mardi 26 février 2013

JAVI CANOVAS: Desert Dawn (2013)

“Desert Dawn is a lively exotic album where the percussions enchant in their roles prevailing on sequences, shaping rhythms of wild local dances”
1 Atlas 7:52
2 River Luccus 7:34
3 Thar 14:10
4 Blue Desert 5:28
5 Fez 5:53
6 Nouadibhou 12:47

Independant Release (DDL 53:43) ****
(World EM)

Fans of a progressive EM style like Berlin School or/and its derivatives have sometimes tepid ears. We like these long structures which perspire the improvisations all along rhythms unstitched by intuitive sequences which cross the ambiences of bluish ether that lead us near transitory dreams. Thus, when we learn that one of the true values wants to bring us to the borders of World Music, we have the ears which grimace. And nevertheless we shouldn't. “Desert Dawn” from Javi Canovas is an album of delicate Berber musical incantations where the clanic rhythms are swirling in the echoes of tom-toms and of their extremely tightened skins. Rhythms of silk which don't pour into techno nor brush it, giving an exotic musicality which sings through layers of synths and of their hybrid whistles to the charms of the warm Arabian nights.
"Atlas" invites us in the new musical fragrances of Javi Canovas with delicate arpeggios daydreaming on a rhythmic embryo livened up by an uncertain bass line and percussions Tablas. Very harmonious, the intro floats in oniric vapors before being collided by strong percussions, struck with bedazzled hands, and by a bass line with throbbing chords. This combination structures a mesmerizing Arabian hip-hop where enchants a synth and its breaths of snake charmers. Blazing, "Atlas" offers a good mixture of percussions to eclectic tones which reminds me a little of Jean Michel Jarre's rhythmic moods on his famous Egyptian night with more slamming percussions and a slightly stroboscopic structure which bites some more ethereal clanic atmospheres. "River Luccus" fills our ears with an almighty rhythm of West Indian folklore which swirls with exhilaration on the breaths of synth singing the charms of the Gobi Desert. This fusion of “Desert Dawn”'s World Music reaches its peak on "River Luccus" with a wild polka which sets our feet on fire, stamping on the harmonies which sing against the current. Delicious and very lively! "Thar" proposes then a very meditative intro with notes of a fanciful harp which roam in some musical winds carried by the heat of the deserts of Magreb. We hear well those clanic tom-toms trying to awaken the rhythm, but the dense synth layers are masking the pale rhythmic reflections. And it's bit by bit that "Thar" embraces the curves of a lascivious tribal dance with tom-toms more fed and notes of sitar which are flavoring a Bedouin dance wrapped in a suave heat of a synth to in melodious Arabian breaths which cannot contain the rhythmic heaviness that hugs "Thar" a little after its 10th minute.
"Blue Desert" begins the 2nd portion of Javi Canovas' intrusion in the rhythms of the world with a lighter approach. Shimmering notes and Tablas percussions are ringing in harmonies, weaving a rhythm finely embroidered in intertwined filets that Arabian flutes caress of their soft tribal harmonies. I like "Fes", while that initially it left me of ice. Its rhythm structure is heavy and rumbling, like on "Atlas", but with an airier harmonious envelope where a piano is running there and dances of its xylophone keys under the breaths of the flutes which didn't leave the quiet ambiences of the title-track. It's quite nice and light. And the orchestrations save the day of a track that would be flat without them. "Nouadibhou" is what that it's closer to the territories of conventional EM with its delicate poetic intro where dusts of stars float in cosmic winds of ether. The synth layers are undulating lazily there, freeing fluty breezes on a cinematographic dune where are dragging some beatings of mislaid percussions and a chain of abrasive sequences which lose all sense of rhythm in these intense vapors of iodine. The rhythm wakes up at around the 5th minute. Arched on percussions to hollow timbres and graffiti of xylophone to tones of anvil, it swings its furtive tempo like a leg hanging in space, making sing the flutes of Babylon. This rhythm, at first sight furtive, espouses a clearly noisier tangent with an avalanche of clanic percussions which make resound their shimmering skins in a languishing approach of tribal waltz, there where are always singing these flutes charmer of snakes.
Like what that one can be different and remain good! That's what comes to mind while listening to this last effort of Javi Canovas whose surprising intrusion in the Arabian spheres listens to with a disconcerting ease. Without kissing the paths of a techno to the disturbing rhythms of Turkey, “Desert Dawn” is a lively exotic album where the percussions enchant in their roles prevailing on sequences, shaping rhythms of wild local dances. Synths are discreet, certainly! They weave Berber harmonies where the Arabic flutes are whipping the cosmic breezes and the dusts of dunes, creating the ideal balance for an album with the charms of the 1001 Arabian nights.

Sylvain Lupari (February 26th, 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=15902   

jeudi 21 février 2013

MICHAEL STEARNS: Plunge (1986)

“Of course Plunge is totally different! But we have to go over our prejudices and let ourselves charm by this amazing sonic journey”

Bonne journée mes amis!
Greetings friends!
I have transfered the reviews of Michael Stearns on the new website of Synth&Sequences here;


mardi 19 février 2013

RON BOOTS: Backgrounds (1994)

“Backgrounds is a great way to discover the early works of this great EM wizard whom is Ron Boots”
1 Khazad-Dum 6:55
2 Northwind Leaves Fall 9:07
3 Path's of Death 9:05
4 Springbirds 6:32
5 Cosmos 5:33
6 Summerwind 6:11
7 Goodbye 5:38
8 Meadow 8:16
9 Ambersage 7:43
10 April Breeze 4:55

Cue Records |CUE-1111 (CD 70:46) ****

Ron Boots became over the years a sure thing in the world of EM. Each work coming from the Dutch synthman is surprising us with versatile rhythms which rock unsuspected melodious approaches for a musical universe weaved in the somber mathematics meanders. But before kissing this fame, Ron Boots began his career with a series of cassettes produced between 1987 and 1990. “Backgrounds” is a compilation of 4 of these works (Bookworks, Wind in the Trees, Moments and Hydrythmix) released between 1988 and Dreamscape. A compilation which reveals a musical minimalist universe seasoned of fine variances, preventing the thoughtfulness of a passive listening which becomes inevitably absent-minded. Inspired by the literary works of Tolkien and Stephen King, “Backgrounds” offers a suite of 10 compositions, remixed and reworked which inhale the atmospheric influences of the Californian deserts that Tangerine Dream has sculptured in the 70's on a surprising sequenced approach unique to Ron Boots.
"Khazad-Dum", from Bookworks, introduces us to the other hillside of Boots' universe with a clanic approach of an aboriginal kind embroidered on a meshing of sequences and pulsations with keys which fidget in an aura of controlled trance. The rhythm is intense and livened up, dislocating its linear spasms under the caresses of a lyrical synth and its fluty harmonies. One can recognize there a Dreamish influence (No Man's Land) on this minimalist approach of which the variances espouse the harmonious tangents which breathe under a dense ethereal pattern. "Northwind Leaves Fall" is a small jewel on the art of sequencing the rhythms. The melody is sculptured in a ballet of sequences of which the multiplication of the keys forges a suave musical cannon. At both fluid and jerky, the harmonious rhythm spreads its shroud of prismic tones sequences which cavort unconcernedly on an enchanter minimalist movement embellishes of its fine harmonious nuances. It's very good and very beautiful. The enchanting effect of rhythmic melodic cannon is also present on the tenebrous "Springbirds" and on the very joyful "April Breeze" (both also pulled out from Wind in the Trees) which combines its rhythm in cascade with synths as much musical as those on "Khazad-Dum"."Path's of Death", also from Bookworks, wears very well the blackness of its naming with a slow and black rhythm, to the limit clanic, embroidered on echoing pulsations and crystal clear sequences of which the alternating keys resound in the nuances of a synth and its somber fluty harmonies. "Cosmos" is the only track coming out of the Moments cassette and it's a lunar mood track with a slow rhythm which pounds of its bass line beneath some diverse approaches of percussions of which the kicks and the mislaid effects of surprises cogitate in the black mist of a dark synth and of its fleeting reedy harmonies.
It's a track which does a heavy contrast to the boiling "Summerwind", from Wind in the Trees, and of its furious ions pounding in all directions in a static dance of which the minimalist evolution passes by the heavy pulsations of a bass-drum, the strikings mislaid percussions and other ions rolling such as ball bearings which coordinate their rhythmic symbiosis in the funky harmonies coming from a synth and its languishing twisted solo and mystic mist. "Goodbye" is black and oniric, like a goodbye as we know to be a farewell. The slow modulations of the synths draw some poignant passages that church bells amplify in this funeral track where are humming dark and sad choirs. Bookworks continues to illustrate its heavy and stormy structures with "Meadow" and its heavy resonant pulsations which are throbbing in a world filled of eclectic tones. Choirs, strange robotic moans and melodious falls of chords fly over this heavy threatening approach which clears up little by little with the arrival of sequenced ions which sparkle in their harmonious trails, drawing these enchanting melodious approaches sculptured in sequences in cascade which cover the sonic world of “Backgrounds”. "Ambersage" floats with its clanic tom-toms which drum under a musical sky to clouds of ether. A synth is whistling there while that jumping ions gradually catch the beats of tom-toms, hijacking a rhythm which oscillates between its gregarious ambience and its passive modulations
No needs to be a fan of Ron Boots to appreciate this compilation. If we feel an influence of the Dream, we cannot ignore the one of Steve Roach in this fascinating approach of crisscrossed rhythmic patterns that the Californian synthesist offered in his beginning of career (Now and Traveller, even Structures from Silence). “Backgrounds” breathes of originality for a compilation which goes out of the beginning of the 90's. The design of the rhythms in the shape of echoing canons and their harmonious movements are among these sonic elements which make that EM is a kind of unique art where the beauty explodes in the smallest ringing of chords to arabesques unreal. What a great way to discover the early works from this great EM wizard!

Sylvain Lupari (February 18th, 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=15898

lundi 18 février 2013

PATCHWORK: Connect (2007/2012)

“Connect is a fair EM opus with a great sequencing mood which is not without recalling the harmonic rhythms of Tangerine Dream”

1 Enter Now 9:51
2 Connect 5:54
3 Dawn 12:02
4 Orbit 6:49
5 High Clouds 8:10
6 Out of the Dark 7:45
7 Flyby Wire 10:18
8 Final Approach 8:07

Syngate | CD-R PW02 (CDR 69:12) ***½
(Melodious rhythmic new Berlin School)

There is not much information on Patchwork except that it's a Dutch duet consisted of Rene Jansen and Ruud Heij. If one, Rene Jansen, is strongly inspired by the music of Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis, the other one, Ruud Heij, is very influenced by the sequenced movements of Berlin School as it proves his membership in groups such as Kubusschnitt and Free System Projekt as well as his duet with Gert Emmens. Except that Patchwork is more a project than a band. It's the result of recordings sessions in the studio of Ruud Heij in the summer 1994, for a first eponym album released on Quantum Records in 1999, and in the 95's summer with Udo Scheyka which was going to give the album “Connect” which was available on line since 2007. Always in its quest to resuscitate interesting albums, invalidated by time and by lack of promotion, the Syngate label presents to fans of EM, especially those who like harmonious Berlin School, this fascinating recording session which has quite the appearances of being taken out of Tangerine Dream studios.
Arched on a sinister approach, with its threatening synth waves floating such as gases of ether, "Enter Now" presents a docile rhythmic approach which makes its flock of sequenced ions cavort in the trails of electronic percussions of which the passive rhythmic patterns remind us constantly that we are effectively listening to scalable studio recordings sessions. Smooth and floating, this rhythm awakens harmonic ions which gather in the docile harmonies of discreet synths. The title-track plunges us straight into
Tangerine Dream's Logos era, and this even if the intro and its vocoder awakens recollections of Neuronium, with crystal clear sequences which alternate their delicate knocks over the charms of soft and musical synths, allying solos and harmonies under a delicate rhythm. "Dawn" is a wonderful track which plunges us into our musical memories of Peter Baumann and his excellent Trans Harmonic Nights. The rhythm is always forged in this duel of percussions slamming like electronic whips, of these muffled pulsations and of these sequenced ions which skip in a symmetric anarchy, while that another fascinating melodious approach rests this time on synths and keyboards which divide and scatter their harmonious solos and Mellotron breezes under a quiet rhythmic magma. Minimalist, the track offers delicate variations as rhythmic as melodic which go up beyond "Orbit".
"High Clouds" is a monument of hypnotism with its heavy upward sequences which have difficulty in swirling in an intense synthesized mist where melodious solos tear the nostalgia with old Moog's tones. Sneaky the rhythm of "Out of the Dark" avoids the hearing captivity with ample sinuous movements which by-pass the torrents of a synth river filled by fragrances which are very near Edgar Froese's soils. If the first part is elusive, the second one accepts the offering of a fascinated listening with a beautiful approach which slightly brushes the beautiful electronic ballads of the
Dream. It's the 2nd sturdy track on “Connect” which keeps going on its seducing path with "Flyby Wire" and its chords with hybrid tones which zigzag in indecision before borrowing a more stoical pattern where electronic percussions and pulsing sequences are exchanging the cadenced airs on a rhythmic structure with the in outlines as much indefinite as the mists and the fleeting harmonies of the discreet synths. "Final Approach" ends “Connect” with this cocktail of ions and sequenced pulsations which pound with heaviness on the delicate harmonies of synth always so diffident, concluding thus a musical universe which is more centred on sequences and their rhythmic embryos to latent tortuous evolutions than melodies and ambiences of synths which are make more than discreet in this ode to Tangerine Dream's sequenced works.

Sylvain Lupari (February 17th, 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=15877

samedi 16 février 2013

ROBERT SCHROEDER: TimeWaves (1987)

“Behind a sumptuous sound fauna TimeWaves presents a diversified pallet of EM styles where Robert Schroeder presents his 2 faces, his 2 visions of his musical universe”

1 The Turn of a Dream 7:51
2 Waveshape Attack 3:23
3 Waveshape 7:43
4 Waveshape Decay 3:02
5 Love and Emotion 10:49
6 The Message 12:23
7 The Message Part II 5:44
8 Imagine 4:19
9 Flowmotion 4:55

CDR NEWS-CDR .12.008 2009 (CD-R 60:12) ****
(New Berlin School)

For quite a few fans and critics of EM, “TimeWaves” is the transition album in Robert Schroëder's career. An album where the aromas of a fascinating and ear-catching Berlin School are slightly brushing an approach more commercial in a form of synth-pop a bit funky. If the result may surprise and at the limit disappoints some of his fans, a more deepen listening will reveal that this 8th opus of Schroëder hides 2 wonderful jewels which gnaw more than the half of 60 minutes of this last edition of “TimeWaves” that Robert Schroëder offers with a more detailed and enhanced sound quality, giving justice to an album where the ambiences and the rhythms are carefully coated from this electronic fauna of thousand astral contrasts.
An artless harmonious line with a light reedy bouquet opens the innocent approach of "The Turn of a Dream". A lascivious bass line unfolds its rumbling chords which wave hypocritically on a carpet of ethereal choirs while that some other lost synth chords come to stroll and ring, adding so an additional harmonious touch on a track which negotiates its ambience and its rhythm between the sweetness of its synths and the backfiring of electronic bongo style percussions. "Waveshape Attack" is a track of ambience with synth lines floating adrift in the between the numerous interwoven lines of synth's wandering choruses and percussions to undisciplined strikings. It's an electro-organic prelude to the synth-pop "Waveshape" and its virginal melody which hums on a pulsating minimalist rhythm which scatters its funky chords and its robotics strikings in a harmonious universe sculptured in fluty breezes. Like "Waveshape Attack", "Waveshape Decay" spreads a cloud of electronic mood with synth waves crossing a storm of percussions knocks. Then comes the magical and wonderful "Love and Emotion". During more than 10 minutes, Robert Schroëder unrolls the pattern of a splendid down-tempo of which the slow and suggestive rhythm leans on the slow and echoing strikings of percussions. If the rhythm is floating, the harmonies are oniric. The breaths of the dreamy flutes float such as sensual singings on a lascivious rhythm, copulating with chords to tones of guitar which roam between the filets of breaths as much musical as vocal. This is simply a wonderful track which at that time ended the face A of an album where the electronic art and its technologies were still in the service of the harmonious creativity.
Voted as 87 best track of EM, "The Message" is in the purest tradition of Robert Schroëder's romantic works in a higher rhythmic scale. The intro presents these chords with tones of barking dogs so dear to the electronic universe of the synth-wizard from Aachen. They bark of their jerky timbers in some ochred mists while that the pulsations draw the plan of a hypnotic rhythm which debauches a multitude of sequenced circles which swirl in the mists of wandering choirs and in the sharp laments of a synth and its harmonious solos. The rhythm is swirling. Merging its crisscrossed pulsations to electronic percussions, it turns and turns around in the furrows of a synth with its aromas of intergalactic saxophone. The track then kisses a short ambiospherical phase with choirs humming in silvered breezes and over fragmented pieces of rhythms while that the knocks of interlocked sequences are alternating with an increasing velocity to redirect "The Message" towards its initial rhythmic approach. A rhythm smith of a tremendous rhythmic musical itch where hollow tones percussions and sequences with perverse oscillations rage in this intense vocalized mist which constantly haunts the ethereal approaches of Robert Schroëder. It really has what it takes to be voted as the best EM track in 1987. "The Message Part II" gets undress of its loud rhythm to espouse a spiral structure which strides along of its heavy chords the ascent of a dreamlike mountain where ring fine tinkled arpeggios. And "Imagine" pursuing on this arabesque tangent to ends with a heavier and more musical circular rhythm, so completing gallantly the onset of "The Message". The bonus track out of this last edition of “TimeWaves”, "Flowmotion", respects the spirit behind Schroëder's 8th opus with a musical rhythm where rotations of percussions and gleaming arpeggios forge the beautiful symbiosis of a minimalist synth-pop, a little like on "The Turn of a Dream" and "Waveshape".
Robert Schroëder always refused to stigmatize his creativity behind a single musical style. And “TimeWaves”, is only confirming his desire, undertaken on Paradise, to want to tame all the technological breakthrough of EM equipments through a skillful fusion of synth-pop rhythms and hypnotic progressive Berlin School structures. It's a very beautiful album which is underestimated where tracks like "Love and Emotion" and the saga of "The Message" bring us in spaces that only Schroëder knows how to sculpture for most great pleasure of our ears.

Sylvain Lupari (February 15th, 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=15876

jeudi 14 février 2013

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Brain Voyager (1985)

“Digging in the melancholic approaches of Harmonic Ascendant, Brain Voyager is an opus tinted of an unequalled romanticism”
1 Brain Voyager 5:19
2 Lost Humanity 4:06
3 Frozen Breath of Life 4:26
4 Invisible Danger 6:24
5 Glücksgedanken 5:06
6 Love Symphonie 2:41
7 Slaves of Civilization 5:40
8 The Inside of Feelings 4:30

NewsMusic | CDR-12.001 (CDR 38:02) **** 
(Melodic and ethereal New Berlin School)

Brain Voyager” is a music which accompanies a movie 3D project pulled out from a Ludwig Tieck's novel; Lebens Überfluss. To do it, Robert Schroeder used a technology called Aachen-Art-Head which consists in installing a microphone in the head of a dummy, giving thus a claustrophobic sound endowed of a surprising transparency. The result is surprising! Digging in the melancholic approaches of Harmonic Ascendant, Robert Schroeder delivers an opus tinted of an unequalled romanticism. This album, that the Hi-Fi magazine voted as the best audio reference in 1986, is a pure delight for audiophiles as well as fans of the Aachens synth wizard.
The title-track opens with a beautiful ballad where an acoustic guitar courts the pensive notes of an elegant piano. We are in full Harmonic Ascendant lands with an approach full of sadness that we listen the eyes riveted on a window by a rainy day. Discreet, the synths add a musical dress just and sober which breathes into "Brain Voyager" a sad melodious approach which will resurface in "Glücksgedanken", that a soft celestial voice caresses of an infinity tenderness. "Lost Humanity" moves on with keys which collide finely in a heavy reverberating fog. The track is static with an absent rhythm which flows under various corresponding tones. It's an ambient track which wears well its naming. With its chiming chords which ringing such as a devilish lullaby, "Frozen Breath of Life" is bursting of authenticity. The strings of lead which come to bite this delicate bed song for schizophrenics add a dimension as much nightmarish as musical in a track which brushes the anxiety at its pure state. The heavy, corrosive and incisive strings which tear the bipolar atmospheres of “Brain Voyager” add a sinister depth to a work which bursts out of an incredible tone fauna. They weave a carousel of fear on "Invisible Danger" which turns around like a madness mislaid in its labyrinth. The effect is captivating and striking. "Love Symphonie" is an abstract melody in suspension, quite as the whimsical "The Inside of Feelings", while that "Slaves of Civilization" hides its tune in the acerbic strings bites of a devilish cello. The ambience is torn between white, especially with the fine melody escaping at mid-point, and black, illustrating the world of paradox which surrounds this Lebens Überfluss' story. We are in a full dream and possibly in a head of somebody else.
Brain Voyager” and I! It's an old love story. I always found that this Robert Schroeder's album had a deep romantic approach where are dragging some beautiful melodies marked by nostalgia. If some people think that we are in full New Age, I shall make reference to the first works of Vangelis (Sex Power and Fais que ton Rêve soit plus Long que la Nuit). Although the eras are quite different, we find similarities between these works where contradictory feelings are on the lookout for the slightest melodic parcel in order to be hiding within there. Through his sound experimentations, Robert Schroeder  has known how to give room to melodious approaches which espouse all the cerebral forms of a brain which looks for itself. Soft, ethereal and oniric, “Brain Voyager” is an inescapable in the career of Schroeder . An album which is still available via his website in an enhance sound technology.

Sylvain Lupari (February 3rd, 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=15875

lundi 4 février 2013

KLAUS SCHULZE: Dziekuje Poland (1983)

“Dziekuje Poland is to the newborn era of Digital EM what ...Live... is for the analog one”
CD 1 (75:53)
1 Katowice 26:22
2 Warsaw 24:16
3 The Midas Hip Hop Touch 25:15 (Bonus Track)
CD 2 (78:34)
1 Lodz 20:59
2 Gdansk 15:45
3 Dziekuje 5:52
4 Dzien dobry! 35:58 (Bonus Track)

Innovative Communication | KS 80.040/41 (1983)
Revisited Records | SPV 304972 DCD - REV 047 (2005)
(2 CD 154:27) ****½ (Minimalist and orcehstral Berlin School EM)

Recorded during the Polish tour that followed the release of Audentity, “Dziekuje Poland” is to the newborn era of Digital EM what ...Live... is for the analog one. Masterly, Klaus Schulze restores the main lines of his last studio album with staggering versions of Spielglocken and Cellistica while diving into his immortal X with an interpretation of Ludwig II von Bayern. Powerful and puzzling, with some violent orchestral intrusions which change abruptly the course of long musical frescoes interpreted with a surprising cohesion, “Dziekuje Poland” is an inescapable in the career of Klaus Schulze. And Revisited Records continues to cheat in the vaults of the German virtuoso by offering a reworked version which includes another surprising version of "Katowice".
A soft synth floats in a mood with slow evolutions that a strong blow of orchestral sampling à la Schulze strikes quite hard, releasing Rainer Bloss' delicate piano which cavorts on a light and harmonious air. Another slicing symphonic warning shot! And the movement becomes dizzier, jerky on a tempo alienated by undisciplined segments. The calm returns on a hyper melodious piano which lulls its last notes up to the implementation of a brisk and twitchy sequential movement. The tempo is furious and beats an unbridled measure around the roaring of primates which switch into acuteness solos hissing on a nervous and minimalist rhythm. A rhythm that we know to have heard it on Audentity in the shape of Spielglocken. This puzzling spiral fresco changes its intonations on the knocks of samplings which parade all along the track, opening the corridors on hard-hitting synth solos and beautiful orchestrations where cello and violin are melting themselves into these luxurious samplings. And this wonderful movement of rhythmic alienation that is "Katowice" is dying in a little restful finale where some violent cacophonous bows and other more pleasant ones caressing the paradoxes of an ending to the instincts of Audentity. In great shape, Klaus is serving us a splendid interpretation of Audentity's Spielglocken. "Warsaw" is my preferred track on “Dziekuje Poland”. Nervous and pulsating, the rhythm settles down straight with a piano rolling on nervous keys, and where the incisive orchestral arrangements let off steam in the waiting of another rhythmic direction. And the rhythm becomes fluid. "Warsaw" (Cellistica) flows with a held frenzy around the metallic percussions, banging like iron tubes colliding, on a heavy but flowing movement. A frenzied minimalist movement which crosses the barrier of time through superb synths solos. Wild synth which adjusts their long kermises on great permutable structures, shaped by intense whirlwinds, which modify the rhythmic axes to filter some tunes that stick into the eardrums, thanks to an incredible play of synth. This synth is quite audacious and gobbles up all of the electronic marvels that shook my ears since a very long time. The layout of the metallic percussions is beyond any imagination. This is great art with a soul that could only come from an artist as Klaus Schulze and the 11th minute always strikes me quite hard. "The Midas Hip hop Touch" is the first bonus track of this Revisited Records edition. It's a track that we can also find on the Jubilee Edition with a five minutes in plus. This has a very supple frenzy on tribal conga drums that gives the impression of being at a clanic incantation. I do believe that it shouldn't be there because it doesn't fit within the mood of the wild rhythms of “Dziekuje Poland”. It's a loud track which spoils the fiesta begun with "Katowice" and "Warsaw".
CD 2 begins with "Lodz". Klaus Schulze talks to the crowd and announces that he is going to make an interpretation of Ludwig II Von Bayern from the timeless X. And a huge wave of dark organ opens this movement which aims towards a more crystal clear tone; the big strings section which amplified the original version being absent. But, believe me, that remains a very beautiful live rendition with all the nuances in it and the whole subtlety in Ludwig's phases. It's a little bit like hearing an acoustic interpretation of it, except that the orchestral are denser and more intense, respecting thus the foundations of this structure incredibly fluid that is Ludwig II Von Bayern. After this classical, Klaus Schulze and Rainer Bloss let hear us their knowledge by delivering a mini jam which sometimes touches slightly the indifference while that in certain place the coherence reaches its target. I was never able to stand "Gdansk" and "Dziekuje". To me, they are two noisy whirlwind of fillers where Schulze ends by thanking everyone ("Dziekuje"), except Rainer Bloss...or I simply missed it! This portion isn't necessary at all and spoils a true masterpiece without it. But Klaus being Klaus!
The bonus track is worthily. It's a more complete and less random interpretation of Katowice that began this double cd set live album. More fluid it maintains all of its beauty of its avant-gardism.
The magic behind “Dziekuje Poland” is Klaus Schulze. We feel a Schulze inspired by the events of Poland (the Solidarność movement) who displays all of his dexterity and understanding of the country by merging his solos, sometimes totally outside this world, in his rhythms to thousand abrupt turnovers. And Rainer Bloss (the hidden card behind “Dziekuje Poland”) accompanies Klaus Schulze marvelously, giving the depth necessary to this great live performance. And “Dziekuje Poland
 is a must and an inescapable in Schulze long and surprising career, build around so many outcomes, and a unique live performance that you will never hear somewhere else. And once again Revisited Records throws at us a reedition that hits its target. Offered in a nice digipack presentation and a beautiful booklet containing interesting notes about this tour, it also contains a music with a very good sound restoration (not a remastering) and a capture which is much softness than the original that I find a bit colder. But the most important thing is that it's wraps a unique concert which takes a sublime outcome with "Dzien Dobry!". If you don't own it, go grab it. Either this reedition or a use copy on the Net, this concert is a necessity. And if you have the IC version, I'm still convinced that the sound on Revisited Records seems slightly warmer.
Sylvain Lupari (February 16th, 2007 and translated on February 1st, 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=9436

dimanche 3 février 2013

TANGERINE DREAM: Le Parc (1985)

“Different certainly, Le Parc is nevertheless a beautiful opus filled with beautiful ballads at once cute and well put on rhythm”
1 Bois de Boulogne (Paris) 5:07
2 Central Park (New York) 3:37
3 Gaudi Park (Guell Garden Barcelona) 5:10
4 Tiergarten (Berlin) 4:28
5 Zen Garden (Ryoanji Temple Kyoto) 3:07
6 Le Parc (L.A.- Streethawk) 2:56
7 Hyde Park (London) 3:50
8 The Cliffs of Sydney (Sydney) 5:20
9 Yellowstone Park (Rocky Mountains) 6:10
10 Streethawk (Radio Remix) 3:04

EsotericRecords | EREACD1027 (42:49) ***½ (Melodic and rhythmic EM)

Ah … “Le Parc”! When one thinks about it, it's not a bad album at all. It's like agreeing to a new loving flavor offered by our beloved. We were happy before! We loved these long musical sexual intercourses to surprising outcomes which peppered an excessive listening, amply justified by so much creativity. But our mistress with strings of iridescent diamonds decides something else. And, as every good conquered lover, we agree and, oh surprise, we eventually like it. Except that in secret, our beloved has just thrown the pattern of our future relations; finished the length cavorts now it's time for short harmonious exchanges! For a lot of Tangerine Dream fans, “Le Parc” represents the swan song of a legend. Firstly; it's the last album of the trio with the most electric and most electronic phase of the Mandarin Dream. Secondly; it's the album that is also a major turning point in the career which from now on will move towards more concise and more harmonious compositions. And the story will reveal that the Dream dropped the long and complex musical journeys of the Berlin School to spawn quietly in the American electronic music model; the New Age. Edgar Froese once explains this change of musical orientation this way: “Tangerine Dream is like breathing -- the first 12 or 13 years was breathing out and the other decade is breathing in. The simple concept is the inside and outside world. It's more complicated if you go into it, but breathing in means that by the natural aspect of breathing, it's inside and not spacey. It's not macrocosm, its microcosm.” And it's a little bit of this ideology that lies behind “Le Parc”; 9 tracks for 9 parks that have seduced and inspired Chris Franke, Edgar Froese and Johannes Schmoelling. And this album of the Dream has had several editions and remasterings. A cat would lose its young in there! This latest (and last?) edition from of Esoteric Recordings offers a more beautiful definition of the sequences and percussions which are the cornerstone of “Le Parc”, cutting thus the rhythms with more neatness without altering the beautiful melodies that are holding onto it. Besides, this version offers "Streethawk (Radio Remix)" in an allegoric commercial format with a heavier and more nervous rhythm which aims at a clearly younger public.
"Bois de Boulogne" starts this virtual musical journey with a sober rhythm embroidered by a good meshing of sequences and percussions cracking of heterogeneous tones. The rhythm is smooth, sensual to the limit, with a good bass line of which the pulsations resound boorishly around the harmonies of a synth which strew its breezes in multicolored tones, sometimes reedy and sometimes austere. With its percussions which are clicking such as fatigued castanets and its bass line to the hasty notes tumbling down in a street crowded of traffic, "Central Park" has surprised more than one. The music is a kind of rock with curt chords and a splendid keyboard which winds its chords frivolously, bringing a disconcerting melodious aspect into this violent rhythmic context which is just as the image of its city. It's a good track worthily of a high sound level. "Gaudi Park" is striking with its percussions sounding like tom-toms which alternate their hits in an organic surreal musical fauna. The sequencing is magical. Twirling like some snips of scissors in a melodious mist, they draw a harmonious rhythmic schema all in nuance. Some melodious synth layers in the shape of solos are wrapping this tempo with enriched by chorus and by sound effects of all stripes (we are even entitled to some winks of eye from the Poland era with percussion gas), embroidering the outlines of a very electronic ballad which melts into the wonderful and melancholic "Tiergarten" and its piano notes which stroll among cherubs' hubbubs. The rhythm increases all in musicality, beneath these piano notes which accept the caresses of a synth whistling under a radiant sun. This is another very TD melody beautiful melody which ages very well within the years. Without rhythm, "Zen Garden" inhales the Chinese traditional values. The pinched chords of Koto float with lightness in the furrow of powerful pulsations and their resonant echoes, while that choirs and silvery mists blow a kind of calming on a track which distances itself by a dramatic theatrical approach. The title-track lands with velocity on another beautiful meshing of percussions and sequences. The rhythm is frank. Weaved by this meshing, it fattens its rhythmic approach with another sequence line, a more crystal clear one, which waves with frenzy under the charms of a very harmonious synth. It's quite a lively track which finds its wealth in a panoply of sound effects (by far the strength of “Le Parc”) and which became the musical emblem of a cult TV program as well as the single of this album
"Hyde Parc" is a strike of genius! The intro is fed by percussions with strange heterogeneous tones, drawing the plan of a melodic rhythm which skips stubbornly. And on a short lapse of time the German trio managed to build a superb track to royal intonations with this so cherub rhythm which increases its intensity and its hypnotic grip on a constantly evolving melody. Splendid and stoical English-style! After small samplings of gulls' shouts, "The Cliffs of Sydney" pursues with a tempo supported by good rolling percussions and a synth with nice effects of light violins. The approach is very cinematographic and the rhythm is heavy, even black, with resonant chords skipping in the silvery mists of a synth which spreads its harmonious pads on an increasing melodious rhythmic pattern.
"Yellowstone Park" is of an infinite beauty. This very beautiful ballad starts with reedy breezes which mislaid their lamentations in the discord of an orchestra which adjusts its horns and strings. A fine melodious approach is blooming. Such as a tick-tock, it drums its weakened chords which are grafted to the heavy hammerings of percussions, weaving a heavy and suggestive rhythm that the suave voice of Clare Torry (remember Pink Floyd's The Great Gig in the Sky?) caresses of its warm sensual laments. The symbiosis voice and synth is sublime and the whole thing offers a very beautiful suggestive ballad which hammers in our eardrums a heavy and slow melody of which every blow stigmatizes a listening as amazed as dreamy eyes contemplating the images which capture the spirit and the beauty of this magnificent park to thousand treasures.
Different certainly, “Le Parc” is nevertheless a beautiful opus filled with beautiful ballads at once cute and well put on rhythm. We are, on the other hand, very far from the long tracks with evolutionary structures and always so surprising denouements. But this is Edgar's will and “Le Parc” marks this beginning of a new era for Tangerine Dream where equipments and technologies will get the upper hand over the creativity of former days. And it's a pity because the story will show us that there was still room left all over EM for this kind of structures with outcomes as much tortuous as the grooves of a beach abandoned to low tide. Yes, I do like these new flavors that my love proposes me but I miss these long audacious movements which have peppered these listening prisoners of so much diversity and creativity.

Sylvain Lupari (October 29th, 2006 and translated on January 30th, 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=8976

vendredi 1 février 2013

PILLION: Halcyon (2012)

“Pillion's Halcyon is the kind of work that stands out, like that without warning and which puts us full ears. Go get this one!”

The review has been moved here; HALCYON