vendredi 6 avril 2012

GUSTAVO JOBIM: In Search of Berlin (2011)

"For a home-made album, In Search of Berlin is a surprising discovery"
1 Echoes of Berlin 9:33
2 Underground Train 10:35
3 Midnight Mists 7:50
4 The Ascension 10:25
5 The Inner Outer Space 13:33
6 Hallucinations 11:20
7 Berlin Endless 14:57

DDL 78:13

In Search of Berlin is a return to basics. It’s a musical journey in the heart of Gustavo Jobim's influences and the first movements of the sound experiments linked to early Berlin School, exception made of "Underground Train". For his 6th opus, the Brazilian synthesist weaves long titles with experimental ambiences painted of lugubrious and mephistophelic approaches where the rhythms give way to atmospheres rich in Mellotron textures, as in nice time of Phaedra, and in floating organ layers, resetting our souvenirs of a certain Klaus Schulze.
Moreover it’s with a lead line spitting its pulsating and resonant waves that "Echoes of Berlin" opens. From the first sound emanations, we are filled by these caustic waves which adorned the stagnant ambiances of Cyborg, except that the rhythm is of lead. Pounded sequences and echoing keys, "Echoes of Berlin"s tempo is a furious stationary race where breathless pulsations crisscross into stubborn polyrhythmic structures and stuffed with wild sequenced doubloons before calming down in a superb atmospheric passage where the Phaedra kind Mellotron floats on a nest of piano to melancholic notes, drawing a sombre haunted finale. It’s very good! And if Phaedra appeals you, you will be flabbergasted of melancholy with very beautiful "Midnight Mists" and its synth waves which undulate such as floating threats on meditative notes of piano. Organ layers are heavy and intense, moulding a claustrophobic ambience worthy of some good soundtracks for macabre films. With "Underground Train" we dive into the territories of Schulze and his digital era with keys which skip under glockenspiels tinkles. If the intro is a little abrupt, there is a beautiful silky wave that comes to cover this staccato movement to wrap it by a beautiful harmonious cloud, shaping the effect of a sequenced train which parades its Teutonic chords in the astral corridors of a long minimalist structure stuffed with fine harmonious nuances. The pulsating rhythm of "The Ascension" sticks a little to the one of "Echoes of Berlin". Less echoing and stormy, but all the same rather frenzied, the movement is covered of smooth synth layers with tones of old organ which recalls unmistakably the tetanized ambiences that Klaus Schulze weaved on Picture Music. Ambiences which isolate the sequences to smother a rhythmic envelope which is reborn of its unpredictable heavinesses and its ambulatory rhythm.
"The Inner Outer Space" is a very atmospheric title which transports us in the roots of albums as dark and experimental as Zeit and Alpha Centauri. It’s a long atonal title made of an alloy of warm and iridescent breaths which spit filets of metals in a long cylinder passage stuffed with oblong quavering synth layers which cover extraterrestrials’ chirpings. When we say experimental, well that’s not half of it! And the corrosive universe of this 2nd portion of In Search of Berlin continues with "Hallucinations" and its intro stigmatized by calcified lamentations. A long title very dark and acid for headphones, "Hallucinations" pursues its quest of irritability with shouts of anemic sirens which reveal very beautiful echoing pulsations, ploughing a rhythmic phase of lead as much stubborn as "Echoes of Berlin" to finally lose this rhythm pattern in a shambles of deviants and buzzing layers, in the limits of a melodic hell where fragments of melodies survive in a musical cataclysm of an incredible intensity of lost decibels. "Berlin Endless" moderates somehow the corrosive ardors with a stunning sequential approach which takes shape as wings of dragonflies beating in a zootropic speed. Pulsating chirping assist this frenzied beatings whereas a sequence appears to wave of its crossed oscillations, creating a rhythmic confusion where roller coasters chase against motionless pulsations. Faster than a blinking of lash, this torrent of polyrhythmic sequences pursues its crazy running scattering crystal clear chords which skip and spin under the aegis of a synth to ghostly waves and eclectic tones. A breach in the movement diverts its furious rhythm to adopt a more linear shape, a little after the 6th minute, with smothered sequences under metallic synth layers which pound a heavy and symmetric rhythm. And "Berlin Endless" to fall in a disproportionate madness where the rhythm jumps on the spot to stumble in the meanders of a synth filled by strata of an extreme corrosivity, concluding album as much surprising as amazingly dark and powerful.
For a home-made album, In Search of Berlin is a surprising discovery. Audacious and creative, Gustavo Jobim offer the best of Berlin School’s 2 worlds with an album where the sound experiments are next to the memories of former days on rhythms and ambiences which are extremely powerful, both in tone and in emotions. Available in downloadable format and at a very interesting price, it’s the best means to learn about this movement that little dare to dig up the tip of the real roots.

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 and discover the musical world of Gustavo Jobim, here is his website:

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