lundi 29 septembre 2014

TANGERINE DREAM: Josephine the Mouse Singer (2014)

“Josephine the Mouse Singer follows the main line of the last works from the Dream, in particular the Sonic Poem Series”
1 The Four White Wooden Horses 6:08
2 The Bleeding Angel 4:00
3 Center of Now 6:33
4 Josephine the Mouse Singer 8:28
5 Arcangelo Corelli's La Folia 7:39

Eastgate 069CD (Cup-Disc 32:48) ****
(Theatrical e-rock)
Exit the  Eastgate years! Long live to the Quantum years! Unless a situational turnaround, “Josephine the Mouse Singer” should be the very last thing to pop out of these famous years when the income of Tangerine Dream will never have mopped the expenses. And this in spite of all those re-editions, the live albums, the so best-of, Booster and finally the Cup-DiscsVoices in the Net establishes that this “Josephine the Mouse Singer” is the 7th C-D of this edition. I counted 10, but I am rather going to come round to this excellent reference site on Tangerine Dream. We speak, we chatter! But of what returns the music of this last Cup-Disc? Distributed in limited edition (there is still some left in the Eastgate factories) “Josephine the Mouse Singer” was initially offered during the European Phaedra Farewell Tour 2014 and follows at the same time the main line of the last works from the Dream, in particular the Sonic Poem Series, being another poem of Franz Kafka.
"The Four White Wooden Horses" establishes a mood of darkness deliciously tamed with an obsessing slightly chaotic rhythm. A rhythm which merges its erratic jolts into the tails of unbridled movements of sequences as well as ones with organic tones. Just as well mesmerizing, the melodic membrane leaves all the room to the rhythm and frees delicate evasive chords while that a kind of African voice is singing some delicate tribal hymns of which the certain charms are merging to absent voices and very nostalgic synth breezes. This voice returns on the title-track which presents an ambient intro with synth lines which seem to draw a horizon to the colors of our imagination and which are clubbed by good percussions. Gradually the rhythm of "Josephine the Mouse Singer" is structuring itself around notes of a very pensive acoustic guitar. This rhythm stamped of melancholy adopts gradually the approach of a gallop from a solitary cowboy where we see the rider of deserts fading at the horizon. A little bit as the ending of a western movie where the credits unfold before our dreamy eyes. I quite enjoyed these two tracks, just as "The Bleeding Angel" which is a beautiful and very melodious down-tempo with a wrapping veil of melancholy. The effect of crescendo assures that our feelings follow the very poignant curve of this beautiful black ballad. We stay in the line of ballads with "Center of Now". A kind of ambient ballad, even morphic, which offers a rather nebulous approach and a structure which is complicated enough. There is too much in it to highlight anything that sounds appealing. It's like having too much to eat and not having something great to gulp. I do believe that one has to like the intense and black classical moods to appreciate to its full measure
Edgar Froese's arrangements on "Arcangelo Corelli's La Folia", which is a music written by Arcangelo Corelli. I cannot really pronounce, absolutely not knowing classical, but I found the arrangements, as well as these sequences which revolve and flicker all around this subtle movement of crescendo, as incisive as a descent in an alienation.
We can't find anything wrong on this new (last?)
Cup-Disc, which would easily have been able to be of use as springboard to this continuity of Franz Kafka's works put on music in Tangerine Dream's Sonic Poem Series. And I am fascinated by this doggedness, this perseverance of Edgar Froese to continue his work of creation. If it's true that we can criticize the orientations which he imposed to this cult band, we cannot deny that he has a great deal of talent and that his impact is as much necessary than it was essential in the development of EM. In fact Edgar, I would just want to tell you thank you... And long life to these years Quantum!
Sylvain Lupari (September 29th, 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=17355    

dimanche 28 septembre 2014

TANGERINE DREAM: Grand Auto Theft 5 (2013)

“GAT 5 is a good album which releases a delicate sonic perfume borrowed in both poles of TD's luxurious years”
1 Place of Conclusions 5:15
2 Streets of Fortune 4:54
3 Mission Possible 4:15
4 Downtown Los Santos 5:06
5 Blaine County Sunrise 5:26
6 Burning the Bad Seal 5:17
7 Beyond the Weakest Point 6:09
8 Sadness, Grief and Hope 4:38
9 Diary of a Robbery 5:36
10 Draw the Last Line Somewhere 6:13
11 The Dangerous Mile 5:42
12 Living on a Razor Edge 5:17

Eastgate 066 CD (CD 63:48) **** (Based sequences electronic Pop Rock)
A sinuous curve pierces the horizon. A mislaid chord falls. A fluid movement of bass sequences is slightly galloping and draws a soft and warm undulatory rhythm. All this, marinated to riffs and electronic spirals falling into electronic gas, leads us back to the nice time of Tangerine Dream. Only the fragile harmonies and the artificial voices annoy the ear and return us to the more contemporary years of Edgar Froese's works. The 5 minutes of "Place of Conclusions", to a few exceptions, dig up the rhythms, the atmospheres and the harmonies of this Edgar Dream's new album. An album which literally set ablaze the fans and scribbled the social media networks of laudatory remarks, while putting bootleggers to work, because “Grand Auto Theft 5” is available only in 2000 copies and only at the electronic shop of Eastgate. A whole version, with a gigantic amount of music and moods inherent to the famous video game, is also available. One can find it if we search minutely on the Net or on specialized sites (I heard it and I was not really crazy about it). At the beginning, I was rather sceptical. It is when I saw the game in action that I made the link. And when I took time to hear “Grand Auto Theft 5” closely, I came to the conclusion that Edgar is still very creative and that he still has some very good music in him.
"Streets of Fortune" offers a structure of sequences with a diversity of tones and strikes which forge an ambitious pattern of stable electronic rhythm. It is the harmonies which lug around this rhythm among which the interweavings and the disordered jumps of sequences, and percussions, revisit the ambiences of the
Flashpoint era with a light tint of modernity. If the harmonies of “Grand Auto Theft 5” inhale at times the lightness and smell the colors of honey, the movements of Edgar's sequences are striking and have nothing to envy to his former accomplices (I know; the technology is not the same here). You just have to hear the very wriggling "Burning the Bad Seal" or yet the stunning "Diary of a Robbery" which has downright ate up a huge part of Silver Scale. Very good! "Mission Possible", as "Draw the Last Line Somewhere" and the very good "The Dangerous Mile" are closer to the contemporary TD with moods and sneaky rhythms which would have been able to find a place on the Sonic Poem Series  saga or still  on Edgar's solo works. "Downtown Los Santos" offers a mixture of electronic percussions, kind of Iris Camaa bongo drums style, sequences and riffs out of Edgar's six-strings over two interposed structures of rhythms that left me of ice. This is a repetitive electronic rock without flavors nor colors, contrary to "Sadness, Grief and Hope" which sprinkles its redundancy of subtle nuances. "Blaine County Sunrise" is a sweet electronic ballad, dark with beautiful arrangements and which follows a light crescendo with harmonies charming subtly in aquatic tints. The same goes for "Beyond the Weakest Point", halieutic effects in less, where the bongo drums percussions erase not at all this delicate dreamlike approach introduced by a delicious Mellotron and its Arabian flutes. When I say that Edgar still has some good music in him... "Living on a Razor Edge" is another dark ballad which unifies marvellously both poles of Tangerine Dream. The somber rhythm, which climbs the curves of a relatively slow tempo, gives all the latitude to Edgar to let stroll the vibes and the harmonies of a very nostalgic six-strings and of its very evasive solos.
Some will say that
Tangerine Froese has dived into the ease. That “Grand Auto Theft 5” was made from old recipes skillfully updated in Edgar's workshops without regard for any originality. This just shows that no matter what the old fox makes, he always has the spectres of Baumann, Franke and Schmoelling on the shoulders. I am of those who think of the opposite. “Grand Auto Theft 5” is a good album which releases a delicate sonic perfume borrowed both in the old TD and the one more contemporary and closer to the great moods of the Sonic Poem Series. This is some great Froese that lands between our two ears. The old fox uses his wisdom and his experience to well measure his ambiences. To play with and annex them to rhythms and to melodies which follow skillfully all the nuances which make the strength of solid cinematographic music. Yep, “GAT 5” is definitively up to what we can expect from one of the big pioneers of the contemporary music. Hat to you Mister Froese!
Sylvain Lupari (September 28th, 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=17354 

jeudi 18 septembre 2014

IOTRONICA: Of Moons and Stars (2014)

“Iotronica is a newcomer who makes revive the great forgotten moments of spacey orchestral EM”
1 Destination Io 6:38
2 Watching Lava Plumes on Io 9:43
3 As We Leave Europa 9:28
4 Dreaming of Oceans on Ganymede 7:03
5 Secrets of Callisto 9:48
6 Drifting Towards Antares 6:55
7 Shadow of the Eclipse 8:22
8 Supermoon 7:32

AD133CD (CD 65:29) ***½
(Ambient poetic symphonic EM)
The recipe may be dated as far as the first stammerings of synthesizers, Walter Carlos' Switched-On Bach or still Tomita's Snowflakes are Dancing, the orchestral EM always has the art to seduce. Certainly the model was worn and become outdated over the years. The fact remains that these tunes of astral violins and cellos which float in a cosmos encircled by heart-rending film moods were always popular, when done well. The Americans seized the model in the 80's, with as leaders of the artists who really left their imprints (Kevin Braheny, Constance Demby and Michael Stearns), while at the world level artists, such as Vangelis and Hans Zimmer, reinvented the genre with a clearly more lyrical and filmic vision. And if I dared, I would say that Iotronica is the child of these big names. Amanda Byrne is the soul behind this character, or this name, with a very intersidereal reach. Influenced by artists with styles as varied as Kraftwerk, Can, Wendy CarlosJean Michel Jarre and even Kate Bush, the synthesist of Cornwall, small coastal village of England, offers a first work which is inspired by one of the moons of Jupiter; Io.
Of Moons And Stars” shows the hybrid style of Iotronica with a kind of Space techno which beats slowly in the beginning. "Destination Io" and "Watching Lava Plumes on Io" present two patterns of static rhythm where lines of sequences oscillate, wave and make their keys flicker in some dense orchestral pads. In fact, the rhythms follow much more the curves of the violin winds than those of more or less quiet sequences. Although stormy, the movements are slow and describe big circles of seething keys. The best analogy would be to imagine millipedes, with clogs of soft wood, trying to sprint in a pond of Jell-O. It is rather what surrounds these sequences that make all the charms. We float easily in the memories of
Software, period Electronic-Universe, with these violins and cellos which draw veils of melancholy, skillfully nuanced by choirs which do not take too much room and caressed too briefly by discreet synth solos. Those who love the cosmic symphonic approach of Software and  Peter Mergener are going to adore this opus. These first two titles will be most livened up of “Of Moons And Stars”. "As We Leave Europa" offers a bit dramatic structure with sci-fi sound elements which get lost in the waltzes of strings instruments. The orchestral arrangements are sublime and forge elements of suspense with a pleasant staccato movement and Greco-Roman choruses. That feels a good perfume of Vangelis. "Dreaming of Oceans on Ganymede" and "Secrets of Callisto" have a more scent of cinema with choruses which are grafted to the laments of synth strings fanciful instruments. It's poignant and I hear here these dense philarmonicosmic of Tomita. And we continue to drift in an esoteric universe with the violin pads of "Drifting Towards Antares". Its shy melody is crumbled by a piano so miserly of its notes that we are losing it in the shoals of astral voices. Except that it's too beautiful to disappear totally. Its airs come back in order to be melted in a seraphic setting misted by waves with drizzle drunk of pensive voices. It's very beautiful. Meditative, but very beautiful! We have a tear hanging in the soul? It's nothing! We did not hear yet the titanic "Shadow of the Eclipse" and its rustles which get lost in an intense, but intense I insist, orchestration. Honestly? I don't remember having heard a piece of music so powerfully orchestral in electronic. It's ambient, but it's strong! And "Supermoon" doesn't calm things down! More filmic, one would say hearing Hans Zimmer on a sci-fi theme filled by Arabic scents, this last title of  “Of Moons And Stars” concludes an album which is going to make dream more than one.
Sylvain Lupari (September 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=17346

mardi 16 septembre 2014

ALPHA LYRA & MOONSATELLITE: Live in Nancy 2013 (2014)

“Two styles in one 2 CD boxset; Live in Nancy 2013 is a great album of EM French School with 2 artists at their zeniths”
CD 1 (ALPHA LYRA) 69:36
1 From Berlin to Nancy 69:36

CD 2 (MOONSATELLITE) 76:36
1 Emergence Part I 14:58
2 Sequenzer Part I 19:16
3 Patched People 8:42
4 Sequenzer Part IV 5:00
5 Low Life Part II 8:08
6 Missing Time Part I 20:34

PWM Distrib (2 CD 146:12) ****
(Cosmic e-rock a la French School style)
The French movement of EM continues to go out quite softly out of its borders. And this is a great news for the lovers of EM because the modern French School is as striking as the movement of the Dutch School. Alpha Lyra and MoonSatellite were invited to perform on the very famous E-Day Festival, held justly in the Netherlands on May 10th 2014. It's during this event that both rising stars of EM from France launched a double album, soberly entitled “Live in Nancy 2013”, which is an audio witness of two concerts given in Nancy on March 9th and 10th 2013. For those who are familiar with the music of Christian Piednoir, the man behind  Alpha Lyra, the latter presented the first sketches of his very good From Berlin to Paris, while MoonSatellite took his music from his magnificent sound saga which is Sequenzer as well as Missing Time and his brand new album Low Life which had just hardly landed in the stores.
It's with the bells of the Saint-Epvre Basilica that "From Berlin to Nancy" rings between our four walls. The intro is as much intense as noisy and gradually gives way to an astral choir which sings the peaceful harmonies of Midnight in Paris from the album
From Berlin to Paris. In fact, "From Berlin to Nancy" draws the main part of his 70 minutes from the bases of Alpha Lyra's last album. The rhythms are less heavy, less incisive and stay in a very ethereal approach of a concert where the influences of Bernd Kistenmacher, for the orchestrations, and Vangelis, for the very celestial approaches of synth movements filled of paradoxes, highlights marvellously the seraphic sweetnesses of From Berlin to Paris. The first minutes are more floating with a concerto for celestial choruses of which the singings become more emphasized or a bit eased at the wills of splendid orchestrations or some more cosmic movements. We hear the arpeggios of Beaubourg 16 pm sparkling with more vigour, while the choir pads are clearly more heavenly and more surrounding. Alpha Lyra multiplies the synth lines which move and float slowly like some shoals of clouds pushed by hot winds. The cosmic approach remains so very present, especially at the 25th minute where a delicate morphic melody invades our senses with a movement of sequences which shapes a mesmerizing ritornello in the shape of an astral cannon. A movement which is very typical to Christian Piednoir, although Michael Stearnsinfluences are very detectable here. It's from then that Alpha Lyra plays with the moods of "From Berlin to Nancy" by permuting its celestial ambiences and its delicate cosmic rhythms. After a rather static cosmic storm, pierced by some howling and superb twisted solos, we reach the nirvana of "From Berlin to Nancy" at around the 37th minute with a superb, but a superb, a sequenced melody even more poignant than the previous one. Constantly split between delicate rhythms and rich moods, "From Berlin to Nancy" continues to charm on the genesis of From Berlin to Paris but with many nuances, so much in the rhythms, harmonies and atmospheres. If the beginning of the show is rather slow, when Alpha Lyra borrows the paths of the rhythms he constantly returns to drink of it after brief ambiospherical passages, making of "From Berlin to Nancy" an unexpected complementary work to From Berlin to Paris. And the finale is grand. This is some great Alpha Lyra we have here!
The concert of
MoonSatellite is clearly more livened up. The French synthesist, of which the influences go from Jean Michel Jarre to Klaus Schulze, is unfolding a delicious cosmic setting with astral synth waves which will roll in the narrow corridors of a cosmos multicolored of thousand intersidereal tones. A very French School pattern that will bind the 6 tracks and the 77 minutes of this concert which begins with a track until then unknown to my ears, "Emergence Part I". The music is no surprise and still magically great. The intro is luxuriant with a dense cosmic fauna which carries the weight of sinuous synth waves which stroll while humming cosmic airs to the delicate lyrical distortions. This is a very rich ambient cosmic mood which quietly takes life with resounding pulsations; the birth of cosmic and loud rhythm. A movement of sequences gets loose. It makes scintillate its keys which dance with a subtle movement of harmonious undulation in the shadows of some other jumping sequencer keys. The movement accelerates. Tsitt-tsitt and bass sequences stir up a rhythm which widens its dimension with pulsations of bass sequences and Teutonic percussions, while the melody is dispersing its airs with a delicate subtlety in its detachment. This is huge cosmic rock at its best and MoonSatellite dazzled even more our ears with synth solos which always inhale this influence of Klaus Schulze. And these influences of Schulze will came to caress our ears throughout the splendid "Sequenzer Part I"; one of the great retro Berlin School music piece signed by Lone Wolf. The music may have come from different eras or from different themes that it pours harmoniously throughout this concert. "Patched People" inhales the rhythms and ambiences of "Emergence Part I" but with more relief and dynamism. After the very ambiospherical "Sequenzer Part IV", MoonSatellite offers us the very dynamic "Low Life Part II", as well as "Missing Time Part I" where the duels rhythms and ambiences are of pure magic and amongst the best of an electronic cosmic rock filled by a lot of soft interstellar madnesses. Sweetnesses which make me dream and which are the privilege of this very good double album; “Live in Nancy 2013”.
Sylvain Lupari (September 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=17324

samedi 13 septembre 2014

DIGIALSIMPLYWORLD: Essence of the Sequences (2014)

“This opus makes the apology of the sequencing art in a context where the imagination replaces guitars and voices in order to create above all a fascinating music”
1 Event Horizon of Sequences 11:46
2 Orbiter 6:43
3 Metal Heart 10:02
4 Sequential Glimmer 8:17

DSW Bandcamp (DDL 36:50) ***½
(Based sequences EM)
The universe of DigitalSimplyWorld feeds on his heterogeneity! After a film work which revisited the abysses of Blade Runner and an ambient work where everything becomes subtly music, the mysterious Polish synthesist comes back with an album where the sequences return to the cradles of the art of the sequenced rhythms. And beyond! “Essence of the Sequences” presents 4 minimalist movements where the sequences dress on forms as different as the rhythms. The music waves essentially towards rhythms but also towards melodies where the keys ring like strummed anvils, giving quite another vision that we could have about the role of sequences in the universe of EM.
And it is in the impetuous movements of
Steve Roach's Empetus and Stormwarning periods that the unbridled rhythm of "Event Horizon of Sequences" polishes our ears and makes us dance of the head. The structure leans on series of sequences which run at a brisk pace, entailing their shadows in a swirling rhythmic maze where roam attractive and soothing layers of a rather esoteric synth. The rhythm is hard and pure. No subtlety! Even when the sonic storm calms down, the agitators of ambiences and jumping keys are raging and kicking in cascade in a still pattern which leaves more charms to these synth pads filled so much with the aromas of Roach. This is a great track and one of the best in 2014! "Orbiter" proposes another kind of rhythmic structure with an intro which resounds like a majestic irascible piano. The rhythm turns around a brief cyclic ritornello with a repetitive movement which amasses some spectral harmonies forgotten in the sufferings of the anvils. One would say a prisoner who jogs in a cell too small for his ambitions. The movement becomes even more bouncy with the addition of other sequences which agglutinate and walk faster for a short period of time before that "Orbiter" finds again the paths of its obsessing sonic walk, but this time with fat chords to big resonant oscillations. The kind of oscillations which we also find on the very heavy and powerful "Metal Heart", by whom the cyclic beat is restricted just as much but which gets dressed of an attractive heaviness. A headache is to be planned if we put the volume too loud! And I have to inform you that I made heard this track to 2 of my friends and they find it very aggressive. I think they are right! The intro of "Sequential Glimmer" is a mixture between the moods of The City Dark Synth and the strummed rhythm, more furtive this time, of "Orbiter". Quietly everything is taking shape. The crackling of fire and the drumming of sequences converge on a pale and nervous structure of rhythm of which the shivers flounder under oscillations which have a very subtle sound of didge. There is a fine dramatic gradation in the moods which perspire a little those of Flashpoint or the Californian Deserts School with an attractive crescendo, as rhythmic as sonic. A crescendo which crashes in an intriguing ambient moment before retying with a little disordered finale.
Who says 
DigitalSimplyWorld, says EM which transcends the usual patterns with a clearly less commercial and resolutely more instructive approach. “Essence of the Sequences” quite means. It's an album which makes the apology of the movement of sequences, their airs as much as their rhythms, in a context where the imagination, the boldness and the resourcefulness replace guitars and voices in a music which aims to be so as well free as totally fascinating. This is why it is necessary to greet the creativity, without any commercial bounds, of the artists such as DigitalSimplyWorld. And needs to say that "Event Horizon of Sequences" is quite a great piece of EM!
Sylvain Lupari (September 13th, 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=17322

mardi 9 septembre 2014

ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT: Horizons (2014)

“Horizons is another strong opus where Gregory Kyryluk offers the best in cosmic e-rock without ever denying his roots”
1 Horizon 5:15
2 Traveller 9:51
3 Impressions 4:18
4 Starbound 10:10
5 Shanti 3:05
6 Remnant 6:04

HRR 090114 (CD-r/DDL 38:46) ****½
(Cosmic Rock)
What strikes the most as soon as we hear the first measures of “Horizons” is this rich and very textural musical envelope which wraps an electronic cosmic rock whose fragrances and interstellar sound effects bring it to another level. The ethereal, almost esoteric signature, which characterizes Gregory T. Kyryluk's EM remains very present. Except that “Horizons” is distancing itself in his discography with an architectural envelope which is veneered of heaviness. There is a very melancholic, sometimes somber, presence which comes from his synths and of their airs a bit jazzy which float on rhythms in constant movements. Heavier and lively than Archaic Frontiers, “Horizons” reveals 5 energetic compositions, "Shanti" being very meditative, with a massive use of electronic percussions which hammer some lively rhythms or which are timing the hypnotic tic-tac of metronomes of which the fusion heaviness/slowness is charmingly taken away by clouds of Mellotron with violin harmonies.
And it begins with "Horizon" and its trembling manual percussions which tickle the caresses of the romantic violins. And the rhythm takes off. He is heavy and ambient, like a big symphonic e-rock. Pulled by good percussions and lit by sequences which sparkle such as bright wings of butterfly, it crawls slyly beneath vampiric synth waves. Waves to two tones which reveal superb orchestrations, while "Horizon" gathers like a bee brief moments of ambiences, among which a beautiful reverie on piano. And at each time this rhythm, which sleeps shortly and snores of impatience, bursts with more and more dense philharmonic envelopes and a delicate technoïd approach which collapses under the heaviness of its structure. Navigating through its slow rhythms, always well hammered by good percussions, and its ethereal ambiences, "Traveller" finally sails between a cosmic electronic universe and an approach little bit funky with synth solos to the fragrances a tiny bit jazzy. Its intro is filled up by cosmic tones and violin strata which float in an intersidereal Eden, while the harmonies are rocking on delicate tablas kind of percussions, which are very present in these first moments of “Horizons”. The cosmic effects a la
Jarre abound, we even hear these percussions which click as some metallic wood, on this track which mixes pleasantly rhythms and moods with an approach as cosmic than very human. Always covered of dense cosmico-orchestral embraces, "Impressions" offers a delicate melody which hums of its charming airs on a slightly hopping rhythm. Catchy, the track evolves with a subtle crescendo, both in the tone and in its outcome, and with a small touch of complexity which takes out the sweet ethereal approach of its comfortable cosmic bed. A little as "Traveller", "Starbound" offers a structure in movement but with a clearly more voracious rhythm. A soft ghostly melody hums on a tempo puts on the beat right away by a hypnotic metronome and which is excited by percussions making noise with hyperactive sequences. Sequences which bubble in a static, sometimes stroboscopic, magma and which drag the rhythm at a more agitated level, while that very electronic solos, as lyrical as twisted, overhang a rhythm whose swiftness hangs onto a flight of very lively percussions. A brief ambient passage, very colored, cuts the legs to this rhythm which takes back its life under superb solos of a multidimensional synth. This is very good. I imagine that it is what Jean Michel Jarre would have made before falling in his metamorphosis phase. Oh... this "Shanti" is beautiful and restful. I hear here these airs of forsaken trumpets and saxophone forgotten in the rain of Blade Runner. And Alpha Wave Movement can't avoid the comparisons with Steve Roach or nor of the Californian Desert School, because "Remnant" plunges us there downright. The rhythm forges a spheroidal kind of walking where we constantly have the impression to climb the staircases in spirals of a mountain without top. This is visibly inspired by these ambient ballads of the Californian deserts with sequences, a bit organic, which quaver in stroboscopic hiccups, splitting an attractive approach as much hypnotic than ethereal and whose fragility rests on a sound decoration painted by synths to the  harmonies and atmospheres divinatory.
From album to album,
Alpha Wave Movement never disappoints. Gregory Kyryluk masters the art of renewed himself without denying his roots. “Horizons” explodes of an unsuspected vigour. A sound dynamism where the rhythms set ablaze these completely unusual avenues to the Alpha Wave Movement's repertoire, who manages all the same to preserve a meditative cachet which stands out even more in this album which will seduce, both by the tone of the synths than the diversity of its rhythms. Guaranteed!
Sylvain Lupari (September 9th, 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=17320

dimanche 7 septembre 2014

THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Escape (2014)

“If you love great and strong cosmic rock with nice psychedelic aromas, the music of The Roswell Incident will meet your tastes”

1 Escape I 29:15
2 Escape II 27:43

Independent (CD-r 56:58) ****
(Vintage psychedeli-cosmic rock EM)
I adore this tone of flute enchantress which extricates itself from the claws of nothingness! It sings a seraphic ode and its solitary charms call other flutes, shier, to join in and give a small concert of soft oniric breezes. There is a delicate gradation in these ambient melodies, so that the intro slightly touches at times some ephemeral dramatic moods which remind me the birth of Ricochet 's muddled rhythms. This gives more relief to this ambiospherical painting which bickers constantly with ethereal elements. The astral singings dress of sibylline harmonies when the sparklings to the metallic reflections dilute the songs of the flutes in order to bring "Escape I" towards a more intense passage where the ambio-cosmic moods bring to life a structure of beat which staggers in an awkward way at the 5th minute spot. And this relatively ambient pace draws a kind of slow morphic cha-cha which dances beneath a thick cloud of synth layers painted of prismic breezes and of lascivious violin veils. The moods become then ambio-cosmic and decorate a slow sequenced walking where are whistling and blowing a thick cloud of astral colors synth lines. The beat of "Escape I" sways hips like a spirit in a soporific trance in a garden of honey where stars are within reach. The synth pads are as much in love as ethereal and their caresses are comforting a hearing which waits for the rhythm to become more accentuated. And the nothingness sucks up the sounds elements. Only the dark winds which make ring the carillons reign over this very meditative passage. This is the war of the airwaves. The war of synth lines of which the cracklings get lost in the dusts of stars where only weak ringings resist the winds. These ringings eventually form a skeleton of spheroidal rhythm. They turn into a ballet of sequences with the doubles of their shadows which dance in parallel in some sonic glares a bit dramatic. And if we listen carefully, we hear these gleaming sequences which made dance our dreams in Mirage. Except that the rhythm gets loose and makes other bass sequences which are trotting and banging vigorously. Chthonian singings invade this powerful and linear rhythm of which the gallop is flowing with a beautiful fluidity under solos of synth filled by the aromas of howling spectres. The roarings of what seems to be Martenot's waves are switching for wonderful violin flights with a Mellotron of which the burning sibylline airs pursue the curves of a rhythm which runs at a brisk pace. A structure of beat with a very beautiful meshing of sequences which criss-cross their chords and their overlapping, forming an electronic rhythm with such a fluidity which reminds enormously Klaus Schulze in the Body Love albums. We are riveted to our armchair, ears on the alert, to follow this deep tempo from where the only outcome seems to be inevitably a crash. A crash which will lead the last seconds of "Escape I" in a heap of metal and mirror which burst between the ears which have never expected this kind of finale. Nevertheless if we recall well the ambiences of Body Love...
With two long tracks and their deliciously ambient intros which unblock over rhythms fighting constantly with intensely cosmic atmospheres, this last The Roswell Incident's album is a strong one which will revive the flame of our souvenirs of
Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream in their beautiful 70's. “Escape” is the outcome of a concert given by brothers Jan and Koen Buytaert within the framework of B-Wave Festival, held in Belgium, in December 2013. The Roswell Incident has reworked the music in studio with a result which reaches the parameters of very good The Crash. Yes it's still about EM. Again! Shall say some … Maybe but The Roswell Incident affixes a very personal seal with a cosmic approach which allows to merge marvellously the rhythms and the atmospheres of these 2 icons of the German EM. So goes "Escape II". The intro shows an ambient beat which leans on somber beatings. The moods are very dark with a kind of strange dialogue of metallic sounds which float as hoops without ends in the wandering sinister synth lines and their tortuous spectral harmonies. A note of piano falls at around the 5th minute. Hesitating, this piano reveals its naked notes and draws a somber passive and meditative melody, adding some more mysticism to "Escape II" which takes life with somber felted sequences. The movement becomes nervous. The keys skip and pound in a rather undisciplined rhythmic choreography. Superb solos with ghostly and sharpened harmonies overhang this anarchic rhythm while other sequences, clearly more incisive, redirect the structure of rhythm towards a more methodical phase. I hear Under The Dome's The Demon Haunted World here. And "Escape II" reveals its superb rhythmic schema with a mixture of sequences of which the criss-crossed lines let hear a figure of rhythm as lively than harmonious. The pace becomes more punchy with keys which pound of an arrhythmia to lose breath. Even the synth solos have difficulty to follow it. Mists to the metallic drizzle are hooting over this frenzy which eventually rides alone and throws itself in an oasis of serenity where ambiospherical elements will restrain its powerful swiftness.
One of the great qualities in the music of The Roswell Incident is this ease that the Buytaert duet has to mix ambiences, as Gothic and as cosmic, to rhythms which fast become objects of seduction. The movements of sequences on “Escape” are as much attractive than the ambiences which tame them. And this small wink of eye, quite discreet, to the masters of retro analog EM adds a very charming dimension to a music which doesn't really need it, to gain an enviable place among these big names. If you love great and strong cosmic rock with nice psychedelic aromas, you will spend some very good moments with this “Escape” from
The Roswell Incident. Simply great EM and strongly recommendable!
Sylvain Lupari (September 7th, 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=17311

samedi 6 septembre 2014

NEDEN: Neden (2014)

“The rhythms, the melodies may sound so simplistic but they sneak their way in our brain to eat it with a fascinating obsession. We just want more!”
1 Far from the Truth 4:07
2 Phantom Marriage 5:47
3 Useless Nest 4:32
4 Modument 1:50
5 Carousel of the Damned One 3:12
6 Gleaming Meadows 6:11
7 Peacock Theme 3:11
8 Shallow Tar Pits 3:44
9 Cat Hat 1:39
10 Ode to Night 2:15

Neden Music | NED01 (LP/DDL 36:35) ****
(Minimalist, Teutonic analog EM)
As long as there will be artists such as Jan Jiskra and Adam Holub, the future of EM to the psychedelicosmic aromas will always be within reach of ears. Visibly inspired by the Teutonic EM movement of the 70's, more particularly Kraftwerk, Neden presents a first album to the soft nightmarish madnesses which will haunt your senses while satiating your curiosity for an EM conceived from analog equipments and acoustic instruments. With a very first album, a quality vinyl of 180gr or in downloadable format only, simply entitled “Neden”, the Czech duet presents 37 minutes of minimalist music with beautiful variations on the same theme. Or almost, because each track has its small peculiarity which literally enchants! And as soon as the first seconds flow, we are entering in a somber theatrical mood which is very near the soil of a band like Picture Palace Music. All this in a robotic mode!
Some slow oscillations lead "Far from the Truth" towards these delicate serpentines which will coil up all along “Neden” in delicious hypnotic carousels. I hear a mixture of Kraftwerk and Neu! there, without Michael Rother's guitar, on this fascinating spheroidal ballad which swirls and gathers together wonderful sounds (tones of organ, dusty winds and vocoder voices) that our ears had forgotten on the counter of time. Teutonic percussions add more depth to a structure which will come back to haunt our ears with new clothes. Already, the moods get filled of mysteries. And that continues with "Phantom Marriage". The tone here is sadder with arpeggios which swirl with a lot of hesitation, drawing a painful march eaten away by agonies and pain. We hear a ghostly rhythm trying to knock down the moods, but "Phantom Marriage" remains impervious and pursues its inevitable anesthetic tune. "Useless Nest" is a track with a totally Teutonic flavor. The rhythm is slow. Very slow, contrary to that cheerful and derisive one of "Cat Hat". It beats with sober sedative percussions and hums with a sublime singing of organ that arpeggios, as isolated as fickle, decorate with a song of ice. Glaucous pulsations add a very chthonian relief to this black reverie which sees its percussions hammering it by an avalanche of knocks that our ears had not planned. "Modument" got loose from "Useless Nest" to offer an even darker spherical ballad. Our ears are magically attracted at this madrigal for damned soul which is "Carousel of the Damned One". The music would have had no title that we would have given it that one. Fans of Suspira; this music breathes of its vibes at full nose! "Gleaming Meadows" is the most beautiful track, imho, of “Neden”. The ambiences and the circular approach are equivalent to what surrounds the 10 structures of this charming album. It's just that its slow melodic carousel is turning with a beautiful singing of flute and with a cloud of prismic sequences which shake its keys as the wind makes sing a scarecrow. This is very immersive. And the songs of the birds, as well as the more piercing singings of the flute, give a clearly more oniric approach to this ballad for lost souls. "Peacock Theme" is also a very strong track with a superb dance of sequences of which a new series is revealed at each end of tour, like the plumage of a peacock, and swirls with more vivacity at the end of every ritornello. This is a real catchy tune and sweet candy for the ears. "Shallow Tar Pits" brings us back to a graver theme, as dark as "Carousel of the Damned One", with strange voices which mumble a language, that only a colored imagination can identify, in the soft breezes of synth and organ as much soporific as disquieting. "Ode to Night" concludes this fascinating collection of sound carousels for sleepless minds with an oscillatory rhythm where sing owls, that we identify rather easily, but whose diurnal cooings are laughing at a structure always so black and cabalistic.
Simple melodies which adorn rhythms of a disarming minimalist approach and wrapped of a delicious analog envelope, this first album of Neden is a real rendezvous with time. The time when EM was build piece by piece in the fanciful visions of audacious visionaries. “Neden” is a small jewel. A sonic jewel where everything is cut in the analogue. The rhythms as the melodies swirl indefatigably in our head, like some hypnotic and invading musical itches, in ambiences which move back time. But of the strictly musical side, Jan Jiskra and Adam Holub created a fascinating universe where the line is very thin between the seraphic and the devilish.
Sylvain Lupari (September 6th, 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=17310