lundi 27 octobre 2014

ARCANE: Gather Darkness (1999-2013)

“Gather Darkness is a must in any collection of EM Berlin SChool genre”

1 Dystopian Fictions 16:09
2 Gather Darkness 15:48
3 Flight from Time One 14:59
4 Requiem 12:14
5 Time Will Run Back 9:31

Paul Lawler Music (DDL 68:44) *****
(Vintage Berlin School)
I'm going to be honest; I didn't really know by where to begin this review about Arcane's very first album. I had already spoken about it on G.O.D., 8 years ago (in July, 2006 to be more precise), and I really have no taste to redo this long introduction which explains the extravagant story of this ghost group set on feet by the unique Paul Lawler at the end of the 90's. I reread my chronicle and I notice that I had hardly brushed the music, concentrating rather my text on the myths and the legends of (TD/OUPS!!) Arcane! I rediscovered the music of Arcane with the brilliant A Tale of Unease, released in 2012. This album has literally given me the taste to dive back into the discography of this artist who literally has more than one string to his bow. Out of stock since years, “Gather Darkness” gets a soundlift via Paul Lawler's Bandcamp page. An excellent initiative and by ricochet an excellent opportunity to put the hands and the ears on a wonderful album which transcends the periods of the Dream, from 1973 till 1982.
A big bell resounds far off. Its reverberation drags a series of ringings, as well as a set of completely lost chords, which rustle in vaporous breezes to the chants as much sibylline as divine. It's with a soft fluty Mellotron and passive chthonian voices that "Dystopian Fictions" reveals its ambiences. The singings of the artificial flutes float on deaf pulsations, spreading seraphic airs of which the ethereal harmonies are mingling in a delicate dark choir. We are in the soils of the
Dream and their analog years. A beautiful line of sequences spreads its keys which skip loosely, a little as Bambi on an ice-cold puddle, in the singings of wandering monks and those more seraphic of the fluty breaths. The rhythm develops slowly, as a soft poetic rodeo, with a series of sequences where the keys dance and skip with their shadows. Riffs resounds here and there. Wha-wha can also be heard, as these lost chords and their echoes which ring in the shadows of the muffled pulsations. Percussions invite themselves in this passive ambient ritornello which quietly gets out of its morphic state to force a movement of a head banging which follows a quiet rhythm but constantly inviting. Paul Lawler gathers all these elements, and even more, to coordinate a structure of rhythm which gallops on the plains of the vintage EM, with a stunning meshing of percussions and sequences, where the riffs of synth takes a harmonious depth and where the seraphic philharmonic singings bicker with very Dreamish solos. Among all the copycats of Tangerine Dream, Arcane is, and by far, the most credible. So much by his famous faked story, which is of a myth as big as that of the Dream, that by the way Paul Lawler works his compositions. Alone on board, he succeeds the impressive bet to structure the rhythmic approaches, the gloomy ambiences and the so catchable harmonies of Baumann, Franke, Froese and Schmoelling. If artists such as Redshift, ['ramp]Airsculpture or Arc took and exploited very precise structures of Tangerine Dream's music to drive them admirably well, Arcane overflies with as much ease the periods of Ricochet to Logos. The title-track offers an introduction deliciously ambiospherical where a magic flute charms some threatening reverberations. One would imagine being at the time of Sorcerer. The rhythm extricates itself from these a little bit desert moods and waddles little by little in order to eventually paint a structure stronger than that of "Dystopian Fictions". A sinister wave lets smooth a threatening veil over the first seconds of "Flight from Time One". One would guess the Mephistophelian moods of Stratosfear. The flute is magnificent and the percussions stamped of gas, a la Mojave Plan, clink randomly in a beautiful intro as well ambiosonic that ambiospheric and where the notes of an electric piano roam like lost souls. It is very film and we feel this unique imprint that Paul Lawler will leave in the course of his future realizations. A pulsation resounds heavily around the 5th minute, introducing the linear and quiet rhythm of "Flight from Time One" which takes the shape of a moderated race in a sonic forest illuminated with its thousand torments and flooded with the charms of a synth filled of spectral singings and of enchanted flute breezes. The chthonian ambiences of "Requiem" inhale in full nose the spirit of its naming. We can hear a strange prayer to ooze between two dimensions. The intro evolves between two poles; the past as the future, the darkness as the civilization. A mass for hell with spherical elements! A superb sequence is waving such as tap-dancing which flutter in clouds of cotton-wool. The movement is evanescent and cavorts in vibes as astral as psychedelic before finding refuge in papal singings. A sequence and its threatening reverberations resound in this peace of mind. Its pulsations shake a nest of sequences which begins pounding in any senses, guiding this a little inconsistent rhythm through some fluty fields and the squabbles of organic sequences which do a sound brothel in a finale on the whole relatively peaceful. To speak about "Time Will Run Back" without making narrow links with Encore and of its angelic trumpets is to show misunderstanding or make proof of bad faith. Nope, Lawler does not just try to copy a style, but rather to unite two bridges with rhythmic sequences, or electronic percussions, more modern which join two legendary combinations of the Dream; periods Encore to Logos. The rhythm? The ambiences? Melodies? Well measured and especially ordered on a structure which allies a fiery rhythm to more ethereal moods where the Mellotron flute lines are breathing of a more virginal innocence. I tell you; go get this one!
Sylvain Lupari (October 27th, 2014) &

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