lundi 27 juin 2016

KRYFELS: Lifecycle (2016)

“Dark ambient music livened up by impulses of layers or of sequences, Lifecycle seems to sound like a missing link between the  first years of Klaus Schulze and those of Ramp and/or Mr Parsick”
1 Anteroom 5:06
2 The Choice 6:17
3 Open the Door 3:45
4 Life Edge 6:32
5 Mind Transit 4:32
6 Lifecycle 6:14
7 Burned Lands 8:34
8 Alone Again 7:39
9 Anteroom 2 (Parallel World) 6:05

Kryfels Music (CD 55:07) ****
(Dark ambient music)

I always attack a work of ambient music with a lot of detachment. I put myself the nose in a book and I let myself absorb by this sonic void which invades my senses, such these big waves of ink coming from a huge octopus. If the reading takes place without my ears rise up, I know that the music is soft, quiet and linear... It's when my eyes get loose from words of a writer (I read at the moment Faims from Patrick Sénécal) to connect in my ears that my senses have detected something impressive. A little like here with "Life Edge".“Lifecycle” is the 3rd album from the French synth wizard Kryfels. A quieter album, and especially darker, than Parsec where revealed us to be another follower of the primary years Klaus Schulze. And if the influence of Schulze always remains so present in the movements of ambiences of Kryfels, his music here inhales another perfume. That of occultism with strange sound shadows which eventually steal our eyes of the nothingness to fix them where Kryfels wants to bring us.
An austere shade rises of our loudspeakers. Spreading a sinister wave, it divides into many lines of which the sibylline colors also reveal abstruse chants. Multiplying the layers of dark ambiences, "
Anteroom" invades our senses with perfumes of ether and invites us to the 9 sound chapters of  “Lifecycle” with a very ambient and dark approach where chthonian murmurs and hollow winds harmonize their hold on our sense of hearing. The movements get organized around the last album of Kryfels with the slow arches, always very Mephistophelian, of "The Choice" and its sepulchral waves moved by layers of organ and beatings of steel doors. That makes very vintage ambient. "Open the Door" is dragged a little in these dead movements but with a halo of luminosity which irradiates such as voices of spectres buried in slow and sinuous oscillations of a vampiric bass line which will mislay a beautiful spectral melody towards the finale. We are always in the dark corridors of the fissures, even if the power of tones and the muffled movements of rhythm liven up little by little the moods of “Lifecycle”. "Life Edge" leads the charge with a storm of woosh which sweeps the sonic horizons. A delicate movement of sequences makes twinkle its keys which dance in a figure of rhythm more harmonious than rhythmic. Bright veils caress this chant of sequences livened by some beautiful astral embraces whereas "Life Edge" swirls as a xylophone in the form of a carousel. The sounds get more acute and the shadows more scarlet, while are grafted large groans of an chloroformed layer which little by little switches off the magic of the twinkling carillons of "Life Edge".
"
Mind Transit" proposes an ambient rhythm knotted around staccato effects from which the echoes swirl slightly on the sonic carpet of synth waves with very analog tones. One would say vapors of old Schulzian organ. The title-track is a real tribute to these ambient rhythms of the nice time of Klaus Schulze. Even if Richard Raffaillac tries to get rid of the influences of the German master, we cannot avoid the parallels, especially with "Lifecycle" and its somber rhythm which rises and falls, pursued by vapors of ether and of old organ. That's very beautiful and that brings us to the period of Timewind. The same goes for the very ambient "Burned Lands" which brings us near the nebulosity with a thick cloud of spectral waves which float in a mass of harmonies of robots-monks humming into deep gutters of which the narrow and willowy corridors seem to connect with cosmos. The touching layers which decorate the finale give shivers to the soul. There are dusts of rhythm of "Life Edge" in "Alone Again". Less circular, the structure is parading in fine limpid jerks and is eaten away from everywhere by the powerful woosh, by greedy hollow winds and by shouts of starving spectres. These ambiences are hot, like a storm of cracklings which attack the tolerance of the sense of hearing to analyze the abrasivity of tones. Gradually the calm settles down with soothing layers haloed by an aura of old organ. It's a sonic cataclysm avoided! "Anteroom 2 (Parallel World)" brings us in the somber corridors of dark ambient music worthy of the universe of Baki Sirros, the soul behind Parallel Worlds, where Kryfels attaches finely these missing links between the first years of Klaus Schulze and those of the last years when the dark ambient music spatters as in the most beautiful moments of ['ramp] and/or Stephen Parsick.

Sylvain Lupari (June 27th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find info on how to get this album on the Patch Work Music web site here

samedi 25 juin 2016

MYTHOS: Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes (2016)

“Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes is an ambitious sound fresco which we have still never heard and which brings us back to these big cinematographic”
1 Phileas Foggs Dream 4:22
2 Around the World in 80 Days 6:24
3 Across the Mediterranean Sea to Egypt 6:56
4 Steamer to Bombay 10:11
5 To Calcutta by Elephant 7:42
6 From Calcutta to Hong Kong 8:31
7 From Yokohama to San Francisco 8:32
8 Across the Atlantic Ocean 9:35
9 It's Off to Liverpool! 3:13
10 It Seems the Wager has Been Lost 7:31
11 The Triumph 6:59

Groove|GR-224 (CD 78:58) ****(Cinematographic EM)
As with Jules Verne Forever, writing a chronicle about this last album of Mythos is not an easy thing. Here, there is nothing as somewhere else, set apart Jules Verne Forever. A wave of sound spreads its reverberation which languishes in groans of didgeridoo. Tribal voices hoot whereas a line of sequences makes oscillate its keys in fine kicks of horse and that percussions spring out such as jets of blowpipe. The rhythm of "Phileas Foggs Dream", as well as all the universe of “Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes” is rather difficult to describe. Sometimes it oscillates as a big boa and other times it drums as a pony taken in ice. Without forgetting these moments of transitions which facilitate the passage of the one towards the other one. But each time, it's forged in sequences and percussions as organic as electronic with a harmonious portion which remains stuck on eardrums. This harmonious texture is moreover just as much fascinating with a caricatural approach which oversize a very tribal bucolic sound envelope in a sound fresco which brings us back to these big cinematographic deployments where traders of fairs and acrobats of circus walked around in crowded streets. Here we are, and it's completely identical to the 80 minutes of this other Stephan Kaske's odyssey, at the heart of the universe of Jules Verne. Here, everything is as much attractive than difficult to seize. In fact “Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes” is an album to which one becomes accustomed rather with difficulty so much the sound texture which extricates from it is as much audacious than unpredictable.
The rather Tibetan opening of the title-track leads us in a sound universe which challenges constantly the imagination. The ringing of bells is swallowed by a structure of rhythm which sparkles with its thousand pulsations and with the brilliance of these bells in order to crawl finally like shadows of vampires before flying on a more fluid phase where dramatic and imaginary elements are in confrontation in a baroque structure filled with sound effects and with bucolic elements as realistic as these grandiloquent movies inspired by the world of
Jules Verne. "Around The World In 80 Minutes" throws itself into "Across the Mediterranean Sea to Egypt". The rhythm is very electronic with a meshing of sequences, filled of criss-crossed acrobatics, and of percussions which click and resound such as wooden clogs. The sequences are feeding as much the fire of the percussions as the thin lines of harmonies twittered by absent voices and by effects of flutes. Every title here are tied in a long mosaic of 80 minutes with structures which are similar while being very distinct. So the structure of rhythm in "Steamer to Bombay" is a fascinating symbiosis of the first 3 titles but in a more hopping envelope. It's indisputably the first crush in “Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes” with this rhythm which cavorts cheerfully under the bites of the low sequences and the grapeshots of percussions so much shining than attractive. The effects of flutes and gurgling sound are built around so many mysteries as charms. "To Calcutta by Elephant" pursues the quest of elegance with an indefinable structure decorated with beautiful harmonies extirpated of a synth always in creative mode. The rhythm is ambivalent and enslaved in an atmosphere of jungle filled with dramatic effects.

"From Calcutta to Hong-Kong" follows with a structure always also batrachian but in an envelope of more ethereal oriental melody. A chinese violin and a mandarin flute accompanies the hatching of a green and abundant musical fauna while the track undertakes a more dramatic tangent with good harmonious oriental glassfuls. "From Yokohama to San Francisco" adopts the shape of a slow tempo, a little in a nuptial march mode, adorned of nice moments of harmonies of which the effects of jerks and of whirlings give the impression of hearing the fall of stars, some are falling with nice melodies here, on a boreal night. We enter into the quieter core of Mythos' last opus. Lighter but just as much mysterious, "Across the Atlantic Ocean" proposes a peaceful hopping structure with a mixture of tones in the movement of the sequences which offers a delicious crescendo between its phases of ambient moments. Very charming, the synth offers two lines of fluty harmonies which skip in unison with the delicate rhythmic growth of  "Across the Atlantic Ocean". "It's Off to Liverpool!" is the 2nd track of “Jules Verne - Around The World In 80 Minutes” to propose a more electronic rock structure loaded of Tangerine Dream's perfumes in their Jive era. It's a good title with a circular melody which swirls in electronic effects very near of Legend. "It Seems the Wager has Been Lost" is as much lighter than a Jazz music of a night club where some last lovers look each other with desire. The tribal approach which hides behind this curtain of romance offers a completely delicious cachet to this music which discloses its finale in jolts of cascades. "The Triumph" ends this other impressive work of Mythos with a magnificent melodious approach where effects of voices caress a beautiful movement knotted in the limpidity of a rivulet of sequences. The title evolves afterward in a beautiful down-tempo and reminds me enormously these attractive movements tinted of romance which decorated the music of Thierry Fervant or yet Walter Christian Rothe in his majestic Let The Night Last Forever.
Fascinating and audacious! Such are the first words which come in mind to describe better the universe of this last
Mythos opus. Still surfing on the dreams and the fantasies of our childhoods, closely linked to the tales of Jules Verne, Stephan Kaske always succeeds gallantly this audacious bet to put in music the tales and the visions of the famous writer from Nantes. And as indicates it so well Mythos, you have to give yourself the chance to listen to the album as a whole, with good earphones, in order to be taken by the waves of his last creation. And that comes rather fast.

Sylvain Lupari (June 25th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Groove web shop here or on Mythos web site here 

samedi 18 juin 2016

SEQUENTIAL DREAMS: Legends (2016)

“Legends is without a doubt the best opus, the more rock in any cases,from this project of Kuutana which gets better from an album to another one”
1 Mission to Shangri-La 6:12
2 A Day Like no Other 4:22
3 Kurenai 8:40
4 Through the Looking Glass 8:38
5 Event Horizon 5:45
6 Canyon Oasis 8:15
7 Mojave Midnight 7:25
8 The Kindly Beast 3:44
9 The Electric Monk 9:52
10 The Big Apple 5:44
11 One Giant Leap 7:54

Sequential Dreams (CD/DDL 76:34) ****
(Electronic Rock)
After a solid opus to start the year, Lost Dimensions, Ron Charron (better known under the name of Kuutana) puts back his clothes of composer and producer of EM of the New Berlin School genre to offer an album which is closer to the roots of the electronic rock of the 90's. Flanked of mainly by Bernhard Beibl on guitars and violins, Kuutana also surrounds himself of Ryo Utasato on synths and arrangements and of Kori Linae Carothers on piano as well as with a variety of musicians from the New Age environment to give a more melodious zest to an album which crosses easily the limits between electronic rock, New Age and some perfumes of Berlin School from the TD's best years...
"
Mission to Shangri-La" affix this signature of this last adventure of the Sequential Dreams vessel with a line of sequences which makes oscillate its keys in the winds of swiftness and in the layers of a keyboard loaded of very Tangerine Dream's perfumes of the  Green Desert's year. The synths are harmonious with short stylized solos which sing as these harmonies in the Flashpoint era. Percussions flog the atmospheres near the second minute, awakening a line of bass sequences which intensely waves in its sonic cocoon. It's rather the violin which will excite the state of embryonic rhythm of "Mission to Shangri-La" which goes out of the envelope to offer a good electronic rock that Bernhard Beibl softens a bit with an acoustic guitar which throws very pinched notes. This first title of “Legends” offers in 6 minutes the diversity of the atmospheres that we find in this last opus of Sequential Dreams. "A Day Like no Other" brings us in the very New Age American territories. It's a delicate ballad centered on a piano where implosions of bass and guitar riffs pitch a dramatic veil, while Noah Wilding spreads her very ethereal voice. It's the kind of thing that we listen to on a Sunday morning while we are daydreaming in the bed. "Kurenai" is a first crush here with a very good electronic rock perfumed of the ingredients from the best moments of Tangerine Dream in the Melrose years. The percussions and the arrangements forge a kind of good rhythmic ride while the effects of voices add an oriental touch to this track which is as much seductive than lively. "Through the Looking Glass" is another good track which proposes a rather long ambient introduction with an acoustic six-strings which scatters its dreams in some synthesized mists flavored by absent voices. A line of bass sequences, the bass envelope is very omnipresent in this album, lays an ambivalent structure of rhythm which eventually end by tumbling down in effects of rodeo coupled to moments of suspension of those rhythm momentums. The effects of very vaporous orchestrations are placed well here and the small fragments of harmonies throw souvenirs of  TD in our ears. It's the cornerstone of Sequential Dreams' foundations.
"
Event Horizon" is the jewel of this last opus of the international consortium of Kuutana. This is pure TD of the Green Desert year lost in the Exit years. Bernhard Beibl's guitar spreads harmonies under the forms of riffs while the synth throws very cosmic airs. It's rather the movement of ambient rhythm and the riffs of keyboard that gives us this desire to open a CD of Tangerine Dream. Very good and too short! "Canyon Oasis" is not outdone! Between two phases of atmospheres, the title offers a fiery electronic rock where Bernhard Beibl bursts out on his electric six-strings. If the 2nd part is softer, the guitar is more incisive with very good solos. We are in the best moments of “Legends”, to say the least for those who likes solid electronic rock. An electronic rock skillfully tamed, "Mojave Midnight" is my 3rd crush! If the guitar still seduces, the arrangements and the electronic effects, in particular those of the percussions, fill our eager ears. After the point of 4 minutes "Mojave Midnight" offers a superb crescendo, both in the rhythm and the harmonies tortured by the guitar and the arrangements. "The Kindly Beast" is a fascinating title. It's a ballad that one could consider written for macabre films starring phantasmagorical characters. The piano shines here with a fragile ritornello which rises in spiral on atmospheres of fear and on a structure of rhythm which draws these ballads in an obscure merry-go-round. This is very good. "The Electric Monk" is an electronic rock which is inspired by the TDI years with a furious guitar which throws its gall on a meshing of sequences and percussions which go in opposite directions. The 2nd part is as well explosive as the guitar can be furious. Yes, a huge electronic rock of the years Edgar and Jerome Froese. "The Big Apple" is quieter, although development reminds me that of Hamlet, from you know who, without the wild side A good rock slowed down by a beautiful approach of ballad. "One Giant Leap" ends “Legends” on a more theatrical approach which sticks easily to the Dante trilogy of TD.
The only drawback concerning this last opus of
Sequential Dreams is that it's mixed for those who will listen to it from an iPhone or another intelligent device. The sound of the basses sometimes smother the effects and the rhythm when we listen to “Legends” on a support other than that of the digital technology. A version for hi-fi system is to be hoped. But as for the rest, it's another very good album of electronic rock from the Borders Edge Music house. There is a beautiful balance between the hard-line rhythms and these melodies which go and come to moderate the rhythmic impulses or still to embellish atmospheres which sometimes touch these lands of sadness visualizations in these epic movies where the imagination supplants the fiction. There are tracks here which transcend all that Kuutana realized in date, Bernhard Beibl's presence is doubtless for something here, showing that the best of Ron Charron is yet to come.

Sylvain Lupari (June 18th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Sequential Dreams Bandcamp page here

vendredi 10 juin 2016

VARIOUS ARTISTS AD MUSIC: E-Scape 2016 (2016)

“Qieter than its previous chapter, E-Scape 2016 is yet another great compilation from this England label which always aims the seal of excellence”
1 First Things First (Modal Electronics 002 Demo)-Barry Neilsen 3:56
2 Constellation-Translunar 5:35
3 What Oak Trees Remember-The Glimmer Room 8:09
4 Deaf Four Longer-Stephan Whitlan 11:39
5 Breath (Modal Electronics 002 Demo)-Barry Neilsen 3:51
6 Incognito-Ian Boddy 9:14
7 Flying Over (Instrumental Mix)-Andy Pickford 7:03
8 On the Edge of Existence-Bernd Kistenmacher 7:16

AD Music ‎| AD170CD (CD/DDL 56:43) ****½
(England School-Cinematographic Ambient)
The next E-Scape festival is coming on next Saturday and, with the aim of putting our ears in appetite, the AD Music label launches a compilation album which includes unreleased music by the artists who will be present at this festival which will take place in The Cut Arts Centre in Halesworth, England, on June 11th of this year. First analysis! The music on “E-Scape 2016” is clearly more ambient, more ethereal, than on the first E-Scape on 2015. Second analysis! Another excellent compilation structured well with half a dozen sonic jewels.
Barry Neilsen, who won't be at the festival, opens the ball with the much ambiospherical "
First Things First (Modal verb Electronics 002 Demo)". An unknown artist for me, the press review underlines with good reason the influence of Vangelis on Barry Neilsen's very cosmic synth layers impetus who offers though an approach clearly more in the Vangelis cosmic style and with a more dramatic touch with the quiet and dark "Breath (Modal verb Electronics 002 Demo)". You like? We can discover his skill and music on You Tube! The fact remains that this quiet "First Things First (Modal verb Electronics 002 Demo)" sets the tone to a fiery electronic rock from Translunar. Another artist who was unknown me, Translunar is apparently inspired by Jean Michel Jarre and Andy Pickford. Very lively, "Constellation" is a nice surprise with its oscillating loops which bicker with some good febrile percussions in a rather cosmic ambience. The rhythm is contagious and adorned by a good rather vampiric melody weaved in a sober but very effective synth with an electronic dialogue which separates the melodic current. We hook to it right away. And it's with a great pleasure that I finally hear some new music from my friend Andy Condon. The one who marked my life forever with the huge I Remain comes back from a too long absence with a wonderful title which wears The Glimmer Room's very unique signature. "What Oak Trees Remember" is a monument of hopelessness my friends! Some little bit gloomy and austere breezes of synth spread a climate of somber melancholy while jingles are draining the precision of a metronome. Tears of keyboard are sculpting these fragmented ghostly melodies, so dear to this climate of The Glimmer Room's greyness, which pierce the veil of sadness of the synth breaths of which the slow momentums draw an ethereal waltz. The perception of a big oak which remembers a green flora is omnipresent. So much as we find its smile on our face when the sun irradiates now the atmospheres with a beautiful chant of flute which draws the stream of a soft river of which the purity of waters dances with the sunbeams. Beautiful and striking! I hope for a suite and especially for The Glimmer Room's new album.
Quiet is this “
E-Scape 2016”! "Deaf Four Longer" adopts the curves of serenity from "What Oak Trees Remember" with a very nice ambiocosmic introduction where the chants of the synth are rocking as much our ears as the stars which crumble their cosmic chirping. This delicate dreamlike lullaby is fading at the edge of the 4th minute whereas Stephan Whitlan enriches a structure of rhythm with sequenced keys which jump at unison and answer to their shadows in a structure of rhythm as lively as heavy. The synth frees some rather spectral but harmonious solos, a little like Martenot waves but in a melodious and lively spirit. This rhythmic race also fades out after 4 minutes where "Deaf Four Longer" recovers its spirits in a more atmospheric climate. This is great England School stuff here. After the Dantesque and Vangelesque "Breath (Modal verb Electronics 002 Demo)", Ian Boddy offers us a title which is in the purest tradition of Arc/Redshift repertoire, Mephistophelian shadows in less. The uncertain rhythm pounds gropingly in the tumults of metallic percussions before taking more steady impulses which are of use as base for a ghostly melody of a keyboard and of its light chords. It's is another great moment of England School which could do ravage in an Arc or Redshift concert. Even if I have a notorious weak for the music of The Glimmer Room, Ian Boddy and Bernd Kistenmacher, the palm of the most beautiful track of  “E-Scape 2016” goes undoubtedly to this Andy Pickford's splendid ballad, "Flying Over (Instrumental Mix)". A title which nested on the Jera album in 2012 , it's remixed here (I imagine without words) with a magnificent singing of cosmic sirens which would have even to divert the fate of Ulysses. Superb! My soft and romantic side would want dozens more like that. Bernd Kistenmacher concludes this great compilation of the label AD Music with a dramatic symphonic title which is at the greatness of his recent works. Deprived of rhythm, "On the Edge of Existence" remains not less intense with a musical envelope which digs a little in the repertoire of Celestial Movements and of Paradise. This is some solid Bernd Kistenmacher in a strong compilation of which every second is thought well. I look forward to hearing this E-Scape on 2016 in its virtual ticket format. You have your ticket?

Sylvain Lupari (June 10th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the AD Music web shop here

mercredi 8 juin 2016

BROEKHUIS, KELLER, SCHONWALDER & FRIENDS: The Repelen EP (2016)

The Repelen EP is a delicate variation of the last album from B,K and S about colors, and contrary to the Repelen series this mini-album of 42 minutes leaves more space to the music of the Berlin trio


1 Green One (An Acoustic Mix) 25:14
2 Green Two (Another Acoustic Mix) 17:01

Manikin ‎| MRCD 8005 (EP 42:16) ***½
(Minimalist and ethereal NBS)
Because we have to be honest, the Repelen series from Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder has nourished as many discussions as disappointments in the circle of fans of the famous trio of EM of New Berlin School (or post Berlin School) EM. The arrival of Raughi Ebert on guitars and of Thomas Kagermann on violins gave a cachet more romantic and a little more acoustic, adding even a tribal hint, to the rhythms always very minimalist of Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder, restructuring so the parameters of the trio who gives itself a more ethereal approach. But as for me, the Repelen series brings well and truly the music of Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder towards a more contemporary level without ever really spoiled the approach always very Berliner of Detlef Keller and Mario Schonwalder who splendidly knew how to transpose the nuances of retro Berlin School to a more contemporary step. It's doubtless the reason which makes that I like to listen to the music of this quintet a little bit unusual. And it's exactly what makes the charms of “The Repelen EP”.
Recorded live from an intimist concert given to the Repelen Church on March 14th 2015, this first mini album of a series of four offered in a cardboard sleeve offers a new vision of the first 2 tracks from the album Green; Green One and Green Two, that the Berlin trio was about to release 3 months after this concert. The structures of rhythm are almost identical. Only the atmospheres change because of the presences of Raughi Ebert and Thomas Kagermann. Moreover the acoustic six-strings and the violin replace the choirs and precede the electronic effects which brought out Green One of its sleepy cocoon. The rhythm of "Green One (An Acoustic Mix)" is slower to take off and the sibylline harmonies of the synths are replaced by a piano which is going to eat away your senses and by the lamentations of a violin that we mix too easily, we maybe make a mistake, with a synth. The version aims to be acoustic. Thus the rhythm is softer and less electronic, being even a little more ethereal, like a lascivious dance of sands. And it's the same principle with "Green Two (Another Acoustic Mix)" which proposes a structure of identical rhythm, but a little less livened up, where the electronic effects and the solos are always present. The arrangements, in particular the staccato effect of Thomas Kagermann's violin, are well inserted and lead the crescendo of the track while the guitar of Raughi Ebert, very discreet, scatters a delicate balance between the electronic and the acoustic.
You have like
Green? You doubtless going to love “The Repelen EP” which is a delicate variation of the last album from Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder about colors. And contrary to the Repelen series this mini-album of 42 minutes (sic!) leaves more space to the music of the Berlin trio. And I would add that in this context, that would be rather interesting to hear an album from this quintet which would revisit the best moments of Keller & Schonwalder. If we like Green, “The Repelen EP” is so a must!

Sylvain Lupari (June 8th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find info on how to get this album on the Manikin Bandcamp page here