lundi 29 avril 2013

RALF WADEPHUL: Ich Bin Ein Berliner (2012)

“Ich Bin Ein Berliner is yet another nice surprise from Ralf Wadephul who presents a solid live performance which is in the same vein, more or less, as TD's 220 Volts”

1 Ghosts in the Satellite 6:40 
2 Remember '88 (Incl. Neptune's Cave) 11:05 
3 Into the Thunder 5:56 
4 Suffering Sharks 6:58 
5 Sungate 5:25   
6 Endless Blue 8:43 
7 Encore (Jump Van Halen) 8:50

Ricochet Dream | RD068 (CD 53:39) ****
(Up tempo, e-rock and New Berlin School)

I understood, when I went to the discovering of When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water, that Ralf Wadephul was quite a character who liked to bring a very theatrical touch to his music. It is thus to no one's great surprise that I learnt that he is now a well respected freelance sound engineer and that he mainly makes the final mixing of German versions of movies for cinema and television. And that's exactly this atmosphere of electronic party, where the fantasy is next to the limits of an imagination which finds all its depth in the shade of synths and sequencers, that we find on his first album solo and on “Ich Bin Ein Berliner”. Here is a very patriotic title (I' m a Berliner) for a performance given within the framework of the 40th anniversary of the Berlin School movement. And nevertheless Ralf Wadephul has nothing of an artist soaked by this minimalist and hypnotic artistic approach. Oh no that he is not! Accompanied by Thorsten Wagner, on guitars, Kai Wiegert, on bass and Heiko Gigner on percussions; W.A.dePHUL (the name of his band) delivers a surprising performance which respects all the megalomania of this sci-fi eater and of his music weaved in the explosives recollections of Optical Race, but with a clearly more intense musicality and a clear tendency for heavy electronic progressive rock decorated with subtle orchestral arrangements.
"Ghosts in the Satellite" is the only new music signed by Ralf Wadephul to appear on “Ich Bin Ein Berliner”. The intro offers a kind of prelude for a TV broadcast news show with a variety of tones and static cracklings which fade little by little to leave room to a hopping rhythm. A dark organ pad flies over the first steps of this tempo a bit simplistic while that a synth spreads a harmonic veil mi-spectral and mi-sci-fi on a track which rocks its harmonies on a structure more centred on a soft rock progressive kind of EM. "Remember '88 (Incl. Neptune's Cave)" begins with a vocoder, creating a brief moment of cybernetic ambience before that the first agreements of Neptune Cave make themselves hear. The interpretation is softer and gives the shape of a very down-tempo to the track. The atmospheric section in the middle is longer and includes the use of a vocoder, while the ambience around it is more fed, more compact. But altogether it still remains a very beautiful performance of a track which seems to be, and with good reason, one of the favorite of the audience. "Into the Thunder" and "Suffering Sharks" respect the parameters of When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water, whereas "Endless Blue" offers a kind of blues and lounge structure with a Ralf Wadephul talking to the public of an apathetic voice. I prefer this version where the saxophone is splendidly replaced by of soft synth solos, showing that the sax really adds nothing to EM, and that the guitar is silkier, dreamier. I didn't recall at all that "Sungate", from the Optical Race album, had been co written by Ralf  and Edgar Froese, thus it's with surprise that I saw it on the album set list. And still there, the interpretation is tinted of blues. A great electronic blues as much suggestive as it can be dreamy with a mordant guitar which mixes quiet well enough its solos and heavy riffs without ever distorting this melodious portion which always does its effect. The big ghostly layers of the Phantom of the Opera organ are flowing loudly on the opening of "Encore" before lighting a heavy atmospheric phase. This last nameless track gets out of its organ-nic coma, to dive into the unreal with a robotic and electronic version of Van Halen's (yes,yes) Jump, where solos of synth and guitars are sharing a furious fight of solo entities which will never manage to make us forget the original, but the game was worth the candle.
Unpretentious, and with an enormous respect for his audience, Ralf Wadephul, or W.A.dePHUL, delivers a performance which seems as energizing as his music. I was pleasantly surprised by When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water and “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” exploits deeply the strength of this amazing album that I have no shame to recommend. This is a very good live album weaved in the approaches that Tangerine Dream ran during its 220 Volts tour, either some furious and inspired e-rock. It's a beautiful album which shows that EM can also lift its passions in concert. That would be pleasant to have a video version.

Sylvain Lupari (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: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=16051

Aucun commentaire:

Publier un commentaire