lundi 31 mars 2014

KLAUS SCHULZE: Beyond Recall (1991)

“Beyond Recall is build within an audacious pattern of samplings which transcends all the borders of the anti-music to finally give a poetically musical work... if we dare to force the listening”
1 Gringo Nero 26:54  
2 Trancess 12:50  
3 Brave Old Sequence 11:02  
4 The Big Fall 11:35  
5 Airlights 14:34

Virgin CDVE 906 (CD 77:07) ***½
At both audacious and fascinating, “Beyond Recall” is an album difficult to access which blows aromas of Miditerranean Pads on approaches that I would consider a bit more harmonious, but on rhythms which are strangely fuzzy. Imprecise rhythms which are confronting to very colorful samplings and which compete with notes of piano and guitars, but rarely with sequences and synth momentums, on percussions of which the strikings ignore rhythmic patterns quite structured. The result is an enormous musical collage where Schulze exceeds the nonconformist borders by presenting an album which has more sounds than music and where the harmonies distinguish themselves in a sea of tones as eclectic as sometimes musical. And this long multi-sonic journey begins with the sublime "Gringo Nero". Sublime because of its structure but I'm not sure about its musicality. I guess it's depending of your degree of musical curiosity.
Became a classic of
Schulze's repertoire among adepts of sonic samplings (we can hear on it a multitude of these samplings on groups such as Future Sound of London and those bands of successors of an contemporary EM filled by psy-techno moods), "Gringo Nero" is a long piece of music with sound strangeness which come from the depths of rain forests on an electronic musical pattern which sounds strangely like what Schulze and Gottsching will lay down in In Blue. It's a hazy and hallucinogenic tempo, to the limit funky, where smooth bodies waddle with hypnosis and contemplation in the reflections of an acoustic guitar which pulls up its notes on the skins of composite percussions with strikings as much scattered as their tones. Flutes, many tribal flutes, are flavoring this cerebral mood where humming ahumahumahum are praying for a passive approach among breaths of desires and passions which float and dance in an eclectic universe of which the surrealism would light the desire of Salvator Dali, and Vangelis for the documentary approach. An amazing track, "Gringo Nero" is brilliantly rich in tones which transcend the imagination and which deceive a fuzzy rhythm of which the indistinctness is the cradle of a melodious madness which draws a surprising harmonious path. It became a cult track which is also the main structure of “Beyond Recall” and whose sonic ashes and de-merged rhythms will also furnish the un-orthodox approaches of the strange kind of smooth Jazz which is "The Big Fall" and the dramatic "Airlights" and its heavy acerbic piano which dips its cold notes into some imperceptible vocalizes and a boreal finale which remind me a little of the Dream samplings within the Le Parc era. It's totally out of this world and completely beyond what Schulze had created to date (we are in 91).
A lugubrious intro, with austere cellos which caress a hesitating piano, opens the somber horizons of "Trancess". A soft flute, of which the tone reminds me the work and the melodious spirit of 
Audentity and that we also find on "Airlights", and a feminine very ethereal voice are crossing the 13 minutes of "Trancess" which floats in a world of ambiguities with its heavy and mordant strings and its percussions scattered in a structure of hybrid rhythm which is divided between improvisation and structuring. This is quite a good track with a great mood of distress and strangely fascinating that would fit perfectly in a good horror movie, little in the kind of Dresden 4. Crystalline arpeggios flutter in the intro of "Brave Old Sequence", one of Klaus' contemporary classic. An intro which is not without recalling the poetics Crystal Lake, even if the approach is livelier. Besides we have this strong feeling that it's a kind of remix of Crystal Lake so much the dreamy mood is breathing with a more liven up pace and samplings which wasn't just there on the original. The melancholic gloom is well anchored there and rests on vocalizes a little bit suggestive but hardly perceptible. The rhythm, sat up on glass tones, pursues its quest with a crescendo which peaks towards an unusual world where vocal samplings melt themselves in tribal flutes before returning to its initial harmonious and crystalline approach. This is a very good track and indeed, a brave old sequence which returns haunting us. Wasn't it the spirit behind it?
A little as contrasts which get attract in order to form a heterogeneous union, “Beyond Recall” is quite a whole cultural boldness. It's an album which transcends all the borders of the anti-music to finally give a poetically musical work, if we dare to force the listening. At the end it's a music without concrete rhythms and unexpected moods but with a creative madness which has made developed the contemporary electronic music world with the hatching of DJ and their panoplies of sound samplings. I quite liked this audacious approach. But I'm a fan of
Schulze. On the other hand and before all I am a fan of feelings, reveries and poetries which show that borders have no beacons. We find this a little bit here and there but it's necessary to listen closely and between notes in order to feel them. If the adventure tempts you, just keep in mind that it's an album to be listen with all attention to seize the whole character whom is Klaus Schulze… But if you still haven't tame or seize the world of Schulze, I would recommend you to begin with a less experimental album. And don't jump to "Airlights" if you haven't tamed "Trancess" or yet "The Big Fall" yet because the sensation of metal which grazes your ears could run out of patience.
Sylvain Lupari (Firstly written on April 2009, translate on March 29th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

samedi 29 mars 2014

ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT: Archaic Frontiers (2014)

“On ambient and esoteric rhythms which thunder delicatly beneath musical and lyrical desert winds; Archaic Frontiers is a very beautiful album where Alpha Wave Movement draws visions that we can easily feel and even see”

1 Cloud Sculptures & Desert Dust 10:25
2 Natural Light 7:44
3 Wunder 5:59
4 Storyteller at the Mesa's Edge 8:29
5 Quiet Realm 5:20
6 Promised Lands 7:15
7 Red Earth Reverie 8:42

Harmonic Resonance | HRR140004
How to describe the music of Alpha Wave Movement without making links with Steve Roach? Beautiful and extremely enticing, with a delicate ambient approach tinted with these lines of synth which tickle as much that they attack the passivity of soundscapes, the music of Gregory Kyryluk is strongly imprinted of this West Coast School such as defined by Steve Roach or still Robert Rich. Composed between 2009 and 2014, “Archaic Frontiers” is more down to earth and has only as cosmic touch some astral and starry winds. It's rather an album which drinks more of this mythical ambience where the tribal rhythms lay down their meditative hold in esoteric moods that make sing dusts of lands lived by the impressive sculptures that are arcs and monoliths of the American deserts. It's a very beautiful album filled by quiet moods which go between our ears like the most warm and musical winds which caress and mould within times these superb architecture of castle trapped in mountains made of sands.
And from the first tears of synth which meditate in the throat of a cave and its solitary seepages, "Cloud Sculptures & Desert Dust" drags us in the moods of Steve Roach's American deserts. And as aforesaid higher; we can speak about Alpha Wave Movement without thinking of Steve Roach's universe. The first moments of "Cloud Sculptures and Desert Dust" are of an absolute calmness. We are literally floating all over the lands of Desert Solitaire but with a more musical synth. The tears of synth intertwine in a fascinating sonic sexual intercourse, warming the esoteric spirits which quietly wake up to the sounds of delicate tom-toms. A sneaky line of sequences invites itself to the dance of the pensive spirits and makes glitter its keys which skip and snake in tones of melodious glasses. The rhythm makes itself at ease without being out of phase. He pounds with an aggressiveness which is contents by the embraces of a synth became more sorrowful with tears and groans which merge into other more musical lines, depicting aptly the fight of desert dusts against the strength of the passive winds. The astral waves of "Natural Light" are brighter. They float such as angelic sighs on a very meditative introduction. Except that "Natural Light" extricates itself from this morphic influence to offer a delicate rhythm which skips in a very harmonious way. Shamanic percussions energise this rhythmic impulse which becomes then more boosted. Panting beneath its tremulous rhythm, "Natural Light" becomes a kind of motionless running of which the passive flow accepts gladly the multiple caresses of a synth and of its so numerous approaches, as harmonious as ethereal. "Wunder" is my pearl in “Archaic Frontiers”. It's a wonderful ethereal melody with clear tints which sing as voices of angels on a smooth tribal rhythm. With its tears of synth which sing as much as they cry and its melody which makes ring its arpeggios in the crystal of the tears of solitary beings; "Wunder" is a kiss-curl track which is going to give you guaranteed shivers. An ambient piece of music as tribal as spiritual minded "Storyteller at the Mesa's Edge" makes the winds sing which blow their hollow chants throughout the obstacles of the huge desert stones. Dusts of sands enlighten and set ablaze. Their tones of carillons are sparkling into the dense aerial currents where the synth waves share their movements with some astral voices which float on a bed of soft manual percussions. In spite of its fragile membrane of night-time, "Quiet Realm" frees an innocent melodious carousel with a tinkled song which drags its solitude in some of silky layers of synths to the fragrances of solitary moods. Short and as much beautiful than "Wunder"! "Promised Lands", a little as "Natural Light" moreover, offers a finely jerky structure of rhythm with delicate quavering riffs which sigh on 3 dancing chords of which the recurrence forges a kind of upward spiritual trance that a beautiful ethereal voice confirms of her celestial singings. Percussions support the basis of the hypnotic rhythm while modifying its route by subtle knocks which accelerate or slow down the pace, so giving more visibility to a beautiful line of sequences and its harmonious cabrioles which skip in enveloping mystic mists. Like winds swirling against the rotations of ground turbulence, "Red Earth Reverie" ends “Archaic Frontiers” with strong winds which have difficulty in containing a slow but very present rhythm. The ambient canvas, and its winds which murmur as much than they embrace, takes back the main lines of the pensive rhythms which fed the ambient and tribal odes of Steve Roach and Kevin Braheny in 1987's Western Spaces.
Once again I let myself be caught, then charmed and even bewitched, in the delicious harmonious filets of a music that only the reason seems to define. Gregory Kyryluk, and this no matter his clothes, is undoubtedly one of the best-kept secrets of this latent American invasion which quietly extends beyond doors of perception. With its meditative ambiences shaken up by delicate rhythms, as harmonious as tribal and abstruse, “Archaic Frontiers” is a very beautiful album where
Alpha Wave Movement draws his visions that we can easily feel and even see with a music which is to the service of imagination.

Sylvain Lupari (March 29th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: 

vendredi 28 mars 2014

STEVE ROACH: Spiral Meditations (2013)

“Spiral Meditations is an another amazing voyage from Steve Roach in the lands of ambiant, magnetizing rhythms and bewitching, meditatives ambiences”

1 Consumed by Sunlight 7:53
2 Sand Painting 11:26
3 Spiral Meditation 8:38
4 Helix 3:44
5 Spiral Meditation Part Two 17:14
6 The Feeling Expands 9:45
7 Sustained in Soul Light 11:35

Timeroom Edition | TM29 (CD 70:15) ****
(Esoteric rhythms and ambient moods)

Imagine a spiral! A horizontal spiral which swirls in front of your eyes. Closed eyes which see a spiral and its circles livened up by multidimensional sound waves swirling as the blades of a helix which leave its blurred shades drawn hypnotic and ceaseless sonic circles of which the speed makes sparkled some reflections hatched like the lights of a big sound kaleidoscope. Now, imagine a wizard. A wizard of sounds who uses many psychedelic geometrical figures which swirl endlessly in order to take up your aura. You thus have Steve Roach. You also have all the background of “Spiral Meditations”.
We had a foretaste of this last
Steve Roach's album on the impressive collection
Possibilies of Circumstance of the American label Projekt Records with "Consumed by Sunlight" and its ambient rhythm which meditates in the delicate sighs of a bass line and some chimed ringings. Little by little this rhythm livens up with fine percussions among which the light drumming, kind of manual thing, mutter with embarrassment in the ethereal singings of a floating synth. Finely, "Consumed by Sunlight" passes through towards a more swirling structure of rhythm. It's the passage in the heart of the circular rhythms to the strong fragrances of hypnotic trance of “Spiral Meditations”. In an organic sonic envelope where gurgling and strange duck cackling decorate an ambient soundscape drawn by fine blades of synth, the rhythm of "Sand Painting" spins around with sound loops trapped in a fine meshing of percussions and sequences. We guess these Steve Roach's tender attachments for the tribal rhythms with this background of rhythm which drowns itself in a perpetual mass of circles of which the shadows and doubles swirl at the speed of a hyperactive trance. We lend an attentive ear and we hear these structures of whirling sequences which filled the hypnotic infernal rhythms of Empetus. Except that here, the sound canvas is so dense and so intrusive that we are stuck in a bewitching state of voluntary hypnosis. It's a dance into a kind of pensive trance which is at the height of Steve Roach's meditative visions. The title-track brings us towards a more silky level with a multitude of wavelets which stream in an impressive repetitive pattern. In spite of a structure of rhythm which besieges the comfortable hypnotic sweetness of its undisciplined percussions, whom would fit pretty well on a dishevelled rock structure, some organic jingles and a line of bass a little bit funky, "Spiral Meditation" charms the hearing with this gleaming sound texture which sings like a concert of cybernetic nightingales on the bases of a nervous and jerky rhythm. Lively and restful! Is it possible? The answer is in this mesmerizing album to the very soothing trances that is “Spiral Meditations”. "Helix" flies away solo with geometrical figures which spin as of indefatigable sonic shoelaces which refuse to tie the knots. Short and extremely musical, "Helix" has to be the bridge that links the cerebral rhythmic trance of "Spiral Meditation" to the soothing waters of the very beautiful and meditative "Spiral Meditation Part Two" which reminds me intensely Structures from Silence. Moreover what strikes the most on “Spiral Meditations” is this insurmountable perception of hearing Steve Roach's cradles; from Now to Landmass while passing by Dynamic Stillness or The Magnificient Void. "The Feeling Expands" takes us back the road of the delicate rhythms and the hypnotic structures a bit chipped of "Spiral Meditation" while that "Sustained in Light Soul" returns us literally in the sonic landscapes of Dreamtime Return, the rhythm a little more shivering but always also morphic.
Steve Roach has the gift to develop his visions, his feelings with a musical dexterity which makes of him a unique character in this big sound sphere that is EM and its derived. From album to album, he refreshes his ideas which bear a new skin in some sonic envelopes textures which seem endless and especially always innovative. Of course we shall rather have the impression to hear his wonderful universe paraded in our ears throughout the conquest of “Spiral Meditations”, except that there is and will always have an element of magic which goes out again from it and which makes of the music of Steve Roach be as an old friend whom we are always happy to hear.
Sylvain Lupari (March 27th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:    

lundi 24 mars 2014

LOOM: The Tree Hates the Forest (2013)

“The Tree Hates the Forest is a good album of e-rock filled by too many and obvious musical blinks of eyes to Tangerine Dream universes, both of Schmoelling and Jerome”
1 Polaroids from Anywhere 8:09
2 Cloud Walk 4:35
3 Quantal Highways 4:17
4 The Vedic Ritual 8:39
5 A Grand Solar Minimum 7:07
6 Bandhu 9:33
7 A Night out at the Cirqus Voltaire 6:17
8 Chants Beyond the Underworld 5:07
9 Emerald Suite 8:27
10 Tachycardia 5:54

Viktoriapark Records | VP 18 123 (CD 67:19) ***½ (Melodic E-Rock)
A beautiful fluty chant reflects in smooth and discreet orchestral arrangements. He announces the turbulences of "Polaroids from Anywhere"; a track filled by the vicious approaches of Jerome Froese and of his best moods of Neptunes. This is a track which hooks me straight from the first listening. After an ambiospherical intro blocked by a host of noises of which the roots recall the metallic ambiences of the Logos years, the tears and laments of synths bring to mind the White Eagle years. Sequences and percussions? The Hyperborea and the Poland years. Here is all the discomfort of “The Tree Hates the Forest”! "Polaroids from Anywhere" feels one's way forward by the means of good flickered sequences, effects of cotton gases and the jerky riffs from Jerome's Guitartronica. Between its phases of heavy but static rhythm and its floating melodic ambiences where each sonic morsels is as a fusion between Jerome Froese's universes and that of Johannes Schmoelling in Tangerine Dream, "Polaroids from Anywhere", just like "A Grand Solar Minimum" and its orchestral perfumes as well as "Emerald Suite" and its very Schmoelling harmonious envelope, does its stand-still of a way which teases constantly the hearing, but without ever taking off. It's good, but something is missing. And this observation is for the height of “The Tree Hates the Forest”.
Oh... do I have some difficulty with this last album of
Loom. Not that it's not good! It's not just great. I would rather say that it's not as high as the expectations. To say the least, mine. And the waits were very high, with good reason, further to both EP and especially after Scored; a superb live album with some appetizers of what should have come later. Cornered between the Virgin, Jive and Miramar years of Tangerine Dream, the very stylized harmonious approaches of Johannes Schmoelling as well as the rhythms and heavy and hatched riffs of Jerome Froese, the best of the examples is "Bandhu", “The Tree Hates the Forest” seems to be a victim of the egos of the trio's members. Each track is flooded in ambivalent structures where we have the vague impression that each member of Loom tries to impress and to challenge the other ones. So is missing a form of cohesion complicity, contrary to Scored or even 200 002. We find very good ideas which are not enough exploited because the track goes towards another avenue, always so good, but always so briefly exploited. There are piece of music that we listen to and which gives us more the taste of listening to some Dream albums or yet to Jerome's music. The essence of Schmoelling? Mostly we find it everywhere. I don't really think that it was the effect looked for by Loom. To say the least, it's not what I was expecting. If we have good flashbacks of 200 002's Rejuvenation, we rather notice pretty fast that each track on this album is a kind of sonic Babel tower where too many ingredients, peculiar to each and to their roots, are bubbling up in structures quite rather inviting. Very promising and flooded in sound effects à la Exit, "The Vedic Ritual" lands flat. If we like the approach of dreamy ballad of "Cloud Walk" and its notes of electric piano, which slumber in a kind of Logos' moods and as well as on a chain of circular sequences, we try to understand in which mood are situated the boiling "Quantal Highways" and "A Night out at the Cirqus Voltaire" which sound like big New Age symphonic e-rock à la Vangelis and Yanni. It's not bad, but something is missing there. And this in spite of the very good solos from Schmoelling. At this level "Chants Beyond the Underworld" is more successful. The influence of Schmoelling remains and his clothes of Vangelis perspire very dramatic filmic inspirations. "Tachycardia" is a bomb! A hyperactive track which would have without a shadow of doubt figured on Jerome's album or still Robert Waters' so much the rhythm, powerful and dynamic, diminishes not at all the fine melodious breezes.

As you can read, “The Tree Hates the Forest” is not that bad. It's a lively and dynamic album where the vast experience of Johannes Schmoelling seems to retain the enthusiasm of his two young accomplices. In so doing, each track of “The Tree Hates the Forest” explodes of these various visions and approaches of Schmoelling, Froese and … Waters. Strange, I was going to write Franke. At doing too much, at loading to the rim each of the structures and by wanting to embrace the egos of all and each, Loom missed its blow. Each music piece abounds of personal imprints from the members of the trio which too often tries to cross the most promising or the most commercial lands of the Dream. As would say my love Lise; too much it is as not enough. But what else could we expect from Loom?
Sylvain Lupari (March 24th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: 

dimanche 23 mars 2014

RUDY ADRIAN: Twilight (Atmospheric Works Vol. 2) (1999)

“Twilight is a perfect balance between ambient, tribal and Berlin School EM structures and the best way of getting in and taming his so poetic universe”
1 Eclipse 4:32
2 Towards the White Mountains 5:13   
3 Enveloping Mists 4:54
4 Summa Cum Laude 6:28 
5 Return to the Fire Island 3:18
6 Disturbed Reflections 3:09
7 Passing through Familiar Hills 3:43
8 Autumnal Twilights on Victory Beach 4:25
9 Stargazers 1:21
10 Watery Moon 8:55

 Rudy Adrian Music (CD 46:09) ****
(Mix of ambient, tribal and Berlin School EM)
Twilight (Atmospheric Works Vol. 2)” is Rudy Adrian's 2nd opus. It's mainly a collection of 10 ambiospheric music pieces which depicts soundscapes and nature moods among which 2 are real jewels of sequenced music which have nothing to envy to the masters of the kind. The foggy moods of Rudy Adrian twinned to the soft flute of Nick Prosser create a unique approach of melancholy which increases the height of this soft and musical sense poetry which inhabits the sonic bard of the New-Zealand musical treasure.
Behind thunders, a beautiful synth with rich and bass sound pads leaves a resounding groove in a night at both mystic and foggy. "Eclipse" raises itself from our loudspeakers like a mesmerizing monk chant of which the blurred prayers are floating among synth lines with the colors of rainbows. It's an ambient track which knots its loop to the heavy and very cosmic rhythm of "Towards the White Mountains". Between
Jarre, Michael Garrison and Edgar Froese, the movement is impetuous with sequences which skip in the fine bangings of percussions and, especially, among superb synth solos with those very ambiospheric wandering so dear to cosmic rock. It's very good and it reminds me a lot of Edgar Froese's Stuntman as well as the sequenced movements of Tangerine Dream's Force Majeure era. The 10 tracks of “Twilight (Atmospheric Works Vol. 2)” are linked in a long musical fresco where these few and very lively rhythmic phases are drown in an intense atmospheric broth such as "Enveloping Mists" and its synth lines which undulate lazily beneath the soft pulsations of a discreet bass line which beats weakly in a shower of prismic carillons. "Summa Cum Laude" moves on with loud reverberations which rumble on a bed of water to crystalline lappings. A powerful line of sequences unfolds its keys which jump in a finely jerky rhythm and team up with very Jarrian kind of electronic percussions. The rhythm is circular and spreads its loudness, and its power, in a sonic setting filled by tones of a still unknown fauna. A fauna which little by little becomes interstellar elements and divert the breakneck pace of "Summa Cum Laude" towards a clearly more cosmic electronic phase. With its 6 minutes dipped into a big electronic cosmic rock, "Summa Cum Laude" is the cornerstone of “Twilight (Atmospheric Works Vol. 2)” which, from then on, will become clearly more ambiospherical with tracks such as "Return to the Fire Island", where the very dark flute of Nick Prosser and the very solitary synth lines are floating on a bed of shamanic rattlers. "Disturbed Reflections" offers a very meditative and very melancholic approach with notes of piano which fall in burst. Every one of them gives the impression of echoing into the shade of another one. The whole of them eventually weaves a mesmerizing a kind of musical prismic cannon where every vibration forges the echoes of a rain drop falling on a burning concrete. "Passing through Familiar Hills" takes back the fluty breaths of Prosser which get mix with some rather contemplative synth lines. This is a track which is very representative of Rudy Adrian's meditative approaches of serenity. And then we fall in the charms of the very ambient "Autumnal Twilights on Victory Beach" and of its singings of birds which gild themselves under the soft and hot rays of a very ethereal synth. This is indeed a very beautiful track. It's soft and poignant with a slight dramatic crescendo which extends until the short "Stargazers" where the dreams of a flute become prelude to the very moving "Watery Moon" and of its smooth ambiospheric watercolour which has nothing to envy to Steve Roach's slow introspective dreams.
Twilight (Atmospheric Works Vol. 2)” is a beautiful collection of soundscapes and meditative thoughts from
Rudy Adrian which is definitively worths its acquisition. It's a nice mixture of genres where the New Zealand synthesist definitively feels at ease either in ambiospherical structures or tribal or yet on Berlin School side as in cosmic rock. To my point of view it's a perfect balance between the various styles of the synthesist, who has really amazed me with "Summa Cum Laude", and the best way of getting in and taming his ambient universe certainly but also so poetic.

Sylvain Lupari
(Originally written on April 3rd, 2007 and translated on March 23rd, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

samedi 22 mars 2014

RUDY ADRIAN: Atmospheres (2014)

“Atmospheres is a very fine ambient music album where Rudy Adrian uses the winds and its elements to fill our ears with wonderful moments of serenity”

1 Apple Tree Bay 5:36
2 Atmospheres 4:14
3 Willow Bank 4:13
4 Blue Horizon 4:52
5 Through a Cave into Another World 6:02
6 Amber Skies 5:30
7 Beyond the Silver River 8:09
8 Temple on an Island 9:33
9 Dreams of Subantarctica 11:12

 SpottedPeccary|  SPM2601 (59:22) ***½ (Ambient soundscapes)
It's been a long time since we heard new music from Rudy Adrian. Since 2010 in fact with the Distant Stars album. Always faithful to his ambient spaces of his earlier works, to his sonic landscapes without movements, the New Zealand synthesist floods our ears with a concert of winds which sing all of their oniric colors. “Atmospheres” is a quiet album. Very quiet and so intimately bewitching. Except for some ambiospherical jolts very finely-shaded, this last Rudy Adrian's album is a choir of airstreams where the winds take on their clothes of passive turbulences as those of voices as ethereal as the color of the dreams.
The sounds are exceptionally rich and the music wraps us from the first strikes of oars of "Apple Tree Bay" and its synth lines which harmonize the chants of the winds of which the surges are grazing the colors of the rainbow, deporting some fine chimed particles which sparkle on a bass line with passive scattered stammerings. The ambiences are weaved tightened. There are no empty holes with this symphony of winds and of their roarings which sometimes sound like singings from mermaids of woods. A discreet and delicate flute scatters its breezes throughout this slow linear waltz, testifying of a sound wealth which gets all our attention. These textures and its sound elements in perpetual fight between passivity and emotion make of every track on “Atmospheres” some nice sonic puzzles where the colors of the intensity are pushed back in some deeply enveloping ambient movements. The title-track is as much stillness and the ambiences are more penetrating with winds which whistle with a surprising musicality. With its synth lines which tear the silence of its wings of zephyr, its voices lost in the nuances of the claws from trade winds and its carillons which sparkle such as some snow imprisoned between opposite air streams, "Willow Bank" and "Temple on an Island" are monuments of meditation. The same goes for the very quiet "Amber Skies" and its fine nuances in the colors of the winds which murmur breaths as warm as the memories of a gone friend. Shaped in the same meditative mold, but decorated with the singings of whales, "Blue Horizon" also enchants. "Through a Cave into Another World" leads us towards a more shamanic dimension with rattlers, carillons and spiritual incantations which float over the delicate pearls of a pensive piano of which the notes got lost in the course of winds. With some very enveloping, sometimes even dramatic, ambiences, "Beyond the Silver River" is a track as much magnetizing as "Through a Cave into Another World" where the fine implosions of a bass line create passive ambiospherical eddies. The rattlers which crisscross such as winds in search of an obstacle are also attractive as the singings of the monks hidden in the drizzle of winds. We find these magnetizing chants of these rattlers on the very wrapping "Dreams of Subantarctica"; a sonic blink to
Adrian's very first ambient odyssey in 1992 with a first album called Subantarctica. The longest musical piece of “Atmospheres” is as quieter as the eight other ones, but it releases an even more intense emotion. The winds shout more than they whistle while that quite slowly an elvish voice rises over the lapping waters, murmuring a soft astral song which quietly leads us where our intuitions and those of Rudy Adrian become passively entangled.
The biggest strong point of “Atmospheres” is this solid perception to see, to feel
Rudy Adrian's sonic landscapes. It's a beautiful album of ambient music where the strength and the color of the winds as well as the ambiences, as ethereal as tribal, create some bewitching contrasts which flow into our ears like a cornucopia of ambiospherical plenitude where the airs of the breezes take the shapes of our intuitions. Since its discovery, it accompanies me in my sleeps, so joining the big quiet works of Steve Roach and Michael Stearns.

Sylvain Lupari (March 22nd, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: 

jeudi 20 mars 2014

BEYOND BERLIN: Cosmic Nights (2013)

“Music for Cosmic Nights is a great cosmic rock album of the analog years when the dreamy rhythms of Klaus Schulze failed to cross the chthonian moods of Tangerine Dream”
1 DA14 22:13
2 Clippings 18:12
3 Brussels Return 21:16
4 Clippings - Reprise 5:32

Independent Bandcamp (DDL 67:19) ****½
(Vintage Berlin School and Cosmic Rock)

Oh that we find beautiful EM around the webs of Internet. “Music for Cosmic Nights” from Beyond Berlin is an album which passed totally under my radar in 2013. And it's undoubtedly one of very beautiful surprises of this year. Evidently with such a name, Beyond Berlin, eyebrows swell of skepticism, but ears always remain so curious. But they still ask for more of that kind of EM. Recorded within the framework of the cosmic nights' Festival at the Planetarium of Brussels on May 17th 2013, “Music for Cosmic Nights” is a real ode to Berlin School of the analog years when the dreamy rhythms of Klaus Schulze failed to cross the chthonian ambiences of Tangerine Dream. Rene de Bakker and Martin Peters make us travel between Timewind and Phaedra in cosmic moods which awaken in us the need to listen the music of Jean Michel Jarre. But the most attractive element of “Music for Cosmic Nights” is without a shadow of doubt the magnificent footbridges of sequences which modify the courses of static rhythms cut out by keys to lively and impromptu movements. A little as if Chris Franke had engendered pupils still unknown by all.
The drizzle dripping with walls of an oozing cave offer their crystal pearls to a brass band of synths and their slow and wrapping singings filled by aromas of apocalyptic organs. Synth wave are rolling with a soft effect of backwash whereas that the eschatological singings smother the lapping of drops in suspension, shaping an introduction from which the macabre motif brings us silently towards a delicate dance of jumping key. Tenuous in a Mephistophelian membrane, the rhythm of "DA14" sparkles and skips more that it moves. The movement is static and hypnotic with keys shining of harmonic tones as clear as some marbles clacking on a conveyor. Softly, this string of sequences scatters its keys which spread some weak adjacent rhythmic lights that the chloroformed envelopes of the synths are caressing of their sweetness. Another line of sequences emerges from this shining fog. We will hear a weak oniric singing which rolls in loop on a delicate line of rhythm which makes dance its keys skipping like feet of children on an ice-cold pond. The dance of the sequences which follows and its keys which skip in the shadows of others, molding these fabulous movements of sequenced canons, reminds the nice era of
Timewind. Simply bewitching! Synth lines roll like cosmic waves on the intro of "Clippings". This time, the onset of the rhythm is hastier. It's a beautiful movement of sequences which skip in harmony with an ambient rhythm that synth waves wrap of an astral tenderness and of very melancholic breezes. The movement is very cosmic. But it starts to stir a little after the 7 minutes point with keys which jump and slam. Another line of bass sequences swirls and sneaks between the bangings, creating a protean rhythmic motif among which kicks and jolts burst in a pattern always rather cosmic with synths solos and breezes which remind me of Jean Michel Jarre's very cosmic universe. Afterward Rene de Bakker and Martin Peters offer us a course about the art of sequencing with keys which skip and tumble under the mocking singings of synths which sometimes awaken vague memories of the Dream. "Brussels Return" is the most ambient music piece of “Music for Cosmic Nights”, and this even with some great and delicate movements of the sequencers which embroider static and harmonious rhythms. They swirl in orbit, coated and sucked up by synth waves which roll and coo in soft astral chants. Needs to hear all the nuances with a good set of earphones. Wrapping and magnetizing. "Clippings - Reprise" takes back the very livened up portion of "Clippings". It's a beautiful way to be entailed straight away in the grooves of an attractive album which shows that the retro Berlin School genre has still some more charms to make listen. A great cosmic rock album! I'm looking forward to the following one.
Sylvain Lupari (March 20th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:    

mercredi 19 mars 2014

STEVE ROACH: Structures From Silence; The 30th Anniversary Deluxe 3-CD Remastered Edition (2014)

“It's still a major work as much beautiful as the original, but with a better sonic envelope. Now you don't have no reasons to not having it”
Disc I
1 Reflections in Suspension 16:46
2 Quiet Friend 13:22
3 Structures from Silence 28:48
Disc II
4 Suspension 28:36
5 Reflection 30:24
Disc III
6 Beyond 32:11
7 Below 39:47

Projekt | PRO00302 (CD 189:59) *****
(Ambient harmonic and meditative EM)
There are albums that one says they are remastered. And there are other albums which are really, completely and absolutely remastered. This is the case with the last musical jewel from Projekt Records. It's in the mid 1984 that appeared this magnificent album of Steve Roach's meditative EM. It was a real upheaval. A tour de force while the genre started to be out of breath. “Structures From Silence” brought a new dimension to the ambient music by proposing long ambient tracks a bit livelier where the music followed an upward curve with fine harmonies which cooed like an enchanted music. Steve Roach also invented a new genre with a very meditative EM which poured its neurasthenic ambiences on tribal rhythms or fine sequenced momentums. You know all the good that I wrote on this grand work of Steve Roach. Thirty years later, “Structures From Silence” made new sound. And the result exceeds expectations. It's a real remastering work made from the analog tapes which were remixed in digital with the high definition 24-bit /96k technology. And the impact is simply staggering. We hear small details there, which ran out of space in the original work, and the musicality is more in depth. The sound spreads more reliefs, more colors. I have the impression that the stars tickle even more the edges of silence, I have the impression that the prisms of serenity are sparkling even more, I also have the impression that the synth pads throw more lights on the shadows of the silence while the translucent singings lines are a little more musical. Presented in its original artwork, “Structures From Silence; The 30th Anniversary Deluxe 3-CD Remastered Edition” proposes also two long complementary chapters on the structures of silence, both composed between 2013 and 2014.
"Suspension" and "Reflection" are making a long musical odyssey of which the aromas are very near the immersive amplitudes of the title-track.  We let ourselves fast absorbed by the enveloping synth layers which float and encircle us such as invisible caresses. We have the very silky feeling to navigate in a glass sarcophagus before being swallowed by translucent synth waves which glitter like anfractuous reflections. These oceanic throats lull us within some lengthened and sinuous submarines countercurrents, creating so a strange morphic ballet whose subtle passive crescendo evokes the silent drama of "Reflections in Suspension".
Steve Roach uses his minutes advisedly, adding throughout the 60 minutes of the CD 2 some fine sonic textures which sing smoothly, in order of not to wake the silence. "Beyond" and "Below" make also a long ambient work of 72 minutes this time. The approach is more cosmic, but the impact of serenity is present just as much. We have the feeling to be in the absolute emptiness with a powerful choir of winds which murmur some passive singings among which the vibrations and the waves of solitude are like shadows which caress the fragility of our most secret dreams.
Structures From Silence; The 30th Anniversary Deluxe 3-CD Remastered Edition” is a major work as much beautiful as the original, but with a better sonic envelope. The remastering work is simply magnificent and throws a veil of freshness on an album that the time will never have a hold on it. An immortal work in which
Steve Roach floods our ears of 120 minutes of additional music of which the crossings with his Immersion series are as well perceptible as justified. It's a go get that!

Sylvain Lupari (March 18th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: