jeudi 5 décembre 2013

RUDOLF HEIMANN: Tide (2010)

“Sometimes explosive and sometimes spacey, but most of the time really punchy, Tide is an amazing mosaic of rhythms and melodies”
1 Up & Down the Waves 6:23 
2 Driftwood 8:10
3 Staring at the Sea 8:42
4 Absorbed in Thought 9:58
5 Awaiting the Tide 5:07
6 Offshore 10:36
7 Stranded on your Shore 8:02
8 Morphologic Resonance 6:35

Spheric Music | SMCD 8304 (CD 64:00) ***½
(Energic drive sequenced and melodious New Berlin School)
Sound chameleon or multiple personality disorder? It's rather difficult to encircle Rudolf Heimann's musical universe. Although he is a veteran of the Berlin electronic scene for more than 20 years, it's the very first time that my ears meet the criss-crossed and chaotic rhythms of the German synthesist who nests now at Spheric Music label. Rudolf Heimann, who tempts a comeback after more than 13 years of absence and silence, offers in “Tide” an album with ambivalent rhythms and really catchy tunes. The rhythmic structures veer between hard and soft techno, maybe e-rock, while brushing a relative cosmic sweetness, with a great sequencing pattern, chaotic percussions and very nice which are not without reminding Geoff Downes' complex universe and maybe Johannes Schmoelling for the harmonic touch. All in all, this is an interesting album which will please undoubtedly TD's fans of the 90's!
A steady rhythm, such as a good loud rock with strong percussions, a keyboard which frees heavy riffs and a sequencer with its echoing loops, "Up and Down the Waves" opens “Tide” with a forceful rhythmic approach. It's an infernal beat, besieged by a hybrid synth of which the solos multiplication are entangling into synth verses where the poetic approach of the German synthesist is more than a simple combination of sounds. This is a kicker which starts very well a mosaic of rhythms and melodies. "Driftwood" propels us in the dance floors of the 80's with a heavy synth-pop which pounds under good pulsations and slamming percussions. An acoustic guitar sees to the melodious aspect, as well as a keyboard and its slightly vocal samplings while that some heavy strata of a metallic and syncopated synth bring a melodious dimension to this very heavy bouncy techno synth-pop which slowly deviates towards a more cosmic finale while maintaining its feverish tempo. We clearly feel an influence of
Tangerine Dream, the Private Music years, on "Staring at the Sea" which is lighter and sharply more electronic than "Driftwood". While keeping the same musical contents, Heimann offers a soft tempo more daydreamer and closer to his electronic roots with his languishing synth solos which slip in between good percussions strikings and catchy arrangements where chords and sound effects are well inserted, showing Rudolf Heimann's knowledge into the EM spheres. "Absorbed in Thought" is a beautiful track where some hopping sequences are slamming in a delicious elixir of languishing, waltzing and morphic synth strata on a tempo which crosses the space rock and floating EM. This is a very beautiful track endowed by a beautiful musical poetry where solos merge with dense Mellotron waves on a finely chaotic structure and melodiously rhythmic.
With its western flavors guitar riffs, "Awaiting the Tide" oscillates between a cosmic country rock and a soft techno with twisted synth solos which espouse marvellously the guitar arpeggios. A sweet track, very cute, that sounds like
TD on the Melrose years. "Offshore" is built around hybrid musical structures which go in a total frenzy rhythmic duality. The beauty of this longest track in “Tide” lies in the complexity of its structure which is subdivided into several rhythmic approaches, embracing just as much the dance-floor style, the soft and broken techno as well as sequenced EM with crisscrossed sequences. So the rhythm abounds on various cadenced spheres with DJ modern tones mixed with an analog/digital fusion. A strange and intriguing track which requires a good open-mind, so much the duality of the tempos can be incoherent with the multiplicity of tones and sound effects. More restful, "Stranded on your Shore" is a true electronic ballad which unifies a nice kind of cosmic ballet and a nursery rhyme of which the prisms of glasses are waving with a delicate lyricism. It's simply beautiful and a stunning meshing of TD's Le Parc and Legend. "Morphologic Resonance" concludes “Tide” with heavy resonances which grope stealthily. The rhythm develops slowly with hatched chords which flutter in an environment which hesitates between a cosmic and a tangible rhythm. Guitar chords form a soft melodious rosary which stagnates to dash in the paths of a soft techno, confirming of the ambivalence in the rhythmic structures which cross “Tide” from beginning to end.
I got to admit that the listening of “Tide” made me perplex, so much the sound variety is at least surprising. Except that when we stop more closely and we listen more attentively to all the subtleties and the arrangements that fill (its very big strength according to me) this Rudolf Heimann comeback album, we succeed to tame very well this constant coexistence between the soft and the hard techno, as well as these strange structures difficulty recognizable which sometimes recall us either
Tangerine Dream or Geoff Downes and even Depeche Mode, to appreciate all the accuracy which hides behind this fascinating feast of rhythms and tones that is “Tide”.

Sylvain Lupari (Written on July 10th, 2010 and translated on December 5th, 2013)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

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