dimanche 15 février 2015

MIND OVER MATTER: Trance'n'Dance (1990-2001)

“With a huge EM piece of anthology, Trance'n'Dance is the fulfillment of Mind Over Matter”

1 Children of the Midnight 22:06
a Night of oblivion
b The march of the seduced children
c In search of the sunlight
d The dawning of bliss
2 Spacelab 8:10
3 Jack the Bear 7:31
4 Mahatma 10:30
5 The Silence (Bonus track from Music for Paradise) 7:14

IC 710.090 (CD 55:31) ****½
(Ambient, spiritual, tribal and Berlin School EM)
What could be hiding behind an artwork where a Hindu holds composedly a guitar? A huge contrast compared with a name of an album which lets transpire the possibility of a music of dance, even of trance. It's a little at the image of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock. The blazing German guitarist and Mellotron player creates with Mind Over Matter a music which transcends the borders of the Berlin School in order to adopt some more esoteric, some more drifting movements which are at the borders of a progressive New Age well sat on Hindu influences. It's quite a whole mishmash! That gives rather particular, sometimes uneven, but always interesting albums. “Trance'n'Dance” is a small masterpiece which totally went unnoticed. The guitar of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock is breathtaking. And when it grinds floating strata of its harmonic solos, it transports us as far as our imagination can allows it.
A distant procession makes itself heard while that the long musical river of "Children of the Midnight" takes shape. An enchanting voice, floating such as a specter which goes to the white light, emerges. It hums a peaceful song on the shadows of a delicate and harmonious line of bass as well as on some scattered, almost lost, chords from a guitar and a keyboard. We find ourselves in a virtual meadow where ewes graze peacefully among some distant cherubs chirpings. The first chords are ringing. They sculpture a peaceful ambient rhythm which rocks itself in the shape of an ambient and very harmonious tick-tock. Mesmerizing and very hypnotic, the shadows of these chords frolic with lightness, whereas quite slowly the crescendo of "Children of the Midnight" increases in intensity with drum rolls which awaken more intense guitar notes and riffs. The guitar throws its harmonious loops which coo on the jolts of Holger Guyens' drums. The movement becomes intense and dramatic with this meshing of percussions and riffs which hammers, which pounds an aggressive hypnotic rhythm. From serenity, we dive into a heavy and noisy progressive rock style. The guitar loops are tearing and biting the moods with superb shrill solos. It's an intense, an insane moment which bites me ears at each listening. Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock's Stratocaster is striking with piercing solos, sighs and magical furies which chew a structure became more musical with its ample oscillations. Once its violence controlled, "Children of the Midnight" refugees its anger in a more ambiospherical passage where the spectral voice of Dagi Daydream-Hoffmann murmurs its dream which gets lost in the delicate singings of a hyper melodious flute and on a delicate structure of rhythm molded in the tick-tock of some delicate keyboard chords. The singing of a roaster then comes. And then some IndianTabla percussions roll and adopt the shape of these chords, guiding "Children of the Midnight" towards a delicate tribal rhythm where the frenzy of the tom-toms don't manage to slow down this sweet hypnotic lullaby which rolls its peaceful harmonies between elements of earth and of cosmos. And always, the guitar of Hoffmann-Hoock scatters its solos which float like the fogs of a waking dream. A whole classic! "Children of the Midnight" is a monument in the history of modern EM.
"Spacelab" is totally ambiospherical. Composed with
Software's very own Peter Mergener, it's ambient piece of music where the guitar is dreamy and floats on the breaths of a discreet but very melodious synth. Hypnotic the guitar of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock suspends the time with its heavy overwhelming layers, its floating solos and its notes which are both grave and acute. A breeze of flute, violent like a blow of crossbow, gives the starting signal to "Jack the Bear". Light, the rhythm is brightened up by a harmonious flute, by some liveyTabla percussions and a mocking voice which jests on a surprising catchy rhythm. It sounds a little like this paradisiacal music from the Islands. A beautiful feminine voice enchants the moment and leads us towards the breaths of a saxophone which becomes excited, boosted by a more and more livened up pace. The movement is fluid, almost a kind of papal trance, moved by synth layers to tones of old rock organ which are used of a bed for a superb duel between voice and saxophone. This movement takes all of its magnificence by Martin Urrigshardt's very lively saxophone. In spite of this completely amazing saxophone, the guitar stays on top with piercing solos. This time it's Jochen Schäfer who throws savage solos. He challenges Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock's style with heart-rending and incisive solos. This is another magical, a brilliant and completely unexpected moment where the six-strings six multiplies the shivers. "Mahatma" is a slow undulatory movement with the essences of Hindu spirituality. Slow and sensual, the structure progresses over some yet enchanting fluty breezes as well as of a solitary saxophone and some mesmerizing notes pinched out from a sitar. Some nice synth lines spread a veil of serenity, so giving a bigger depth to an ambient track and of which those Indian essences spirituality exhale some more electronic perfumes. Too very ambiospherical, "The Silence", whom we also find on Music for Paradise, fills the space of this CD with melancholic moods which go hand in hand with Mahatma, although more cosmic.
From progressive rock to purely EM, by passing by perfumes of Asia, “Trance'n'Dance” is the fulfillment of
Mind Over Matter, of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock. "Children of the Midnight" is a piece of anthology whereas "Jack the Bear" is literally going to blow your brain away. It's a powerful, a little bit uneven, album which resists the wear of time and which takes a whole dimension when we listen to it with a headset. Every track possesses its soul, even the most ambient ones, so much the emotion and the sensibility are there. But no matter the genres, if you are a music lover; the crescendo and the violent odyssey of "Children of the Midnight" is a musical journey not to be missed. You owe to pay yourself this journey at least once. You will so have the sting from this guitar which torn so many ambiences in the 90's. So wonderful!
Sylvain Lupari (October 2006, translated on February 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
It's possible to get a CD by contacting Klaus at his website here
You can also watch a video of Jack the Bear here

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