mercredi 26 septembre 2012

MICHAEL STEARNS: M’Ocean (1983)

“M’Ocean is an inescapable musical work where poignant and intense ambiences influenced a whole musicians' generation”



Bonne journée mes amis!
Greetings friends!
I have transfered the reviews of Michael Stearns on the new website of Synth&Sequences here;

lundi 24 septembre 2012

MICHAEL BRÜCKNER: 100 Million Miles Under the Stars (2012)

“100 Million Miles Under the Stars is a big work of EM like those made in the forgetting of the 70’s opus that I strongly recommend”


1 Memo for Nemo Part I 7:25
2 Memo for Nemo Part II 6:21
3 Cycle of Fire 12:29
4 Paradox Planet 11:30
5 Monokosmos 11:27
6 Waves are Chasing the Wind 13:13
7 100 Million Miles under the Stars 15:32

SYNGATE: CD-R MB01 (CD-R 77:59) *****

Hum … What a pleasant discovery! It’s through a splendidly charming sound and musical decoration that Michael Brückner's first work arrives to our ears by the means of a major EM label. Michael Brückner is a veteran in the circles of EM with a more or less dark ambient style. Active since 1992, he composed and realized 99 albums which are available on various download platforms. For his 100th album, the Syngate label took the bet to make known this talent hidden in the webs of Internet. “100 Million Miles Under the Stars” is a superb album which reveals all of the splendours of an EM which renews with its first role; weave some rhythms and cosmic harmonies in an electronic galactic universe. It’s a great collection of 7 titles where the floating and atmospheric intros are used as pretext to undulatory rhythms moulded in the harmonious oblivion of the analog synths. Rhythms which emerge out of cosmic abysses created in envelopes of stellar tones to be made dream the driest of the imaginations. It’s a very favorite. My very favorite for 2012 that I hurry to share with you.
Pulsations forged into hollow wood are raising hoops with eroded outlines, like some lost steps would raise mislaid partridges, and splendidly the musical fauna of “100 Million Miles Under the Stars” makes itself known in our ears with a veil of iridescent mist which floats in the echoes of the hollow pulsations. A strange perfume of an industrial world floats with quirky tones which stroll around mists weaved in the laments of fanciful violins, whereas that "Memo for Nemo Part I" shells its first minutes in an intense atmospheric broth. An uncertain rhythm is settling down a little after the 4th minute. Fed by more amplified pulsations, of which each pulse is bruising the movement which drops shrill lunar lamentations, and a mixture of percussions/cymbals flickering of nervousness, this rhythm debauches a violent line of frenzied pulsations which makes the bridge between both parts. This splendid spasmodic rodeo crashes into an atmospheric cliff and its brightnesses fall into "Memo for Nemo Part II" which runs away with a delicious stroboscopic movement of which the slow undulations are structuring a cosmic down-tempo where the rhythm, always uncertain, topples over between an exhilarating and occasional velocity, constantly decorated with an attractive cosmicolectronic sound fauna. "Cycle of Fire" is a slow cosmic tribal procession. If the intro offers ringings of sidereal bells which ring among sinuous and long soloing breezes of a synth a bit tinny, the rhythm is wiggling with the arrival of clanic percussions of which the frantic tams-tams sculpture an enchanting oniric dance. The irregularity of the rhythms is in the heart of the charms of “100 Million Miles Under the Stars”, creating a musical happening which tergiversates in a cosmos starry with tones that are similar to the galactic poetries of Tomita and Vangelis. And the tribal rhythm of "Cycle of Fire" is as much parcelled out between its frenzied tams-tams and its soft cosmic ambiences that a synth is wrapping of a soft astral layer, taking good care of the scattered piano notes which float in a Milky Way in thousand stellar tones.
Like some oblong pulsations lost in an ascending heart rhythm, the rhythm of "Paradox Planet" emerges from beyond hollow winds to oscillate of a hypnotic velocity on the gyrating valleys of a minimalist movement which is melting into a linear spiral before dying out in the breezes of the void of a black cosmic finale. These rhythms livened up by synth waves which run and roll in loops are one of the wonders of “100 Million Miles Under the Stars”, the other one being these deep atmospheric moods which bubble and shape those abstract rhythms drawn on timeless loops. "Monokosmos" borrows the same rhythmic and atmospheric phases as "Paradox Planet" except that the rhythmic loops are curter and roll with a more increased pace. The iridescent flutes of "Waves are Chasing the Wind" sing of their sharpness breaths on a more tribal rhythm. The approach, which is similar to an audacious dance of the desert winds with chaotic percussions/pulsations, embraces a fiery rhythm from which the vertical snails form a cadence a bit dislocated which goes contrary to the mesmerizing singings of the wind flutes. The way that the title-track takes place reflects all the sound wealth of “100 Million Miles Under the Stars” with cosmic atmospheres rich in tones which sparkle and sing from every corners of the universe. Magnificently drifting and musically dreaming, the intro floats in a cosmic broth which hovers all over the 7 titles of this Michael Brückner's 100th opus. The sidereal winds are rich and warm. They groan in a swarm of musical stars which shine with all the inconceivable wealth of the depths of a cosmos within the reach of any imagination, while the rhythm wakes up with the silvered jingles of hoops which melt themselves within their rhythmic rings. The rhythm is weaved in a strong undulatory current, pounding with power under the charms of a flute which has no secrets anymore for our ears and of a synth which disperses its cosmic harmonies on a galactic rodeo to thousand spasmodic kicks, concluding the wonderful paradox of a cosmic poetry on its conceptual reality.

Yes “100 Million Miles Under the Stars” is a big work of EM like those made in the forgetting of the 70’s by artists such as Synergy, Jarre or Vangelis. An opus that I strongly recommend. Hat to you Michael Brückner!
Sylvain Lupari (September 24th, 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=15537

vendredi 21 septembre 2012

NISUS: Electronic Medication (2012)

“With fine variations on musical patterns rather similar Electronic Medication is a beautiful album where the cosmos is witness of a minimalist music on imperceptible rhythms”


1 Kingston Coffee 9:58
2 Magnetic Miles 11:17
3 Electronic Medication 38:04
4 Black Body Ballad 9:50

INDEPENDANT| (DDL 69:11) ***½

EM inspires more and more some young artists who are inspired by pioneers' works such as those of Klaus Schulze or Jean Michel Jarre. And it’s these inspirations that guided the very first work of the Belgian musician Evert Vandenberghe and his project Nisus. “Electronic Medication” is his first album. An album which turns around 4 long tracks with minimalist approaches perturbed by fine variations while being lined by attractive melodies tinted with cosmic crystals.
Sequences and ions skipping like balls in a too small abacus for all to contain them are starting the delicate approach of Gang Street that introduces the peacefully chaotic rhythm of "Kingston Coffee". This claustrophobic rhythm feeds the rhythmic structures of “Electronic Medication” which fluctuate between a slow and a mid-tempo hampered to be mixed up in soft technoïd approach. It skips slowly on "Kingston Coffee" with a passive approach which ignites with keys in muffled and glaucous tones, stamping on a minimalist lineal movement pecked of sober knocks of percussions and subtle variations which are perturbing its tranquility. Without being dominant on the whole “Electronic Medication”, the synths draw cosmic lines which coo, stammer and roll in loops to raise young harmonies in a cosmic magma fill by the analog tones of Jean Michel Jarre. These sequenced ions which vibrate to create the illusion of a heavy rhythm are also welcoming "Magnetic Miles" which takes the appearances of a comfortable cosmic funk and which would have been able to be a suite, maybe it’s this, to "Kingston Coffee" so much the rhythms and analog ambiences are alike in there, but on a more accentuated rhythm. "Electronic Medication" offers a slow intro splashed with patches of jerky fogs which expire gases of mist under the cooings of synth to morphic harmonies. We are floating in a cosmos soaked of tetanised atmospheres, like on the first works of Schulze. A murky pulsation pops out at around the 14th minute, offering a destabilized rhythmic approach which quickly increases the pace with an enchanting undulation to finally nest towards a cosmic mid-tempo where the vapors of ether get dissipate little by little on a more steady rhythmic progress. The resonant sequences are stumbling of a repetitive grace, borrowing the movements of the first 2 titles and pushing the evolution of "Electronic Medication" towards a soft cosmic techno. This is a very good track where the minimalist side is skilfully covered by fine variations which make a passive listening as fascinating as pleasant under beautiful lines to repetitive semibreve harmonies. "Black Body Ballad" ends “Electronic Medication” with the same approach that fed this first opus of Nisus. A little faster, the tempo skips with the delicacy of a soft mid-tempo or a morphic techno that lines of synth decorate of fine ornamental melodies while wrapping "Black Body Ballad" of a layer of violin veil, like those synth-pop of the New Wave years.
With fine variations, as rhythmic as atmospheric, which charm on musical patterns rather similar  “Electronic Medication” is a beautiful album where the cosmos, and our ears, are the witnesses a fight of jumping ions stamping on a minimalist music in rhythms as imperceptible as hypnotic. I quite liked well this first opus of Evert Vandenberghe, a.k.a. Nisus, who demonstrates a beautiful maturity at the level of the control of his atmospheres, a bit tetanised of rhythmic chloroform, which free a soft hypnotic perfume which caresses the hearing as if Klaus Schulze (post Dreams) would meet Jean Michel Jarre in an oniric cosmos.

Sylvain Lupari (September 21th, 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=15523

lundi 10 septembre 2012

IDEATION: One Sea (2012)

“One Sea is why EM exists! It’s 60 minutes of a smooth minimalism music with sonic variations and perturbations on the same theme”

1 One Sea 59:20
BOGUS FOCUS (DDL 59:20) ***½

The last album of Ideation goes back in 2009 with the surprising Adrift (Ricochet Dream RD040). Conceive on a basis of improvisation “One Sea” offers us a long minimalist journey on the back of sea bird with sonic variations and perturbations on the same theme.
Like a bird slowing down its flight to land on water, “One Sea” begins on brakes, just to organize the long musical pilgrimage of an idealistic tern. Chords skip and interlace in the shade of delicate percussions, weaving the long minimalist rhythmic route of “One Sea”. Other chords are added, undulating in hoops which coo as endless loops on a bed of arpeggios to crisscrossed fates.
These hoops to abraded outlines are ringing finely among a rich sound fauna and synth lines which draw some fine earworms, humming and waving whimsically on an oblong hypnotic structure which grows constantly rich of tones as quirky as spots of abstract arts on beautiful sunny landscape paint. Make proud by chords, sequences and percussions which fatten its structure, the rhythm is fluid and progresses with delicacy and subtlety under a harmonious sky threatened by light variations. And the first one turns up at around the 13th minute, insufflating a light breeze of freshness with foggy synth layers which cover a rhythm having sensibly lost of its velocity. The chipped hoops remain. They draw a circular rhythmic axis which is an easy prey to percussions which bind themselves and redirect the rhythm towards its 2nd variation. This passage is sharply more atmospheric with synth lines which come together and form an implosive maelstrom from which the musical whirlwinds bog down in a spiral swirling among hoops with sharp outlines. Without rhythmic sequences nor percussions, this long phase of “One Sea” is of an ambiophonic tranquility with its uncountable synth layers with strands of mist which wind up in a strange ode for serenity that scattered percussions shake shyly of their hesitating hits. It’s a superb passage which awakens in me the taste to listen Michael Stearns' M'Ocean. And like a sunrise on the horizon leaded by the blue of a quiet ocean, the rhythm of “One Sea” takes back its rights. Bubbling finely of an incomprehensible rustle it gets up hard, stumbling into continual musical countercurrents to finally stand up with strength at around the 43rd minute. It’s a brief rhythmic passage which loses little by little of its strength to sink into an abyss in foggy veils where only the loops oscillations of origin persist and sign a pace which gradually runs out in the spheroidal tears of Aeolus and the fine disturbances of a sea captive of an endless horizon.
One Sea” is why EM exists. It’s an idea which germinated during a preparation for the Awakenings festival and which found all its musical form in the entrails of an outfit of equipments perfectly tuned. It’s nearly 60 minutes of which the variations, as much rhythmic as melodic, are running on a same pattern which seems inexhaustible. It’s very good and mesmerizing, like a long travel at back of bird on a sea with shimmering reflections. It’s available on line, is in a very good sound quality, a
t:
http://ideation.bandcamp.com/track/one-sea
Sylvain Lupari (September 10th, 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=15492

dimanche 9 septembre 2012

IDEATION: Adrift (2009)

“Built in the paths of a more progressive Berlin School, Adrift is stuffed with sound surprises and unexpected melodies which charm on disconcerting rhythms”

1 Function & Disorder 8:56
2 Cherry Pie 1:18
3 Zeitgeist 10:22
4 Unreality 6:12
5 Gruber’s Great Aunt 6:26
6 Bom Badda Boom 10:17
7 Adrift 14:45

RICOCHET DREAM: RD040 (CD 58:16) ***¾

Once again the Ricochet Dream label proposes us an album more than interesting; “Adrift” from Ideation, a new duet consisted of Paul Nagle (Joint Intelligence Committee, Binar, STDM, Headshock and Far From Stars) and Air Sculpture's Pete Ruczynski. An artistic union which transcends the audacious limits that Nagle had establishes with Andy Pickford for Binar and STDM.
The intro of "Function and Disorder" is in the purest Nagle tradition. Dark and scheming, it's fed by voices which whisper an uncertain paranoia among lugubrious tremulous oscillations and caustic reverberations. We totally are into the delirious world of Nagle when percussions of a virgin aboriginal world build a rhythm which deploys into a cacophonous down-tempo to flirt among stroboscopic hoops and fine lines of flutes, plunging the listener into a sound fauna as denser as the jungles of tropical forests. The rhythm jerked by a hatched and echoing sequence, where voices and oriental flute get tangled in a progressive heresy, "Function and Disorder" is not without calling back Wuivend Riet from Johannes Schmoelling. "Cherry Pie" is a short fluty interlude which leads us up to the first notes of "Zeitgeist" and its intro flourishing with tribal percussions of the Middle East which a sweet layer of a foggy synth covers of an ethereal veil.
Chords swirl delicately to converge on a delicate dance which increases gradually the pace of "Zeitgeist" which now undulates with a nice velocity on a beautiful bed of an oscillating sequenced approach. It’s a very good progressive Berlin School which glides in a hypnotic whirlpool to give free court to a whistling synth among which the harmonies and more tinkled keys are wrapping the title in a zone of comfort with protective pads.
Percussions with an African rhythm are structuring the unbridled pace of "Unreality". Still there we are immersed into the Paul Nagle frenzied and wild sound world. The rhythm is steady but at the same at the opposite to the sound atmospheres which pour randomly on this frenzied movement which can easily be compare to a dance for zombies on acid. Murmurs and voices among streaks and laments of whales feed by twisted metal in a corrosive oceanic ambience, thanks to of Phil Smillie's guitar, the very ambiophonic and atmospheric "Gruber’s Great Aunt" leads us towards the brilliant "Bom Badda Boom". Nested on a nervous sequencer with chords which hop in the sails of a synth with layers of angelic choirs, "Bom Badda Boom" is raising quite gently among a pleiad of sound effects which charm and intoxicate with this electronic sweetness which ends in an edible strangeness. Contrary to its naming the rhythm is soft, even melancholic, with a beautiful harmonious structure which sometimes swells with light jolts of sequences which run away with a tamable din into a luxuriant sound fauna where the cawing of toads take on a strange appearance of animal poetry. It’s another very beautiful title where complexity espouses easily harmony. Showing an intro tinted by romanticism with a smooth piano which displays an unexpected sentimentality, the title-track starts sensitively. Piano notes are encircled by a guitar and a synth with caustic streaks up until a hopping sequence resizes a vaporous structure. Rotary the rhythm is constantly pecked by a shy guitar and a piano became less sentimental which plunge "Adrift" into a cloudiness structured by a moderate pace, where sound and vocal effects evaporate in the lamentations of a solitary guitar to conclude “Adrift” into its paradoxical but very musical structures.
Built in the paths of a more progressive Berlin School, this first opus of Ideation is stuffed with sound surprises and unexpected melodies which charm on disconcerting rhythms, reminding by moments the works of Joint Intelligence Committee and of Binar; 2 musical projects where Paul Nagle showed all of his progressive and technoid vision of a contemporary EM which is dying of envy to offers its new structures to less timorous ears.

Sylvain Lupari (June 2nd, 2009 and translated on September8th, 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=12161

mardi 4 septembre 2012

ERIK WOLLO & BERNHARD WOSTHEINRICH: Arcadia Borealis (2009)

“Arcadia Borealis is a nice musical adventure where Erik Wollo's melodious lyricism faces the music stylistic daring of Bernhard Wöstheinrich”

1 The Wayfarers 5:55 
2 Exploration 5:30 
3 Solar Wind 6:54 
4 White Sea 3:08 
5 Airship 5:19 
6 Terrestrial Magnetism 5:23 
7 Nautilus 6:13 
8 Midnight Sun 6:05 
9 Mirror Image 6:29 
10 Hemisphere Nord 2:45 
11 Polaris 5:20 
12 Decampment to Arcadia 4:14

DIN| DiN34 (CD 62:39) ***½


The label DiN is known to present high-quality contemporary music of which the accessibly isn’t for all ears. Certainly there are exceptions, such as Arc and Ian Boddy's certain works that have a touch of heavy British School style. But the vast majority of these works from DiN remains experimental so less accessible to a larger audience. And still there is a public curious and fond of these sonic tones which evolve on progressive moods, hybrid ambiances or rhythmic structures. And that’s there that the DiN label has its entire signification. “Arcadia Borealis” is an artistic encounter between a Norwegian guitarist (Erik Wollo) with his poetic and melodious musical approach and a sound wizard (Bernhard Wöstheinrich) who has an imagination as complex as brilliant. It’s a skillful blend where the romantic poetry of Wollo perfumes the musical structures tinted by an audacious sound editing which tortures the soft melodious fragrance hanging and floating here and there, giving a surprising album which wants to be a tribute to the Big North and its explorers.
Some noises of a wild nature behind ochre blows open "The Wayfarers". A soft romantic synth floats on cymbals with discreet clicking sounds in an avian musical fauna, paving a cadence in a shape of tick-tack bitten by the jolts of a soft bass line that another line of symphonic synth plunges into a delicious melodious sphere. "The Wayfarers" dances then on a heavy rhythm, inflamed by melodious strata which thins out the leaves on a curt pace, punctuated by a brief atmospheric stop, in a sound universe filled of a rich poetic paradox. This opening draws the canvas of an album with harmonious tints on passages at once ambient, ethereal and sometimes lively where melodious layers and strata embrace a stunning eclectic approach. "Exploration" continues with a similar intro where a supple rhythm is building a ballade approach around a synth with shimmering breezes. On mid-route the melodious part is crushed by a passage with arrhythmic pulsations before plunging again in the harmonious approach of its overture. And so goes “Arcadia Borealis”. Whether it’s with sweet and soft musical pieces, such as "Solar Wind" which offers a sweet jazzy structure stuffed with poetic layers and wrapped by a soft solitary piano or still the suave "Terrestrial Magnetism" which exudes the Scandinavian boreal solitude or even the ambient and atmospheric "White Sea", every track of “Arcadia Borealis” is fed of rhythms and ambiances with thousand composite tones. An album where Bernhard Wöstheinrich knits tones and broken rhythms ("Airship", "Mirror Image" and "The Wayfarers") recovered by the sweetness and the poetic visions of Erik Wollo's guitars.
Arcadia Borealis” is a beautiful album, strange to hear but still a beauty. It’s a nice musical adventure where Erik Wollo's melodious lyricism faces the music stylistic daring of Bernhard Wöstheinrich who takes well care of keeping intact the poetic feelings of his one opus companion. An enchanting opus which exudes the paradox of the wild beauty of those Nordic countries isolated as still unknown worl
d.
Sylvain Lupari (November 5th, 2009 and translated on September1st, 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=12582