jeudi 26 septembre 2013

JANNEH: Solarization (2013)

“Solarization is a very pleasant surprise which stands on 34 minutes marvellously influenced by the orchestrations and harmonies from Jarre and Vangelis”
1 Solarization I 7:41
2 Solarization II 4:40
3 Solarization III 4:24
4 Solarization IV 3:47
5 Solarization V 5:36
6 Solarization VI 2:16
7 Solarization VII 6:07

Hanisoundit (CD-r 34:46) ***½ (Melodious orchestral EM)

Each week brings its lot of demands so that I can write a chronicle on an album of an emergent artist. If some the EM proposed some goes away from the borders of Synth&Sequences or inspires few interests so that I speak about, others on the other hand present a very mature EM while certain artists show a strong potential and a beautiful musical signature which deserve amply that we speak about them. And this is the case with Janneh, a Finnish artist who seems clearly inspired by the rhythmic approaches of Jean Michel Jarre and those more theatrical of Vangelis. “Solarization” aims to be a mini concept album of 34 minutes about the solar energy and its importance in the story of the humankind that the multi-instrumentalist from Piikkiö, he plays as well keyboards and synth as piano and guitar and even percussions, presents by the means of 7 themes which, if they are clearly separated from each other, turn around the same delicious harmonic pattern.
The introduction of "Solarization I" plunges us into a heavy ambiospherical phase with a mixture of hollow winds and prismic drones which blow in the infinity. The percussions shake the mood which illuminates itself by a rather Babylonian musical synth and of which the wrapping layers are pouring idly over a bed of shimmering arpeggios The approach is rather pompous and kisses the soft vocal of sibylline oracles before borrowing the phases of a sober symphonic electro-pop where the solos of synths sing with some absent choirs on a line of sequences with some undulating alternating keys. I easily hear Thierry Fervant's harmonies on this first track which is a faithful reflection of what is coming all along “Solarization”. After an introduction which solicits these sequences to sneaky skips, "Solarization II" dives directly into the heart of Janneh's influences with a beautiful electronic ballad to the aromas of the 80's when the harmonies, the percussions and the synths were perfumed by Jean Michel Jarre's essences. It's a small wonder and a very catchy track. The kind which would easily played on the air waves of radio pop. The opening of "Solarization III" revisits the lines of crisscrossed sequences which opened Vangelis' Chariots of Fire. Well, the moment is brief but pronounced enough to ignore it. Afterward the music adopts a kind of languishing blues where Janneh makes melt his solos of guitar in those from his synth, which are rather catchy i got to say, on a slightly hopping structure of rhythm. "Solarization IV" presents a rather misty approach with a rhythmic skeleton which scatters its bones in an industrial ambiospherical ambience. A ghostly solo awakens a mechanical rhythm a little after the first minute. The rhythm throws its strikings of percussions which resound and smother in a rebellious structure where the synth divides its harmonies in some solitary solos, while drawing beautiful Arabian orchestrations. And Janneh introduces us into a Middle East tribal phase with "Solarization V" and its structure of rhythm which quaver in a soft serpentine stroboscopic. It's a great and solid track which gathers all the electronic ingredients that please with its chain of sequences which glitters in the background, its good tribal percussions, the guitar riffs and, especially, the superb Arabian orchestrations which plunges us into the oniric kingdom of 1001 nights. As much dreamy as melancholic, "Solarization VI" is a sad melody which scatters its notes of piano in some floating mists, such as sighs which get lost in the winds. "Solarization VI" closes this first musical essay of Janneh with an ambiospherical futuristic approach with scents of lounge jazz à la Blade Runner.
I really enjoyed this first musical rendezvous with Janneh. It's obvious that he has talent, senses of writing and a way to build orchestrations that sound so much like Jarre or Vangelis. None of the 7 tracks presented on “Solarization” is boring. On the contrary, each possesses this thing which forges musical itches. Whether it is in the rhythms, even the most accessible ones, or the floating cinematographic atmospheres, Janneh weaves a universe full of charm which says to me that the best is to come. This is a beautiful discovery which is worth its cost.

Sylvain Lupari (September 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:

samedi 21 septembre 2013

TANGERINE DREAM: LiveMiles (1988/2012)

“In the end, LiveMiles is a solid album, no matter its controversy”
1 Livemiles I (The Albuquerque Concert) 29:52
a Green Trail Part  b Section II 
c Section III d San Buena Ventura
2 Livemiles II (The West-Berlin Concert) 27:13
a Caspian Sea  b Velvet Autumn 
c Dolphin Dance 
Jive/BMG CHIP 62 (1988)
Reactive EREACD 1024 (2012)
(CD 57:05) ***½

(Post Berlin School, near New Berlin School style)

LiveMiles” is the last album of Tangerine Dream's short association with Jive. A period called Blue Years. It's also the last album of the Chris Franke's era, who left the band on August 1st, 1987. In fact, and not because it's a bad album, on the contrary, “LiveMiles” is the swan song, the beginning of the end, the last of the great ones, the end of a great era... call it whatever you want, from Tangerine Dream and the first one of an illogical suite of deceits and swindles which will serve to fill the big woolen pockets of Edgar or the financial dinosaurs which roam behind the ghosts of TD. This is a dark side in the history of the group which I hope will burst out one day. Because the fans have the right to know what has really passed in this time, and afterward. Just like for “LiveMiles”, they have right to know, to say the least to understand from where origin this idea to make in studio of the false albums in concert as this one, Soundmill Navigator and The Perth Tapes from the I-Box set. Let us be situated in the context. In that time there was no internet, nor social networks and the concerts of the Dream almost went unnoticed in the local newspapers. Thus, the fan who bought himself “LiveMiles” in that time did not know that it was about a pure and simple hoax. That it was a false live album, where Edgar Froese has Froesenized the structures while bringing to it bits of rhythms never played in concert. The result is not that bad, on the contrary. I think that it's a very beautiful album. It is just not a real live album. But does it really matters? “LiveMiles” is supposed to reproduce two long lengths extracts from concert that Tangerine Dream performed in Albuquerque on June 8th, 86 and in Berlin at the West der Republik on August 1st, 1987. Now that we know that's not really true, let's jump in it.
"Livemiles I (The Albuquerque Concert)" is consisted of 4 segments; Green Trail Part, Section 2, Section 3 and San Buena Ventura. Three days later, Tangerine Dream gave a concert in Denver with a completely different setlist and especially a music quite as different. While the concerts of the North American tour began with Pilots of Purple Twilight and Stratosfear, in fact the setlist turns around Le Parc and Underwater Sunlight albums, "Livemiles I" plunges us rather into the ambiences of Tyger and the London track as well as the electronic rock hymns à la Optical Race, 2 albums which will go out in 1987 and 1988. An oblong mellotron veil à la Genesis' Watcher of the Skies comes down slowly to evaporate in the chords of a heavy and hesitating rhythm. Some notes fall with heaviness, accompanied with a hesitating flute on a tempo which has difficulty to set itself in motion. We hear perfumes of Optical Race there, but much more of Tyger with a sort of remixed version of London. A London that we recognize vaguely with an uncertain, furtive rhythm which goes round in circles on percussions of a Tablas style. It's a meshing of percussions and hectic sequences which peck the uncertainty of a rhythm which drinks of superb fluty passages. The rhythm takes off at around the 6th minute with sequences supported by electronic percussions, plunging Green Trail Part into a good electronic rock with a synth to vocals charms. Edgar did a remarkable job because we have difficulty in recognizing the lines of Tyger which goes astray in lost sessions of Optical Race. He plays with rhythms and ambiences, outlining some great melodious passages which catch the ear. Dramatic passages where he tortures his electric guitar, like in Underwater Sunlight, but also in a slow version of London Part II (Rotten Row Patriot). It's rather poignant. And I have to make amendment; there is a lot of soul and passion behind "Livemiles I" in particular with Section 2. Section 3 plunges us into a furious electronic rock with a good sequencing pattern. The rhythm is heavy. Arched on an ascending structure, it's filled by these synth pads with bright contours which became the trademark of a more metallic Tangerine Dream. San Buena Ventura encloses this mini-concert in studio with a revamped version of Song of the Whale Part 2, unless it's a leftover from Legend? Bets are opened. But that remains good!
If we have guessed right from the tips of our ears and from the bottom of our knowledge the setlist of "Livemiles I", the exercise will be as much difficult with "Livemiles II", the concert at the West der Republik. There, we have the true setlist of this memorable concert and that doesn't look at all to what is going to happen on “LiveMiles”. The introduction, Caspian Sea, is of silk and is faithful to the first 8 minutes of the concert, with a beautiful mixing and some good overdubs. This is a great unreleased track. It's a beautiful morphic ballad which swirls like an oniric lullaby in a foggy synth which sings of a discreet synthesized voice. The guitar comes to cry in beautiful lamentations and adorn a kind of crescendo filled by a dramatic adrenalin. I love that! While we are supposed to hear Dolphin Smile, we are entitled to another unknown track. And the whole thing is very well linked, as a real concert. So Velvet Autumn offers a marathonian structure. It's a kind of rhythmic running where the sequences and percussions are structuring a sustained rhythm which serves the cause to soft fluty harmonies and keyboards riffs. I don't know... I kind of hearing things that remind me of Marakesh from Optical Race. We fast did the ballot. It's a little bit too long track which is in the time of Underwater Sunlight. "Livemiles II" ends with a very anemic version of Dolphin Dance. Here Edgar has too much Froesenized the product, making it insipid.
Well, here we are! Only the crazy ones won't change their idea. After having heard closely, and having searched through the Net, I got to say that this “LiveMiles” is a solid mixed album, even Voices in the Net qualifies it as a studio/live album, where the arrangements of Edgar and the extracts of the two concerned concerts give us good moments of listening. Except that I am always a little bit shocked by Edgar's attitude which tends to take the worship of his fans as a way of filling his deep pockets. But this is another debate that I won't start! It's not to me to do so. I prefer the Albuquerque section which, needs to admit it is a very good remix of London. Is this version of Esoteric better? I heard it is, but I don't hear such a difference here, except that the sound is more powerful. And in the end, it's a beautiful album, no matter its controversy.

Sylvain Lupari (September 21st, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

jeudi 19 septembre 2013

DARSHA AMBIENT: Little Things (2013)

“With Little Things Michael Allison goes out of his zone of comfort with a more audacious musical vision of which the eclectism leads us into varied musical territories”
1 UnUsual Thursday 7:23
2 The Mystery of Sleep 6:20
3 W. 52nd 4:38
4 Shadow Country 6:27
5 Little Things 4:39
6 Soft Portrait 3:56
7 Slow Drum 5:17
8 Nocturne in 3 Parts 3:32
9 Fields 5:36
10 There! 6:53
11 Watch your Step 5:03
12 Exile 2:57

Spotted Peccary | SPM-2401 (CD 62:33) ***¾  (Ethnic and ambient folk)
It's an old friend who calls out to us right from the start. A fusion of guitar/synth shapes some slow morphic layers which float like sighs of hollow winds. We feel at ease. We are on familiar ground. Fragile, the notes of a piano as pensive as hesitating are falling down and forge a somber lullaby which is lacking of finishing. We roam in our dreams, as well as in our soul, when the percussions harpoon the meditative approach of "UnUsual Thursday". Their strikings draw a delicious down-tempo which swirls with so much sweetness. And quietly, behind these ochred breaths and these fractures to tenderness by the drum, the piano tightens its notes and forges a delicate melody that a six-strings embraces of its ghostly harmonies. I always liked the music of Darshan Ambient. I became fond of this American bard who drags his airs of mislaid blues or troubled folk in a fascinating neurasthenic mood since my ears crossed his very beautiful A Day Within Days , back in 2010. Following the precepts of melodies and ballads darkened by the mesmerizing melancholic approach of Falling Light, “Little Things” deviates a little, on the other hand, from the usual route of Darshan Ambient by borrowing the delicate fragrances of an ethnic world, both African and oriental. This fusion of urban and ethnic folk brings some delicious colors to an album from an author with a torn soul which always has the gift to make vibrate the ropes of a sensibility repressed in the courses of a life.
If it's often black in the world of Darshan Ambient, the rhythm always has its place. A rhythm tucked by a ballad approach, like in "The Mystery of Sleep". The approach is kind of tribal with these tears of violins which cry, while chords of guitars float with pensive harmonies which remind the universe of Patrick O'Hearn. The percussions are structuring an ambience of ethnic jazz on a structure of rhythm a bit dishevelled and stroboscopic. The voices, the bells plunge me into the superb Amerisynthecana from Sensitive Chaos. Very good! Just like the puzzling "W. 52nd" which, after a very ambiospherical intro, embraces a structure a bit jazzy where the rhythm is seduced by these breezes of trumpets which still caress the poetic universe of O'Hearn. The rhythm slow, "Shadow Country" infuses its chords of a guitar with harmonies tormented on a bed of bubbly percussions. The synth layers which decorate the very melancholic musical setting of “Little Things” paint here some shadows of mist which welcome the lamentations of a Berber violin. The effect is rather attractive. The title-track is breathing of paradoxes. If the rhythm sounds subdued, with rustles which stick together in the shape of hoops of felt moving in echo. The melody is pensive and glues its notes of a forsaken piano on a bed of cracklings, forging a delicate diurnal reverie. After the somber and very pensive "Soft Portrait", "Slow Drum" plunges us back into the oriental ethnic moods with an intro filled by the perfumes of a Sarangi. The sound texture lets sparkle a thick cloud of sound dusts which fills the air of a thousand chimed sound particles while that slowly the tempo turns into a slow disarticulated horse ride which bends the rhythm under jerky orchestrations. "Nocturne in 3 Parts" is an ambient track on which Darshan Ambient hooks the lamentations of a six-strings which drags the poverties of the world with the sound of distant bell ringings. No matter the approaches, Michael Allison always manages to instigate our interest by delicate harmonious endings. The tears of violins which cry into some maternal sighs open the very ambiospherical introduction of "Fields". The percussions build waves of emotions while that, all slight, the guitar forges one of these meditative melodies which furnish the universe of Darshan Ambient. I know! We have already heard, but the effect always remains so fascinating. It's the same thing for "There!" whose opening presents an orchestration of violins which flows in a structure of musical cannon. We are in Steve Reich's universe, but with a more melodious approach. It's very beautiful! More cheerful, "Watch your Step" presents a beautiful ballad approach of an urban western genre with a rhythm finely drummed which submits its mane of rebel to the soft pads of a synth of which the aromas of sadness succeeds at no moment to eradicate the beautiful harmonies of the guitar. "Exile" bears the weight of its meaning with an ambient approach where the piano cries in the thoughts of a meditative guitar.
With “Little ThingsMichael Allison goes out of his zone of comfort with a more audacious musical vision. Always dragging his poet's coat with a tormented soul, the American rural bard digs up the roots of an eclectic and electronic folk to paint it of his unique colors of melancholy. There are several winks of eye in this album, where from eclecticism, to artists such as Patrick O'Hearn, Jim Combs (Sensitive Chaos
) and even Miles Davis of which the paradoxes unite marvellously in a work which also drinks of a river of tribalism. A very beautiful album with wandering poetry as only Darshan Ambient signs since A Day Within Days.
Sylvain Lupari (September 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:

jeudi 12 septembre 2013


“Perceptual Defence's Physis is an album for fans of heavy and dark atmospheres where the rhythms arise from strange ambiospherical currents”

1 Approaching the Mysterious & Impressive Building 11:56
2 Inside the Dark Place (The Concert Experience) 21:44
3 Walking Inside the Changing Rooms 15:53
4 A Deep Meditative Departure 16:28

SynGate | Luna PD01 (CD-r 66:01) ***¼
(Abstract experimental ambient music)

Winds which move waters and black ambiences are blowing in a paranoiac frenzy where rustles and fine melodies agglutinate like a psychedelic rain shower falling from a bottomless gutter. Chords clink like a dissonant carousel and their puny tones gets lost in an intense sound fog where the lines of synth are squeaking such as spectres with wide claws which scratch structures of reinforced concrete. "Approaching the Mysterious & Impressive Building" presents its very experimental ambiospheric structure with faces of winds and acid breezes which take the top off the roofs and windows with a distant harmonious essence, while that beat the keys grumbling in a storm where the stars fight the day obstinacy. Perceptual Defence is the new little treat that the German label SynGate proposes to fans of sound experiments via its Luna division. Ambitious project of the Italian sound sculptor Gabriele Quirici, “Physis” fattens his impressive road map which counts about forty works, among which several theme for movies and choreographies. Gabriele Quirici is an expressionist who takes pleasure in the abstract art where the sound forms breathe of free interpretations. To say the least, it's the way of approaching “Physis”; an album with a surprising sound wealth where ephemeral rhythmic structures upset the balance of a dark intrusion between two universes.
"Inside the Dark Place" follows more or less the same tangent. The intro is very ambiospherical with hoops of cotton wool which marry a rotatory movement in a heavy mood of a city in reconstruction. The sensation of emptiness is omnipresent, even if the sound universe exhausts its resources with winds which amass dusts of tones which roll in loops in the aerations of an immense machine of which the triggering initiates a series of guttural rustles. The synths scatter long sinuous tears and harmonize their lamentations with these gurgling, while that quietly "Inside the Dark Place" uses these elements to engage a short rhythmic phase with crystal clear keys which skip in groups in a very beautiful ritornello to tones of the analog years. This rhythm increases in power, pushing the fragile hiccup of the keys towards a wild pace that a synth bewitches of its cosmic sinuous singings. Slowly, the rhythm moves into a sustained heart pulse, beating stubbornly in these rustles became threatening to finally fall in the bottomless gaps of the subterranean winds. Black winds? Maybe! Because "Walking Inside the Changing Rooms" waters abundantly our ears of dark breezes. We even hear rustles, deaf lamentations, pierced this opaque field of winds which suffocate all the atmospheres of a track strangely puzzling. "A Deep Meditative Departure" continues to feed a form of obsessive fear with breaths always so dark which hide an abstract life where glitter diverse heterogeneous tones.
Physis” is an album for fans of heavy and dark atmospheres where the rhythms arise from strange ambiospherical currents. We feel very well the desire, the will of Perceptual Defence to create this strange sonic universe where the immobility of the masses possesses an obvious power of hearing attraction. It's ambient, certainly, but not totally uninteresting.

Sylvain Lupari (September 11th,2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

PETE FARN: Cryptids - Biospheres Vol.2 (2013)

“Cryptids - Biospheres Vol.2 is a rather unique sound experiment that will certainly pleased to diehard fans of musical life without any form of movements”

1 The Landscapeeater (fast one) 5:40
2 Catsrawl 6:33
3 The Chimera Sleeps 11:28
4 The Chimera Dreams 11:37
Abiogenese 7:06
6 The Shy Sine Singer 5:13
7 The Landscapeeater (slow one) 24:08

SynGate Luna | pf10 (CD-r 71:45) ***
(Experimental ambient forms of EM)
PeteFarn's universe is one of sound experiments where his designer, Peter Schaefer, crosses the borders of imagination with concept albums which often caress the universes of illusions and where the noise is on top of any forms of harmonies and musical ambiences. After an album on the organic and biospherical life of the floating forests, PeteFarn imagines now the life of animals of which the existence was never scientifically proved or is simply associated to the kingdom of imagination. And that my friends, PeteFarn has full of this in both hemispheres. The problem! That takes good neighbors and a very comprehensive girlfriend because we cannot listen to “Cryptids - Biospheres Vol.2” within headphones, unless we want to sink into a kind of sound psychosis. And believe me, that could happen.
Hollow breaths open the entrails of “Cryptids - Biospheres Vol.2”. Breaths which seem human and which lead to "The Landscapeeater" and of its organic noises which appear to be a kind of dialect for unknown species. Ambiguous and multi-dimensional,
PeteFarn's universes are subject to the interpretations as much so multiple as the ears, risky needs to say, which tame them. The gurgling and the footsteps that we hear can result from diverse species, as terrestrial as extraterrestrial. Just like here where it sounds like they plot in a cave. On "Catsrawl", these gurgling are soaked with a glaucous dialect where diverse forms of life with inconceivable appearances are cawing under a thick cloud of floating layers of which the pile forms a strange concert for the hoarse singings of crickets. At this point of “Cryptids - Biospheres Vol.2”, there is a certain musicality. Later? Well, it's less certain and you have to like metaphysical sound experiments or...noise if you prefer. "The Chimera Sleeps" is a long non-form passage where the white noises get lost in their metallic echoes. Honestly? I found this a little bit hard for the ears and the neighbors have asked for which kind of bugs have infested my condo. It's kind of annoying and the ears really take a blow. Although softer, "The Chimera Dreams" displays a life without forms which ends in the same sound nightmare as "The Chimera Sleeps".
And so go the next 36 minutes of “Cryptids - Biospheres Vol.2”; a sound experiment without musical life, even if it depicts a life that we have difficulty in imagining so much the tone is sometimes assassin. Really, this is for diehard fans of sonic experiences and I found that very difficult to ingest.

Sylvain Lupari (September 14th, 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 10 septembre 2013

MIND OVER MATTER: Music for Paradise (1987/2007)

“Music for Paradise is the astral door of a fascinating universe which will propel Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock in the firmament of the inescapable figures of the contemporary EM scene”
1 Paradise 22:29 
a) Being One (Air) 6:54  
b) One Being (Water) 4:43  
c) Changes of Being (Fire) 4:37  
d)  Being Home Again (Earth) 6:15  
2 The End of Time 9:19  
3 Kandy Sweets 6:14  
4 The Silence 7:14
5 Ganga (The Live Version) 10:20  
North Star 4:48

Innovative Communication IC 80.059 (LP 48:54) *****Innovative Communication ‎IC 872359-2 (CD 64:06) *****
(Ambient, spiritual, tribal and Berlin School EM)
Finally, here's a first chronicle of Mind Over Matter on Synth&Sequences. And what of better than to begin with the very first album; “Music for Paradise”. But first let's speak about the man behind Mind Over Matter; Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, aka Cosmic Hoffmann, whom the first steps in music were guided by the guitar and drum. It's when hearing symphonic rock that the German guitarist, born in Duisburg in 1951, has developed a passion for keyboards and synthesizers, but especially for Mellotron with which Genesis' opening of Watcher of the Sky had totally enchanted him during a concert of the group in 1972. After having played with the German group Alma-Ata at the end of the 70's, Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock founds Cosmic Hoffmann at the dawn of the 80's. And then during a journey in Asia, he created Mind Over Matter in 1986. The music would be inspired by the Hindus spiritual essences and would be a sensory sonic adventure for the imagination of which the first lines emanated from this long composition that KHH weaved for soon 3 years; "Paradise". A thing was clear; nothing would be comparable to Mind Over Matter. And more than 25 years later, Mind Over Matter and Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock always remain so mystic than incomparable. And here is by where this fascinating musical adventure began …
And it's a whole universe of paradisiacal idleness that Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock knits for our ears. Arpeggios in tones of glass fall in delicate periodic waterfalls, as a sound waterfall which flows of the sky to caress the trees and the singings of their inhabitants. Chirping of birds coo behind this weft of tranquillity where rises a fine morning mist and where quietly a soft, bewitching rhythm arises from the strings of a Heinz Weidenbrück's bewitching bass. Everything is weaved in softness in order to bring the listener towards a phase of meditative rest. "Paradise Being One (Air)" livens up of a fine tempo with Tablas percussions, drummed by Peter Jörgens, which accompany this soporific procession while that voices of gurus pray a song of hypnosis which makes itself very discreet, just like the erased chords from the guitar and by this piano with its delicate charming melody, behind a foggy music pattern became denser. We hardly perceive the fine crescendo of the movement while the guitar weaves fragments of a recurring melody and that "Paradise Being One (Air)" pours in our head from heaven with these strata of guitar which float behind an approach a little more bluesy. Suave, the mellotron scatters its mist as much as its short fluty songs, while gradually we move forward in the very mesmerizing "Paradise" with "Changes of Being (Fire)" and its heavy guitar which spits solos of fire behind the clamors of a shady civilization. "Changes of Being (Fire)" is the highest point of "Paradise" with a more dramatic approach where the guitar tears out the ambiences became highly charged with shrill solos which will become the trademark, the musical signature of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock over the years and still today. The awakening is as rough as the music can be so delicious. And "Being Home Again (Earth)" brings us back towards the contemplative phases with a mellotron which blows of flute while taking back the thematic musical pattern as ambient than melodious of "Being One (Air)"
On the original release of “Music for Paradise”, "Paradise" occupied the whole side A of the vinyl version issued then on Innovative Communication (IC 80.059). "The End of Time" began side B with a heavy ambiospherical movement where Yves Greder talks about the end of time, and of its revival, in an intense multi-sonic where become entangled the shouts, as much as the spasms, of a wandering guitar and the breaths, as belligerent as harmonious of a mellotron to the esoteric flavors. "Kandy Sweets" clashes in this ambient universe with a nice ballad which inhales a contemplative happiness. It's a kind of tribal folk song with an ambient rhythmic pattern undulating beneath the claws of a sitar which shares its harmonies with a mixture of guitar/synth and a delicate mellotron which blows its fluty singings in a Sri Lankan rural universe. At that time, "The Silence" closed “Music for Paradise”. The silence is in the rhythms, because the track is rich in atmosphere with its long resounding black breaths which lets filter some harmonious particles which crumble out of a dark mellotron and a very meditative keyboard. In 2007, “Music for Paradise” was reissued in CD by IC (872359-2) with 2 tracks in bonus. "Ganga (The Live Version)" is a lascivious spiritual dance with superb sounds of flutes which sing on a mesmerizing line of a piano which scatters its melody under a swarm of tribal percussions. The mood is very filmic with a high level of intensity where tribal sound elements such as sitars, bells, Sri Lankan voices and hoarse breaths of gurus polish up a slow rhythm which waddles in a state of hypnosis under the Pharaonic breaths of the mellotron. "North Star" borrows the atonal phases of "The Silence" while releasing a subtle bouquet of "Paradise". Some nice mellotron there!
Music for Paradise” is a phenomenal album where Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock stamps the EM world of a new seal for the ambient kind. It's a meditative ambient form, as much creative as progressive, where the relaxation music takes a quite new direction. When there is rhythm, it's slow and intuitive. When they are ambiences, they are rich and very ambiospherical, feeding every furrow of a sonic image which, although strongly influenced by an extremely rich musical universe, takes the shape we want. “Music for Paradise” is the astral door of a fascinating universe which will propel Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock in the firmament of the inescapable figures of the contemporary EM scene. A wonderful album, an inescapable, which I strongly recommend.

Sylvain Lupari (September 8th, 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 9 septembre 2013

ETERNALKEYS: Arcanum Secret (2013)

“Arcanum Secre is a soft invitation into the much diversified musical and cinematic universe of Eternalkeys”
1 Letters and Pages 3:11  
2 Second War 2:28  
3 Parallelives 4:33  
4 Memories Gone 3:09  
5 Dragon's Gate 2:41  
6 Future City 3:02  
7 Farewell to Childhood 2:22  
8 Monumental Sign 2:28  
9 Glacial Wind 2:58  
10 Train Bridge 3:31

Independent Bandcamp (DDL 30:48) ***¼
(Mostly cinematic EM)
Dressed in its 10 compositions clocking an average of 3 minutes each, “Arcanum Secret” is a soft invitation into the much diversified musical universe of Eternalkeys, a musical project from the Italian composer and musician Mimmo D'Ippolito. A universe where the music, as ethereal as filmic, caresses our ears, a little like a certain Vangelis, and where the rhythms are creasing them with structures closer of Jarre and Shpongle while the orchestral arrangements are pure moments of anxiety, a little as Goblin. But don't get me wrong! I’m not saying that Eternalkeys is a new Vangelis or a Jean Michel Jarre, although he is very musical and theatrical, but I discovered an artist who seems very talented in the art of composition with a musical signature which depicts marvellously the sense of his titles.
And that begins with "Letters and Pages" and its dark piano which unfolds the pages of a melancholic story. If we like the sweetness of the piano, "Memories Gone" spreads its fragile notes, like the eyes its tears on the cheeks. It's very beautiful and very, but very, melancholic. I have the vague feeling that it speaks to me. "Farewell to Childhood" is yet another sweetness where, throughout a window misted by rain, we remember easily a piece of our childhood. Always weaved of black, "Second War" offers a very dramatic cinematic approach with superb orchestrations which hatch a mood a bit frightening. It's somewhat as if Hitchcock would go to the war. There are a lot of ambiences behind the violence of the mnemonic bows. Eternalkeys has the sense of drama and anxiety, it's undeniable. On "Dragon's Gate" he weaves a Babylonian world with wrapping synth strata which structure a medieval ambience that a harpsichord fed of an intrusive baroque melody, while "Monumental Sign" presents a more contemporary dramatic orchestral structure. After an ambiospherical intro, which reminds me of Tomita, "Parallelives" reveals a beautiful electronic ballad with a supple rhythm where the percussions and the effects of rhythms borrow the corridors of Jarre. The synth develops nice harmonies easily to whistle behind some hoarse organic mumbles. Always in the register of the electronic synth-pop set ablaze by Jarre, we find "Intended City", and its technoïd skeleton, "Glacial Wind" and "Train Bridge" which, on the other hand, are a bit closer to psy-techno à la Shpongle.
There is of everything on this “Arcanum Secret”. From synth-pop to dark movie music, while passing by mourners ballads, Eternalkeys presents his card. An artistic, a musical card which shows an irrefutable talent from the Italian composer who has the sense of drama as much as melancholy. I quite liked it, although some tracks are slightly too short. The orchestral atmospheres would be even more penetrating with minutes furthermore in the meter. But it's beautiful and that listens too very well. Mimmo D'Ippolito is a promising artist who seems promoted to classical movie music, where from the link with Vangelis. But I said it; he is not a new Vangelis... at least not yet. But there is a distant resemblance. Nice and charming!

Sylvain Lupari (September 9th, 2013)

samedi 7 septembre 2013

MYSTICAL LIGHT: Beyond the Horizon (2013)

“Beyond the Horizon is a strong album by Mystical Light which, from now on, sets the base for the newcomers in the field of modern Berliner EM”
1 The Awakening 6:52  
2 Coko's Theme 8:58  
3 Sequencing the Elements 6:43  
4 Quantum Lounge 5:50  
5 Secrets of Taklamakan 7:23  
6 Aurora Borealis 6:49  
7 Eternal Peace 7:21  
8 Return to Skye 9:03  
9 Between Galaxies 8:56  
10 The Clava Cairns 4:49  
11 Hymn 5:47

Mystical Light Self-Released (CD78:31)****½
(Based sequenced Berlin School)
You remember of Michael Wilkes, or if you prefer Yog Sothoth? Of his heavy and powerful rhythms which terrorized our ears in Prehistoric Dawn? Well he is half of Mystical Light. The other one is André Willms who, under the name of Astral Cookies, develops an EM closer to ethereal cosmic ambiences. Mystical Light is the fusion of both genres, and their first album, “Beyond the Horizon”, breathes of these two contrarieties to give a powerful album of EM with a deep cosmic dimensions. Electronic cosmic rock, in the purest of the analog year's traditions, where the shade of Vangelis' orchestral arrangements overhangs tracks where the melancholy and the anger mix in a surprising harmony that Ron Boots has finely orchestrated.
It's with a line of sequences that makes spin its keys in a stifling oscillating spiral that "The Awakening" extricates itself from the icy nothingness of this new silvery disc. A muffled pulsation binds itself in this line while that insidiously another line emerges to make flutter around these silvery keys. The pulsations accelerate the pace of a static rhythm which welcomes some fine layers of a morphic synth, as well as cosmic riffs, switching its passivity for the strikings of unchained drums which lead "The Awakening" towards a kind of cosmic funk. A fascinating cosmic funk, just like "Return to Skye", where the drum enrages a rhythm which hiccups beneath the spasms of a sequence line of which the metamorphosis went unnoticed in this intense electronic broth. "Coko's Theme" is a wonderful cosmic track with a lot of Vangelis' fragrances where the synth layers are drawing clouds of ether which float among attractive morphic voices. There is a lot of ambience on this track. We would really imagine being in a space shuttle, the window of the porthole opened, to contemplate the stars sing in silky astral painting. This is immensely beautiful. After this splendid and soft cosmic interlude, "Sequencing the Elements" takes back the rhythmic main lines of "The Awakening", but with more vigour, heaviness and with more present electronic melodies. And "Quantum Lounge" rests the walls, and our senses, with a beautiful ambiospherical down-tempo of lounge style. The tempo is slow and relies on sober percussions where delicate mislaid arpeggios draw the lines of a melody fragmented in the thick morphic shroud of a synth which also spreads some floating coats of ethereal mists. Intense, "Secrets of Taklamakan" sounds like a war hymn with its big drums which roll and thunder under a hoarse voice. The orchestrations are just splendid. Their wave-like and hatched strata are adding a theatrical depth to this intense mythical ride which cavorts with heaviness in the big Mongolian plains. They ride with glass arpeggios, a bit like those we used to hear when we attended in a military parade. Titanic and impressive!
"Aurora Borealis" borrows the same ethereal paths as "Coko's Theme". The synths sing a delicate morphic melody which joins the rustles of the angels whom the celestial serenades are floating into soft orchestrations. This is a very beautiful. And both tracks stuck together bring us simply somewhere else. It's with the chirping of birds singing over a monasterial choir that "Eternal Peace" embraces our sensibility. The synths draw caresses à la Vangelis, while unfolding a dark veil where a line of sequences is waddling. The ambiences grow heavy and the strikings of percussions harpoon an ethereal sweetness which pours its tears on a rhythm become heavier with a lento gallop where synths harmonize their angelic breaths for a more austere approach. A symphonic approach which lets filter a shy harmonious filet. You remember of Michael Garrison? This is the first thing that came to mind when I heard "Between Galaxies". A heavy track, well in rhythm with a sequenced approach which hangs on to a rinforzando to finally offer itself to some sustained percussions. A lively rhythm, hammered beneath a bed of stars from which the sonic brightness embellish a beautiful harmonious approach, programmed by chirping of synths. After a brief bad patch, "Between Galaxies" spatters with more sparkles in a rhythm pattern where the percussions and the sequences beat themselves and dance in a rhythmic echo which releases harmonies weaver of earworms. This is great cosmic rock which inhales the fragrances of former days, whereas "The Clava Cairns" is forged in a structure of more contemporary, heavy electronic rock of which the outburst leads towards a delicious rhythmic anarchy. "Hymn" crowns this wonderful album by Mystical Light with a filmic structure à la Vangelis where the big drums resound in the breaths of synth with the fragrances of an avoided apocalypse.
Powerful! I adored every second of “Beyond the Horizon”; a colossal album which will know how to please the fans of Tangerine Dream as well as those of Jean Michel Jarre and Ron Boots. I adored this symbiosis between the poetic ambient moods of André Willms and the big hard rhythms, the big resonant sequenced momentums of Michael Wilkes. Mystical Light offers nearly 80 minutes of pure delight where we hear all forms of musical memories getting melted in a powerful album where the passion, as much as the quietness, are wrapped by an orchestration with the sonic tentacles strongly inspired by the visions, as seraphic as Dantesque, of Vangelis.

Sylvain Lupari (September 7th, 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 3 septembre 2013

ALLUSTE: Aliens Enigmas (2013)

“A fine complexity in structures where the rhythms abound in contradictions, Aliens Enigmas soaks in these electronic moods which made the charms of the unexplained music”
1 Gods or Aliens 8:21  
2 Ancient Visitors 9:15  
3 Signals from the Future 10:20  
4 Angels Descended from Heaven 8:17  
5 Nibiru 9:26  
6 The Spaceships of Ezekiel 8:12

Alluste Music (DDL 53:53) ****
(Base sequenced EM)

A fine movement of sequences emerges between a net of ethereal voices, shaping a fragile rhythm which skips among finely jerky vocalized harmonies. Another line of sequences appears. It makes flutter about its crystal clear keys  which pilfer of a motionless movement, enthralled which they are by these seraphic voices which wrap the passive rhythm of "Gods or Aliens". A rhythm which harmonizes its fluidity by welcoming a 3rd line of sequences whose soft gallop binds itself in a line of bass and of its furtive movement which oscillates against the current of a structure of rhythm and its morphic tentacles. And contrary to Boards of Stringana, Alluste is watering abundantly its rhythm with nice synth solos which spread a harmonious dew in a sound universe where the sequences trample on with restraint. Frankly, “Aliens Enigmas” is the most complete work of the Italian synthesist. Piero Monachello structures an album intensely ambiospherical where the lines of sequences multiply in adjacent rhythmic arms, building some silent rhythms which flicker and wave in a musical bath filled by some very Dreamian fragrances of the Franke's years and the rebel sequences structures from a very cosmic Gert Emmens.
The line of bass sequence which feeds the intro of "Ancient Visitors" completes marvellously the black breaths of the synths which sizzle of grey tones in a Mephistophelian ambience. The keys are snatched by an intense veil of blackness, adding so more ambiences to a dark track which quietly gets out of the shadows with a fine movement of sequences which made waddle its keys with their copies in a silky veil of mists. As much musical as the sequencing, the synth sprays "Ancient Visitors" of delicate harmonious fragments and heterogeneous tones while that the track takes root in its storm with superb run-ups of sequences which are always harpooned by intense veils as much dark as morphic. A movement of ambiguity in the moods as much similar as on "Ancient Visitors" keeps a watch on the intro of "Signals from the Future", by far the most beautiful track on “Aliens Enigmas”, whose movement of hypnotic sequences progresses by untying two lines to the crisscrossed rhythmic harmonies. Cymbals are added to this ethereal procession that a synth ennobles with a harmonious approach a bit spectral. Drawing deeply in its 10 minutes, "Signals from the Future" goes away from its processional approach with a superb movement of sequences which flits like a tornado and its head winds in a heavy and motionless structure of rhythm which reminds of Gert Emmens' works. Totally good!
Over the time, Alluste has learnt to master the art of sequencing and its subdivided rhythms which clone themselves into independent entities. Seraphic voices and sibylline moods open "Angels Descended from Heaven" whose descent hangs on to a very good bass line to dark pulsations. Alluste spreads out his structure of interlaced rhythms and harmonies with a line of sequences which gets loose from the line of bass, making glitter the keys where the soft kicks oscillate under apocalyptic lines of synth which remind the atmospheres of Wavelength. These sequences which wave hypocritically are the skeleton of another darker track; "Nibiru", of which the fusion sequences and bass line crawl with bewitchment under the lines of synth to black and ghostly breezes whereas the sequencer, always so creative, scatter keys which skip like sheeps without guardian before binding to some sober electronic percussions. It's an intro stuffed with tones of cosmic rattlers which waits for our ears with "The Spaceships of Ezekiel" from which the ambiospherical opening deviates towards a very beautiful structure of rhythm which undulates of its gallop to the multi sonic and multi harmonic keys. Keys which split up to create other phases of bordering rhythms which skip in a still rotary axis, spinning around like snips of the scissors in an intense veil of sibylline mists.
A fine complexity in structures where the rhythms abound in contradictions, “Aliens Enigmas” soaks in these electronic moods which made the charms of the unexplained music. Diluting his ambient rhythms like a morphic painting into some spheroidal tornados, Alluste captivates a listening with a seductive complicity between his dark ambiences and his evasive melodies which couple marvellously on figures of rhythms of which the unknown stays the only ally. Great base sequenced EM!

Sylvain Lupari (September 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: