vendredi 6 juillet 2012

MANIKIN RECORDS: Second Decade 2002/2012

"This compilation is an open door to a musical univers filled of stunning surprises"

CD 1 (69:27)
Prelude (Raughi) 2:51
Snap Shot (Fanger & Schönwälder) 8:04
Saint Paul´s Cathedral Chorus Girl (Picture Palace Music) 3:41
Sun Gate (W.A.dePHUL) 5:24
DE 7208 (Kagermann & Keller) 12:14
Schöne Landschaft (Thomas Fanger) 6:55
Improvised Music (Rainbow Serpent) 10:08
Vienna Calling (Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder) 9:02
Guitarmoon (Cosmic Hoffmann) 5:08
Zeitmaschine (Filterkaffee) 5:57
CD 2 (73:19)
Nazareth, PA (Bas Broekhuis) 8:45
Track for Michael Hoenig (Excerpt) ['ramp] 8:58
Forgotten Places (Keller & Wienekamp) 5:25
Moab-Jam (Lutz Graf-Ulbrich) 6:15
Philadelphia (Broekhuis & Schönwälder) 13:11
Elements 18 (Rainbow Serpent, Isgaard & Kagermann) 5:08
Metropolis Part 2 (Keller & Schönwälder) 5:26
A Rainy Day (Spyra) 12:55
Winterland (Mario Schönwälder) 7:13


Mario Schonwalder is an icon of contemporary EM. This supporter of long and slow minimalist movements has knocked about the world for more than 25 years, bearing on his shoulders the vestiges of a Berlin School EM creates and abandoned by Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. It’s in April 92 that Mario Schonwalder launched the Manikin Records label with the release of Closed by my Distance. Without knowing it, the German musician created an institution. Beyond the quality of the label works, Mario Schonwalder and his music companions got constantly involved in the research and development of EM instruments, of which famous Memotron, giving to EM new breaths and horizons that were going to enhance the mesmerizing structure of the Berlin School style. Twenty years and a hundred of albums later, Manikin celebrates the event with Manikin Records Second Decade 2002/2012; a wonderful double album which depicts marvellously the universes without borders of the artists who contributed to the development of the German label.
Raughi Ebert starts things up with "Prelude", a very poetic title where an acoustic guitar rolls its melancholy of a fluid air and with a chirping synth that some pulsations/percussions are harpooning of an ephemeral embrace. "Snap Shot" plunges us into the disturbing universe of Fanger & Schonwalder with a slightly technoïd tempo. It’s a minimalist and hypnotic beat wrapped of a fascinating electronic aura where mysterious voices, ochred breezes and ethereal mists cradle a very mesmerizing Berlin School procession fed by pulsatory percussions and twirling sequences. 
Picture Palace Music's "Saint Paul Cathedral Chorus Girl" is a superb title, weighty and slow where the synths are roaring with a somber passion. It’s as blacker as it’s theatrical and it’s very Thosrsten Quaeschning. W.A.dePHUL offers a stunning and more romantic version of "Sun Gate" whom he had written in 1989 together with Edgar Froese and Paul Haslinger. Kagermann & Keller's "DE 7208" is another captivating title à la sauce Berlin School. Based on a strong bass line, the rhythm is heavy and swirls on sequences which alternate vigorously, braiding a heavy hypnotic and harmonious movement that synth layers and sighs of violins wrap of a mesmerizing melody which zigzags such as a harmonious spectre. Simply delicious! Intriguing, "Schöne Landschaft" evolves with the magnetism of its bewitchment. This title from Thomas Fanger is without a precise rhythm and progresses in the circles of its massif whirlwind, dropping some frail notes which spin in the furrow of winds to forge some scattered melodic fragments which dance for a strange spherical ballet. After an intro stuffed with silvered breezes the rhythm of Rainbow Serpent's "Improvised Music" dives in an enthralling Berlin School structure. Cymbals with nervous jingles surround some circular chords which have difficulty in climbing an ascending rhythm. Other chords are added. Their limpidities, as well as their supplenesses, clear up a rhythm which waves of its wide oscillatory loops under piercing solos. "Vienna Calling", from Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder, lays on a morphic rhythm which quivers slightly under sober knocks of sequences and percussions, while the synths sing some spectral airs. The title plunges delicately into ambient corridors before bouncing furiously with percussions whose unchained strikings support the abundance of sequences which mould a furious rhythm beneath synth solos to twisted lamentations. Cosmic Hoffmann lugs us around in his secret territories with "Guitarmoon"; a strange cosmic ballad fed in the metalicity of the sitar strings from which the notes resound with aromas more psychedelic than electronic. Filterkaffee's "Zeitmaschine" ends this first CD with a dark and ambient title eaten away by reverberating and caustic breezes which cling to pulsations, as much muffled as discreet, which emerge and disappear in a cerebral cosmos eroded by bipolar musical poetries.
Bas Broekhuis' "Nazareth, PA" is in the same lineage as the Repelen series with a fine hypnotic tribal rhythm wrapped by Thomas Kagermann's violin. Faithful to his trademark, ['
ramp] offers a heavy title filled with resonant pulsations. Crystal clear sequences flutter around the black rhythm of "Track for Michael Hoenig", among which each of the pulsations make vibrate our spinal. Heavy and powerful, this Stephen Parsick's title displays all the magic of the EM analog universe where all the nuances and perceptions weave a mesmerizing parallel between the heavy rhythm which moves with hesitation and the limpid harmonies forged in crystalline sequences. "Forgotten Places" is this kind of melody which weaves an earworm. It's all a universe that Keller & Wienekamp draws in not even 6 minutes of music with some sequences which swirl in the breaths of an absent synth, moulding an innocent melody which strolls around sequences/percussions to tones of anvils. A line of sequence comes to harpoon the hesitation, entailing "Forgotten Places" in a delicate gallop which rides the plains of mists and harmonious solos while the rhythm eventually espouses a technoid tangent. That’s very melodious. With "Moab-Jam", Lutz Graf-Ulbrich transports us towards the borders of the vintage years psychedelic improvisations from the Krautrock movement with a well chiselled guitar which frees its harmonies on Tablas percussions. "Philadelphia" brings us back in EM territories with very Vangelis synths which blow vigorously on twinkling sequences and sober pulsations. Abstracted, the rhythm offered by Broekhuis & Schönwälder soon turns into a lascivious groovy which sways hips smoothly under synths with harmonious breezes as much spectral as sensual. Rainbow Serpent's  "Elements 18" is a sweet melody which sits on a kind of morphic techno where the voice of Isgaard and the violin of Kagermann float with a delicious mixture of tribal and cosmic. Those who liked Stranger are going to adore. "Metropolis Part 2", from Keller & Schonwalder, is a pure ambient and floating delight while Spyra's "Rainy Day" stigmatizes our waits with a furious tempo of which the wide oscillatory zigzags remind me the evasive rhythm from Tangerine Dream on Cool Breeze of Brighton. These sequences wind around cymbals jingles which embrace the tempo with cold bites, awakening our senses when some typing keys discourse in a strange solo, as to escape the dense layers of a synth which also frees luxurious solos. Floating and vampiric, these solos roam such of as predators' wings, waiting for the fragility of the piano notes which subdivide the impressive rhythmic course of "Rainy Day". Absolutely brilliant! Credit where credit's due! Mario Schonwalder concludes this splendid compilation with "Winterland"; a rather ambient title where synth layers with scents of fuzzy violins hatch a dark and secret atmosphere filled with wandering choirs and chords.
Like a safe that we open to all decades, Manikin Records Second Decade 2002/2012 contains beautiful small jewels. Musical pearls which depict marvellously the universe of Manikin. It’s the door of a musical world that has as only borders the immense curiosity and avant-gardism of its pioneers who transcend the Berlin School style to give always it this second breath.

Sylvain Lupari (July 6th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

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