vendredi 31 août 2012

ERIK WOLLO: Airborne (2012)

“Drawing from the rhythms and ambiences which made the bouquets of his last releases, Erik Wollo offers an inspired and inspiring work”

1 Spring Equinox (Prelude) 4:10
2 The Drift 5:17
3 Red Earth  6:59
4 Airborne I 5:39
5 Circle Lake 4:30
6 Lost and Found 6:40
7 Airborne II 5:30
8 The Longest Day 6:02
9 Time River 6:36
10 North of the Mountains 5:13
11 The Magic Spot 6:00
12 Airborne III 5:07

PROJEKT: PRO00278 (CD 67:52) ****
Always subjected we shall be by this guitar with rangy spectral curves and with meditative night-lamentations which get lost in absent synth breaths. Welcome to the unique musical universe of Erik Wollo. After a detour in the more atmospheric and more experimental musical territories of “Silent Currents: Live at Stars' End”, the poetic nomad of the Scandinavians lands returns to us with an album where the rhythms and ambiences torture fine melodies sometimes cheerful, contemplative or lunar on short minimalist escapades.
A fine brook of twinkling arpeggios awakens the sleepy breaths of "Spring Equinox (Prelude)" which displays the floating and contemplative portions of “Airborne”. Slow and oblong synth/guitars layers spread their somber melancholic breezes which wave such as floating spectres, lifting prismic particles which glitter under some intense strata filled of heavy vaporous modulations. A guitar rises. We would believe being at the crossroad of Pink Floyd (Shine one You Crazy Diamond) and
Steve Roach (Desert Solitaire) with this guitar which embraces morphic phases with suave solos torn by stillness, guiding the first breaths of “Airborne” towards the delicate rhythm of "The Drift". This soft vampiric rhythm leans on nervous riffs which quiver in a beautiful linear movement on aboriginal percussions and beneath the layers of a dark synth which mixes its hollow breaths with the fine distortions of a guitar which remains rather angelic. With its guitar riffs rolling in loops on a flat structure that sounds like U2, "Red Earth" plunges in a clanic rhythmic which exudes the legends of the American West. Fine tears of guitar obstruct this red sky which reflects its beams of clay on a rhythm became more compressed by percussions of which the knocks as much slamming as felted oversize a rhythmic approach always maintained in its pacificator role by this fusion of synth and guitars to layers and laments which are crisscrossing in an eerie pattern of morphic psychotronic rock. "Airborne I" wakes up to the sinuous and sensual bites of a bass line which smells so much like Patrick O'Hearn's to finally succumbed to the dark charms of a piano of which the melodic pattern is sliding towards a charming and exhilarating electronic ballad. This melodic structure will be the spearhead of "Airborne II" which offers a more fluid rhythmic melody. Softness and meditative poetry in a murky ambience, "Circle Lake" is another pearl with its acoustic guitar which plays its melancholic notes over a cloud of ethereal mist. That's very beautiful and so solitary, as "The Longest Day".
"Lost and Found" starts with an atmospheric intro tortured by lamentations a forsaken guitar that synth layers are wrapping with a soporific veil. Fine percussions drum remotely, bringing a feverish rhythmic structure which pounds with a tribal aura which is similar to the nervous rhythm of "Red Earth"."Time River" is a very nice electronic ballad which flies on fine table percussions and soft synth layers with breaths of ether. Discreet, the guitar draws beautiful morphic lines and shapes delicate solos which waltz in the forgetting on a melodic theme that
Wollo developed on works such as “Between Worlds and “Gateway”. Intros molded in ambiences of lost horizons are legion on “Airborne”. They serve to fragile rhythms which surround some sweet melodies sometimes innocent, as "North of the Mountains" which also leans on a delicate hybrid rhythm to the bewitchment as much tribal than morphic, especially with piano notes which whisper a soft nostalgia to our sleepy ears. "The Magic Spot" explores these clanic rhythms in a darker ambience with guitar strata which tear the darkness, throwing sieved veils on balanced palpitations and the murky blows of an absent Didge. The mood is of a tight blackness and settles a climate of discomfort with this thick cloud of palpitations forged in various sonic forms which draw the arid rhythms of “Airborne”. A guitar with crying and metallic tears waters "The Magic Spot" with a veil of bitterness, an element as sombre than melodic which surrounds the rhythms and ambiences of Erik Wollo's last present that "Airborne III" concludes in the same way as it begun, except that sighs of fanciful violins replace the writer odes of a guitar that we would want still so present.
Airborne” is what we call a very beautiful album. Drawing from the rhythms and ambiences which made the bouquets of “Arcadia Borealis, “
Frontiers” and the wonderful “The Road Eternal”, Erik Wollo offers an inspired and inspiring work where his tears of heart-rending and floating guitars are embracing a fine incursion in a universe as much clanic as “Between Worlds and desertic than “Stream of Thought”. An ideal mixture which enchants and demonstrates all the Erik Wollo's propensity to work in a mysticism filled by enchantress glimmers. It’s a nice and musical album for the souls who look for the peace of mind in a universe of contrasts where the beauty is often insidious.

Sylvain Lupari (August 29th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

samedi 25 août 2012

TM SOLVER: Line on Glass (2012)

“Line on Glass is a very beautiful album with rhythms and ambiences which cross the universes of Robert Schroeder and Mergener / Weisser in their Software clothings”

1 Fall 10:41
2 Tunnel 8:12
3 Curve Dance 8:54
4 Crystal Peak 8:34
5 Trimming Sinus 13:42
6 Ophelia 12:28
7 Quaver 15:4

SYNGATE: TM04 (CD-R 78:13)****

The more I discover the German label Syngate and the more I discover an electronic universe which reminds me the beautiful years of Innovative Communication label which brought to light the obscure talents of the New Berlin School of the 80’s. After Fratoroler and its superb Looking Forward, it’s now Thomas Meier's turn, alias TM Solver, to seduce my ears with his 4th album “Line on Glass” which surfs on the wings of the New Berlin School to harmonious fluids as much mesmerizing as its morphic rhythms. Laid on 7 titles which fill the 80 minutes available on those thin silvery discs, “Line on Glass” is a delicious musical journey which revives our souvenirs of the IC era with rhythms and ambiences which cross the universes of Robert Schroeder and Mergener/Weisser, alias Software.
Hypnotic and enchanting, "Fall" brings us back straight in the lands of an oniric New Berlin School. Some fine drumming of sequences and light riffs of a synth the of which chords are bursting such as drops in space introduce an opening that will walk along its 11 minutes on a great morphic rhythm. This cosmic rhythm, vitamined by soft percussions and caressed at random by the tears of a cello, swirls in clouds of mists and celestial vocals, vestige of a delicious album which quietly forges a pleasant entrance to our ears. And it’s without waiting that "Tunnel" follows upon "Fall" with its caravan of keys suspended between two senses, drawing a slow and discreet procession which floats among metallic breezes and deformed hoops to opaline tones. Metallic timbre keys collide and resound to open of "Curve Dance", the first title of “Line on Glass” to offer a little more accentuated rhythm. But that remains a rather soft rhythm with sequences which jump up with restraint, multiplying their sound impacts on a structure which moves forward stealthily. Percussions with hits as felted as metallic are ringing throughout this musical route that a synth to ghostly breezes scratches with hollow howlings and silvery breaths. "Crystal Peak" is a beautiful title with some slightly funky curves where a hopping rhythm is constantly cuddled by synth lines full of fruity melodies and harmonized choirs. That’s extremely enchanting and the sequences with forms of hollow percussions sound so much like a crossing between the digital universe of 
Schulze and the one more harmonious of Schroeder that it’s a real delight.
No matter the variety of rhythms in “Line on Glass”, they are always dressed of a hypnotic veil. "Trimming Sinus" espouses a little the tangent of "Curve Dance" with a rhythm which hiccups finely through a synth with fluty melodies. This delicately spasmodic rhythm follows an evolutionary tangent with multicolor and multisonores ions which skip and tinkle in an enchantress forest covered with suave melodies blown by a lyrical synth which frees its voices, lamentations of cello and mystic mists with a harmonious approach which calls back the transition era of
Klaus Schulze. Another strong title is "Ophelia", a long and beautiful lunar ballad which reminds me a little of Robert Schroeder's dreamy approaches in the beginning of his career. An acoustic guitar scatters its melancholic notes which float in ethereal breezes and in the whispers of felted cymbals which mold a finely hatched spiral. She swirls in an enchanting setting, catching synth chords which sparkle into silvery breaths while discreet pulsations are shaping a slow morphic tempo which pivot with a contagious euphoria. Always so melodious and evasive, the synth infuses beautiful lines of sea spray and electronic poetry which sing and roam around percussions became a little more slamming but never noisy, confining "Ophelia" in a beautiful dreamlike ballad stuffed with a synth to thousand and one foggy melodies. It’s very beautiful. "Quaver" is a delicious journey into the embryonic times of the New Berlin School era and the cosmic rhythms of Software. The intro is build around a strange frenzy of an intergalactic jungle which encircles a bumbling sequential movement. Little by little the thick cloud of collective restlessness dissipates, leaving room to a sequenced movement with wide staggering loops which zigzags under riffs of a synth to suave melodious lines. Lines which float and wave with tenderness on a tempo which increases a pace always morphic that layers of fog soak of a mesmerizing cosmic envelope. "Quaver" spreads out its 16 minutes with the same poetic and cosmic vision that was the spearhead of Software. The sequences embroider a slightly hatched and finely spasmodic rhythm. A soft, morphic and hypnotic rhythm while the synths throw lead lines of mist and electronic syllables as well as dreamy solos, elements which form the cornerstone of this very beautiful album byTM Solver.

Sylvain Lupari (August 25h, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

jeudi 23 août 2012

MAC: Aelectroid (2009)

“Aelectroid is this kind of musical madness which lives in the effervescent and ever insatiable creativity of Mac”

1 Men from the Moon 4:24 
2 Landslide 5:02  
3 Powerless 3:22  
4 The Asylum 7:25  
5 Third from the Sun 6:03  
6 Plasma 1:56   
7 Defining Moments 5:30  
8 March of the innocents 3:55  
9 Dance of the Little Lights 7:32  
10 Too stupid to Suffer 4:04   
11 Warmth 2:58  
12 Aelectroids (Another Wing) 6:14

