mardi 18 juin 2013

EDGAR FROESE: Aqua 2005 (2005)

“Aqua 2005 is a tangentized version of its original with less ambient phases and more rhythms”
1 Aqua 16:58 
Panorphelia 7:57 
3 NGC 891 9:12
4 Upland 6:31
5 Upland Down 4:14

Eastgate | 004 (52:22) ***½
(Ambient vintage Berlin School)

Make something new out of old! Is it possible? Yes and especially with the last state-of-the-art technique remastering: the DQC System. But this won't change the settings because “Aqua 2005” has nothing to do with its 1st version 30 years earlier. Starting with the artwork, Edgar brought numerous changes, in particular on the rhythmic structures, leaving in obscurity the dark and psychedelic side of his initial work. First of all, the title-track! The water sound wealth is colder, more digital and undulates on soft percussions of a typist style and a light sequencer in procession mode which lives in a universe which is less rich in sound effects, less diversified. Thus, "Aqua" gives birth to a new life. A rather interesting one, but very far from its first subtleties. "Panorphelia" keeps its mysterious aura and the nervous drive of its first days, except that it's wrapped by Mellotron strata, soft and melodious, and by some short sequenced fragments. An alter à la Tangent Box but with more mordant. If the first 2 tracks remain all in all interesting, "NGC 891" lost a lot of its lustre on this 2005 version of Aqua. Is it because of the dispute surrounding Froese. and Franke? The fact remains that the track is amputated by more than 4 minutes, besides having an annoying "glitch" towards the 2:30 spot. The heat and the subtlety of the 1st version give way to a digital coolness and to an emotive placidity that we perceive very annoying. Having said that, "NGC 891" stays a very interesting track which didn't need to be dress again by Edgar's strata to give it more luster. "Upland" has kept the spirit of its first draft, whereas "Upland Down" is really a remix which leans on the original structure. Good percussions, beautiful synths and a sweet melodious approach which sounds like something we heard somewhere. But with all that Edgar simmers, a cat would lose its small kitties there!!!
In conclusion, “Aqua 2005” is not that bad. If the ambient phases are not on your EM menu, go for this one without hesitation. But on the other hand, I eventually succumbed to the latent charms of the 1st Aqua. Charms which are absents on this 2005 version. And remember that at this time, I wasn't a lover of ambient EM.

Sylvain Lupari (June 18th, 2013)

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