mardi 31 janvier 2012

RON BOOTS: Ante Oculos (2011)

"Ante Oculos is a wonderful opus where the whim goes alongside reality"

1 Ad Temporum Sidelines. 7:55
2 Xenophobes and Other Weirdos!! 7:37
3 Ante Oculos 15:38
4 Can we Predict ? Part I 11:15
5 Can we Predict ? Part II 11:55
6 The Sorrow Remains of Things that Past. 7:40
7 Sole Novum 5:42

GROOVE: GR-187

According to Mayas and Nostradamus prophecies, 2012 should be a year apocalyptic events which would signified he end of the world. Other groups, as much alarmist as philosophic, predict that 2012 would be a year of great climatic upheavals and transitions which will drag the world and its inhabitants towards a major awareness already undertaken in 2011. Immensely poetic and introspective, Ante Oculos rests in a very beautiful artwork to pastel colors where a fairy draws circles of life on an earth which seems virgin. Did Ron Boots lose hope? However his last opus is weaved in the veins of a universe which looks for itself and which is afraid. Always so musical, Ron Boots lays a very lyrical concept album where EM goes alongside to a progressive approach with a zest of melancholy and apprehension. Ante Oculos is a superb album with intense, moving and powerful passages where the reflection brushes the passion and which moves us closer to our values while questioning us about the future prospects of our planet.
Be on a boat and split the water with the purity of the winds. That’s the impression which rocks us when that limpid synth waves are crisscrossing beneath the lost notes of acoustic guitar.
"Ad Temporum Sidelines." falls in the ear as a superb electroacoustic ballad where soft riffs of an acoustic six-strings scribble a sylvan melody under choirs of mist and arpeggios streaming with transparency, a little as a brook of diamonds singing in the furrows of an enchanted forest. And the soft rhythm amplifies its oniric sweetness with synth pads to tones of melodic organ, singing of a wounded voice the pains of an earth broken in the eclectic breaths of a synth filled by iridescent radiances. It’s a great and very touching track. More hard-hitting with a very good merger of echoing, metallic, banging and tones of cosmic gas percussions, "Xenophobes and Other Weirdos!!" flies on nice orchestral arrangements of which violin envelopes cross with harmony the keys of a keyboard adrift. Discreet the synth remains not less very effective with its morphic and spectral layers there which float and tight a movement as much slow as heavy. Particles of tinkled dusts ring and float among the dark choruses which blow on the electronic arcs of "Can we Predict? Part I". The ambience is heavy and lethal with powerful symphonic breaths of a synth à la Vangelis which hoots in a sound fauna filled of analog reminiscences. Dark and apocalyptic, "Can we Predict? Part I" waltzes in the void with heavy layers of synth to futuristic fragrances of which the multiple ions shine with a bluish iridescence and hold onto the dying breaths à la Blade Runner. It’s incredibly rich and so intense.

"Can we Predict? Part II" moves on with subtle riffs which hiccup under these heavy metallic breaths. The cymbals lug their tsitt-tsitt, awakening fine pulsations and shaking percussions which fall with an unconcern debonair. On a rhythm with funky- jazz tendencies, "Can we Predict? Part II " frees from its heavy hold to sway hips of a flexible rhythm fed by fine crystalline arpeggios which skip in a universe stuffed with hoops to resonances words. Some good twisted solos glide over this delicate rhythm which is metamorphosing at the approach of percussions to tones of metal and glass. Percussions which put back "Can we Predict? Part II" on its apocalyptic road with celestial choirs which sing under industrial reverberations and its synth layers, herald angel of a blackness which will recover the earth of an immense veil of regret. After this eschatological ode, "The Sorrow Remains of Things that Past." falls in the ear with the virgin freshness of the electronic ballads. Fine notes to tones of a medieval harp roll in loops, fixing the road for Frank Dorittke (F.D.Project) chiselled solos which sing in solitary, waiting for the arrival of the felted resonances percussions. Heavy and morphic the tempo is waltzing with more mordant when steadier percussions fall and pound this slow rhythm fed by harp riffs that only the imagination can indeed hear as well as arpeggios of which the tones of glasses cross hatched fluty breaths before being mislaid in the plaintive solos of F.D. Catchy and great! Like the reflections of the sun after an ash night, the first arpeggios of "Sole Novum" dance on beautiful orchestrations. The rhythm is alive, filled with optimist. Synth solos illuminate with cheerfulness and keyboard keys inhale the happiness, as a dance of innocent lovers without souvenirs, nor remorse and without malice at all. Like our ancestors!Over the years Ron Boots accustomed us to solid works and I have to admit that Ante Oculos is one step above. The Dutch synthesist weaves a very intense cinematographic musical universe where several styles become entangled in superb harmonies as much meditative as apocalyptic. I love those powerful symphonic momentums à la Blade Runner which feed "Can we Predict?" as well as this violin which cries among this torrents of percussions on the title-track. And what is to say about "Ad Temporum Sidelines." and "The Sorrow Remains of Things that Past."? Ante Oculos has no weakness and no dead spots. It’s a wonderful opus where the whim goes alongside reality and where the musicality has to envy nothing the originality.
Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14860


samedi 28 janvier 2012

OLIVIER BRIAND: Transparences (2011)

"To date, what I heard from Olivier Briand is very powerful"
1 Transparences (5:11)
2 Prophetic Steps (8:03)
3 Gladiators (8:29)
4 Dans le Temple du Graal (7:09)
5 KS Revival (18:39)
6 Fonik 707 (3:51)
7 Mortal Nightmare (10:32)
8 Cold Emotions (4:20)
9 Après L'Orage (7:21)

PATCHWORK MUSIC

I have already written it; the French EM conceals small hidden jewels and Olivier Briand is one of them. Those who enjoyed his performance during the Nantes concert in August 2010, and which is at the origin of the SpaceFish Live Inexxa's DVD, will be delighted to find again the complex and progressive electronic structures of the synthesist from Nantes. Pulled of recordings not used during his concert at Carquefou in 1996, Transparences is a mixture of the kinds and influences which gnaw Olivier Briand. We can hear there some good reminiscences of Klaus Schulze (especially), Jean Michel Jarre (at the level of the rhythms) and Tangerine Dream (on a melodic level). In brief, a beautiful meshing of styles which become entangled in a sometimes claustrophobic but often melodic vision. A beautiful album of forgotten but unforgettable rests!
The title track begins with notes of an electro-acoustic guitar of which the bluesy soul roams under stars. Jean Jerez pinches his strings with pain and makes them resound among sinuous resounding lines which bite the fragility of their emotions while that quietly "Transparences" deviates towards a more nervous rhythm. A rhythm at the crossing of a cosmic free blues where chords of an undisciplined guitar fight arpeggios of a nervous synth that percussions support with a good steady tempo. The intro of "Prophetic Steps" slides into the fiery rhythms à la Jarre where resonant metallic percussions and arpeggios of an iridescent coolness collide on a beautiful rhythmic stuffed by crystalline serpentines, robotic vocalizes and sequential momentums as dynamic as melodious. It’s very good. We would believe to hear a merger of Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre. Although its intro is quite honeyed with its fluty breaths which float above an angelic mist and fly among jets of industrial gases, "Gladiators" falls into a furious electronic rock where Pascal Férré's electric guitar bites out and spits out incisive solos which throw their venom on spasmodic and stormy sequences. An infernal storm fills our ears with a din of steel before that the calm smoothes all the musical surface with a superb melodious approach packed of Tangerine Dream musical souvenirs, area of Legend and Underwater Sunlight. It’s another great track which allies easily complexity and melody. "In the Temple of Graal" is simply hallucinating! Philharmonic crisscrossed stratas open the intro, such as a Pharaonic ballet. Somber vocals are grafted to this enchanting dance of sands which is sucked up by a multitude of aspirators holes which siphon the waltzing envelopes under great drum rolls. Such as the claustrophobic and encephalographic world of Klaus Schulze, the voices multiply and become entangled with the synth violin stratas in a strange cerebral ballet which has immoderation only the limits of a fanciful imagination. It’s an incredible track which spits all its fright and depth at high volume.
"KS Revival" is a wonderful immersion into the digital years of Klaus Schulze and of his unchained glockenspiels area. The solos are juicy. They wrap with a repressed intensity the jerky movements of riffs and pads of a synth curt and incisive, while the percussions roll in loops under a structure of which the evolution brings us near a cosmos overturned by an undisciplined finale. A finale which repents in the short tranquility of a mislaid astral movement. "Fonik 707" is a short electronic ballad where twinkling arpeggios skip on a bed of slithery spectral strata. The line of bass is superbly musical quite as the finale which is carried away by an abrupt and stormy movement, witness of the conceptual and melodious divergences which liven up the creativity of Olivier Briand. Very dark and ambiguous, "Mortal Nightmare" caresses effectively the doors of an insomniac night where the nightmare navigates on the black waves of synth which are overlapping among iridescent and tinkled breaths as well as whispers of paranoia. "Cold Emotions" offers a hard and cold rhythmic with oscillations which caw, borrowing (taking) the colourful universes of Schulze and the Caribbean rhythms of Jarre. The synthesist of Nantes weaves a musical universe rich in tones by grafting unreal vocalizes, nervous riffs and echoing spins on a rhythm in permutation and its pulsations as heavy as hypnotic. Rainy drops and thunderclaps scatter under the minimalist breaths of a flute to the colors of a rainbow singing under the furtive keys of a romantic keyboard. The music of "Après L'Orage" bears poetically its musical prose with a delicate ballerina approach where arpeggios sparkle and float among an iridescent mist, envelopes of cellos from fantasies and this suave flute of a centaur of the cosmic dunes.
To date, what I heard from Olivier Briand is very powerful. His musical style full of abrupt movements and random rhythms where his melodies are caressing corridors soaked of a mesmerizing paranoia confers him a unique and very particular place and this as much as in the universe of EM ( I’m situating him on the same place as Remy) as in firmament of French school EM. With its steady and tortuous rhythms, its abstruse ambiances and its melodies as metallic as poetic, Tranpsarences navigates on a complex but rather accessible musical odyssey. It’s a very good album which is going to please to the fans of Klaus Schulze, Jean Michel Jarre(this is rather curious to hear these two names and styles to hobnob with) Tangerine Dream and Remy. It’s an album which is amply worth the money spent and Olivier Briand is definitely a name to discover in the universe of EM.

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14847

mercredi 25 janvier 2012

TRIPLE S: Poles (2011)

"A world of ice beneath a guitar on fire, Poles is a beautiful EM story which rides a more rock side"

1 Ninety Degrees South (11:09)
2 Erebus Ice Tongue Part I (7:10)
3 Erebus Ice Tongue Part II (6:22)
4 Shackleton Ice Shelf (5:56)
5 Mount Ellsworth (10:18)
6 Pole of Inaccessibility (16:32)
7 Aurora Borealis (7:12)
8 Arctic Finale (7:05)


PLEASURE SOUND MUSIC: CDPS06
To hear the cold moans and roars out and to feel its bite, its erosion and its explosions. This is all the atmospheric setting which surrounds this first album of Triple S. Formed by Erik Seifert, Max Schiefele and Josef Steinbuechel in 2011; Triple S concocted a concept album which describes the experiments and the wild lives on both poles and its extremes coldnesses with a music which is not at all the equal of the subject of their thesis. Poles is a beautiful album where electronic rock caresses the morphic sweetnesses of atmospheric approaches with a Maxxess in great shape who frees wildly his strings to sculptures riffs and solos which invade structures as oniric as quietly stormy.
A Siberian wind engraves frosty dunes, propelling particles of ices among solitary arpeggios which have the fragility of glass. Floating and melancholic, the intro of "Ninety Degrees South" sweeps the horizon with beautiful layers of synth which are resting on the ice floes of solitude, expiring hatched pantings which get lost in the crystal clear echo of the arpeggios of ice. Maxxess' guitar tears up this wintry tranquility. His scattered solos and echoing riffs light up fine percussions and awaken keys from lunar keyboards. Slowly the rhythm of "Ninety Degrees South" is rising with a delicate morphic approach, procrastinating between a floating tempo and its more percussive momentums just like the 7 other titles which dance and waltz on Poles. It’s a soft but firm rhythm which oscillates between a strong progressive rock and a cosmic rock where distorted riffs, lascivious solos and strong percussions with tones of metallic gases frame an eclectic sound fauna. After an intro where the crackling of ices converges towards twinkling tones, "Erebus Ice Tongue Part I" stumbles over a delicious electronic rock approach à la Code Indigo. A merger of acoustic and electric guitars floods our ears with a mixture of notes, riffs and solos as heavy as ethereal which interlace on a nest of twinkling chords. Sometimes heavy, sometimes fluid and slightly jerky, the rhythm remains catchy. Harpooned by slamming percussions à la Jarre  and flavoured of delicious hesitating and melodious chords à la Tangerine Dream, area Underwater Sunlight, it continues its progression towards "Erebus Ice Tongue Part II" with soft angelic vocals, before looping the loop with a finale to ambiances as much richer and intense as the introduction. The intro of "Shackleton Ice Shelf" jumps with the noise of the icebergs which crash violently on ice floes, offering a show of lunar desolation returned with aptly by the laments of a forsaken guitar. Max Schiefele's solos are bursting out of emotivity and float with the violence of the winds, accompany by morphic synth layers. It’s of a very poetic icy serenity.
Fine percussions draw the delicate chipped rhythm of "Mount Ellsworth" which is surrounded by a very electronic aura. Floating into Software and Pyramid Peak's spheres, the rhythm is finely jerky and decorated by electronic streaks which overhang the knocks of felted percussions before folding the loin over the harmonious solos of Maxxess. Afterward the rhythmic approach becomes more complex, lining up melodic phases which tire oneself out on others more jerky where synths and choirs compete with a more accommodating guitar. Built a little on the same principle, "Pole of Inaccessibility" offers a beautiful intro slightly morphic where notes of acoustic guitar glide over some weak pulsations. Streaks as much ghostly than iridescents shake the atmosphere while heaviness settles down, paving the way to a progressive rhythm which becomes predominant around the 6th minute mark. Heavy and slow, the rhythm is lascivious and skimmed over by beautiful strata of a spectral synth which copulate with solos of a morphic guitar. A guitar which becomes more aggressive by freeing riffs which roll in loops, accelerating a pace of which the rhythm is skilfully surrounded by layers and choirs of a hypnotic synth. More atmospheric and more claustrophobic, "Aurora Borealis" is unfolding as being in a state of weightlessness. The guitar floats like the waltzing stratas of Erik Wollo, forging loops which get astray in riffs and heterogeneous tones. Howler winds open the angelic heavens of "Arctic Finale" which shines with its superb celestial intro. Torn between its powerful impromptu rhythms and its ethereal ambiances, "Arctic Finale" is divided by its heavy percussions which fall and its twinkling arpeggios which flutter on a beautiful circular movement. But the heavy and slow rhythm takes the lead. For a few seconds it rages of its symphonic drums to then find shelter in the calm of the morphic strata of an oniric guitar and the crystalline arpeggios of a solitary keyboard to still bend under the knocks of the big drums and embrace a philharmonic phase just before ending in the winds of the cold ice. This is a wonderful track!
A world of ice beneath a guitar of fire, Poles is a beautiful EM album which rides serenely a more rock approach. The presence of Maxxess and his guitars bury his two friends that I find rather discreet, but the result isn’t less very good; it stays a pretty good album. Except that I would have like that the synths and eclectic ambiances of Erik Seifert emerge as much as the guitars and riffs of Maxxess. I have the feeling to hear a Maxxess album written by Erik Seifert, because we cannot deny the poetic touch here of the German synthesist that we hear and  feel all along Poles, an album which will please both fans of Mike Oldfield (The Song of Distant Earth), Code Indigo, Erik Wollo and Pyramid Peak. A good bunch of styles, we have to admit...

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14846

* You can also watch a video of Pole of Inaccessibility (Radio Edit) by following this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTflCX2Y64Y

mardi 24 janvier 2012

ERIK SEIFERT: Core (2009)

"Catchy rhythms in a sci-fi ambiance here's the result of CORE, the best melodious EM of 2009"

1 LHC (Large Hedron Collider) 12:44  
2 ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) 9:16  
3 ISOLDE (Isotope On-Line Detector) 11:27  
4 AD (Antiproton Decelerator) 11:27 
5 SPS (Super Proton Synchrotron) 9:32  
6 ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) 11:37 
7 Wunderwerk (Trancer Spacey Remix) 9:25

PLEASURE SOUND MUSIC: PSCD-6469-01

We listen to this new Erik Seifert's opus as a strange spatial journey. Mixing the soft melodious approaches of Vangelis to Jarre rhythms, while visiting the heterogeneous sound atmospheres of interstellar flights, CORE evolves as a long track segmented in 7 parts in a sonic flora fill by sci-fi scents. A bit as if we were aboard a space shuttle which floats slowly among the astral cloudiness, planets and stars. It’s a beautiful album builds around electronic rhythms which progress melodiously within Jean Michel Jarre territories.
An electric current sparkles on the opening of "LHC (Large Hedron Collider)" freeing a swarm of sound ions which floats in a cosmic mist, a little as a the inside of a spaceship in awakening mode. Everything is under the hold of gravity; from melancholic chords of a mislaid piano to metallic strata of a sleepy synth, we are in state of weightlessness or in an intersidereal oblivion. A soft twinkling sequence comes out of this astral void. It spins with the grace of a ballerina in a serene ambiance, where the piano’s forlorn keys accompany it shyly before that a latent tempo is pointing out. Around the 7th minute it bursts out on percussions slightly banging and a good wavy-like bass line which spits hybrid heaviness pulsations in a musical pattern where a tempered rhythm crosses an ambient but delicately musical phase on a synth fill with Arabic and waltzing layers. It’s a beautiful track bursting out of a spatial melancholy and which is melting softly to the noises of a space station gear. Following to the introductory protocol of "LHC (Large Hedron Collider)", "ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment)" releases itself from the mechanical influence with a suave tempo which undulates delicately on a subtly stroboscopic structure. Hyper delicious and extremely melodious, the synth frees beautiful languishing strata to melodies of people from the sands. In the middle point, the rhythm becomes then more mordant and jerky with delicately anvil approach pursuing its melodious destiny on more hammered percussions which inject a heavier tempo. The journey continues with "ISOLDE (Isotope On-Line Detector)" and its slow atmospheric evolution which depicts skillfully the movements and the everyday life of cosmonauts moved away from their homeland. It’s a very cosmic music piece where the synth displays its analog tones, among solos and synth melodies which shape a slow temporal waltz. "AD (Antiproton Decelerator)" continues the exploitation of "ISOLDE" galactic ambiances except that it’s heavier with its threatening synth streaks which scan the environment such a laser eye among choirs condemned to perpetual space. Around the 4th minute, the synth harmonizes solos which get lost under the notes of a pulsating bass and hits of well feed percussions, drawing a languishing rhythm in a sound universe rich in heterogeneous strikings. Strikings which encircle an insistent sequence coming out of nowhere and of which synth solos invade the rhythm and coo beneath the eye with the searching resonances. Here is another very well structured track. "SPS (Super Proton Synchrotron)" and "ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus)" are 2 tracks in the purest  Jarre tradition, Calypso and Chronology areas. These are t tracks with amphibian moods which move on nervous rhythms, great juicy percussions and a hatched rotary sequence which gets lost, on short periods, towards more atmospheric passages. Let says that it rocks and that it tears the walls down. The dragonfly sequence of "Wunderwerk (Trancer Spacey Remix)" is a pure delight for the hearing. Arpeggios to charming jolts are crossing some slamming percussions of which the resonances throw us in the Moon Machine moods from Jean Michel Jarre. It’s another great track, built on a rhythmic structure slightly stroboscopic where the ambient rhythm embraces lazily a synth with fragrances of a solitary sax of which the breath is cut by an automat vocoder, before resuming its rhythmic of origin.
Catchy rhythms in a sci-fi ambiance, here is the result of Erik Seifert's 5th opus. It’s an album high in tones and in tight paces; worthy of a dance floor for fans of wriggling dance, where melancholy transcends the rhythmic simplicity. CORE is a must for fans of Jarre and Vangelis, Chronology and Direct areas. It’s the best melodious EM album of 2009.

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: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=12845

* If you want to know more about the sound world of Erik Seifert, you can visit his website (in German only) here: http://www.pleasuresound.de/musik/index.html

dimanche 22 janvier 2012

SBRIZZI FaBIO: Evangelum Secundum (2011)

"Evangelum Secundum is dark and abstruse with dishevelled and moiré rhythmic structures"
1 Annuntiatio (4:14)
2 Bethlehem Anno Primo (8:04)
3 Jesus in Templo (11:26)
4 Canae Nuptiale (4:24)
5 Beatitudines (4:20)
6 Seminator (2:21)
7 Granum Senapi (2:20)
8 Qui Sine Peccato est Primum Lapiderm Mittat (4:11)
9 Lazarus Amicus Meus (3:02)
10 Qui Bibet hanc Aquam Nunquam Sitiet (11:16)

INDEPENDANT RELEASE
Here is another strange album to land in the EM cd racks. Except that Evangelum Secundum is more progressive and more experimental than electronic, even if completely made from synthesizers, sequencers and mellotrons. Sbrizzi FaBIO's last opus goes back in 2006 with the superb Comunicare, an album which demonstrated all the talent of composer and sounds sculptor of the Italian synth man. An album more theatrical than musical, more poetic than melodic where every title hides a dimension more claustrophobic than paradisiacal, The Second Evangelic is a somber album which is rather difficult to tame. The rhythms are there tortuous, uncoordinated and roam in any direction, framing unfinished melodies which die the in hermetic breaths of heavy mellotrons, builders of unbridgeable sound bulwarks with intense movements of violins and cellos which bury choirs to thousand intonations.
"Annuntiatio" begins with lugubrious synth layers which float such as the wings of old organs above the scattered strikings of wandering percussions. Without precise rhythm, the rhythm is in constant tugging against the heavy melodious approach of the monasterial synth layers which restrain as much the percussions as the scattered notes of guitars. This impression of rift between rhythms and harmonies is the cornerstone of Evangelum Secundum's complexity and continues on "Bethlehem Anno Primo" which flows with beautiful fluty winds singing under the knocks of a sequencer bass chords. The rhythm is heavy and a bit threatening. It waves lazily by following the course of sequences and hatched chords which shake the temples of the hearing with curt bangs, scattering to the four winds angelic choirs and bells. Dark winds ring carillons which awaken a soft angelic choir. The intro of "Jesus in Templo" livens up then of a fluid movement where sequences hammer a circular rhythm which espouses the whirling of the carillons. The atmosphere becomes dense and stifling with dark choruses which hum among momentums of fanciful strings which hatch the structure by brief hit of bows. "Jesus in Templo" sinks into a maze of uncoordinated rhythms and ambiances where mellotron and sequence are engaged the fight of the stigmatization under the stars of the carillons before stifling in this strange mixture of cellos and flutes of which the calcified lamentations roam among lost chords. A furtive sequence appears from the foggy limbos of "Canae Nuptiale" to run with the uncertain chords of an oniric synth. A beautiful dance of time follows with sequencer keys which surround the breaths of a dreamy synth, entailing "Canae Nuptiale" towards another disrupted rhythmic.
"Beatitudines" is a beautiful ambient melody where birdsongs are fitting marvellously to the ethereal movements of mellotron choirs and layers. Only drawback; the finale which is very abrupt. A phenomenon that we observe on too many titles on Evangelum Secundum. With their sequences which skip and crisscross under curt knocks of percussions "Seminator" and "Granum Senapi" are two short titles with rhythmic structures which are quite similar. Heavy and violent rhythms, full of retained which are bound in somber melodious approaches where beautiful synth layers flitter among the heavy strikings of the notes of piano which resound among electronic tones, violins and floating choruses. "Qui Sine Peccato is Primum Lapiderm Mittat" present a nice structure of which the progressive rhythm evolves in secret on a beautiful synthesized crescendo. The drums of slaves' galleys bear the weight of a synth which subdivides its tones, creating a theatrical melody with a zest of drama in it. With its lost breaths and its fake notes of a quixotic harp which ride a sequence with wide wave-like loops, "Lazarus Amicus Meus" is a beautiful electronic melody moulded in the glass and the breath of angels. The rhythm is delicate and the synths set free a soft ethereal aroma with a beautiful envelope of mist. "Qui Bibet hanc Aquam Nunquam Sitiet" embraces a more orchestral tangent with synths fill by symphonic breaths. Piano notes drag among those from guitars, while a strange rustle accompanies this slow processional agony. It is a long complex track eroded by dramatic and orchestral musical elements, uniting the Episcopal universes of Vangelis and the theatrical one of Jean Pierre Thanes where the rhythm gets lost in its reflection, depraving short and sweet melodies abandoned on the surface of remorse.
Closer to the Italian progressive movement than the usual electronic structures, Evangelum Secundum is a dark and abstruse album with dishevelled and moiré rhythmic structures. There is a stifling atmosphere in this album full by rhythms and melodies broken and scattered in a claustrophobic production. It results from it in a strange movie or theatre music which has the mesmerizing visceral depth of Goblin and its delicious Suspiria. It’s an album which is very difficult to tame and which can seem frustrating in the first listening because of these rhythms and scattered melodies. But if you have the bold to try something unusual and quite audacious, Evangelum Secundum will be as high as your waits. Just one remark to Sbrizzi; it would be nice to remix Evangelum Secundum cause the way most of tracks end is quite annoying. It’s like listening to MP3 on cheap format...But the rest is quite good!

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14836

lundi 16 janvier 2012

PYRAMID PEAK: 5VOR12 (2011)

"God that feels good to listen to new Pyramid Peak!"

1 Dr. Blofeld Und Die Waldorf Schüler (15:24)
2 Tears of Joy (12:48)
3 Lichtermeer (29:20)
4 Random Event Reloaded (9:58)
5 5 Vor 12 (5:47)


PYRAMID PEAK: PP1118

A floating shadow escapes from a somber wave made of sinuous arcs to roam in a cosmos filled by crystalline tones. Breaths and lunar waves sweep the black horizon, caressing at the passage white noises which sparkle under the glances dumbfounded by the breaths of morphic synths. Such as glances from cosmic sea lighthouse, the spatial waves crisscross and make love in a soft whirlwind of the moon, filling the oblong spatial intro of "Dr Blofeld Und Die Waldorf Schüler" of a bewitching psychedelicosmic character. And a little before the 4th minute, we can hear the cracklings to shiver. They flee the threat of an echoing sequential approach and the percussions which fall with a nervous fright, guiding "Dr Blofeld Und Die Waldorf Schüler" towards the rhythms so characteristics of Pyramid Peak. Sequences subdivide their strikings and their tonal approaches, moulding a superb rhythmic approach where spasmodic and chipped momentums fall in a striking rhythmic pattern with percussions which leave no chance and choirs which are wrapping the fury of it unite their intensities to shape the captivating musical universe of Pyramid Peak. According to the guide of rhythms and melodies from the musical textbook of Pyramid Peak, "Dr Blofeld Und Die Waldorf Schüler" continues his ascension with melodious synth lines which sing and float over the curt and hammered rhythms, to run finally aground in the gaps of a finale without land.
If you still don’t know Pyramid Peak, or 
Axel Stupplich, "Dr Blofeld Und Die Waldorf Schüler" is the perfect comparable of what we would find on the first 7 opuses of the German group which makes since Atmosphere in 1998 a delicious EM allying ambiances, rhythms and melodies. And 5Vor12, an acronym depicting the habit of the trio to end any project on borderline (midnight minus five), is a good continuity in the career of the Peak. "Tears of Joy" proposes another floating intro where Max ''Maxxess''
Schiefele’s guitar sculptures abstracted territories with floating solos à la David Gilmour which cry and sing among vaporous waltzing and morphic synth layers. Out of tears and breaths the guitar calms down a bit before the 7th minute sot, leading "Tears of Joy" towards a rhythmic of steel where the strikings alternate with an icy surgical precision. Synth solos whistle and coo above this chaotic rhythm among which the percussions strikes and sequences shape a powerful break sequencing tempo. Recorded at the Bochum Planetarium concert in 2010, "Lichtermeer" begins with synth waves which enlace and rush into a musical nothingness with intensity. Some delicious nasal tones of the Middle East fragrances pierce this sound veil while that weak sequences try a shy rhythmic breakthrough. Crossed by iridescent sound arcs and rocked by dumb voices and angelic mists, the intro of "Lichtermeer" wakes up little by little to the timid palpitations which drive towards the deaf and echoing strikings of a lascivious rhythm. Tinted with felt, the percussions fall with the correctness of the hypnotic movements while sequences draw stroboscopic circles which turn with hesitation in an intense veil of mist and synth wave. Between its oniric rhythms and its ethereal ambiances, "Lichtermeer" evolves by phase; passing from floating to lascivious to fall in the heavy atmospheres of a cosmos fill by eclectic tones to end its crusade of sounds and ambiances in the rhythms and the melodies of the Peak style. "Random Event Reloaded" is a refreshed version of the Random Event title track released in 2000. The intro is encircled by synth solos which are entwining idly in a superb iridescent mist. The roarings come from far and they ooze of a cosmic passion which extends until the powerful alternating keys of a heavy sequencer. Then the keys get subdivided, crisscrossed and stamped on themselves, spreading out a rhythmic maze which increases with the arrival of another sequential line which pounds a rhythm of lead. And the last 5 minutes of "Random Event Reloaded" are a pure stylistic composition on the art of sequencing and electronic rhythm. It’s heavy, powerful, very catchy and it tears up the paint of the walls. Another title recorded during the Bochum Planetarium concert, "5vor12" is a nice electronic ballad which reminds me a lot the area of the Dream on White Eagle with a beautiful melodious sequencing pattern which sculptures a supple and fluid rhythm. Maxxess' guitar throws some good solos which bind themselves marvellously with those, more spectral, of synths.
God that feels good to listen to new
Pyramid Peak I like the music of the Leverkusen trio, a town near Cologne, who does a good dosage of ambiances, as cosmic as abstract, and rhythms, as balanced as unbridled, with melodious approaches which always hang on to the pleasure of ears. 5VOR12 is a good album which contains all the ingredients to satisfy the fans of the Peak as well as to please those who like the electronic and Teutonic period of the Dream. When to those who like the heavy and black sequences of Ramp or Redshift, you will find your account with an approach however more accessible there.

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14829

samedi 14 janvier 2012

MICHAEL NEIL & GRAHAM GETTY: Retrochet III (2011)

"Retrochet III seems to be a new step in the progression of Michael Neil and Graham Getty"

1 A Trip across the Marshes at Midnight (12:18)
2 Monolilith (10:09)
3 Flow (8:29)
4 Sky Racer (12:16)
5 Alienice (4:12)
6 Table Mountain (10:40)



There is a music, its story and its influences which we never get tired to listen to. The one from Tangerine Dream's RicochetEncore and Stratosfear was the spearhead of a musical movement then in full boiling with the addition of hard and powerful rhythms which shook the morphic and psychedelic envelopes of cosmic synth layers. A little as in an unfinished dream, the duet Michael Neil and Graham Getty forces time and its whims by pursuing the exploration of a fascinating musical territory that has no borders. Retrochet III is not only a suite of the superb musical series begun in 2010, but it’s also the proof that illusion has limits only what we do not want to see, nor to hear.
It‘s in a nice fusion of the hypnotic rhythms of Retrochet I and the more psychedelic ambiances of Vol. II that "A Trip across the Marshes at Midnight" kiss the musical fragrances of Stratosfear. Fine fluid sequences skip with delicacy in an intro stuffed with cracklings and metallic gases. Switching shapes into drummed strikings, these sequences shake the layers of a suave ethereal flute while the rhythm of "A Trip across the Marshes at Midnight" trades its lightness to embrace a heavier phase trapped in the slowness of waltzing envelopes where morphic mist and spectral flute awaken the reminiscences of a forgotten world. Navigating on fluid and progressive rhythms which crisscross under a sky multicoloured of strata as poetic as atmospheric, this first title of Retrochet III lays the foundations for an album where the astral melodies stick to structures which travel easily through ages. "Monolilith" runs away with a more incisive rhythmic approach. Michael Neil and Graham Getty search the missing links of Encore with heavy but fluid sequences which run at full speed in beautiful floating envelopes. Rolling between its reverberating lines and its chloroformic arcs, "Monolilith" follows a progressive rhythmic tangent with a fine variation in the power of its sequences which obey to the variable strength of a synth from which heavy hootings, ghostly streaks and iridescent mists set an explosive eclectic cocktail ablaze. After this explosive title, "Flow" flows into our ears with a wonderful poetic approach where sequences and pulsations crackle such as anaemic popcorns with the force of their restraints under the layers and mists of an oniric synth. It’s a floating and meditative title coming out of limbs and which is a superb mixture of Klaus Schulze (Blackdance and Picture Music) and Michael Stearns (Chronos).
Espousing this blend of ardour and restraint of "A Trip across the Marshes at Midnight", "Sky Racer" begins with an oscillating chaotic waltz before entering a sequential phase to wide ascending undulations. This repressed rhythm is wrapped in morphic spheres with a synth asleep by ethereal mist which frees iridescent lines, throwing a poetic paradox on a title which looks for the slightest desertic plots of land to set its rhythmic approach in fire. "Alienice" dips us into atmospheric and psychedelic ambiances with layers and waves of synth to tones as confuse as puzzling. It’s a short experimental title which precedes the jewel of Retrochet III; "Table Mountain". Superb sequences with bass and felted tones skip with grace in the opening of "Table Mountain". Like a magical ballet they form a stealthily dance which is crisscrossed by sequence line filled by more direct oscillations. This chassé-croisé sequenced is a tasty musical find which amazes and enthrals, but we ain’t heard all of it yet. A synth throws a melancholic veil of mist and a superb melodious approach, adding an indefinable beauty to this poetic approach which will delight the fans of Tomita and Philip Glass. It’s of a stunning beauty! And so "Table Mountain" continues its dance of winds with this wonderful mixture of innocent sequences lends to sacrifice themselves in the morphic layers of a poetic synth for the biggest pleasure of our ears. This is incredibly beautiful and I have the same shivers which caress my spinal column after the 12th listening.
Retrochet III seems to be a new step in the progression of Michael Neil and Graham Getty. Even if the duet soaks up by the delicious atmospheres of the Ricochet years, he explores more personal ways by offering compositions and structures which stray from reminiscences of this period from which the uncountable musical veins ask only to be exploited. And it is the strength of Retrochet III. More than a sequel which risks to be short of breath, Michael Neil and Graham Getty display their arsenals of melodic poetry to instil some great progressive electronic odes which have nothing to envy to their sources of genesis.

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14827

* Available on MusicZeit

lundi 9 janvier 2012

DARSHA AMBIENT: Dream In Blue (2011)

"Darshan Ambient dares an audacious bet by merging his dark and meditative ambiances to jazz"
1 Upon Reflection (5:49)
2 When will my Someday Come (4:14)
3 Mirage (4:49)
4 As you Were (5:39)
5 A Letter from Home (7:19)
6 Ghosts of Africa (4:05)
7 Silent Smile/Angelo's Song (3:39)
8 Sun Fade (6:06)
9 Waiting on a Dead Man's Horse (5:49)
10 Sahara Sun (5:52)
11 Dream in Blue (6:23)
LOTUSPIKE: LSM22

Although the music of Darshan Ambient is not inevitably what gets closer of most styles that I listen to, his works radiate of an attractive aura which we can explain with difficulty. It’s like a love at first sight that we can’t justify the nature but of which we can explain its reason. I was deeply seduced by his last album A Day Within Days , an album where the soft rhythms and the atmospheres at once rural and ethereal were close to pretty good elements of tenderness and melancholy. And Dream in Blue does not escape this poetic approach of Michael Allison. For his last opus Darshan Ambient visits the patriarchal lands of New Orleans. Its bayous and its spirits fill by the fragrances of a centenarian jazz which caress the soft sighs of a more romanced approach than a purely electronic one.
Fine floating strata introduce the intro of "Upon Reflection" which gets alive by guitar notes rolling in a soft spiral over a fusion of oniric layers, caressing at passage sober percussions which force a rhythm full of retained. The melody which goes out of it is beautiful. It frees delicate arpeggios which sing in our ears when the rhythm tumbles with a fury dictated by an approach of free jazz. Free percussions and a good bass with oblong and sinuous notes feed a rhythm which rolls in minimalist loops to bicker a lyrical envelope which dwells upon all along Dream in Blue. "When will my Someday Come" offers a jazzier musical envelope with nice breaths of trumpets which are melting into a blues’ soul guitar. Mixing skilfully his jazz influences with a more electronic approach Darshan Ambient sprinkles his compositions with mellotron choirs and mists, adding a particular dimension to Dream in Blue. We also observe this tendency on "Ghosts of Africa"."Mirage" is a good intriguing music piece which floats between ambient and a slow rhythm of the Bayous where some good mi spectral and mi oniric strata are complaining on the back of a bass from which the heavy oscillations soak into Patrick O'Hearn  sensual and mysterious moods. "As You Were" pursues this incursion in the roots of the old jazz with a beautiful romance fed by a piano which makes dance its fine melodious notes around a bass and a guitar as much charming as dreamy. The rhythm is soft and soaks into the spheres of a soft Lounge bar mood decorated by fine layers of a foggy synth. Sometimes this fusion of jazzy rhythms with vaporous and dreamy synth layers awakens memories of Vangelis in Blade Runner.
"A Letter from Home" is my first very favourite. It’s a long ambient title forged in the ashes of melancholy where wrapping strata float and roam, surrounding a wonderful contemplative romance fed at knocks of notes from a nostalgic piano which goes in the soul with the beauty of its wandering. A fine fluty ode appears, caressing the sighs of glances and confirming the very great beauty of "A Letter from Home"."Silent Smile (Angelo’s Song)" is another pearl for soul. Solitary, poignant and intensely deep, the piano drops its pensive notes which are recovered by a superb synth fill by breaths of trumpets and violins strings. It’s another great track, such as the very somber and ambient "Waiting on a Dead Man's Horse" which is very near Brian Eno’s soils. A good melodious approach pierces the dark introductory veil of "Sun Fade". As the piano, the guitar is soft and pensive. It crosses its notes and releases its groaning strata in the curves of a nice bass and a synth with hatched pads. The essence of the Bayous comes from this rather cheerful title. With its fluty synth pads and guitar solos which shout and complain around free percussions, "Sahara Sun" is the most intense title of Dream in Blue. The melodious ascent is astonishing and the rhythm has to nothing envy to some great tracks of progressive rock. And the guitar is simply marvellous. We would believe to hear Steve Hackett s incisive solos. Navigating between an uncertain rhythmic approach, ethereal ambiances and contemplative melodies, "Dream in Blue" is no more and no less that a faithful musical portrait which crisscrosses this other very beautiful work from Darshan Ambient.
Once again I got subjugated by Darshan Ambient. Michael Allison dares an audacious bet by merging his dark and meditative ambiances to his influences of old jazz. And the result is rather surprising. From "Upon Reflection" to "Sahara Sun" while passing by "A Letter from Home", the beauty and emotion perspire out of this musical pattern to approaches as eclectic as poetic. Dream in Blue is a very beautiful opus which is addressing to those who like the music and not to lovers of abstract music. Musical and lyrical, it will be the companion your evenings of reading and your contemplative introductions towards your sleepless nights, abstraction made of "Sahara Sun" …
Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14822
* You can watch a nice video of the title track here:
and of Mirage here:

samedi 7 janvier 2012

JUSTIN VANDENBERG: Synthetic Memories (2011)

"Synthetic Memories' beauty has of equal only its musical purity"
1 From Below (9:29)
2 When I Walk (4:08)
3 Synthetic Memories (13:06)
4 67 (8:17)
5 The Path (7:30)
6 Dusk (8:05)
7 Drops (5:16)
8 Cold Brightness (8:58)


SPOTTED PECCARY: SPM2011

Oh! This is a wonderful one. It’s a small marvel of contemplative music and a pure musical delight that Justin Vanderberg offers as his first opus on the Spotted Peccary label. Weaved on reflections and questionings of memories as well as their realities, Synthetic Memories is flowing as if by magic into our ears to touch the slightest hidden recesses of our soul. It’s a majestic musical adventure which breathes by our bewitchment all throughout its taming. Synthetic Memories exudes tranquility on 8 titles with rhythms and ambiances which become entangled in a stunning symbiosis where morphic and oniric layers flirt with fine sequenced momentums. This 2nd opus from Justin Vanderberg is a masterpiece of poetry without words and a splendid album of an incredible musical depth which will know how to captivate your hearing as much as your feelings.
Astral winds and rustles jostle elements of life to introduce the wonderful "From Below", a track written with Jon Jenkins. Clanic percussions à la Steve Roach make their tom-toms resound through these synth waves which seem to caress spiritual water-waves, while a hypnotic rhythm submerges our aura. Fine guitars chords dawdle in ethereal atmospheres, drawing thin loops which float and run on a rhythm set on pulsations and hammerings became louder and heavier. This rhythm faces the emotional amplitude of our soul, while crystal clear notes of piano leap out from the forgetting to forge a melody lost among the ancestral rhythms which dance in these morphic atmospheres, sculpting musical souvenirs as distant as the first works of Patrick O'Hearn and those, more desertic, of Steve Roach. Doubtless one of the most beautiful track of 2011, "From Below" is bursting with passion and emotivity to reach its paroxysm in a finale that capsizes our last expulsions of passion. "When I Walk" follows the angelic ashes of "From Below" with a beautiful melodious approach where the notes of piano run with drummed pulsations under the breaths of an iridescent synth which push its astral waves towards the intro of "Synthetic Memories". The title-track of Synthetic Memories is also its heart. The peak of emotions converges there to filter doubts which will go out on more moderate and more poetic titles. But for the moment, the longest title of Synthetic Memories awakens its sequenced pulsations from the iridescent claws of a morphic synth. They run and undulate with delicacy, espousing the curve of the sinuous waves which blow such as enslaved choirs, mixing marvellously the ethereal elements and drummed sequences in a musical canvas where the constant rhythm adopts the tranquility of ambient elements. Pulsating sequences may be proud oneself on other pulsations more heterogeneous, metallic and cawing that it’s not changing at all the mood of serenity which prevails throughout the soft rhythmic evolution of "Synthetic Memories".
Fine oscillations modify subtly the long journey of "67", a pure ode to serenity where we perceive the clear influence of Steve Roach on Justin Vanderberg's ambient movements. Fragile, crystal clear arpeggios tinkle punctually and follow the fine inflections which feed this oblong linear movement where suave floating lines undulate and get enlacing into beautiful and dark angelic breaths. These crystal clear arpeggios are the core of the morphic and sequenced melodies that we find in Synthetic Memories. They glitter and swirl with the grace of the winds on "The Path", another good subjecting title where sequences of glasses spin around fine drummed percussions and around heavy silvery winds. With its slow morphic but all the same rather musical phases, "Dusk" transports the dusts of its slow and dark winds towards the melodious peace of mind of "Drops" and its notes of piano which fall with a beautiful effect of canon in a curious cerebral carousel. A beautiful melody escapes from it. Playing on mathematical keys, it slips into our ears with a virgin innocence to continue its tinkled road towards the musical tremors, the dark and iridescent winds of "Cold Brightness", concretizing the subliminal beauty of this wonderful opus that is Synthetic Memories.
I know that I tend to become passionate sometimes and that my emotions a bit juvenile resurface when my ears cross a work of such sensitivity. If Synthetic Memories from Justin Vanderberg is not typical of heavy sequenced works, the fact remains that its beauty has of equal only its musical purity. With its skilful dosage of oniric rhythms and celestial ambiances, Synthetic Memories will jostle your emotions. Doubtless the most beautiful musical work of 2011, Synthetic Memories is an imperative which has to be in your record collection, and that no matter if we are followers of heavy or ambient Berlin School because it’s a perfect symbiosis of 2 these genres but with more depth and limpidity.

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14820

jeudi 5 janvier 2012

TANGERINE DREAM: Mona Da Vinci (2011)

"Mona Da Vinci is not as fade as it may sounds on first hearings"

1 Calumet 5:30
2 Morpheus' Light 10:44
3 Phantoms and Oracles (Guitar version) 6:28
4 Mona Da Vinci 7:08
5 In The Storm of Serenity 7:39
6 Hunting For Illusions 4:43


It took me some time before reviewing this last CupDisc from the gang of Edgar Froese. After 2 superb albums in The Island of the Fay and The Angel from the West Window, as well as a very good CupDisc (The Gate of Saturn), Mona Da Vinci fell me in the ears with the effect of a cold shower by a chilly weather. I found that Edgar goes round in circles by undoing his musical ties and by falling again in his moods of candy rock electronic of the Miramar years. But with some additional listenings, I noticed that Mona Da Vinci was hiding some nice musical pearls. Now, knowing that the fans of the Dream already hurled themselves on Mona Da Vinci, whom addresses this review? Bah … Maybe it could influence the choices of the thinkers of Eastgate during the selection of another compilation or another Booster!
Played for the first time during the concert of Manchester, "Calumet" begins with undulating pulsations à la Flashpoint. Echoing percussions and sequences pounding on two ways shape a rhythmic skeleton which collides against the stream on more sober keyboard riffs. Without breaking the walls and with a typical melodious approach in what Edgar Dream lays since moons, "Calumet" pours without getting noticed too much and depicts the atmosphere maybe too much calculated which reigns over Mona Da Vinci. I think in particular of the title track which is submerged by a ghostly aura. An aura of mystery which glides over a rhythmic structure going round and round. That doesn’t mean that it’s not good, it’s just that it’s too familiar and that we already heard it so many times in the late TD years. Noticed that its progression ("Mona Da Vinci'') is all the same rather appealing. The longer title on this last Tangerine Froese's CupDisc, "Morpheus ' Light" is simply wonderful. Of long and suave angelic breaths cast a little bit of dark breezes on an intro which progresses such as a slow crescendo on a nest of percussions and sequences typical to the bipolar rhythms of the Dream. Edgar weaves a super melodious theme subdivided by resonant sequences and riffs which fall on other sequences pounding frenziedly under the breaths and winds of a poetic synth. It’s a splendid track where sequences strum a motionless rhythm. A rhythm trapped in a superb musical fauna which sounds so much like good old TD. Outstanding! "Phantoms and Oracles (Guitar version)" is an alternate version of Midas Touch which appears on The Hollywood Years Vol. 2 in 1998. It’s a big electronic rock from the Rockoon years. Sequences and hopping percussions forge an unbridled rhythm and the electric guitar of Zlatko Perica spits furious and incisive solos. "In The Storm of Serenity" is a beautiful ballad introduced on a slow rhythm. Surrounded by heterogeneous tones, the percussions are stunning and fall with imagination while the guitar sculpts great languishing solos. This is a nice track which hooks the hearing instantly. "Hunting for Illusions" ends Mona Da Vinci with a hyper-unbridled rhythmic approach where heavy sequences, slamming percussions and a starving bass line build a heavy and stormy rhythm. Mysterious, the synth throws good dark veils and short soloing breaths giving to "Hunting for Illusions" a harmonious depth which harmonizes pleasantly to its furious pace.
It’s a good think that I had to listen Mona Da Vinci a bit more before doing a final review, because it’s not as fade as it may sounds on first hearings. In fact it’s an honest CupDisc which has its failures as well as its small favourites, and this over and above the fact that "Morpheus ' Light" is totally brilliant and a pearl lost in a boiling sea of rhythms as superficial as well polished up.

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14819

* You can also view a video of a static photo sleeve of the title track here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PhxujOJ1-c

mardi 3 janvier 2012

STEVE SMITH & THE TYLAS CYNDROME: Phoenix Arising (2011)

"Solid, striking and tinted by a cinematographic romance, Phoenix Arising is a very nice surprise."

1 Spanish Storm 10:33 
2 Somewhere out There 10:05
3 Clockwork Freries 7:00 
4 Inner City 8:12
5 Instand Recognition 8:08
6 Anticipation Long Distance 8:02
7 Deep Depression 8:49 
8 Phoenix Arising 8:45

Groove | GR-184 (CD 69:50) **** (Progressive e-rock)
Steve Smith is the 2nd half of Volt, a duet from England who presents a heavy EM strongly influenced by Berlin School. With old friends; Alan Ford on guitars and Les Sims on drums, Steve Smith took time necessary to forge a stunning album filled by mesmerizing cinematographic ambiances. Navigating between the fiery rhythms of England School strongly influenced by Mark Shreeve and Redshift as well as the ambiances more ethereal Berlin School, Phoenix Arising explodes on progressive electronic rock structures while protecting jealously a very poetic approach on 8 titles to evolutions as complex as melodious.
A strong threatening wind blows on the introductory plains of "Spanish Storm", awakening powerful thunders which tear the opaqueness of the winds. Far off, we can hear an acoustic guitar drops its notes among rainy drops. A sinuous reverberating synth wave bears this very theatrical musical pattern, while the guitar draws a delicate Latin approach and that the rhythm of "Spanish Storm" wakes up little by little with fine Spanish tribal percussions which pound in the shade of Alan Ford's notes. The drum deepens this embryonic and motionless rhythmic approach which grows rich from a bed of gleaming sequences which hiccup of a shy jerky flow. A splendid mellotron blows the lines of an astral melody and the percussions fall. Embracing a delicious harmonious crescendo, the rhythm of "Spanish Storm" sits astride our imagination. Sometimes heavy and sometimes fluid, it rests in the hollow of a romantic acoustic guitar or explodes in the solos of a furious electric guitar, supported by powerful percussions, throbbing sequences and a good bass line. This mixture of explosive and balanced rhythms to ambiances as much cinematographic as ethereal feeds the evolutionary structures and the catchy melodies of the 8 titles which compose Phoenix Arising. Gleaming sequences abound on it. They open the door to "Somewhere out There" which shines within multiple sequential approaches. On a circular and ascending rhythm, they cross and weave an at once melodious and intriguing musical pattern, digging into the twilights of Redshift and Mark Shreeve. These influences are the heart of this nice album, as we would hear later on "Instand Recognition" and "Anticipation Long Distance". Sober, the guitars and synths pour fine solos and sculpture beautiful melodies which sing and hang to the various sequential approaches. According to this pattern of progressive and divided rhythmic structure, "Clockwork Freries" embraces the airs of an innocent bed song a bit malefic with interposed sequences which bounce delicately under the breaths of a slightly ghostly synth. Ambivalent, the rhythm runs on curt percussions strikings while a dreamy guitar frees soft solos à la Al DiMeola, allying a jazz rock to spectral moods.
Furious, "Inner City" adopts a little bit the powerful ride of a little finale of "Spanish Storm" with vigorous sequences which undulate keenly and solid percussions which hammer a heavy infernal pace. Delicious, the synth throws beautiful melodious lines which sound like spectral lamentations while the guitar speaks to us on an emphatic rhythm where gleaming sequences add a cadenced depth to more hued passages. It’s a heavy and powerful title and it rides such as an apocalyptic Western, quite as "Instand Recognition" which pounds on a fine spasmodic sequential approach where the synth melodies take the shapes of spectral lamentations. We easily guess here a strong Redshift influence. Whispers lost in a gay-coloured intro bring "Anticipation Long Distance" towards a beautiful melodious structure which is similar to the universe of Tangerine Dream's ballads. Hybrids, the sequences espouse fluty breaths or a strange unreel nursery rhyme while a very melodious synth drops beautiful melodious solos. The whole thing leans on a beautiful rhythmic structure where bass and percussions support soberly a melodious structure which deviates towards an apocalyptic finale, deserving of the universe of Mark Shreeve and his Legion album. Speaking of ballad, "Deep Depression" is a wonderful one. Everything stands on great music. The rhythm is slow and holds a very melancholic tuneful approach, a little as in David Wright's universe. The guitar is sublime. It floats above this dreamlike structure, freeing fine solos which dance and sing on keys in perdition. With its rhythm finely hatched and hesitating, "Deep Depression" evolves with the sadness of its naming to ends in a superb orchestral final where guitars solos whip mellotron choirs which embrace a heavy and slow rhythm before diving back into the echoing notes of a romantic piano. After a floating intro the slow sequences of "Phoenix Arising" wiggle nervously, drawing a hoping rhythm. Another sequential line, a bass one, joins this wriggling carousel, preparing another progressive rhythmic ride which ends in the breaths of a philharmonic synth and a guitar with sober solos.
Solid, striking and tinted by a cinematographic romance, Phoenix Arising from Steve Smith and the Tylas Cyndrome is a very nice surprise. On rhythms and ambiances in constant movement, Steve Smith weaves an impressive musical scenario where the bases of EM flirt with the heavinesses and the poetic approaches of the England School style and the sometimes complex and destabilizing structures that we find in a more progressive music. In brief, Phoenix Arising is an audacious bet where the genres merge with a stunning fluidity, a little as to open a door to a new style of EM. And this is not something that evident to do. Phoenix Arising is a charming favourite and a nice hat to Steve Smith.
Sylvain Lupari (January 12th, 2012)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14816