mardi 24 décembre 2013

VANDERSON & PRZEMYSLAW RUDZ: Remote Sessions (2013)

“The Polish duo offers in Remote Sessions a very beautiful album which navigates between its cosmic ambiences, its lunar paintings and its dancing rhythms”

1 Journey to the Northern Land 18:06
2 Leaving the Earth 7:06
3 Far Away from Here 8:19
4 Lonely Dot 11:27
5 Sounds of Scattered Waves 5:52| GEN CD 031 (CD 50:53) ****(Cosmic E-Rock)
When one sees the names of Vanderson and Przemyslaw Rudz on a CD artwork, and what a nice one it is, we have both our ears on the watch. And it's comprehensible. These 2 Polish artists are iconic figures of the Poland School movement such as showed with strong albums that they have realized over the years. And when one sees both names on the same artwork, the curiosity goes growing. Like on “Remote Sessions” where the unexpected duo presents a concept album about the spatial journeys with 5 tracks which interlace in a long musical act of 51 minutes and which embrace the soft analog perfumes of the cosmic music.
After a brief ambiospherical intro where all the sonic elements are set up, a sequence of rhythm begins a delicate movement of kicks, from which the minimalist jumps will serve as basis to the next 17 minutes of "Journey to the Northern Land". The approach is simply magnetizing. The synth lines which are dawdling around in this rhythmic panorama, such as lassos prisoners of a circular wind, add the harmonious portion of this dodecaphonic sonic fight, while that somber whispers decorate a first part of an aura of paranoia. The structure makes heavier its pace and its ambiences with bangings and mist of Mellotron, setting ablaze some fine nuances in an approach which looks constantly for the ornaments of its imposing presence. Some superb and creative solos spin in all directions above this electronic dance of kicks, bringing an analog touch to a very contemporary rhythm. The approach can be as much striking than ethereal, and we do not see, nor hears the whole 18 minutes. It is a beautiful minimalist electronic hymn which ends in a storm when the solos are going off the rails with huge and grave distortions from an e-guitar. It's then the take-off of "Leaving the Earth" which assumes its 7 minutes with an experimental ambiosonic approach where are sparkling some brief movements of sequenced percussions which flutter in the heavy eddies of twisted reverberations. The whispers come back haunting our perception, uniting "Leaving the Earth" to "Far Away from Here" which slides into cosmos with superb lunar breezes. Arpeggios of glass sing and their resonances forge a delicate spiraled structure of rhythm which serves as basis to another line of sequences in formation. This one shakes the keys with more restlessness. They skip in a rhythmic figure still harmonic, setting the tone to a heavy rhythm of which the jerks espouse this fascinating hypnotic rhythmic symbiosis which skips merrily in a mist of ether. The acuteness of the synth solos transforms "Far Away from Here" into a beautiful cosmic ballad of which the harmonies get closer of the romantic French School. This is as much beautiful, and especially very catchy, as unexpected. "Lonely Dot", what an appropriate naming, is the most relaxing piece of music in “Remote Sessions” with its isolated points of sequences which try to pierce a rhythm in dense eddies and strong magnetic countercurrents. We literally swim in cosmos when some sequences swirl in the waltzing winds of Orion. They sparkle and bounce in a fascinating dislocated choreography, suspending so a rhythmic approach which implodes with a heavy line of bass and by percussions with delicate moderate bangings. Grumbling solos stand up over this circular rhythm where sequences resound as knocks of glass ball on a Bolo of steel, while that a surprising rhythmic spiral strengthens the agitated rhythm of "Sounds of Scattered Waves" which swirls with the same ferocity as its solos.
Vanderson and Przemyslaw Rudz honor their reputations by offering a very beautiful album with ambiences which are splendidly widened between wild electronic rhythms. I like this fusion of the of the retro Berlin School and the cosmic French School styles which surrounds the 51 minutes of “Remote Sessions”; an album which navigates between its cosmic ambiences, its lunar paintings and its dancing rhythms.

Sylvain Lupari (December 24th, 2013) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: 

samedi 21 décembre 2013

BOUVETOYA: Subtractivate (2013)

“Subtractivate is very good retro Berlin School EM where Bouvetoya seduces with an approach that we know but of which we are always amazed that there are still bits of freshness”
1 Kraterisen 9:23
2 Apophenia 5:14
3 Pulse Negative 12:55
4 Acheron 12:48
5 When Isolation Sparkles 17:17
6 Subtractivate 8:54

SynGate | CD-r MJ01 (CD-r 66:33) ***½
(Great retro Berlin School)
The debate persists after all these years; does the old Berlin School of the years vintages have forgotten some music on the paths of decades? The opinions are divided, as much as certain followers would eat it all the time. And it's mainly to them that addresses this small jewel signed by a mysterious Irish group (a new Arcane?) of which the name is inspired after a distant Norwegian island. “Subtractivate” presents nearly 70 minutes of EM with long intros perfumed mystic mists which give birth to always evolving rhythms wrapped up in dense ochred clouds, black choruses and ethereal flute singings. It's an album where the references to Tangerine Dream, Rubycon and Phaedra era, abound throughout a first very promising album from the band Bouvetoya. A name that we should keep in memory.
An oblong synth layer perfumed of mist is winding up around the introduction of "Kraterisen", throwing an impressive dark veil which floats with a mixture of voice, breezes of Farfisa and sound subtleties deserving of the
Rubycon years. Bass pulsations are stirring in a tempestuous gallop where circulate these black drafts infiltrated by chthonian choruses. After a three minutes of Mephistophelian ambiences, the rhythm of "Kraterisen" becomes as furious as black. Heavy, it bursts of another line of more rebellious sequences which pulse in a crazy oscillating race of which each knock resounds and challenges the wings of a static rhythm constantly tortured by chthonian choirs, by pads with scents of ether and also nibbled by riffs of synth to echoing bites. We are into the abyss of Tangerine Dream with strong perfumes of analog where the black rhythms go up and down, surrounded with these dark ambiences which quarrel the heat of our ears. Offering a black ambient rhythm, "Apophenia" goes beyond of a vaporous introduction in order to offer some agile sequences which pulse stubbornly in sonic corridors disguised of synth lines eroded by its nuances and by plenty of electronic tones. Then some tortuous lines of reverberations open the somber ambiospherical paths of "Pulse Denial" which wallows in a luxurious bed of Mellotron mists. The lines spit an organic poison, while the moods get harden and present a delicate carillon of sequences which swirl like an enchanted musical box. The rhythm takes itself in the stitches of these sequences. Beating of its bass keys, it by-passes the transparency of the sonic pearls which zigzag with resonance in the vapors of flutes and finally stumble in some ambiosonic lines to tones of Ohm. The moment of break is short because "Pulse Denial", just as "Acheron" and his banks of mist which surf with disturbing synth lines to the deformed resonances, continues its rhythmic transfer mutation by drawing awkward circles by which the intensity increases to the measure of its static spins which swirl in the vapors of  Arabian nasal flutes and mystic Mellotron.
"When Isolation Sparkles" spreads also a slow and long ambiospherical intro before offering a structure of rhythm, a little after the 7th minute, with sequences which pace up and down symmetric dunes. Elytrons of steel accompany this furtive sonic walking decorated with fine nuances, whereas we perceive a little more vigour in a rhythm which gets dressed subtly of black. The rhythm is static, but always in movement and in permutation. Only its harmonious tints modify the appearance while it increases appreciably the pace in order to play with another line of sequences, always so sober, which swirls in these clouds of Mellotron. Mists, flutes and chthonian choruses which make all the charm of the somber atmospheres of “Subtractivate” and of its title-track which, after a heavy ambiospherical intro, offers a beautiful movement of a wave-like rhythm which is reminiscent of Chris Franke's ambient rhythms.
Sailing in a full ocean of analog tones with structures of rhythms which evolve in ambiospheric beds of wadding, “Subtractivate” maintains constantly the interest by presenting fine nuances which catch the hearing. It's an album where the rhythms are as well ambient as the ambiences can be dark and a very good retro Berlin School where Bouvetoya seduces with an approach that we know but of which we are always amazed that there is still other bits of freshness left.

Sylvain Lupari (December 21st, 2013) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 20 décembre 2013

OLIVIER BRIAND: Light Memories (2013)

“There are a lot of winks to Vangelis behind Light Memories of whic the sonic evolution creates a lot of melodies which bind themselves in imaginative rhythms”

Light Memories Part I –XV 72:59
PWM Distribution (CD-r 72:59) ***½
(Experimental and melodic Vangelis style EM)

