mardi 28 février 2012

VANDERSON: Visions (2011)

"Visions is a splendid return in time..."
1 Vision Part I 10:54
2 Powerminers 8:18
3 Vision Part II 12:43
4 Vision Part III 13:30


GENERATOR.PL: GEN CD 022

Vanderson is part of this invasion of Polish musicians who embellish the EM scene for the biggest pleasure of our ears. Influenced by Berlin School, both vintage and new, Maciej Wierzchowski composes a music which oscillates constantly between these two universes, caressing sometimes the cosmic meanders and its tones so metallic as heterogeneous established by Jarre, at least on Visions, in conformity with what would be completely suited to call today; the Poland School style. Visions is his 7th work and his very first on the label of his native land; Generator Pl. An album which will please undoubtedly the fans of old good Berlin School.
Sounds of gongs cross the ages, resounding among fine cosmic streaks and its winds which blow to scatter a cosmic silence. Fine sequences drum. Their delicate and feverish palpitations draw the souvenirs of a distant musical world furnished by the art of Klaus Schulze
 to modulate silk rhythms. A soft celestial flute covers this fragile poetic tempo which quietly goes towards an atmospheric passage where solitary chords roam among the singings of crickets and threatening reverberations. We are a little after the 6th minute and "Vision Part I" escapes with sequences which skip with more ardour. Sequences to crisscrossed strikes which intertwine in the doubloons of their hasty succession, moulding these nervous and hypnotic rhythmic which made the delights of vintage Berlin School of the Schulze's years that Maciej Wierzchowski sprays with copious synth solos and heterogeneous electronic tones. This rhythm at the same time soft and nervous fed the skeleton of "Powerminers" which begins with drops falling from a cave walls. Slow synthesized waves sunk into violined stratas are rocking there, waiting for these sequences with a soft chaotic and repetitive pace which team up to fine percussions while the exhilarating minimalist rhythm of "Powerminers" flows under a thick cloud of cosmic tones and soft flutes which sing under pleasant orchestral arrangements. Very musical, "Powerminers" ends its lyrical journey in the jingles of an intra-ground station and its trains which fit into each other, a little as in the universe of Jean Michel Jarre and his Magnetic Fields.
These tones of trains continue beyond "Vision Part II" whose rhythm is drummed by sequences to arrhythmic pulsations which spawn in the shade of discreet reverberations. Clouds of mist cover this rhythm which accelerates subtly its pace, while cymbals and percussions are framing a soft semi frenzied ascent which binds itself in percussions to tones of anvils wrapped in wadding to burst in a heavy and boosted ambiance. A very electronic ambiance filled by fragrances of Tangerine Dream and Air Sculpture with furious synth solos. The intro of "Vision Part III" reminds me a lot of the essays of Adelbert Von Deyen on his very beautiful Atmospheres (1980). The mood is as well poetic as cosmic with its clouds of spatial dusts which enfold the warm winds of lyrical synths. This is superb vintage years cosmic Berlin School we are hearing here with all this panoply of analog electronic tones which become entangled in a perfect atmospheric symbiosis. We feel a life inside these organic instabilities which implode of an oniric slowness, waiting for the smallest space of freedom to explode of a progressive rhythm. And the opening occurs a little before the 5th minute with sequences which alternate in a perfect symmetry, drawing a rhythm limping on cyclic and crisscrossed chords which waddle by following the movement of a more harmonious synth line. This hypnotic rhythm set by carillons and reverberations hangs on to wonderful solos which enlace and coil on a minimalist tangent a bit evolutive.
I adored Vanderson's Visions. It’s a splendid return in time when vintage Berlin School had this capacity to seduce with its soft minimalist sequences which fed long hypnotic movements where the modifications in structures were as perceptible as a blinking of lash. Evolutive rhythms which were of use as assizes to long and languishing synth solos or musical canvas to atmospheric sound paintings where the imagination rocked our dreams and transcends our fantasies. It’s very beautiful and too short! And this gives me the taste to go off to explore the world of Vanderson.

Sylvain Lupari (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=14936
* You can also watch nice videos with extracts of Visions on YouTube with these links:

samedi 25 février 2012

SOLAR FIELDS: Until We Meet The Sky (2011)

"Until We Meet The Sky is a subjugating work which will seize you from the first listening"
1 From the Next End 9:18
2 Broken Radio Echo 3:55
3 Singing Machine 6:55
4 After Midnight, They Speak 3:40
5 When the Worlds Collide 6:33
6 Dialogue with a River 10:06
7 Forgotten 3:15
8 Night Traffic City 9:53
9 Sombrero 5:45
10 Last Step in Vacuum 9:11
11 Until We Meet the Sky 5:01
12 Epilogue 5:15

ULTIMAE RECORDS: INRE-053
Solar Fields is the musical project of the Swedish synthesist and sound designer Magnus Birgersson. Since 2001, with the release of Reflective Frequencies, Birgersson built himself a solid reputation, while bringing together an increasing number of fans, in the spheres of psychotronic ambient EM. Until We Meet The Sky is his last musical project. It’s a strangely fascinating album which saw its first ideas germinated during the 2011Australian mini-tour. Ideas which expanded much further and took a more musical shape during a subsequent journey in the icy territories of Ireland. These two contrasts of continents depict marvellously the universe of disparity which surrounds this 10th opus of Solar Fields where the sometimes apocalyptic atmospheres cross superb angelic arias on spheres of influence fed by free and undisciplined metallic electrons which hang their threatening shadows in a universe stigmatized by metallic waves. Iridescent waves which smother and surround fragmented and isolated tempos, eat away by melodious approaches as melancholic as meditative. Until We Meet The Sky listens to it as a long astral procession with phases which are crescend and are tighten into astral nothingness proper to Magnus Birgersson's imagination. And that's the reason why he wanted to approached it as a long and unique track, a project that he cherished for a very long time, that he cut into 12 phases which get tangled in a somber musical set where the tempos and melodies born and die from their ashes.
The influences of both continents embrace each other in a filiform synth wave which surrounds the silence. Somber oscillations are emerging there, feeding the discreet pulsatory circles of "From the Next End" which swirls with the delicacy of shadows among choirs and their whispers of intergalactic paranoia, murmuring in a fauna of white noises. A fine down-tempo adopts the pace of the weak oscillatory perception of an intro condemned by a thick fog. Swirling with a mesmerizing lasciviousness, it insufflates a parallel life to "From the Next End" which receives the rhythmic offering by freeing well here and there some crystal clear notes, but without ever giving way to the slender possibility of exploding, not only for a single moment. With its notes of piano roaming in an atmosphere of gloom, "Broken Radio Echo" espouses a very melancholic approach. A little as to contemplate the ruins of a city which breathes hardly under a fine acid rain. This movement of apocalyptic greyness continues beyond "Singing Machine" and its plaintive synth layers which overhang an intro calcified by an injection of carbonic fluids. It also precedes a subtle crescendo which cuts the debate ambiance/rhythm, with a fusion of percussions and pulsations which resound like a hypnotic tribal trance of which the echo of the strikings harmonizes with a synthesis of choruses and iridescent stratas to wind around a thick cloud of eclectic tones, highlighting the notes of a piano forgotten in the bitter vapours. Rustles, gases in fusion and tones of metal in mourning cover the very somber and atonal "After Midnight, They Speak", of which the misled piano notes of "Broken Radio Echo" accompany the cracklings of another galaxy. Cracklings which throw themselves into the intro of "When the Worlds Collide" and its fine bass line of which the deaf undulations awake synth stratas which adopt the same forms. Forms with UFO’s tones which exhilarate and catch the interest to plunge in a delicious down-tempo of which the hesitating rhythm is flooded in a bath of video game tones. Terrific the rhythm of "When the Worlds Collide" tergiversates between the sensualism of Massive Attack (Mezzanine) and the one of Gary Numan's robots, swallowers of orgasms. Everything is eclectic and metallic, except the feelings which go against reason of a title at the appearance so cold but which hides so much emotionalism. It’s a big favourite which takes refuge within the limpidity of the twinkling chords of "Dialogue with a River" and its delicate intro where the reflections of the sun on a river feign a bed of sparkling arpeggios with the innocence of its purity. A big droning cloud perturbs this tranquility, modifying the axis of serenity which hangs over "Dialogue with a River" which falls for a short, loud and spasmodic rhythm built on curt percussions of which the strikings bruise the auras of the howling elfs.
