vendredi 31 mai 2013

TANGERINE DREAM: Cruise to Destiny (Topographic Dreamtime) (2013)

“Yes, maybe TD isn't where one would wish to be, but Tangerine Dream will always remain as noble as its name. That, one has to admit it”
1 Devotion 7:26
2 Betrayal (Sorcerer Theme) 3:50
3 Three Bikes in the Sky 6:01
4 A Wise Fisherman's Nocturnal Song 4:07
5 The End of Bondage 5:31
6 Too Hot for my Chinchilla 3:51
7 Dream Phantom of the Common Man 8:31
8 Sungate 4:52
9 Hoël Dhat the Alchemist 7:10
10 Cat Scan 5:47
11 Paradise Cove 3:51
12 Dreaming in a Kyoto Train 7:30
13 Moon River 4:54

EastGate | CD060 (CD 73:28) ***½ (E-rock)
For a starter let me be clear; I don't want to start a crusade against Tangerine Dream and even less their fans, of whom I am you remember? Except that sometimes, enough is like... enough. You know many artists who put in boxes the rehearsals of a concert which has never taken place? Worse; a rehearsal of half of the concert because a member of the group got injured. Roughly speaking, it's the rundown of “Cruise to Destiny”. In spring 2013, Tangerine Dream was schedule to perform live on a liner along with Yes, Steve Hackett, Nektar, Saga and several other big names of the progressive music within the framework of a series of concert on the Caribbean entitled sea Cruise To The Edge. Except that Edgar Froese (multiple fractures during a nasty fall) and Linda Spa (disease) were forced to abandon Thorsten Quaeschning, Iris Camaa, Bernhard Beibl and Hoshiko Yamane have to postpone the project of participating to this musical cruise in the future. Disappointed the fans? Wait! Stopping at nothing to satisfy the slightest desires of these fans, the treasurers of Eastgate had the good idea to make of this rehearsal an official album.
I did a small calculation. Do you know how many albums compilations and/or in concert that the band has produced since the foundation of Eastgate? I counted more or less 35 compilations and 25 Live albums since 2005, that is more than 6 albums a year, plus the DVD. It's not bad, no? And each time the press info tells us that there are or will be surprises, novelties and/or a Froesiation or another Tangerination of the sound quality. An enhanced sound quality as they say. And nevertheless! I may moved, turned all the offered track versions that I get lost there. Every track seems or is alike. And I may force to find something different that I get lost there even more. I listen to a track and I compare it with the same on another album and there I look for the difference up until I go mad. And we let ourselves being caught. One says to us; ain't that bad! It's exactly what happens with “Cruise to Destiny”.
The presented set list proposes a more rock Dream with a clear incursion in the Melrose years. And it's very interesting because tracks such as "Betrayal", "Three Bikes in the Sky", "Too Hot for my Chinchilla", "Paradise Cove", among which it's the first interpretation in concert which won't end to be one, and "Cat Scan" enjoy a nice and good music-lifting. Like a friend of mine told, these are good recycled older tracks. "Sungate" remains "Sungate" which we know for its decade. One of the surprises of “Cruise to Destiny” is this list of tracks that the Dream never played in concert yet. Set apart "Paradise Cove", we find "Devotion", "The End of Bondage" and "Dreaming in a Kyoto Train". "Three Bikes in the Sky" figures on several bootlegs, and I do prefer by far this version. I thus appreciated to rediscover the boiling "The End of Bondage" and "Dreaming in a Kyoto Train" that I had lost of ear with the Sonic Poem Series. But are they different or not? Only the diehard fans could tell. Speaking about this series one shall underline a first interpretation also of the powerful and intriguing "Dream Phantom of the Common Man". And if we like this series, "A Wise Fisherman's Nocturnal Song" is another surprise and beautiful novelty as much dark and melancholic as "Hoël Dhat the Alchemist". And, as TD likes to do since Under Cover - Chapter One,
the group makes an interpretation of an old pop success with Andy William's "Moon River". The whole thing delivered without words. It's beautiful, it's good, it's tender. We dance on it body to body with our love. My girl simply loves it, but that still sounds like music for elevator.
Hey yes! I put my ears in it and I got caught. “Cruise to Destiny” fulfills the promises of its press kit. There are very nice surprises with interpretations of tracks that we have forgotten in time, except for "Betrayal" of course. Tracks played just with enough difference not to deny the originals, while adding to it this little something which clicks in the ears. Edgar's last novelty, "A Wise Fisherman's Nocturnal Song" is more than interesting. We feel in it the clear hold and influence of Thorsten Quaeschning on Tangerine Dream and it's promising. In brief, in spite of its appearances of nth compilation, “Cruise to Destiny” has all the necessary fibers to captivate those who like TD, as well as those who know the group only from the tips of their ears. And damn that TD does some good music. It's just that the band is not where we would want whether it is. It's not that bad because there are many others more audacious out there who go in its footprints. But Tangerine Dream will always remain as noble as its name. That, one has to admit it.

Sylvain Lupari (May 30th, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 27 mai 2013

PERGE: Attalus (2013)

“The biggest merit of Perge isn't to copy the source of their inspiration, but well and truly to continue a sonic exploration where TD didn't want to go any more”
Attalus 1
1 Manerium Resonat 17:16
2 Monolux 18:43

Attalus 2
3 Tempestas Fronte 11:09
4 Taking Le Parc 13:02
5 Letters from Volos 3:30
6 Delphinus 14:50

Perge Music | (DDL 78:30) ****½
(Tangerine Dream's Berlin School style)
Hollow winds are uprooted out from Orion in order to spread the blue psychedelicosmic auras from the Dream's metallic years. Chthonian choirs are chanting on the curves of the sinuous synths lines to the iridescent outlines, entailing the intro of "Manerium Resonat" in a morphic ballet. Sequences are ringing far off. Charging into their echoes, they draw a harmonious zigzag structure that a line of bass sequence embarks on the jolts of its pulsations. The symbiosis of the rhythms is magical. And the magic anchors even more with the harmonies of a synth at both nasal and philharmonic which covers a rhythm of which the evolution brings us to the borders of a structure which could have been lost in the increasing rhythms of the majestic Silver Scale. Graham Getty and Matthew Stringer had taken the world of EM by surprise with the brilliant Dyad; an album which exuded the reminiscences of Tangerine Dream of the Schmoelling years. So why change a winning recipe? This 2nd album from the English duet goes even farther to the discovery of the musical labyrinths of Tangerine Dream. Inspired from 71 - 87 years of the mythical German group, "Manerium Resonat" is the perfect example by merging the Baumann and Schmoelling eras in a track amazing of its evolution, “Attalus” respects the genesis of Perge by offering an album which bursts of the fusions of its inspiration. Besides, the opening of "Monolux" perspires the one of Pergamon with Matthew Stringer's soft piano which hammers its notes in the echo of its solitude. The last note stays in suspension and gets lost in the reverberations of a synth line which floats in the intertwining of other dreamier lines. A brief morphic phase follows where the lines of synth to the multiple wandering harmonies dissipate to give space to a superb line of sequences which waves and swirls in a fascinating scroll. A hypnotic spiral where are hiding some subtle chords which change the measure of a rhythmic phase which swirls such as a glass carousel. Jingles of cymbals and percussions of a subtle military kind are harpooning the rhythm which grows heavy of a bass line, plunging "Monolux" into a melodious tornado which winds between our ears with the charm of an unhoped-for and unexpected thing while that phase two of Attalus 1 decorates itself of sonorous glitters of the Dream and of some great solos from a very musical synth. It's a little bit like an editing of hundreds of music pieces took here and there in TD musical story which are remodelled into another mosaic of rhythms and ambiances. Here is a great 36 minutes of well pressed down in my ears.
Split into 4 parts, Attalus 2 gets into our ears with some rippling synth lines which sing among dark rustles and electronic tones which have lead to this strange language that launched Network 23 from the Exit album. Except that the rhythm of "Tempestas Fronte" is more explosive. Well sat on a sequence line which buzzes of its flickering keys and on percussions which hammer a heavy rhythm, the structure is knotted of cadenced fibers which pound under the lines of a lyrical synth. A synth of which the crystalline harmonies fade to give free rein to a solo of sequences to the movements crossed which spin on dense percussions. This phase is simply brilliant and the fusion of these two entities of rhythms ends by getting covered by synth dusts while that "Tempestas Fronte" is returning back to these harmonies which decorated its genesis. The opening of "Taking Le Parc" is weaved on a sampling of the rhythms and ambiences of the album of the same name from Tangerine Dream. The rhythm becomes heavy. Erected that it is on this alloy of sequences and percussions which tumble in a galloping rhythmic frenzy, among which the overlappings and interweavings make the charm of the evolutionary rhythms of “Attalus”, it rolls like a stubborn train beneath beautiful pads and layers of a bright synth which also outlines some beautiful harmonious and twisted solos. Sequences isolate themselves a little more in 2nd portion of the track, boning a structure of its main harmonies. There only stay these foggy synth pads and these jumping keys maker of a neurotic rhythm which jostle in an anemic pace. A pace which shells little by little its elements such as in a rhythmic autopsy where we can admire all which swarmed below the last 10 minutes of "Taking Le Parc". After the delicate "Letters from Volos" and its soft melancholic piano, "Delphinus" starts where "Tempestas Fronte" had left, but with a more fluid rhythm and some great synth solos as well as beautiful melodies which bite the hearing and which run on a bed of beating sequences unique to the mode of management of Chris Franke's rhythms.
Attalus” is a superb album built on sequences which crowd in their hurries to forge these rhythms which evolve ceaselessly with a fine propensity to skid. Both parts which feed its 78 minutes are also magic as the play of sequences and the overflowing rhythms which explode under synths of which the harmonies and the solos brings us in territories abandoned by the Dream, all eras merged. It's an album where every hidden recess makes brings us to surprises and brings us down under the spell of Perge whose the biggest merit is not to copy the source of their inspiration, but well and truly to continue an exploration of the rhythms and atmospheres where the mythical group didn't want to go any more. Excellent!

Sylvain Lupari (May 26th, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

dimanche 26 mai 2013

PERGE: Dyad Sessions (2012)

“You loved Dyad? Well, you're gonna devoured the 45 minutes of this Dyad Sessions”
1 Dyad 78-87-77 17:57
2 Falknis (Version Reve) 9:11
3 Madrisahorn 17:13

 Perge Music | (CD & DDL 44:21) ****
(Tangerine Dream's Berlin School style)

The universe of lively sequences which spin in all directions (remember Encore?) and weave unsuspected rhythmic structures always fascinated me and it's doubtless the main reason that explains my bewitchment for the music of Perge. True that the English duet does more than of being inspired from the works of Tangerine Dream; he walks downright on the footsteps of this inspiration as shown by his excellent Dyad. And you have loved it? There is more. “Dyad Sessions” presents two unreleased tracks, as well as a version of ''Falknis'' extended of a morphic intro, which breathe of this energy, this eclectic electricity which emanated from this surprising concert lost in the electronic galaxy. A concert which raised as much passion as enthusiasm among the fans of the Dream and now those of Perge.
A vocoder recites a robotics prayer while that the twisted reverberations of a synth are lighting the psychotronic ambiences of "Dyad 78-87-77". The intro is morphic and fed by these reverberations which release more melodic synth lines. Multi sonic lines which hum and blow their harmonies as much lyrical, with tones of foggy flutes, than somber with glaucous exhalations. Absent, the rhythm is breathing through fine pulsations until the arrival of some wriggling sequence which pound nervously, entailing "Dyad 78-87-77" in a rhythmic cascade which rises and comes down furiously as in Cherokee Lane. Molded in the jumping keys and in the harmonies of this classic nestling on Encore, "Dyad 78-87-77" could very well be a reinterpretation of this track played in another galaxy by the copies of Tangerine Dream who just survive in a parallel universe. Wasn't the spirit of Dyad? At this level we can't be closer of this ambiguous reality. "Madrisahorn" brings us in the borders that Tangerine Dream had weeded with White Eagle. The intro shines with the hammered sparkles in Mojave Plan which resound in the breaths of dying sheet steels. The correlation with the works of the Dream bursts out even more with these sequences which skip fervently under the delicate harmonies of a synth and of its chords sparkling in the blue mist. The bubbling of sequences shapes a motionless tempo which is lulled by these metallic pads of a synth which leads "Madrisahorn" towards an ambiospherical phase where everything lives in suspension and where the rhythm tortures these ambiences which eventually are taming it. It's in a narration and synth layers in the very Vangelish aromas that ends this mini LP (? not bad for 45 minutes) of Perge who confirms his intention to continue to explore all of the experiences that Tangerine Dream did in its electronic lands.

Sylvain Lupari (May 22nd, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 24 mai 2013

THORSTEN M ABEL (featuring Martinson): RAL 5002 (2013)

“In the shade of the PPG Wave 2.3, TMA delivers in RAL 5002 a strong album as high as our expectations and the bar was quite high after Sequentrips”

1 Arctic Voyage 8:30
2 Clouds 7:28
3 Before Midnight/Luna 8:42
4 Sequentum P 10:09
5 Kristallin 10:43 
6 Birth of New Light/Sol 7:30
7 Trip to New Shores 7:02
8 Deja Vu/ Reprise 4:18

SynGate | CD-r TA04 (CD-r 64:22) ****
(E-prog/rock with a zest of New Berlin School)

After a rain of iridescent breaths, "Arctic Voyage" takes the cradle of its rhythm on puny sequences keys which cavort in a puzzling rhythmic axis. The seraphic synths and the hopping sequences bring us back in the time of Tangerine Dream. Illusion even more pronounced with the discreet riffs of guitar which rock in the shade of synth and sequences fusion. The jingles of cymbals announce the strikings of percussions which plunge the track into an electronic rock. Floundering on its bed of sequenced balls and of their rhythmic schizophrenia, "Arctic Voyage" rages on a heavy rhythm fed by hatched riffs and by philharmonic synth pads before kissing a short ambiospherical phase and re-biting a rhythm decorated this time with melodious keyboard chords and incisive guitar solos that Martin Rohleder peels with a melodious assassin approach. We cannot say that Torsten M. Abel is trapped in his style or his influences. Behind the powerful PPG Wave 2.3, the German synthesist teams up again with the guitarist Martin Rohleder to offer an album which tergiversates constantly between the Berlin School paths of the digital era with an analog sonority. “RAL 5002” is an album created in all the subtleties of the PPG Wave 2.3 which returns some tones as much analog as digital while having several phases of rhythms forged by intense lines of sequences with furious movements. The result is a great and beautiful album that will please undoubtedly to those who love progressive rock and especially the fans of Mind Over Matter, because it's what indefatigably comes to my mind as “RAL 5002” feeds my bewitchment.
"Clouds" offers an approach more moderate than "Arctic Voyage" while keeping the same musical ingredients. It's a kind of ballad which allies marvellously these undisciplined sequences to some more orderly percussions, shaping a two-phase rhythm which limps in the lap of beautiful synth layers in the harmonies of mists of which the dreamlike circles are flowing into our ears as a carousel of innocence. Discreet, the guitar frees its solos which mould a sky of harmonies that we hear sparkling here and there in the background. "Before Midnight/Luna" brings us in a swampy universe where the bass sequences draw up a furtive rhythm which pound in an arthropod fauna with its singings of locusts which live among guitar solos and of its shrill harmonies split in the lunar winds of the synth and of the singings of wolves. A little bit and one would believe to be in Mind Over Matter's universe, especially with the progression of an ambiospherical rhythm which feeds on the scattered rotations of percussions. We are always in a cosmic broth of MOM with the too good "Sequentum P" and its carpet of sequences which pound furiously like some hundreds of balls rolling to lose brightness on a wonky conveyor. The chords of a solitary guitar are strolling with the breaths of a dreamy synth while that the rhythm is fading out to be reborn again under a more undulatory shape with buzzing sequences which crisscross in a heavy rhythmic vaulting, bringing "Sequentum P" towards a more rock approach with good percussions and a guitar which bastes its twisted solos among notes of an acoustic guitar that one pinches with a Hispanic dexterity. The rhythm becomes as much furious as heavy with these fat sequences which gurgle of an organic aura on the shadows of some strong percussions and the ethereal mists of a synth which place more of its harmonies than of its solos.
"Kristallin" caresses our ears with a gleaming line of sequences which makes waltz its keys in a kind of ritornello mi diabolico-virginals. Clanic percussions brush the innocent electronic riddle that a synth and its seraphic voices is covering of its prismic charms. A bass line with resounding chords dances out of time on Tablas percussions while that the rhythm takes root in its morphic sands dance that a synth adorns of an angel dusts. After the swamps of "Before Midnight/Luna", "Birth of New Light/Sol" brings us near some restful oasis where birds are chirping and synth waves are floating and of which the combined harmonies is flowing in the shade of monasteries bell towers. A synth line, and its singings as jerked as a break-dance rhythm, extricates itself out of this rural serenity, introducing a curt rhythm where some fluty breaths are kissing the solos of a guitar a bit jazzy. Heavy and powerful, "Trip to New Shores" turns our ears upside down with a structure of strong e-rock which denies any shape of meditative poetry. It's powerful and heavy, with a meshing of hard electronic percussions and oscillations of sequences which structure a furious rhythmic ride and keep up a beautiful melodious approach à la Tangerine Dream eras of Johannes Schmoelling to Jerome Froese but wouldn't be Loom? "Deja Vu/Reprise" spreads its air of déjà vu with a more electronic approach than on Sequentrips. Omnipresent, the guitar of Martinson splashes a nostalgia with plaintive solos which cry on the resonances of chords closer to a metallic harpsichord that of a melancholic piano.
Even with its title of space laboratory, “RAL 5002” is an album very earth to earth. It's a powerful album, gnawed on by rhythms and atmospheres, very short I have to say, as much intense as the spirit of musical adventure and of exploration which are within the reach of an instrument so much versatile as the PPG Wave 2.3. Torsten Abel resuscitates a genre that Klaus Hoffmann Hoock had buried with the deceased Mind Over Matter; either some e-rock fills by surrealist atmospheres which live marvellously with blazing rhythms. But what matters most is that TMA delivers an album as high as our expectations. And the bar was high after Sequentrips.

Sylvain Lupari (May 22nd, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mardi 21 mai 2013

BILL ANSCHELL: Impulses (2013)

“Impulses is a musical rendezvous filled with an eclecticism of the genres and where the jazz thrones on structures sometimes honeyed and sometimes strangely aggressive”
1 Wild Mushroom 3:44  
2 Gridlock 5:09  
3 In the Soup 5:18
4 For Ranga 2:11
5 The Lone Beacon 6:46
6 Mustang Sally (Mark Rice) 6:23
7 Shifting Gears 2:47
8 Le Goggier 4:24
9 The Seed 4:35
10 Amadinda Groove 2:30
11 Naima (John Coltrane) 5:12
12 Not Under My Watch 7:58

Blow Hard Music 101 (CD 56:55) ***½ (E-Jazz)
Talking about electronic jazz? Why not! I do believe that's necessary to open our portal of perceptions to all kinds...well, more or less. And I have to tell you guys that I didn't dislike. “Impulses” is Bill Anschell's 5th album. The man is jazz pianist who rolls his bump since the beginning of the 80's. His last album is a musical rendezvous filled with an eclecticism of the genres and where the jazz thrones on structures sometimes honeyed and sometimes strangely aggressive. The 12 structures find their strength in a skillful meshing of pulsations and percussions with compulsive beatings and rolling, pulsations and organic riffs which outdistance the work from a simple album of jazz which however preserve its acid tints. Here's a review about an album of electronic jazz by someone who knows nothing about jazz but loves EM.
And it is softly that Bill Anschell tries to cajole the listeners to his style which rocks them by diversities. Leaned on notes of a pensive piano which roll in a minimalist melodic pattern, "Wild Mushroom" is a nice e-ballad. A kind of lunar down-tempo where some penetrating synth blows in the tones of melancholic jazz sing on a meshing of sedentary pulsations/percussions and on smooth chords of glass which are ringing for a secondary melody. "Gridlock" is very near the phases of Herbie Hancock's androids dance with a broken rhythm which hangs on to some percussions rolling. The musical envelope is as well rich as puzzling with a crowd of tones, as organic than electronic, where the debauchery of sounds brings us to another level. Lost chords roam in this mishmash of typist’s kind of percussions, floating as white shadows on a structure which is so closer of some jazzy psychedelic break-dance. I like it because that's very particular and that reminds me the years of madnesses of Bill Nelson on Red Noise, without the voices of course. "In the Soup" is a nice track all in contrast with its percussions which run wild such as some xylophone keys on acid, breaking the delicate morphic approach of a contemplative melody which auscultates our ears with lamentations eaten away by regret. I don't know jazz enough to peel the genres but let's say that "For Ranga" is more of an acid kind with a sound whirlwind as lively as melodious. "The Lone Beacon" is a superb track with a long mesmerizing structure which undulates like sea waves enlightened by a burning sunset. The percussions borrow some Caribbean airs while the synth waves, like everywhere likewise on “Impulses”, are dragging their melancholies like some breaths lost in the stratosphere. It's very beautiful.
"Mustang Sally", from Mark Rice, is a very aggressive, untidy track where the rhythm is rough draft and sat on a meshing of pulsations/percussions and organic lamentations. A rhythm articulated by brief jerks and kicks of percussions while the big pads of organs bicker with some floating and rather incisive solos of guitars, feeding an atmosphere of the most eclectic where the ambient moods, the prog rock and the jazz-rock live with a stunning symbiosis. After the innocent ritornello that is "Shifting Gears", which possesses quite a whole pattern of rhythm in the tribal tendencies, like on "For Ranga", "Le Goggier" borrows a texture of old jazz for carnivals with a structure of organic rhythm as strange as a music of fair where the acrobats roam through carousels and do tricks of cheap magic. "The Seed"? Hum...I have a little of difficulty with these turbulent rhythms which swirl in structures of acid-jazz, stopping to embrace an ethereal passage, or a wandering melody, to restart immediately of its stormy kicks. And nevertheless, there are beautiful fragments of melodies which cry in this envelope broken by its rhythm so much rebel than unpredictable. "Amadinda Groove" is a beautiful melody. It's a slow dance with fragrances of lounge where chords of e-piano adopt the rotation of percussions and the jingling which waddle among some galactic streaks, giving the track a lunar nuance. I like the version of John Coltrane's "Naima". The track evolves inside a harmonious envelope which is finely torn between its soft rhythm and its evanescent ballad. One could tell to listen to some very nice lunar jazz. "Not Under My Watch" is a track which is in the same vein as "Mustang Sally". The track offers a curt and edgy rhythm which explodes of the strikings from some unbridled percussions which blast such as fireworks exploding in a too high sky and which quiets down with some fragments of mislaid melodies. At both explosive and serene, it depicts marvellously the universe all in contradiction of the acid and progressive electronic jazz from “Impulses” which lost many of its electronic spirit in the 2nd part. I like it well. It's quite new to me and I would say that I will consume it in small doses, which is segment by segment with the 1st one for starter.

Sylvain Lupari (May 19th, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

dimanche 19 mai 2013

FANGER & SCHÖNWÄLDER: Analog Overdose 3 (2003)

“The presence of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock brings to Analog Overdose 3 a rebel and untidy side which completes marvellously the electronic fluidity of Thomas Fanger and Mario Schönwälder”
1 Hall of the Bourbon Lillies Part I 21:04
2 Hall of the Bourbon Lillies Part II 14:04
3 Hall of the Bourbon Lillies Part III 17:52
4 Bar Liquid (Encore) 19:57

Manikin Records MRCD 7067
SynGate|CD-RMR67 / 2012 (CD-r 73:04) ****
(Progressive Berlin School with a zest of groove/lounge)

Recorded live at the Satzvey Castle in 2003, this 3rd episode of the Analog Overdose series is an unaccustomed musical rendezvous. “Analog Overdose 3” is a fusion between the hypnotic and groovy rhythms of Fanger & Schönwälder and the psychedelico progressive structures of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock. The album being out of print, SynGate took the helm by making it available in a cd-r format with a musical perfection proper to the German label which so invites you to a delicious mix with a stunning outcome.
A wave from a cinematographic synth spreads its philharmonic strata and its clouds of blue mists to guide "Hall of the Bourbon Lillies Part I" towards a puny rhythm, articulated by riffs of sequences which sound like some soft wood or like knocks on downy anvils. It's a whole world of sequences which dance in our ears. Sequences in the varied tones of which the curt and jerked hits shape a dislocated rhythmic which dances within the cracklings of synths. Hypnotic and mesmerizing, the intro is melted with a muddled rhythm pierced of streaks and flew over by twisted solos. Not really atonal, nor really very rhythmical, "Hall of the Bourbon Lillies Part I" takes more vigour with percussions which roll in an android walking among a thick cloud of jumping keys rolling as balls in an abacus and a carpet of balls on a conveyor, creating an effect of unique rhythmic echo to the movements of sequences from Fanger & Schönwälder. Even if the universe of the duet cogitates around these sequences, synths are not outdone as prove it these very beautiful solos, to tones of guitars, which cover the second phase of this spasmodic rhythm. "Hall of the Bourbon Lillies Part II" adopts a pattern of funky jazz with crackling chords a bit organic which mould a rhythmic dialect of aliens in a background filled of some fragrances of the retro disco years. These chords to hybrid tones skip and cavort on this floating structure which finds its balance on some silky enveloping pads. The track exploits completely its 14 minutes to borrow a more avant-gardist phase, dissociating itself from this pattern of slow ambient dance tempo which, by moments, overturns into a lounge genre.
An air of carnival introduces "Hall of the Bourbon Lillies Part III" with a structure of circular rhythm which spins without finding its nest. Swirling such as rhythmic lassoes, the movement is fluid and dribbled by jumpy sequences. A beautiful Mellotron layer and a mix of synth/guitar glance over this overture that we feel and that we guess frenzied. The percussions light a rhythm with a look of a free-jazz which struggles in a cacophony chewed on by riffs of guitars and sequences, inviting the electronic six-strings of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock spat its acute streaks and its solos on the loops. The tempo works hard in this kind of fusion from the styles of Mind Over Matter, Manuel Göttsching (E2-E4) and Fanger & Schönwälder. And gradually the intensity gets out of breath and "Hall of the Bourbon Lillies Part III" embraces a more ambiospheric phase where the lamentations of the e-guitar are melting with tenderness on floating and suspended pads of a morphic synth. "Bar Liquid (Encore)" is dynamite. It's the perfect fusion between Fanger & Schönwälder and Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock. The rhythm is fine and hatched by riffs of sequences which hiccup in the delicate frenzy of the bongo style percussions. The harmonious envelope is weaved in layers of a synth with paradisiacal breaths and the lamentations of a guitar that the leader of Mind Over Matter tortures with passion. The communion between both approaches is great while the track becomes more and more intense with a clearly more aggressive guitar which fights against the invasion of synths and their seraphic languages.
With “Analog Overdose 3”, the Berlin duet continues to amaze and to seduce by leaving an enormous place to the creativity of their guest. The presence of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock brings a rebel and untidy side, unique to Mind Over Matter, which completes marvellously the electronic fluidity of Thomas Fanger and Mario Schönwälder, whose Analog Overdose series continues quietly its evolution outside the limits of pure Berlin School. Here are two artists who are not afraid of going where others refuse even to think of it.

Sylvain Lupari (April 2007 and translated for Synth&Sequences on May 15th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

jeudi 16 mai 2013

ERIK WOLLO: Celestia (E.P.2013)

“As always, Erik Wollo drags his listener into deep ambient poetic moods with just what it takes in rhythms to let him full awake”

1 Celestia Part I 8:53
2 Celestia Part II 5:50
3 Celestia Part III 5:48
4 Celestia Part IV 6:31

Projekt | ARC00091 (DDL27:04) ****
(Ambient, filmic and psy-tribal EM)

Ringings of carillons brighten up the night-breezes of the oceanographic singings. And "Celestia Part I" plunges us straight out into the enthralling mi-ambient universe of Erik Wollo's new EP. Another synth line, more discreet and brighter, counterbalances the dark approach of the introduction with an iridescent veil, paving the way to some fine riffs and pulsations which gurgle in the shade of clanic percussions. With its delicate rhythm, "Celestia Part I" has airs of déjà vu.  Mystic, “Celestia” floats on the ambiences of Silent Currents with 4 tracks which ally the fine rhythms of Wollo to his poetic atmospheres of musical landscapes. "Celestia Part II" borrows a darker bend, even dramatic, with slow layers filled by tones of ageing organ which glide over a rather spectral melodic pattern weaved of organic loops which coo in their echoes. The moods are sibylline with these seraphic choruses which try to pierce this opaque cloud of dark strata, leaving sound imprints torn between the blue and the black. It's with fine rainy drops that the transition between "Celestia Part II" and "Part III" is made. Confirming the proverb which says that every cloud has a silver lining, "Celestia Part III" inhales the ambiospheric serenity with a meshing of synth lines to angelic breaths which float over fine pulsations. Always pulled between the rhythm and the atmospheres, between the black and the blue, “Celestia” confirms its ambiguity with a finale where the psy-tribal rhythms are stirring under the piles of synth strata and of their harmonies tinted by their paradoxes. "Celestia Part IV" is a pure marvel and brings us back in time with a huge reminiscence of the rhythms that Steve Roach evoked in his period of Western Spaces and Desert Solitaire. The track is heavy of its hectic rhythm with a bass line of which the humming chords sculpt a languishing approach while that the percussions break out in a nervous and bubbling rhythmic show, concealing these synth lines and these oceanic breaths which have always injected the spectral and seraphic approaches which floated over the darkness of “Celestia”.
Sylvain Lupari (May 10th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

MOONSATELLITE: Low Life (2013)

“Low Life is the ultimate sonic experiment where the French School cosmic and lyrical EM is immerging us with a symphony of floating ambient moods and cosmic rhythms”

1 Low Life Ouverture 5:06
2 Low Life Part I 9:20
3 Low Life Part II 12:56
4 Low Life Part III 7:53
5 Low Life Part IV 7:23
6 Low Life Part V 12:15
7 Low Life Part VI 10:17

Independent | (DDL 65:09) ****** (Ambient French School)
The infinity! The musical horizons of synths as well as their melodies and orchestrations converge on the infinity. One has to hear all the cosmic and symphonic wealth of “Low Life” to understand this. The electronic rhythms. The stormy and crisscrossed sequences which bombard and hammer the rhythms as much symmetric as asymmetric are the portal of the infinity. And “Low Life” shows it amply. What an album! “Low Life” it's 65 minutes of intense EM where Jean Michel Jarre's steams, in particular those of Chronology, float on rhythms and ambiences incredibly fed by a powerful electronic fauna as much multicolored as multi-sonic. Here is a surprising journey to the heart of the beats to hundred strings and knobs.
The staging is rather eclectic with tones which resound, collide and grumble on the remains of percussions from where rises a beautiful cathedral layer which brings the very emotional burden of "Low Life Ouverture" in cosmic spheres which remind me of the tones from the Serge Modular in Michael Stearns' Chronos. Foams of Jarre abound on this introduction wrapped of a poignant moving veil while bubbles of hydrogen water make the link with the spheroidal sequences and the echoing pulsations of "Low Life Part I". A muddle of lines of sequences follows. They skip and prang, a little as tens of submarine explosions, in a stationary rhythmic magma. Somber synth lines sweep this rhythm more implosive than frisky of melancholic breaths which little by little become pleasantly musical. Soiled by an apocalyptic and philharmonic approach, these lines of synths coo with intensity like shadows of musical energy in an environment became even more cosmic, bringing "Low Life Part I" in a very beautiful ambiospherical final. "Low Life Part II" is a small jewel of tenderness and nostalgia. The chords of sequences which coil up in their echoes to skip like muddy prisms are flooding an intro perfumed of a superb melancholic approach. We hear their organic breaths resound under a thick coat of ethereal voices which release seraphic singings of which the tones of meditative abandon are flowing on the back of the wide synth waves which wave idly. These sequences trample on the universe of cosmic noises towards half-time. Subdividing their keys, they forge a rhythm weaved by doubloons, loops and by echoes to deviate the oniric race of "Low Life Part II" towards an oscillatory harmonious rhythm which coos in loops and which binds itself to sustained percussions, plunging the track into a good rhythmic phase of which the oscillations adopt a diversity which rebel against a loud décor at both lunar and astral. And damn do these voices are penetrating!
"Low Life Part III" is the highlight of “Low Life”. The pulsations which describe the cardiac beatings of a breathless which gets his breath back brings us straight out to these lines of sequences and synth which tut in symbiosis, weaving the structures of a splendid mid-tempo which dances in a magical electronic universe. The breaths of synth are linen of silk which caress the booty of our hearing while that some secondary harmonies proliferate throughout this soft rhythm which crosses a more ambiospheric phase from the 4th minute. The movement of sequences shuck its rhythmic thoughts in beautiful wavelets which lull a void upholstered by interstellar voices and by tears of a sobbing synth. These sequences, became more and more weak, waddle with innocence under the fluty breaths which decorate the opening of "Low Life Part IV", a beautiful ambient track, always very poignant, with some brightness of dark chords and seraphic voices which get lost in some discreet orchestrations. And the more we move forward and the more we are stunned by the evolution of this small chef-d'oeuvre that is “Low Life”. "Low Life Part V" runs away from this ambiospherical hold with an intro seething of diversified tones. Bubbles of water, cosmic gurgling, studded trains, apocalyptic breaths, lamentations and melodious rustlings feed an intro which hears parade a train of rotary sequences. It's dense, intense and motionless, but that's going to move. Sequences are swirling in a controlled velocity a little after the 4th minute, drawing a rhythm which moves slowly in the vocal cords of the astral choirs and the noises of a still virgin cosmos. The broth is deep and waits for the attack of the volatile cymbals before with to implode with a meshing of the pulsations of a bass-drum, crystal clear sequences which bombard non-stop and percussions which decide for an allegorical space rock inundated by an electronic canvas which has difficulty to illustrate solos which make discreet in this opaque cosmic linen. "Low Life Part VI" ends this last album from MoonSatellite with a slow movement where the waves of synth are crying as much as they coo with their undulatory forms, reminding this finale that Thierry Fervant drew up on the path of our ears in Universe. The breaths are of agony, while the delicate pulsations of a bass line introduces tears of glasses which sparkle like the reflections of stars in a finale which stretches its immortality towards a cosmic electro storm where everything swirls in a hypnotic spiral which little by little is dying into the infinity.
A real sonic feast impregnated with an intense oniric, sometimes filmic and even symphonic, approach “Low Life” is a true monument of enchanting EM. MoonSatellite amazes by his boldness by going where his spiritual mentor always refused to go. Either into the progressive spheres where the rhythms and melodies get loose to embrace the limits of a heavy and somber psychedelicosmic journey in the lands of the unknown. It's an intense, powerful album which is not afraid of its eddies nor of its boldness. Brilliant! A true masterpiece of ambient EM!

Sylvain Lupari (May 16th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mercredi 15 mai 2013

MOONSATELLITE: Missing Time (2011)

“Missing Time is an album filled by a mixture of the cosmic and romantic French School with the exploratory years of Klaus Schulze's Berlin School style”

1 Missing Time I 21:15
2 Missing Time II 17:59
3 Missing Time III 7:28
4 Missing Time IV 12:28
5 Missing Time V 8:53

Musea Records | Dreaming-DR 8474 (CD 68:03) *****
( French School style with a mixture of Berlin School)
We don't have enough of our two ears to follow all that goes on in the spheres of EM. We try to listen and discover as much as possible but there is always something which passes under the radar. Like “Missing Time” from MoonSatellite. Those who are familiar with the musical universe of Lone Wolf know of what his music is forged. For those who aren't, it's strongly influenced by Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene and Equinoxe era. Except that “Missing Time” is different. It's a union of romantic and cosmic French School with a more exploratory Berlin School of the Schulze years, more particularly his period Blackdance and especially Body Love. But chiefly, it's a superb album set by three wonderful tracks which throne very well above the five movements of “Missing Time”.
Winds with twisted curls roll in a cosmic mood where plaintive voices float in an electronic environment which sounds as a fusion of Oxygene and Magnetic Fields from Jarre open the corridors of the Milky Ways which immerge the very long first part of “Missing Time”. The opening is simply delicious with this cosmic atmosphere which seems frozen in a black hole. The impression of being totally to immerse in a cosmic fauna is very absorbing, especially with headphones. And from the first stammerings of sequences which move forward stealthily, "Missing Time I" entails us in the slow morphic spiral of the analog years. The rhythm is soft. Hyper soft! It climbs the staircases of time embalmed by angelic choruses and lunar ambiences which flirt stunningly with those of Jarre. Supplied with its airtight pulsations the rhythm follows its upward curve, floating with an enthralling weightlessness in a mishmash cosmic consisted of the sound elements of this interstellar poetry which lulled so much our dreams. We are definitively farther than in paradise. Everything is present; cosmic choir, trail of stars powders, metallic rain, cosmic gases and interstellar noises. MoonSatellite lays a dreamlike sweetness on his delicate rhythmic structure which swirls so puny in its cosmic embryo. And the choir is impenetrable, so much that the density of the octaves brings us there where the great names of vintage EM had mislaid us. The first 10 minutes are some superb cosmic bright spells, while that quietly the rhythm wakes up with echo loops which bump into one another and wave such as childish rhymes cooing with innocence on the jingles of cymbals. These cosmic waves which interlace and bubble with passion bear the strikings of percussions and hear another line of sequence, more melodious, crawling over their sound magma while that other percussions, more frank and more incisive, cut the rhythm to propel it higher, farther. This new portion of rhythm forms a sulphurous symbiosis with the cosmic elements while its progression brings us near Klaus Schulze on his majestic Body Love. And we remain tranquil. Bewildered by this permutation of the ambiences towards this movement supported by strikings of percussions which fragment this approach introduced at around the 10th minute and where Jarre crosses an Adelbert Von Deyen strongly filled by Klaus Schulze influences. The synth solos loosen the harmonies while that the tempo is increasing towards the stars, rooting for ever the delights forgotten by the analog era that MoonSatellite has found in the attic of his inspirations. Magical and it's worth alone the purchase of “Missing Time”. But there are other things on this album.
"Missing Time II" offers a more repulsive intro where heterogeneous noises are waltzing like metal sheets which twist themselves of fear. We hear a bass line to pulse far off, while that some warmer, harmonious sonic elements appear in this sound wreck which derives towards the unknown. The orchestrations are beautiful and, little by little, revive the deformed tones of an intro which quietly falls over a beautiful interstellar sonata. A line of bass sequence is pulsating a little before the 10th minute, sweeping the last breaths of a choir forgotten in the rests of the intro. Another line of sequences binds itself, making oscillate its keys in a bouncy pattern of meshing and weaving linear movements which undulate constantly on the counterweight of their sedentary impulses. And "Missing Time II" gallops awkwardly on its evasive rhythm. A rhythm dressed in lines of sequences among which the piling up and the interlacing call the unreal to these more concrete forms where hammered sequences and sustained percussions beat lasciviously under the harmonies of a synth as much morphic as lyrical. "Missing Time III" is definitively my very favorite on “Missing Time”. It's a beautiful cosmic down-tempo, a beautiful lunar ballad with percussions of which the echo of their knocks gets lost in some astral sweetnesses. The harmonies are so fragile that they are sawing our legs! And a splendid, but a splendid synth line comes to reveal a shy melody which sighs at night and brings us where only we want to be. Fabulous! Less accessible, "Missing Time IV" lets marinade its intro in a crowd of electronic tones which are familiar to us. We hear Jarre, Vangelis (Invisible Connections) and even Kraftwerk when the tears of violins come to shake the influence of our souvenirs (I hear some Thierry Fervant there) and let a voice of astral siren enchant our soul with one of these unique melodies to the French dramatic and poetic cinema. Evasive and morphic the tempo explodes with fed percussions and sequences which skip in the step of others, so shaping a hypocritical down-tempo which lets its slow rhythm feed on seething sequences. These feverish sequences stamp in their shadows of rhythm, creating an implosive rhythmic symmetry which accepts gladly the caresses of the astral and seraphic voices, adding a surprising poetic dimension to a track to the rather eclectic origins. "Missing Time V" is an ambient ode to Jean Michel Jarre. We find in it all of his major eras on an ambiosphérique structure which floats and floats with all the wealth of its influences.
Wonderful and totally amazing. “Missing Time” is a superb album which seems to go out quite straight ahead of time. The way that the five structures bicker for our souvenirs of Jarre, Schulze, Vangelis and Kraftwerk is simply exquisite and makes of this, an album rather unique where the increasing rhythms extricate themselves from cosmic atmospheres to make roll their dislocated skeletons, as their attractive down-tempo, in long structures where abound lunar melodies that will make pour sighs of the soul. It's very good, even excellent and highly recommendable. Hat to you Lone MoonSatellite Wolf!

