lundi 25 janvier 2016

RAINBOW SERPENT: Pulse (2000/2015)

“Pulse is a great EM album which mixes marvellously two poles, the old as the new Berlin School, with two contrasting approaches which fit so well in those intricate ambiences”
1 Pulse Trancemission 15:12
2 Part I 13:25
3 Part II 10:45
4 Part III 10:28
5 Part IV 4:17
6 Alien Nature 14:23
7 Part V 9:50

SynGate Records ‎| RSX-4 (DDL/CD-r) ****
(Progressive vintage and contemporary EM)
WoW! I completely missed this album! And it is one of the good reasons that I esteem those re-editions of the SynGate label. Year in year out, the German label resuscitates an album forgotten in time on its download platform. An album which very often is an inescapable and which remained snuggled up well inside its borders. “Pulse” from Rainbow Serpent is this kind of album. Cast into 7 tracks which are linked in ambiences as convoluted than its rhythms weaved in a creative complexity, but which flow so well between the ears, this 8th album of Rainbow Serpent is the perfect example of the duality between the harmonious approach of Frank Specht and that a little more audacious of Gerd Wienekamp.
"Pulse Trancemission" begins very slowly with sighs of computing machines of which the echoes are amplifying the presence of emptiness. Electronic effects draw an informatics language, bringing the first track of “Pulse” near the borders of cosmic psychedelism. A pad of voices unveils a vintage perfume. It precedes the first pulsations of "Pulse Trancemission" which take the shape of those of a peaceful heart beat. Synths divide these pads between effects of voice and mist, without forgetting to spread an orchestral veil which serves as onset to a shower of crackling and ambient tom-toms which resound far off. Wrapped by a cosmic choir, the rhythm of "Pulse Trancemission" thwarts the forecasts with a heavy and lively approach. It spreads its parallel curves which wave with fluidity in the tumult of the ambient percussions, percussions kind of those tribal trances in
Schulze's Totem era as well as electronic effects and solos from a synth which whistle such as a mechanical nightingale with a mutating voice. Sometimes a pulsation gets lost and tries to run away. It loses of its vitality in the wide banks of interstellar layers filled of electronic chirping and in some faded voices, as well as in the pulsations which bring us to this fascinating electronic dialect of which the well tied up loops forge a surprising sequence of rhythm. The movement of "Part I" looks like the one of a carnival that we hear far off. Very far in the cosmos! Still there the movement is fluid. It hangs on to its oscillating loops which are leaning on sober pulsations and on lively noises of cymbals. The chants of the synths are piercing and draw acrobatic tricks which spin over these indefatigable curl of electronic rhythms. The percussions tumble down at around the 4th minute. Their scattered crashes structure an ambient rhythm, a little as Grosskopf in the ambiences of Klaus Schulze. A beautiful movement of dark sequences runs away while "Part I" wraps itself of mist around the 7th minute point. The rhythm becomes fluid and heavy, like in the Phaedra years, beneath pads of mist and of voices before that some more lively pulsations lead it not far from of a morphic techno. One of the charms of “Pulse” is doubtless this fusion of organic tones and ambient percussions which sound so much like Klaus Schulze's fathomless rhythms in Totem. Except that the contemporary envelope of the sound muddles up our memory, so that the impression of already heard gives way to a form of dazzle.

Little by little the rhythm which gets organize all around becomes a kind of cosmic Groove of which the swaying of the hips makes undulating our body in an intense cosmic phase. Synths and their effects are very melodious and get closer a lot of Frank Specht in Sebastian im Traum. It's a beautiful moment of a little more celestial mood before that the lively and fluid rhythm of "Part III" brings us no more and no less near of ['ramp], of Redshift or if you prefer in the good old Tangerine Dream days. The play of the percussions, so much the jingles as the Bongo drums, adds a more contemporary electronic depth to this rhythm buried under a good chthonian choir. It's very good. It's the track which catches our attention the quickest on the first exploration of “Pulse” which dives afterward into a very ambiospherical phase with "Part IV" and its vocoder which seems to recite a prayer over the bitter sight of battle field and its mist of sweat. That reminds me enormously of Pink Floyd in Animals, Sheep. The dialogue of the machines continues with "Natural Alien", a complex track which deserves to be discovered. The first listening could displeasant a little with this voice of machine which gabbles a secret language that only people of some very former nomad tribes seem to understand, if we trust this structure of rhythm which adopts a kind of clanic trance with pantings which blow in loops. That reminds me of the aboriginal structures of Steve Roach. The first 3 minutes of "Part V" prolong the ambiospherical phase of “Pulse” with a synth which frees multi-sonic twists over the jingles of the cymbals. A bass sequence beats a little after the 3rd minute, lighting up a nervous structure of rhythm where sequences and percussions flicker without a precise plan of rhythm before plunging this last track of “Pulse” towards a fast sequencer based electronic rock which is filled by a technoïd approach hidden in this Teutonic universe of rhythms unique to the approaches of these German groups which always knew how to bring their EM jewels of the Berliner style towards other heavens. Yep... a damned beautiful album. Not easy to tame but of an incomparable wealth.
Sylvain Lupari (January 24th, 2016)

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

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