A slow prelude to the superb "Night Traffic City", "Forgotten" pursues this promenade under the bridges of a city in ruin where we hear a downpour crackled among the resonances of a multitude of hoops of which the echo is fading into an anonymous synth wave which leads towards a brief indecisive rhythm. And it’s in its drizzle that the sloppy rhythm of "Night Traffic City" is waving, fitting to the fine pulsations/percussions and melodious chords of a keyboard to hybrid tones. The melody is beautiful and catchy. The rhythm is sunk into vaporous ambiances with felted cymbals and this fusion of metallic percussions/pulsations which sound like radioactive gases. And the flow is of an oscillating strength of 3.5, 5 being the maximum of the zombiesc trance debility. But there is always this ambivalence in the rhythms and harmonious fluids which makes everything fleeting, fragmented or in constant evolution. And it’s Until We Meet The Sky's pattern. Magnus Birgersson is using each hidden recess and every possible moment to create a diversion and give a new direction to each of his titles. So the rhythm of "Night Traffic City" goes under a long tunnel and loses its transmissions which gradually get back with a powerful crescendo; angelic choirs, flickering cymbals, heavy bass and lines of a dramatic synth. The whole clears up while the rhythmic structure espouses a new tangent, in conformity with the entire dimension of the bipolarity of rhythms and melodies which teem within the heart of Until We Meet The Sky. It’s a great track! "Sombrero" plunges us into very dark ambiances with its chords of piano and keyboard which resound in the nothingness, before making us startle by falling with strength in a rhythm as unexpected than sharp. The floating hoops of "Last Step in Vacuum" incite us to join Morpheus’ arms. A delicate rhythm forges up through an angelic mist. Wooden percussions pierce the suave celestial violins, awakening an echoing tempo which is arching on good pulsatory percussions and drawing the lines of a stunning futuristic melody which is lulling between 2 universes. Angelic choirs wrap this tempo, preventing any leak of this stunning crescendo as much deeply moving than disconcerting. Because what follows will remain engraved in your ears for a very long time. "Last Step in Vacuum" is the long and delicious harmonious prelude which collects every available note to feed our feelings and kink our soul in the heavy rhythm and the surreal melody of the title track. If we haven’t the shivers of our emotions, if we don’t force back a tear and if we don’t switch off the candlestick of our torments by feeling the percussions hammering the beatings of our pulsations and by hearing the spectres roar with pain and desolation on a rhythm heavy, lascivious and so much harmonic of "Until We Meet the Sky" which crumbles beneath the weight of heart-rending streaks, it’s because that we already are in the Sky. Moreover, the winds of ether and metal which talk on a contradictory way on "Epilogue" are there to remind it to us.
Until We Meet The Sky is a subjugating work which will seize you from the first listening. Perplex and meditative, Solar Fields weaves an inexhaustible sound imagination where tones explode from everywhere, surrounding rhythms and ambiances prisoners of a fascinating poetry from a parallel universe. The snippets of melodies which roam here and there, hanging on to rhythms which born and fade in moods of apocalyptic ruins, are the equivalent of the works of a poet in search of light. It’s another jewel from the Lyon label
Ultimae Records ; a label which doesn’t stop amazing me, both by the quality of its works and by their artistic presentations. This label found the means to merge the electronic art. To merge the ambient and techno by presenting cataclysmic works which jostle the current of EM. Exactly like Until We Meet The Sky jostles all structures with a remarkable work which breathes of a new kind of ambient life. Hat to you Magnus Birgersson!
Sylvain Lupari (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=14925
* If you want to know a bit more about the sound world of Solar Fields, you can visit his website here: http://www.solarfields.com/

mercredi 22 février 2012

RUDZ & KOMENDAREK: Unexplored Secrets of REM Sleep (2011)

"Here's a powerful album difficult to tame but swarming of bipolar rhythms"1 Standing on the Shoulders of Giants 5:26
2 Unexplored Secrets of REM Sleep 15:59
3 Reminiscences From Beyond Infinity 24:04
a) Atavistic Throwback
b) Playing Dice with God
c) Immersed In a Marsch of Grey Matter
d) Another Dawn of Man
4 Lonely Spirits over the Post-Megalopolis Badland 16:58
5 Interrupted Stream of Consciousness 10:46

GENERATOR.PL: GEN CD 023
The sleep is a fascinating universe. It’s a world which belongs to us but of which we don’t control the destinies and where we slide quietly towards the semi-comatose phases, there where the beauties cross the horrors and the peace of mind feed the torments. It’s inspired by this universe without borders that Przemyslaw Rudz dipped the tips of his fingers to forge the beginnings of Unexplored Secrets of REM Sleep. Those who are familiar with the works of Przemyslaw Rudz know what to expect from the brilliant composer and the Polish oasis cosmic sculptor. But that would be the fruit of a collaboration with Wladyslaw Komendarek? Keyboardist from vintage psychedelic rock prog band Exodus and pioneer of the Polish electronic scene since 1985, Wladyslaw Komendarek is a character so much disproportionate as original who multiplies any sorts of experiments within his musical evolution. Knowing already that the albums of Przemyslaw Rudz are rich in related tones, what would bring the contribution of Komendarek? Built at remotely, Unexplored Secrets of REM Sleep is a brilliant album swarming of bipolar rhythms which depicts with fascination the various phases of sleep. Phases put in music with a superb musical direction, designed by Rudz, and by stunning cerebral settings, imagined by Komendarek.
"Standing on the Shoulders of Giants" open the doors of dullness with a soft morphic melody prisoner of a vacillating movement of which the contractions slip in a universe of eclectic and electronic tones. Piano notes emerge from this cerebral oblivion, strumming a linear rhythm which is surrounded streaks and solos of a synth which switches around its delicacy for the loudness and bites of a howling guitar. The first steps towards the unexplored secrets of the dreams continue with the title-track and its long intro populated by a collage of musical samplings as much heterogeneous as dreams can weave unsuited landscapes. A galloping sequential movement pierces this veil of indefinite tones, awakening a delicious wave which waddles innocently. After more than 6 minutes of the ghostly knocks or the vague steps, discordant beatings and panting, resounding church bells, moves of spectral waves and electric winds; "Unexplored Secrets of REM Sleep" gets out of its somnambulistic torpor with a deaf rhythm which amplifies its progression with beautiful élans of keyboards and fluttering synth stratas which caress a wild rhythmic ride fed by the fire of good percussions and boiling psychotronic keyboard keys. "Reminiscences From Beyond Infinity" is the heart of the sleep’s anguishes. It’s a long epic title of 24 minutes divided into 4 parts. Divided between its ambient, meditative, rhythmic and furious phases, "Reminiscences From Beyond Infinity" begins in the tears of Dominik Chmurski's solitary violin which lulls the morphic choirs of its intro (Atavistic Throwback) with superb tearful stratas. Stratas which cry in a world of apocalyptic metal. The tone is lugubrious and we are absorbed by a world of coldness with knocks of horrible cymbals which crumble the hearing and by the movements of rolling drums which make roar the moon while slowly we slide towards Playing Dice with God. This 2nd part of "Reminiscences From Beyond Infinity" is filled by rhythms of electronic rock à la Tangerine Dream era 220 Volts, guitars less although the impression to hear riffs in there remains vague. The percussions are wild and unbridled. They are supported by stormy sequences of which the crisscrossed exchanges get lost in the knocks of drum while synth solos are powerful and cover this lively rhythm of a strange mood of free-jazz. This rhythm dissolves at about the 11th minute, embracing a more lunar phase. It’s a beautiful moment of thoughtful poetry where the synth whistles a delicate lullaby on the back of fine waves to frail undulations. An isolated sequence flutters its rhythmic elytrons, such as a cadenced threat, awakening a vocoder which mumbles the psalms of a schizophrenic misled on the top of a crowned mountain contemplating a world in gestation. It’s in this long delirium filled of quirky tones that the last phase of "Reminiscences From Beyond Infinity" sets in motion. We hear tom-toms resound and the confuse ambiances. Tinkled keys cut the debate between the abstract and the concrete, reviving these synths perfumed by Tangerine Dream reminiscences of, introducing again a curt and nervous rhythm. A circular rhythm sat over unbridled percussions and sequences which try to fit to this tempo while the synth solos are watering abundantly the rhythmic frenzy with superb audacious musical figures. What a way to end this track!
After this stormy raid in the bipolar rhythms, "Lonely Spirits over the Post-Megalopolis Badland" offers a long introduction of serenity. The ambience is very cosmic with strongly ambient synth layers which float lazily among choirs which breathe the morphic quietness among dusts of stars and notes of a discreet guitar played by Jarek Figura. The rhythm is boiling slightly a little after the 8th minute. Gyratory, it bends itself on a fusion of pulsations and guitar riffs, being of use as ramparts for sumptuous synth solos which are supported by clouds of choruses. This rhythm is fading away, getting lost in somehow indecisive and a bit spasmodic guitar notes which try to resuscitate a rhythmic phase hidden in the Neuronium vapours of ethers. "Interrupted Stream of Consciousness" ends this fascinating essay of the lifelessness universe and its phantasmagorical meanders with fine palpitations which drill an indefinable hubbub and its colourful tones. As everywhere in Unexplored Secrets of REM Sleep the progressive rhythm gets disguise in a sound fauna to thousand hallucinating brightness. The bass of Maciek Warda molds a groovy tempo which hems under the plaintive spectres of a progressive rhythm and strata of an organ in the old tones of the Exodus years. And "Interrupted Stream of Consciousness" explodes of a cosmico-rock-psycho-progressive rhythm with a funky bass, a speaking keyboard, hybrid synth layers and a guitar with furious loops which harmonize their priorities on good percussions, converging on an evolutionary tempo which will break dryly on the cliffs of the incomprehensibility, the dumb witness of the originality and the anarchy of the harmonious fluids which separate Unexplored Secrets of REM Sleep from the dream and its complexities at the evolutionary stage of the sleep, disrupted by such a provocative album.
You will have guessed that Unexplored Secrets of REM Sleep is not for all ears. It’s a powerful album swarming with bipolar rhythms where the disproportionate imagination of Wladyslaw Komendarek finds his apotheosis in an impressive pattern of sound effects. The music is beautiful. Puzzling, it’s split by evolutionary directions which suit strongly well the conception that we can have of the evolutionary phases of the sleep. In brief, Unexplored Secrets of REM Sleep carries marvellously the boldness of its title and its project. It’s an album that we taste at the tips of our ears and once we have both ears filled by, we just can’t give up it

Sylvain Lupari (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=14919

* You can watch a promo video of Unexplored Secrets of REM Sleep by following this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU7gaW2V_r4

mardi 21 février 2012

INDRA: Parallel Time (1993/2011)

"Parallel Time is a pearl!"

1 Prophet 31:32
2 Sphinx 30:52
3 The Twins (Bonus Track) 17:29


EAGLE MUSIC: EMCD 028/2011

Some curt and edgy chords waltz with a metalized cohesion on the glaucous breaths of heavy and sinuous iridescent reverberations. Melted in a sound universe where the silvery tones get lost in the breaths of agonizing metals, the intro of "Prophet" drags us into Indra's odd and abstract sound world. We are hearing well these synths sculpted the winds of Orient. As we are hearing these poetic winds and these orchestral arrangements transported lunatic chords which only ask to form a coherent musical chain, but Indra decided to move away from his usual approach to offer a more audacious album. An album that he considers as more difficult to tame.
It’s after having attended to The Primeval Beauty theatre play that Indra had the idea to composed an album where the abstract mood would go alongside to the ambivalent and latent rhythms. After 2 first albums inspired by the Berlin School style, the Rumanian synthesist wanted to undertake a more audacious musical journey and Parallel Time is a whole one. "Prophet" is the most experimental of Parallel Time's original 2 tracks. It’s a long abstract musical painting where a panoply of interrupted tones, broken chords and isolated orchestrations vacillate and float in a musical universe divided between the cerebral anarchy and its fleeting evolutionary rhythms. The ambiance is surrealism with its melodies bits and pieces drowned in a musical anarchy made of heterogeneous tones and metallic breaths. In spite of its length (31:32) one can say that "Prophet" is drawing out in abstract redundancy because Indra gets our attention and feeds the imagination with harmonious insertions which go astray and come back under other forms in this long musical babel. Divided between pure stillness, some subtle sequenced momentums which wave on a sea of agitated tones and wandering choirs as well as some avalanches of scattered percussions "Prophet" pursues its long road to mislaid harmonies, falling sometimes into bitter eclectic moments and getting up again on other times for short harmonious moments; witness of the constant duality that Indra wants to impose on his 3rd work.
Sharply more musical and more inspired by The Primeval Beauty, "Sphinx" is simply wonderful. It’s a long hypnotic title which is strongly impregnated by the influences of Berlin School with a meditative progressive rhythm hammered by incise percussions of which the strikings sometimes metalized resound in the mist of Hinduisms' fragrances. A synth with honeyed winds of the Middle East opens the intro. A rich intro where the paradisiacal breaths are wrapped by crisscrossed synth stratas. Stratas which drop its choirs and its limpid tones of crystal. This mesmerizing movement of morphic waltz stretches its elytrons of desires beyond the first beatings of percussions, rooting the sensualism of an intro which does not stop merging in the strange lasciviousness of a movement which nevertheless goes on the borders of perdition. A little before the 8th minute the percussions fall with more heaviness and vigour, masking a bit the tones of suave flutes which emerge from the synths and giving so a second life to "Sphinx". A life imprinted by a sensual and cerebral magnetism. Wandering choirs smell the limping rhythm. It’s a slow and heavy rhythm, as a hypnotic groovy, which skips with a mixture of percussions and metallic jingles. Indra adds to it some splendid and attractive synth layers with tones as much striking as surprising which whip up the senses and calm the heaviness of the strikings of percussions of which the hypnotic pounding oversizes its dodecaphonic approach. And so "Sphinx" goes on and displays its 30 minutes as a slow cerebral trance where the rhythm is of use as pretext to a musical painting to thousand eclectic breaths and where the magic of Indra settles its first real daring ramifications which will serve the versatility of the Rumanian synth-spirit through his many works to come. This title is a pure marvel of electronic minimalist music.
Written15 years later, in 2007, "The Twins" is a bonus track included with this new rerelease of Parallel Time. And this is another jewel that Indra pulls out of his synths! It’s a pure delight of minimalist fascination which begins with tinkled chords which skip and collide with the sweetness of the oniric tenderness. One recognizes the sound of Indra. His delicacy and his kind of level-headed hesitation, signature of sweetness and sensibility get by knocks of life, which shapes a fine rhythmic slightly jerky. And the music is gorgeous! A wonderful romance where the chords and keys flutter with delicacy and harmony, changing the course of their melody on a rhythmic axis subtly permutating. The movement is of an innocent candor and all in harmony with those series of  twinkling  chords which hop in filiform lines and which crisscross in various melodious approaches, forging a ball of unfinished melodies which are complementing each other in the abstraction of its parallel lines, from where the link with Parallel Time. And when we tell ourselves ‘‘Shit, that it’s beautiful!’’, it’s becomes even nicer with its orchestral arrangements which pulls out a smile of the soul. Smiles that Indra is pulling out of me since moons already!
Parallel Time is a pearl! If "Prophet" can murdered your ears with its approach as eclectic as experimental, "Sphinx" and "The Twins" are two inescapable in the musical world of Indra and even the world of EM. Audacious, Indra laids the foundations for a style that he will polish up with more refinement in his subsequent works, I think in particular of the very beautiful Echo in Time released in 1998, and which will become the seal of this brilliant synthesist and music writer.

Sylvain Lupari (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=14916

* If you want to know a bit more about the sound world of Indra, you can visit his website here: http://www.indramusic.ro/

dimanche 19 février 2012

IAN BODDY: Strange Attractors (2012)

"Strange Attractors is a real tour de force which shows all of Ian Boddy's dexterity..."
1 Amongst Dark Clouds 9:50
2 Parabolic Excursions 10:40
3 Crossing the Range 15:17
4 Strange Attractors 17:34
5 Return Vector 14:52
6 Trip the Light Fandango 7:11


