mercredi 18 mai 2016

FRATOROLER: What! (2016)

“For its subtle mixture of dark cinematographic EM and a Berlin School sometimes dipped into neo-Krautrock, What! will be a dominating album in 2016”
1 Okklusion 17:15
2 Lapsang Souchong 13:24
3 Scoville 21:35
4 Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerych-wyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch 16:09

SynGate ‎| CD-R FR05 (CD-r/DDL 68:23) ****½
(Retro Berlin School)
Fratoroler became this kind of band, a little like Perge or Arcane, from which we wait impatiently for the suite of events. Since Reflections, appeared in 2010, this project which gathers Thomas Köhler and Frank Rothe, the half of Filter-Kaffee, does not stop progressing with a series of albums of which the point of maturity was reached with the fascinating Nano in 2014. “What!” is a 5th album. An album which transcends the 4 first ones because Fratoroler touches slightly the essences of the neo-Krautrock while remaining framed well in its roots of retro Berlin School. And those who loves the genre, you will be delighted to hear 4 long music pieces which changes subtly of skin, even in their minimalist phase, where the sequences dominate the ambiences which try to avoid the origins of the Berlin School.
And what would be an album, a music of
Fratoroler without these misty openings where the sounds lose a little their virginity? It is thus in an industrial atmosphere where the breaths and the hummings reign among knockings and shudders of chains that opens "Okklusion". A small sneaky pulsation rises from this din of factory, as well as some Babylonian percussions. The introduction is meditating then between a filmic approach and another one more electronic as the synth throws a long plaintive pad which snivels around the chords of a thinking keyboard. And a superb line of sequences of the vintage years escapes around the point of 130 seconds. The movement is fluid, lively and oscillating in good speed under the caresses of a fluty harmony and another  line of sequences with curt keys which streak the electronic rhythm of "Okklusion". We are in the territories of a retro Berlin School reinvented with nice electronic effects, in particular gases of vapors, with harmonies and mists of Mellotron as well as percussions rattlers which decorate the rhythm delicately shaded of "Okklusion". The synth tosses solos as bewitching than the flutes of these sonic snake charmers which invade too often our emotions. And the more we move forward and the more "Okklusion" falls a little in a Krautrock mood with riffs of guitar, a metallic heaviness and tones psychotroniques which brings it out him of the electronic Berliner bed. A very good title which puts us the ears in appetite! "Lapsang Souchong" offers a more minimalist approach, after its 2 minutes of carbonic atmospheres, with a line of sequences which makes 6 peaceful keys waddle in front of another approach of sequences which clink such as ceramic bells. Calm, the movement remains not less attractive to the ear with this line of static rhythm which answers to its shadows, which goes up and comes down under nice electronic effects, pensive guitar notes and some very good airy synth solos. We stay easily in a state of hypnosis for good ten minutes here.
A long title proposed in 4 evolutionary phases, "
Scoville" presents a long intro of atmospheres where prowl some percussions rattlers, like a snake which crumbles its skeleton, in a cosmos filled with electronic effects, of woosh and of hollow winds. A movement of sequences makes skip some keys after the point of 6 minutes. Immediately, the rhythm takes shape with a muffled and resonant pulsation which bombards a static rhythm under the airs of a hybrid synth and of its harmonies as nasal and as symphonic, reminding the trumpets of Tangerine Dream's vintage years. The pulsatory movement is not static any more. It offers a structure of gallop one minute later. According to an evolution which adopts the curve of our desire the keys burst out quietly in a charmingly anarchy figure, creating a rhythmic always so static but furiously lively if our fingers follow the imagination of a rodeo of a herd of wild horses that we draw in our head. The atmospheres which encircle this movement difficult to describe are taken in the golden years of EM, in particular the forms of Ricochet and Phaedra crepuscular harmonies from you know who. "Scoville" reaches its saturation point around the 13 minutes, borrowing a corridor of atmospheres enough near its long opening, voices and electronic effects of magma bubbling in more. Another movement of sequences, more fluid and more lively, appears some 90 seconds farther, plunging "Scoville" into a movement of more contemporary electronic rhythm, as much at the level of the sequences as the atmospheres and the songs of synth. After its introduction of shady and glaucous atmospheres fed of floating tablecloths and dark winds where wallow smothered voices, electronic noises and other noises taken out of hell "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll llantysiliogogogoch" (“What!”) proposes a minimalist structure which walks on the bed of gaps. A line of sequences spreads 3 keys which skip heavily and sneakily in a structure of mortuary ambiences ideal for the kind of movie where the maniac sows terror with a victim which roams in a corridor without exits. That does as well Redshift as John Carpenter with a very black movement of which the velocity increases with the addition of another line of more crystal clear and more musical sequences which rings and skips in a structure of rhythm very in contrast with the primary minimalist approach. And if the rhythm changes a little, the ambiences are always so black , always also near fear.
For its subtle mixture of dark cinematographic EM and a Berlin School sometimes dipped into neo-Krautrock, “
What!” will be a dominating album in 2016. Fratoroler fills our ears and our senses of a music which refuses all compromises by surfing outside the limits of musical genres which attract our passions. And it's the biggest charm of “What!”; overturn into the unexpected while staying near the identity that we knew of it. A strong album which will seduce you again and again at every listening!

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

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