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:

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