jeudi 28 mai 2015

SCHONWALDER & ROTHE: Filter-Kaffee 102 (2015)

“As long as vintage Berlin School genre is between hands as skillful and creative as those of Mario Schonwalder and his friends, its life is protected for years to come”

1 Intro 3:07
2 RubyRed 21:15
3 Sequence A 11:44
4 Six-Eight Time 15:51
5 Darkshift 22:28
6 Outro 3:04

Manikin | MRCD 7101 (CD DDL & LP 77:32) *****
(Vintage Berlin School)
Resonances, white noises, oscillations, lines of synth which float like clouds of ether and explosions. Explosions which reverberate into a structure of rhythm. "Intro" skids and zigzags with fury in a lively and heavy rhythm where lines of synth to the fragrances of Ricochet are caressing it, as if the time had frozen in 1973. There are things which don't change. Like the music of Mario Schonwalder and of his friends! In solo, in duet or in trio, Mario Schonwalder makes every effort to draw from the deepest of his influences to extract always the best of what retro Berlin School style would have lost through its numerous changes of phases. And he does it with as much skill as his passion for the genre. A logical suite to the very good Filter-Kaffee 101, “Filter-Kaffee 102” hits the market more than 4 years after the first adventure of the tandem Mario Schonwalder & Frank Rothe. This time, it's pure Berlin School. Not a zest of a shadow of zombie techno. Only exhilarating vintage Berlin School and a damn good one. Good old and a powerful one where the perfumes of Edgar Froese's solo works, the album he is dedicated to Edgar by the way, embrace the vertiginous rhythms of Ricochet and those heavier, darker of Redshift. Striking and simply what is done best in the genre!
After the fall of first dark and resonant chords which seem so much mislaid and which sound so much like Redshift, the introduction of "RubyRed" dives into an ambiospheric state. Here, the tenebrous decor of the vintage years, either fluty airs and floating mists, roam over a fields of heterogeneous noises  with tones as white as blacks which draw a Mephistophelian atmosphere. A radioactive cloud rises. A line of juicy and resonant sequences gets out of it. At the beginning the keys jump laconically before losing some shadows which skip more insistently and forge a fluid rhythm of which the deep oscillations won't escape to the caresses of a charming flute, nor the banks of Memotron mist. We are in the core of the vintage years. The
Phaedra years with monosyllabic pads which fall like riffs on a superb pattern of oscillatory rhythm. Little by little the keys are losing the battle against the atmospheres and after a good 7 minutes of solid electronic rhythm "RubyRed" dives back into its second ambiosonic phase, very brief this time, before re-kicking the moods and forcing a less wild rhythm, a more musical one, where sequences dance freely among the fluty airs. Slowly this rhythm gets out of breath and "RubyRed" concludes its long trip of 21 minutes in the atmospheres of this fields of tones which had rocked its opening. Between some very dark and menacing moods a la Redshift and of a Tangerine Dream of the Baumann years, the music of this “Filter-Kaffee 102” sharpens constantly the curiosity of the ears. As this introduction of "Sequence A" where nasal trumpets and dark choirs mislay sinister airs on metallic elytrons jingles which sound like snips of scissors in felted explosions and effects of gas. Three lines of sequences in parallels emerge. The dominant one forges a sneaky rhythm while the second hiccups with glass tones. Hardly perceptible, the third one makes shine its weak carillons which end to sculpture a hypnotic melody and of which the airs weakened will turn for a long time in our head. This polyphase structure moves forward stealthily with fine jerks which limp in banks of mist, filets of choir and synth lines perfumed by trumpets of Jericho. Charmingly Tangerine Dream and charmingly Ricochet !
And these fragrances of psychotronic moods go up to the doors of "Six-Eight Time". There where are escaping arpeggios which ring as when struck on an anvil in a universe of cloudiness. Still here the range of
Tangerine Dream and especially Edgar Froese for the atmospheres of Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, in particular these hoops and these synth pads which derive in a universe where everything seems to have been eradicated from the earth, are strongly presents. T
he rhythm extricates itself from this sonic oblivion, where the flavors of ether abound, with a movement of sequences which multiplies its keys and of which the sharp capers bounce on the curves of another line of sequences. The movement becomes fluid and the rhythm oscillates of its ample loops and with its sequences to the contrasting tints which deeply flicker and among which the loops and the arcs are pecked by electronic percussions and their metallic bites. It's a good electronic rhythm of the vintage years, while "Darkshift" is even heavier, is in a more black pure Redshift. As if it was still possible. A wild and deafening rhythm escapes from layers of ether and from resonant bumblebees. The lifeless atmospheres are brief and let get away rustlings, a little as if we were near hell. Tom-toms resound a little after the two minutes point. The rhythm is black and felted, adorned that it is by layers of mists, lines of flutes and spectral rustles which always try to fasten "Darkshift" in the cradle of its atmospheres. Another line of sequence emerges then. A little as in "Sequence A" the rhythm spreads its phases, quite convergent, in a electronic shroud  perfumed of analog fragrances. It's a heavy, a loud  rhythm knotted in sequences with tones full of contrasts which pound cruelly around synth lines and their evanescent harmonies which stream and get entangled among dark kicks. Other lines, among which some very vampiric ones, besiege the rhythm. And no...The floating harmonies of the flutes, nor the caresses of the ethereal mists manage to control it. Quite the opposite! And other sequences run away, feeding the rich sequenced approach and a bit complex which nourishes the black strength of "Darkshift". This is a pure monument which gave me the taste to listen some Redshift. Splendid! And it's a pity that "Outro" sounds the knell of “Filter-Kaffee 102”. A wonderful album, available in vinyl by the way, where the duet Mario Schonwalder & Frank Rothe. surpassed itself downright with a superb album which is more than a tribute to Edgar Froese. It's a real profession of faith for the genre which, as long as it will be between hands as skillful and creative as those of Mario Schonwalder and now Frank Rothe, will stay always so bewitching, so enthralling and will live forever.
Sylvain Lupari (May 28th, 2015) &
You will find this album on the Manikin web shop here 

dimanche 24 mai 2015

MARK SHREEVE: Legion (1985)

“Maybe the cradle of the England School movement such as we guess it, Legion is a wonderful album built on a wild sequencing and catchy melodies”
1 Legion 5:28
2 Storm Column 5:08
3 Flagg 8:24
4 Sybex Factor 5:18
5 Domain 7 6:29
6 Icon 3:56
7 The Stand 5:34
Bonus Tracks
8 Legion (Space Mix) 5:50
9 Hammer & Cross 3:51

Centaur Discs Ltd CENCD 006 (CD 50:05) *****
(England School)
Are you fans of horror movies and frightening tales? Enthusiastic followers of Stephen King? What would you say of hearing in music his book The Stand? It's visibly inspired by this book that Mark Shreeve has built the 7 tracks, the 40 minutes of his 8th solo album. “Legion” is distancing itself a few from the more progressive genre of Mark Shreeve's first solo albums with shorter and livelier compositions conceived at big knocks of sequencer and with superb atmospheric samplings apparently taken from the sonic libraries of the 80's horror movies. It's without a shadow of doubt the most rock album of the electronic community of this time when Tangerine Dream had charmed hundreds of musicians with its Underwater Sunlight and Legend Tour in 1986. It's also possibly the album which has introduced the movement of the England School. A movement which sent EM into some more rock bases and which has shown up its ears with the emergence of Ian Boddy, Andy Pickford and Wavestar. As for me; it's the most pop, the heaviest and the most lively album that I heard in the wonderful world of Electronic Music. With the years it became an inescapable album in my collection. An album which ages well and to which I still listen quite often, even nowadays. A heavy opus with jerky and wild rhythms set up by a brilliant play of sequencer and electronic percussions rolling to lose breath. Both rhythmic ingredients are supporting sweet, simple and effective melodies which at the end are simply frigging catchy. Using brilliantly and at the most the samplings, “Legion”  is stuffed with satanic winks.
It's thus with a strange incantation, with the looks of a Black mass, that begins the title-track. On this satanic incantation, a solid and heavy line of bass sequences opens the procession. From then on the rhythm becomes fast. It coughs in jerks on good percussions, metallic chords and a ultra heavy and powerful sequencer which sculpts a hard and heavy rhythm with the concert of a thick cloud of hard-hitting chords which tumble like furious percussions. The tone is set. Afterward this rhythm becomes kind of tribal's one. Those percussions mould a kind of speed-trance, which doubtless has inspired Juno Reactor, and push back the limits of the synth layers a bit philharmonic which even sound like riffs of guitar. It's at both times a heavy and fast piece of EM and also a totally demonic one that you would doubtless listened to from that era. Fragrances of it can be heard on the wildest parts of the 
Redshift repertoire. But some of you have already heard it, because it appeared on the Jewel of the Nile soundtrack, besides having played a lot on some dance floors, as prove its some Mixes and  the 7'' released at that time. This cannon-shot is not isolated. There are several other very sequenced and very rhythmical tracks. Like "Sybex Factor" with its hammering percussions and its long synth solos combined to those of Chrissie Bonnacci's guitar. There is "Icon" with its unbridled rhythm, with its ultra nervous and rapid sequencer toyed by Chris Franke as well as these metallic wings and these shouts of bat. Finally, there is "Hammer and Cross" which arrived on the late. It's a bonus track which appeared on the first CD edition from Centaur Discs. Melodies are always anchored on those tracks. But there are other ones more catchy. Like on "Storm Column" which rolls on a structure of rhythm as much wild, as jerky of the title-track. It's a heavy and nervous with some light and melodious choirs which are in harmonies with a very sharpened synth. Moreover this mixture of voice samplings on a rhythm so jerky is completely brilliant.
"Flagg" is another brilliant blow. The longest track of the CD opens with a very lugubrious intro, like in a horror movie B. A timid keyboard looses a melody with the charms of a threatening lullaby over a line of devilish sequences which accelerates the pace in the long sinuous lines of a magnetizing synth. The rhythm hammers a slow march, sometimes it sounds just like a walk of zombies on a high of vitamins. And still there, the samplings are superbly well used. With "Domain 7" we would imagine to be in a surrealist swamp with birds and wolves which cohabit on the jerks of violins and a keyboard of a harmonium style which glides over some splendid silky lines which adopt the long sensual curves of a dark and suggestive of Pat McManus' guitar. The effect is demonic and that's the spirit. Well...I guess! And it's even more pervasive with the strings of violins which resound on more symphonic layers. And the guitar is simply sublime. We feel its strings being deeply scratched so much the effect is realistic. Being more sentimental than rocker, it's my favorite track on “Legion”...but after "The Stand". We hear here a synth crying, suffering in an envelope of melancholy which can be feel at the tip of our sadness ropes which are hiding at the bottom of our souls. Behind a structure of a slower rhythm and effects of mist, a synth line changes its melancholic harmonies for those of a trumpet. This move makes raise the last bastion of our hairs which have resist to this desire to rise all throughout this adventure which is “Legion”. Not by its harshness, but by its sensibility and the hand put by the evil which seems to triumph. One would say some Ennio Morriconne who would have made a pact with the Devil in a finale more Mexican than Mephistophelian. But the tears of a baby returns us to the reality behind the precepts of “Legion”.
Even if closer to synth-pop, a rather progressive and a well worked one needs to be underline, than the other albums of Mark Shreeve, “Legion” remains an inescapable work. Just to see the price asking on EBay, we understand its importance in the chessboard of contemporary EM. It's the kind of setting that can please so much the lovers of a Gothic music, even if at times the melodies are hypersensitive, of synth pop and of heavy EM with a zest of radio FM's perfumes. Everything is structured well. So, no rooms for structures which deviate in random corridors of improvisation. It's a lively music filled of surprising samplings and built around a wild sequencing, the future trademark of Mark Shreeve, which preserves in spite of these two elements all its melodic dimension. Very good...Just hope that one day Mark Shreeve decides to reedit it.
Sylvain Lupari (May 24th, 2015) &

vendredi 22 mai 2015

SKOULAMAN: Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past (2014)

“What we have here is a fine album filled of analog rhythms and cosmic tones which will seduce those who still miss the sweet analog years of EM”
1 Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past 11:55
2 Without Boundaries 9:18
3 Sardegna Coasts 8:33
4 Islands in the Ocean 10:20
5 Arabian Arp 7:59
6 Orbital Moves 9:06
7 Voices of an Analog 7:37
8 Sardegna Roads 6:31
9 Far Away Worlds 5:28

Skoulaman Music (DDL/CD-r 76:51) ****½
(Cosmic EM of the analog years)
The magic of the social networks! It is by means of a video published by my good friend FB Rob Hartemink that I was interested in the universe of Skoulaman. A musician/synthesist who likes minimalist movements moved by echoes and reverberations, Skoulaman is part of this generation of new artists who are influenced by the analog EM from the 70's. From Tomita to Jean Michel Jarre, including Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and even Mike Oldfield, the music of Skoulaman crosses its identity phases until “Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past”. A 4th album where the Berlin School style binds itself to an EM with a more contemporary essence. The fusion is great. The result is surprising of a freshness which resources of its old fragrances with a very cosmic approach where emerge and revolve patterns of rhythm to fine permutations. Chronicle of a very beautiful album which is going to exhilarate you until its last second, both by its movements of sequences and its very lunar synth layers.
Delicate arpeggios, molded in a little bit dark tints, skip delicately in the harmonies of a synth line perfumed of a fluty essence. From the first chords of "Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past", we feel that our ears penetrate a sound universe filled with the charms of the analog years. The approach is minimalist, delicate and even dreamlike. Sequences skip with hardly perceptible alternations in the pace, weaving a peaceful wave motion which sometimes will fit to the delicate curves suggested by the discreet impulses of a bass line. The synth divides its harmonious perfumes with tears a little bit piercing which get loose from the mist of flutes, exposing even solitary chords which sound as a pensive guitar in bank of manipulated by nice orchestral arrangements. What jumps to ears is this feeling of attention to details which livens up the musical writing of Skoulaman. Nothing is left at random and every phase grows richer of the previous one with nice variations in the tints and the tones. We thus notice hardly the progression of "Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past" which accelerates a little its pace at around the 5th minute point. The pace is more sure and enriched the perception of this ascent which is always perfumed by a synth of which the multiple fragrances are walking our souvenirs through the ages of EM. Let's says that it starts pretty good! The approach of Skoulaman is very Cartesian, on the verge of simplicity. His rhythms are knotted in the spirographies of the linear and/or rotary movements from the sequences among which the shadows, the echoes and subtle gaps between the editing command the obedience to bewitchment. More lively, more fluid "Without Boundaries" weakens its indefatigable circular loops in a more incisive pattern of rhythm, but always static, beneath the concerts of arpeggios which ring in the furrows of long twisted synth solos. After a very bohemian approach in "Sardegna Coasts", which is a relatively relaxing piece of EM, "Islands in the Ocean" throws us in
Steve Roach's movements of Empetus. Superb, the track spreads lines of rhythms which attach their harmonious approaches as in a long roller coaster of which the moderate slopes and curves are undulating in cosmos. The electronic effects a little the genre of Jarre. We follow the crazy race of the sequenced movements with "Arabian Arp" and its deep kicks which oscillate in a dense magma of cosmic tones. The contrast between the slow orchestral envelopes and the deep movements of the sequences is as much delicious as those in the movements and the evolutions of the structures of sequences, like in "Orbital Moves". Sometimes quiet and sometimes agitated, the movement shows its nuances with silvery tones which sparkle in a universe in constant movement. Here as anywhere else, the synths snivel constantly, spreading slow morphic pads whose nasal fragrances remind me of Remy, by ricochet of Klaus Schulze, and counterbalance marvelously the variable flow of the structures of the sequences. "Voices of an Analog" perpetuates the sweetnesses of "Orbital Moves", but in a magnificent lento. Although slow, the flow is furtive with more bass pulsations which skip slowly in clouds of mist. A delicate melody is blooming through the tears of synths, conferring to "Voices of an Analog" the stamp of the most beautiful ambient track that I heard in 2015. "Sardegna Roads" has nothing to do with "Sardegna Coasts". Here, the rhythm is more than lively. It oscillates, it undulates with swiftness, multiplying loops on loops in a very ambiocosmic structure filled with pads of voices and where ring arpeggios which try to draw on an anvil an astral melody. The contrasts are as much fascinating as the subtle upward gradation of the track. "Far Away Worlds" ends this opus of Skoulaman with another pattern of rhythm sculpted in its contrasts and which spreads its attractive volutes in cosmic corridors decorated of starred sparklings.
Object of seduction which wakes in us these delicate memories where EM have made compete, made sparkle its sequences into morphic and cosmic synth layers, “Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past” from Skoulaman is an album which will know how to seduce you. If some people hear sonic perfumes of
Tangerine Dream there, it is rather true with the fluty synth, and even of Klaus Schulze, for the atmospheres of ether, me I hear influences of Roach, Jarre and even Ulrich Schnauss, for the small fragments of melodies scattered through these labyrinths of skeletal rhythms. But chiefly; I have spent more than a pleasant moment with the some 77 minutes of “Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past”.
Sylvain Lupari (May 22nd, 2015) &
You will find this album on the Skoulaman Bandcamp page here

mercredi 20 mai 2015

MORPHEUSZ: Tantalizing Thoughts at the Dawn of Dreams (2014)

“The music of MorPheusz is what does best in this universe where we try to join the poles of a music without concession and free of any commercial constraints that those of EM and of prog rock”
1 Psychedelic Poetry 11:54
2 Tantalizing Thoughts 13:55
3 Arousing Imaginary Vortex 7:33
4 Oriental Insomnia 18:03
5 Dawn of Dreams 15:43

Groove|GR-209 (CD 67:08) ****½
(Mix of Netherlands School and Prog Rock)
I had been very impressed by the solid Days of Delirium and Nocturnal NightMares, which was the first sonic chapter of MorPheuSz back in 2011. We looked forward to the second. We even thought that this project which unites the Dutchmen Ron Boots and the brothers Eric and Harold van der Heijden to the German guitarist/synthesist Frank Dorittke was on tablets. We saw well the band here and there performed on festivals, but nothing more. And finally, after almost 3 years of wait, the group makes a strong comeback with an album which transcends the first 2 opuses. Set ablaze by the influences of Pink Floyd, Van Der Graff Generator, Ozric Tentacles and even Alan Parsons, the music of “Tantalizing Thoughts at the Dawn of Dreams” redefines the standards of this fusion so wished between EM and progressive rock. In particular because of the imposing presence of Harold van der Heijden on percussions (boy is he good!) and Frank Dorittke, and it without wanting to take away anything to two others, who carries the music of MorPheuSz towards another level.
A delicate movement of sequences escapes from the thick cloud of psychotronic noises which feeds the intro of "Psychedelic Poetry". The guitar draws wandering airs which float in clouds of mists as well as on this movement of sequences of which the soft tom-toms sculpt an ambient rhythm which is very near the electronic ballads of
Ron Boots' repertoire. But we cannot also avoid this sensation to mislaid our thoughts in Roger Waters' Amused to Death and The Ballad of Bill Hubbard. The guitar and the soft intrusive rhythm are so similar. The emotions soar, as the crescendo gets intensified. The percussions of Harold van der Heijden make "Psychedelic Poetry" running in a kind of cosmic blues while the movement of sequences unfolds parallel lines of ambient rhythms which wind the structure with the complicity of a six-strings and of its more incisive solos. And, a little before the 6th minute point, "Psychedelic Poetry" explodes into a huge heavy progressive rock where it looks like Carlos Santana had replaced Peter Hammill in VDGG. The rhythm is heavy and surprisingly lively where the harmonies of Eric Van Der Heijden and Ron Boots bicker with Frank Dorittke's solos. Noises and electronic ringings, as well as these movements of sequences became stroboscopic, confer a splendid sound wealth which will seduce the music fan throughout this 3rd opus of MorPheuSz. I often make a reference to Pink Floyd? The voices and the hesitating arpeggios which open "Tantalizing Thoughts" would remove all of my credibility if I don't write about it. We are in the Animals era (Sheep). Only the rustlings of Frank Dorittke affix the signature MorPheuSz. Muffled and steady pulsations support a ghost rhythm which pulses in an ambient setting decorated by the guitar of  F.D. Project's founder. A splendid guitar which takes care of charming our ears with sweet solos which take the shape of the harmonious curves of the keyboards. The drum and the pulsations become louder, more insistent and synth solos whistle over this ambient bicker which drops some very beautiful harmonies. I hear Ashra here. But for a brief moment. Because "Tantalizing Thoughts" falls under the wraths of the drum and the bites of a six-strings' riffs which weigh down and transport the ambiences towards a solid rock which will stay under the charms of the fluids synth solos. Simply superb! While the synths and guitar swap harmonies and peaceful solos, the very effective Harold van der Heijden clubs the rhythm with violent strikes and "Tantalizing Thoughts" sinks into the heaviness and the psychedelic perfumes "Psychedelic Poetry" where Frank Dorittke unchains his anger. This is a great track of which the conclusion revisits the harmonies abandoned by its intro.
You love Ozric Tentacles? You are going to devour "Arousing Imaginary Vortex". It's a nervous track which is knotted around a strong meshing of sequences and percussions but also pierced by the solos of a guitar with Arabian harmonies. Breezes, as black as accentuated, and pastoral ringings are bickering its rather ambient opening. Sequences are roundly skipping in tones of starving gargoyles and the percussions of Harold van der Heijden hammer a rhythm which espouse a kind of furious gallop. It's a solid piece of music which finds its charms in the light and subtle inclination of its movement, initiating a very good duel between nervous riffs, both from
Frank Dorittke's six-strings and from the synths of the Ron Boots/Eric Van Der Heijden tandem. It takes some magic fingers to match the capacities of the synths. As says it the guide press; Frank Dorittke plays a bigger role on “Tantalizing Thoughts at the Dawn of Dreams”. A brilliant guitarist! And his Arabian fragrances persist on the very beautiful "Oriental Insomnia" which is more or less ambient and very rich in its perfumes of EM. Except for the finale which is as much explosive as the wild structure of rhythm which devours our ears from the 6th minute of "Psychedelic Poetry".  "Dawn of Dreams" is also marbled by a more electronic approach. After a rather ambiospherical intro, a meshing of sequences and pulsations, as resonant as glaucous, sculpt an ambient rhythm which deeply pounds without exploding. The structure is tinted of black is of used as base to keyboard riffs and synth mists which seem to smothered the rollings of percussions, but not these delicate guitar solos which reveal some harmonies difficult to ignore. After a brief ambiosonic phase, "Dawn of Dreams" falls in a heavy but stagnant rhythm, where the guitar unfolds solos as heavy as the strikes of the drum in a sonic decoration which yet merges marvelously the borders of EM and of progressive rock.
The wait was long, but was worth it. The music of
MorPheuSz is what does best in this universe where we try to join the poles of a music without concession and free of any commercial constraints that those of EM and of progressive rock. Except that, as Pink Floyd or yet Alan Parsons, the music of “Tantalizing Thoughts at the Dawn of Dreams” rejects the corridors of dissonance or simple improvisations to offer a music to which we will become accustomed to a bit more easily. And never previously, the guitar and the drum will have served never so well this fascinating marriage of sonic forms.
Sylvain Lupari (May 20th, 2015) &
You will find this album on the Groove web shop here

samedi 16 mai 2015

DAVID WRIGHT: Beyond the Airwaves Vol. 2 (2015)

“A mix of New Age, modern EM and Electronica, Beyond the Airwaves Vol. 2 is yet another rendezvous with the world in constant motion of David Wright”
False Dawn 4:19    Sirens 3:12
Dreaming Desire 5:23
Remembering Where we Were 8:11
Point Two 4:37   Sign of Three 3:44
Where we are is Where we've Been 5:35
Animism 2:23
Ghost Dancer 6:35   Vision Quest 2:15  
Return to the Plains 9:37   Earth and Sky 3:02

Bonus Tracks:
Call to Me 7:56
Walking with Ghosts, DJMass Chill Out Mix 5:39

ADMusic | AD 141 CD (CD 72:26) ***½
(New Age, modern EM and Electronica)
It feels good to hear new music from David Wright. There were rumors! His health. The possible closure of his label ADMusic. And especially this silence. But no! Everything seems to be fine. The proof? This last opus which is a logic continuity, announced during the launch of Beyond the Airwaves Vol.1. Constituted in 3 parts; Dreaming Desire, Return to the Plains and the bonus section, “Beyond the Airwaves Vol. 2” offers two structures knotted in slow evolutions which will reach their own zenith very separate for each one. Altogether, it's yet a beautiful album. A very musical one (are we surprised?) where the imprints of Carys and Robert Fox sign a very ethereal first part. Some will say a New Age part, and I have to agree but I'll add with a more tribal Electronica zest. The mix is quite good. While that Return to the Plains is more in David Wright's tradition. But no matter the ways taken to solve “Beyond the Airwaves Vol. 2”, the perfumes of Walking with Ghosts are there extremely present. Which in the end sounds like some very good news.
That comes by far! That comes from a part of the country where the ether is the elixir of serenity. A long breeze full of sun spreads a soft dreamlike veil where a synth filled by scents of flute play harmonies of a Kitaro genre on a delicate bed of prisms to silvery reflections. The first bastion of “Beyond the Airwaves Vol. 2” passes by the very meditative introduction of "False Dawn". Effects and electronic noises, as well as some elements of sound drama, are perturbing the serenity of the moment, introducing even a shape of rhythm which skips and will skip as the singings of a paradisiacal bird. An enthralling voice as much acuteness as spectral adds a phantasmagorical touch to the finale of "False Dawn" which little by little falls under the charms of a slow tempo, decorated by the suave voice of Carys which spreads its bewitchments over the line of bass sequences of which the slow pulse pounds delicately in a meshing of riffs and percussions which raise dusts of the light rhythm of "Sirens". The electronic effects and the poignant orchestrations accentuate a filmic approach, even a dramatic one, with this slow rhythm which increases its heaviness in the moods of "Dreaming Desire". Here also the voice of Carys and the orchestrations dominate a rhythm which aims to be a little more insistent without ever overflowing its delicate dreamlike envelope. We are in the field of quiet music. "Remembering Where we Were" leads us to the first pinnacle of “Beyond the Airwaves Vol. 2” with a delicately more insistent structure of rhythm. It's a nice morphic down-tempo with a zest of électronica adorned of delicious synth solos of which the strident charms can confuse a listening which wonders if it's not the voice of Carys that we really hear. A guitar comes to decorate this seraphic duel which brings out some Dreaming Desire of its New Age envelope. This is a good track which grows finely in intensity and gets lost for a while in  "Point Two" where the voice of Carys and these synth breezes which sing like astral mermaids rule over the ambiences of a very ambient tribal genre. In very well-kept arrangements which push a more lively structure, "Sign of Three" and "Where we are is Where we've Been" take back the role of "Remembering Where we Were" where the voice of Carys mixes its charms and introduces ambient/rhythm duels in luxurious orchestral arrangements. This sounds very
Robert Fox at times.
"Animism" opens the more electronic part of “Beyond the Airwaves Vol. 2” with a pattern of ambient rhythm which multiplies its disordered pulsations in the ringings of a rebel xylophone, electronic noises, foggy gases and synth pads waterlogged of apocalyptic rustles. If Dreaming Desire flirted with the ghosts of
Walking with Ghosts, the harmonies and the very light rhythm of "Ghost Dancer" throws us downright there. Lee Morant's guitar is as good as the one of a fine bluesman, while the paradisiac rhythm awakens the souvenirs of a certain album in 2002. "Vision Quest" cut out these ambiences quite abruptly with a surprising tribal ambient approach where shamanic murmurs and other ones closer to schizophrenia are melting to the beams of a sonic hoop and of its metallic glints which propagate until the introduction of "Return to the Plains"; the climax of “Beyond the Airwaves Vol. 2”. Under the bites of Lee Morant's six-strings, "Return to the Plains" gets transformed into a solid up-beat. A rhythm which gallops of its intertwined pulsations/sequences and which forges the limits of a heavy techno always decorated of these shamanic prayers which shout in splendid orchestrations. And the qualifier of splendid here is very weak. This sounds very Code Indigo. "Earth and Sky" takes us to the lands of melancholy where, always very bluesy, Lee Morant's guitar caresses our ears with the same poetry as Carys' voice. We are in the bonus tracks part with "Call to Me"; a piece of music written with Carys. It's a very deep relaxing Chill Out. Same goes with "Walking with Ghosts" which is a Chill Out Mix done by DJMass. Those are bonus tracks. Thus it is to be taken or ignore. I took them. Listened and was pleased as it's still good material from David Wright. And this Carys...what a voice she has. But still there: voices are not my cup of tea.
In all honesty? I had to struggle hard to tie bonds with this “Beyond the Airwaves Vol. 2”. Mainly for the Dreaming Desire part. But he still wins. Little by little,
David Wright goes away from this David Wright who has amazed by his musical esthetic. A signature which challenged the laws of modern EM of an England School style. But wasn't it always that? The man always avoided the etiquettes, being happy to do what he knows how to do best; offering a good melodious and dreamlike EM. Sometimes even a little bit progressive and audacious by flirting with the free style that is Electronica. And it's very exactly of what is made “Beyond the Airwaves Vol. 2”. If the extremely seraphic voice of Carys and Robert Fox's arrangements bring the Dreaming Desire segment near to New Age, it's done properly and never we fell it insipid. Even if sometimes orchestrations try to shake the sleepy tears of our soul. But Return to the Plains? WoW! This is 24 minutes of pure delight which gives us the taste to hear again what David Wright has more to offer.
Sylvain Lupari (May 16th, 2015) &
You will find this album on the AD Music web shop here