samedi 3 août 2013

Q2: Asteroid (2013)

 “Yet another refreshing surprise in the fields of modern EM. Modern? Nah...Asteroid from Q2 is an amazing journey through the meanders of vintage electronic-cosmic-Krautrock”

1 Planets 21:21  
2 Comet 7:26  
3 Asteroid 18:27

Ricochet Dream RD070 (CD 47:18) ****½
(Vintage e-rock with a zest of cosmic Krautrock)

Electronic music! There is so many that I should shorten my chronicles to be able to review all of it. But I would miss these small jewels which ask for a more thorough listening, like this new album from the German group Q2 which is inspired by this fusion of Krautrock and EM so skillfully brought in our ears by key groups such as Tangerine Dream and Ashra as well as Klaus Schulze in the 70's. Initially wrote and released in 2010 on an independent label, “Asteroid” is passed by like a gust of wind in the spheres of EM. Vic Reck, who never misses an occasion to serve us small jewels of underground EM via his Ricochet Dream label, smelt all of Sunny Vollherbst and Frank Husemann's potential by offering us a factory pressed reissue CD of an album which will nail you ears to your loudspeakers.
The first listening of “Asteroid” won't goes that easy. A threatening shadow, oscillating into furious linear convulsions, catches our hearing straight away before converging on a heavy and wild rhythmic gallop. "Planets", quite as the title-track, offers a hybrid structure where the fury is next to softness. Where a strong electronic rock gets mix into long cosmic wild imaginings. Marrying the black and dreaming about the white, the music follows the sinuous bend of the introductory shadows to dive into profound morphic phases where synths, as angels of war, are calling the fury of the rhythm. The first 3 minutes are of rhythmic sulfur. Ears on the watch, we rather dive quickly into the dry lands of ambient soundscape where winds roar and synths trumpet a hymn to vitality. Twists of synths are cooing in a desert of lamentations, always crying out more hardly the rights for a rhythm which waits only for the resounding waves to make hear its threatening pulsations. The harmonies are fleeting but bring the necessary nuances to forge imprints pleasant to the ear. Except that the rhythm doesn't bloom. In place, we dive back into the subdued ambiences which call back the deserts of corrosive lamentations that Schulze exploited marvellously on his Picture Music era. And the tom-toms are thundering at around the11th minute. Forging a surreal clanic trance, they dance with fury under a thick cloud of bewitched reverberations. They rage in a static rhythm which pounds under a cumulus of synth laments. Laments of gargoyles so much intriguing than disturbing which chase away those tom-toms and lead the finale of "Planets" towards a strange and bewitching cosmic blues where Frank Husemann's guitar is dawdling in mists filled by strange psychedelic emanations before melting in the jolts of this cosmic-psychedelic ride which had debauched the very convoluted introduction of "Planets". We comprehend that it's the end but we wonder where the hell passed the 21 minutes of it. If the atypical structure of "Planets" can take by surprise, I can guarantee you that they drag enough enchanting sonic phases and elements there so that we succumb to its charms. Charms which grow from listening to listening.
This is not the case of "Comet" and of its vampiric and lethal approach à la Neuronium. We fall under its yoke from the first waves of organs which undulate and carry chords of a guitar with the harmonies singing under the sign of spells. The lines of synth are sublime. They drag around like ghosts' sighs. Like witches' tears died before having been able to unchain their gall which pours into the eddies of an organ as poetic as horrific. You got to hear these guitar notes fitting closely the nuances of lines of melancholy, both from the organ and the synths, which wind a structure in thousand composite harmonies. This is some great ambience music which listens to in the black and which will make the delights of the followers of a dark music, very near the black magic. The intro of the title-track tumbles like a somber melody played by a disciple of the ghost of the opera. A little as in "Planets", the rhythm embraces a heaviness without associating to its fury. On the other hand, it's more constant and bears some mesmerizing guitar chords which roll in loops weavers of earworms. Swaying between a paradoxical softness and a little heavier rhythm, "Asteroid" also infuses of this underground touch which characterizes the short 47 minutes of “Asteroid”. This is great electro-cosmic rock, heavy and powerful, which follows a more harmonious tangent, an amiability of Frank Husemann's six-strings which coaxes marvellously the sinuous undulations of an organ as black as melodious and the percussions of Sunny Vollherbst which structure a beautiful ride, more tamed than on "Planets", whose the sustained rhythm stays the cradle of a seductive melodious approach, often unexpected but so much hoped on this kind of structure.
Once more, I got carried away. But what do you expect; I like the beautiful electronic music. And it's refreshing to observe that after all what I hear there are surprises which shine here and there. And “Asteroid” from Q2 is a very beautiful one. Yes, this is not the usual kind of Berliner style, even if we sense the roots of vintage Berlin School growing beneath the underground touch, the Krautrock movement. And it's one of the main reasons which explains the big charm of this opus splendidly signed by Frank Husemann and Sunny Vollherbst. I like these structures in continual movement, no matter the tangents, where every hidden recess amazes, because of their unexpected moods or because it is just simply very beautiful. "Comet" will seduce you right from the start, the title-track will attract you by its subdued melodious approach and when, when you will be hooked by "Planets", you will finally be conquered by this simply charming album that is “Asteroid”. Very good! You can listen to the whole album by visiting the Bandcamp of Q2 here:
And yes, I know; another long chronicle to read....
Sylvain Lupari (August 3rd, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

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