modifies the initial axis of "What Dreams May Come" with howlers solos and a rhythm seething more and more. Without ever bursting, it deviates towards a morphic structure. Slow, with powerful tones of a spaceship in movement, "Until the End of Time" plunges us into a spatial approach. Superb cosmic waves waltz slowly and cover the white noises and chirping of a boiling stellar fauna. Violins seem to cry the fate of humanity with poignant élans which throw themselves into notes, at once deeply moving and melancholic, of a piano which seem to be the last hope of a world of perdition.
After a profoundly atmospheric intro, pushed by cosmic winds, "In Another Light" shake its torpor with percussions which grow and modulate a slightly technoïd pace. A nice harmonious track with a progressive movement, it unveils a very beautiful melody with keyboards keys skipping in their hatched echoes and circular stroboscopic sequences which are flying over by great synth solos. The longest track on The Timeless Mind, "The Embrace of Eternity" rests on a structure sprinkled of some permutations. After a cosmic intro, sequences skip and pound in a muddled way. On singings of strange mermaids, the rhythm livens up of a minimalist sequential movement where keys skip on various synth lines. Celestial or harmonious, these lines wrap the movement until putting it out. There, the synth lines intertwine in foggy breaths which evaporate in piano notes. This romantic finale livens up again of a less heavy and more melodious rhythm where synth solos remind me vaguely the universe of a certain Vangelis. The title track is moulded following the same precept, except that the rhythm is wilder with sequences which pulse at full speed and that solid percussions are espousing the approach, surrounded with beautiful solos of a synth to multiple tones. "Spirit-Walking" is a hyper track nervous where sequences feed on their echoes, shaping a frenzied movement hammered by good percussions. It’s a movement to subtle permutations, which add a good rhythmic depth, where synth solos are afire.
And, as everywhere on The Timeless Mind’s structures, the rhythm still diverts towards a more melodious finale where the piano offers notes which dance and float on an always so furious movement. "The Gift of Goodbye" concludes Geigertek’s 2nd opus of with a cheerful rhythm, as in an ambiance of nightclub where the jazz is on the menu. It’s a finale which precedes a long ambient intro, depicting quite well the musical universe all in contrast that lives within The Timeless Mind.

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 Neil Fellowes Website:

GEIGERTEK Endless Night EP (2010)

1 The Visitors 4:53
2 This Man 4:41
3 Youth 3:53
4 Picture in Eyes 6:38
5 Total Pain 4:20
6 How Do You Dream 5:17


Endless Night is a significant title for an event in which Neil Fellowes was invited to participate, be an evening concert where he would perform synth-pop and electronica music styles at the Artificial 01, held in Norwich on August 21st 2010. An evening that Neil, the man behind Geigertek, would have wanted eternal. But the synthesist of Norwich suspected very well that the music of The Timeless Mind would not really fit to this event. Very strongly inspired by the new wave movement and the synth-pop à la Ultravox, Gary Numan and The Human League, Neil searched his archives in order to find music he wrote a few years before and which would be more suitable for this event. He thus composed nearly 40 minutes of music that he wanted to publish and when he asked for advice from David Wright about publishing,  David suggested that AD Music could published it. An audacious gesture which still widens the much diversified catalogue of the English label and a mini album completely unexpected, but secretly wished, in Neil Fellowes' career.
Endless Night begins with a title very near Ultravox’s style. After a rather ethereal intro, "The Visitors" pounds of a hopping sequential movement, wrapped by nice layers of a foggy synth. Neil Fellowes’ voice emerges. Surprising, he is suave and tinted with a surprising melancholic approach. The first thing that comes in mind is John Foxx and Ultravox. This feeling will follow us throughout this EP where the rhythms and melodies are strongly inspired by Ultravox and Human League, as on "Youth" and the beautiful ballad "Total Pain" where Neil Fellowes amazes with a very moving voice. "The Visitors" quivers and pounds on a good sequential movement and a heavy bass line which support a well structured melody. This is some good synth-pop, as "This Man" where the use of Vocoder bring us near Kraftwerk but with a more moderated tempo and a good synth line to spectral surges. With its ambivalent structures "Picture in Eyes" is the most elaborated track on Endless Night and the one that gets closer to The Timeless Mind's universe. Stuffed with heterogeneous synth winds, the intro transposes on a beat box which rolls percussions and hammers a steady rhythm surrounded by breezes of a synth to crier solos. Heavy, the synth wraps a line of sequences to crystal clear and wriggling chords which skip as xylophones fed to steroids, a little as Tears for Fears. Neil Fellowes’ voice is surprising and the melodious structure is catchy with abrupt movements, harmonious permutations and nice arrangements. IMO, it’s THE track on this EP. "How Do You Dream" encloses this whim of Geigertek with a furious rhythm where Neil voice amazes and fleet of ease among synth layers covers a tempo to hypnotic pulsations but frenzied sequences.
How to approach Endless Night? Well as me! Without waits and with a certain apprehension where we discover finally that the new wave period is an awkward souvenir which is good to remember. Endless Night confirms the very melodious approach that Geigertek had demonstrated us on The Timeless Mind, except that there are vocals and that Neil Fellowes is doing pretty good. It’s a nice EP which will please John Foxx and Ultravox nostalgics, as well as Human League, Reproduction and Travelogue area. I liked Ultravox and I quite liked this small musical journey of Geigertek in my memories of the new wave years.

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 4 octobre 2011

SENSITIVE CHAOS: Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells (2011)

1 Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells 6:24
2 Ceiliúradh Mhór 3:12
3 Winter Winds across the Heartland 5:01
4 Spirit of the Season 4:34
5 Carillon et le Champagne 12:52
6  Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells (Prologue) 6:52
7 Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells (Reprise) 4:42
Bonus Tracks
8 Nightshift at the Baby Mecha Nursery (remastered) 7:56


As much strange as charming, Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells from Sensitive Chaos is a hallucinating journey into the wonderful and musical world of glockenspiels. A journey which goes straight in the heart of our childhood memories, during Christmas Eves and Holidays family reunions, and which enchants with its wintry tones. It’s an ode to winter, to its ice-cold pleasures and its nostalgic souvenirs that Jim Combs's last opus wakes. Through its carillons and its ringings as joyful as melancholic, Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells wraps with a veil of prisms forgotten souvenirs of our early childhood. Built on a big variety of bells which ring and resound on rhythms and atmospheres to the antipodes of their essences, Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells is a brilliant opus to the measure of the ingenuity of this musician without borders, nor labels.
The title track is glittering of luminosity. On a delicate synth line which hides discreet choirs "Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells" wakes up with soft ringings of carillons which radiate on a delicate hypnotic rhythm. On a rhythm moulded by fine percussions, the crystalline arpeggios swirl in a wintry breeze to form a strange iridescent ballet where bells ring and flutter among curt chords of a cackling synth and a suave ethereal choir. "Ceiliúradh Mhór" is a wonderful ballad of glass which spins among a union of percussions and keyboard keys to forge a very beautiful and catchy childish melody. The synth blows a beautiful bewitching tune to this splendid carousel to jingles of prisms which is cute and delicate as everything! "Winter Winds across the Heartland" is a good ambient track where layers of a shrill synth interlace in a stunning sensibility. A nice cheerful track, "Spirit of the Season" offers a more punctuated rhythm.The percussions hammer a muffled but lively rhythm, while the carillons swirl all around this rhythmic structure which inevitably makes stomped.
Dancing on a discreet line with a tone of organ and percussions a bit like the Amerindian tribal kind, "Carillon et Champagne" soaks in a mixture of nostalgia and melancholy. On a slightly circular rhythm, the carillons draw an astonishing melody with glockenspiels’ strikings which twirl vaporously while following an ascending curve as in a mesmerizing ballet danced in weightlessness. Hypnotic, because of the color and tone of glockenspiels, "Carillon et Champagne" turns and turns in a stunning musical dizziness where tones of prism shape an odd melody. Delicate keyboard keys skip on a synth line at the opening of "Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells (Prologue)". These furtive keys are effacing in the ascension of a synth line which makes tip over the track in an ethereal ambiance, surrounded by other powerful synth lines. An ambient track with filiform synth lines which sway in fine oscillations, "Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells (Prologue)" is the only title of this last opus of Sensitive Chaos at not to use carillons. After a reprise of the opening track, where carillons ring with more velocity, Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells ends with a track as cheerful as "Spirit of the Season". Initially on the first album of Sensitive plant Chaos; Leak released in 2006, "Nightshift at the Baby Mecha Nursery (Remastered)" is a lively track, livened up by nice arpeggios which spin on a rhythmic structure supported by sober percussions. On a structure always so crystal clear as we find everywhere on this Jim Combs's last opus, the rhythm is encircled by delicate shimmering arpeggios which turn in a minimalist way, increasing even more the glockenspiels which float of a beautiful circular movement on a tempo to youthful intonations, describing rather well the Holidays’ ambiance and the nostalgia circulating around Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells.

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 3 octobre 2011

SENSITIVE CHAOS: Emerging Transparency (2009)

1 Emerging Transparency 7:52
2 Erase Yourself 5:53
3 Fifty Light Years from Home 10:20
4 Bazaar Behavior 11:01
5 Luck of the Draw 7:32
6 Tanzen Filter 11:50
7 Emerging Transparency (Radio Edit) 5:13
8 Fifty Light Years from Home (Radio Edit) 4:17


Emerging Transparency is a find in the musical universe Jim Combs and Sensitive Chaos. Astride the melodious sequences of Berlin School, more particularly Tangerine Dream, the experimental rhythms of free jazz and the hatched tempos of a music navigating on the borders of Funk and Break dance, Emerging Transparency is to Jim Combs what Zoolook is to Jean Michel Jarre. A very good album to lively rhythms and catchy melodies, in a musical universe where the audacity is next to the ingenuity and solos of guitars, synths and saxophones are fastened to keys, percussions and bass as caustic as starved. In brief, it’s an album which fills our ears and holds us on guards.
This superb musical adventure begins with a synth line which undulates and winds around a somber cosmic wind from which breaths shake slow oscillations. After 3 minutes of a floating introduction, "Emerging Transparency" gets out of cosmic limbs with a beautiful sequential line, which looks strangely like the structures of Tangerine Dream on Mojave Plan, with chords zigzagging of a sinuous movement. Resonant bass notes bite this segment, whereas ringings of shimmering chords reduce the heaviness and percussions falling with strength increase the pressure. On a franc rhythm, "Emerging Transparency" progresses and falls under the spell of beautiful synth solos and wandering choirs, plunging the music of Sensitive Chaos towards a rare movement purely electronic with more conventional instruments. "Erase Yourself" offers also an electronic structure recalling the one of Synergy on Games with a hopping rhythm, a little like the gait of a gang street. On spasmodic sequences/pulsations, synth pads and arpeggios to hybrid tones collide in a melodious transparency; "Erase Yourself" evolves with various keys and ringings which decorate a cadence well accentuated. Simply splendid, "Fifty Light Years from Home" starts quietly with carillons which ring on the opening. They are encircled by somber synth winds which roar among these gleaming resonances. A saxophone emerges from this broth of breaths, supported by quixotic violins which give curt strikes of bows whereas, always suave, the saxophone strangles its contemplative lamentations. The tinkled arpeggios reappear. They float and resound in suspension, while that hypnotic percussions transcend this ambient universe towards a more technoïd one. Knocks of a virtual xylophone collide with strength and follow an ascending progression under a sky streaked by sinuous and heavy as well as howling and colourful synth layers, reminding again the musical universe of the Dream. "Bazaar Behavior" transports us in a universe more free jazz than electronic with kind of tribal percussions. Percussions which ally the notes of an elastic and undulate bass, to weaved a bewitching minimalist structure which pulses in a stunning heterogeneous sound fauna. The rhythm skipping in the hands of Tablas percussions and decorated by unpredictable melodies, "Bazaar Behavior" progresses by collecting all the musical jewels on its road, including solos of xylophones and wonderful guitar solos as well as a powerful synth guitar, without forgetting the saxophone which enchants with its piercing songs, beneath scattered synth pads floating here and there.
"Luck of the Draw" awakens our dislocated dancer's instincts with a rather funky and noisy approach. Percussions pound a curt and hatched rhythm, the keyboard spits keys which jump nervously and the synth articulates a jerky language to multiple technoïd tones. Nice synth layers float over this hatched rhythmic, which is the Rockit of Jim Combs, adding a strange depth which is to the antipode of this tempo of a Break dance kind. Layers floating again when the rhythm gets out of breath, a little as to erase the draws but waste of time we became hooked on this tempo with heterogeneous mixes. Frenzied with keyboard keys which skip and gallop, "Tanzen Filter" offers a good rhythm where keys to multiple tones are mixing pleasantly well to abrupt percussions. The bass bites of its slow and heavy notes this rhythmic structure where keys spin, flit and draw stroboscopic musical circles. Moreover, in a middle-route there is a delicious dance of keys which hop of a dislocated way under the yoke of a rumbling bass line. A great track which still mixes the Funky and Break dance approaches; "Tanzen Filter" turns in loops, with some barer passages here and there, watered by nice guitar solos. Shorter and makes for radio, "Emerging Transparency (Radio Edict)" goes straight to undulating and circular sequential movement à la TD. It’s a very good edit, quite as the radio version of "Fifty Light Years from Home" which is essentially concentrated on the rhythmic approach.
Emerging Transparency is an album as powerful as stunning. An album which, tracks after tracks, amazes and subjects us, so much by the rhythms, melodies and finds which abound throughout this brilliant opus where the boldness is not an obstacle to musicality. I adored this album which spreads out a astonishing musicality with a rich sound fauna where sequences, percussions and the bass shape diversified rhythms. Rhythms where Berlin School and experimental EM are wrapped by superb synth, guitars and saxophone solos, weaving a musical universe to paradoxes as delicate as mordant.

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