mercredi 30 janvier 2013

RON BOOTS: Detachment of Worldly Affairs (1994)

Voted as the best EM album in 94, Detachment of Worldly Affairs is another strong album of Ron Boots who gradually leaves his imprints in a style which is now know as the Netherlands School

1 Detachment of Worldly Affairs I 11:54
2 Cool Down 7:07
3 Detachment of Worldly Affairs II 7:49
4 Lachrymation 12:60
5 Breath the Living Air 9:55
6 Free Flying Spirits 13:45
7 Far Bounderies

Groove | GR1108 (CD 72:28) **** (Base Sequenced Netherlands School)

I have to say that digging in the past of Ron Boots' musical world is the equivalent of a nice treasures hunting. After my pleasant hearing of Different Stories and Twisted Tales, here I am again exploring the sound meanders of “Detachment of Worldly Affairs”; a surprising album where heavy rhythms bind themselves into more cosmic, even heterogeneous, passages to create one of the beautiful albums of the 90's. An album where we also seize the clear influence of Ron Boots on artists such as Rainbow Serpent, Pyramid Peak, Axess, Gert Emmens, Certamen and as well as several other names that fill our ears with a musical approach that we call Netherlands' School.
And it starts with metallic mooing which roar among floating sonorous hoops. "Detachment of Worldly Affairs I" offers an intro filled by eclectic tones which liven up near of a beautiful sequence. A sequence which undulates on a warm bass line structure to which is adding some good strikings of Harold Van Der Heijden's which united his rhythm to a keyboard with curt chords and a xylophone with crystalline strikes tones. The keyboard isolates itself and escapes to insufflate a melodious minimalism approach which hangs on to the ear on a rhythmic structure which amplifies around synth solos which spin with languidness on paces with subdivided sequences, where their echoes are molding a pleasant melodious pattern. As usual, Ron Boots' musical universe is dense and rich and "Detachment of Worldly Affairs I" starts again where Different Stories and Twisted Tales, ended. "Cool Down" brings back the tempo in a proportion closer to electronic ballad with a soft suave synth and its breaths of a virtual sax and its fine hesitating chords on a fine structure of bass which pulses of a delicate dreamy tempo. This is a soft electronic ballad which also furnishes the intro of "Detachment of Worldly Affairs II". A soft and warm opening which pours towards a structure with richer tones and its dramatic sparkles and its cosmic sound elements which float between good solos of synths and a pace built around some slightly syncopated spirals.
After a slow intro stuffed with tones of twisted metal which are melting into a synth to sinister breaths, a splendid sequence livens up "Lachrymation". Initially skips innocently, joining its chaste rhythm towards percussions to subtle tribal beats which liven up a tempo wrapped of synth velvet. Another more harmonious sequence move is molding at this surprising astral dance which pulses under a soft synth of cotton wool before embracing an ambient phase. A short phase where the rhythm takes back its rights under solos pushed by spectral impulses. It's a very good track which should become a classic in contemporary base sequenced EM. After a deafening opening, "Breath the Living Air" takes a very ambient tangent with a nice bass line waving beneath a sky covered of cosmic polyhedrons pushed by a synth to multiple breaths and to crystalline chords. It's a strange nothingness of lights and sounds pierced by the ghostly voice of Ron Boots who engenders a kind of cerebral hypnosis. After this cerebral rest "Free Flying Spirits" gets us out of this prismic coma with a great play of sequences which hiccup in the shade of very good percussion hits and synth streaks which draw an extremely powerful musical weft. Of all the EM albums that I heard this must be one of the heaviest and melodious tracks to roll between my ears. It's pure and rich rhythm which takes root on sequences among which the vibrations and the resonances make a perpetual sequence of movements on tribal percussions which add a surrealist touch to a totally unbridled track. Powerful and brilliant! "Far Bounderies" ends with a cosmic excursion where all is in suspension. It's a long ambient piece of music where shards of keyboards decorate a firmament of heavy synth waves and that astral choirs are chanting an ode to serenity.
Remixed and reedited in 99 by the Groove label, “Detachment of Worldly Affairs” is a pure musical marvel. Ron Boots multiplies wild rhythms on daring sequences and develops a melodious approach that fits so well to his robust style. This is a very good album, his best in my opinion from this era, which was voted by fans as the best 94's album and where Ron Boots approaches all the musical forms of a Berlin School which quickly turns out to be the Netherlands one.
Sylvain Lupari (March 17th, 2010 and translated on January 12th, 2013)

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

mardi 29 janvier 2013

NORYANI: Southeast 225 (2012)

“Noryani's Southeast 225 is a cinematographic universe where inspirations of Vangelis and Mike Oldfield are the beds of wonderful nomadic melodies”
1 Corredores-Introducción 3:07
2 Mi(s)tico 3:54
3 Destrucción Masiva 6:57
4 Vientos 2:19
5 Leds| 5:38
6 Frost (piano de la base) 7:13
7 Caminata de Tutorial 6:22
8 Células 4:30
9 Below the Clouds Extreme 7:32
10 En Proxies 6:27
11 Corredores-Principal
5:40 | GENCD027 (CD 59:46) **** (Psybient and melodious dark EM)

After a first album which had fairly seduced me, Noryani comes back with a 2nd album which shows a surprising progression and a musical maturity since Northeast 117 in 2011. Built around a recurring melodious theme which is inspired by Mike Oldfield, by melancholic and futuristic atmospheres à la Vangelis as well as by rhythms weaved in the clanic frenzy of ambient mid-tempo and trances; “Southeast 225” takes our ears by front with a delicious cocktail, sometimes explosive and sometimes meditative, which amazes as soon as we enter it. Adrian Noryani takes a jealous care of well elaborating his 11 compositions by some rich moods and diversified rhythms which are constantly evolving, lulling melodic structures which surprise from their unsuspected tangents.
"Corredores-Introducción" introduces us in the 11 phases of “Southeast 225” with an intertwining of dark synth layers which float such as a cloud of threatening ether over beautiful piano lines. The moods of Blade Runner, in particular the hesitating melody, fill our ears with these synth layers and their metallic textures which embrace themselves with passion in a futuristic pattern. Arrhythmic, the track begins to pulsing with a strong bass line of which the one-legged pulsations jump in a musical canvas which can call back the troop of dogs running for their survival in Antartica. As for an introduction, both at the level of rhythms and ambiances, Noryani hits the bull's eye. "Mi(s)tico" borrows also Vangelis' apocalyptic tones with synth layers which sweep the horizons of a menacing look. Little by little this toxic cloud disintegrates to give way to a robust rhythm supported by good strikings of percussions. If the atmospheres are weaved in the shade of the Dantesque synths of Vangelis, the melodies are structured in the fragile notes of a piano which hesitates between Mike Oldfield and this same Vangelis. And on "Mi(s)tico" these notes are nervous and skip through a field of percussions in their strikings by moment puzzling. "Destrucción Masiva" is a rather hard-hitting track. The intro is sculptured with a mix of ambiospherical breezes and organic tones which are crisscrossing in the reefs of percussions to static metallic elytrons. The breaths of a lost world à la Blade Runner pierce our eardrums while the rhythm remains always dying in its embryonic stage. But the musicality is rich with some rivulets to tones of prism of which the wavelets undulate under the moaning of synths warning of apocalypse, while the percussions make hear their random strikings through prismatic stroboscopic strands. This static broth fattens its uncertainty with heavy hummings which quietly sound the awakening of a loud and hammering rhythm where the rebellious choruses are entering into a hypnotic trance. This is one of the strong moments of “Southeast 225” which deviates towards a softer passage with "Vientos" which is a contemplative cerebral wandering with its black melody molded in the tears of a piano daydreaming under a metallic rain. "Leds" is built on the same model as "Destrucción Masiva" with its rich ambient intro where ochred clouds are dissipating little by little under the knocks of a chaotic pulsation. Riffs go astray in abstract filets and their zootropic outlines, leading "Leds" towards a frank and jerky techno rhythm which pulses of a fast hypnotic movement under a harmonious watercolor of layers to sharp threads. It's this kind of techno for mutilated zombie which takes assurance in its rhythm as it progresses, to be listen much more than to be danceable.
For me, "Frost (piano de la base)" is the jewel of “Southeast 225”. The intro is deeply melancholic and reminds me a little of Guido Negraszus on Dreams of MySPACE Vol.1:Thanx for the Add
 with the piano notes which ring in an obscure nostalgia. The resonances which bind every note weave a melody bound by the echo and which winds a long dark corridor where are gurgling cymbals to tones of silvery felt. The percussions which roll add a funeral touch to this long procession of sadness which goes astray in its meditative madness in order to embrace a kind of a jazz uncertain of its approach, nor of its venue. After a slow intro of a clanic mood with choirs humming a funeral ode, "Caminata de Tutorial" explodes of a lively rhythm. The entire set remains very dark with this union of choruses, and their grave intonations, to layers of a black organ which draw a Mephistophelian pattern on a tempo swarming of electronic tom-toms and organic pulsations. "Células" unfolds an intro soaked of suspense with sputters of white noises which spray a delicate harmonious approach from which the ethereal breaths are caressing a very beautiful crossing of percussions and pulsations. These last ones are pounding of a static tribal rhythm that some lines of piano and ethereal voices enchant with a subjugation which spawns up to our ears. "Below the Clouds Extreme" roots the perception of ambiguity, as much as in the rhythms as the ambiences, that reigns all over “Southeast 225”. The rhythm is circular and takes shape on a chain of sequenced ions which spin in a perfect stroboscopic hoop while that, out of nowhere, springs a melody that spreads its tentacles under various forms to charm our ears through resonant drones and innocent synth whistles. The melodic emblem of “Southeast 225” resurfaces on "In Proxies" which dresses its rhythmic structure of a black and jerky approach. "Corredores-Principal" concludes with a heavier and livened up approach than the introduction. This heavy rhythm, always arched on a meshing of percussions and sequenced pulsations, bears the harmonies of a piano of which the notes are fluttering around a beautiful harmonious pattern and weaves a pleasant musical itch on an approach soaked by paradoxes.
Southeast 225” is quite a find! I rarely heard an album so musically rich and coherent where the rhythms built around instinctive and hypnotic hammerings are thundering with indiscipline in a subjecting meshing of percussions and sequences and where the melodies are elaborated with wealth in contradictory ambiences as much dark as melancholic. It's a cinematographic musical universe, at both futuristic and clanic, where the inspirations of Vangelis and Mike Oldfield are of used as skeletons for wonderful nomadic melodies which often spring from nowhere. Enigmatic and strangely musical, Noryani's “Southeast 225” enriches the bewitchment at every track, inviting the listener to push constantly on the play button.

Sylvain Lupari (January 28th, 2013)

samedi 26 janvier 2013

TANGERINE DREAM: Heartbreakers (1985)

“Heartbreaker is a disappointing soundtrack on all the line”

1 Heartbreakers 2:30
2 Footbridge to Heaven 3:00
3 Twilight Painter 4:12
4 Gemini 3:28
5 Rain in N.Y. City 3:23
6 Pastime 3:00
7 The Looser 3:17
8 Breathing the Night Away 2:25
9 Desire 5:38
10 Thorny Affair 3:10
11 Daybreak

Silva America | SSD 1039 (CD 38:10) * (Soft synth rock)

Always much in demand among the movie makers industry, the members of Tangerine Dream multiplies the soundtracks at a furious pace. The source of motivation for Froese, Franke and Schmoelling is the acquisition of last electronic equipments technologies and building studios that will answer the creativity of the Berlin trio. Except that quietly certain members of the band start to be out of breath, of whom Johannes Schmoelling. And due to the fact that composing music like being an automatic human distributor of music, some of the albums offered may sound not as good as others from time to time. And “Heartbreaker” is one of them! And behind it, we feel that TD becomes Americanized and seems more and more denying its artistic origins by producing an album of a weakness which leaves a bitter sound in the ears of fans.
And straight from the first chords of the title-track we sense the sound of light synth pop that tries to take the German trio. Don't expect something great, because “Heartbreaker” is a painful album! We are entitled to a Dream quite petite. A kind of Dream which lays the tracks with a pinky Bubble Gum aroma for spotty and dreamy teenagers. Ballads like "Footbridge to Heaven", "Rain in N.Y. City" and "Daybreak" are flooded in rhythms without colours and nor identities as well as banal and dull synths. It's a kind of soft synth rock with a zest of New Age which seems to draw the next musical directions of the Dream. "Twilight Painter" seems to be taken out of Le Parc sessions so much the keys are similar to those on Tiergarden. Frisky, "Gemini" and "Pastime" have a more rock approach with simple-minded rhythms and a so/so guitar play. "The Looser" is ok with a beautiful sequence which draws a good slow rhythm tortured by Edgar's guitar who seems quite at ease on it. Without being greatly melodious, "Breathing the Night Away" lulls us on Schmoelling very charming piano. "Desire" is my favorite track. It's a good piece of music with a very melancholic pattern which surprises us by its sweetness and its beautiful synths mixed by breaths of gloomy flutes. Some good but still timid TD! "Next Generation" and "Thorny Affair"? Incapable of feeling it! Empty and insipid on big mindless riffs.
Heartbreaker” is disappointing on all the line. A work that should never have been born and which depicts an obvious creative malaise inside the band. You might like it if easy musical structure is your thing but there are more much better soundtracks from Froese & Co. It was once a piece of collection, but the rerelease by Silva Screen in 1995 made it more affordable since. But the European Virgin edition is still a sought after, showing that Tangerine Dream will always be bigger than its myth.

Sylvain Lupari (October 29th, 2006 and translated on January 22nd, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 25 janvier 2013

PRZEMYSLAW RUDZ: Paintings (2012)

“Jean Michel Jarre, Pink Floyd, Kitaro and Klaus Schulze gathered in the same sound pattern can only be puzzling and mesmerizing! That's the musical, or sort of, framework of Paintings”
1 Hidden Nooks of our Ego 16:43
2 Sowers of Interstellar Intellects 12:26
3 Cosmic Primordial Soup 3:26
4 Who Goes There? 15:01
a. That's Not a Dog  b. Perfect Imitation (Humanity Reprise)
c. Aftermath
5 Astral Beings Hatchery 3:19
6 Misanthropic Aliens 16:43
a. Whispers from the Ancient Permafrost  b. Helpless Prisoners of Fiction   c . Diplomacy Failed | GEN CD 026 (CD 74:24) ****
(Experimental, ambient and innerscapes EM)

Always unexplained, the barriers of Unexplored Secrets of REM Sleep (album of electronic psychosis written in duet with Wladyslaw Komendarek) had opened towards another sound dimension which embraced the intellectual frenzies of Przemyslaw Rudz. Constantly transported by the cosmic breezes of his Jarre influences, the Polish synthesist dives back into a musical universe to the abstract forms where cosmic tones of any forms and kinds decorate the wall of impassiveness that is “Paintings”. This last sonic fresco of Przemyslaw Rudz is a work of ambiences and atmospheres of cosmic and organic tones which remind me the ambiospherical structures of the first years from Kitaro and Klaus Schulze, as well as the psychedelicosmic frenzies of Pink Floyd. In brief, it's a work which is not accessible to all ears but which is going to delight the fans of the Polish synthesist and those who like a music which deviates, and by more than a mile, from the conventional paths.
Waves, as earthly as cosmic, are buzzing with tones of machineries on the beaches of our overflowing imagination for the works of sci-fi. They roll in a din where sirens of European police are crying with fury before that the silence does cut the sound hostilities. A brief silence which allows cows of mooing in a sound painting where the rustles of paranoiac kleptomaniacs are fading under more and more insistent droning. Michal Kaluzny shows all of his ingenuity by multiplying sound effects which go paranoid in these intense ambient drones which transport the frenzies of "Hidden Nooks of our Ego". Pink Floyd's Ummagumma is the first thing that comes to mind to describe better the universe of sound phantasmagoria that is this last opus of Przemyslaw Rudz. The ambience of “Paintings” is out of this world.  Sounds, tones and more sounds which bloom from everywhere, piling up into morphic envelopes with fleeting rhythms which are more often static than livened up, exactly like in "Hidden Nooks of our Ego". On a slow wandering totally abstracted with tones of cosmos which glide and sparkle in an frosty nothingness, this long epic track deploys an arsenal of disparate cosmic tones which by moments take refuge within the wrapping arms of a synth and its soporific caresses. Something like a rhythm goes and comes. Statics, it's set by oscillations and humming mislaid in an immense ambiospherical sound painting. A line of sequence emerges a little after the 12th minute. Its pulsations are smothered by a sound broth which erodes any freedom of hatching, confining this long introductory track in its sonorous meanders where the art of music without music reigns in absolute master. More musical but always so abstract, "Sowers of Interstellar Intellects" is a slow morphic waltz which overwhelms any rebellion, even that of the percussions without rhythms which beat a din under the breaths of synth with aromas of a cosmic saxophone. One has to wait until "Who Goes There?" before crossing the first real rhythms of “Paintings”. And let me tell it straightaway, it's a great track which is going to switch your ears back to front!
The intro is fed by Scandinavian gusts which rouse the frenzy of a crowd of dogs of which the barks get lost in the strange moos of Yeti or missing link. Prisms congeal their tones in suspension, when a heavy pulsation à la ['ramp]  (maybe Redshift
?) spreads a heavy climate of suspense. Percussions support the slow cardiac rhythm coming from the resonant pulsations with tick-tock of wooden whereas that a synth spreads its wrapping layers to tones so frightening. And finely the circular rhythm of "Who Goes There?" goes from an ear to another with an approach which zigzags such as a fine stroboscopic thread to outlines eroded by the perfidious breaths of synths. Synths which can also weave some harmonious filets, just before that the last pulsations die in the crackling of a fire which resists to the intense gusts of the opening. Insane!! You bet your ears out! And it's beneath angelic breaths that "Who Goes There?" switches off its superb rhythmic structure. Like what nothing is of neither rhythms nor of concrete melodies on “Paintings”. A little as to punish our ears for having succumbed to the charms of "Who Goes There?", "Astral Beings Hatchery" spreads its painting of cacophony under the synth breaths of ether which remind me of the weird paranormal moods of Klaus Schulze on Cyborg and Picture Music. "Misanthropic Aliens" ends “Paintings” with a structure which is similar to "Hidden Nooks of our Ego", except for the finale which embraces the frenzy of "Who Goes There?". The intro is a sheet of micro-organic tones which pulse and bubble in a universe of sadness. This first phase (Whispers from the Ancient Permafrost) is purely organic while the 2nd one (Helpless Prisoners of Fiction) espouses a more filmic ambient model with grave breaths, like lamentations of Buddhist trumpets, which get lost in the harmonies twisted by a synth and its spectral solos. These solos subdivide their caustic and ochred charms in a universe which abounds in astral reminiscences of Kitaro. The 3rd phase (Diplomacy Failed) explodes of a steady rhythm of which the ignition calls back Jean Michel Jarre on Rendez-vous 4. This portion of “Paintings” is the liveliest with a great approach of electronic rock molded in the symbolic rhythms from the creator of Oxygene.
The universe of Przemyslaw Rudz requires a lot of dexterity in its approach. And “Paintings” explains why. Jean Michel Jarre, Pink Floyd, Kitaro and Klaus Schulze gathered in the same sound pattern can only be puzzling. Puzzling but on the whole mesmerizing with musical organicosmic and ambiospheric sheets which stir up in ambiences of which the charms awaken beautiful souvenirs of an era when grass and acid filled our personal experiences. Difficult to tame? Yes! But once our zone of comfort opens to new more audacious horizons, we delight ourselves in these experimental approaches which put constantly our ears on the alert. When EM surrounds itself with its most beautiful experimental assets, it gives a work which deserves that we stop there. A work such as “Paintings”!

Sylvain Lupari (January 23rd, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

jeudi 24 janvier 2013

JEROME FROESE: Precooked Munchies (EP 2007)

“Precooked Munchies is a very good EP and an excellent complement to Shiver Me Timbers...but you'll have to find it”
1 A Mellow Morning  6:38
2 Mrs. Misty Kiss  6:35
3 Sea Miles  5:38
4 Joy And Sorrow 8:12
5 Lamb with Radar Eyes 7:04 
  (live at Circus Krone, Munich 1997)

Ricochet Dream | RD026 (CD-EP 34:07) ****
(Rock'n'Teutronica and Guitartronica)

I begin back to front. After having cheerfully eaten every bits of sound from Shiver Me Timbers, now I'm savouring its EP of accompaniment; “Precooked Munchies”. Throughout such an elegant naming, Jerome was answering to the needs of his fans that were waiting for an upcoming full length album for a while now. Six months separate this EP from its album and the 2 first tracks are the same, and in the same order, as on Shiver Me Timbers. After the superb "A Mellow Morning" and "Mrs. Misty Kiss", "Sea Miles" unscrews us from the floor with a spiral sequencing movement which spins and clink like metallic percussions to be made go pale Jean Michel Jarre. This is intelligent and provocating synth pop, like we find at full tones all over Shiver Me Timbers. This track is simply amazing with its stream of sequences which skip in alternation before getting criss-crossed in fine oscillatory waves. The mood is filled by a contemporary psychedelic aura and deviates subtly towards a heavier rhythmic with a bass line and its claustrophobic oscillations which awaken a surprising meshing of rolling balls sequences of which the oblong serpentine is circulating between superb strikings of percussions to thousand echoes and the heart-rending riffs of a Guitartronica more melodious than blasting. Let's say put that Jerome fills our ears to the rim. The intro of "Joy and Sorrow" offers a delicate rhythm. A rhythm of Caribbean islands with tom-toms which drum on the fragile chords of a guitar which displays its harmonious loops, and its peevish riffs, before sinking into a heavy electronic rock with powerful loops and good harmonious solos which feed at the end a progressive techno à la Chemical Brothers. "Lamb with Radar Eyes" doesn't presentation. This track out of TD's 96 Goblins Club is brilliantly interpreted here and presents a quite interesting evolution with a high-quality live sounding.
Precooked Munchies” is out of print and the price asked, when one pops out here and there, is quite expensive. I'll let you be the judge if it's worth it or not, but this is quite a great EP here and an excellent complement to Shiver Me Timbers. We discover in it a mordant and proud Jerome Froese who seems to have a lot of fun on his explosive structures without never neglected the melodious approach. A signature that will follow him for his many next works.
Sylvain Lupari (July 30th, 2007 and translated on January 7th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mardi 22 janvier 2013

THE GLIMMER ROOM: The Wind Blows Summer from the Trees (2012)

Built in the melancholic spirit of Emily Dickinson's poem, The Wind Blows Summer from the Trees is another powerful and poignant opus from The Glimmer Room

1 The Wind Blows Summer from the Trees 49:00
A-Frame Media| A FRAME 017 (CD-R 49:00) *****
(Melodic ambient EM)
Listening to some Andy Codon is like to have an inner interview with our life. It's like embracing our most beautiful memories and healing our most profound wounds. More than two years after the troubling and magnificent I RemainThe Glimmer Room returns tortured the reminiscences mislaid in a life abandoned for those of others with an album inspired by Emily Dickinson's deeply moving poem; These are the Days when Birds Come Back. “The Wind Blows Summer from the Trees” is an intense elegiac work which consumes its 49 minutes throughout 9 windows where sensible field recordings and samplings as well as soft evanescent melodies bring out the old souvenirs of a sleepy memory. The rhythms are delicate and the melodies are poignant. A little as in I Remain they are transported in an emotional crescendo by caresses of synth which wave like tears on a wrinkled cheek, such as some invisible tears of a life mislaid in the meanders of its fate.
A spectral voice of an Elfic goddess narrates Emily Dickinson's poem through chilly autumn winds. Those who are familiar with the musical universe of the English poet synthesist recognize these hesitating arpeggios and their sensitive harmonies which go down from skies delicately moved by a synth as much sensitive as an old age teardrop. A synth of which the fine oscillations draw shivers in the soul with contemplative and plaintive melodies which cry in the shadows of ambient rhythms moved by impetus full of restraint. The rhythms of “The Wind Blows Summer from the Trees” are more presents that on I Remain. They go and come from their ephemeral rubbings, exception made by this foray of city and folkloric ambiences between part 7 and 8, feeding approaches and dramatic crescendo which ignore themselves. They accept to be lulled by strata as much wrapping as the arms of an absent but wished mother. They hone the palpitations and modulations in front of so much tenderness. Already, we topple over in the depths of our feelings when Part 1 embraces Part 2 and its fragile harmonies which are like some breaths of nostalgics dying. Everything is so delicate. Everything is so beautiful. Children's samplings playing with innocence open the 3rd part which pushes even farther the limits of melancholy with some breaths of oracles crying with an infinite abandonment. These synth layers of prismic veils and breaths of pains which increase their sadness like concerto for tortured souls feed the melancholic canvas of a work forged in knocks of sorrow in an infinite tenderness, such as the shout of redemption of a repentant lost soul. Through the samplings which depict the life in all the contrariety of its paradoxes, The Glimmer Room draws the immense sides of a work intensely intimist which sometimes caresses our solitude and sometimes feeds its nostalgic source. The synths spread an arsenal of layers and musical waves which move like shadows torturing our past with some somber breaths all so poignant from each other. The rhythms are abstracted and are modulated from layers of emotionalism which roll such as tears trying to go back up in their lachrymal nests. They appear like furtive shadows, set apart the knocks of metronomes in the 10th part, to merge in the harmonious multiplicity of layers to Elfic tones of a melancholic synth. Like a writer who describes brilliantly the slightest parts of an emotion, Andy Codon plays with nuances and ambiences pushing even farther the doors of perdition.
And so passes by the 49 minutes of “The Wind Blows Summer from the Trees”. Once again The Glimmer Room delivers an ambient opus without defect which follows a stunning ascent of emotional adrenalin. It's a real musical poem which comes with a magnificent notebook where the genesis of “The Wind Blows Summer from the Trees”, is write on a parchment, showing the romantic and medieval sides of Andy Codon.
And if you look for another kind of ambient music, more a prose kind and more musical, it's high time that you discover the music of The Glimmer Room. I made it since his surprising Grey Mirrors in 2004 and I was never disappointed since.
Sylvain Lupari (January 20th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 21 janvier 2013

GERT EMMENS: A Boy's World (2007)

“Gert Emmens' universe is unique and A Boy's World plunged us within it with strong sequences and great melodies on musical themes in continual movements”
1 School’s Out 10:40
2 Gaming Part I: Battles are Won and Lost 21:26
3 Life Around the Sand Castle 9:55
4 Gaming Part II: The Quest 20:32
5 Adolescent Behavior 10:48
6 Nothing lasts Forever

Groove | GR-143 (CD 78:51) ****½ (Sequenced Netherlands School)

Gert Emmens is a sure value in the world of EM. Since Wanderer of Times the Dutch synthesist aligns opuses of an exceptional quality, allying the complexity of his long exploratory parts to melodious themes which hang on. Dedicated to the imagination of his 12 years' old son, “A Boy's World” is a pure masterpiece of rhythmic constancy with stunning movements of sequences which shape poly directional rhythms in an at the same time progressive and melodious musical universe. Wrapped by a wonderful artwork, draw by the artist George Grie (whom I invite strongly you to watch his works on his site, “A Boy's World” transcends the imagination with a hardly felt youth approach.
Frank's fantastic journey begins after school. The particles of ion surrounding his imagination are fine atmospheric dusts which transport him, as well as us, in a rich and heavy ambience. It's the beginning of a fantastic sound journey. A beautiful movement of sequences, as heavy as slow and with a catchy melodious thematic, establishes a galloping tempo, like being on a plain worked of small hillocks. "School's Out" becomes a kind of galactic western stuffed by splendid solos and Mellotron breaths to cut the musical horizon of a rebel tenderness. The slamming percussions add a cosmic electronic dimension to a track with fine modulations. The percussions and the sound effects form a mesmerizing contrast and are admirably well run by Gert Emmens. The rhythms draw by the sequencer on "Gaming Part I: Battles are Won and Lost", are heavy and threatening. The sound effects which circulate there and hoot to the nothingness are superb and encircle a strange eclectic world which is guided by these so beautiful synths and sequencers to varied humors, cutting the rhythm into constantly evolving modulations. This is an excellent track with tempos moving in crescendos on furious sequences of which the freed ions are winding through pleasant synth solos. An atmospheric passage gets through it towards the 14th minute, forging a new sequenced structure which gives free rein to a very libertine synth. The 2nd part of "Gaming Part I: Battles are Won and Lost", "The Quest", is the most beautiful moment on “A Boy's World”. The sequencer draws a stuntman kind of rhythm after a superbly melodious intro, paving the way to a unique Emmensian mixture where synths, choirs and sequencers unite to create a harmonious theme which sticks on the hearing and this in spite of the numerous changes of orientations. Listening the synth whistling for the melodious sweetness of the winds on the shifting forms of the charming rhythms is a delight which makes our spine shaking as much as the last melancholic thoughts of the soul. A brilliant track, complex maybe but which has an equal only her sensibility once tamed. "Life Around the Sand Castle", quite as "Teenager Behavior" and "Nothing lasts Forever" are more ferocious tracks, strongly livened up by sequences to unexpected course. Each offers structures and colorful passages as well as more flexible and softer nuances, in particular "Teenager Behavior" and its brilliant Mellotron.
Gert Emmens' univers is unique. We hear rhythms and feel ambiences molded in contradictory avenues where melodies bloom like roses on tumultuous fields. “A Boy's World” is another strong album filled by this universe of sequences and synths to surprising evolutionary plans. I liked from beginning to end with in addition a handful of shivers love for the music and its numerous new developments. Strongly recommended!
Sylvain Lupari (18/06/2007 and translated on 13/01/2013)
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samedi 19 janvier 2013

JEROME FROESE: The Speed of Snow (EP 2009)

“The Speed of Snow is a very good EP and a nice complement to Shiver Me Timbers”

1 The Speed of Snow 6:36 
2 A Cold Spell in Spring 5:53 
3 Summer Light Fantastic 5:46

Ricochet Dream | RD044 (CD-EP 18:15) ***½
(Melodious pop EM)

You loved Shiver Me Timbers? You will be crazy about this mini EP. Jerome Froese became a whole one-man band. A studio wizard who managed to compose strong EM pieces which are mainly harmonious and sometimes complex. On the other hand we are at the opposite of conventional EM. “The Speed of Snow”, as Shiver Me Timbers, is EM of a soft techno style. It's a bit like Depeche Mode, without the singing, or Ulrich Schnauss but with a more eclectic approach where the music kisses light tints of cosmos.
The title track starts with small chime keys, a little as on A Mellow Morning (Shiver Me Timbers), before diving on a more jerked rhythmic structure. The rhythm becomes heavy and dense where riffs of guitar and lamentations of synth support the delicate harmonies of the introductory arpeggios of which the euphonies sparkle on military drums rolling. Both convivial and complex, Jerome Froese's musical universe explodes of a melodious freshness which bends on heavy rhythms interrupted by hyper melodious passages. A romantic introduction opens "A Cold Spell in Spring". Jerome strums an acoustic guitar which courts cosmos. These light riffs are hiding behind subtle arpeggios which don't reach either heavens or stars but well and truly our ears. Slowly a world of echo surrounds the structure which floats in the harmonies of an ethereal six string with good chiselled solos. This is a beautiful track where Jerome flirts with spatial music. "Summer Light Fantastic" stumbles on nervous guitar chords and a synth with tetanized strata before undertaking a frenzied bend on a caustic and hopping bass which couples its rhythm with percussions to hammerings subtly furious. A bipolar track where the wild rhythm is next to harmonies which bloom in a more crystal clear and harmonious universe, "Summer Light Fantastic" spreads the outlines of a surprising musical paradox which depicts marvellously the depth of this brilliant artist who, I feel, will often amaze us.
The Speed of Snow” is a very good EP and a nice complement to Shiver Me Timbers and a beautiful continuity of the styles offered in Neptunes. Two works that I have just lay my hands on and that I will talk to you about in a near future.

Sylvain Lupari (November 13th, 2009 and translated on December 22nd, 2012)
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lundi 14 janvier 2013

GERT EMMENS: The Tale of the Warlock (2006)

“On futuristic or medieval themes, Gert Emmens always succeeds to bring out again a melodious and catchy aspect out of his wonderful musical journeys”

1 The Warlock Returns 10:33
2 Warlock meets the Young Princess 16:24   
3 Myths and Legends as told by the Storyteller 13:45 
4 The Dream That Came True 3:47 
5 The Confrontation-Warlock vs the Wizard of the Dark 17:17   
6 Ghosts Calling from Yonder 11:20
7 Warlock’s Death

Groove | GR-135 (CD78:42) **** (Sequencing Netherlands School)

 Since Wanderer of Times, released in 03, Gert Emmens built himself a solid reputation to write very harmonious opuses which bubble in a fauna of sequences with tricky and complexly melodious movements. Futuristic or medieval themes, the Dutch synthesist always succeeds to bring out again a melodious and catchy aspect out of his wonderful musical journeys. “The Tale of the Warlock” is Gert Emmens' 1st concept album. An imaginary quest of which the music espouses to perfection the romantic imagination of a musician with whom evolution doesn't stop surprising and charming.
A scheming intro welcomes us with "The Warlock Returns". A breath from the shadows leaves a threatening sound imprint, like the caresses of a mermaid which enchants in the middle of rumblings from which venue is unknown from us. A superb dark sequence skips and flutters in an ambience where choirs and shouts of bat confirm its dense darkness. Another shorter and sharper sequence modulates a more fluid rhythm which leans on these unique beatings and pads from a synth to stagnant waves. It's a gloomy and a disturbing landscape that waits for the Warlock return, even if the synth harpoons an undulating movement and draws a splendid melody which remains anchored as a thematic tune. The percussions are heavy and accompany a synth to strata as much heavy of which the harmonious course is constantly evolving. The evolution and the modulation of the poly-phased rhythms and structures are the big strength of Gert Emmens who explores constantly new developments with the continual arrival of new lines of sequences to very melodious outlines. These static and dark sequences shape the intro of "Warlock meets the Young Princess", where we feel Warlock following a long intimidating corridor. The echo of a muffled knock inundates this solitary outline by a segment of synth with supple chords and short silky solos, like a short luminous fairytale. A shower of chords is the forerunner of the modulations to come.
And the synth frees ethereal and silky strata of which the weak ascending flow opens the rhythm of "Myths and Legends as told by the Storyteller", a track swarming of sumptuous solos which coo on the undulations of a sequences line of which the syrupy chords are crossing a musical landscape stuffed with synth melodies. This melodious brightness disappears halfway, leaving a long resonant trail which floats on the territory of ambient noises. A sequence pops out of there. Galloping, it progresses on percussions to felted metal of which the striking are flickering as an unreal insect on the airs of a very beautiful synth to nostalgic strata and violin strings hurt by the stigmas of a forgotten war. After the progressive hypnosis of "The Dream that Came True", we enter into the celestial intro of "The Confrontation–Warlock versus the Wizard of the Dark". A sequential structure swirls in an ionosphere which gets fill by diverse tones. Scattered tones which roam on a mesmerizing and hypnotic movement of sequences where choirs, felted percussions and beautiful solos tinted with schizophrenia furnish this heterogeneous universe torn by indecision. Behind a spectral breath, the sequences of "Ghosts Calling from Yonder" reach titanic proportions. Wonderful felted sequences which quiver on sieved metallic percussions undertake its spiraled rise on the back of a synth fed of melodious chords. In my opinion it's the most beautiful music piece on “The Tale of the Warlock”; a very nice album which ends in a sad and funeral way that Gert Emmens makes so soberly good, as the rest of this album and its story so well told.

Sylvain Lupari (28/03/2007 and translated on 13/01/2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

samedi 12 janvier 2013


“Mystic Dawn is yet another striking opus from Gert Emmens who weaves his complex chain of sequencing around the mystic synth breezes of Cadenced Haven”

1 Into the Night 7:41
2 Road to Mirage 8:17
3 Awareness of Depth 10:28
4 Mystic Dawn 6:14
5 Infinite Horizon 22:59
6 Reflections

Groove | GR-194 (63:47) ****½ (Sequencing Netherlands School)

Year in and year out, alone or in duo, Gert Emmens enchants our ears, and very often our inner spirits, with a solid EM which alternates its rhythms and ambiences by the means of seductive sequenced structures. And “Mystic Dawn” won't do apart. Pushing farther the astral reflections of Life in a Cosmic Highway, this 2nd collaboration Emmens/Haven dives into a universe of sequences with movements of centipedes, and their rebellious rhythms, which woo the sweetness duality of some musical and harmonious synths in a unique universe of a sound signature that charms our ears for soon 10 years.
"Into the Night" invites us in the rebellious universe of “Mystic Dawn” with a floating intro which goes into our ears as an old memory more than very pleasant. Lines of synth agglutinate there, drawing apocalyptic odes that the arrival of the first sequences confines in the hidden recesses of our ears. Their ions jumpers of harmonious outlines are familiar to us. They undulate in fine gallop, sculpting these rhythmic structures unique to Gert Emmens repertory. Harmonious rhythms split into duelist fractions which harmonize in this cosmic sea and its waves of synth, sometimes shrill and sometimes musical, which coo like the grooves of a rainbow lost in a starred mist. This rhythm loses its ions in an oblivion flavored by these acrylic tones strata before coming back, flattened by good electronic percussions, defying the ochred breezes of a synth to thousand scarlet prisms. "Road to Mirage" is built on the same precepts. Soft, the intro is perfumed by these tones of synth if captivating which feed our pond of waking dreams throughout “Mystic Dawn”. The rhythm is smooth. It's like a delicate rodeo in the stars with its puny sequences which skip in the shade of a good bass line, keys with starred tones (another beautiful harmonious element in “Mystic Dawn”) and of its choirs which hum to fantasy on a rhythmic which manures its shyness with sober knocks of percussions. "Awareness of Depth" offers a more nervous rhythm which dives into jerky kicks to tune its flickered pulsations with a bass line to throbbing chords. The synths are charming throughout this 2nd Emmens/Haven collaboration and here they chant songs with hybrid voices and draw some twisted, complex and unique solos with the Emmens signature, on a structure which abandons little by little its cosmic envelope to embrace a progressive electronic rock path. And it's the same thing for the title-track which, with its twinkling keys and its cosmic aura, finished also diving into a heavy electronic rock adorned by these juicy Emmensian solos.
"Infinite Horizon" also presents a silky cosmic intro with a thick cloud of heterogeneous tones which roam in veils of ether. The unreal coolness gives way to more musical synth layers which tilt towards a fascinating astral poetry with nice cooing lamentations of synths. The first sequences arrive early. Shy, they get lost in a static broth which explodes to the sounds of slamming percussions to rethink about its future and diving again in an uncertainty which makes the strength of this epic track. The percussions reborn after a long ambiospherical phase. They skip on the spot, forging a docile rhythm which sticks to other ions charmer of ears to bring so a musical depth at two harmonic phases with a very beautiful dramatic procession at around the 13th minute and, especially, a greater presence of the synths which draw superb oniric solos of which the harmonious duality is the basis of “Mystic Dawn”. This is a great track in the lineage of the good ones of Emmens with synths that will haunt your ears much more lately, after its very ambient last minutes. "Reflections" espouses a soft rhythm. A kind of cosmic blues with echoing sequences/pulsations which are used as  framework to another design of sequences of which the flickering ions are dancing like snips of scissors in space, illustrating marvellously Gert Emmens' floating rhythms who vitamins his structure with heavier sequences and more hammered percussions. The rhythm becomes strange in our loudspeakers. A little as if it was under the influence of drink and would move forward stubbornly through the harmonious roadblocks of a structure which inhales the liberties of “Mystic Dawn”.
Why change a winning recipe? Since 03's Wanderer of Time, Gert Emmens seduced with his lines of sequences to strange harmonious designs and his synths with lyrical solos. And “Mystic Dawn” reminds it to us constantly. This last Emmens/Haven opus transcends the astral ambiences of Life in a Cosmic Highway with a more progressive approach and with rhythms which enchant due to their indomitable rebels drawings in cosmic phases bathed of wonderful melodic dualities. The synths of  Cadenced Haven are maturing marvellously into Gert Emmens'universe which year after year is faithful to the crossroads of his creativity with a another hard-hitting work.

Sylvain Lupari (January 12th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 11 janvier 2013

JEROME FROESE: Shiver me Timbers (2007)

Jerome has grown and is a step forward by offering a hard-hitting electronic album which allies great ambiences, rhythms and harmonies on explosive tracks
Shiver Me Timbers1 A Mellow Morning 6:09
2 Mrs. Misty Kiss 6:35
3 Airborne 7:10
4 Cartoony Universe 6:57
5 Inside the Secret 7:33
6 Paris in Peril 8:47
7 Im Museum Fuer Mechanik 7:14
8 Through Love and Deed 6:02
9 Playing for Penalties 5:22
10 Under the Black Flag 6:43
11 Can You See the Sunset from the Southside?

Moonpop | CD-703 (CD 73:03) **** (Rock'n'Teutronica)

After 2 years of wait, here's Jerome Froese's 2nd opus. So much to say it at once; Jerome is not Edgar, nor Tangerine Dream, but well and truly a strong musician, a very good writer and a studio wizard of a surprising maturity. The young Froese has grown and is a step forward by offering a hard-hitting electronic album which allies great ambiences, rhythms and harmonies on explosive tracks sat on corrosive evolutions. Jerome has a mastery on his studio and versatile equipments that is out of the ordinary, because every composition offers surprising arrangements besides offering unexpected forms, in a harmonious marigold of ethics. An obvious sign of ease and an increasing growing maturity.
Each of “Shiver me Timbers” track is well placed and has mesmerizing intros, like this mood of Greetings on "A Mellow Morning" which dives into the turbulences of a stroboscopic structure and "Airborne" which has a hard time in finding its rhythm in the whirlwind of sequences muffled in ochred winds. Honeyed intros which stand on syncopated, neurotic and hard-hitting sequences, like on "Cartoony Universe", "Paris in Peril" and "Under the Black Flag". All explosive tracks on staggering progressive structures. There are not that much resemblances with Tangerine Dream of the Rockoon years, except for "Cartoony Universe", or the Virgin years which weren't the favorite moods of Jerome anyway! The young Froese rather exploits a very bouncy psychedelic synth style with lot of curt guitar riffs and heavy striking percussions. Certainly that we find some misty ambiences here and there. They are of use for openings or are inserted for short periods in a middle of a track, but mainly they are pretexts to prepared the coming of explosive and furious sequences. Dynamite beats which brushes the impertinence of Trance on movements built around great controlled melodies. This is work of very good musician and great music builder. And it's in these mellow ambiences that very nice ballads like "Mrs. Misty Kiss", "Through Love and Deed" and "Can You See the Sunset from the Southside?" bring a delicious depth to this album which teems of contagious rhythms with catchy melodies. And on this level, "A Mellow Morning" and "Mrs. Misty Kiss" are among Jerome's great tracks. No wonder they fill the EP out of “Shiver me Timbers”; Precooked Munchies.
I discovered the world of Jerome lately and by the means of “Shiver me Timbers” which is a pleasant discovery. Those who think, like me, that Jerome is of cold nature have to see revise their positions, because “Shiver me Timbers” is everything except icy. There are superb tracks with a looks of ballad which explode on nervous rhythms and Froese son shows an incredible knowledge at the mastering and producing, because the whole thing flows with a strange metallic harmony. To hear and listen to at high volume and speed. Simply brilliant!

Sylvain Lupari (December 8th, 2007 and translated on January 7th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: