mercredi 19 décembre 2012

FANGER & SCHÖNWÄLDER: Stromschlag (07/11)

“Stromschlag is a musical journey finely depicted by a creative complicity that resuscitates admirably the old essence of vintage EM”

1 Wild Joe's 10:02
2 Mojave 7:15
3 Yellow Stones 15:32
4 See you later in Bozeman 23:39
5 Gallatin Field 8:47
6 Twintron 5:21

RICOCHET DREAM | RD067 (CD 70:46) **** (Berlin School)

Originally available in digipack format and in limited edition on the Manikin label, “Stromschlag” is a musical collection of 2 travelling salesmen invested of a desire to sell an EM with the analog perfumes of the vintage years. It's an opus that is also out of print but which is redone on Vic Reck's label, Ricochet Dream. We can describe this album as a scrapbook of hundred of photos taken in the lands of Steve Roach, that Tangerine Dream discovered in his 77 tour, restored into music during the Californian tour of this brilliant German duet. But is “Stromschlag” for an electric shock? Not really! But rather a nice and quiet musical collection stemming from the fertile imagination of Fanger & Schönwälder who doesn't stop to amaze in his making of a minimalism art where redundancy is held in contempt.
It's all in smoothness that "Joe's Wild" begins. Soft sparkling arpeggios are floating in a nebulosity filled of heterogeneous tones and where the sound effects of a boreal forest are trapped in a somber Mellotron which gets collusive of an effervescent musical taciturnity. The track livens up in a kind of groovy mood which sounds like a soft Mexican romance with fine percussions drumming beneath an acoustic guitar and some mislaid chords shining with a brightness echoïc harmonious air. The influence of Fanger (Mind-Flux) is striking on this soberly cheerful and rhythmical music piece which reminds me of Food For Fantasy
 or still the Californian breezes of Mergener/Weisser's works on IC label. It's a mesmerizing track which soaks into a jazzy/groovy mood and which ends in the soft ecstasies of a fluty Mellotron. And it's with an even darker Mellotron that "Mojave" is opening, exposing the air of the American desert wild savannas. We feel a sort of agony there while that floating chords call to mirage in a superb soundscape of a glittery beam. The soft paleness of "Mojave" goes up to until "Yellow Stones" with a splendid presence of Mellotron from which the hazes sound so much like the arrival of TD in the American soils back in 1977. A beautiful line of sequences splits the movement at around the 5th minute which livens up under some rather ingenious synth spectres. The spirits of the desert wake up with the lamentations of the first pioneers who left their souls beneath the sand. The musical reconstitution of the American West by Fanger & Schönwälder is striking and depicts with a surprising creativity those long bus journeys. But the duet never forgets his roots and delivers a superb Berlin School structure with mnemonic percussions and gliding hazes of Mellotron on the second half of "Yellow Stones" which ends up to be one of the very good tracks of EM in 2008. It's a wonderful music which wakes up and dies in the night-atmospheres of an eroded land.
From the same introductory pattern but this time fed by a fertile zoological sound fauna, "See you later in Bozeman" starts from barren furrows to finally create a slow and hypnotic Berlin School to which are joining a litany of sound effects and ghostly voices which merge to some aboriginal synth breaths. This long circular track exploits the spectral breezes and ghostly moods of a dense Mellotron which weighs up on a sober, hypnotic and steady tempo. This Mellotron is the cornerstone of this long hypnotic canvas where a soft rhythmic pattern is skipping smoothly beneath the iridescent breezes and flutes that go all the way to its end. It's quite good, a bit long, and it's a good indication of the complicity and the magic that surround the German duet that drinks of the analog years of the Dream and Klaus Schulze. And I know that I'm repeating myself but the duet seems to have an unlimited imagination. Let us take "Gallatin Field" for instance. Fanger & Schönwälder would have been able to lower the guarding and simply offers a well sequenced track which catches and forms a solid earworm such as hypnosis of the brain. But no! The duet has chosen to dress this rhythm which undulates in cascades with sequences which become entangled among nice synth melodies which crystallize in a rich and diversified sound excitement, always raising the hearing attention of a notch. This is yet another great track with breezes and winds of the Middle East among a southern touch, while that "Twintron" floats in the desert of serenity with beautiful tones of big organ. This dramatic touch is ending a journey finely depicted by a creative complicity from this amazing duet that resuscitates admirably the old essence of the progressive electronic era, with a zest of electronica. So, when is the next?

Sylvain Lupari (March 10th, 2009 and translated on December 18th, 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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