mardi 8 janvier 2013

JEROME FROESE: Far Side of the Face (2012)

“Far Side of the Face is a solid opus which leaves an indelible track in your ears... and on your walls”

1 Flight of Fancy 5:53
2 Novembernauts 14:19
3 Scroll to Position 7:25
4 Her Majesty's Adornments 10:10
5 Crystal Red 4:56
6 Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor 5:54
7 A Neo-Victorian Romance 5:48
8 Control your Curiosity 6:22
9 Captain of the Skies
5:51

Moonpop | CD-705 (CD 64:32) ***½
(Rock'n'Teutronica and Guitartronica)

Strange phenomenon that is Jerome Froese! In spite of strong albums, the Medias always hesitate to write or speak about his works. I did the test with “Far Side of the Face” (and by ricochet with Cases of Recurrence). I deliberately chose not to speak about it; just to see when would appear a first review. And 6 months later; zip! Nada! Nothing! Are we avoiding the son of Edgar? The question should be asked. Because in spite of a series of very beautiful albums there are very few reviews and papers concerning the works of this brilliant young musician of the EM scene's take over. And nevertheless “Far Side of the Face” takes on a quite particular character with Johannes Schmoelling's presence who brings a very TD touch with his synths as melodious as discordant, caressing marvellously Jerome Froese's very noisy psychedelico-rhythmic universe. Making so another very beautiful album for Jerome's 3rd studio opus. Different and more driven than his precedents, but an album which leaves an indelible track in your ears and on your walls …
Delicate arpeggios fall like drops of rain in a suite of four sequenced keys in the introductory mist of "Flight of Fancy". The melodious start hesitating. Hanging on to the pulsations of a bass line, it succumbs to the nice and stunning percussions which burst and drum among the mislaid chords of a solitary guitar before getting lost in an anarchy phase which breathes through the lamentations of the Guitartronica from which the riffs heavy maintain the fragile harmonies of a divided melody and its discordant solos. And slowly "Flight of Fancy" returns to its point of origin with a more harmonious presence of the Guitartronica. This introductory track, which reminds me of Shiver Me Timbers' A Mellow Morning, is the draft of 8 other ones with elusive melodies and gregarious rhythms that will caress our ears throughout “Far Side of the Face”. Jerome continues to mix his dark melodies into heavy and loud riffs which describe the arcs of ambiguity like on the very beautiful "A Neo-Victorian Romance", which presents a very beautiful harmonious plea à la Patrick O'Hearn before bending under the knocks of the Guitartronica, or still the superb "Crystal Red", written with Johannes Schmoelling, and its shrill twisted solos which coo on a melodious and catchy jerked rhythm. The spasmodic structures which split up fine melodies are also numerous as on Shiver Me Timbers and Neptunes. One just has to hear the noisy and hatched "Control your Curiosity" (and "Her Majesty's Adornments") to re-dip us into the moods of these 2 albums.
Also written with Johannes Schmoelling, "Novembernauts" displays a harmonious structure which gets a hold onto a rhythm to poly-phased evolutions. The strata of guitars, and its soft riffs, harmonize their airs on a rhythm which, from delicate, bites a stroboscopic line from where are escaping some rolling hypnotic musical loops before that Johannes Schmoelling's synths tear up a cohesion which had just render itself to strong percussions. This rhythmic eruption dissipates little by little, plunging "Novembernauts" towards a passage more ambient that the ex-TD salts of captivating solos. Extricating itself from its intro of ochred mist, "Scroll to Position" wriggles of its pulsations and of its frenzied drumming beneath a pond of shortened solos and aggressive riffs. It's a very violent track which dives into a nice more melodious phase and which is going make dance the slats of your floor from upside down. Another strong track, "Her Majesty's Adornments" shells its10 minutes between a mesmerizing, and a bit virginal, melodious approach and an undecided rhythmic structure where percussions and arpeggios embrace each other onto curves emaciated by stroboscopic strands. Its continual indecision and its rhythmic derailments are making of it a long musical preliminary that reaches its short climax at around the 6th minute. That's very good! "Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor" transcends Jerome's usual style with a track as much explosive but more deepened than the version offers on Preventine Medecine EP. The ambience of trash electronic metal is fed of heavy riffs which chain themselves on a structure entangled in its heaviness. The track is hesitating and disables a scrap of melody which gets lost in a whirlwind of riffs and too good percussions. Not easy to gauge but rather surprising, one would say a crossing between Red Hot Chilli Pepper and Carbon Based Lifeforms! "Captain of the Skies" concludes exactly “Far Side of the Face” with a morphic ballad of a Carbon Based Lifeforms style. It's a rebellious ballad trampled by ambio-psychedelicosmic elements which derives in the space-time as in our subconscious.
Jerome's universe tips over between several genres and sub-genres and it’s rather difficult to affix it a conventional label. We can call that electronica, but I would tilt much more for trashtronica. It's quite confusing with impromptu rhythms and suicidal melodies, but the whole thing eventually always create something harmonious even if with these mainly warlike structures. That can be enough to take away fans of EM who have some difficulties to be identified to Jerome Froese's little unusual style in a universe where the sweetness makes dream on long dreamlike structures. In fact Jerome reminds me of Dr Frankenstein who, in his studio-lab, makes his sampling, inserts hard-hitting and momentary riffs, builds his stormy rhythms and plant up his wild percussions, which are openly surprising on “Far Side of the Face” , and forges ghostly melodies on monsters of rhythms so enormous which frighten. But when we do the effort of listening to all the subtleties and nuances which encircle the 9 tracks of “Far Side of the Face”, we notice that Jerome is a solid electronic musician with a sense of the writing which equals and even surpasses several EM big names. And even if Johannes Schmoelling's presence on this opus brings a TD touch closer to the vintages years than the Miramar's, the melodious approach of Jerome doesn't have to blush in front of this legend of contemporary EM.

Sylvain Lupari (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: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=15788

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