The influence of Vangelis on Olivier Briand's musical development and experimental orientations is at the heart of his evolution and of his open mind on the art of the EM. Conceived in the interstices of the epic tones of Yamaha CS80, “Light Memories” wants to be an interlude in the career of the Nantes synthesist where he pays a sound tribute to Vangelis. Flanked of the Fender Rhodes Mark II piano, Olivier Briand develops 15 tracks which are inspired by oriental melodies from which the aromas flee the musical panoramas of Blade Runner and beyond.
"Light Memories Part I" begins the opening of “Light Memories” with an ambiospherical approach. Scattered notes, sounding like a mixture of an acoustic guitar and a Japanese koto, ring in industrial mists which remind the black universe of
Blade Runner. At first evasive, the part gives birth to a beautiful melodious approach which flows like stars whistling in a black sky. Each of the 15 parts of “Light Memories” is knotted by a delicate sonic thread which makes the link between the various styles of this commemorative symphony in respect of the Yamaha CS80 such as toyed by the Greek self-taught musician. "Light Memories Part II" follows the lunar sweetnesses of "Part I" before stirring of some symphonic jolts which recall the period of China. "Part III" follows with pulsating keys which jump up with their resonances under prismic clouds soaked with cosmic chirping. The rhythm is slow and pulses stubbornly in the benches of nasal lines, while another line of synth vocalizes an electronic dialect. The rhythm gets loose from its morphic influence with other sequences which sparkle and skip freely, braiding a figure of static rhythm which swirls in a more electronic structure where sings this synth and its fascinating robotics vocalizes. Then comes the very beautiful "Part IV" and its Fender Rhodes piano which makes sing its forsaken notes in the mists of melancholy. It's a beautiful light track which floats in our brain with a lot of melancholy. "Part V" moves on with a cosmic electronic march where are pulsing some enormous organic suckers of which the noise of suctions spreads its magic towards the tones of silky elytrons. The synth embroiders a litany of cosmic serenity which sounds out of tune in this static rhythm closer to the din and of sonic explorations. "Part VI" is a very beautiful melody where the sequences flicker in circles and the synth sings freedom. "Light Memories Part VII" loops the loop of the first half of “Light Memories” with a very beautiful electronic serenade filled by an absolute tenderness. Adopting a little the approach of the slow pulsing rhythm of Chariots of Fire, "Part VIII" eventually embraces a beat of lounge with synth solos which borrow the smells of nasal trumpets. The Rhodes spreads syllables with a fine harmonious prose deserving of improvisations that we can hear on evenings of free-jazz. Very light, "Part IX" shows its celestial singings of which the breaths of Pan bind themselves into the cosmic dusts of the very tearful "Part X"."Part XI" finds its inspiration in the Asian prose of "Part II" but with a more steady rhythm. "Part XII" is another beautiful lunar serenade which whistles on the edge of solitude. Delicate and very beautiful, its melancholy plunges into the surprising down-tempo, which sounds strangely like a soft jazz, which is "Part XIII" and of its surprising line of bass. There is almost an Arabian perfume on this track. We move forward towards the finale and to do it, Olivier Briand offers us his jewel in "Light Memories Part XIV" whose magnificent ballad gets lost in the souvenirs of Direct, a more contemporary album from Vangelis. This is very good and we never heard it coming. "Light Memories Part XV" encloses this sonic fantasia with an immersion of oddities and analog/digital heterogeneous noises which remind all the work of accuracy which surrounded those great electronic works.
Light Memories” is a more personal album to
Olivier Briand who indulges himself by working with the instruments of one of his main sources of inspiration. There are a lot of winks to the works of Vangelis behind this fascinating electronic dawn serenade where the noises and the strange atmospheres assemble to create a multitude of melodies which bind themselves in imaginative rhythms. And even in the sound experimentation, Olivier Briand always manages to embroider melodies which make the ears smile. Mainly for the fans of Vangelis, “Light Memories” remains a fascinating album for those who want to understand the progressions of electronic structures.

Sylvain Lupari (December 19th, 2013) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mercredi 18 décembre 2013


“Remnants is a wonderful musical odyssey where this duality between the rhythms and its atmospheres engenders so much delicacy as so much fury”
1 Portal Touch Stone Overture 3:41
2 Neolithic Spring Water Fall 2:18
3 Circular Earth Banking Security 1:15
4 The Rising Dolmen 2:38
5 The Gretchen Tragedy 4:41
6 Night Initiation 5:08
7 Farewell Moon and New Suns 6:24
8 Moon Dial 14:31
9 Blue Hour Glass 10:40
10 Giant's Dance on Air 4:46
11 Walking the Burial Mounds 4:25

Groove NL | GR-205 (CD 60:27) ****½
(Cinematographic EM with a zest of Berlin and Dutch School)
I always believed that the artistic approach of Thorsten Quaeschning had influenced Tangerine Dream, in particular in the superb Sonic Poem Series. And as strangely as fabulously, it's a kind of a return of favor that we witness with this Picture Palace Music's last album which drinks literally of the nebulous ambiospheric and rhythmic paintings of Tangerine Dream at the top of its mysticism. “Remnants” is the last audacious sonic adventure of Thorsten Quaeschning's band. Audacious because the Q gang has to put in music a fascinating visual odyssey, and totally dumb, on the history of the ascent and the fall of the Neolithic civilization of Great Britain, such as puts in images by the film-maker Grant Wakefield. Navigating on a slow structure, where all 11tracks get tangled up in a long symphony filled by Gothic and druidism aromas, of 60 minutes which incubate its rhythms and its atmospheres in a box bubbling constantly of black emotions, “Remnants” offers all the magnificence of a group which is superbly at ease in its mandates which avoid the ease.
It's with a silence which scolds that "Portal Touch Stone Overture" pierces the blank grooves of
PPM's last thin slivery CD. Ethereal voices are floating there, as well as some rippling synth lines which make the bridge between the vaporous atmospheres of a black introduction and the fine line of sequences which makes its keys bounce in their shadows, stamping on a somber and delicately jerked rhythm that breezes from flutes of glass and absent choirs caress of their Mephistophelian charms. Subtly, the rhythm of "Portal Touch Stone Overture" passes of its delicate hatched gait towards wavelets of sequenced prisms which tap in the morphic sweetness of "Neolithic Spring Water Fall". The musical setting is well thought. And already we feel the level of emotionalism stepping up a notch. Riffs of keyboard à la TD fall and spread their Vangelis resonances which crystallize the harmonies ghosts roaming as lost spirits. The rhythm, sometimes absent and sometimes discreet, shows up the tip of its sequences with black oscillations which plunge “Remnants” into its first phase of sound frenzy with the short "Circular Earth Banking Security" where we hear some strange rustles collided on the ramparts of heavy sequences which spin in dense foggy pads. Memories of the neurotic Curriculum Vitae 1
 are feeding our desire to go farther. And bang! We fall into a universe of static rhythms à la Gert Emmens with "The Rising Dolmen". The rhythm is as well lugubrious as heavy. It floats with nice musical oscillations in the filets of sequences which flicker like dozens of fireflies trapped in a small jar for six, while the singings and the solos of synths are as suave as these long cosmic poetries from the Dutch bard. The transitions between every track are the strength of this album which sounds like a long track of 60 minutes. So the lapping of sequences comes back to rock the soft reveries of "The Gretchen Tragedy" and its flute which sings like a lost soul on a twinkling rivulet of sequences. "Night Initiation" is the meeting point between the beginning and the ending of “Remnants”. It's an interlude of ambiences with ethereal voices which hums in the winds of prism, a little as a somber mass of winds and voices blowing in a plain pierced by dolmens.
The fragile structures of "Neolithic Spring Water Fall" come back haunting the very meditative "Farewell Moon and New Suns" which frees a snake of sequences from which the keys skip with transparency under a dense veil of ochred mist. Scattered percussions support the oscillations of this snake charmer of rhythms, while that quite slowly the contemplative melody does the job by conquering our hearing. Although ambient, the structure of "Farewell Moon and New Suns" is striking with its intense coat of mysticism where winds sing with the night elves. And we enter the sublimity with the heavy pulsating rhythm of "Moon Dial". Once again, the movement of the motionless sequences is as attractive as Gert Emmens' lunar rhythms. Except that the madness
PPM surrounds these sequences which spit the blackness with paranoiac rustles and filets of ethereal voices. The movement negotiates subtly the redundancy with a fine rhythmic modulation which makes "Moon Dial" swirls on itself while other sequences flicker and hijack the rhythm towards a latent implosion where will roar very vindictive synth solos and solos of a rebel guitar. The rhythmic battle gets intensify and "Moon Dial" fires a phase of electronic progressive rock where the structure of sequences, the electronic percussions and the bites of guitars remind me the fury of Tangerine Dream in Near Dark. This is candy for ears! It's in the breathlessness of the tumults that the first notes of piano light the melancholy of "Blue Hour Glass". These notes dance in a strange harmonious choreography eroded by tremors, while other more evasive and more melodious notes give me the taste to listen again the magnificent and demonic Añoranza. It's dark and melancholic while being as well beautiful as intriguing. "Giant's Dance on Air" cuts out the vapors of serenity with guitar riffs which fail on the stampings of sequences pawing the ground of disorder and of a desire to shake the radiance atmospheres of "Blue Hour Glass". These sequences forge the structures of a lascivious rhythm which swirls in the wavelets of static prisms and the spirals of emotionalism where voices and arrangements embroider an intense dramatic painting and where the intensity explodes with strong percussions which bring “Remnants” to its rhythmic climax. And "Walking the Burial Mounds" to close this last Picture Palace Music's work with winds and voices which float such as vestiges ghosts of a civilization which has set alight so many stories.
When the images take the shapes of music, it gives
Picture Palace Music. It gives “Remnants”; a wonderful musical odyssey where this duality between the rhythms and its atmospheres engenders so much delicacy as so much fury and where the poetry as well as the dramatic prose of PPM are of use as background to a movie which takes place as much in front of our eyes as in our head. And honestly; what of better than the very theatrical music (do you remember of the splendid Natatorium
?) of Picture Palace Music to put better into cerebral dialogue the images of Grant Wakefield? Splendid! This is some great Picture Palace Music, poetic and theatrical which revisits its own roots.
Sylvain Lupari (December 18th, 2013) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mardi 10 décembre 2013

ODYSSEY & WE ARE THE HUNTERS: Odyssey & We are the Hunters (2013)

“Odyssey & We are the Hunters is a surprising album which made me dusted my old albums from Klaus Schulze and Michael Garrison”

1 The Four Elements (Odyssey) 32:32
2 Environmental Energy (We are the Hunters) 28:29

Generator PL | GEN CD 030 (CD 61:01) ****
(Cosmic base sequenced Berlin School)

