jeudi 31 décembre 2015

GREEN ISAC: Green Isac Orchestra (2015)

“Those who like neo-folk and tribal ambient drawn in the core of Sensitive Chaos and Erik Wollo influences are going to devour this album of the ears”
1 Emmesity 6:57
2 Thón 6:20
3 Algebra 6:32
4 Dr. One 5:57
5 Hapi 6:26
6 Madar 5:38
7 57 Varieties 6:07

Spotted Peccary | SPM-1304 (CD 43:57) ****
(Neo Folk and tribal ambient)
In the range of the albums which seem totally lacking of interest and which turn out to be real surprises, this “Green Isac Orchestra” from the Norwegian duet Green Isac must appears certainly at the top of list. Flanked of 3 invited musicians; Jo Wang on keyboards, Frode Larsen on the percussions and Tov Ramstad on cello, ukulele, saw and on bass, Morten Lund and Andreas Eriksen give thus more depth, more wealth and more horizons without borders to their tribal approaches always soaked by the Scandinavian poetry of Erik Wollo's influences. Moreover there is a delicious mixture between these influences of Robert Fripp, Markus Reuter and Erik Wollo on “Green Isac Orchestra” of which the main attractions remain nevertheless a solid play of the manual percussions and these ill-assorted sound elements which untie some atmospheres always near the unexpected.
The seduction begins with these wavelets of chords which wave in suspension and which are congealed in a very 
Jerome Froese approach, The Speed of Snow for instance, of "Emmesity". The ethereal Electronica, fed by transitory sound elements of a very psychedelic kind (we would say a horse and its clogs which hesitates to walk), is transformed into a slightly lively tribal rhythm where Andreas Eriksen's clanic percussions drums a sharp but soft rhythm, and especially a very mesmerizing one. The electronic effects and the guitar, always very secret and intuitive, and its riffs in loops bear the harmonious portion while that Tov Ramstad adds a melancholic depth with the tears of his cello. The duel piano and electric guitars between Jo Wang and Morten Lund puts down the roots of this perception that Erik Wollo affixes his inspiring claw on the music of Green Isac and the bells, of which the ringings resound between two phases of rhythms and harmonies, stigmatize these soft neo-ambient folk perfumes of Sensitive Chaos. The bass does very Patrick O'Hearn! Lively and very harmonious, "Emmesity" sets the tone to a very good music 40 minutes which still has no borders. With dark breezes, chords of a guitar which streches its sadness in its effects of reverberations as well as its tears, the ambient introduction of "Thón" brings us to a very diversified sound level where all which was lying around in barns could serve as musical instruments. The rhythm is delicate and the very vampiric approaches of the guitar, as well as its effects of ambient reverberations, make of this track a kind of morphic and ghostly blues filled of the wanderings of Robert Fripp. The nervous percussions which open "Algebra" are stopped abruptly by a delicate piano which will cement its minimalist melody in all the changes of rhythmic direction of the track. From a tribal blues which melts into a lascivious ethereal dance, the piano forges its earworm which tends to forget the titanic work of the percussions on this track to which we hang to it as much as with "Emmesity"."Dr One" is not outdone. Its ambient introduction is forged in the mysticism of the nights of North Africa with rattlers and organic tones which seem to roam under the cold moon. Little by little these moods free themselves from the yoke of the cloudiness in order to offer another good clanic down-tempo with the cello, the guitar, the saw and the electronic effects, which sculpture long guttural sound lassoes, of which the meshing  offers a beautiful envelope of ambiences and harmonies to the percussions which get more and more incisive. "Hapi" proposes a more ambient approach with its riffs of guitar which run in minimalist loops throughout its 386 seconds. The tears of guitar, of cello and of the saw weave a creative cloud of melancholy, while the percussions which fall at the edge of 5 minutes force a slow rhythm which is well supported by a snoring bass. That remains always ambient and near of Patrick O'Hearn ethereal moods, whereas that "Madar" dives into a tribal approach of the Middle East with good percussions, a keyboard which stigmatizes its minimalist melody between our two hemispheres as well as an ingenious duel between the guitar and its effects which fight with a very acute cello. "57 Varieties" ends this 6th album of Green Isac with a guitar and a violin which offer a harmonious duel weaved in jerky chords and bouncy riffs. The percussions, as well as its hidden treasures, and the bass structure a steady rhythm while effects of guitars and the escapades of the violin transform the approach of staccato into a more melodious shape.
Even if we are always very far from Berlin School, the music of “Green Isac Orchestra” remains very refreshing. The electronic effects are very shaded by a guitar and this saw among which the effects and the plaintive harmonies can be confused easily with the tortuous synth layers or still in solos which get lost at night. Everything is story of perception here! Those who like neo-folk and tribal ambient are going to devour this album of the ears. A delicious album that I would place between
Sensitive Chaos and Erik Wollo; two artists who possess this gift to bring out melodies eaters of eardrums through a beautiful sound decoration create in an unlimited imagination without borders.
Sylvain Lupari (December 31st, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album or a link to order it on the Spotted Peccary webshop here

mardi 29 décembre 2015

TM SOLVER: Svalbard (2015)

“A mix of ambient beats and of purely quiet moods, Svalbard respects all the same the orientation of those minimalist and hypnotic beats of TM Solver and of the New Berlin School genre”
1 78°N19°E 6:26
2 Snowfall 2:25
3 Arctic Dream 7:01
4 Northern Lights 8:53
5 Polar Night 14:07
6 Svalbard 14:35
7 The Little Auk 8:56
8 Olav v Land 10:22

Luna | CD-r tm10 (CD-r 72:49) ***½
(Ambient beats and moods in a New Berlin School sauce)
A little like last year with the duet of Polymorph and Namaste albums, TM Solver  gets back titillating the ears of his fans with an album of pure New Berlin School, for Marocand another one of ambient music. Inspired by the northern and frosty landscapes of the Spitsbergen island, “Svalbard” is a music album of meditation, of contemplativity that Thomas Meier has written during his journey in the archipelago of Svalbard, Norway, in 1993. This music had never found echo on a recording before this day. Recorded and remastered in 2015, the SynGate label is offering it in a download format under its Luna banner. A brand which is dedicated a little more to the music of atmospheres than of rhythms, although both forms can coexist. A little as with this “Svalbard”.
It's with pulsations which beat sneakily that "78°N19°E" gets developing between our ears. The rhythm is soft and beats lasciviously, as a kind of slow, sensual and cosmic Funky-Groove. The bass pulsations go up and down in an ambient pattern where elytrons of metal are flashing, relaxing stars are sparkling and astral choruses are warbling. The movement is slow and rather poetic with these crystalline tones which sparkle here and there. Torn between its envelope of atmospheres more cosmic than Arctic, although both poles are very near, "78°N19°E" scatters elements of ambient rhythm, here and eleswhere in
Svalbard”,
which crackle and skip nervously, like steps lost on a tense drum skin, in the resounding curves of the bass pulsations and these lines of synth filled of voices and of astral mist. Our thoughts go adrift towards the very ambient "Snowfall" and its breezes full of prism which whistle in the ice-cold reflections of the synth lines fed of Arctic colors. These lines are overflowing in the ambient territories, and less threatening, of "Arctic Dream", a long track with profound meditative atmospheres which little by little reveals a structure of rhythm. A structure always so very lunar with soft beatings which sculpts a walking in a thick coat of snow where some uncertain steps accompany others more assured. The atmospheres are always signed by synth lines of filled with harmonies mourners and of scarlet colors, challenging even sometimes the nature of this album which is inspired by the Norwegian coldness. "Northern Lights" drives us a little in the psybient territories with a structure of slow rhythm where always crackle these crumbs of rhythm crushed on a bandaged skin in  between lines of a synth haloed by vocal breezes and by icy mist. The bass line is feeding more and more a morphic down-tempo approach where is sparkling and crackling a thick clouds of chords paints in the colors of the Arctic prism. "Polar Night" is as ambient than "Snowfall" and is built upon the same icy elements while the title-track is a long wall of very meditative atmospheres. We are in the most ambient moods of “Svalbard” here. Doubtless the most livened up track of “Svalbard”, "The Little Auk" draws marvelously the walk very muddled of this funny little auk. Except that he is not alone and the lines, just as much incoherent, of rhythms weave a gyrating core where sequences prevail on the very discreet songs of the synths. The whole thing goes up to "Olav v Land" which concludes this album of Greenland atmospheres with a mixture of rhythm and non-rhythm where the sequences and the percussions have difficulty in dominating the synth lines which pile together in a thick wall of atmospheres always rather contrasting with the coldnesses imagined of this archipelago lost between the glaciers of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Sylvain Lupari (December 29th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp page here

dimanche 27 décembre 2015

TM SOLVER: Maroc (2015)

“Maroc confines Thomas Meier in his lands of hypnotic and enchanting New Berlin School...his comfort zone”
1 Part I 4:35
2 Part II 24:38
3 Part III 6:46
4 Part IV 11:40
5 Grand Taxi 10:56
6 Café de Paris 13:39

SynGate | CD-r TM09 (DDL 72:14) ***½
(New Berlin School with a zest of tribal moods)
 Songs from sands and nomadic breezes, the very lyrical approach of "Part I" doesn't show no doubt regarding the influences of this last album of TM Solver. From north to south of Morocco, and by following the landscapes sculptured in the azure of the tops of the Atlas mountains, “Maroc” is a series of sound clichés which are linked one to another in a long mosaic of sounds and tones of 72 minutes and which are inspired by the most beautiful moments of a journey of Thomas Meier in the country of Casablanca. Offered in a download format, “Maroc” is set by a beautiful artwork which is very representative of the panoramic atmospheres of this album which respects in every point those finely jerky minimalist rhythms, like ambient stroboscopic strands, of the TM Solver universe.
If "Part I" is weaved in the ambient onirism, "Part II" brings us towards a level of rhythm just as much poetic with a series of sequenced keys of which the chains of jumps weave a circular structure which is nuanced by an upward approach. We are in the lands of New Berlin School! The table is on for a long minimalist structure to which will be added a pleiad of elements, as rhythmic as harmonic, and especially where Thomas Meier excels at the art to deepen his textures with tonal decorations which are as well charming as unexpected. Strata of melancholic violins, clouds of ethereal voices, sound graffiti as cosmic as ambiospheric, jingles of percussions and strands of sequences which fall to pieces in a long gyrating parade, "Part II" takes its heaviness, and a little more vigor, in a gradually evolutionary structure which flows between our ears as this old sound friend who knew so well how to magnetize our senses in those beautiful golden years of New Berlin School. This is a very good track with a very hypnotic minimalist rhythm whereas that "Part III" offers a rather vaporous structure with rotating ambiospherical loops which float in breezes of synth, some are nuanced by celestial voices, with evasive forms and harmonies. These moods float up to the doors of "Part IV" which does very
Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder, and sometimes very contemporary Schulze, with a delicately tribal rhythm which welcomes a thick cloud of breezes and synth waves filled with solos, as dreamy than melodious. "Grand Taxi" distances itself straight out with a more lively and a more catchy rhythm. The bass pulsations, as well as the subtle tsitt-tsitt, release an ambience of morphic dance music, kind of cosmic Groove, where our head and our fingers move more than our legs and hips with beautiful electronic effects, one would say these futuristic cackles from the Robert Schroeder universe, and with some fragile glass arpeggios which sparkle in the shadows of long twisted solos. "Café de Paris" takes a little bit the same structure as in "Part IV" but with a slightly more bouncing rhythm. The sequences skip and bury the tribal beatings in their dark curves, while that glass tones chords are clinking in a clearly more loaded atmosphere where the synth lines and twisted solos abound in contrasting colors; amber and azure.
Once again,
TM Solver seduces. Even with a charmingly tribal approach which reminds me enormously the Repelen series from Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder, “Maroc” confines Thomas Meier in his comfort zone. There where he is so difficult to drive him out and where he always offers this music which accompanies us as the hand of a friend while we walk the spirit wandering.
Sylvain Lupari (December 26th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp page here

mercredi 23 décembre 2015

THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Adrift (2015)

“We are indeed adrift with this album filled of strong perfumes of vintage tones and be sure that Adrift is for those die-hard fans of old Berlin School”
1 Out of the System 29:45
2 Reaching the Speed of Light 22:58
3 In Search of the Ancient Dominion 17:55

The Roswell Incident Music (CD 70:38) ***½
(Vintage floating Berlin School)
Adrift” for gliding, for floating! Being adrift like the music of this last album of the brothers Koen and Jan Buytaert who is filled with these ambiospherical perfumes of ether from the Berlin School retro years. Beneath the stars, because the music of “Adrift” was performed live in the festivals of Cosmic Nights in 2015 and E-Live in 2014, or in our room the eyes fixed there where our ears carry us, this 4th opus of The Roswell Incident follows the rules of Escape with some long and very atmospheric introductions which are use as bases, except maybe for "In Search of the Ancient Dominion", to launch delicate movements of minimalist rhythms always tugged by opaque movements of cosmic turbulences.
Hollow winds decorated of melodious prisms open the long ambiospherical phase of "Out of the System". The dialect of machines diffuses chirping which sparkle in slow orchestral movements imagined by false violins which murmur these words of comfort lost in the limbo. It's a little like being drifting in a cosmos filled by very vague tones of carillons which sparkle under the caresses of hot winds. The orchestral murmurs caress tenderly muffled impulses which move like waves below one thousand feet in the oceanic depths. These waves become the stooges of our solitude while that quietly "Out of the System" unveils its arrhythmic armor where a sneaky structures of rhythm emerge from the clamors of an invisible crowd on the edge of 10 minutes. Fluty synth pads harmonize their catatonic airs to sequenced pulsations, weaving a minimalist walking which skips as a wandering one-legged man. The walking accelerates gradually the pace through many sound graffiti which get twist in the nothingness of the hollow winds. We are right in the heart of retro Berlin School here. So much that this approach makes me think enormously of
Robert Schroeder in his time of Paradise, especially with these murmurs which join the parade some 3 minutes farther. This movement hits the wall around the 15th minute point, restructuring so this rhythm, always very relaxing, in a more fluid phase where the sequences, certain with tones of voice, skip and sparkle in the soft oscillations of a crawling bass line. A cloud of prism encloses this movement of which the velocity grows ceaselessly and where other sequenced keys add a weight of romance, whilst that "Out of the System" reached its 4th phase with sequences which swirl under some very good synth solos. This is what I call a great old Berlin School track!
"Reaching the Speed of Light" is clearly more ambient with a heavy introduction loaded of cosmic winds and of sibylline waves. One has to wait to the 12th minute point before hearing a structure of rhythm murmur to our ears. Still there it's very ambient with weak pulsations. The beatings which resound are freezing an echo where some arpeggios dance here shyly. The tears of synth which float are guiding this improbable waltz towards a more livened up phase, we have just pass the point of 18 minutes, when the rhythm scampers with grace under a sonic sky illuminated by electronic effects. "In Search of the Ancient Dominion" liberates itself of these ambient introductions in order to lie down a rhythm which gets rid of the winds, the woosh, the wiish and of the larvas of synth, which force a strange harmony, right from the 3rd minute. The movement is fluid and crosses two lines of rhythms; an ambient one with sequences which skip in their shadows and the other one , more discreet, with pulsatory keys which skip with a desire to explode. The synths weave a psychedelic language with piercing and deformed shadows which float among these winds of discord. Except that the announced explosion will not occur. The structure of rhythm, set apart the pulsating line, is wrapped up in a sound ambiospherical decoration which proposes a totally uneven duel between the beat and the ambiences. And that will be the spirit of
Klaus Schulze, for these convoluted structures where everything forms itself in a fascinating symbolic symbiosis of the Picture Music years, which will dominate "In Search of the Ancient Dominion", concluding thus an album which is in the continuity of The Roswell Incident's works. Yes we were “Adrift”!  And this album, with strong perfumes of vintage tones, is for those die-hard fans of old Berlin School
Sylvain Lupari (December 23rd, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find how to order this album at The Roswell Incident web site here

lundi 21 décembre 2015

PJ SKYMAN: Public Glass World Extends Bordel (2010/2015)

“IDM mixes with ambient Berliner moods; Public Glass World Extends Bordel is indeed a strange mosaic of beats and ambiences loaded of comsic tones a la Jarre”
1 Extra-easy Listening 4:07
2 Zeemoshonawlpeace 25:48
3 À écouter sans Substance Particulière 6:38
4 Rien ne s'invente, tout s'hérite 8:41
5 Private String Utopia; 4:30
6 The end is nighT 17:52
7 Starfloor Anthology 12:21

Pie Jam Sun | PJS003CD (79:57) ***½
(IDM, ambient Berlin School loaded of French cosmic tones)
It's been a while since I heard of PJ Skyman. Yet, the likeable French musician-synthesist had not abandoned his project to return with a 3rd album. And it's about 8 years farther than he makes a comeback with a factory pressed CD which is entitled “Public Glass World Extends Bordel”, a Java code language which means that our world is built upon disorderly rules. The album presents an EM which draws its influences between the cosmic fragrances of Jean Michel Jarre, although "The end is nighT" does very Schulze of the Blackdance years with a touch of very contemporary ambiences, and of the Orbital on the verge to caress the jerky beats of Underworld. Composed essentially between 2007, either after the album Walkers, simply we are (there is a certain correlation to make between both albums), and 2010 “Public Glass World Extends Bordel” saw firstly the light of day in 2010 in downloadable format. Pierre-Jean Asmus, the man behind PJ Skyman, undertook then a real fund raising on the Internet in order to finance his project so that his 3rd album could be made in real manufactured CD. One has to believe that the music is solid so that people believe in it ... and it is actually good. To say the least very creative!
And that begins in a attractive way with "Extra-easy Listening". After an ambiospherical intro, loaded of very vampiric layers of organ and inter spatial waves, an immense shadow of bass banister hypocritically. Its flabby body awakens jingles of cymbals and switches into unsteady pulsations  before turning into constant and solid beats, guiding the ambiospherical wanderings  of "Extra-easy Listening" towards a strong techno of which the boom-boom/tsitt-tsitt  always remains dominated by the cosmic moods. Each track in “Public Glass World Extends Bordel” are linked into an immense sound painting of 80 minutes which are subjugated by elements of cosmic psychedelism. Like the opening of "Zeemoshonawlpeace" which gradually sees its notes of piano going out of its prison of interplanetary tones to run away with jingles. Little by little a kind of Acid House structure of the kind shakes shyly these ambiences before that "Zeemoshonawlpeace" dives back into its immense ambient-cosmic mosaic loaded of interstellar elements which sing and sparkle on a cloud of industrial pulsations. I think it's good....But some people will say that it's kind of very long! That depends on points of view. The idea of PJ Skyman is to make us float, to make glide in space and he reaches his aimed point. "À écouter sans Substance Particulière" hangs on to this ambiospherical etiquette with a music without beats and among which the arid winds and layers were conceived with home-made sound synthesis box; the NE555Synth. Atonal but creative! "Rien ne s'invente, tout s'hérite" shakes a lot these moods with a heavy and very juicy technoïd rhythm, kind of Drum'n'Bass, where run agile and harmonious keyboard chords. This is IDM at its best with a lot of creativity, in particular at the level of the spirals of harmonies. Its finale of deep ambience sounds throws itself into the experimental brooks of "Private String Utopia;" which does very Pierre Henry with its fragments of ambient melodies which are liquefied in a dense floating shroud. We are at the doors of a very experimental ambient music here. The last minutes are stamped by technoïd boom-booms which carry the beat up until  the first minutes of "The end is nighT" from which the hysterical rhythm will faint in ether perfumes of
Klaus Schulze. That does very Blackdance, especially with a techno finale. "Starfloor Anthology" brings us to another level with a very French electronic sound (kind of Zanov
) where an ambient intro, fed by a text on Vocodeur, dives towards a structure which mixes the synth-pop of the 80's to a down-tempo hammered by acidified percussions. The track mixes its phases of atmospheres and rhythm in a universe where Schulze and The Orb would have go along very well together. A pleasant decoration avenue I would say where PJ Skyman has certainly its place!
Sylvain Lupari (December 21st, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find how to order this album and pieces of music on PJ Skyman web page here

samedi 12 décembre 2015

SAMARKANDE: Ordo ab Chao (2015)

“Ordo ab Chao is a stunning piece of EM which goes from Berlin School to prog rock while surfacing the dark ambient moods and concrete music. Awesome piece of art!”
1 Ordo ab Chao 5:49
2 Hotel Bilderberg 4:24
3 TM-SW7905.1 10:35
4 Digital Angel 14:18
5 Bohemian Avenue 9:54
6 La Sombre Noblesse 4:54
7 Faction 3:28
8 Hotel Bilderberg (Reprise) 0:41
9 Resistance 5:59

Samarkande Music | (CD 60:01) *****
(Dark Berlin & England School, prog, ambient and avant-gardist EM)
Oh I love, I love, I love! I love this opportunity to discover new artists, new music for the purposes of my Blog, the reviews I write and our radio show about EM. Especially when I have the opportunity to speak about an artist from my country. SAMARKANDE is the project of Éric Fillion. Classical pianist and organ player from Montreal, he begins his discovery of synthesizers at the age of 15 by playing in diverse bands of progressive rock, of which some essences can be hear here, in particular Filber Basco from 88 to 92 and Talisma with whom he gave his first concerts. He founded SAMARKANDE in 1999 with Sylvain Lamirande. The duet creates an experimental and avant-gardist EM and count  4 albums to his credit. Albums which knew a good praise from the critics from our local press as well as a national success with the album Douglas' Basement in 2006. The duo took separate paths at the beginning of 2010. But it's a Éric Fillion in solo, always accompanied by his good friend Sylvain Lamirande on synths, on keyboards and on a saxophone which is charmingly dissonant in "TM-SW7905.1", who simmers and concocts this fascinating album which aims to be a real journey throughout the periods of EM by making a superb overview of the genres; from Berlin School to ambient music, without forgetting the England School, and the progressive roots of Éric Fillion, as well as dark ambient to dug up the eyes and the intrusive madness of the concrete music. Sharpened your senses because “Ordo ab Chao” bears proudly the nature of this Order by Chaos!
A movement of sequences, black and full of echo, makes alternate two keys which skip as Goblins on the point of create havoc. The effect of reverberation weaves a lively movement, especially with the shadows which get loose in order to dance with these two keys. Riffs of keyboard are thundering. They free a synth which knits ghostly solos of which the harmonies roll in loops in a dense silvered fog created by a very penetrating Mellotron. Always connected with this structure of rhythm forged by the sharp oscillations of the sequences, and their shadows, this Mellotron is as much incisive as the synth and engraves devilish harmonies where a choir from the darkness add to the weight of the disorder of "Ordo ab Chao". The tone is given! We have here a fascinating mosaic of rhythms and ambiences which is made in the intrigues of the gaps. Each track of “Ordo ab Chao” is butt-welded, creating so a Mephistophelian symphony. "Hotel Bilderberg" plunges us into a baroque universe with a sublime harpsichord from which the agile notes fly on a rhythm sculptured in a progressive approach. Although the approach reminds me enormously of
Synergy, the synth and the organ inhales the charms of the Italian progressive music of the 70's. The atmospheres are always tinted in black. And the introduction of "TM-SW7905.1" reminds to us the genesis of this last album of SAMARKANDE with a cloud of obscure voices and electronic radiations which crush a pulse which gets more and more weak. We are entering dark and intriguing ambiospherical universe of “Ordo ab Chao”. The synth lines are filled with perfumes of ether and they tie a long linear movement plump of reverberations. An ambient movement which breathes like an industrial machine fed by a bank of fallen souls. We are in the abstract music. In the concrete music which explodes in a finale resounding to make turn pale the madnesses of Art Zoyd. "Digital Angel" drinks of this finale with a cloud of radioactive sound waves which gets out the bowels of the Earth. The machine always breathes and it releases dusts of black prism whereas the Mellotron inhales the life. Two contrasts which are in confrontation in an ambient movement of which the ambiguities will remind to certain these black ambiences that Tangerine Dream toyed in Zeit, as well as in Aqua album of Edgar Froese to whom “Ordo ab Chao” is sealed in his memory. A very nice movement of sequences extricates itself from this oblivion at the dawn of 7 minutes. The movement becomes fluid with sequences which go round in circles, like lost small footsteps, in a heavy cloud of electronic radiations. Another line of sequences is emerging, structuring an ascending rhythm with keys which sharply bounce in two directions of rhythms which criss-cross themselves in a chaotic schema. The singing of the angels are not calming at all this static turbulence which little by little loses its beatings at around the 12th minute, still diving "Digital Angel" in an ambient phase which uncorks towards very somber and dark "Bohemian Avenue".
Here, the organ is intrusive. It spreads the perfumes of its harmonious charms through a heavy cloud of mist and over a delicate movement of sequences which activates quietly its phase of rhythm. The mixture of progressive rock and EM is deliciously balanced with a bed of sequences which swarm randomly. Related beatings feed the ambient structure which becomes livened up by a more and more structured movement, bringing the track towards a superb structure of rhythm very magnetizing which waves such as a carousel in a funfair set up in imagination. Fragrances of
White Eagle, as well as Logos, spin all over this phase which will reach its pinnacle with of delicious solos of a synth which roars in winds loaded of demonic suspicions. A tick-tock of clock brings us to "La Sombre Noblesse" and to its distant synth harmonies which roll in loops over a structure of rhythm similar to the title-track. The noise is timed in a kind of stationary rhythm where are muttering and grumbling the breaths of hell as well as good synth solos of, one of the weapons of charm in “Ordo ab Chao”. That and these death-agonies of an organ which perfume this 5th album of SAMARKANDE of a so luciferian approach. That does very Tangerine Dream of the Ricochet and of the Phaedra years. Afterward we fall in the rhythm delicately pulsatory, and all the same rather harmonious, of "Faction" which is coated by spectral waves more or less abstruse and where some crystal clear keyboard chords and a fluty chant unite their dissonance in a finale which explodes in a big progressive rock, filled with layers and voices from an dark organ, in "Hotel Bilderberg". "Resistance" follows the parade with a heavy progressive rock nuanced by incisive synth solos. Incredibly delicious!
Incredibly delicious? Totally! “Ordo ab Chao” is a real tour- de-force where every second is soaked with the various stages of the contemporary EM, cosmic approach in less. There is of everything in this wonderful album of SAMARKANDE which is surprisingly musical for an album as heavy. Fans of
Tangerine Dream, Phaedra years to Logos', of Redshift even ['ramp] , for the Luciferian moods, the analog sequences and for this wonderful Mellotron, and finally of Genesis for the keyboard and the organ, this “Ordo ab Chao” is definitely a must have. And I'm not writing this because Éric Fillion is from my home town! I'm writing it because it's a superb album which for sure will end on my best of 2015 list. This is a no brainer! Hat to you Éric for such creativity. This is quite an album that you thrown at us here!
Sylvain Lupari (December 12th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find how to order this album on the SAMARKANDE web site here
Here is also a link to a video promotion kit

dimanche 6 décembre 2015

INDRA: Archives-Ruby Three (2015)

“Again, there are small jewels on this Ruby Three which escort me now to my beddy-byes or my evenings of musing near a chimney fire”
1 Concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra in F sharp 7:55
2 Taurus 11:00
3 Pixies, Gnomes and Fairies 6:50
4 Let's Do It 7:35
5 Easy Tempered 8:37
6 Gipsy Dance 6:51
7 When in Dreams 11:04
8 Titans at Work 10:12
9 Romance 8:54

Indra Music (CD 79:02) ***¾
(Minimalist orchestral and quiet EM)
Two orchestral lines where the caresses of violins dance in the jerky bites of others, "Concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra in F sharp" begins this 3rd chapter of this vast series of music forgotten in Indra's vaults with a symphonic and acoustic approach which will leave its imprints throughout this “Ruby Three”. The acoustic guitar, sculpted in the Kurzweil or the Wavestation synths, makes run its notes all through the keyboard with the same dexterity as a guitarist Flamingo. These notes dance and spin with fluty airs and arrangements as well silky as lively and jerky, bringing the music of the Rumanian synthesist towards a level more symphonic than electronic, even if the whole thing is heard in our imagination and is drawn from electronic equipments. “Ruby Three” presents us another musical visage of Indra. Even if we hear some Schulzian influences, I think among others of "Gipsy Dance", this collection of music written at the same time of the very beautiful Echo in Time, between 1998 for the last 7 tracks and 1999, shows us a more acoustic and symphonic approach of Indra.
In fact, only the undulatory and zigzagging structure of rhythm in "Taurus" brings us to the electronic side of the one to whom we owe the fascinating series
Tantric Celebration. The movement of sequences is lively. It slams as mini Glockenspiel over a line of discrete and effective bass. The bangings of clogs, the mists of ether, the slow and wrapping orchestral movements as well as the random percussions are Indra's usual signature who remains all the same rather sober in its approach. Even if the rhythm becomes more lively and pulsatory. We owe to notice this small tendency that has the Rumanian artist who wants constantly to charm our ears with a pallet of sounds which follows the parade of the movement. "Let's Do It" is also a very electronic track with a regular movement of a metronome to which is grafted a mixture of percussions full of heterogeneous tones and loaded with unpredictable strikes, we always stay in Indra's universe, as well as thick cloud of effects and of electronic harmonies borrowed at the repertoire of those years when the EM made its charms burst with Pop Corn. After that, we fall in a particular universe where an enticing gypsies' approach unveils its charms to our ears. "Pixies, Gnomes and Fairies" extricates itself from an introduction eaten away by percussions and arrangements as much unpredictable than sudden in order to offer a fascinating lullaby for children fascinated by a universe of fantasies. One would say even a nursery rhyme for Christmas with very orchestral movements which are also elegant as a ambient waltz in three times. "Easy Tempered" is a very beautiful electronic ballad falsified by a synth which stole notes of an acoustic guitar. The rhythm is slow, even when persecuted by the hammerings of a bass drum, and offers its fragility to some nice and very dreamlike arrangements. Without these percussions which bang constantly, one would believe to hear Vangelis in the time of Opera Sauvage. It's quite moving! You like? You are going to devour "When in Dreams", a long very ethereal acoustic lullaby which is so much similar to the universe all in dream of the famous Greek musician. This my friends, is some very beautiful music to put you to sleep in the arms of Morpheus! "Titans at Work" begins like these folk dances of the years of the Games of Throne. Little by little, the slow movement adorns itself with electronic effects in order to adopt a more Mediterranean style where the signature of Indra revives the whole thing of an orchestral approach gangrened by the indecision of the movements. The 2nd part is more silky with good orchestral arrangements (rolls of symphonic drum and caresses of stringed instruments) which fill the evasive harmonies of a Southern guitar. Do I need to describe "Romance"? Keyboard arpeggios, soaked with uncertainty, hesitate to coil up between our ears after an opening fed by hollow winds and by ringings of cymbals. Gradually these chords, which sound like riffs of guitar, describe harmonious circles that a synth perfumes of lines sculpted in tenderness. "Romance" hatches out definitively with delicate knocks of bass percussions. More melancholic dreamer than romantic pensive, the movement is slow. The harmonies have a  more gypsy nature while the pulsations accelerate the pace without ever making "Romance" overflowing of its contemplative bed.
This “Ruby Three” respects in every respect the aimed goal of such a collection; either to emphasize the diversity of an artist with a music which looks like him without however holding him prisoner of his style. We have a beautiful collection of music here which reveals a side, already felt needs to admit it on the Echo in Time album, of an artist who likes to challenge the limits of his signature. It's
Indra, there are no doubts! A different Indra who shows his more romantic and more seigniorial side rather than the spiritual and electronic one. I loved it well and there are small jewels here which accompany me now for my beddy-byes or my evenings of musing near a chimney fire. This should give you an idea of the spirit which surrounds “Ruby Three”.
Sylvain Lupari (December 6th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Eagle Music web shop here

dimanche 29 novembre 2015

PETER MERGENER: Take Off (1992-2015)

“Here is another nice reedition with extra music which show another side of Peter Mergener, but Take Off? As usual this is great New Berlin School”
CD 1 (59:31)
1 Take Off 6:28
2 Icarus' Flight 8:34
3 The Eagle 5:25
4 On Wings 9:40
5 Between Worlds 2:24
6 A Moment to Look Back 2:31
7 Freedom of Space 8:49
8 Return to the Blue Planet 11:31
9 Landing 4:04
CD 2 (46:01)
1 Hawking's Universe 4:42
2 Solarsailer 7:22
3 Strange Voices 5:41
4 Nightflight 5:24
5 Sunlight 5:13
6 A Little Bit of Something 8:18
7 When the Wind Blows 5:06
8 Extreme Conditions 4:11 
Prudence | 398.6850.2 (2 CD 105:32) ****
(New Berlin School with a mix of e-rock, cosmic rock and synth-pop)
There is certain craze for Peter Mergener. For his music! Having remixed and fused the both passages of Creatures in a single album, Creatures 2020 in April 2014, the German synthesist revisits Passage in Time in October of the same year. And now it's the turn of “Take Off”, his 3rd solo opus which appeared on the German label Cue Records in 1992. Like with Passage in Time, this new version of “Take Off” includes a remastered edition of the original album as well as a bonus CD which includes music, and that's not completely clear to me, composed quite recently as well as some different versions (I find that indeed Sunlight can sound like The Eagle and that A Little Bit of Something has some similarities with On Wings) of tracks which appeared on the first edition. The whole thing is carefully presented in a 2 CD digipack which however offers almost no information. And on the album and on Peter Mergener! Amplifying so this perception that there is still a culture of secret around the mythical musician who left the Software adventure at the end of the 80's. And as it's only quite recently that I discovered this period of Mergener, I cannot pronounce on the differences, good or bad, between both works. All that I know on the other hand is that it's a very good album! We find here this magic which was behind the first 3 years of Software, from 85 to 88, with slow harmoniously jerky structures of rhythms, such as stroboscopic filets falling to pieces, which progress in a great deal of cosmic effects and in jolty orchestrations.
Outer noises, like voices or dialogues of cosmonauts or still whistlings of shuttles as well as noises of machineries, have always decorated the cosmic soundscape of
Software. And by ricochet the one of Peter Mergener. We thus find them massively on “Take Off” and this is what open the title-track. Winds of Orion and dust of cosmos are sticking to some slow intergalactic woosh while far off a staccato movement reveals orchestrations which are similar to a sequence of suspense film. Layers of voices cogitate around this orchestral swing of the pendulum where sequences are grafted and waddle with a pace of mocking goblins. Already, the Mergener (Software) magic invades our ears. Lively and harmonious sequences, percussions and electronic jingles, riffs of keyboards and jerky violins are structuring a rhythm which passes in an accelerating mode, as a ride in the cosmic plains. A rhythm pecked by diverse elements of percussions and wrapped by the beautiful harmonies of a synth among which the seraphic layers weavers of earworm add some more of depth to the soundscapes of “Take Off”. It's lively! It's a  good electronic rock of the 80's with a great sound aestheticism. "Icarus' Flight" is a very beautiful track is which uses completely all these facets, and from cosmos and from synth software. Cosmic woosh and wiish are pushing sound prisms which always sparkle in the breezes of Orion. Electronic effects are chirping and the synth layers adjust the tones with a delicate approach tinted of nostalgia while the tears of violins and the fluty caresses add to this elegiac dimension. It's delicate and rather oniric. We are near New Age! Winds become more strident, awakening a thick cloud of sequences which hesitate to structure the rhythm of "Icarus' Flight" of which the approach remains furtive and get snuggled up in these sighs of flutes. And the sequences dance. They dance, like in Electronic-Universe, with jerky orchestrations, structuring an ambient rhythm. A cosmic lullaby which little by little exchanges its passivity for a structure as much lively than morphic, rather similar to the progression of the title-track, which is so close to these progressive and rather ambiguous structures of rhythm which make the charms of the Peter Mergener's repertoire. Each track of “Take Off” is soaked of these sound subtleties rich in contrasts and in colors. "The Eagle" is a beautiful slow dance with a poignant guitar and jingles on the background which remind me the duet Seiler/Lorenz in the Passage album. Wonderful, "On Wings" is literally sculpted in the sequenced harmonies, you know all these glass ringings which sing and shape an ambient rhythm, of the Electronic-Universe saga. And always there is this fine gradation in the envelope, as rhythmic as orchestral, which gives so much depth to the structures of Mergener. "Between Worlds" is a little moment very ambiospherical which is tied to the rather melancholic piano of "A Moment to Look Back"."Freedom of Space" proposes an ambiospherical structure fed by carillons lost in suave lunar orchestrations. Electronic effects, cosmic voices and hollow breezes weave an astral shroud where jingles of percussions and cymbals get carried away. Voices of NASA and murmurs of cosmic Elves are borrowed from the decoration of Software whereas that the soft drumming of the sequences shape an anesthetic lunar march. It's rather morphic and the sequences hammered on a musical anvil forge a kind of lunar ballet which loses its hypnotic charms in an electronic language filled up of organic tones. "Return to the Blue Planet" is more or less modeled on the same principle with a slow ambiospheric and ambiosonic intro which turns its gradation of the ambiences for a structure of ambient rhythm fed by balls of sequences which wind in spirals. These balls swirl into minimalist loops in a structure of rhythm which grows with jingles of metallic percussions, a little as in Cosmic-Excursion from the Electronic Universe II album but with a more fluid tempo. Layers of violin and cello harpoon this rhythm skipping with the orchestral jerks which cut out the ritornellos of sequences and direct the second portion of "Return to the Blue Planet" towards these structures of rhythms all contrasts, between the ambient and the lively, of both Software and Peter Mergener universes. "Landing" ends “Take Off” with a good very lively electronic rock where the sequences reveal all the wealth, as rhythmic as harmonic, of Peter Mergener. We love at the first listening!
CD 2 proposes us structures which are far enough from what we are used to hear from
Peter Mergener. And that begins with an all ambiospherical piece of music decorated by its lot of sound effects as well as synth layers and guitar laments which remind of the universe of Pink Floyd in Wish You Were Here. The voice of Stephen Hawking is dawdling around in the background and remains less attractive than that of a virtual woman. If we like the hollow atmospheres where we feel at light years from home, "Strange Voices" and "Extreme Conditions" with its huge waves of old church organ will know how to fill your expectations. We stay in the very Pink Floyd domain with "Solarsailer" which is a good electronic progressive rock with lively percussions, loops of guitar and nice orchestrations. It's rather different of the Mergener/Software universe but we roll on the neck and we slightly tap the thigh. And the guitar of Achim Elsen, who is very good by the way, does very David Gilmour. We are more into ballad style? The slow and very poignant "Sunlight" and its heavy resounding guitar, one would say a hard rock ballad, is going to eat your soul. "When the Wind Blows" is also a beautiful ballad but in a more New Age style. "Nightflight" is a more electronic track, well at least for its intro, with a circular movement of very crystalline sequences which clink in a spectral shroud. Impetus of a line of bass and wrapping synth layers, perfumed by the shadows of an old organ, give a night-depth to a music, which does very Mark Shreeve by the way, which takes back the guides of another electronic rock filled of pastiches and of sound glitter of the 80's. "A Little Bit of Something" will keep its electronic identity throughout its 8 minutes, it's quite a piece of EM my friends, with an approach which is a little similar to "On Wings" but with a clearly more lively rhythm where the perfumes of Mergener/Software  exhilarate our senses with a touch very TD from the Underwater Sunlight years.
Is the second CD necessary? I read negative comments that I do not share. If we are a little far from the
Peter Mergener's usual repertoire, the music remains very nice. And I always like that when an artist goes out of his comfort zone. And it's obviously the case here where Peter Mergener touches a lot of styles; New Berlin School, E-Rock, ambiocosmic soundscapes, New Age and Synth Pop. There is for all tastes and I believe that it's the purpose of a bonus CD offered in a special remixed edition. Regarding “Take Off”? Well...It's another fine jewel of New Berlin School which is very near of what Software had given to us during the Mergener/Weisser years. Isn't  what we wanted?
Sylvain Lupari (November 29th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

You will find this album here