CLASSIC EM SERIES Vol. 8 (DDL or CD-R 58:11) ***

The universe of music is in constant effervescence with the emergence of new technologies allowing to recreate an outfit of tones which oscillate between the sound fauna of the analog years and the more contemporary one. Mac belongs to this generation of musicians who like these new technologies. His last opus, “Aelectroid”, was completely conceived from a multitude of VST plugs-in and virtual instruments create by the Polish house Elektrostudio. It’s resulting in a cosmic experimentation album where the personal touch of the Italian synthesist is melting pleasantly to the steams of TomitaJean Michel Jarre and Synergy. It's a surprising mixture of styles which charms as much as it disconcerts.
Reverberations full of resonances in a musical world at the borders of a cosmic stream à la Tomita opens "Men from the Moon", and Mac's 33rd opus, with a very heterogeneous approach. After this introductory cosmic storm, a soft solitary flute pierces the void and paves the way to a heavy wave-like sequence from which the key remains hung, creating a strange rhythmic subdivision which flows in a colorful sound dryad. More musical and more spectral, "Landslide" offers a similar structure where the tempo is molded on a minimalism sequence with a frenzied pulsation which clears its path among a variety of twisted solos. "Powerless" is more melodious with its soft cosmic bed song which introduces a synth chant and its analog sound effects of the 70's. It’s quite a nice track that awakes some souvenirs from the Space Art era. "The Asylum" plunges us into the strange spheres of Tangerine Dream, era Phaedra and Stratosfear, with a very beautiful fluty intro which shape an odd musical dance, depicting a fanciful madness born in a synth with twisted movements. Can we say that "Third from the Sun" is a wink of eye to the rumbas of Jarre? I think so! It’s another charming title, quite as "Too stupid to Suffer",which breathes the rattlers percussions effects of Jarre music on a soft approach with the sweet cosmic perfumes which enclosed Jarre's first 3 works.
Mysterious, "Defining Moments" has no precise rhythms. Without being atonal this title evolves under various rhythmic approaches where a synth fuses its heavy strata, its oblong and resonant chords of which the brilliancy are encircled by a sequence pattern which turns like a cosmic carousel. I can’t avoid doing it, but each listening of "Dance of the Little Lights" drags me down in the universe of Synergy and the fabulous Chords. It’s a brilliant dance of lights where the sonorous imagination of Mac goes beyond his fiction vision. A very good music piece which depicts pretty well the electro-psychedelic universe of “Aelectroid”. After the soft and romantic lullaby that is "Warmth", "Aelectroids (Another Wing)" concludes in a kind of musical fiesta which resumes the musical and sound universe of “Aelectroid”. It’s a track at once complex and harmonious where the synths are sidestepping on quirky and split up rhythms, like the step of a fat cat on a razor wire.
Aelectroid” is this kind of musical madness which lives in the effervescent and ever insatiable creativity of Mac. It’s an excellent way to discovering the creative multiplicity of Mac on a varied album where he embraces all of his influences with this touch of creative outburst which makes the mark of this contemporary Banffi. To those whom that interests the album is free, as well as a crowd of others, on Mac website at:
Sylvain Lupari (February 10th, 2010 and translated on August 22, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mardi 21 août 2012

MAC: Destroyer of Memories (2012)

"Destroyer of Memories is a dark album full of bitterness and resentment where the boiling Italian synthman averts his spells and faults"

1 How Sad 10:11
2 Why Now 5:47
3 Like a Phonograph Caught in a Groove 18:30
4 No More 6:01
5 Last Attempt 1:56
6 Just Vanish 7:58
7 Why Now (guitar Version) 5:31

CLASSIC EM SERIES Vol. 18 (DDL or CD-R 55:54) ***

Some people just disappear or fade from your life. Others manage to linger on long enough to destroy all the good memories you could preserve of them and the part of life you shared with themMac, May 2012. It's in this vision and these experiences of life that Mac conceived the main lines of the 18th album from his Classic EM series. You will have guessed it; “Destroyer of Memories” is a dark album. An album full of bitterness and resentment where the boiling Italian synthman averts his spells and faults with an EM which continues to investigate the labyrinths of the protean structures with rhythms and ambiences which call out to one another in a brilliant symbiosis where the paradox reigns in a universe of contrasts.
The fine sequences which flutter at the opening of "How Sad" forge a nervous rhythmic approach which makes roll its timeless loops up to the heavy twists of a synth with acuteness breaths. Agile, they spin with grace in a glaucous universe where the harmonies are rising with pain in the soul before subdividing their rhythmic singings towards a more fluid movement, impregnating an undulatory rhythm which coos under the lyrics of a more melodious synth. "How Sad" is a great way to enter into the universe all in contrasts it of Mac. Flying on the wings of In the Wind, the Italian synthesist continues to merge his view of classic Berlin School with more progressive approaches or even downright rock as in "Why Now" and its tempo of gang of street which skips on the ample undulations of a line of bass. As much heavy it is, the beat is besieged by fleeting clouds of limpid sequences which come and go to titillate a robotics rhythm. A pace of lead which stumbles over isolated synth pads and heavy riffs of an electronic guitar that even the beautiful flights of a fluty mellotron can’t manage to contain. It’s little as if Peter Baumann's harmonious universe would meet a mixture of Synergy and Michael Rother in fury. "Like a Phonograph Caught in a Groove" widens its pattern of ambiguity in an eclectic mist from where emerge layers and floating coils of a melancholic synth. Sequences come out from these abstracted paintings to skip of an undulation which hiccups of spasmodic kicks in a sea of cloistered excitement. This dead rhythm embraces some more harmonious lights at around the 9th minute with the appearance of another sequential movement which sparkles of an evanescent crystalline tone before falling in an interstellar space where shines a multitude of isolated ions. Ions which trumpet like a concert of xylophone in emptiness before espousing a brief more concrete rhythmic structure. An ephemeral rhythm which plunges into an ambient finale stuffed with the heavy reverberations of a stormy synth which drops its laments in a cloud of ether.
"No More" is a good post Düsseldorf School title with percussions which click of a movement introducing a parade of fashion with its cybernetic models. The movement is curt and fed by oscillating curves which undulate under a thick cloud of waves of an ochred synth which throws its sighs and lamentations through a blanket of mist. Stigmatized in its synth-pop approach, the tempo is switching shape in the middle-route, embracing a tangent as much technoïd as futurist with fine sequences to tones of a xylophone of glass which spin and dance vigorously under the twisted solos from a synth to hybrid tones."Last Attempt" is a brief escapade in an intergalactic universe, introducing the very ambient and vampiric "Just Vanish" which follows the stormy tangent of a tempo crushed by a tempestuous heaviness of a synthesized thunderstorm and its layers of an acrimonious synth, vestige of emotional tearings which strew the tortuous evolution of “Destroyer of Memories”, a work crystallized in its vindictive approach.

Available for free on Mac website:
Sylvain Lupari (August 21h, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 20 août 2012

MAC: In the Wind (2011)

"More than an album of conventional EM, In the Wind allies several universes under the same shelter"

1 Prologue 1:56
2 Be Ashamed 10:56
3 Cold Fury 2:31
4 Unearthed 10:10
5 Wrong Week 23:18
6 In the Wind 2:42

CLASSIC EM SERIES Vol. 17 (DDL or CD-R 51:37) ***¾

Let’s be honest! Every time that I approached a work of Mac, I did it from the tips of my ears. To many of us, the Italian synthesist is not to be seriously taken. Locked in his ivory tower Mac produces music at a breakneck pace. From classic Berlin School to a horror or sci-fi tales while passing by easy-listening and loud prog rock, Mac touches to everything and lies down all his musical fantasias on CD, or in downloadable format, that he offers for free on his Web site. Considering the proverb that the quantity floods the quality; this proliferation of music and genres leaves several sceptics regarding the quality and the integrity of his works. And nevertheless!  “In the Wind” is a very good album where the roots of Italian progressive music soak into the influences of Tangerine Dream of the 70's. Ignoring the snobbery of which he is the object of some of his peers, Mac can easily look up and down those who look at him of scornfully because he shows beyond any doubts that free music can also be synonymic of quality.
After a short ode for winds in "Prologue", the delicate drums which roll among some electromagnetic breezes open the doors to the stunning "Be Ashamed" and its bipolar rhythms. Layers of old organs spread an occult blanket while a filet of synth espouses the voices of ghostly mermaids which hoot on a superb bed of sequences of which the hopping ions dig a delicate circular rhythm. The percussions harpoon this upward spiral that strata of mellotron mist are covering of an aura of the 70's poetry. Serene, the tempo tumbles over on more fed percussions and sequences which hiccup furiously while the pace of "Be Ashamed" falls in love with a spasmodic movement where cymbals and devastating lines of organ take the shape of a rhythm which evolves frenziedly to reach its peak with limpid arpeggios which feast in the shade of furious synth solos. And quietly the tempo slows down, cowering over fiery growls and lamentations of a guitar which exchange its solos and riffs with synth solos as much passionate as angelic. These protean structures which knock down the evolution of "Be Ashamed" are the cornerstone of “In the Wind” where the heavy and pulsatory rhythms at pluralism velocity get lost in ambiences sometimes ethereal and cosmic. With its metallic breezes which sing under intense pulsating intonations, "Cold Fury" is a prelude to "Unearthed" and to its musical universe which swings between Tangerine Dream (Ricochet and Green Desert eras) and the apocalyptic visions of Vangelis. The intro spreads a dark veil with heavy twisted reverberations which mutter of their bitter waves until the twilight of a cosmos imprinted of embryonic dreams. The structure emerges from its lunar sleep a little after the 4th minute with the return of the swaddled reverberations from where are escaping some beautiful guitar laments, announcing a rhythm with slow undulatory strides which zigzags awkwardly under the breaths of a ghostly synth. And the rhythm of "Unearthed" pours towards a more progressive structure with very good percussions and a mixture of solos of synths and guitars, of which the piercing breaths swirl around delicate crystalline arpeggios.
Well sat over its 23 minutes, "Wrong Week" illustrates all the diversity of rhythms and ambiences that we find on “In the Wind”. Musical and scheming, the intro floats between two spheres with its brief uncertain pads which roam between ringing of bells. Sequenced ions pierce this membrane of uncertainty and are dancing in a delicious invertebrate spiral from which the lively flow winds a thick cloud of chords and lost breaths. The whole thing draws a stunning chassé croisé of sequences and twisted melodies which zigzag in a hallucinating symbiosis which hiccups of a chaotic rhythm under a din of percussions with stormy movements and spasmodic sequences. These hatched keys spin under mists of mellotron and melodic spasms of a synth to psychedelic fragrances as well as a guitar to concise solos but with heavy riffs. This rhythmic effervescence gets quieter at around the 14th minute, a morphic period of "Wrong Week" with its long hollow hootings which blow in a universe of eclectic ambient tones. A wonderful mellotron flute emerges from it, a little after the 17th minute, entailing the listener in the dreamlike lands of the Dream , circa Rubycon and Phaedra. Souvenirs which take root with the slow staccato crescendo which follows and which drags "Wrong Week" in a superb final where the electronic approach is soaked with this Daliesque notion which encircles the structures of “In the Wind”. The title track concludes this unexpected discovery that is “In the Wind” with a balladesque approach where a beautiful acoustic guitar polishes its melancholic notes in the breaths of a misty flute. It’s so beautiful!
In the Wind” is a strong opus! More than an album of conventional EM, this 17th album of Mac collection of Classic EM Series allies several universes under the same shelter. By merging drums and incisive sequences, synths and guitars, as light as heavy, into floating and literally spectral ambiences, Mac weaves a universe where parallel worlds cross themselves in a stunning symbiosis anarchy/melody. And it’s doubtless the strength of “In the Wind”; rhythms and ambiences which evolve in constant contrast with the anticipated developments, always keeping the listener on the alert. Here's the link to put your hands on it as well as many other  works of Mac:

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

mercredi 15 août 2012

IAN BODDY: After the Rain (2012)

"After the Rain is an immense monument of abstract EM where Ian Boddy pushes the limits of his Serge Modular system and his Ableton Live"

1 The Final Transmission 25:20
2 After The Rain 40:07

DiN: DDL013 (DDL 65:27) ***¼

Clouds of metal in fusion are freeing strands of steel which float and crisscross at the opening of "The Final Transmission". As rustles of magmatic spectres these strands switch shapes for fine galactic waves of which the guttural breaths go astray in an abyss where the white noises prevail on silence. Recorded live in Berlin’s Basic Electricity at the end of June 2012, “After the Rain” is an immense monument of abstract EM. It’s an experimental work where Ian Boddy pushes the limits of his Serge Modular system and his Ableton Live with a thick cloud of electronic tones which forge the elements of black silence or some shoves of rhythmic adrenalin. Like in the 2nd part of "The Final Transmission" where beeps and galactic sound elements shape electrostatic oscillations which roll as musical waves in an ocean of intra-galactic tones. It’s a world of fusion where the abstract produces impulses which roll in an oblivion of slow combustion before getting lost an immense space storm. What amazes and makes all the charm of “After the Rain” is the impact of these abstracted tones in a pair of earphone. Never the emptiness will have been so musical and this, even if the melodies are hiding in a world without harmonies. The title-track is a slow symphony of electronic sound elements which agglutinate in an immense arrhythmic mass. Delicate sounds which float and roam, getting closer one by one to quietly forge an implosive first storm between the 6th and the 10th minute. Ian Boddy makes a display of the sound possibilities of his Modular Serge on "After the Rain" by releasing a pallet of arpeggios which come and go, as cosmic jellyfishes, dancing, dreaming and waiting for the Sea of Tranquility to unchain its cooled ions. Ions which stammer an extraterrestrial language, a little as to establish a verbal contact, before that the excitement gets a hold of the cybernetic dialogue and that blow the abstracted winds from a storm to come. These winds of Orion are roaring with scrawls in breezes, amplifying even more the abstract wall which separates our ears of the imagination. And so is going this huge fair of tones and entangled movements which forge the cosmic storms and calm them with passages as much soft as the latent implosions, feeding an electronic shower of the most experimental that Ian Boddy brings to our ears with a bit of abstract poetry. A peaceful shower which bursts out with a finale deserving of better musical storms than the universe of the analogue modulates with stunning rhythmic precision. A universe where the imagination of the English synthesist is boiling as much as the agitation of the arpeggios which dance and tear each other to pieces in a finale that we wish a bit longer. This live event available in a download form comes with two short demos of both titles on “After the Rain” where the rhythms, the cosmic melody (After the Rain demo) and the cosmic ambiences are fairly divided the length, just to show us all the amplitude of the improvisations that Ian Boddy has embroider for this concert in the lands of the abstract and experimental EM.
Available at

Sylvain Lupari (August 9th, 2012)

Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 13 août 2012

TANGERINE DREAM: Booster V (2012)

"The 2011 year in the EM planet belongs to Tangerine Dream and Booster V is the perfect musical witness of this great year"

CD1 70:47
1 Calymba Caly (Figaro's Fine Cut 2012 remix)3:50
2 Beauty of Magic Antagonism 5:56
3 Rubycon 2010 6:32
4 The Silver Boots of Bartlett Green 7:20
5 Shining Ray 5:23
6 Twilight Dance 6:25
7 Morpheus' Light 10:44
8 Escape 6:38
9 The Invisible Seal of the Holy Tribe 9:36
10 Hermaphrodite 8:20

CD2 73:13
1 Resurrection by the Spirit 5:37
2 Hoël Dhat the Alchemist 7:07
3 Mother of all Sources 8:53
4 Sailing Through the Night 5:57
5 Calumet 5:28
6 Booster Battery 6:51
7 The Mysterious Gift of Mankind 10:24
8 View from a Distant Star (Milky Way Mix 2012 remix)4:04
9 Wild Ocean of Blue Fate 7:46
10 Fay Bewitching the Moon 11:02

EASTGATE CD057 (2CD 144:00) ****

You missed albums such as The Island of the Fay, The Angel of the West Window and Finnegans Wake? Well here is a beautiful opportunity to buy back this mistake. Because not to possess one of these albums deprives you of all rights of bitching against the recent artistic motivations of Tangerine Dream. But beyond this very partisan entrance on the subject, “Booster V” is not a best of the Sonic Poem Series, but it is a great way of tasting the last works of the Dream which are getting more and more interesting. Besides the 9 titles of the Sonic Poem Series, “Booster V” offers the most beautiful title of Zeitgeist (Rubycon 2010), two from Mona da Vinci ("Morpheus' Light" and "Calumet"), two from The Endless Season ("Escape" and "Wild Ocean of Blue Fate"), as well as two remixes and 4 new compositions among which 2 which are particularly very interesting.
"Calymba Caly (Figaro’s Fine Cut)" starts this new Booster with a remix of one of the most estimated titles from the 80-81 tour. If the rhythmic structure is intact the harmonious envelope misses a little of vitamin. Without being a musician, it seems to me that I would have made something more incisive in studio. It’s good, but no more than that! "Beauty of Magic Antagonism" is the first one of both The Island of the Fay's titles, the other one being "Fay Bewitching the Moon". If I fully agree with this last title, which is a pure jewel of the Dream  crown, I am a little less for "Beauty of Magic Antagonism", which is a beautiful ballad. I would rather have opted for Marmontel Riding on a Clef or Darkness Veiling the Night, but I’m just a fan... "Rubycon 2010" and "The Silver Boots of Bartlett Green" (What a track!) are in their places on this compilation. They precede the first two novelties on “Booster V” ; "Shining Ray" and "Twilight Dance". I like "Shining Ray" which espouses quite well the rhythms and ambiences of the Sonic Poem Series, while the psychotic rhythm and the celestial harmonies of "Twilight Dance" leave me cold and this in spite of the heavy pulsatory rhythm and the lines of sequences which crisscross in a spiral dance. Afterward it’s the round of hits with "Morpheus' Light", "Escape", the very beautiful "The Invisible Seal of the Holy Tribe" which, with the striking "The Silver Boots of Bartlett Green", "Hoël Dhat the Alchemist" and "The Mysterious Gift of Mankind" comfort marvellously our need to re-hear The Angel of the West Window. "Hermaphrodite", "Resurrection by the Spirit" and "Mother of all Sources" are also great titles which represent quite well Finnegans Wake. Only The Sensational Fall of the Master Builder is missing. One of the key elements of “Booster V” is the way that the titles are placed and follow each other. Edgar diversifies the rhythms and the softer moods, adding to the fluidity of the harmonies which cover the works of the Dream  since the end of the Virgin years. At this level I think of "Hoël Dhat the Alchemist" and "Mother of all Sources", two title which without having the same rhythmic structure offer harmonies which juxtapose with an immense melancholic approach. "Sailing through the Night" is a novelty which brings nothing very new to Tangerine Dreamrepertoire. The voices of plastic remind me the very cold universe of Winter in Hiroshima, but the solo of guitar is good and very driller of souls. "Booster Battery" is the last newness of the Froese/Quaeschning duet, and it’s rather good. The rhythm is slow and progresses with sequences à la Flashpoint which crisscross on the fly beneath the slow singings of a lyrical synth before landing on a heavier tempo fed by weighty percussions. "View from a Distant Star (Milky Way Mix)" was an unreleased track which appeared on the live album from the Moogfest held in North Carolina; Knights of Asheville. It’s a soft electronic ballad which finds its beauty in its orchestral arrangements of which the slow strata are all in contrast with the rhythm of percussions. After a light title taken out of The Endless Season ("Wild Ocean of Blue Fate", me I would have preferred Devotion or The Seven Barriers), "Fay Bewitching the Moon" concretizes the magnificent musical year that Tangerine Dream offered to his fans in 2011.
I’m a fan and I’m also an honest one! When it’s not good I say it and when it’s good I say it loud and clear. Sometimes I’m carried away because Edgar always knows how to light on, as to put out, my passion towards his works. And it’s this passion which urges me to say to you that “Booster V”  is an essential in the universe of excessive multiplicity that is the production of Tangerine Dream compilations. Not that the offered novelties are incredible, that not. But rather because of the origin of albums aimed by this compilation. The 2011 year in the EM planet belongs to Tangerine Dream. Albums such as The Island of the Fay, The Angel of the West Window and Finnegans Wake are inescapable works where the rhythms, melodies and ambiences espouse marvellously the premise of their inspirations. If “Booster V” is not a compilation of this series, it looks like it. That also gives you the chance to obtain the best of the CupDisc, exception made of The Gate of Saturn and its boiling Vernal Rapture, released during the same period as well as some unpublished titles which add to the necessity of obtaining Booster V.

Sylvain Lupari (August 9th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 10 août 2012

ROBERT FOX: Short Stories (2011)

"Robert Fox's universe rests essentially on his harmonic approaches and at this level Short Stories is candy for the ears"

Chapter 1: Arabian Nights 7:22
Chapter 2: Lady in the Lake 6:44 
Chapter 3: Soldier Blue 6:45
Chapter 4: Prescription for Murder 6:47 
Chapter 5: Khan 7:09
Chapter 6: Rifles of Senora Carrar 4:33
Chapter 7: Gypsy 6:28 
Chapter 8: Icarus 9:36
Chapter 9: The Velvet Hour 8:01
Chapter 10: Homeward 6:30

AD MUSIC: AD593CD (74:00) ***

Following the traces of his theatrical work Adonai, released in 2008, Robert Fox continues to navigate on the cliffs of a film music soaked with strong poignant and dramatic currents. “Short Stories” is a musical collection of 10 stories which crossed ages and especially myths and legends. Stories of peace and wars, where the poetry of an Arab world binds itself in latent rhythms which eventually are exploding with all the intensity of the clanic and orchestral arrangements which ennoble the depth. Faithful to his immensely lyrical approaches, Robert Fox weaves a wonderful melodic universe where the piano, the acoustic guitar and the lines of synth sing along with fine angelic Middle East voices on structures which recall the influences of Vangelis for the English multi-instrumentalist.
"Chapter 1: Arabian Nights" reflects the whole ambience of serenity which criss-crosses these chapters made of stories sometimes violent. A soft angelic voice molded in the melancholic dreams of the Middle East chants on synth lines which float in lunar drift. Poetic, the tone announces a grave event with this fragrance of sadness which represses its sobs over the rollings of symphonic drums while that "Arabian Nights" falls in the airs of a soft sensual melody which waddles silkfully on the waves of percussions while ignoring the regular heaviness of the loud bass drums. Little by little,
Robert Fox widens the arsenal of the influences of Vangelis on him by soft notes of piano which cement all of the melodic and melancholic approach of “Short Stories” and which entail "Arabian Nights" in the twilights of its nostalgic poetry. We cannot keep silent about the links of influence for Vangelis which breathe throughout “Short Stories”. If "Lady in the Lake" affixes a signature unique to Fox with Arabian smooth synth breezes which go astray in the notes of a solitary guitar and a superb celestial voice, "Soldier Blue" espouses a sequential movement à la Chariots of Fire which, with the drum rolls, shapes a soft ascending rhythm, a little like an oniric Bolero which goes by while losing a little of its intensity in an ambient and very ethereal finale where the smooth breaths of a celestial voice are wrapping the tears of trumpets which cry among scattered rollings of drums. This contemplative voice feeds and amplifies the Arabian moods of this Robert Fox's 15th solo album. It introduces the floating intro of "Prescription for Murder" which is a beautiful ode for repented murderer with a beautiful piano which makes slide its somber notes on the waves of a synth to iridescent breezes. The piano and the voice unite their melancholies to weave a very beautiful meditative prayer which gradually embraces a more melodious portion with a rhythm which adopts an abstract tick-tock of a timeless clock that a voice of sands mermaid takes in its poignant breezes.
The winds of Arabian synth which introduce "Khan" remind me of the immense sadness that we find on Pie Jesu. If the intro is floating, the rhythm wakes up by a soft clanic approach sung by beautiful notes of acoustic guitar. Ambivalent, the rhythm looks for refuge in an ambient structure fed by a synth which abandons its harmonies to breathe life into more hoarse breaths which sprinkle the anxieties of the chapters of “Short Stories”."Rifles of Senora Carrar" and "Gypsy" offer two tribal melodies Greco/Persian. If "Rifles of Senora Carrar" is more theatrical, "Gypsy" is more oniric. It’s a delicate serenade which sings of its sweet acuteness voice on a soft absent rhythm where the percussions strikings click as whips in the slipstream of the seraphic voices. "Icarus" is a long ballad which cries the tears of a synth to pluralisms lines. Sighs of violins, fluty breaths and Afghan voices adorn this fascinating melody which strolls on scattered Tablas percussions as well as movements of symphonic drums which add an orchestral size to this jewel of “Short Stories”. We hardly recover from it, that the sighs of the violoins of "The Velvet Hour" come to caress our ears with another beautiful ballad of the errants of the desert. "Chapter 10: Homeward" ends the musical book of level “Short Stories” with a more livened up ballad. Even if the intro is written with a silk feather and sung with a Syrian voice the rhythm eventually appears with delicacy on a structure which has nothing to envy to the melancholic and orchestral works of
Vangelis.Robert Fox's universe rests essentially on his harmonic approaches and at this level “Short Stories” is candy for the ears. It’s an extremely melodious work that Robert Fox's filmic vision wraps with a surprising aura as much dramatic as moving. The voices!? There not really a problem, even if sometimes we swim in the eclectic mysticism of Enigma, because they melt pleasantly in this setting of the Thousand and One Nights where assassins and poets are dancing for the unification of their antipodes.

Sylvain Lupari (August 9th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

jeudi 9 août 2012

ROBERT FOX: Adonai (2008)

"For those who love the cinematographic side of Vangelis, “Adonai” should fulfill your waits and needs"

1 Pieta Part One 4:18
2 Palm Sunday 2:53
3 The Temple 4:15
4 Mary's Blessing 2:09
5 Gethsemane 2:34
6 Anointing 2:36
7 9 Mimes 12:21
8 Transfiguration 4:49
9 Betrayal 0:57
10 Magdalene 3:48
11 To Break And Share The Bread 1:54
12 Last Supper 5:32
13 Peter's Deniel 0:41
14 Way of the Cross 3:12
15 Crucifixion 4:45
16 Pieta Part Two 3:22
17 Resurrection 2:22

AD MUSIC: AD58CD (62:27) ***½

To appreciate “Adonai” to its right value, it should be placed in its context. In this work written for a theatre play, having for topic the history of Easter and the last moments of the Christ, Robert Fox deploys his immense talent of composer, sound engineer and orchestral arranger to create an epic music which oscillates between the contemporary and electronic styles on impressive tribal bases. A known Biblical story from all on a music mainly ignored by most of all.
A violent thunder roar opens "Pieta Part One", kicking off a long uninterrupted musical odyssey of 62 minutes divided into 17 chapters. A choral pierces this climatic hubbub to undulate in a silent blackness. A discreet synth goes behind this line of traditional chants, creating a monastery ambiance on a pace which progresses languorously on felted percussions. This kind of techno on a romance background vanishes into the hazes of a misty choral, while "Palm Sunday" pursues this Hebraic quest with rolling of percussions and melodious guitars tributary of populous quarters where travelling acrobats of all sort are feasting in a crowd in perdition. The musical thematic evolves in conformity with the epoch aimed on discrete synths which are used as background to a more traditional instrumentation made by panoply of synth software."The Temple" borrows the musical paths of a neighborhood festival with beautiful flutes, accompanied by guitars and more libertine vocals which continue until the short incantation of "Mary’s Blessing" and its orchestral arrangements on mild percussions. A floating moment, "Gethsemane" is a prelude to "Anointing" and its abbey approach built on a soft guitar. "9 Mimes" is a kind of musical wrap-up which revisits the first half of “Adonai” in a musical universe much more diversified. Very ethereal and celestial, "Transfiguration" switches rhythmic shape towards a more suggestive tempo girdled by a dreamy guitar wand its limpid notes.
"Magdalene" is a poetic ballad where the guitars and voices, supported by a synth which offers a beautiful orchestral structure, are of a tribal realism without fault. The more we go forward on “Adonai” the more we go inside its dramatic moments. "To Break and Share the Bread" is rhythmic by fine Tablas percussions and small bells tinklings which are wrapped in a told text, initiating the very lugubrious "The Last Supper"; a dark title which floats in an austere pent-up ambiance. Very musical and poetic, "Way of the Cross" and "Crucifixion" are animated by a good guitar play and processional percussions which roll on the harmonies of a synth to wrapping layers. After a more moderated "Pieta Part Two", "Resurrection" ends “Adonai” on beautiful synth layers which rock some soft notes of piano. Notes which mix up to the lamentations of the pilgrims in a sunny musical environment which respect the visual scale of Robert Fox.
Adonai” is a very charismatic opus. Strongly inspired by Vangelis' melodious and orchestral structures, Robert Fox works thoroughly his movements, bringing a harmonious evolution which swings between the melancholy of a biblical age and some more technoid movements of a contemporary era. Musical and rhythmic structures constantly slowed down by a dramatic theme which is deeply investigate by an author whom the perceptions of these epochs transcend the writings. For those who love the cinematographic side of Vangelis, “Adonai” should fulfill your waits and needs.

Sylvain Lupari (2April 17th, 2009 and translated on August 9th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mardi 7 août 2012


"Robert Schroeder is the kind of artist that it's necessary to know how to tame by surmounting the barrier of prejudices in consideration of the musical genre"
1 Hold Me 6:11
2 Close Your Eyes 9:46
3 Ladies & Gentlemen 5:22
4 Lonely Heart Hurts 7:54
5 Northern Lights 9:58
6 Skyscrapers 8:41
7 Electric Music 7:18
8 Du Du DuDn Duhu 8:29
9 Use Your Brain 5:01

NEWS_MUSIC: NEWS-CD 11.027 (CD 68:30) ***½

Robert Schroeder is the kind of artist that it's necessary to know how to tame by surmounting the barrier of prejudices in consideration of the musical genre. And from then on our ears are opening to a luxurious musical world decorated by a stunning and rich sound fauna which amazes every time a lost chord nests inside our ears. This is what happened to me while discovering Sphereware, Taste ItNew Frequencies Vol. 1 and this last volume of the fearless musical adventures of the magician of Aachens. Robert Schroeder's wonderful musical world is misleading. The synth wizard and sound designer of an EM which is astride more than a universe of paradoxes likes challenging the limits of the conventionalism by realizing albums which alternate constantly between the mid-tempo, lounge and cosmic rock while transcending the comfort of the easy rhythms of a synth-pop disinfected by a commercial approach. “New Frequencies Vol. 2”  is a land of rhythms with tropical aromas encircled by a magnificent musical environment where the robotics voices à la Kraftwerk are scraping some heavy bass lines to make turn pale New Order.
One of these bass lines displays its echoing notes which resound in a universe of electronic cotton, while an angelic voice and a robotics vocoder whisper in a cloud of hesitating chords which furnish the cosmic intro of "Hold Me". The rhythm falls a little after the 1st minute and "Hold Me" plunges us straight into this heterogeneous mixture of futuristic poetry where the artificial voices flirt with synth harmonies on rhythms as much suggestive as abstract, bringing the auditor to the discovery of a rhythmic universe which lurches between the groove, the lounge and the up-beat. The rhythm is soft and harmonious, as in "Close Your Eyes" and ''Du Du DuDn Duhu" and its candid catchy tune, offering a kind of mid-tempo encircled by a synth full of melodious floating lines and riffs which dither constantly between two rhythmic paces. Interchangeable rhythms which live on percussions with stunning eclectic tones and on lines of bass which throb and buzz slightly in the shade of a synth and its harmonious clouds among which riffs and lamentations are similar to cosmic guitars. The more we move forward into “New Frequencies Vol. 2” and the more the magician of Aachens displays the big rhythmic diversity of his last opus which is carefully coated with this harmonious synth which follows his tracks since Paradise. The use of vocoder also adds a sharply more robotics touch to “New Frequencies Vol. 2” whom by moments exudes the cybernetics wanderings of Kraftwerk. If the first two titles embrace a Double Fantasy groovy tangent, "Ladies & Gentlemen" offer a more dynamic structure which moves under some musical stars and percussions which sound like an arrow thrown by a crossbow bended to its maximum. Although more livened up, the rhythmic structure is always encircled by an electronic veil in the smells of the New Berlin School.
"Lonely Heart Hurts" transports us towards in a universe of cosmic disco with a voice of Disco Queen. "Northern Lights" is the most progressive title of “New Frequencies Vol. 2” with a strong rhythm which quivers beneath superb synth lines with a disarming contrast. The bass line makes the loudspeakers tremble while the percussions imprison a curt rhythm which does some break-dance steps into ethereal harmonies that a synth imprisons of its lines subdivided between its oniric spectres and its envelopes of iridescent mists. It’s a very good title which demonstrates all the amplitude of the diversified rhythms that beat in a musical setting vitamined of a harmonic research where the electronic melodies surround a host of abstract dances. Languishing and sensual "Skyscrapers" swirls in the stranglehold of a heavy bass line with gyrating circles. Divided between its vocal approach as well as its lines and its cosmic movements, the synth digs a ditch between the melody and robotic with a surprising ease. The swirling rhythm of "Electric Music" is fed by a bass line heavily funky which spits its circular chords in a staccato rhythmic shape. A rhythm superbly supported by a skillful game of percussions and sequences of which the keys resound as tones of xylophone which stick together and wiggle in a stunning dislocated spiral. The robotic voice reminds us of Kraftwerk. A Kraftwerk who eats Depeche Mode and New Order. Let say that it’s a rather explosive title! "Use Your Brain" encloses “New Frequencies Vol. 2” with a heavy fluid and circular harmonious approach where the voices always have a strong presence on a title rich in musicality and of which the hectic rhythm collapses under this enormous musical mass which encircles an album with Teutonic rhythms and lunar harmonies. An album that only Robert Schroeder can offers without risking to perturb the rhythm of his multiple electronic personalities.

Sylvain Lupari (August 7th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: