lundi 8 avril 2013

BERTRAND LOREAU: Nostalgic Steps (2013)

“Nostalgic Steps throws so much musical winks to old classics of retro Berlin School such as Body Love and Stratosfear that we can't ignore it and bring it in our basket of memories”

1 Modulator 2:26   
2 Nostalgic Walk 7:10  
3 Noises and Voices 2:09   
4 Semblance of a Mysterious Dream 11:34   
5 Mind Floating 6:14   
6 Mini Mood 8:02   
7 A Light of Encore 9:27   
8 Birds of Nowhere 5:12
9 Sense of Heart 11:15

Spheric Music | SMCD6301 (CD 64:26) ***½
(Vintage Berlin School)

The Spheric Music label is one of the last bastions of the retro Berlin School EM. And during a discussion I had with his founder Lambert Ringlage, he insisted on saying that his label was going to continue to carry out its commit for perpetrate these mesmerizing minimalist and hypnotic movements of the 70's. And it is in the respect for these orientations that “Nostalgic Steps” has landed in the CD racks at the beginning of February. As its title indicates it, “Nostalgic Steps” is a musical journey soaked with nostalgia which visits the heart of the rhythms and ambiences of masterpieces such as Body Love from Klaus SchulzeTangerine Dream's Stratosfear with a very strong influence for Edgar Froese's solo works. Contrary to the last works of Bertrand Loreau, “Nostalgic Steps” offers 9 completely original tracks that the bard to electronic poems wrote during the last years. Tracks which reveal quite the sensibility of our timeless dreamer who seems to have been the privileged witness, hidden in the breaches of time, of these musical creations which rocked dreams and feelings of a legion of always insatiate followers.
After a storm of electronic winds which lift a thick cloud of cybernetic tones, "Nostalgic Walk" infiltrates our ears with a line of bass sequence which lays a slightly hopping rhythm. The synth blows a very beautiful melody which whistles on the bed of other sequences with keys alternating with a soft velocity, crossing a minimalist structure among which the variances, both in the forms and rhythms, reminds me Peter Baumann's soft melodies in Trans Harmonic Nights. More cosmic, "Noises and Voices" roams in an intersidereal ambience which calls back the soft caresses of ether of a certain Klaus Schulze. Needs to also hear "Sense of Heart"! Always voyaging in the heart of his nostalgic periods, Bertrand Loreau revisits a great classic of Tangerine Dream in "Semblance of a Mysterious Dream" and its rhythms mislaid in its ambiospheric labyrinths. Initially galloping, the rhythm zigzags through its lunar phases with atmospherical passages to the undeniable nostalgic recollections of the 70's to pass by a movement animated by lively sequences with playful and alternating keys to finally live on its cosmic wanderings and on its rhythmic jolts with the lugubrious ambiences weaved by a nasal synth and choirs roaming in iodized mists. This is a great track, but you also have to hear "Birds of Nowhere", a real delight! "Mind Floating" embraces a little more the structures of the New Berlin School. It's a structure of circular rhythm which swirls as a long timeless waltz where synths draw fine harmonious lines à la Software.
The whirlwind of sequences which liven up the tracks of “Nostalgic Steps” is more slightly different on "Mini Mood" which offers a more static rhythm with furtive movements of the sequences which hesitate to dip the end of their keys into an icy water, developing thus a finely jerky rhythm which is rocked by the uncertainty and caressed by a synth which puts down as much many beautiful cerebral lullabies as some smooth studed drizzle. It's a beautiful lunar track, such as "Birds of Nowhere" which is more psychedelicosmic with a beautiful dose of Mellotron tenderness. "A Light of Encore" gleans the ill-assorted cosmic elements of "Birds of Nowhere" to offer an intro which goes out of tune from this very down-to-earth circular rhythm. A rhythm forged of sequences with edgy tones of which the shadows shape a subtle echo which multiplies the depth. If the rhythm bewitches, the synths are not outdone with those Froesian harmonies which sing us, this is one of the key points of “Nostalgic Steps”, with solos to the melodious forms overhanging a rhythm of which the increasing vigour passes under the radar in front of so much harmonious beauty. And "Sense of Heart" to end with these volutes of sequences which forge these languishing hypnotic spins of which the bewitchments are adorned by their adjacent movements and of their rhythmic shades a bit discordant. These crisscrossed rhythms, which teem on this tribute to retro Berlin School that is this second album from Bertrand Loreau on Spheric Music label, are always blown by harmonies in the sweet solo forms of a synth as much oniric as poetic.
A little as if Bertrand Loreau was a ghost limb of Tangerine Dream or a spectral accomplice of Klaus Schulze, “Nostalgic Steps” breathes of these supernatural ambiences which surrounded the classics of Berlin School of the vintage years. There are a lot of musical winks, and this is the spirit of the whole album, towards some works which revolutionized the genre. Thus you should not be surprised or deceived to still have in the ears these old electronic hymns which make us regretted the bite of time in the cosy comfort of our memories. And even if the poetic musical universe of Bertrand Loreau is drawn in the skeletons and recollections of Berlin School, you should not lose of hearing that the synth wizard from Nantes always managed to affix on them his own harmonious signature. And it's the highest quality of “Nostalgic Steps”. Hat to you Bertrand for a so great tribute towards retro Berlin School! I adored.

Sylvain Lupari (April 8th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

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