mercredi 21 mars 2012

THE PELS SYNDICATE: Cinematic Blue (2010)

"Unfinished melodious structures on boiling rhythms must be the best way to describe Cinematic Blue"
1 Searchlight 2:53
2 Tesla Baby 5:05
3 Eclectic Electric 3:20
4 Tribal Civilisation 4:13
5 Yellow in 64 3:00
6 Hardcore Vision 3:13
7 Metro Movie 3:33
8 Inner Life 2:59
9 End Games 5:00
10 Invisible Cinema 3:24
11 Smooth Night Life 3:43
12 City Sky Walker 4:16
13 Freedom's Call 3:00

14 Cinematic Blue 2:56

I discovered The Pels Syndicate's musical universe by the means of its 2nd album Chemical Inconveniences. I had of course heard Cinematic Blue of a little convinced ear. And it’s after having tamed the Frank Pels' 2nd opus and its melodies stand firm on ambivalent rhythms that I decided to invest the universe of Cinematic Blue and its 14 titles where melodies are more fragmented, divided on much more diversified percussions, both in genres and in tones, where the influence of Jean Michel Jarre is very present. In fact, The Pels Syndicate's musical world, at least on Cinematic Blue, is concentrated on its percussions and its throbbing pulsatory bass lines, leaving just a few space to keyboards and their chords of melancholy, to synths which weave more often than otherwise wings of violins to which rhythms of lead, down-tempo and even of soft disco with a zest of synth-pop are binding to. In brief; a much diversified musical pattern for a first album which sometimes has the defect of its qualities.
Hesitating chords are roaming at the opening of "Searchlight". Floating in an ethereal ambience, they draw a somber thoughtful melody which hooks onto a slow rhythm, hammered by sober percussions to resonant tones. The rhythm slouching its shagreen, "Searchlight" waltzes weakly around its solitary chords which espouse the strikings of percussions in a universe of static cracklings where the wings of violins are drawing sighs of souls. The pulsating percussions of "Tesla Baby" extirpates us of Cinematic Blue's morphic introduction with a heavy and powerful rhythm. A rhythm of lead that layers of ethereal mist try to make swirl around delicate notes of piano, except that violent percussions fall down on "Tesla Baby". Metallic and slamming percussions à la Jarre which flood a furious, but after all, rather static rhythm that a synth surrounds with superb layers as harmonious as waltzing. It’s very good and very hard-hitting! At high volume, the eardrums are risking to drool there! "Eclectic Electric" pursues this duality of the harmonies on disconcerting rhythms with a soft piano, light and innocent, of which the notes are go astray in iridescent and dancing mists where pulsations stumble and percussions click and resound on a static rhythm. "Tribal Civilization" is another title where banging and echoing tribal percussions à la Jarre rage on chords with oblong elastic loops and flying violin layers. The influence of Jarre bursts the eardrums. Hooked in a downward spiral and bitten by a heavy roaring bass, the rhythm of "Yellow in 64" sounds as some old James Last on a disco acid trip while "Hardcore Vision" is more punchy with a slow rhythm which is leaning on a rich interbreeding of percussions and is waving on the curves of a good pulsatory bass line from where escapes some tinny piano notes. A structure which is of use as base to "Metro Movie" which is more vitamined on the other hand and which flies over at the violins fly.
"Inner Life" seems to get out of the molds of "Tesla Baby". It’s a very beautiful down-tempo with a broken strummed melody. Oscillating between the chill-out, the motionless and the waltzing styles "End Games" travels in search of rhythm and ambience, embracing the soft violins and fighting against powerful percussions. It’s intense and perplexing, a little as all we hear on Cinematic Blue. An unreal nursery rhyme which is dragging at the deep end of an alley, "Invisible Cinema" leaves the innocence of its first keys and abandon its portion of melody to grasp the tumult of percussions of metal, a little as in "Inner Life "and "Tesla Baby"; melodious portions very present in Cinematic Blue which disappear in oblivion. And even if the heavy violins try to moderate the whole thing, the morphic down-tempo which they draw spreads out a strange universe of seduction. "Smooth Night Life" flies on its wings of violin, like a 70's disco to whichwe grafted a good stroboscopic line which encircles the beat and transports it beyond its fluty melody, its mordant bass line and its resounding percussions. "City Sky Walker" is a charming dark ballad. A ballad for loner where chords of guitar resound in the absolute introverted solitude before being harpooned by percussions with knocks and tones as diversified as heterogeneous. The percussions are the strength of Cinematic Blue. They fall on us at any moment and it gives quite a whole dimension to a melody as much pink-candy as "Freedom's Call" which is a nice wink of eye to the 80’s and the synth-pop era. Static, the title-track concludes Cinematic Blue with percussions which flitter around a melodious structure trying to hatch.
Unfinished melodious structures on boiling rhythms must be the best way to describe Cinematic Blue. For his very first solo album, the Dutch synthesist puts the pressure on diversified rhythms and percussions to the detriment of ambiences and melodies making of Cinematic Blue an album which goes into the ears with strength, forgetting to tone down its passion. It’s a rough and heavy album which misses a little of this subtlety that we find on Chemical Inconveniences but which is ideal, I guess, to knock down pretty hard the eardrums and the walls. And those who like the eclectic percussions will be charmed by several titles on this album which also contains some very inspiring tracks. I think it’s the best of thee worlds!
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:
* If you want to know more about The Pels Syndicate and hear snippets of music, you can visit its website here:

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