There is a few, almost not at all to tell the truth, information on this last find from the Polish label Generator.plOdyssey & We are the Hunters” is an eponym album which contains two long musical pieces with very Berlin School aromas, composed by Odyssey (The Four Elements) and We are the Hunters (Environmental Energy) and produced by Tomasz Pauszek, the man behind Odyssey. We know Odyssey to have been charmed by his fascinating electronic symphony; Music for Subway in 2012. We know on the other hand a little less We are the Hunters, a very discreet, subdued band which does into big ambient vintage Berlin School. The collaboration between both electronic entities could not thus give something uninteresting. And it's exactly what waits for us with this delicious album full of memories of the analog years.
It's in the ambiospherical precepts dear to the psychedelicosmic structures of the analog years that begins "The Four Elements". The water oozes from the walls of a cosmic volcano, where the layers of a morphic synth are floating and boiling in organic tones. Fine sequences dance in their spheroidal shadows, shaping a static dance which spins in these lunar synth layers which make all the beauty of an introduction closer to sound experiments than well ordered structures. Then the silence widens its veil of mystery from the 7th minute, except for silvery gurglings which sparkle such as the lapping of a brook of prisms. This is there that is hatching a fascinating lunar ballad which swirls like an allegorical carousel under solos and cosmic sound effects. The ambience is fascinating and our eardrums are gobbling up this fusion of sounds which give a strange sonic show, whereas the synth is whistling some soft solos which adopt the airs of this melodic ritornello. The ambiences change of skin at around the 16th minute while that "The Four Elements" starts a beautiful structure of rhythm which undulates passively on good bass pulsations, sober electronic percussions and sequences which flicker in structures of criss-crossed underlying rhythms. Odyssey offers us a strange colorful synth-pop where 
 Jean Michel Jarre's tribal, cosmic and rhythmic influences get mix in the robotics melodies of Kraftwerk. This phase of rhythm amplifies its velocity with a funk approach where the undulations gurgle of organic tones in some ethereal voices and these deep shouts which exhilarate the eardrums since the opening of this strange space-funk. We have already crossed the bar of 23 minutes when the heavy and vibrating pulsations stop and that "The Four Elements" kisses a phase more melodious, even melancholic, with a soft electric piano which scatters its pensive notes in the discreet chirping of a synth. It's a brief rest of 3 minutes before that some sequences begin to be champing at the bit and before that "The Four Elements" turns on itself in search of a rhythmic direction. The arpeggios swirl intensely under the cooings of a dreamy synth whereas that a sneaky whirlwind of sequences makes spin the last minutes of "The Four Elements". Some bass and crystal clear sequences which get mix and whirl in a superb rhythmic chassé-croisé, laying the lines of a very good circular rhythm à la Jarre that rattling percussions and motionless twistings are surrounding in a cosmic mood from where filter soft solos full of analog fragrances. The first 13 minutes of "Environmental Energy" are a symphony of organic noises which gurgle in a dense ambiosonic broth where sing twisted lamentations from a synth tinted with the psychedelic perfume of Klaus Schulze's vintage years. Pulsations beat the languor around 13 minutes, bringing "Environmental Energy" towards a bubbling static movement where the bass sequences pulse and oscillate heavily on a linear movement decorated by sparkling arpeggios among which the ringings, as well as the chthonian airs, will be the only harmonies of this cosmic sound whirlwind which is reminiscent of the late Michael Garrison. Candy for old ears! 
Odyssey & We are the Hunters” is a real musical journey in the time of the analog rhythms. It's a more experimental side of the Berlin School style with a subtle zest of French School such as developed by
Jean Michel Jarre. If we like these ambient rhythms which hypnotize and seduce due to their sonic pallets, we shall be more than delighted by this surprising album that made me dusted my old albums from Klaus Schulze and Michael Garrison. To be tamed for the greater pleasure of our ears.

Sylvain Lupari (December 9th, 2013) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

samedi 7 décembre 2013

TANGERINE DREAM: Starmus-Sonic Universe (2013)

“Starmus-Sonic Universe is a fair live album from Tangerine Dream which remains faithful to itself; sober, without surprises and especially very professional”
CD 1
1 Supernova (Real Star Sounds) 10:40   2 Last Horizon 5:57
3 Marmontel Riding on a Clef  8:13   4 Trauma 9:31   5 Nothing and All 2:12
6 Nutshell Awakening 7:19   7 Shining Ray 5:35  
8 Beauty of Magic Antagonism 6:26   9 Novice 5:06    10 One Night in Space 7:32
CD 2
1 Calymba Caly 3:43   2 Omniscience 5:32   3 Janus Parade 8:05
4 Loved by the Sun 3:28   5 Fire on the Mountain 7:33
6 Darkness Veiling the Night 8:55   7 Living in Eternity 4:05   8 Bells of Accra 9:59  9 Sally's Garden 4:41   10 We Will Rock You (Extended) 12:47
11 Tenderness (Russian Song) 3:54   12 Mr. Alexey Leonov's Speech 2:56
Eastgate | 061 CD (2 CD 2:24:16) ***½ (Dynamic e-rock)
The number of requests that I receive so that I review albums of Tangerine Dream is astounding. Like if Edgar gang always had something interested to say, to propose. Through good times and bad, Eastgate is always on the lookout for a vein to be exploiting; like this “Starmus-Sonic Universe”. Recorded live on June 24th, 2011, at the Magma Arte and Congresos Concert Hall on the island of Tenerife, in Spain, for the Starmus Festival, “Starmus-Sonic Universe” was also the opportunity to celebrate the 50th birthday of Yuri Gagarin's first lunar flight. Except that “Starmus-Sonic Universe” has a peculiarity; Brian May's presence as a special guest. From where the very long delay moreover, problems of legal rights, before its release nearly 1 year later. And what is sounding Tangerine Dream onto Queen or Queen on Tangerine Dream? Well, you should take a deep breath because “Starmus-Sonic Universe” is well and truly a Tangerine Dream live album to which participates Brian May for only 4 tracks (maybe 5 with "Tenderness" from which the guitar sounds so much like his), among which; one of Queen's title (I'll let you guess), one of his compositions, "Last Horizon", newly arranged for the occasion by Tangerine Dream, "Sally Garden's" new arrangements and finally a track written by him with Edgar Froese and Garik Israelian (the man behind the concept); "Supernova (Real Star Sounds)".
And it's with "Supernova (Real Star Sounds)" that the show starts. The intro is cosmic and troubled by sonic winds which make ringing the prisms of Iris Camaa's percussions. She is already toying with her drum skins which resound in the breezes of a dark cosmos when an organic rhythm is settling down with a meshing of sequences and jumping pulsations which gurgle beneath the strikings of tom-toms. And the rhythm gets outlined. From ashes of atmospheres, "Supernova (Real Star Sounds)" takes a nervous shape with jerky riffs which fidget under sound reverberations. We hear a guitar roaring in its echo while the traditional rhythm of  the Dream (mixture of percussions, sequences and riffs floundering on the same pace) spreads its fury which is used as frame to a resounding guitar. Is it May or Beibl? Because both are very fast guitarists (you have to hear Bernhard Beibl on "One Night in Space" and "Loved by the Sun"). The fact remains that "Supernova (Real Star Sounds)" is heavy, sometimes furious, but swirls on its rhythm without breaking up the pace. It's a good introduction to a concert where Tangerine Dream definitively puts the emphasis on a very cosmic electronic rock. "Last Horizon"? It's Brain May on Tangerine Dream. The structure of slow rhythm reminds me the motionless sequencing pattern of the first Tangerine Dream. This is great and very touching. Brian May explodes our ears with splendid solos and with heavy riffs as only him is capable of. The artistic merger is completed for a track which is very centered on May's guitar. After that? Well after Edgar and Brian May having flattering each other's back, it's pure Tangerine Dream, version 2011 and2 012, with a nervous setlist where the rock approach and the lively structures prevail on the atmospheres. A setlist where the Dream imposes its contemporaneousness regardless of its memories. Only "Calymba Caly" and "Loved by the Sun" are drawn out of the old repertoire. At the level of new track there is "Janus Parade" which sounds just like what TD used to offer in the Atomic Seasons but with a strong Bernhard Beibl who pesters our ears with lively and sharp solos. The key point is unarguably the version of "We Will Rock You". The introduction is clearly heavier and wilder than its original. The music goes towards an ambiosonic structure after the last bites of May's guitar (who seems to embrace at the end of its riffs Now I' m Here) who makes tumble down his resounding riffs and his cutting solos into ethereal atmospheres. And if somebody ever mentions me that Led Zeppelin's version of Dazed and Confused is empty, I would tell them to listen to this one!
Starmus-Sonic Universe” is a fair live album from
Tangerine Dream which remains faithful to itself; sober, without surprises and especially very professional. The whole thing comes with a nice booklet; the price of disillusion.
Sylvain Lupari (December 7th, 2013) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mardi 3 décembre 2013

SYNDROMEDA: No More Frontiers (2013)

“No More Frontiers a strong album of EM which distances itself, both by its wealth and its depth and its boldness”

1 Again and Again 17:23
2 The Lost District 9:47
3 Forwards to the Past 10:32
4 Streaming Stars 14:46
5 No More Frontiers 12:06

SynGate | CD-R SS16 (CD-r 64:34) ****
(Driven sequences and progressive Berlin School retro)
Wow that is heavy. Heavy and dark. After an ambiosphericosmic intro fed by rustles of metal in dissolution, "Again and Again" offers its strange paranormal ambiences to a heavy rhythm. A rhythm which implodes with an incredible strength where the sequences are zigzaging and skipping such as steps lost in a mist of which the mysticism is adorned of spectral voices. Heavy and black, like that time of Tangerine Dream and the explorations of the electronic rhythms introduced by Chris Franke. "Again and Again" push our eardrums to the limit with muffled pulsations and resonant sequences, amplifying the race of a heavy black rhythm which spreads its paradoxical lines where the harmonies, twittered by a nasal synth, sing on a structure of creative rhythm sometimes wave-like and sometimes hopping. The chthonian choirs set ablaze the reminiscences of the Mephistophelian universes of the Dream while the rhythm, always black, amazes with its spasms of hesitation which skip on the spot, coating it of a static envelope where the pulsatory shadows nibble at our eardrums. Danny Budts, the man behind Syndromeda, likes to experiment his sounds. Moreover, his musical signature is unique in the field of dark and base sequenced EM with old scents of retro and experimental Berlin School. “No More Frontiers”, his what? 25th or 26th solo album (the counting is quite complicated) shows a judicious title where Danny Budts decompartmentalizes as much the cosmic myths as the possibilities of his synths and accessories in order to offer rhythms and atmospheres which go out of our borders. Where the imagination is more a king than a king. And as much say it straightaway; even if his universe is unique, Syndromeda likes to play with the roots of his influences.
And this is what we hear with the organic rhythm of "The Lost District", which has to chase away a very much sci-fi intro as "Again and Again". The structure of the hopping rhythm, as well as the glaucous pulsations which squeak, remind me the batrachian rhythm of 
Jean Michel Jarre in Zoolook (Ethnicolor). The synth roars furious harmonies while the rhythm approaches a kind of techno with a meshing of pulsations and sequences which skip on the same pace. Divided between its very harmonious ethereal envelope and its heavy vertical rhythm, "The Lost District" borrows a little the same rhythmic currents as "Again and Again", but less heavy and dark, although rather intriguing with its treacherous breezes, and with more harmonies. It's a good track to be initiated to the universe Syndromeda. If “No More Frontiers” has fun with our ears by presenting ambiospherical, cosmic and morphic introductions and finales, it also has all the elements to kick down our ears with continual chassé-croisé rhythmic fed by pulsating and resonant sequences. The rhythmic skeleton of "Forwards to the Past" is too much near Tangerine Dream's to avoid underlining it. A thick cloud of organic cracklings, rippling waves and jingle ringing like a typist in madness encircle this rhythm of which the ample undulations coo under the groans of a synth which abandons its vampiric solos in order to kiss a more sci-fi phase with cosmic tones, evasive solos and a more ambient rhythm which lead "Forwards to the Past" towards its lunar finale. The tones of Syndromeda's synths are rather unique. That makes the charms of his music. The harmonious lines are weaved in extremely sharped nasal singings while the ambiences are multiplied by ambiguous layers where fragrances of a black world marinate with cosmic lamentations, and vice versa. This is the background that we find on "Streaming Stars"; a track where the synths collect the atmospheres and the opposite singings on an ambient rhythm which quietly amazes with an approach of a very morphic down-tempo which pulses lazily around a string of sequences of which the tones of blows on an anvil are sparkling of a crystalline harmony and wag on a still circular rhythm. We swim the ears full in a very good ambiosphericosmic Syndromeda. The title-track ends “No More Frontiers” with a structure of music typical to Danny Budts' universe made of complexities. We hear a thick cloud of lines of sequences there fluttering here and there in a static broth while other sequences form a movement of minimalist rhythm which rolls in loops. The ambience is embroidered by mist and dissolved voices which hum and float in the schizophrenic singings of the synths on a cold.
In a universe where retro Berlin School feeds on its memories, it makes well to hear an artist as
Syndromeda to bring a clearly more personal touch. The big sparkling sequences which mutter by the strength of their parallel and secant rhythms, the chthonian atmospheres which hum as a corrupted innocence and the multiple lines of synth which unite both poles of a universe which caresses the turbulences of the other one make of “No More Frontiers” a strong album of EM which distances itself, both by its wealth and its depth and its boldness. This is great progressive e-rock music.

Sylvain Lupari (December 3rd, 2013) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mercredi 27 novembre 2013

SEQUENTIAL DREAMS & Friends: Cosmic Touch (2013)

“Cosmic Touch is like a Best Of... of a whole bunch of artists where we can only notice that the future of EM is between good hands”
1 Astral Gates (with Johan Tronestam) 7:52
2 Liquid Fire (with Ryo Utasato) 6:24
3 The Cosmic Touch (with Celestial View) 6:00
4 NY Flight (with JampyKeys) 8:43
5 Fire (with Daniel Wolf) 6:04
6 Solaria (with Synthesist) 5:22
7 Nexus 6 4:02
8 Sorcerers Apprentice (with Daniel Wolf) 7:21
9 Encounter at Proxima 5 4:46
10 Floh (with Wolfgang Roth) 5:50
11 Touched the Sky (with Cousin Silas) 8:40

CD Baby (DDL 71:07) ****
(Energic EM with a zest of cosmic New Berlin School)
Yop! needs not to be afraid of saying it; there is an interesting artist inside our borders who is spreading his artistic signature on all the universe of EM. “Cosmic Touch” is an ambition project introduced by Kuutana who gathers 9 musicians scattered through the globe. From Canada to Japan by way of Italy, Sequential Dreams pecks in each of the influences, as artistic as tribal, of Johan Tronestam, Cousin Silas, Wolfgang Roth, Celestial View, Ryo Utasato, Jampy Keys, Daniel Wolf and Synthesist in order to create an electronic mosaic inspired by the rhythms and ambiences of Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre. And he didn't miss the target!
"Astral Gates" kicks things up with a slow and heavy circular rhythm. The sequences zigzag and climb awkwardly a vertical spiral. Riffs of electronic guitar pour a brief approach of intergalactic western while a delicate synth lies down the patterns of a soft electronic melody. It's a good musical itch that goes and comes, which sings and twitters between some thin threads of sequences in the shape of stroboscopic rhythms, some slamming percussions and more resonant chords, pushing "Astral Gates" towards heavier territories, more disordered where the rhythm of origin tries to rebuff itself in good harmonic paintings out of control. This is some very good and very lively
Johan Tronestam. We like? We are going to be delight with the powerful and very striking "Nexus 6". This one is a kicker. "Liquid Fire" follows with a structure of a rather similar pattern of rhythm; hectic pulsations and slamming percussions where recollections of Tangerine Dream (Marakesh) and Jarre (Chronology) macerate a lively rhythm, eroded by its many abruptness, which wears a suave melody in the perfumes of the Middle East. This mixture is quite exquisite, like on "Floh" by the way. "The Cosmic Touch" is a beautiful lunar melody. A cosmic down-tempo with arpeggios sparkling like new sound stars on a slow rhythm which tries to flee through brief passages a bit stroboscopised. A saxophone spreads a soft cloud of melancholy which fits very well with the melodious stars. "NY Flight" presents a more black approach with lines of synth which swirl such as apocalyptic revolving lights. The whole thing draws its source from the influences of Jarre and Vangelis (Blade Runner
), as well as Tangerine Dream with breaths of synth with a very near scent of Flashpoint, on a rhythm fed by pulsations and by sober electronic percussions. The finale is amazing with a portion of rhythm which escapes and excites its sequences and percussions in all directions. That's heavy, disordered but that remains always musical.
"Fire" is a very lascivious cosmic down-tempo with astral synth waves which lulls melancholic harmonies finely drawn by a very good guitar play. The rhythm swirls on this meshing of percussions and sequenced pulsations which nourish this rhythmic pond of “Cosmic Touch” and which also takes good care to digest these attacks with more nuanced passages. We could describe the tracks one by one that the rhythmic pattern would return constantly with this mixture of percussions, pulsing jumping keys and filets of sequences which stagger sinuously of its sonic centipedes. If we sometimes have the impression to be on the same rhythmic spindle, the melodies call us to order. The tearful Martenot waves which introduce "Solaria" forge a thick cloud of ghostly melodies which are floating exactly astride these intractable rhythms. The effect of drawling melody on a rhythm stamping with impatience adds an interesting depth for this track which flirts with psybient. After the very heavy and very "Nexus 6", which is one of the best tracks on this album, "Sorcerers Apprentice", take good notice of the naming, plunges us into the superb ambiences of
Flashpoint's western American rhythms. It's heavy and powerful, but not as much as "Floh", one of the strong moments of “Cosmic Touch” which counts at least half a dozen. We know the influence of Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre on Sequential Dreams? If not, "Encounter at Proxima 5" lets hear those excessively with a sneaky, sinuous rhythm which hesitates between the brute force or the moderated control  by the very good hem of a somber and black line of sequences which doesn't hesitate to send some resonant ions to the fight. There is an aroma of psychedelic and Arabian rock which floats over this track, as well as on the surprising "Touched the Sky" and its guitar lost in some strange ethereal atmospheres. It's a long music piece with a dark ambience of despair where the guitar drags its remorse over nice tabla kind of percussions.
I 'm very impressed by the diversity and the musical wealth of “Cosmic Touch” which is a superb collection of 11 tracks of which the biggest strength is not to deny the roots of the influences from 9 artists who participate in it. A cosmic touch on leaden structures! Evidently that the points of dens with
Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre abound, but there is more. Each track exploits all the depth of its approach with ambiences as heavy and ethereal which live with a fascinating complicity on rhythms in perpetual movement. It's like a Best Of... of a whole bunch of artists where we can only notice that the future of EM is between good hands.

Sylvain Lupari (November 26th, 2013) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: