mardi 31 juillet 2012

PERGE: Dyad (2012)

"Beyond the compositions which seem stunningly getting out of studios that Tangerine Dream has hid in a parallel universe, Dyad remains a superb album"

1 Temple of Trajan 6:47
2 Drusenfluh 2:41
3 Schesaplana 7:45
4 Zimbaspitze 9:21
5 Vorder Grauspitz 8:00
6 Naafkopf 10:49
7 Sulzfluh 1:38
8 Falknis 5:23
9 Dyad 12:18
10 Sassauna 12:31

PERGE MUSIC (CD 77:18) ****½

There was a time when the legend spoke about it. With years this legend, as the souvenirs, faded to fall into oblivion until finally the first notes are brought to our ears with the introduction of "Temple of Trajan". The legend in question is this famous concert that Tangerine Dream would have given on the night of January 31st, 1981 during the eclipse of the sun and the moon of the “Dyad” planet under the big tent of the Dröing stadium. A concert in another space-time where each note seems to be moved in time and where every melody walks beside the one written for our time-space. Delicate, "Temple of Trajan" walks in the furrows of Quichotte Part I opening, better known under the title of Palace of Dreams. We feel a more melancholic Schmoelling who brings nuances in his notes, reflecting marvellously the fragility of the parallel universes that Tangerine Dream rode without scruples. By the way, you believe in this story?
Perge is the new idol of social networks which flirt with EM, more specially the music of Tangerine Dream. Except that you should not be carried away by this wave of fanaticism and think that Perge is only a carbon copy of Tangerine Dream. It’s far beyond a simple imitation. Consisted of Matthew Stringer on synths, piano and guitars as well as Graham Getty on sequences, Perge is simply paying tribute to the mythical Berlin trio in the most electronic and most melodic skin that is, the one of Franke, Froese and Schmoelling. And “Dyad” is a concert imagined and played live in studio in the full respect for the electric concerts of Tangerine Dream during the 80-81 years. And throughout this imaginary concert, the listener is downright plunged into the universe of the Dream with 10 compositions which are the mirrors of titles as electrics as Undulation, Force Majeure or still Silver Scale. Mirror because the compositions of “Dyad” are molded in known and especially unknown territories of the mythical German trio, a little as if the Stringer/Getty duet had drunk in secret in a horn of plenty forgotten during this famous concert at the Palace of Trajan before to land on the other side of the mirror of our space time in a splendid bootleg which has nothing to envy to those that we already known.
After a bridge forged in a very musical synth in "Drusenfluh", the stormy sequences of "Schesaplana" entail us in an undulatory rhythmic whirlwind forged in sequences of which the curt flow draws a convulsive rhythm which gallops with a contagious frenzy beside percussions with minimalist jingles. This rhythm which is astride of the metallic plains of the Dream on Force Majeure is carefully coated by a synth with the fragrances as much orchestral than melodious, bringing the best of both worlds known of Tangerine Dream for this era. Respectful of the structures for the rhythms and ambiences which furnished these legendary concerts, Perge alternate the hard rhythms and melodies with "Zimbaspitze" which starts with an atmospheric intro before embracing a melodic rhythm and ends by a heavy rhythm bathed of luxurious synth solos. Molded in the ashes of Calymba Caly, "Vorder Grauspitz" flows with more fluidity without for much denying its origin. After an intro charmed by the fluty breezes of Tangram, "Naafkopf" is sinking in a heavy and circular rhythm which swirls all around the melodic skeleton of Tangram with thundering sequences and synths intensely lyrical and heartrending. One would believe to hear a first sketch from a key title of Tangerine Dream and his new musical orientation back then. "Sulzfluh" and "Falknis" offer us some unreleased work with a slow rhythmic evolution which starts from the twisted and reverberating breaths of "Sulzfluh" to land in the heavy undulatory rhythms of "Falknis". Rhythms which are sit on sequences with arrhythmic palpitations encircled by percussions slamming in the harmonious and metallic breezes of silvery synths. "Dyad" is a résumé of every rhythmic and harmonious approaches of the Dream of the years 80-81 with agile flittered sequences and heavy synths to iridescent membranes from which the apocalyptic breaths die in a finale filled by Tangram / Quichotte fragrances. This title which merges harmonies cooing on marbles of lead crowns an enchanting concert that the magic of today restores for us with a striking encore coming from the emblazons of Silver Scale in "Sassauna", where Matthew Stringer pleases the absent crowd by a guitar solo with mordant riffs.
No Perge is not Tangerine Dream, even if we believe in it firmly so much the fiction catches up the reality. And that the purists as well as the die-hard fans are in agreement or in disagreement, Tangerine Dream will continue to live through the cult that his fans dedicates him. Whether it is through works filled by absent subtleties or others downright more direct, the magic of Tangerine Dream will always be of use as rampart to artists who judge that his phases were abandoned without everything was exploited at most. That’s the reason for being of Arc, Free System Projekt, Arcane, René Splinter, Redshift, ['ramp] and how so many others. The difference with Perge is that core attacked is the one of transformation between two periods where the musical signature of the Dream radiated of a wind of revival in a style which wallowed on one's laurels. And only at this level, “Dyad” is a success. Beyond the compositions which seem stunningly getting out of studios that Tangerine Dream has hid in a parallel universe, “Dyad” abounds in a music which misses cruelly to the fans of a period that we would have wanted timeless. It’s a superb album inspired with the biggest of the respects for a cult trio who gave us so much in so little time, that it’s just normal to think that there are leftovers somewhere in another galaxy. I invite you to read Matthew Stringer's reflection about “Dyad” on the Perge Facebook page:
Sylvain Lupari (July 31, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

samedi 28 juillet 2012

VOLT: Circuits (2012)

"Volt is part of EM big names in the same way as Ramp, Redshift, Arc or Arcane are and Circuits confirms the importance of the English duet in the chessboard of contemporary EM"

1 Circuits 20:24
2 Ohms Law 19:22
3 Firewire 21:38

GROOVE: GR-192 (61:24) ****1/4

It has been a long time since we heard some new music of Volt. And a little more, we would have even waited for a long time. Possibly forever! Nevertheless the “Circuits” project was on rails shortly after the superb HjVi, except that some internal problems (in what I believed to understand) as well as Steve Smith's solo project (Phoenix Arizona) and Michael Shipway's (Journey to Venus and The Three Towers) delayed the finalization of “Circuits” which was conclude by distance with Ron Boots' support who did an amazing job on mixing a whimsical album based on electronic tones of all stripes, depicting the microscopic universe of the electronic chips and circuits. “Circuits” lives by 3 long titles which renew with the long deployments of the minimalist rhythms of Volt, with sequences sometimes docile and sometimes crazy and synths sometimes musical and sometimes aggressive which depict the turbulent universe of Michael Shipway and Steve Smith.
Short waves' cracklings and noises, causing interferences in the absolute oblivion, open the labyrinthic meanders of white noises which compose the title-track's slow introductory path. Some discreet and misty synth waves with a scent of a vague archaic organ float behind these electric phonemes, guiding the abstract ambiences of "Circuits" towards a cosmic passage to finally bind themselves to keys dancing in opposite sense. These sequences which play cat and mouse with an embryonic rhythmic draw a virginal approach with ions cavorting under ghostly waves. And abruptly this innocent rhythm collides the barriers of the impassiveness at 12:13 with muffled knockings which hammer a static and heavy rhythm, keeping beneath its resonances these sequences which flutter with innocence on a structure become of lead. This heavy and melodic rhythm raises allegorical clouds in the presence of synths exchanging solos which are courting mists of ether, releasing a soft perfume of madness with these Arabic airs which decorate a structure already rich in rhythm and harmonies. A rhythmic structure which goes alone to offer to our ears a stunning dialogue of sequences and crackling waves which dies in heavy artificial beatings. "Ohms Law" presents a more musical intro with lines of synth which cross their spectral wanderings above a magnetic storm, while a more premature rhythm settles down with metallic keys which drum a vaporous march under a sky tinted by threatening mists and eclectic tones. A hesitating pulsation emerges from this mini industrial din, modifying a rhythm which becomes more rhythmic with a mixture of pulsations, sequences and percussions sounding as wings of ice-cold locusts. Like a one-legged man, this rhythm skips awkwardly. Staggering, it gains a second leg to roll in undulatory circles under solos of two synths which don’t sing the same melody but which harmonize themselves to flood the ambience of a delicate oniric mist and some great fluty breezes while the rhythm, which wins in heaviness and velocity, is always decorated by these superb wings of electronic locusts.
The rhythmic evolution of "Firewire" is latent. Circulating between wild winds of which the extremities suddenly appear both from heavens and from hell, some fine echoing hoops pop out a little after the 3rd minute to jump in the arc of their resonances under the dark eye of a synth with breaths aired by colorful electronic elements. This short-lived rhythm is gobbled up by a deluge of twisted solos which roll its lamentations in clouds of mist slain by darkness. And it’s in these lost breaths that the rhythm gets back to life beneath another shape, demonstrating all the capacity of Volt to amaze again and again. It’s a splendid rhythmic structure built around fine rebounds stick one after the other, moulding a stunning glaucous ride through the somber tunnels of lines of fire of which the resonances throb such as the black breaths of ['ramp] or Redshift. Fine fluty laments sound the end of this apocalyptic ride which takes more vigour with electronic percussions which hammer a rhythm more lively than curt under wonderful solos to tones as alive as musical, entailing "Firewire" towards a finale which seethes of caresses coming from a musical purgatory as much musical as anarchy.
Volt is part of EM big names in the same way as ['ramp] , Redshift, Arc or Arcane are. And “Circuits” confirms the importance of the English duet in the chessboard of contemporary EM with a powerful album which allies the rhythms and ambiences to the diapason of their paradoxes with a skillful dexterity, witness that the universe of EM is not only between good hands but is also blooming more than ever beyond the unlimited imaginations of its designers.

Sylvain Lupari (July 28th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 27 juillet 2012

VOLT: HiJi (2008)

"HjVi is unarguably a major work which will please to fans of heavy and dark sequencing à la Tangerine Dream of the 70's, Ramp and Redshift"

1 Primaeval 21:09
2 Atavistic 20:16
3 Signals 20:45
4 Extinction 14:17

GROOVE: GR-152 (CD 76:29) ***1/2

Recorded live at the famous Hampshire Jam festival in 2007 “HjVi” kicks off on hubcaps. After a sound-check intro, where a heavy siren switches into a THX sound effect, "Primaeval" tumbles on heavy and hopping sequencers into an infernal pace captured by a dense mellotron nebulosity gashed of floating pads and watered of juicy synth solos. The intro of "Primaeval" bursts in the ears with a sequential intensity which is so much at the image of the English duet which is strongly inspired by Tangerine Dream of the 70’s. It's a heavy opening which quietly quietens down on a more crystal clear sequence which coos in cascade under a more serene synth and a mellotron as denser as wrapping, creating the rhythmic paradox on which Volt feeds of. Ensues a strange fight of unreal percussions which splits up the tempo under synths to apocalyptic sirens, guiding us towards a finale where the heavy solos get lost in a soft minimalism melody which binds itself to the intro of "Atavistic". A somber morphic sweetness curls up in the cosmos whereas the synth blows some heavy humming flooded in a mellotron which waltzes lonely. Soft piano notes pop out from this astral nebulosity, prelude to a light and minimalist sequential movement which is encircled by a charming synth from which the enchanting lines are multiplying in its echo. This movement hiccups on percussions that have a kind of double echoing impact, while a synth guitar complains in an ambient structure which is not without recalling the world of Robert Rich. "Signals" starts also tepidly. This is dark ambient which waltzes on soft mellotrons before that some beep-beep tones awaken the movement with a heavy sequencer spiting a nervous tempo. A resonant tempo, always coated with beautiful mellotron pads, which will embrace a frolic loudness beneath some vicious synths of which the reverberations borrow textures of guitars. This is pure and loud TD. Simply divine! "Extinction" is the encore and starts with soft floating mellotrons. A little before the 4th minute the movement becomes more accentuated with good sequencing and a soft synth à la Wavelenght. The rhythm becomes more limpid with mixed sequences, creating a rhythm moulded into abstruse hoppings which explodes on strong e-percussions and barrel beneath a rain of solos in a heavy and explosive finale, commanding for another listening of this 5th opus from Volt.
For several “HjVi” is the most complete and accomplished work from Volt. Without claiming to know by heart all of Shipway/Smith catalog (I quite loved Nucleosynthesis), “HjVi” is unarguably a major work. I would even say an inescapable which will delight the fans of heavy and powerful sequences, borrowed to the Berlin School of Tangerine Dream of the 70’s, and more contemporary the pride and loudness of ['ramp] and Redshift, with an audacious ingenuity which suits perfectly in a more modern era. To be listening with all the intensity that it commands.
Sylvain Lupari (December 12th, 2008 and translated on July 26th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mercredi 25 juillet 2012

LAMP: The Three Towers (2012)

"The Three Towers is a wonderful album where the retro Berlin School bathes in progressive ambiences with just it takes to make us topple over the other side of the mirror of the minimalist rhythms' comfort"

1 The Tower of Breganze 20:19
2 The Tower of Aurumshade 17:51
3 The Tower of Diameter 19:28

GROOVE NL: GR-191 (CD 58:38)  ****1/2

Based on the tales weaved by Bernodine, a scientist as unknown as his fame, “The Three Towers” by Lamp is the answer to the striking “Phoenix Arizing” from Steve Smith and the Tylas Cyndrome which surprised the world of progressive EM and England School in 2011. Lamp, which comes also out of Volt thigh, is consist of Michael Shipway (the other half of Volt) on synths and sequences and Garth Jones, an old friend, on guitars. And “The Three Towers” is a very beautiful album which takes on a particular cachet with its artwork that looks like the legend of Tolkien; The Lord of the Rings. Except that far from being in the lands of an EM to the fragrances of the Middle earth, “The Three Towers” unlocks on 3 long musical chapters where misty mellotron and synths with solos from the past caress some sweet solos and harmonies of a very romantic guitar on evolutionary rhythms, arched on good sequences and programmed percussions. It’s a superb album which transcends the music of the Middle, let us stay in the thematic, in order to offer a musical journey as epic as the tales of Bernodine (The Universe as seen by Bernodine), which we can read extracts on Michael Shipway's site.
"The Tower of Breganze" introduces us into this dazzling world of a hybrid EM with iridescent strata coming from a metallic guitar which float in the soft comfort of a smooth one mellotron mist. This heady mist, which transports us far beyond our dreams and waltzes between our two hemispheres, is also of use as rampart to Michael Shipway's synth who shapes some sweet twisted solos. These solos of an EM with the fragrances of the vintage years coo in our ears, such as mermaids in distress on dried up ice floes, when the more harmonious chords of Garth Jones hum a fine threatening pulsation. Quietly the rhythm settles down with a line of sequences among which the keys which pound randomly are preliminary drafting a nervous rhythmic approach and espouse the spiral movement of a ghostly bass line. This swirling rhythm is harpooned by programmed percussions, propelling "The Tower of Breganze" in the crossbred universe of a progressive electronic rock which swirls in a heavy minimalist twirl. Displaying a disarming contrast, between its rotary heaviness and its surprising rhythmic velocity, this loud tempo rolls like a powerful circular race with a guitar which is more than poetics with its solos and tunes filled of a Latin flavor which dance on bludgeoning percussions and sing beneath these clouds of mellotron which lulled the genesis of "The Tower of Breganze". This mist of mellotron throws a veil of mysticism on the introduction of "The Tower of Aurumshade" with hummed layers which float in a cosmos enchanted by Garth Jones' romantic guitar. Fine synth solos cross this Eden of wadding, rooting this intro in its envelope of mist up until the first pulsations which put up a rhythmic pattern similar to "The Tower of Breganze". Slowly, and by means of sequences which flutter such as will-o'-the-wisp, the rhythm wakes up stealthily with beautiful tears of violin which cry on chords of a dreamlike guitar until the insistency of the pulsations stumbles on an amalgam of sequences with a divided debit. And, like a long hearing orgasm which remains stuck on its climax of enjoyment to extirpate all its pleasure, the rhythm takes off a bit after the 13th minute, espousing the torrent of Breganze's percussions while the guitar, more incisive, bites the pace with furious solos.
Strangely and contrary to the press guide, "The Tower of Diameter" is my preferred title on “The Three Towers” and here is why! First of all the intro whips our senses with its strong cosmic breezes which molds iridescent winds on a ghostly plain grazed by a wandering guitar. We are in full heart of an obscure imagination where the winds whistle with a noisy intensity on a rhythm which blooms after the 3rd minute with glaucous resounding pulsations. A beautiful line of limpid and fluid sequences swirls with a celestial grace around this single-phased rhythm which skips weakly, like being put to sleep by harmonious chords of a keyboard courting the bites of an oniric guitar. Sequences and pulsations are merging in a single rhythmic zone when some lines filled by Hindu psychedelic tones throw a clanic progressive aura on a passage which quietly rushes towards the forgetting before being reborn with curt riffs. And the superb and stunning rhythmic structure of "The Tower of Diameter" displays all of its splendour with riffs which sound strangely as The Police (Every breath you take) wrapped of a serene cosmic mist. The next 10 minutes which flows into our ears are simply charming. Solos of guitars and synths are exchanging their musical poetries on an oblong hypnotic rhythm that big celestial clouds caress of a dreamlike veil, coating the rhythms and ambiences of a thematic pattern that forge the most beautiful ear worms.
You will have guessed it; “The Three Towers” is a wonderful album where the retro Berlin School bathes in progressive ambiences with just it takes to make us topple over the other side of the mirror of the comfort of minimalist rhythms. We may anticipate the rhythmic rides that we hear coming from miles around that we always stay open-mouthed in front of their attacks as much vicious as predictable, sign of an opus splendidly well done which is completely to the diapason of these tales of which we don’t know the origin. And what is to say about these mellotrons? Hum... completely delightful. My very favorite so far in 2012!
Sylvain Lupari (July 25th, 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 Lamp and the tales of Bernodine, visit Michael Shipway's web site here:
** Also, here are 2 links to view Lamp live at the Awakenings:

lundi 23 juillet 2012

STEVE ROACH: Day out of Time (2012)

"Day out of Time is a superb compilation of titles scattered in the meanders of time that we can see, but especially hear, with the incredible depth of a film which offers us the Dolby Digital"
1 Underground Clouds 5:04
2 Begins Looking Skyward 6:20
3 Walking Upright 6:49
4 This Life 4:35
5 The Dreamer Descends 11:40
6 True West 3:05
7 The Holy Dirt 7:29
8 Merciful Eyes 4:54
9 Two Rivers Dreaming 4:48
10 The Eternal Expanse 10:10
11 The Return 8:22
DVD Time of the Earth The Movie 77:00
1 Underground Clouds 0:49
2 Begins Looking Skyward 4:16
3 Walking Upright 6:30
4 Sound Of Stone 5:20
5 This Life 1:08
6 The Dreamer Descends and True West 4:46
7 The Holy Dir 14:42
8 Merciful Eyes 7:38
9 The Eternal Expanse 9:41
10 The Return 9:53
11 The Return 7:37
12 The Dream Circle 4:35

Audio Track 2
Time of the Earth avec The Dream Circle 73:57
PROJEKT: PRO 272 (CD/DVD 149:27) ****

The adventure of “Day out of Time” and “Time of the Earth” began at the end of the 90's. The film maker and documentary maker Steve Lazur patrolled the immense American western deserts to satisfy his16mm camera of films radiating of striking images. This filmographic route through time lasted over a period of 3 years. Afterward the American cineaste proposed his images to the music of Steve Roach, a pioneer of soundscapes who depicts with a profound poetic glance these immense areas of solitude which cover the Western United States. This unexpected union was going to give “Time of the Earth” (the movie released on September 21st, 2001) and “Day out of Time”, a Steve Roach compilation album (released November, 2002) among which the titles selected from epic albums such as “Early Man”, “Atmospheric Conditions” and “Dreamtime Return”, as well as varied compilations with hard to find material), would dance with Lazur's images of clay. These separate works got scattered in time until they ended out of print and untraceable. Ten years later Sam Rosenthal gathers both works, restored and remasterised them to offer the whole conceptual work in a nice eco-cardboard artwork with a wonderful picture took by Steve Roach as the main theme, where the beauty of Lazur’s images can be now transported wherever we are; in thoughts or in journeys through the ages of the deserts of the mythical American West.
The desert is an arid land whipped by dry winds and it’s in this way that "Underground Clouds" begins this odyssey through the American ergs. Winds as much hot as this cooked ground criss-cross the plains that get lost in the horizon. They blow with variable speeds, penetrating into the big stigmas of the huge rocks which change the hearing current into some subtle wind flutes, while Roach whitewashes his worship for zephyrs with fine organic elements which marinade slowly under the slow guttural drones and the scattered percussions/pulsations which breathe an invisible life to Californian deserts. Less dark "Begins Looking Skyward" and "Walking Upright" (both out of “Early Man”) are floating with a satisfied glance on an earth of which we can only seize the beauty as the crow flies. The synth layers which are floating there free a celestial strength are on a par with the sublimity of the landscapes of clays. The first rhythms of “Day out of Time” make themselves heard at halfway of "Walking Upright". It’s a rhythm usual to those of Steve Roach with fine Amerindian percussions which draw a slow spiritual trance through rangy synth lines which slam like a stroboscopic whip. And the more we move forward in this compilation, as well as in the DVD, the more we feel the affection of the video director and the musician for these lands of desolation. The music of Roach is equal to what the American synthesist wrote at that time; that is long and sinuous of synth line from which the breezes to the colors of rainbow are intertwined in an ultimate magma with rich opaline tones on fine and delicate rhythms which embrace the lunar trances of the peoples of the first nations. These musical landscapes, like in "This Life" throw mixed glances on lands which withdraw towards their earthly sacrifices. These ambient phases are shaken by rhythms sometimes weighed down by deep pulsations while the clanic percussions are sometimes seasoned by more electronic elements, as in "This Life" and the powerful "True West", a rare title that we could found on a mini LP “The Dreamer Descends” among whom the title-track and its paranoiac whispers, its enchanted flutes and its heavy tribal percussions, is also restored on this surprising compilation. "The Holy Dirt" proposes a more fluid rhythm where the trance aboriginal incantations glide on percussions and bass line as round as heavy. "Merciful Eyes" (another rare title from a compilation called “A Storm of Drones”) is a splendid contemplative ode propelled by some quiet and serene winds that some transitory sonic elements disrupt with the aridity of carillons from the deserts. Afterward, "Two Rivers Dreaming", "The Eternal Expanse" (other rarity which nests on an out of print compilation) and "The Return" (from the mythical “Dreamtime Return”) conclude “Day out of Time” with a surprising angelic serenity for an album which depicts the arid lands of the western America.
In spite that the images of the DVD suffer from the wear of time and from the possible points of comparison with the filmic technologies of today, “Time of the Earth” draws its beauty and its power through the rhythms and ambiances of Steve Roach music which, mixed in Dolby Digital Stereo, takes an incredible ambiophonic depth. It’s like listening to another version of “Day out of Time” so much the musical reliefs are incredibly defined. The restoration of the images is precise, so much and so well that we have the vague impression to view the plans of a scale-model of an extraterrestrial world. The colors are of fire and the filming is breathtaking, testifying of the film-maker’s audacity to make us travel through these immense rocks hand-crafted which give a striking lunar approach to these lands of aridity. The music adopts well enough the plans of view and the scrolling of the images which flow like aerial currents, except for those trances moments which are too often move on static shooting. But the contrasting effect is always within the reach of a strange poetry which scatters its stanzas in the winds. And, like on most of the works remixed on the Projekt label contain surprises, this DVD edition offers another audio track which parades on the same images; “The Dream Circle”. It’s another opus from Steve Roach's catalog (Soundquest Recordings - LTD 1, 1994) which is out of print and fits stunningly very well to the images of “Time of the Earth”.
Day out of Time” is a superb combo CD/DVD which is a real incursion in Steve Roach's ancestral musical territories. If the images of Lazur suffer from time and its technologies, the music of Roach stays of a contemporary depth. Navigating between 1995 and 2000, this music by-passes the ages as it criss-crosses the landscapes of clay of which the shooting draws much more pride of the music than the opposite. But no matter, the result is a superb compilation of titles scattered in the meanders of time that we can see, but especially hear with the incredible film depth that offers us the Dolby Digital. A delight, so much for eyes and especially ears!

Sylvain Lupari (July 23rd, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 20 juillet 2012

FORREST FANG: Animism (2012)

"Animism is a folk ambient musical journey which floats between its fragrances of a melancholy divided between tribal souvenirs and ancestral regrets"

1 Tailing Wind 6:49  
2 The Chameleon's Paintbox 6:20  
3 Islands in the Sky 8:55  
4 Evening Chorus 5:21  
5 Passing Suns 7:40  
6 A Tributary Unwinds 8:15  
7 Sleeping Snakes 7:12  
8 Resting Point 9:40

PROJEKT: PRO274 (CD 60:52) ***

Somber resonant chords fall with a dramatic heaviness, raising a delicate whirlwind of tinkled chords which makes "Tailing Wind" to spin between the ambiences of a pastoral ode and a an oniric tribal rhythm. This heavy and slow clanic rhythm turns in some fine musical corridors where hypnotic tom-toms, diverse ringings and absent choirs lose their musicality in a dense thick cloud of chords from string instruments, shaping this fascinating spiritual trance which quivers to the measure of our obedience. Lugging around its 8 titles which compose “Animism” between delicate tribal rhythms inspired by the Middle East and ambiences both spectral and angelic, Forrest Fang invites his listener in a fascinating musical journey built around a surprising panoply of acoustic instruments.
"The Chameleon's Paintbox" is a good example of this duality between the mysticism of the tribal trances and the passion of the spiritual hymns with its violent notes of guitar which bite a contemplative structure from which the musicality is filled by an avalanche of strings’ notes which dance on the winds of fine and discreet lines of a synth which, between its harmonies, frees a seraphic choir. The intro of "Islands in the Sky" tears the sky with its breaths of emerald which activate some Tibetan bells. One would believe to be straight into the relaxation exercises ordered by Ray Lynch and his soft “Deep Breakfast”. A fine rhythm is outlined, making move the percussions which whisper on the waves of synth fading away wave by wave to embrace a more lively rhythm. The rhythm is livened up by manual percussions which beat under the shrill tears of a violin before merging into an attractive clanic folk song, hugged by layers of a more redeeming synth. It’s a very beautiful title. "Evening Chorus", which nicely wears its naming, brings us towards the ambient borders of Forrest Fang's 13th album with synth strata chanting with fine bells. Although ambient, "Evening Chorus" is eaten away by a surprising passion and an intense emotionalism; two keywords that encircle pretty well the universe of “Animism”.
Afterward the multi-instrumentalist American of a Chinese origin moves its intra-personal vibrations with a stunning worship for Eolus and its whims. “Animism” deflects towards a torrent of winds which will blow with strength and/or passion until the dawns of "Resting Point"."Passing Suns" begins with a slow waltz of drones. These drones are warm and suave. They moderate little by little, letting filter more bright lines under the shape of fine striation of synth which cry and glide over an earth of sorrow. But the anger of these synth winds, as well as violins’, is not satisfied yet. These winds of silver are blowing with such a fury on "A Tributary Unwinds" that they mask the tranquility of the aboriginal tom-toms which try to delude the ferocity with it. The percussions bursts which are scattered by the winds bring us in the feudal universe of Steve Roach. Dense gusts of deserts pursue their merciless road of natural predators on "Sleeping Snakes" and its bells which ring blindly in this ambient universe sat on storms of clays. These ringing resist to the strength of winds to trumpet a soft tinkled serenade which spreads its charm until the finale of "Sleeping Snakes", before that dark and floating winds win back their rights on "Resting Point" to conclude an album to the colors of a melancholy divided between its tribal souvenirs and its ancestral regrets.

Sylvain Lupari (July 20h, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mardi 17 juillet 2012

SYNC24: Comfortable Void (2012)

"Comfortable Void is a real journey into the soils of oblivion, there where the mists of Blade Runner float around morphic down-tempos rhythms"
1 Comfortable Void 7:08
2 Inadvertent 7:00
3 Dance of the Droids 6:38
4 1N50MN14 7:05
5 Nanites 7:58
6 Sequor 8:48
7 Something Something 7:26
8 Oomph 10:58
9 Wake (live edit) 9:48
10 There Is No Spoon 8:56


A rippling synth line comes to wrap the radioactive cloud of tones which introduces the title-track of Daniel Segerstad's 2nd solo album, the man behind SYNC24 and also Carbon Based Lifeforms. This wave which purifies the sizzling dusts of the intro embraces some delicate pulsations, guiding "Comfortable Void" towards a soporific down-tempo daubed of a fascinating line of percussions to tones of locusts which hiccup on the same lunar spindle as the melodious synth lines turning in loops in an enchanting psychedelico- morphic cover. Built around 10 titles with rhythms and ambiences wrapped by intros and outros as much ambient as ethereal, “Comfortable Void” is a real musical journey in the country of oblivion and of its artificial breaths which are connecting to slow and semi-slow rhythms that an armada of electronic tones dresses of an aura of a moderated psy-trance. Those who know the works of Ultimae Records know also in which artistic artwork are wrapped the albums of the Lyon label. And “Comfortable Void” is carefully wrapped in a slim case art which includes an illustrated notebook where Daniel Segerstad explains the ins and outs of his 10 titles which run on the contemplative feelings of an oblivion flavored of a lunar poetry.
Caressing the final cosmic phase of "Comfortable Void", "Inadvertent" espouses the introductory tranquility to quietly gallop towards a more sustained rhythm. A rhythm which quivers lazily into the vapors of a metallic ether to undulate with a retained velocity on a spasmodic line filled by hatched hoops. These hoops are turning like a slow lunar stroboscope on cosmic and angelic synth lines which are crisscrossing on a rhythm filled by good percussions and an avalanche of tsitt-tsitt cymbals, sealing the fate of "Inadvertent" which, without exploding, revives the glimmers of hope of a rhythmic approach which is drinking by both hemispheres of SYNC24. Moreover the oscillating lines which throw the oblong murky pulsations of "Dance of the Droids", which seem to beat in the helmet of a psy-cosmic diver, brings us towards these borders of more fluid rhythms. Except that the rhythmic fluidity flows into resounding electronic bends, so slowing down a rhythm which floats around arpeggios with ringings of anvils and residues of organic dusts from a cosmos in fusion, from where one cannot ignored the discreet singings of drunk Droids which slam of their metallic hands a cadence as robotics than hypnotic. Emerging out of the howling synth fluids and dogmatic cosmic drones of a galaxy without romance, "1N50MN14" clickety-clack of its metallic wings towards a slow tempo plugged on a pulmonary ventilator of which the melodious approach is closer to the sighs of an intergalactic fuck than robotics romance. "Nanites" is a smooth title which floats in a cosmos of ether of which the acid winds are moving some carillons which ring near dark voices. The 2nd part embraces an unreal rhythm of Caribbean Islands which quietly submits itself to the influences of a good morphic down-tempo wandering in the lanes of a cosmos adrift.
A melancholic acoustic guitar pierces the ethereal clouds of "Sequor" which is a soft cosmic ballad for cowboys with lost illusions. "Something Something" shakes the membrane of the slowness which wraps “Comfortable Void” since "1N50MN14", with a good bass line to threatening pulsations. The tempo is soft and elastic with strata of a synth which coo in a lunar setting, floating with the tunes of a beautiful melody to hybrid arpeggios which dream in a sphere of slamming percussions. It's undoubtedly the most beautiful title of “Comfortable Void” with "Oomph" whose intro slumbers in a dense cloud of ochred mist, where whispers and sinuous synth line are trailing behind a rhythm which delays to hatch. And it's around the 4th minute that it pops out. Firmly stood on percussions of which the successive strikings are holed of wooden resonances, this long minimalist rhythm unfolds its 7 minutes adorned of fine twinkling arpeggios which glitter of an allegorical chant on a structure oscillating of its stroboscopic spasms. "Wake" matches to the shape of the same structural tangent with a morphic intro which loosens a nice melodious synth line of which the hoops rock the oblivion and these fine and brilliant pulsations/percussions which secrete an evasive rhythm. One waltzes in space when a hatched line delivers some spasmodic riffs which encircle stroboscopic pulsations and tsitt-tsitt cymbals, molding imperfect rotations which saturate in a shape of techno intended for space clones. This rhythmic incursion of “Comfortable Void” runs out in the multi-plasmic layers of "There Is No Spoon", a splendid ambient title which seems to be taken out of the melancholic ambiences of Blade Runner, an album which was undoubtedly of use as basis of this mesmerizing ode to the void and of its undisclosable instincts of seduction.

Sylvain Lupari (July 17h, 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 SYNC24 and hear as well as see a promo video trailer of Comfortable Void, you may visit his website:
or follow this You Tube link:

dimanche 15 juillet 2012

PHOBOS: Live on Earth (2012)

"Live on Earth is built on this beautiful astral prose which deeply moves the balance between lifelessness and harmony, coldness and heat as well as life and void"

1 Live on Earth Parts I-VII 50:38
II There’s no Place like Drone
III Special Awareness
IV In Space no one can hear you
V A Moment of Abnormality
VI There may be a Storm Coming
VII A Kind of Peace

PHO002 (CD-R 50:38)

Less tenebrous, “Live on Earth” seems to be Phobos' excuse to his apocalyptic work whom was “This Desolate Place”. Recorded live at the Branston’s Awakenings Festival, held in England on October 22nd, 2011, this Phobos 4th opus displays his ambient poetry with a fine cardiac pulse which beats delicately under some dense layers of a synth from which the bright breezes are blowing like angelic choirs among a little more nuanced layers. More cosmic than terrestrial, David Thompson juxtaposes waves of lyrical synths which recall the wonderful floating world of Michael Stearns.
Live on Earth” progresses in 7 parts and the opening one is a delight for those who like be rocked by spatial musical images. The movement extends by a weak cosmic crescendo of which the intensity revives the dreamy subconsciouses with an approach that we can compare with the subtle progression of Chronos (Michael Stearns). The 2nd part (a little before the 16th minute) moves on with hollow breaths, of which the slightly acute filets are crisscrossing and gliding with a threatening approach. This storm of piercing breaths torments the delicate and abstracted carillons, of which the ringings get lost in the immensity drawn by these silent waves which ululate in a slow whirlwind of cosmic lavas. These bubbling grouts to the colours of the void are pouring into the angelic serenity of the 3rd part that concludes the first act of this performance at the Awakenings Festival.
Some fine piano notes fall in the solitude of "In Space no one can hear you", displaying a melancholy which cries its solitude among the plaintive breaths of a synth full of a surprising fragility. These sighs of piano, which melt themselves in the tears of synth to slide on the Milky Ways of a romantic cosmos, is a key point of “Live on Earth” which gradually takes back its rights of a cosmos cold and dependent on a lifeless universe with its shrill breaths which transport us towards a cosmic storm. The 5th and 6th parts are fed by black and silvery zephyrs which juxtapose their breaths in a caustic symphony. It’s another great moment that should have its entire dimension in an immense Planetarium with projections of dead stars which float into a universe of genesis. "A Kind of Peace" concludes this lifeless odyssey with the quiet breaths of some slow panoramic movements of a cosmos formerly sonic.
Live on Earth” exposes us a Phobos who is more poetic and lyrical than on “This Desolate Place”. It’s the very beautiful ambient album that one listens to with all the subtlety of the paradoxes between the delicacies of the singing winds and the coldness of the cosmic mistral. It’s doubtless the great beauty of this live performance of Phobos where often the soft emotional phases are necessary for the taming of these long atonal electronic structures. And Phobos' “Live on Earth” is exactly built on this beautiful astral prose which deeply moves the balance between lifelessness and harmony, coldness and heat as well as life and void.

Sylvain Lupari (July 15th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

* And if you want to know more aboiut Phobos, there is one place to go:

PHOBOS: This Desolate Place (2011)

"Ambient EM is not dead! As long as artists such as Phobos start proceeding a pessimistic recourse on the future of our planet, it’s in good hands"

1 This Desolate Place 68:44
PHO001 (CD-R 68:44)

A long hollow breath emerges from a black Earth. We hear thunders scold. Or is it splinters of explosions which cover a somber musical sky? The imagination without borders belongs to those who draw to the bottom of the cerebral cortex to harmonize their visions to the one of Phobos who signs in “This Desolate Place” a heavy and dark ambient album. EM composer from the beginning of the 90’s, David Thompson made the transition between a melodic and sequenced EM (“Approaching the Light” in 91 and “A Rainbow’s End” in 92) and a dark ambient EM after a break of 9 years in making music. It’s during this break that he discovered the music of Steve RoachRobert Rich, Oophoi and Stephen Philips. Artists who had the effect of reviving David Thompson's creative flame, which borrows from now on the name of Phobos, to deliver extremely ambient works with smells of chthonian sulfur. And “This Desolate Place” is sticking to the new influences of the English synthesist, with deep and invasive oblong layers of a black synth which scatters its sepulchral breaths among angelic lights creating a captivating mixture. If one asks the question in order to know if ambient EM has something new to bring, each case must be analyzed in a different way. Here, Phobos multiplies the waves of synth which hoot with a strange neurasthenic passion. A little as if the Earth was destroyed and that we regret its vestiges through the dark shadows which float as some incantatory regrets. And it's there that the beauty of this completely floating work lies; we see what we hear! Throughout the 68 minutes that “This Desolate Place” lasts, the auditor is submerged by a black world which breathes through deep polymorphic strata of an intensely dark synth. Certainly, there are some fine bright cracks. But they spring out to make us better seize all of the tenebrous extent of a universe without pulses. A universe musically dead where soundscapes are roaring in their slain awakenings to offer darker landscapes, even more darkened by the slow avenging fury of the synth blades which come down on a world covered with a metallic drizzle.
And I guaranteed you that Phobos' tetanised musical journey takes a wrapping effect of morose submersion when we let yourself invade with a pair of earphones. And no, ambient EM is not dead! As long as artists such as Phobos start proceeding a pessimistic recourse on the future of our planet, it’s in good hands.

Sylvain Lupari (July 14th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

* And if you want to know more aboiut Phobos, there is one place to go:

jeudi 12 juillet 2012

FRATOROLER: Looking Forward (2012)

"Fratoroler walks the listener in already drawn paths but with a dexterity which splits the road, so offering new electronic landscapes which slumbered under the beds of Rubycon, Phaedra and other memorable classics of Tangerine Dream"

1 Looking Backward 13:28
2 Gastown 17:38
3 Mathmoth 9:46
4 Lounge 15:45
5 Looking Forward 9:26


Fratoroler is a German duet strongly influenced by the Berlin School movement and Looking Forward is their 2nd album. Defying the principles of “déjà vu” and challenging the theory that the old Berlin School style had nothing more to offer, Thomas Köhler and Frank Rothe draw to the bottom of their influences to offer a very beautiful work intensely soaked by the vintage years of Mellotron electronic odes which loosens its fragrances up to our, sometimes, unbelieving ears. Unbelieving because we really have the impression to navigate in waters left by the flagship whom was Tangerine Dream. And this, not only because of the slow Mellotron wanderings or the singings of celestial flutes. No! The 5 tracks which furnish the 66 minutes of Looking Forward bubble on a bed of sequences of which the diversity of keys weaves some effervescent polyrhythmic structures which pound in the shade of oniric mists.
Misty and vaporous synths layers are floating like clouds of ether among resounding waves. We are in a universe that we all know; that of Tangerine Dream and its breaths of Mellotron which disguised the abstract ambiences of Rubycon and Phaedra. A discreet pulsation emerges. Its muffled beatings go to meet a fluty ode, introducing the melodic approach of "Looking Backward". One would believe to hear Franke, Froese & Baumann at the crossroads of their experimental and melodic period when the rhythm livens up little by little, chasing away its choruses of mists which ramble among resonant pulsations. Enchanting flute and mist are the stones of anchoring of a title imprinted by mysticism which bends its structure to dash into a rhythm galloping finely on its sequences of which the keys skip in successive chords on a lake of mist filled by melodious waves. After an intro barded by wandering breaths and electronic twists the rhythm of "Gastown" pierces the reverberating ponds of its heavy pulsations which resound under a swaying cloud of Mellotron mist. Initially, this rhythm is as well heavy as slow. But more crystal clear sequences alternate their keys in a fluid waddle, propelling the rhythmic oscillations beneath some twisted synth solos. Jingles fluttering such as dragonflies wings modify slightly the rhythmic axis which tips over into a dense sonic nothingness fed by dark breaths and iodized waves before the rhythm takes its second life with good oscillating loops which wave under fine piercing solos and these clouds of Mellotron mist which criss-cross all the splendour of this 2nd album from Fratoroler. And when the drum tumbles, one has the impression to roam between the continents of Tangerine Dream's Green Desert.

"Mathmoth" rests on a slow rhythm with sequences’ keys which alternate gently. They draw a long funeral march which progresses in an electronic fauna filled up of electronic languages, floating zigzagging mists and, especially, these enchanting layers of mist which make Looking Forward so poetic. The whispers of paranoia which fill the intro of "Lounge" suck up us towards an intersidereal space where morphic breezes fight against a tide of ceaseless voices. A beautiful Mellotron zephyr emerges and floats as a silk of veil on an ambient structure lulled by violins layers. Sequencer keys show their rhythms of the tip of notes to wave finely under the waves of a synth to orchestral aromas. This soft rhythm goes on a delicate structure filled of dreamy chords and fluty breaths, plunging "Lounge" into a semi-comatose state where the rhythm tries to go out of a soft morphic torpor by shaking the keyboard chords which sparkle in a brook of mist. The title-track takes back the rights of Looking Forward on hard and pure rhythms with a heavy rhythm bombarded by sequences with keys which alternate with fury. In fact, "Looking Forward" is a lesson on the art of sequencing with its keys which fall and bounce in a bewitching rhythmic chassé croisé from which the harmonious approach is encircled by strata of a synth divided between its musical mists and oracles.
Making old with new! Such is the best way of defining Looking Forward which is no more and no less that a beautiful journey in the time when the poetry of the past embraces the rhythms of today. Fratoroler walks the listener in already drawn paths but with a dexterity which splits the road, so offering new electronic landscapes which slumbered under the beds of
Rubycon, Phaedra and other memorable classics of Tangerine Dream. Do I have to add that I adored it?

Sylvain Lupari (July 11th, 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 hear musical extracts of Looking Forward while visiting this link: