vendredi 26 avril 2013

BRAINWORK: The Other Works (2013)

“Once again, Uwe Saher brings us in the spheres of lunar dancing with an EM which is a skilfull mix of so many styles that we eventually fall for it”
1 French Love 4:43
2 White Desert 4:54
3 Bird Dance 3:46
4 Drive 6:20
5 Sweet Honeybee 4:01
6 Urban Groove 3:35
7 Spring Mood 3:37
8 Easy Go 5:06
9 Go Happy 5:27
10 Shirin 5:06
11 Skyscraper 5:49
12 White Desert- Impro Cut 5:04

CUE Records (CD-r 57:52) ***½
(Jazz, lounge and groovy EM)
One of the dangers which watch for an artist having a bicephalous artistic entity is to encroach on the approach of a personality to the detriment of the other one. Uwe Saher manages at once two careers on both fronts in the universe of contemporary EM. There is the Element 4 project, which is some compressed dynamite with strong and powerful rhythms, and this one of Brainwork, which is a more dreamlike EM molded in the paths of Berlin School and sometimes of New Berlin School. On Earcatcher, released in 2010, Uwe Saher had already brought his boiling character of Element 4 in the poetic universe of Brainwork with a result that had destabilized his fans. After a soft return to basics in 2011 with City Lights, Saher melts his two entities with a musical project which took root at the beginning of the 90's. “The Other Works” indicates perfectly its naming. It's an album which is totally the exact opposite of Element 4 and Brainwork, with a music which is nevertheless a delicate fusion of both approaches. A little as Software had made it, Uwe Saher incorporates groove and funk rhythms into envelopes of mists and ambiences a bit cosmic which restrict the liveliness of these rhythms. If the result leaves perplexed the fan of Brainwork, the latter is fast seduced by this musical mixture where the elements of Berlin School embrace marvellously rhythms which are sometimes pure, without ever being hard.
The writing of “The Other Works” goes back at a time where Uwe Saher had the ears flooded by fragrances of progressive and experimental jazz. Flanked by the trumpeter Piotr Bal and by Erdal Tosun on saxophone, Uwe Saher proposes a collection of 12 tracks with a slightly variance in rhythms and where the percussions reign as absolute master above melodies finely sculptured by a section of brass instruments and a synth with very catchy solos. And "French Love" sets the tone by spreading its bewitching earworm by the means of a melodious line of arpeggios which sparkle with hesitation on a bed of fluttering sequences. Even if the rhythm is finely jerky, its envelope of funky-dance remains frozen in a felted atmosphere where are murmuring some suggestive breaths, are floating mists of Venus, which lay down these moods of floating disco, and is singing an enticing synth solo. These soft rhythms, a bit suggestive, which are trapped in morphic ambiences legislate the beauty of this ode to lunar dance-music. Closer to groove, with a puny sensual approach, "White Desert" sets the stage to the brass section of “The Other Works” with Erdal Tosun on saxophone who spreads his dreamy solos on a lunar down-tempo structure. "Bird Dance" offers a kind of cosmic trip-hop approach with a very lively rhythm which skips on a beautiful carpet of percussions to twinkling strikings and a bass line with slow chords vibrating of a hoarse sensuality. The table is on for a great duel between a trumpet and of its lively harmonies and a saxophone with its nasal breaths suppressed by its cornet of solitude.
We like? We shall then love "Spring Mood" and its enchanting hip-hop which rings in our ears with percussions struck on bottles and its very jazzy brass section as well as "Easy Go", which is a little more of a lounge style, and its striking solo of saxophone which cries on a beautiful meshing of percussions and their lively tones. And the more we move forward in “The Other Works” and the more we are subjugated by this stunning play of drum loops. On "Drive" they forge a fiery West Indian rhythm with grapeshot of percussions and steel-drums which strike a bass line which is gurgling of its elastic tones. We would believe to hear a mixture of Earth Wind and Fire, Phil Collins and Software on this very lively track as well as on tracks more relaxed such as "Sweet Honeybee" which is a beautiful mixture of hip-hop and down-tempo with a very lyrical synth. Speaking about synth and about poetic solos, "Skyscraper" is a very good track of New Berlin School with superb synth solos which parade on a rhythm difficult to label. Purely funky, "Urban Groove" bewitches the senses with his bumpy rhythm which tramples on in with suave scents of jazz with harmonious breaths filled by acid. There would be Herbie Hancock hiding behind the consoles that we would discover him with "Go Happy" and its structure of funk moulded in a curt and jerked rhythm which collapses under Tablas style of percussions. It's very lively, like "Shirin" and its complex mood of acid jazz. Same melody and same theme at some fine variances near, "White Desert- Improv Cut" stars the very melodious saxophone of Erdal Tosun.
Evidently that “The Other Works” can confuse the fans of Brainwork, because it's not a Brainwork work. It's one of Uwe Saher who goes all out in a universe of dance music with rhythms a bit difficult to clearly label so much the interbreeding of the kinds is melting inside these music structures of 5 minutes. Except that Uwe Saher being Uwe Saher, the music, especially the melodies, is always so mesmerizing. The brass section? Bah … It flows slowly on this brilliant play of the loop drums which is as much lively as imaginative. And in the end we like to discover these 12 tracks of dance music which have all this fingerprint of Brainwork, even if very partial. And Brainwork being Brainwork, we eventually succumb and love. We just have to give a try.

Sylvain Lupari (April 23rd, 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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