Sylvain Lupari (May 15th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 13 mai 2013

BODDY-SMITH & MOLLOY: Other Rooms (2013)

“Other Rooms is a pure ambient work where abstract music is winding among intense ambiences”

1 The Basement 31:33  
2 Two Postcards 17:37  
3 From Where I Sit 23:16  
4 Spirits Rising 21:21

DiN | DDL15 (DDL 93:47) ***½
(Ambient experimental analog EM)

Within the framework of a 3 vinyl records box-set (Spectroscopic) produced by Vinyl on Demand (VOD110), which grouped his first 3 cassettes (Images, Element of Chance and Options), Ian Boddy has dug into his musical archives in order to find music written in the same time. And there was! From where comes “Other Rooms” that Ian Boddy put in the availability of his fans via the Bandcamp account of his label DiN. “Other Rooms” groups 4 tracks that were too long to be inserted into this box-set. Tracks composed by Ian Boddy and his buddy of that time, Sid Smith, which are purely ambient, exploratory and experimental. And I like the title! It's very representative of an album which was extirpated of another dimension in Ian Boddy's universe. A dark and experimental universe where the sound experiences of the analog years gave some sound cocktails as stunning as puzzling and sometimes even strangely mesmerizing. The other rooms live in the Workshop studio in Newcastle-upon-Tyne at the very beginning of the 80's. It was in this place that Ian Boddy spent his years of training in the spheres of EM. It was also the time of sonic experiments where Boddy worked at both on the analog synths and on recording loops as well as sound effects. Musical elements which widened their droning veils in some kind acoustic echoes. And the outcome is an intense music of atmosphere which is the witness of the dark and black ambiences that have guided Ian Boddy's first works and the musical vestiges of which we still hear on his works in solos and with Mark Shreeve on Arc.
There are a lot of things that can happen in the basement of imagination. And there is a lot during the 31 minutes of "The Basement". Loud knockings, like some heavy hits from poltergeist in hollow walls, resound in a sound painting to the textures of embryonic schizophrenia while that "The Basement" attacks our ears with an intense atmosphere of fright. The air is filled by a meshing of synth lines, nebulous layers and spectral waves which coordinate their obsessional frights. The knockings went silent but voices, hooting and whispers concealed in white noises eat away at our fear whereas the first pulsations draw a black rhythm at around the 7th minute. A rhythm which skips such as a huge gnome limping in a glaucous universe from where echo some explosions which slam like whip lashes in a sound whirlwind which reminds us that the doors of the alienation are never completely closed. This din of a magical apocalypse calms down little by little, letting these pulsations, became like the beatings of machines, get blurred in the squeaking of waves, that we can compare to those of Martenot, which roam such as sharp whistlings of ghosts. The 2nd phase of "The Basement" always remains so enigmatic with an abstruse mixture of serenity and terror where noises buzz of their plasmatic ringings in a nothingness adorned by tones as iconoclastic as serene. Disturbing and full of atmospheres. I imagine perfectly the effect in a black forest, especially with the breaths and the panting of the electronic beast, that "The Basement" can have on the control of inner fear. "Two Postcards" is the first of the two tracks written by Sid Smith, who plays bass and spreads his samplings of field recordings. The track borrows the same musical corridors as "The Basement", without the approach of visceral fright, with an ambient structure fed by experimental curiosities where Sid Smith lays down his samplings of a fast-growing society in search of a rural peace in a sound fauna filled by dense synth layers. Layers, sometimes black and sometimes shrill and also sometimes vaguely musical, which draw heavy ambiences by the gloom of caustic reverberations among which the acuteness breaths and eroded harmonies float and cover the snores of a bass more creative than living being. "From Where I Sit", again composed by Sid Smith, is a very penetrating track. The voice of Jane Molloy invades the space with hums, ahs and breaths mi-seraphic and mi-spectral which float and rolls in loops on tones coming out of a tape delay system. It's so much near the sources of the synths that I was trapped. It's a very enchanting track where the voice of Jane Molloy marries marvellously these oblong and floating tones which float and interlace such as iridescent spectres to shadows as much shrill as the threads of silver that one fiddles with the blade of handsaw. And these ghostly lamentations continue on the introduction of the very intense, but always ambient, "Spirits Rising" from which the strata which roll in loops are sounding like the big bells of church which tinkle in a sound nothingness painted of alarming streaks. Warmer breaths cross the confused spirits of the bell towers while that quietly "Spirits Rising"crosses its phases of serenity and dives back into its torments, spreading the net ambiguity of its paradoxes.
Other Rooms” is a work which address as much to the fans of sound experiments from Ian Boddy as those who like an experimental EM that the silversmiths of the analog art could sculpture from a simple breath. Anti music? Maybe! Except that the atmospheres which roam all over these long ambient sound paintings are simply near anxiety. They tear the ear, as the fear the stomach, testifying of an efficiency that the time was never able to tame.

Sylvain Lupari (May 12th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: