vendredi 28 février 2014

EMBRASE: Another Day, Another World (2014)

“A very musical album, Another Day, Another World travels through the various phases of a more contemporary EM with soft appealing ethereal harmonies which melt into suave synth solos”
1 Another Day 2:30
2 After Eight Years 5:53
3 Daydreaming 6:08
4 Touch 5:51
5 Change your Mind 5:07
5 Time 4:27
After the Rain Comes the Sun 5:56
8 3.33 AM 1:41
9 Moving Silence 6:59
10 Inspiration 5:42
11 Amazing 4:52
12 Another World 5:49
13 Back to Normal 3:37                                                
14 Another Day, Another World 5:32
15 Where Does it End 3:22

  (CD/DDL 73:31) ****  (E-rock and harmonious New Berlin School)
Some dense synth layers which float like tears of violins among the rustles of angelic choruses open the very ethereal "Another Day". The sonic envelope is quite impressive for a so short track. She is tied to a philharmonic approach which inhales the influences of Bernd Kistenmacher's last opuses. By the way, what jumps in ears with this comeback album from Embrase is this meticulous musical scenery by Marc Bras. “Another Day, Another World” comes 8 years after Dreamworld. To make history short; Embrase is the Dutch synthesist Marc Bras who had seduced the electronic world in 2005 with a first album (Dreamworld) which, according to what I read here and there, was strongly influenced by Tangerine Dream of the 80's. Eight years later Marc Bras delivers to us a strong album where the rhythms, which evolve constantly inside their minutes, are superbly coated by synths among which the charming solos, rather lyrical I have to say, unveil some nice electronic harmonies which harmonize their charms within sighs of violins, choirs with some dense seraphic veils and ethereal mists. With its 15 tracks scattered among nearly 80 minutes, “Another Day, Another World” offers a great electronic sonic parade with very contemporary rhythms which are immersed in approaches as ambient as ethereal.
"After Eight Years" gets a grip at this seraphic intro with a harmonious approach of which the first morphic veils float as in "Another Day". The rhythm is slow, mesmerizing, with fine tribal percussions and where the heavenly choirs hum an evasive melody and unite their singings to the tears of synths and to their violin layers which blow among strongly lyrical solos. We always stay in the soft comfort of the ambient rhythms with "Daydreaming" whose intro reminds me of Leftfield and their Africa single. The rhythm is softer on the other hand with a structure of floating down-tempo where the synth gets dressed of breaths of trumpets as much sensual as nostalgic. After an introductory structure which is also inspired by the sweetnesses of "Daydreaming", "Touch" shakes a little bit the meditative ambiences of this Embrase's last album with good percussions which set ablaze a rhythm delicately jerked. A rhythm always wrapped up by synth pads which this time are as much twitchy than the harmonies of these choirs which submerge of pastel heat the ambiences and the electronic rhythms of “Another Day, Another World”. These harmonies are always tinted with these heavenly choirs of which the empty singings get lost in the iridescent fogs of a synth which subdivides its moods with good nasal solos. That goes down very well. "Change your Mind" embraces a synth-pop structure with very nervous sequenced arpeggios of which the harmonies skip in the hubbubs of percussions. We dive in the 80's with this rhythm which merges synth-pop and very accessible world music on harmonies which are divided between sequences, celestial singings and solos of a synth which multiplies its nasal breaths like airs of snuffly trumpets. A synth which spreads breaths of panpipes, as well as very musical solos, on the contemplative, although livened up by a delicate paradisiacal mood, "Time". Dreamer and lonely, "After the Rain Comes the Sun" is a very good electronic ballad, just like the very beautiful "Another World" and its delicate rhythmic gallop deafens by scattered rotations of percussions, and of which the delicate structures of rhythm are decorated with soft pensive airs.
"3.33 AM" opens the 2nd part of “Another Day, Another World” as "Another Day" had begun it. A 2nd part clearly more livened up where the influences of the electronic rhythms by Robert Schroeder and
Tangerine Dream overheat the loudspeakers. After a very floating intro, "Moving Silence" borrows a structure of rhythm of which the soft oscillations are harpooned by the roars of percussions. The synths are pleasant and coo some airs of jazz a bit lonely in dense shrouds of electronic mist. And the comparison with Robert Schroeder is very tangible, especially with the very funky approach of "Inspiration", while the curt and nervous rhythm, encircled by a delicately stroboscopic line of jumping keys, of "Amazing" reminds me rather of Tangerine Dream from the Miramar years, just like the lively "Back to Normal" and its good synth solos, as well as the very rhythmical "Another Day, Another World" which leans a little more on Jerome Froese's kind of techno-electro music. But no matter the rhythmic influences, Marc Bras' harmonious envelope is resolutely his with synthesized harmonies which are constantly harmonized with the ethereal choruses. "Where Does it End" assuages the overheated ambiences of the second portion of “Another Day, Another World” with a beautiful lunar ballad where the synth layers cry in a cosmos flooded by dusts of stars and their seraphic singings.
Forged in rhythms as noisy as the mellifluously pensive atmospheres, “Another Day, Another World” travels through the various phases of a more contemporary EM. Here is the very beautiful album that will please undoubtedly to fans of electronic rhythms. But its main strength is not these rhythms, although they are very lively. It's rather these appealing ethereal harmonies which melt into some suave synth solos. Calling back these years when synths were more weavers of dreamy solos than the cold and calculated harmonies, as those whom we find exactly in these contemporary rhythms. If you like the Robert Schroeder's 2nd wave, as well as the Miramar and TDI years of
Tangerine Dream, “Another Day, Another World” will undoubtedly be well in your ears. It fits rather well in mines.
Sylvain Lupari (February 28th, 2014)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=16794

mardi 25 février 2014

ALIO DIE & SILVI ALLI: Amidst the Circling Spires (2014)

“With its mix of ethereal voices and hoarse breezes, Amidst the Circling Spires depicts a fascinating duality between charming opposites”

This review has been removed here on the new SynthSequences.com website


Cette Kro a été déplacée sur le nouveau website de SynthSequences.com

dimanche 23 février 2014

ALLUSTE: Stelliferous Era (2014)

 “With its bunch of intertwined rhythms, as much melodic as hypnotic,Stelliferous Era is a great album which brings us back in this good time of sequenced mélodies from the New Berlin School era”

1 Star Dance 9:04
2 Source of Life 8:42
3 Winds of Terror 14:00
4 Quark Stars 9:16
5 Spiral Evolution 8:10
6 Electric Star 9:36
7 Bright Stars 10:50
8 Cosmic Gate 10:14

Bandcamp (DDL 79:54) ****½
(Melodic and ambient New Berlin School)
There is something rather unique in the music of Alluste. The Italian synthman likes exploiting movements of sequences with very harmonious rhythmic figures where the rhythms, as ambient as dreamy, split themselves in order to start other lines of rhythms among which the soft rebel movements which overlap and intertwine are coloring an ambient electronic rhythmic approach in perpetual movement. “Stelliferous Era” is Piero Monachello's 7th album who pursues the sonic road begun with his strong Boards of Stringana by presenting this pattern of melodic sequences of which the lead rhythmic threads are as much morphic than melancholic.
After an ambiospherical intro, with delicious rattlers which ring in the eddies of cosmic waters, "Star Dance" begins its delicate rhythmic ride such as a lonely cowboy who criss-crosses from his eyes his lost horizons. Holding onto a line of bass pulsations and shelling its small pebbles of rhythm, which skip in all directions, "Star Dance" gallops finely in the mists of Orion and of its ethereal voices. Circular and more harmonious than the ghost harmonies of the synths, the movement remains ambient while offering fine variances which at times intensify a spheroidal approach of which the only violence is to swirl more sharply. These ambient rhythms which float and nearly sing melodies are the strength of “Stelliferous Era” which, at some points, sounds so much like a
Brainwork opus. The music is very beautiful and flows like torrents harmonized by quiet furrows. We also find the same harmonious spheroidal pattern on the very beautiful "Bright Stars" and its harmonies which are more forged in synths singers and foggy, as well as on the very dreamy and ambient "Spiral Evolution" and its sequences in tones of glasses which try to awaken ambiences weaved very tight and where the cosmos breathes at full nose. The conclusion of "Spiral Evolution" in particular is simply wonderful. "Source of Life" shows a more threatening opening with black pulsations which skip in the nasal pads of a synth and its sinister harmonies. Gradually, the movement covers itself with a warmer veil while the ambient rhythm gets loose in order to offer these subtle rhythmic variances which are the charms of “Stelliferous Era”. Among them is a more contemplative passage with a keyboard which weaves a melody of which the solitary harmonies are hammered by melancholy and dream on an ambient structure whose gallop of sequences jostles some keys pressed to skip with more enthusiasm.
Surprise, "Winds of Terror" is not so terrifying with its delicate chords pinched from which the tones awaken memories of a certain
Vangelis and of his very nostalgic approaches. The melody is soft and dreamy. She sings in those granular mists and flows on a discreet rotatory movement of sequences. Little by little, and always softly, these sequences accelerate the pace; plunging "Winds of Terror" into a rhythmic whirlwind whose velocity is increased by winds became more violent. These melodies which pop out of nowhere in order to embellish these sequenced hypnotic movements are legion in “Stelliferous Era”. While she is singing in "Winds of Terror", another line of rhythm gets grafted. More harmonious, it divides as much the harmonies as a rhythm which swirls with more vigour and of which the spheroidal movements climb the mountains of mist from a synth always so discreet. You love this move? There are plenty over the 80 minutes that last Alluste's last album. These sequences forgeur harmonious rhythms are putting to sleep our contemplativity on "Quark Stars". The rhythm is ambient with keys of sequencer which dip the tip of their rhythmic momentum like one dips the end of our toe on an ice-cold pond of water. Skipping with fear, the sequences interact between them with fine transformations in their tones, which pass of bass to crystal clear, creating a painting of harmonious rhythm of which the lead lines offer subtle patterns of rhythms underlying which wriggle in the shadows of a synth with its hummings as dark as absent. The finale and its sequences which hiccup into some silvery mists inhale the ghostly rhythms of Tangerine Dream. Moreover, the influences of the Dream can also be felt on "Cosmic Gate", a title where the synths are clearly more melodious. They weave harmonies which coo like solos of nightingales on a more dynamic spheroidal structure with sequences which punch a more incisive, more jerked pace. This is some great New Berlin School with delicate fragrances of TD, in particular with these sequences which refuse to fall asleep in the last mists of ether. These mists of ether also feed the intro of "Electric Star". They finally end to be diluted into some morphic voices by a delicate circular movement of sequences. The hypnotic rhythm of "Electric Star" adopts the multitude of the melodic rhythms that offers Alluste all along “Stelliferous Era”; a beautiful album where the rhythms and their figures in perpetual movements dominate the synths whose discreet harmonies blow on patterns of sequences and their rhythms as much morphic than the melodies. This is a very good, a very musical EM album that I strongly recommend to those who love the New Berlin School style and its harmonic rhythms!

Sylvain Lupari (February 22nd, 2014)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=16786

samedi 22 février 2014

TANGERINE DREAM: Shy People (1986)

“Shy People is a poor, very poor, album which only shows how Tangerine Dream were one day a band more interested in money than its artistic direction”

1 Shy People (Vocal version) 7:50
2 Joe's Place 2:10
3 The Harbor 4:00
4 Nightfall 4:00
5 Dancing on a White Moon 3:03
6 Civilized Illusions 3:50
7 Swamp Voices 3:13
8 Transparent Days 3:00
9 Shy People (Instrumental version) 5:00

Varese Sarabande VCD 47357 (CD 36:06) *
(Melodic, e-rock and synth-pop)
An element of collection among TD fans, I saw it at 90$ US on eBay, “Shy People” is the last chapter with Christopher Franke in the story of Tangerine Dream. I read several posts of many TD forums that Franke's decision to leave the adventure has been strongly motivated with this phase of intense composition for music themes during this session of recording. Fact or true? Anyway, the supposedly easy adventure planned by Andrei Konchalovsky, the movie director, and Edgar Froese turned out to be a real nightmare. Himself a musician and composer of classical music, Konchalovsky established some very demanding working schedules of 16 hours a day in a context where the inspiration was lacking. In 2 months of intense work, FrankeFroese and Haslinger had composed only 84 minutes of music. At 4 days of deadline, the album was still not complete. One can imagine Edgar's head! But one day, the album had to be completed...Bad tongues are still expecting that day.
And the result is far from being proportional to the effort, nor to the incurred problems. The vocal version of "Shy People" could have been able to be on
Tyger, so much the melodious portion sounds like it. The floating synth pads which forge the introductory ambiences and the guitar are beautiful. The whole thing sounds a lot like the opening of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. Only Edgar's guitar riffs are more mordant. The lamentations of Jacquie Virgil flow with sensitively. She has the same intonations as Jocelyn Bernadette Smith and the similarity with Tyger is too obvious not to think of it. The lack of heat and passion is also too obvious and this annoys, because it's either a poor remix of Tyger or a title botched for lack of time and of means! "Joe's Place" is a short ambiospheric piece of music which is very near the ambiences of Legend with a fluty approach and a floating synth. This is a good track which gets along well, just like "Transparent Days" and "Swamp Voices"; two tracks with smooth ethereal moods but which also sound and seem incompletes. "Harbor" is a big symphonic rock with guitar solo and trumpets harmonies à la Phil Collins. That leaves me of ice! "Nightfall" is a rather colourless piece of music built upon dull symphonic arrangements. Always, we look for passion, for depth."Civilized Illusions" is a track which sounds quite familiar to the new musical horizons of Edgar for the next couple of years. This is just synth-pop watered of effects on a synth and a beat-box too aggressive to be attractive. But it's not that bad considering what is coming. Shall we open a debate to known what is the most horrible and stupid title of TD? I vote for "Dancing on a White Moon". According to my taste, and well I do believe that I have some, that's got to be the most worse music piece that Edgar and his henchmen had ever wrote. And yes they have written a couple of bad ones. It's empty of sense and candy pink. I cannot believe that TD has wrote and put this thing on CD. But maybe I don't know music after all because this track was chosen to be the single of “Shy People” (sic!). The musical version of the title-track ends this soundtrack with a clearly livelier and more harmonious approach, but the synths made a bad decision by blowing melancholic airs à la Wish You Were Here, synth-pop version, in the passages where Jacquie Virgil sang.
How can they go from
Near Dark to this?
Shy People” is another disappointing album from Tangerine Dream. But one needs to know how to put things in perspective because it's also an album which knew how to please a new generation of fans lovers of a more harmonious EM which is closer to easy listening and New Age. It's a pity that the end of a so beautiful association between Franke and Froese ends on a so false note. Although this and in spite of all the stories here and there surrounding the fracture of Franke/Tangerine Dream, it's the end of an era because the Dream is well and truly resolved to try a very financial artistic journey towards the USA and ... somewhere else!
Sylvain Lupari (February 21st, 2014)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=9347

jeudi 20 février 2014

KLAUS SCHULZE: The Dresden Performance (1990)

“The Dresden Performance is a good live album and a fair complement to Miditerranean Pads, of which this concert in Poland came 5 months after its release”
CD 1 (73:24)
1 Dresden 1 44:06
2 Dresden 3 10:28
3 Dresden 5 18:23
CD 2 (68:50)
1 Dresden 2 47:09
2 Dresden 4 22:01
Virgin CDVED 903 (CD 142:14) ***½

(Hypnotic, minimalist orchestral New Berlin School)

The Dresden Performance” is the fruit of a concert given in Dresden, Poland, by a chilly evening of August in 1990, be more than 5 months after the making of Miditerranean Pads. It's good to say it because The Dresden Performance inhales in full musicality the atmospheres and the rhythms of this album with also some winks of eye at albums such as Angst and Dreams. It's a double album divided between the portions of the concert (Dresden 1 and 2) and studio tracks (Dresden 3, 4 and 5) which were planned for this concert that the rain has shortened after the first 2 long acts. It's also the first one of four live albums to be released at the turning of the 90's, an era where  Klaus Schulze develops a so disproportionate passion that his talent for orchestral samplings and opera voices as well as the use of Musical Digital Instrument Interfaces; so called the MIDI years. Above all, if you loved Miditerranean Pads, “The Dresden Performance” should easily seduce you, especially with the very long and how much magnetizing Dresden 1 and Dresden 2.
Singing “tsitt-tsitt” cymbals, sneaky percussions and a line of funky bass are hopping in the dazed envelopes of the fanciful violins. And thus "Dresden 1" is landing between our ears with this delicious mi-funky/mi-groovy approach which decorated the sensual rhythms of
Miditerranean Pads. Moreover, everything of Miditerranean Pads is on "Dresden 1" and "Dresden 2". The rhythms, sometimes soft and sometimes wild, are coated by this synth weaver of deep Mellotron waves which are melting to the choruses and of their latent submission. The pace follows the lines of a slow crescendo with orchestrations which hide the arrival of the thousand knocks of percussions which labour a philharmonic structure roaming between its staccatos and its morphic lunar hold. "Dresden 1", just like "Dresden 2" is a very long music piece which exploits a brilliant play of sampled percussions. It's a creative play, a bit like in Percussion Planante, which divides a structure without splitting its main beat; so much the synths are wrapping it with their lascivious waltzes. Again this is some great Schulze who has fun in his maze of sound samples on a heavy rhythmic coloured of all sonic forms. With its 47 minutes at the meter, "Dresden 2" offers a fascinating interpretation of Decent Changes. There are lengths but it remains rather attractive.
First track in studio, "Dresden 3" is made of a soft sweetness with its angelic choruses which are frosted by xylophone arpeggios à la Freeze on
Angst. A soft nostalgic piano adds a dimension of loneliness to this soft piece that Schulze floods in a universe of vocal samplings which are wrapped by penetrating and waltzing synth lines. A superb melody with childlike vocalizes emerges out of the intro, stuffed by a huge variegated samplings, of "Dresden 5". On this track the rhythm livens up lasciviously on a soft line of bass which is pinched sharply, like a harp, and Tabla percussions which are drummed in the waddings of a violin from which the ethereal strings wrap of mist an ambient pace which follows a linear tangent with fine snags which get us out of our auditive torpor. Except for the melody part, I found this a bit too long as a bit too slow. "Dresden 4" is totally apart with its THX intro of which the sonic wings are cut quite quickly by the harmonies of a soft piano of which the minimalists spheroidal notes are surrounded by the vocalizes of morphic mermaids. Soon the track borrows a dramatic tangent with knocks of bows coming from an illusionary string ensemble who lie down some jerked layers that Schulze controls by his samplings. The mood becomes dark and claustrophobic. I feel being catapulted in the somber ambiences of Dreams on a suspense structure with chords sometimes classic and sometimes crystal clear, like the brightness of a xylophone in a universe of intense terror. I quite enjoyed this mood of fright. All in all, this is a great and heavy music piece of which the diversified samplings are creating an incredible sonic wealth which would support marvellously a horror or suspense movie obscured even more by Machiavellian moods, in particular at around the 11th minute point. Completely delicious in the genre fright and terror. This track, as several others moreover, shows the immense creativity of Schulze; an artist who knows how to innovate and exploit different musical genres with a dexterity and an artistic vision which is the privilege of the big composers, as much classic as contemporary.
I would say that “The Dresden Performance” is a good complement to
Miditerranean Pads, in particular with the too good "Dresden 1". It's a good live album, although we don't even hear a fly snoring, which demonstrates the surprising diversity of an artist who is capable of rolling minutes on the same theme while adding a little something here and there which makes, unmistakably, hook the interest of his fans.

Sylvain Lupari (February 19th, 2014)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=12460

mardi 18 février 2014

THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Hunted (2014)

“Hunted is a great retro Berlin School which sounds like something that we never heard, even if sometimes we recognize easily The Roswell Incident's influences”

1 Hunted Down on a Misty Morning 27:42
2 A Stranger in a Strange World 24:07
3 Dark Hiding 26:49

Independent (CD-r 78:38) ****
(Retro psychedelic Berlin School)

The Roswell Incident's only album, The Crash, had taken the small community of the lovers of Berlin School by surprise. It was a powerful album, one of the best of 2010, centred on heavy sequences and black rhythms with extraterrestrial electronic ambiences and which depicted the very famous story, or legend, of a space shuttle crash down in New Mexico in 1947. Almost 3 years later “Hunted” moves cold ashes of The Crash with a 2nd part of a trilogy to be completed where black and experimental Berlin School reinvents itself with 3 long music pieces with the scents of paranormal. This time, the brothers Jan and Koen Buytaert exploit a little more the odd ambiences than wild rhythms. But the charm of the mysticism wins over these particular moods which are exposed with a brilliant exploratory approach.
Written in the stride of
The Crash in 2008, "Hunted Down on a Misty Morning" starts “Hunted” with a slow ambiospherical intro. Noises, sonic drops, and spectral rustles weave an ectoplasmic painting while some oblong synth lines draw sound arcs of which the musicality gets blend with winds to the guttural depths. One would believe to hear the weak singings of a Théramin which float on a plain gobbled up by cosmic mists. A fine pulsation emerges a little after the 4th minute. She pounds with a feeble solitary pulse through the winds and carillons, whereas sinuous synth lines forge threatening shadows which sing like nostalgic spectres. An industrial envelope monopolizes the mysterious atmospheres of "Hunted Down on a Misty Morning" a little after 11 minutes with metallic gurglings which little by little give way to a structure of sequences of which the keys are waving with subtle inversions in the movement. These keys get squeeze and skip in their shadows, forging a delicious bumpy chain of rhythm which hiccups into the iridescent mists and among some fine twisted synth solos with scents always so spectral. A little more power in the volume and that would be the paradise. More contemporary, just like "Dark Hiding", "A Stranger in a Strange World" is a long ambiospherical track filled by very intriguing sonic ambiences. The approach merges the industrial and organic ambient styles with mechanical noises, sordid pulsations, ectoplasmic laments and organic groans which weave a dense ambient sonic envelope. An envelope which gradually is covered of more electronic noisy elements as the seconds pass to the meter, in particular with a black movement of static sequences from which the bass pulsations are smothered in a somber ambient broth. "Dark Hiding" borrows a little bit a similar introductory path with noises of a cosmic jungle where the waters ooze and the sonic hoops float through many hummings and organic groans. Beyond these composite noises, the ambiences are rather filmic with a background of tones filled with suspense, in particular with these singings of aliens (or of whales?), while that quietly a fine line of pulsations makes undulating its neurotic quivering chords. The rhythm of "Dark Hiding" offers its fluidity a little after the mark of 11 minutes with sequence keys which hiccup restlessly in the meshing of pulsations and through a slender filet of bluish drizzle. The universe proposed by the brothers Buytaert is then similar to that of Tangerine Dream from the Phaedra era with bass sequences which blink nervously, drumming a deep hatched debit where each jerks breathe like wriggling snips of the scissors in a silk sheet. A delicate synth wraps of its nasal singings this static rhythm which holds onto constantly to this line of bass pulsations. And quietly this rhythmic curtain falls in the evasive cybernetic ambiences of a long track which steals with address all of its charms in the splendid years of the analog EM. It's very good, but I would have like more tonus in the volume.
Less heavy, less explosive at the level of sonority and more ambiospherical than
The Crash, “Hunted” succeeds however more its breakthrough in the imagination of the extraterrestrial myths with a very beautiful album where the ambiences merge marvellously with the crossing between parallel universes. I liked it very well. This is excellent retro Berlin School which sounds like something that never hear, even if sometimes we recognize easily The Roswell Incident's influences.

Sylvain Lupari (February 18th, 2014)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=16785

lundi 17 février 2014

BRAINVOYAGER: Drifting Memories (2014)

“With its mosaic of e-beats and floating ambiences, Drifting Memories is a pleasant discovery which shines of the influences from Robert Schroeder all over its 80 minutes”
1 Awake in Swirling Dreams 16:46
2 Drifting Memories 25:02
3 All That has Been 18:34
4 Ascension 21:17

Bandcamp (DDL 81:40) ***½
(Mix of upbeat and ambient EM)
Internet, and more exactly Bandcamp, became a real opencast mine where sparkle some underestimated talents in all the music forms. And it's even more true with EM. We have that to think of Gustavo JobimDigitalSimplyWorld, E-Musikgruppe Lux OhrChristopher Alvarado and Sequential Dreams to hear all the talent which expresses itself in this virtual universe. Brainvoyager is also a part of this new wave of sound creators who expose their works on the Web. If the name seems to you familiar it is because it's inspired by the album of the same name that Robert Schroeder released in 1985. “Drifting Memories”, even here the mixture of both names brushes two albums of Schroeder, is the 2nd opus from Brainvoyager and presents 4 long minimalist music pieces which border the 20 minutes and among which the slow evolutions present continual fights between rhythms and ambiences. And if we can make a narrow correlation between the famous musician of Aachen and this project of the Dutch musician Jos Verboven it would rests exactly on a mosaic of very contemporary rhythms which beats some iconic measures in electronic ambiences apparently inspired by the model of retro Berlin School.
The stroboscopic filets which wind the introduction of "Awake in Swirling Dreams" get couple to some fascinating vocal samplings of which the childish singings get melt to a meshing of jerked pulsations and beatings. From the outset, Brainvoyager propels us in a universe of House and Jungle Music with brusque tempos which lose their deafening beatings into nice more ambient spheres. It is what happens after the first 4 minutes. The winds of Orion, I hear the slow cosmic waltzes of
Software here, caress the last rhythmic palpitations of "Awake in Swirling Dreams" entailing the listener towards a superb paradise for dreamers with a slow movement of cosmic waltz which gets lost in some zigzagging pulsations where the revival of the rhythms restarts slowly. "Awake in Swirling Dreams" is thus divided into 4 segments where the rhythms have precedence on ambiences with synths of which the charming vocal harmonies melt themselves marvellously in a structure of rhythms as much stroboscopic than jerky which, at times, chose the ambient sweetnesses of more morphic synths in order to expose better its latent velocity. This is good! But it's quite necessary to listen more than once to get into it. And at the end, we hang on it. I hear some Geoff Downes and a Schroeder more contemporary to Brain Voyager there. These synths weavers of awaken dreams feed the very nice ambio-cosmic intro of the title-track, I hear Tomita here, where the diverse movements embroider a symphony for cosmic drifting. The synth waves which roll in countersense are splendid. They beautify a rich electronic musicality which little by little turns into an astral choir of which the peaceful singings wrap a soft structure of passive rhythm. And it's there that the influence of Robert Schroeder jumps to ears. "Drifting Memories" presents these keyboards with the talking keys, exploited so well by Schroeder at the turning of the 80's, which overhang an ambient rhythm and its stroboscopic threads which go and come, roam and drift in a dense ambiospherical fauna.
This influence of Schroeder on Brainvoyager can be felt more and more as long as we move forward in “Drifting Memories”, in particular on the Ambient House style "All That has Been" and its introduction which binds itself to that of the title-track with soft chords sparkling into cosmic mists. Lines of synth, as the astral voices, are cooing and floating over the rollings of the percussions as well as the dance of the keys and their crystal clear tones, while that quietly the rhythm, subdivided between jerked pulsations and random beatings, is melting into an ambient mass in order to be absorb by these slow cosmic waltzes, these sibylline singings and these floating synth solos which swallow all of this diverse rhythmic fauna of "Drifting Memories". This is a quite good track. The voices and the Berber singings which introduce "Ascension" don't deviate it from the axis of the Ambient House and Chill Out styles which surrounds the minimalist envelope of the impromptu and explosive rhythms of “Drifting Memories”. The rhythm is clearly more present, even if always it gets lost and is magnetized by dense morphic envelopes.  It inhales of this duality between the hypnotic movements of Berlin School and those of the more current electronic music scene while being very near, but very near, of
Robert Schroeder's influences.
I would say that this “Drifting Memories” from Brainvoyager is a pleasant discovery. It's necessary on the other hand to be patient to tame well these structures which are all alike while being rather different. Contradiction you will say? Well, it's often the lot of those long minimalist works. I like this mixture of contemporary rhythms with those more sedentary and hypnotic of the Berlin School. But I would say that the strength of “Drifting Memories” lies in the ambiences and these sonic flashbacks which remind so much the evolutions and the changes of skins of
Robert Schroeder. To listen in solo and with earphones in order to really let us drifted with our memories.

Sylvain Lupari (February 16th, 2014)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=16778