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: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=15368

* If you want to know more about Lamp and the tales of Bernodine, visit Michael Shipway's web site here: http://www.mslmusic.co.uk/
** Also, here are 2 links to view Lamp live at the Awakenings:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp_xjo0GQRY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_reB2ZBuUY

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