mardi 30 avril 2013

FANGER & SCHÖNWÄLDER: Analog Overdose (2001)

“Analog Overdose is a feast for analog EM lovers with movements filled by a very Ashra fragrance”
1 Analog Moods 8:44
2 emanoN 1:07
3 Und wir gehen in den Club... 6:43
4 Sentimental Moods 11:26
5 Seilbahn zu den Sternen 4:58
6 Echo Gods 10:18
7 First Contact 12:32
8 Analog Overdose
(Live/Petrus Church, Berlin le 30 Mars 2001) 23:57
Manikin | MRCD 7087 (CD 79:46) ****¼
(Vintage psychedelicosmic sequenced Berlin School)

What a surprising collaboration that this one; a pioneer of Berlin School electronic music genre in Mario Schönwälder and a young wolf who likes rhythms a bit more techno in Thomas Fanger. The result is beyond expectations. “Analog Overdose” is a festivity for vintage EM. It's about 80 minutes of soft EM where some vaporous ambiences are next to slightly technoïd rhythms. Fanger/Schönwälder offers a superb album to the dimension of their talents. And believe me, they have some. And for this 1st collaboration, the duet offers nothing less than Lutz Ulbrich on guitars, adding so the spirit and the loops rhythms of Ashra on a work to the size of vintage Berlin School. We would think of a reincarnation of Ashra Temple in the skin of  Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. What to ask more? That it's good? Indeed and it's even more!
It's in a twisted ambience that "Analog Moods" opens. Slightly weak pulsations are shaking the synth lines to the braids filled by somber hoarse and guttural vibrations. Sublimate, these synths widen their enveloping pads which move such as ghosts of ether floating in blue mist, creating a ghostly world where the unreal is coupling with the jingles of cymbals in order to merge into a soft cerebral hypnosis. A line of sequences with some nervous limpid chords flickers around this procession of which the synth lines hum like a choir of spectres prisoner of the iridescent mists, while the rhythm of "Analog Moods" takes off with more steady pulsations of which the deaf beatings are beating the pace under the flexiblility of the sequences to the comings and goings which are anchored with more velocity. This structure of static rhythm, surrounded by these nervous sequences, accentuates the exhilarating of a musical hypnosis that some breezes of a fluty Mellotron rock beyond the very ambient "emanoN". With "Und wir gehen in den Club", we dive into the ambiences of dance club which fits into the lineage of Ashra's Sauce Hollandaise. The rhythm is cheerful on a kind of disco groove with a guitar which throws its harmonious loops on a tempo where the minimalist pulsations, the slamming of virtual hands and the jingles of cymbals form the basis of a slightly hopping structure. Listen to and delight yourself of these sound effects which wind and are embedded in the rhythms. It's a skillful mixture of intimist jungle and urban groove, where the guitar of Ulbrich brings a very Ashra touch to a cheerful and dynamic music which brings the energy to the body and the rhythm in feet. How to describe "Sentimental Moods"? Imagine a man eaten away by his past which paces up and down a hill of which the top he never sees. The ascension is difficult and the head is full of souvenirs. Sometimes happy ones and other times a little less. So, that's the kind of upward spiral that is "Sentimental Moods". On a structure of sequences which calls back strangely Robert Schröeder's melancholic universe, "Sentimental Moods" has difficulty in juggling with its rhythm of which the furtive pulsations hesitate to forge a steady rhythm which is invades by some dense foggy as iridescent than misty and where the orchestral sails and absent rustles weave an unreal harmonious painting. The ambiences are outstanding and Fanger/Schönwälder are sculpting an incredible movement, deserving of the best hypnotic moments of Robert Schröeder and Klaus Schulze, on sequences which evolve slowly. Sequences to dark jolts which shape a dreamy tempo beneath synths to the ethereal pads of which the variances in their harmonies melt themselves in a nebulous and melodious symbiosis where are dragging mislaid chords and quirky tones. It's a wonderful track and a classic to become in the repertoire of Fanger/Schönwälder. With its smooth lunar tom-toms, "Seilbahn zu den Sternen" surfs on the ambiospheric tranquillity of "Sentimental Moods". Although the tempo is slightly more livened up, the musical envelope remains very morphic and nebulous with beautiful pads to the perfumes of foggy violins which wrap some fine tremulous guitar riffs cooing in loops, feeding this strange spectral procession that the tangent is forking towards an unusual world where are beating some metallic rustles, cackling strange tones and hooting sighs of singing metal.
"Echo God" and "First Contact" are the two other tracks with Lutz Ulbrich on guitars. And one would believe to be really in an album of Ashra, especially with "Echo God" which offers a rhythmic pattern comparable to "Und wir gehen in den Club" but with more vigour, throwing so the skeleton of a heavy organic techno. And the ambience is breathtaking with these hoops which whistle in the shadow of solos and of riffs which roll in loops on a pulsatory rhythm which has to nothing envy to all those psy-trance of this world. And a superb ghostly solo comes to add more depth to a track which amazes, both by its musicality and its resemblance with the works of Ashra or still Manuel Gottsching. "First Contact" is more ethereal with a structure of minimalist sequences which draw an in and out movement, or an ambient cha-cha, of which the slowness swirls under the assaults of a guitar to corrosive solos and with riffs rolling in loops in a harmonious envelope. The rhythm is blooming with more mordant, allying the spasmodic neurosis in a more fluid spiral where sing the solos became more lunar. Recorded live, in Berlin on March 31st 2001, the title-track is in the purest of the Berlin School traditions with a long structure with slow minimalist evolutions. Straight out, the seraphic intro is snatched by a movement of agile sequences which swirls in the breezes of ether, a little as in "Sentimental Moods" plus the angelic voices. Quavering, a little as if the loops of Lutz Ulbrich were pre-recorded, the rhythm is galloping with a retained frenzy on a more fluid pace. It's the ideal pace for improvisations and for graft in it these chords which enrich the musical vocabulary of "Analog Overdose" whose rhythmic skeleton moves hardly while that the ambiospherical envelope is haunted by the ghostly breaths of a synth which inhale the spectral atmospheres of the Dream. And it's in this torment that the harmonies take shape. Short solos, breezes of fluty Mellotron and floating synth pads weave the faces of a melody that only spectres can hum while that the synths fly over this paranormal mood of a thick cloud of streaks and strata which forge in the end the absent, discreet and finally vindictive solos. And gradually the tempo wins in power while being maintained by troops of orchestral mists, maintaining the implosive power of "Analog Overdose" in its stationary yoke where come from all sides the solos to hybrid tones emanating from two synths to the antipodes of their harmonies. This is Schulze on Tangerine Dream, or vice versa, but it's before all an overdose of vintage EM that is at no moment lethal but strongly recommendable.
Analog Overdose” is the only harmless overdose to the health, although a habituation can build up itself in an insidious way but the pleasure will remain always healthy. It's a superb opus that will please to fans of vintage Berlin School for sure. The ambience of Ashra or Gottsching is incredibly inlayed on each of the tracks where Lutz Ulbrich spreads the musicality of his guitar, even that's overflows on the title-track, offering an unsuspected depth to a work which is so astride as the atmospheres of the Teutonic movement and of its several tentacles. It's a musical feast where all the gourmands of the analog EM are invited, as well as those who have an appetite restricted but always ready to taste something spicier. Go get it...if there are still some left.

Sylvain Lupari (March 8th, 2007 and translated for S&S on April 29th, 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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