DiN: DDL012

Established as an indisputable leader in EM since his very first steps in 1980, Ian Boddy is as the good wine, in the exception that his overconsumption does not put to sleep nor intoxicates the senses but overexcites the delight caused by a wonderful electronic vine. Year after year and album after album, the English synthesist knew how to develop an artistic approach where his ambiances as much ethereal as cosmic and so much chthonian than eclectic were grafted in rhythms knit by subtle removable and evolutionary phases of which the permutations pass by powerful synth momentums or skilful sequenced ascents, giving to his EM an extrovert approach which transcends the walls of an abstract culture. If one would like to seize Ian Boddy's career in a single album, Strange Attractors would be the ideal springboard. It’s a powerful and intense album where synths weave dark and elusive ambiances which split up and tear away on the cliffs of rhythms, hungry for and fond of these moments of perdition unique to the moods of glaucous poetry which encircles the universes of the founder of DiN label.
Recorded in concert within the framework of the Awakenings EM Concerts in April2011, Strange Attractors is the 12th work available in a downloadable format on DiN Digital Download platform. Presented in a nice artwork with attractive graphics and a series of pictures from the concert, the album begins by a deep spatial immersion. A little as a filament leaving with resistance our cerebral aura, a fine synthesized wave ends up in the galactic depths to open "Amongst Dark Clouds". Only master on board, Ian Boddy multiplies the synth layers which coil in an impressive lunar waltz of which the orchestral momentums overfly the fine carillons which ring in an absolute oblivion. Intense and captivating, "Amongst Dark Clouds" wraps us of an aura of solitude from where are escaping discreet pulsations as well as metallic chords with random movements which jostle slightly the dark winds which switch into cosmic choruses. Fine sequences which sound like percussions of glasses dance freely at the opening of "Parabolic Excursions", chasing away the morphic vapours of "Amongst Dark Clouds". These sequences flutter and tinkle of an enchanting transparency, a little as in Eddie Jobson's universe and his fabulous Theme of Secrets, awakening the impulsions of a bass line of which the corrosive élans bite a static rhythm which is overhung by synth waves that sound so much like those of Martenot's. The movement is swirling. It follows a spheroidal tangent where cosmic mists and choirs unite their secret identities to embrace a hypnotic comfort while quietly the sequences drum again with the spectral waves of Martenot. It is in the acuteness breaths of "Parabolic Excursions" that begins the descent of "Crossing the Range". These oblong breaths move slowly such as sinuous sound arcs to adorn the abyssal depth which reigns over here and go astray in a subtle mixture of astral choirs. In full control of our cerebral mummification, Ian Boddy brings down some mechanical pulsations which surf on a cosmic mist, whereas the cymbals are moulding some floating tsitt-tsitt; prelude to a rhythm which becomes heavier, under the streaks and rustlings of a synth to spectral howlings. Between 2 two rhythmic phases and 2 unreal ambiances, "Crossing the Range" evolves with all of its ambiguity, caressing on the passage the chthonian mists and the progressive rhythms all in stamping on the jingles of the mechanical percussions which quiver in a smooth mellotron wadding. The finale explodes of a heavy circular rhythm à la Arc to be made turn pale the hells.
The title track chains up with a post- apocalyptic approach where threatening synth layers and sinuous caustic reverberations encircle various heavy resonant pulsations. It reigns over this "Strange Attractors" track a strange mood of a distress world of steel-making, a little à la Blade Runner, which calms down a little after the 8th minute to let a soft flute displays its celestial feelings which float bitterly in an iconoclastic world. It’s a short moment of appeasement where the winds of purity caress the latent distortions of a world of destruction which reborn of its ashes with its waves which twirl in a disastrous fury, letting the choirs and glaucous pulsations mixing up to a demonic arrhythmia up until the threshold of time. There where the flutes are pushing their last breaths, under the resonant curves of the sound arcs which throb in the isolation up to the doors of "Return Vector". After an intro where the dark winds scatter the Dantesque ruins of "Strange Attractors", the delicate drummed rhythm of "Return Vector" switches of direction towards heavy sequences which resound among crystalline ringing and caustic waves filled by cosmic resonances to converge on a rhythm built on a fluid and harmonic staggering. A rhythm sprinkled by delicious zest of groovy loops which coo over an ambiance filled by a deep chthonian flavour where the vestiges of Arc soak into the roots of Redshift with dark choruses which roam on a rhythmic structure subtly progressive. Hybrid, the synth frees a thick cloud of iridescent tones which scratch the fluidity of the rhythm while fusing short plaintive solos and splendid bewitching strata of which the vague spectral approaches hoot above the percussions to ringing of glasses which sparkle on a nest of pulsatory sequences. The musical ornament is terribly rich and intense. Ian Boddy looks like a real octopus with his hands which manoeuvre synths to sharp solos, with appealing mist (as much mephistophelic as cosmic) and dark choruses as well as sequencers to arrhythmic pulsations and rhythms structures to many forms. And finally these electronic percussions with random and undisciplined strikings supporting a rhythmic structure as much complex as hallucinating which ends in a wonderful blending of Arc/Boddy/Redshift . "Light the Trip Fandango" concludes straight off this concert. Slamming percussions encircle a sequential movement filled by multiple pulsations and wild percussions which sound like keys of a dactylo on the loose, while a keyboard draws fine harmonies with fluid keys which flutter around this wall of percussions and sequenced pulsations. Always in perfect symbiosis with its abstruse rhythms, the synth displays its bed of mist, its hybrid waves and its shrill solos, cementing "Light the Trip Fandango" in its role of an encore which closes a concert under the stars in a bubbling rhythm. A rhythm which gradually dies away in the fabulous and nostalgic Martenot waves. Those kinds of waves that make the whales sing on he cosmic corals.
Strange Attractors is a real tour de force which demonstrates all the dexterity of Ian Boddy to juggle with his panoply of instruments without losing the necessary concentration to shape an impressive musical world where the rhythms and the atmospheres are linked and overlap in a delicious cosmic cocktail. I would like being there and see this concert, only to see the strategy and the artistic architecture which inspired Ian Boddy to exceed the stage of improvisation to offer 6 solid titles where the emotion and intensity are the heart of a musical adventure which finally doesn’t really need eyes to be understood. Here’s an album which will introduce you easily into the fabulous sound world of Ian Boddy and which is available at the end of your fingers on the site of DiN:
http://www.din.org.uk/din/node/422
Sylvain Lupari (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=14912

* If you want to know a bit more about the sound world of Ian Boddy, you can visit his website here: http://www.din.org.uk/din/node/310

mardi 14 février 2012

TMA: SynthsOrganics (2011)

"SynthsOrganics is a rich album both in tones and in musicality..."

1 Modulus I 16:49
2 Ghost Whispers 8:16
3 Modulus II 13:35
4 Didge on the Ridge 12:02
5 Dreamland 6:45
6 Steve and the Art of Creating Friendship 6:17
7 Dan's Feeling 6:26

Syngate Records CD-R TA03

Torsten M. Abel is part of a core of unrecognized artists who through good times and bad enrich the cultural and musical universe of the underestimated Syngate label. A curious and multitalented artist born in Recklinghausen (Germany) in 1967, he was first interested in the synth-pop movement of the 80’s with the music of Gary Numan, Human League, John Foxx, and Thomas Dolby. It’s through this musical current that a friend introduced him to the world of sequences and hypnotic rhythms of Berlin School, by the music of Tangerine DreamKlaus Schulze and Ashra. And one thing leading to another and from synth to synth, Torsten Abel built his studio and composes his music. After a first album (Escape in 1993), the synthesist from the region of Ruhr takes a break and sell his equipment to concentrate on photography as a creative counterpart. At the same time he is always interested in the evolution of EM and the world of synthesizers. He slowly starts the creation of his own wall of modulars; a dream that he cherishes since he discovered the monsters of Klaus Schulze and Chris Franke, besides being active in the musical movement with the band Ambient Circle. It is moreover through this movement that he met Wolfgang Barkowski (Alien Nature) in 2008, a determining get-together which gave a 2nd élan to Torsten Abel with whom he collaborated for the realization of Medusa. Since then were released Sequentrips, in solo, and Hydra, with Alien Nature, in 2010.
SynthsOrganics is a more particular project which distances itself from purely electronic works of TMA and Alien Nature. It’s an audacious album where Torsten M. Abel mixes the tones of his synths and sequencers, as analog as digital, to tones of more conventional instruments instruments like guitars, played by Martin Rohleder who besides having helped TMA in the composition on 3 tracks amazes by a superb guitar play which adds the same depth as Maxxess to Pyramid Peak or Frank Dorittke to Ron Boots, percussions, didgeridoos and bullroarers. SynthsOrganics presents a surprising musical diversity where fragrances of jazz, clan trances and soft techno pierce hypnotic rhythms and melodic approaches arisen from this fusion of a retro Berlin School to the one of the digital years; Berlin School of the Innovative Communication years which saw the emergence of the key groups such as Software (Mergener / Weisser), Mind Over Matter and
Robert Schroeder.
With its spiral sequential movement which zigzags among hoops of metallic resonances, "Modulus I" propose a very Berlin School introduction. Sequencer chords sparkle and flutter increasing and decreasing in minimalist lines, creating a hypnotic melodious rhythm which divides its flow by the addition of doubloons which collide in the cosmic clouds of a morphic synth. "Modulus I" becomes then source of charm with a soft synth which sings its solos on a rhythm fed by crisscrossed sequences. Timid, the percussions come to support these sequences which split the permutation of a static rhythm. And although it doesn’t seem like it, "Modulus I" leans on a rhythm become more refined and more complex, even if always so hypnotic and minimalist, with this dance of sequences which crisscross under superb synth solos played by Marcel Dude, recalling ceaselessly the wonderful musical universe from the hatching of the Innovative Communication label in the middle of the 80’s. Simply delicious! The sequential movement of "Ghost Whispers" borrows appreciably the same trajectory but with a weak nuance in the rhythmic flow. Slower and more lascivious, the rhythm swirls such as a soft soporific carousel. Frank Makowski sculpts some great soloing lamentations of a synth filled by
Vangelis breezes which criss-cross a tide of celestial choruses of which certain whispers awaken a paranoia that sequences with delicate melodic volutes don’t stop feeding of an eternal lunar dance. It’s as much beautiful as it can be mesmerizing! "Modulus II" continues this exploration of those circular and hypnotic rhythms from the Software and Double Fantasy's years out of the IC label, where a spherical sequential movement swirls around cosmic sound elements and violins of galactic cathedrals. The intro teems with frayed serpentines which parade among sequences of which the beatings as much regular as timeless tick-tock scatter mists and cosmic choirs. Percussions bind to these sequences which undertake a slight movement of spiral, accentuating the pressure of a valsique rhythm which rushes into the furrows of an ascending tempo embellished by riffs of guitars. And it’s on a tempo build on an air on déjà heard that suave solos emerge. Sometimes from synths and sometimes from guitars, these solos run a rhythm that has these soft melodic reminiscences which call back these misfit years where Berlin School passed in transit through the analogue and the digital.
"Didge one the Ridge" begins another musical reflection of SynthsOrganics. After 3 long tracks where the majestic beauty of Berlin School was reflected through the very beautiful melodious approaches, the second portion of SynthsOrganics sets ablaze a bigger diversity as much rhythmical as musical. Although the basic idea was of use to 
SteveRoach's universe, the result remains not less very attractive here. After a slow intro where quirky breaths of didgeridoos and rhombuses, skilfully modulated by Jens Mechler, adorn a somber immaterial ambience, the strikings of percussions fall and resound in the hoarse reverberations of the clanic exhalations. The rhythm then becomes hard and pure with incisive hits of drums which fall with violence on an ambience stigmatized by a shamanic torpor. Synth layers which float and roam such as shy and hideous spectres caress the strength of those strikings which hammer a bewitching rhythm of tribal trance that solos of guitars water of splendid shrill élans. That’s a great track which reminds me a lot the era of The Leaving Time by SteveRoach and Michael Shrieve, back in 1984. "Dreamland" pursues the risky journey between harmonies and its tones of metals crystallized in a toothless crusher. Tones belch of pain, such as twisted metal sheets, to be gradually melted in the hypnotic melodic setting fed by guitar riffs and keyboard keys floating lightly, good edgy percussions and sequences a bit limpid which are use as rampart to good guitar solos and fluids hypnotic serpentines which flow with a harmonious ease conferring to "Dreamland" a melodic approach which is as much near the innocence as the harmfulness. "Steve and the Art of Creating Friendship" borrows a style closer to jazz-rock with solid drumming to nervous strikes whereas "Dan's Feeling" ends SynthsOrganics by a technoïd mood where metallic jingles, percussions, cymbals, banging and tsitt-tsitt eat away pulsations with funky-groovy gallops.
SynthsOrganics is a rich album, both in tones and in musicality, where crisscrossed sequences, curt and edgy percussions weave evolutionary rhythms which are coated by a beautiful fusion of soloing synths and guitars layers. The diversity of the genres insufflates a particular cachet to this album which sways mainly towards the influences of a Berlin School filled by the fragrances of the mid 80's. These years where the mythical Innovative Communication label saw new comers such as Software, Baffo Banfi, Double Fantasy, Mind Over Matter and others bring a new sound dimension to a music that imperatively needed a second breathe, which is exactly is SynthsOrganics.

Sylvain Lupari (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=14898
* If you want to know more about the sound world of TMA, you can visit his website here: http://www.tma-music.com/indexenglish.html

mercredi 1 février 2012

VANGELIS: Sex Power (1970)

"We have to to listen to Sex Power for what it is; a movie music"
1 Partie I (17:00)
Introduction 0:26
Movement One 3:15
Movement Two (Love Theme) 2:51
Movement Three 3:10
Movement Four 3:15
Movement Five 3:34
2 Partie II (17:27)
Movement Six 1:56
Movement Seven 8:12
Movement Eight 3:19
Movement Nine 1:31
Movement Ten 2:29
1969! We would believe that the musical universe of Vangelis sounds unfashionable. And if we listened to it! If we listened to all this musical incandescence which will be of used as the front door to the works unique at the musical signature of the Greek multi-instrumentalist. It’s in the end of 1969 that Vangelis, always member of Aphrodite’s Child, undertakes the writing of Sex Power; a soundtrack of Henri Chapier's movie which starred Jane Birkin. Who would suspect that Vangelis was going to begin a long collaboration with the cinematographic industry for decades to come? Built around a recurring melodic theme, Sex Power inhales the poetry of the innocence so characteristic to the complex post-war love stories from the French cinema. But Vangelis goes further by exploring dramatic somber territories which will be the cradle of its creative vision, because Sex Power is imprinted in the footprints of a contemporary Vangelis. Already, the composer of Chariots of  Fire, Blade Runner, China and other albums as much striking, infuses in his music its melodies and its torments that he mixes with a delicious bipolar approach. We sense inside Sex Power the elements which will guide the premices of the philharmonic, Greco-Roman, film and theatrical structures which will follow all along the career of this self-taught musician. Sex Power is more than a simple album. It’s the beginning of an incredible musical epic which should never have known an end.
Built in 2 long parts divided into several movements, Sex Power begins with echoing keyboards riffs which hiccup on twisted metallic waves. It’s a short intro which leads us to some kind of tribal African percussions which drum on a bed of twinkling arpeggios, notes of harps and oniric choir structures. There is a whole melodious structure fed by fluids orchestrations and nice piano notes which touch lightly musical tendencies as much Arabian as Asian. "Movement Two (Love Theme)" opens with notes of a nice acoustic guitar which try to compete with the hummings of a motorcycle. The melody is beautiful. She flows with a bit of nostalgia, like a story that we once lived, to ends abruptly in the acceleration noises of the motorbike, throwing the veil of Vangelis' harmonious paradoxes. "Movement Three" plunges us into a more psychedelic era à la Pink Floyd on Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun with gongs and Tablas percussions which maintain a mesmerizing rhythm of zombie on acid. "Movement Four" and "Movement Five" revisit the melodious portion of "Love Theme", without the motorcycle noises nor background voices. A harpsichord replaces the acoustic guitar which is more discreet and which is made companion of a superb melody overhung by an angelic voice which hums and murmurs as a wind of happiness. Small variations embellish the melodic envelope which follows its route along a beautiful piano on "Movement Five", by far the most beautiful music piece on Sex Power.
More experimental, the 2nd part of Sex Power begins with African tribal percussions. The rhythm is fluid and comes along with these arpeggios so faithful to the harmonious approaches of Vangelis. They roll and sparkle with such a fluidity that we can’t just ignore the musical prose that they are freeing. Bells ring and clanic flutes sculpture a melodious universe which will be reflected until the very first scetches of La Fete Sauvage. "Movement Seven" introduces us in the austere universe of Vangelis with percussions full of eclectic tones which resound among dark choirs to lethal intonations. It’s the Heaven and Hell embryo which is drawing there with a dark ambience where bells, grave percussions and cacophonous cymbals ravage the hearing around eerie choruses. The paradox between harmony and din is edifying. Still there we just can’t dislike this voice of angel which floats here and there as well as this dramatic intensity of those Gregorian drums and choruses. Variation on the same theme; "Movement Eight" is another version of the melodic theme of Sex Power. This time, organ and percussions are omnipresent and cover the melodic elements which quietly dress this melody. A little as a minimalist Oldfield works, spread over distanced segments. Short and odd, "Movement Nine" is fed by a mixture of hummings and jingles as much mechanical as industrial in whom is melting a soft celestial voice, while Vangelis concludes Sex Power with a strummed version of the "Love Theme", with a more shortened version of  "Movement Five".
We have to to listen to Sex Power for what it is; a movie music with melodious passages to satisfy the poetic moments about love and more abstracted passages to feed the disturbing ambiguities of the power of imagination. If we approach Sex Power only for its music, we could be disappointed because we risk getting lost in its more experimental passages. See the movie can help but it is not a necessity so much the music of Vangelis speaks by itself. And it’s the big strength of the Greek composer; his skill to put in music the images and texts. And he also has this capacity to juggle with his melodies and his dramatic moments, digging ditches of feelings between love and discord, anger and passion. And it’s for these reasons that I consider Sex Power as a very charming album with a skilful mixture of melody along an exploratory and progressive music which is the first step of a colossal career. For a long time discontinued, Sex Power is again available in a version CD, including Symphonic Poem (Fais que ton Rêve soit plus Long que la Nuit), edited by a label situated in Monaco.
Sylvain Lupari (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=14859