jeudi 31 mai 2012


"The magic of Noir lives in the evolution of its three movements and is a must for dark ambient lovers"

1 Movement One 25:45
2 Movement Two 29:03
3 Movement Three 10:43
4 Dédier À Papathanassiou E. Vangelis; Movement One 5:20
5 Dédier À Papathanassiou E. Vangelis; Movement Two 4:56

SYNGATE: CD-R2152 (2009) (CD-R 75:47)

A wind coming from space blows dusts over the first seconds of "Movement One". It crosses a long earthly corridor before failing on the ice floes of oblivion, there where are ringing the carillons, banging the percussions and growling some long tortuous riffs which roam in this intro molded into supernatural. Some drones show their reverberations and float among the voices of galactic mermaids, electronic chirpings and cosmic serpentines which shell their tones and chords in an intense movement in suspension. Slowly the atmospheric flight of "Movement One" gets ready with nice synth waves rolling in a more and more cosmic ambiance. Welcome to Noir! Noir it’s the black! It’s also the first opus of Keller & Schonwalder dedicated to colors. An intensely atmospheric album. A cosmic and philharmonic ode à la Tomita (Kosmos) and Vangelis carried by synths which switch their solos for intense layers of morphic violins.
The more "Movement One" progresses and the more it goes deeper into an enchanting cosmic symphony with great tears of violin which float and surround reverberations became more and more poetic. It’s a slow cerebral waltz which chases away fears and rocks the soul of an infinite tenderness until the first rhythmic stammerings of "Movement Two". But the rhythm of this second cosmic musical act is constantly trapped by this dense atmospheric envelope which wraps the first two movements of Noir. It’s a static forged rhythm in electronic chirpings which hiccup and swirl in a strange finely jerky spiral, like a slow staccato whirlwind. It spins around in its furrows, amassing some tones and diverse percussions which roam in its winds without ever trying to amplify the pace. On the contrary, it lets oneself being fooled and be taking by the poetic approach of a wandering piano, shy pulsations and a synth with whistles which drag its cosmic melody in the winds of vocal breaths to implode of a slow stationary agony. These breaths become of iridescent mist and fog before taking back "Movement Two" in its profound cosmic sleep.
"Movement Three" continues Noir's reflection on rhythms and ambiences, such as proposed by Keller & Schonwalder. After two long ambient and atmospheric tracks, "Movement Three" penetrates into the minimalist spheres of the Berlin duet with a light and slow rhythm which leans on sober and methodical percussions of Bas B. Broekhuis. It’s a processional musical piece with drum rolls and its scattered cymbals jingles which ring among synths to breaths of angelic trumpets trumpeting in ethereal mists. Espousing the evolutionary rhythmic structures that the duet shapes marvellously since years, "Movement Three" follows a hopping curve with a beautiful line of piano drawing a soft melody which moves towards the droning fogs of "Dédier À Papathanassiou E. Vangelis; Movement One", a title which inhales the ambiences of "Noir; Movement One" but with a touch filled by the influences of the Greek magician, in particular towards the finale which is very melodious, while "Dédier À Papathanassiou E. Vangelis; Movement Two" brings us into the very abstract territories of Vangelis.
The magic of Noir lives in the evolution of its three movements. From atmospheric and purely ambient to static rhythms skipping in an implosion one to end with an evolutionary minimalist rhythmic approach, Noir does a nice synopsis of the various styles that made the mark of Detlev Keller and Mario Schonwalder since 1996. The synths are honeyed and draw oniric phases which embellish an album which is much more than a simple ambient album. It is an orchestral ode for spatial blackness which moves us closer to our inner soul as to the cosmic oblivion. It’s a must for Noir ambient lovers!

Sylvain Lupari (May 31th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:
* You can also hear extracts on Syngate Records webpage:
* And if you want to know more about Keller & Schonwalder, you can visit Manikin Records' web site here:

jeudi 24 mai 2012

ALLUSTE: Euphemisms & Aphorisms (2012)

"Euphemisms & Aphorisms is a wonderful album which is undoubtedly one of the great surprises so far in 2012"
1 Vices & Virtues 8:10
2 Race into the Unknown 5:46
3 Euphemisms and Aphorisms 9:21
4 Figures of Speech 9:21
5 Philosophical Aphorisms 6:06
6 Dance of Deception 5:55
7 Temporal Ellipses 7:15
8 Mythological Allusions 5:22

DDL on (57:16)

It’s by following the well structured paths of Digital Age that Piero Monachello, the man behind Alluste, pursues his surprising ascent in the spheres of contemporary EM. Well sat on his New Berlin School influences, the Italian synthesist weaves in Euphemisms & Aphorisms a wonderful harmonious universe through a splendid sequential approach. Sequences sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sulky and dreamers but always catchy which embroider rhythms of silk. Evolutionary and sometimes fragile rhythms which embrace the influences of Tangerine Dream and Arcane in some beautiful envelopes of a synth as much oniric and cosmic as poetic. If Digital Age showed that Alluste has reached a beautiful maturity, Euphemisms & Aphorisms confirms all of its dimension.
It’s in the morphic sweetness that Euphemisms & Aphorisms opens. Swaying layers of a foggy synth spread their oblong pads. Such as invisible hands drawing clouds of ether they are melting into some fine tinkled arpeggios which clink an innocent melody, inviting another sequential line to engrave a melodious approach which breathes the melodies of the
Dream on Legend and Underwater Sunlight. Finely the movement of "Vices and Virtues" is progressing. It evolves by fine sequence keys which hiccup of a light rhythm. A rhythm overlapped by other gamboling sequences which ring like hits of typist and which skip stealthily in the breaths of a synth with lines of cosmic mermaids voices. Sometimes suave and sometimes cherub, this synth which wraps silkyfully the rhythms of Euphemisms & Aphorisms is a weaver of melodies which bind themselves in sequential movements in constant permutation. On "Race into the Unknown" it spreads a veil of mist which frees breezes of ether on a rhythm fed of resounding crisscrossed sequences. Sequences with tones and velocity as much changing as discordant which mould a rhythm of a race swirling all along intermittent spirals in a Milky Way encircled by electronic chirpings. The intro of the title-track plunges us into an ambient universe where the synth layers which float over a flock of lost footsteps wrap us of mesmerizing cosmic ambiences à la Jean Michel Jarre. Some nice sequences pierce this spatial sweetness. Like footsteps in space, they mould a soft morphic beat. It’s a cerebral dance where every footstep shakes a fine cosmic cloud of dust which floats in denser and more musical layers while the tempo of "Euphemisms and Aphorisms" switches form finely for a heavier movement. A movement which zigzags slowly into superb waltzing waves from a synth of which the mists feed the liveliness of a movement which always preserves its poetic approach. It’s a wonderful cosmic melody; the kind that leaves its track in the firmament of the contemporary EM.
The intro of "Figures Of Speech" is also ambient. Tears of violin shred its sweetness with tearful laments which cry in clouds of sea sprays. Except that the sequenced movement is more complex and incisive with keys which skip delicately a little before the 4th minute, their footsteps in the shade of cosmic bells. Other sequences are adding. Between two speeds and two tones, they swirl and undulate to mold a chaotic dance which gesticulates under the dense waves of celestial mists from a synth as charming as singer, converging on a heavy lineal structure where keys are droning in an oscillating symbiosis. It’s through static cracklings that "Philosophical Aphorisms" shakes its dislocated sequences. A melodic rhythm à la Peter Baumann opens to our ears with sequences which skip such as typist keys beneath suave layers of a synth, to then hang on to the muffled pulsations of a bass-drum from which the knocks resound in the hollow of silvered waves before switching suddenly towards a more fluid movement. We also feel a clear romantic and harmonious influence of Guido Negraszus on "Dance of Deception". The intro is very poetic with this angelic voice which asks that we follow her through dense clouds of mist. Clouds which float and wrap of their dreamlike sweetness some chords which skip with the fragility of glass to lay down a beautiful sequential pattern, shaping a crisscrossed rhythmic structure where sequences push the anarchy beneath great solos of a dreamy and passive synth. "Temporal Ellipses" is a jewel which spreads its musicality after a somber cosmic intro with sequences bouncing delicately under the rotatory eye of a synth to threatening waves. These sequences lead us towards a superb harmonious approach where percussions build a very catchy tempo and where another line of sequences subdivides its keys, creating a divided rhythm which quivers under a romantic synth stuffed of melodic pads. "Mythological Allusions" ends Euphemisms & Aphorisms with a fine rhythmic approach where a thick cloud of sequences skips among the subtle pulsations of a discreet bass line under the vaporous atmospheres weaved in some synth lines which espouse the cosmic wanderings of
Jean Michel Jarre.
Euphemisms & Aphorisms is a wonderful album which is undoubtedly one of the great surprises so far in 2012. It’s an album out of nowhere which presents a harmonious universe fed by sequential approaches in perpetual mutation. Sequences with varied tones and multiple strikings which subdivide and split up evolutionary and coherent rhythms. Melodic and lively rhythms which gambol within very beautiful holds of synths as much diversified as the sequences which it wraps. In brief, it’s an album that every fan of New Berlin School owes to possess coming from an artist whose progress reaches an interesting development.
Sylvain Lupari (May 24th, 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 music of Alluste and hear some musical samplings, you can visit his BandCamp page here:

dimanche 20 mai 2012

CRAIG PADILLA: The Heart of the Soul (2012)

"The Heart of the Soul possesses the beauty of its naming!"
1 You Were Here 2:51
2 Sense of Wonder 7:51
3 Angel in My Eyes 11:02
4 Heart of the Soul 4:17
5 Lost in You 5:28
6 New Directions 5:36
7 Spirit Signs 9:04
8 Sensual Beauty 4:10
9 Midnight Encounter 13:10
10 Divine Embrace 7:13


The Heart of the Soul marks a return for Craig Padilla who had made silent since 2009 (Beyond the Portal) and since 2006 (The Light in the Shadow) as solo artist. It’s in a musical pattern quite diversified, where his influences of the Berlin School movement cogitate with more personal musical structures, that Craig Padilla weaved the main melodious lines of his last opus. Because although The Heart of the Soul is a very intimate work, coming from an artist who accustomed us to deep atmospheric flights, it’s dominated by fine contemplative and lyrical melodies which subject by a surprising sensitivity.
Even if poetic and imprint by serenity, it’s on hubcaps that starts The Heart of the Soul which hears a line of crystal clear arpeggios and another with lower tones to cross the swords of "You Were Here". A bass-drum comes to bear this sequential comings and goings which move towards a good cosmic rock structure. "Sense of Wonder" is the first of the pearls coming out of The Heart of the Soul. Some piano notes divided between romance and melancholy draw the outlines of a beautiful cosmic melody which drags its harmonious refrain in the breaths of ethereal choirs and stars dusts. Espousing the poetic sweetness of Suzanne Ciani's acoustic works, the intro of "Sense of Wonder" transports us at the doors of dream when some bouncy synth pads change the course of the dreamlike delicacy, pulling this soft title towards a fine spasmodic rhythm, challenging the balance of harmonies strummed in the shade of angelic dreams. These piano notes dipped into a meditative nostalgia are flowing parsimoniously in the intro of "Angel in My Eyes", leading us towards the spheres of a more progressive atmospheric EM with its twisted synth solos and breezes which blow like the cosmic wanderings of Tangerine Dream in a dense cosmic mist perturbed by strong resounding pulsations. If the first portion wants to be more exploratory, the second one is sharply more melodious with its piano notes of which the evasive harmony roams among delicate twinkling arpeggios and more lyrical choirs, also crossing the first works of the American pianist famous for her much romanced approach. Furthermore we can feel Suzanne Ciani's romantic and orchestral influences on this Craig Padilla's very personal work. Like on the very beautiful melody which is the title-track where piano notes are tightened in beautiful orchestral arrangements and on "Lost in You" of which the breaths of mermaids charmers of senses are caressing a melancholic approach shaken by the soft rhythm of a beautiful electronic ballad.
"New Directions" is another pretty melody which begins with some hesitating chords dancing in a praline-flavored mist. Soft synth layers rock a sweetness which nests in resonant pulsations while the rhythm takes shape around sequences which undulate around flickering percussions, pushing quietly the progression of "New Directions" towards the waltzing mists of wrapping orchestral arrangements. The intro of "Spirit Signs" is swayed by a mixture of absent choirs and warm winds before fine arpeggios that sound like percussions are moving stealthily in a corridor filled by an ambience of mystery. The movement gets out of cerebral limbs with fine kicks which structure an indefinite rhythm. A rhythm which waves awkwardly under the breaths of an ethereal choir and of synths with as much slightly bouncy lines as some vaporous ones to die out in a soft river of cosmic serenity. "Sensual Beauty" is yet another nice contemplative melody of which the piano notes are dreaming under mists and lines finely jumpy of a distant synth. "Midnight Encounter" is the key moment of this Craig Padilla's last opus. Concretizing his very intimate vision of his intra-personal relation, the Californian synthesist weaves a wonderful passage towards the peace of mind and its dreams through synth lines which cry into waltzing fogs. A great sequential movement frees some keys which swirl in a fine staccato spiral, molding the steps of an enchanting morphic dance which will unite its delicacy to a more punchy approach before bringing back "Midnight Encounter" to the lands of oniric dreams. This is pure magic put into music! "Divine Embrace" ends this wonderful introspective journey that is The Heart of the Soul with a long ambient track where the notes of a solitary guitar / harp drop the vestiges of a solitude forgotten into morphic layers of a synth divided between its lyrical wrapping lines and its absent choruses.
The Heart of the Soul possesses the beauty of its naming! There are pure marvels in this album which risks destabilizing the fans that expect an ambient or purely electronic album, such as Beyond the Portal or still Analog Destination. Except that the more we move forward in its discovery and the more one are seduced by those melodies which hook the soul to draw sighs of melancholy. I enjoyed a lot this immensely poetics work of Craig Padilla where the sweetnesses of a progressive New Age are melting into the complexities of a Berlin School cajoled by a brilliant composer who has still so much to tell.

Sylvain Lupari (May 20th, 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 Craig Padilla and hear some MP3 snippets, here is his website link:

samedi 19 mai 2012

CRAIG PADILLA: Beyond the Portal (2009)

"Beyond the Portal is an album of a sound richness which borrows the paths of American pioneers such as Steve Roach and Michael Stearns"
1 Realm of the Spirit (17:48)
 a Perspective of Disappearance 7:02
 b Realm of the Spirit 10:46
2 Akasha (15:27)
   Oceans of the Heavens 15:27
3 Beyond the Portal (32:27)
 a One Moment Beyond 11:07
 bActive Side of Infinity 8:22
c Beyond the Portal 12:58

LOTUSPIKE : LSM 12  (CD 65:43)

Here is a superb morphic album. An opus of a great nocturnal calmness which gets tasted with all the cosmic sublimity which leaves from each furrow, each bits. First collaboration between Craig Padilla, Richard Roberts (Zero Ohms) and Skip Murphy, Beyond the Portal breathes of a strange quietude where the customs of a hybrid world, either aquatic or extraterrestrial, vibrate under our dumbfound ears.
Divided into 3 parts the opus opens with a hot wind which sweeps the waves of an absent sea. A soft Mellotron pad is filtering choirs which seem to be striped of mischievousness in an abyssal world that piano keys manage to make nostalgic. "Realm of the Spirit" is a call to calm. To serenity with its soft winds which transport us beyond the borders of an abstract world. A world of water and stars, where our imagination flays our cerebral with a sound adornment amazingly rich for a title with a complete absence of movement. The energy coming from inside. The final part of this 2 tracks movement is of an amazing sensitivity with Zero Ohms' Windsynth and the flutes which transport a tribal world of an unknown origin with subtle sequences waves which die out under a soft shimmering pad. "Akasha (Oceans of the Heavens)" is dignitary of its naming. The movement begins with fine hopping sequences, calling the jingling of the waves of an oceanic world. It’s a great track which reminds me of the musical poetry that we find in Michael Stearns' wonderful M’Ocean, an album to get. By closing our eyes, and without main imaginative efforts, we see the blackness folded back on water, with as night light the moon and the secrecies of an underwater world virgin of the excavations and of the human traces which it protects. It’s a superb music piece with a synth fed of slow oscillations, but sharp recriminations, which lulls itself in a world that even the imagination did not profaned yet and which progresses on a light seizing crescendo.
Soft incantations of forlorn mermaids pave the way among the dark naval reverberations of "Beyond the Portal"; a long title which makes a strange connection between the oceanic abyssal zone and a cosmos as dark as the ocean depth. This slow movement develops like a prayer without borders, at the dawn of the hybrid world. Synths intertwined in an abstract fusion, as if the unreal could be expressed at the tips of flutes and synth oxygen. A bit livelier, the second part (Active Side of Infinity) brings the first sequenced stammering with crystallized passages which wind around heavy dark layers to dramatic arrangements. It’s a little as if the water and space amalgamated in a strange oblong waltz with imperfect twists. The movements is getting more alive through some fuzzy synth layers which guide us towards the last part of "Beyond the Portal" and its soft sequence which tambourine on a finely synthesized movement, like in the universe of Roach. It’s a movement on a docile crescendo which wriggles beneath the echoes of an evolutionary sound world which won’t become more explosive in order to preserve its passive brittleness.
Though mainly ambient, Beyond the Portal is an album of a sound richness which wants to be the equivalence of the musical depth of the Padilla, Zero Ohms and Murphy trio. It’s an album which borrows the paths of American pioneers such as Steve Roach, Michael Stearns and even Craig Padilla which accompanies with wonder the nights and dreams of a deep nebulosity where water resources in cosmos. Fans of ambient, floating music and of sound relaxation, this opus is impossible to circumvent.

Sylvain Lupari (April 4th, 2009)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mercredi 16 mai 2012

SOLAR FIELDS: Random Friday (2012)

"Once again I got subjected by the music of Solar Fields and this even if it exceeds, and by far, the borders of an ambient, floating and sequenced EM"

1 Light Control 4:57
2 Random Friday 6:16
3 Cobalt 2.5 7:32
4 In Motion 8:15
5 Daydreaming 10:42
6 Swoosh 7:40
7 Landing Party 9:37
8 Lift Off  9:31
9 Perception 10:35
10 Polarity 2:56

A distant and sinuous synth wave pierces the black silence of space and introduces the first floating breaths of "Light Control". Another line follows. And another one more resonant floats as a threatening veil, while the intro lets hear a multiplication of synth waves which whistle and sing in an iridescent mist. Random knockings resound when sound hoops ring in a cosmos studded with bright celestial bodies, loosening cosmic choirs which sing of their dreamlike voices. A huge pendulum makes listen its tick-tock, introducing the first hypnotic rhythms of Random Friday which quietly goes out of its ethereal ineptitude with the echoing pulsation of the title track. And Random Friday to parade such as an immense rave party to the colors of its music with boom-booms and tsitt-tsitts which pulse and click within floating synth layers and a multitude of electronic tones.
Getting free from the meditative and poetic influence of Until we Meet the Sky, Magnus Birgersson takes his musical project of Solar Field at arm's length to mold a powerful psy-trance album with 10 titles filled by schizotronic phases. Phases linked into an orgy of pulsations and beats which throb like some knocks of hearts in a rhythmic ultrasound scan. Random Friday is forged into pure and hard pace with pulsations/percussions which hammer rhythms skipping furiously as some one-legged on LSD. The title-track starts shyly. Knocks of percussions pile up such as vertical pulsations, joining outdistanced knockings and oscillations of a bass line which accentuate a pace on a movement in its continual rhythmic progression. As usual, the sound fauna which wraps the structures of Solar Fields is rich in diversity and in tones attractive to the hearing. Here it encircles a rhythm growing with robotics syllables, break-dance words, breaths of extraterrestrials and more ethereal synth pads while the bass line spits chords which throb and pulse frantically, leading the 2nd half of "Random Friday" towards a furious rhythm abandoned to its electronic tones which gobble up the strength of the tempo. "Cobalt 2.5" begins in some cosmic spheres à la Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis before giving itself to a heavy pulsating rhythm of which the hits draw a heavy one-legged gallop. Percussions bind themselves to this linear rhythm, giving alternate knocks onto a rhythm which is bitten by tsitt-tsitt cymbals and rocked by some very nice waltzing synth layers. Divided in 2 times "Cobalt 2.5" embraces a brief ambient phase before exploding of a heavier rhythm. Even if the rhythms are furious, the melodic approach of Random Friday is weaved in synth lines at both oniric and smoothing. On this level "In Motion" is the softer track which starts with an oblong rhythmic approach of which the keys gallop delicately into electro-cosmic spheres submerged by electronic hoops. "Daydreaming" grabs this semi-morphic phase to lay a more steady rhythmic approach. It’s a heavy pulsating rhythm seized by great hatched synth pads which draw a very nice stroboscopic approach.
Pulsations forged in the suctions of mono-rhythmic suckers feed the intro of "Swoosh" which sees its latent rhythm being buried by superb morphic synth layers. We have the illusion to glide over a cosmic tempo when some heavy pulsations harpoon this dance of winds to forge a rhythm filled by sequenced alternative keys. A rhythm which hiccups of its spasms and which is encircled by finely hatched harmonic lines, amplifying the stroboscopic effect which feeds the melodic approaches of Random Friday. The percussions resound with their hesitations in the intro of "Landing Party" which bends over the waves of synth cooing in a superb fusion of choirs and ethereal lines. They slam à la Jarre in a cosmic broth intro when a threatening wave rises in background, awakening sequenced loops and sinusoidal boom-booms which begin the permutating rhythm of "Landing Party". That’s another heavy and resonant rhythm which bubbles among wave-like synth layers while fine sequences strum a tempo weakened by more ambient layers. Hesitating in its rhythmic approach but secured by its sequenced truncheon knocks, the rhythm of "Landing Party" progresses among its poly-cadenced phases before exploding of an apocalyptic finale. The percussions of all kinds play a dominating role on this Magnus Birgersson's last work. And in "Lift Off", they reach their technoïd paroxysms with a powerful bewilder rhythm which is not without recalling the drums of Juno Reactor in Conga Fury. Another polyrhythmic title, "Perception" evolves towards its heavy and furious oscillating phases which structure an intense dishevelled rhythm. The wildest and stormier one of Random Friday that our ears, and our feet, welcome with necessity the disoriented comfort of "Polarity"
Once again I got subjected by the music of Solar Fields and this even if it exceeds, and by far, the borders of an ambient, floating and sequenced EM of a Berlin or Netherland School kind. Furious? Absolutely! But beyond the rhythms hammered with a concreted fury, the psy-trance universe of Solar Fields is of a surprising wealth which demonstrates all the skill of Magnus Birgersson to merge its rhythms of lead into silky layers, allying psychedelicotronic music in a more ambient, even oniric kind. Even if that knocks with loudness. Even if that explodes of deafening rhythms, Random Friday keeps a stunning harmonious envelope which raises this last opus of Solar Fields among the great realizations of psy-trance music. I liked it and I still played it loud!

Sylvain Lupari (May 16th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 11 mai 2012

JAVI CANOVAS: Transfiguration (2012)

"Transfiguration is a stylistic composition for sequential approaches where retro Berlin School reborn under another shape"

1 Hypnosis Room 14:01
2 Transfiguration 15:20
3 Way to Unknown Place 14:00
4 The Slot 17:04
5 Projection 11:55

DDL (72:20)

Through good times and bad, Javi Canovas comes back haunting our ears with a powerful album inspired by the electronic sequenced works from the retro Berlin School. With intros and finales paralyzed by smog of synth as corrosives as threatening and its evolutionary rhythms filled by knocks of sequenced steroids, Transfiguration is forged in the reminiscences of those beautiful years where Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze reigned in absolute masters on the intends of the Berlin School.
"Hypnosis Room" introduces this great album with an oblong and somber synth layer with tones of an organ of darkness which spreads its threatening corrosive veil. The first 3 minutes are floating and wrapping with sinuous synth waves which agglutinate to form a sky made opaque by resonant layers. A sequence emerges when the iodized breaths are fading away. It ripples with large circles, bringing a cloud of smoke which overhangs a rhythm which grows with heaviness. Another sequence pops out. It binds itself with the heavy rhythm with more crystal clear keys, drawing the outlines of a fine sequenced melody which rolls beneath the iridescent synth breaths. The tempo teams up with another sequenced movement with more resonant ions which let perspire a short reverberating filet that a delicate flute coats of a beautiful melodious approach, while gradually the sequenced train which bore the structure of "Hypnosis Room" goes out of breath to vanish in a thick cloud of synth layers also intriguing and threatening as on its introduction. This pattern of introduction and finale to thousand floating atmospheres feed the 5 tracks on Transfiguration. So the title-track enters into our ears by a juxtaposition of caustic and resonant synth waves to whom are joining fluty breaths and echoing hoops which tangle up in a pond of tones which is not without calling back the metallic atmospheres of Tangerine Dream on No Man's Land. A great sequence gets free of this morphic influence a little before the 6th minute. It skips, freeing keys which multiply their rhythmic incoherence and their resonant tones on a heavy circular tempo that some howler synth breaths are wrapping of a stagnant madness. Although motionless the tempo is furious. It spits some undisciplined chords which stamp and pound frantically under elusive synth layers, bringing this furious rhythm towards the sweetnesses of a more dreamlike finale. After an intro molded in the cold breaths of Klaus Schulze's corrosive years, "Way to Unknown Place" explodes with a line which releases sequences with crisscrossed palpitations. The rhythm is explosive and oscillates ardently on a pattern of sequences of which the variable striking are merging a chaotic rhythm to a melody with a cyclic tune which rolls in loops over this spasmodic rhythm.
The woozy breaths which introduce "The Slot" whistle over our heads as if we were near a Formula 1 racing track. Subtle modulations bring fine variances to this other atmospheric intro which shells its 5:36 minutes with a beautiful idle creativity. A sequence pops out of there and scatters its ambient clouds, raising the parameters of a first rhythmic approach which sparkles under suave synth solos. The movement espouses another tangent a little after 9 minutes. Heavier, the rhythm rages under fat sequences which resound of a rhythm to wide oscillating loops accompanied by weak jingles of cymbals. An envelope of mist covers the beginning while the synth takes all the room to let go some juicy solos which surround and overhang a rhythm of lead filled by resonant kicks. And the sequences fuse from everywhere, introducing fragments of rhythms which bind themselves to the jolts of the main movement, while gradually this heavy sequenced storm dies out in the arid breaths of an atmospheric finale. The sequential approach of "Projection" is even more furious with ions which stamp on good rotary curves, multiplying their knocks which swirl as the helixes of a helicopter under smooth solos full of Edgar Froese's scents.
Surprised by this other album of Javi Canovas? Not really! In solo the Spanish synthesist accustomed us to albums stuffed by furious sequences which jump up from everywhere, forming rhythms in constant permutations. Transfiguration is a stylistic composition for sequential approaches. Inserted between silky, oniric and experimental cosmic brackets, the rhythms of this 10th album from Javi Canovas are bubbling on poly forms assizes. It’s a brilliant mixture of power and ambiences where retro Berlin School reborn under another shape.

Sylvain Lupari (May 10th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 7 mai 2012

DER LABORANT: Kontakt (1998/2012)

"Kontakt is a superb album soaked by a great musicality where melodies evolve on structures in constants evolution"

1 Excelsis Dei 10:05
2 Gefallener Engel 9:58
3 Die Maschine 11:41
4 Kontakt 13:52
5 Lazarus 15:15
6 Verwandlungen 8:57
7 Stoersignal (Bonus Track) 6:43


I am of those who discovered the musical universe of Rainbow Serpent on the late. If I remember well, the first album that I heard of this German group was Voyager, released in 1996 and out of print since years. I open this bracket because I believe that Rainbow Serpent, formed by Gerd Wienekamp and Frank Specht, is one of the very good EM bands to have passed under the radar.
Of this fact all their albums, before the Manikin years, are discontinued for ages, including each of the solo albums of Wienekamp and Specht. Kontakt was released in 1998 and is soaked with the rhythms and ambiences that we found on Voyager. Evolutionary rhythms, sometimes cosmic and technoïd, coupled to ethereal and morphic ambiences where revolve so many beautiful orchestral arrangements as well as electronic tones of all stripes. An album that I missed and which reedited by the Syngate label for the biggest pleasure of our ears, including a bonus track (Stoersignal) which completes very well this superb musical odyssey which wants an unconfirmed, but so felt, sequel to Voyager.
"Excelsis Dei" is a very indicator title of the ambiences and rhythms that we find on Kontakt. Electronic tones of a spacecraft ring under the hoops of a synth with blurred waves. Envelopes of mist cover this opening with beautiful warm caresses which cradle the intro of "Excelsis Dei" like a soft movement of classical music. Gregorian choirs emerge out of the depths of cosmos, awakening beeps which evolve along a brief bass line as well as among strange suction-cups pulsations, while the soloing breaths of synth roam as snakes forgotten in space-time. The whole thing is of a strange auditory fascination; so much the tones are raining from everywhere. We have just crossed the course of 4 minutes and a sequenced bass line spits its staggering chords, jostling the hoops suspended in space and propelling "Excelsis Dei" towards a delicate chaotic rhythm which bends the spine over the strikings of a bass-drum. A bass-drum that knocks such as the pulsations of a suction cup thirsty for ambience and which forms the uncertain rhythm of "Excelsis Dei" which collects the tribal percussions and the related tones of a purely electronic world. In 10 minutes Gerd Wienekamp makes it a real tour de force by displaying the shape of rhythms and ambiences that will lull Kontakt until its finale. After a departure filled of a classical approach, the melody of "Gefallener Engel" takes shape on stratas of violins which sing under the vocalizes of electronic hummingbirds. The violin layers intensify in a good staccato movement to unite those of cellos and the breaths of oboe which lean on a good bass line with fragile chords. Of course all is electronic, but Gerd Wienekamp weaves a so realistic musical universe that we imagine to be in a movement of contemporary classical music. Only some beeps and other electronic tones thwart the mystery while a furtive rhythm accepts the sweetness of morphic choirs to espouse a staggering approach, like a spiral with vertical circles. "Die Maschine" follows with the soloing breaths of a lonely synth in which join the chants of a cosmic choir. Sequences resound. They collide and form a chaotic beat which skips and answers to the echo of its resonances. A true intergalactic ride, "Die Maschine" gallops of an erratic pace under a rain of twisted solos of which the choirs are caressing the soft curves through the nuances in tones and forms of the sequences as well as rangy distorted solos. Fans of Software, we are on familiar ground.
After a long ambient intro, stuffed by wandering choirs and breaths of plaintive synth complaining in the arias of beautiful orchestral arrangements, "Kontakt" livens up around the 5th minute with a fine sequenced pattern where the undisciplined ions collide peacefully. These are charming and poetic chords to crystal clear, echoing and felted tones which agglutinate to move towards a more technoïd approach with percussions/pulsations which fidget under a bass line cooing on the metallic jingles of the tsitt-tsitt cymbals. And "Kontakt" continues its technoïd crusade by amassing diverse related tones, giving to the title-track a rhythmic depth as much fascinating as on "Excelsis Dei"."Lazarus" offers a rather similar introductory pattern with lines of vocalizes which float in a cosmic drift. Fine sequences are ringing, following lost pulsations which go astray in this cosmic waltz. A move which deviates towards an immense oblivion submerged by absent choirs. Beautiful fluty sequences are popping out a little before the 6th minute. Their zigzagging steps draw a rhythm which vacillates under the weight of these wandering choirs and nasal synth lines before espousing a superb ascending spiral of which every circle amasses a pleiad of composite tones. It’s one of the best tracks on Kontakt which revolves in a great progressive and complex approach. "Verwandlungen" begins with jingles of cymbals which ring under a mass of cosmic winds. They flitter near fine pulsations of bass-drum to join some unexpected tribal percussions, drawing the lines of a surprising techno, with a disco flavor, flooded by sequences with tones of wooden percussions of which the echo resounds under a waltzing mist. Sequences fall and swirl all around this linear rhythm which pulsates of a hypnotic way under the blades of beautiful twisted solos so unique at the signature of Rainbow Serpent. White noises introduce the spectre of "Stoersignal" which quietly wakes up around a pulsatory approach which is similar to "Verwandlungen". The rhythm is soft and flooded with this musical fauna to thousand and one tones which cover all of the rhythms and ambiances of Kontakt.
Kontakt is a superb album soaked by a great musicality where melodies, as much cadenced as cosmic, evolve on structures in constants evolution. From ambient to rhythmic, with rhythms bordering a sweet morphic techno, Kontakt is making us to listen all the beautiful universe of Rainbow Serpent where the multitude of electronic tones  gives an incredible relief to this album where we recognized the signature of Gerd Wienekamp. It’s an album which pleasantly surprised me and deeply conquered that I recommend without hesitations to all the fans of new Berlin School of the 90’s.

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:

vendredi 4 mai 2012

BIOMASS: Energy (2012)

"Energy is for a public fond of hammered rhythms pulsing of a minimalist approach under tetanized and iodized synth layers"

1 Soar Acido 2:01
2 Serpent Sphinx 4:03
3 Serpentetraspeed 7:59
4 Phaseloc 11:27
5 Aquapolar 10:28
6 Minechamber 22:33

BIOMETRAX: BIOM001 (59:01)

Masses of compressed tones, forged in lines of synths with hybrid forms and tones, which unfold at a brisk pace on a mixture of percussions and unbridled pulsations, here is to what our ears are entitled by testing the limits of Biomass and its last EP; Energy. Project of the Californian synth man James Walter Douglas, Biomass goes places on the Californian coast since the end of the 90’s with visual shows starring his music which is a mixture of Industrial and Dark ambient fed by hard-hitting drones, linear stroboscopic movements from which are escaping unbridled and bouncy rhythms. Energy presents this music; the rest goes between your ears!
"Soar Acido" starts the ball with a synth line which appears out from silence to buzz of a deep bouncy movement. Like a long line of sequence molded in a synth blade and a collage of successive percussions, "Soar Acido" parades on a tremulous and convulsive linear movement wrapped by a warm synth aura. From soft to very livened up the movement dies out in a slender ambient and resonant filet. "Snake Sphinx" is superb with its tom-toms filled by steroids which thunder under a juxtaposition of synth layers which slide on a heavy and bumpy rhythm. Minimalist and powerful it prepares us for "Serpentetraspeed" which collapses under a swarm of percussions and pulsations as well as a resonant bass line bursting out under floating stratas. It’s a heavy, robust and frenzied rhythm which follows a lineal tangent, such as a hypnotic trance, that fine cosmic strata encircle of a celestial morphic approach. After an indecisive intro where pulsations and percussions stumble in a smothered, the rhythm of "Phaseloc" knocks out us with its hatched and bouncy stratas which explode in a powerful metallic staccato. The ambience is soaked of a curious aceric approach where tonalities seem as much virgin as caustic, calling back the rhythms of tribal trances which would take place in the gaps of an underground steel-making world. The limits of the tolerance are exposed with this minimalist approach which buzzes intensively on a movement which offers very few nuances. "Aquapolar" is an interesting track which brings us back at the time of
Klaus Schule's Totem. No both because of the rhythm as this mass of compressed synth layers which scrolls on hardly perceptible pulsations but on rhythm drawn by hummings fed in the iodized acid. It’s the only track where the synths guide a rhythmic approach by undulatory circles of influence, reminding the caustic and metallic period of the German synthesist. "Minechamber" is the most beautiful title of Energy. The intro is fed by synth breaths which hum like loud machinery. The percussions fall at around the 4th minute, drawing a rhythm which is situated within the limits of Steve Roach and his tribal approaches. It’s a linear rhythm which struggles under these metallic winds which float in a dreadful heat, walking "Minechamber" in an oblong minimalist corridor until the last backfiring of the percussions which fade in its drones of blown steel.
Energy of Biomass is for a public fond of hammered rhythms pulsing of a minimalist approach under tetanized and iodized synth layers. There is a not much of emotion, nor of nuances, on this EP filled with bouncy and compulsive rhythms. It’s dynamite which can frighten certain ears quite as it could charm those eager for furious rhythms which spasm in bodies without souls.

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: