dimanche 4 janvier 2015

MICHAEL BRÜCKNER: Two Letters from Crimea (2014)

“Two Letters From Crimea album has all the assets to please those who enjoyed so far the music of Michael Brückner. I'm part of them”
CD 1
1 The Black Sea Part I 8:38
2 The Black Sea Part II 10:54
3 The First Letter 12:25
4 Odenwald 8:08
5 The Last Letter 14:58
6 Peter (Part 1) 6:10
7 Peter (Part 2) 7:46
8 The Haven of Peace 9:46

CD 2
1 In that First Light (Opening Improvisation) 24:04
Bonus Tracks:
2 (No) Saints 31:33
3 Waiting Here, I Remember the Bells... 20:29

Michael Bruckner Bandcamp (DDL 154:57) ***½ (Ambient beat and music)
The least we can say is that Michael Brückner is very prolific at this end of year 2014. Ombra, Your Second Shadow, both I haven't had the chance to listen yet, and finally “Two Letters from Crimea” come to loop a year where the musician native of Heidelberg had given us the very beautiful Thirteen Rites of Passage as well as the very intriguing Sparrows. “Two Letters from Crimea” is a real electronic Mass, where the ambiences are clasping rhythms with soft clothes of lunar down-tempos, which originate from a concert given in an old church, Sankt Peter, in Frankfurt on April 1st 2014. For this occasion, the music of “Two Letters from Crimea” had to follow the curves and the evolutions of a light and laser show set up by local artists.
A long muffled humming floods our ears.
While sizzling particles and elements of cosmos are pecking the rather dark moods, synth pads fill of orchestral sweetness  float with grace. The contrasting effect is enveloping. And we hardly notice these crystalline ringings which sparkle delicately, forming the melodic cradle which will seduce our ears a few minutes farther. Muffled explosions can also be heard and make trembling the finale of "The Black Sea Part 1" which drifts weakly towards its suite and towards its slightly hopping rhythm. The percussions which feed the soft ambient rhythm of "The Black Sea Part 2" turn the music towards an ambient tribal genre, while the dark pulsations of the bass-drum forge a lascivious down-tempo where the astral sensualism is well there.
Michael Brückner shapes some beautiful synth pads which glitter like reflections in the darkness. They rock the songs of the prisms, from which a symmetry of the melody turns into a beautiful ear worm, and blaze in fluids orchestral jerks and in astral eddies with some interlacing which caress and reject themselves in a fascinating symbiosis as harmonious as ambient, making of ''The Black Sea'' one of the most mesmerizing and most attractive piece of music in the repertoire of Brückner. And what a great track it is! "The First Letter" and "Odenwald" are monuments of black ambiences with well felt drones, synth pads floating with airs of threat and with a flock of whispers which could very well awakened any shape of latent paranoia. "The Last Letter", where we can visualize the main lines here, always exploits the esoteric moods which feed the core of “Two Letters from Crimea”. We hear falling stars, white noises, chirping here as well as synth pads which rumble such as reactors of space shuttles in a long intro which delicately is whipped by a series of percussions and bass sequences of which the shadows support a continuous rhythm. An ambient rhythm, not really far from a down-tempo, where shine, shout and squeak tears and layers of synth which give an aspect more cosmic than enigmatic to this very hypnotic sonic envelope which makes easily its path up to the center of our two hemispheres. I really enjoyed the evolution of "The Last Letter". Just as the one of "Peter (Part 1)" which melts into "Peter (Part 2)" and of which the whole thing sounds very alike to be mistaken, at some nuances near, to "The Last Letter". It's a sort of good down-tempo, well sat on good pulses of bass drums, nice cosmic elements and good floating orchestrations. That always makes its effect. With its dreamy piano which loses its delicate notes in the vapors of melancholy, "The Haven of Peace" hangs on to our lobe of ear to rise there, find a way to it and well make its nest. The notes roam with nostalgia, moving their shadows through thin lines of synth embalmed by sadness and through felted explosions which scatter a dramatic veil. Manual percussions, kind of tribal ones, drum a rhythm which separates from the ambient melody, showing a strange contrast which increases as the rhythm is anchoring with more tenacity. "The Haven of Peace", which always preserves its aura of sadness, sinks then in a down-tempo a bit bashed up where the series of spiral keys which cradle it continue to spread this contrast between this rhythm, always a little more lively, and this melody, always so surly.
"In that First Light (Opening Improvisation)" is a long ambient track with a dramatic envelope which strolls in cosmic elements. The synth layers are heavy and the orchestrations are beautiful and rather striking, weaving some intense moments which make this long structure implode into beautiful lunar phases. It's a very meditative ambient cosmic approach while that "(No) Saints", recorded in studio as the last track, reminds us the influences of
Klaus Schulze  on the music of Michael Brückner. The intro offers a beautiful ambient moment with cosmic layers scented with Jarre fragrances which float with in a puddle of beeps. Beeps which metamorphose subtly into sequences with wild keys which sculpture a fuzzy rhythm. These keys eventually skip on the spot while the stomach of the beast is gurgling. And "(No) Saints" is running away with a pulsating rhythm where the keys peck at the heavy pulsations, shaping movements of sequences which swirl, go and come in phases of silences. "(No) Saints" scatters its minutes with these phases of rhythm, always rather incomplete, which jump on the spot or swirl intensely in ambiences which little by little take back their rights on a disheveled structure. It's the very opposite with "Waiting Here, I Remember the Bells...", which leans on a little on the model of "(No) Saints", but with more luminosity in the moods and more cohesion, shrewdness in the rhythm. I hear some kind of Software here and it is very pleasant.
I fell in love quite quickly for the music of
Michael Bruckner since I heard 100 Million Miles Under the Stars
; one of my preferred albums in 2012. And since then, the German musician has never stop to impress. “Two Letters from Crimea” has not the imposing presence of Sparrows but is also good as Thirteen Rites of Passage. The only weak point is this impression of hearing the same structures or approaches on various tracks. But is it really a weak point if we consider that the music follows the illuminations of a light show? But no matter, this album has all the assets to please. And if presented in the size of one CD, “Two Letters From Crimea” would have throned not far from Sparrows in the list of the good albums in 2014.
Sylvain Lupari (January 3rd, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

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