lundi 12 septembre 2016

HARALD NIES: Tales of Light (2016)

“No surprises and no deceptions, Tales of Light is like what Harald Nies knows how to do best; solid and melodious EM”
1 Flowing Particles 6:19
2 The Age of Light 7:33
3 Invisible 8:32
4 400 to 700 12:21
5 Follow Me 8:37
6 Blind Fall 11:13
7 Reflectance 8:28
8 Cahaya 6:06
9 The End of the Candle 7:51

MellowJet Records ‎| cdr-hn1601 (CD-r/DDL 76:59) ***½ 
(E-Rock, morphic beat and Berlin School)
I like it when it's heavy and slow. Like a cosmic blues! Like the EM of Harald Nies. "Flowing Particles" gets rid of a synth line which bends slowly and which crumbles its iridescent dusts over a movement of a bass line which drags languishingly its furtive chords. The percussions fall. They are not heavy. They are only structuring this slow rhythm which finds its heaviness in its sonic dress. A synth throws plaintive harmonies while a line of sequences makes its keys flickering and shake the rhythm of spasmodic hiccups. But the rhythm remains always slow and the synth always spits its harmonies as sensual as ethereal. The guitar joins this celestial blues with solos more aerial than the synth which scatters a silk carpet of which the dusts sparkle like hundreds of celestial bodies. Always torn between electronic and cosmic rock, and who escapes some rather sentimental ballads, Harald Nies gets back to us with an album which shows off all his styles. If we are unable to resist to cosmic blues which is "Flowing Particles", we shall love undoubtedly the superb and very electronic "Follow Me" and its highly shrill synth solos flying over a structure of rhythm as much heavy as slow. The exchanges between an electric six-strings very vaporous and the synth make of this title something as powerful as Perpetual Lights. Which is few to say. The morphic sweetness of "Flowing Particles" throws itself into the thin line of the spasmodic sequences of "The Age of Light". The arrangements are of silk with layers of voices which get lost in the ambiences of a synth in esoteric mode. Static, this rhythm remains linear and amasses jingles and other effects which get melt into heavy layers of mists and of absent voices. We are a little in the territories of deep atmospheres which occupy a wide part of “Tales of Light”, if we include the very ambient "Cahaya" and its Berber murmurs and its sitar with very pinched notes, as well as "The End of the Candle" which ends this last opus from Harald Nies with emotionalism and intensity. But between both, there is rhythm!
Each title here is finely attached by lines of ambiences adorned with iridescent prisms. It's in these meshes that is born the movement of sequences of "
Invisible" which limps nonchalantly under an electronic finery watered by effects and by fine heterogeneous noises. A little as in "The Age of Light" the structure remains of a cosmic ambient approach with a rhythm which ripples like a sea that we shake up in order to give it an appearance of life. Intense layers fall from the skies and wrap this motionless rhythm of a tragic aura, guiding this delicate skeleton towards a kind of cosmic hip-hop decorated with very beautiful synth solos. We notice a more discreet guitar around the 9 chapters which compose the whole of “Tales of Light”, giving so a more ethereal facet to the album, except for "400 to 700" which is a good electronic rock wrapped up with good cosmic effects and perched on good rock percussions. The bludgeoning leads a lively and rather quickly structure, the tunes are downright like that, that I would place, for point of comparison, between Tangerine Dream of the Eastgate years, some very good Frank Dorittke and even Mike Oldfield. It's a strong title which keeps us on the alert. "Blind Fall" starts slowly before taking a form of rhythm which reminds me of Silverline from the Horizon album. The sequences are dancing among jerky riffs and chords, forging a nervous rhythm which sober percussions hammer with a robotic fluidity. The synth layers are hyper wrapping and throw some morphic gas on a structure which goes and comes according to these layers' moods and their effects. That becomes a good up-tempo always hampered of perturbing the immense caresses of those layers. That sometimes sounds like a kind of progressive cosmic rock. The first 4 minutes of "Reflectance" offers another very good electronic rock, one the wildest and the most lively of “Tales of Light”, before taking a more ethereal tangent in the middle, just what Harald Nies needs in order to redirect his wild rhythm up until the moments of nomadic atmospheres of "Cahaya" and those of the very intense and rather filmic "The End of the Candle".
In each of his albums, it's always the same story. Always on horseback between the styles he likes to use,
Harald Niesremains an artist who disconcerts due to his freedom of creation. The man likes as much the blues as the big rock but also these sleepy layers which wrap up this rhythmic guerrilla which spit these nice thin lines of sequences whose spasmodic jolts whip the atmospheres such as length stroboscopic lassoes. In brief, every title of Harald Nies' albums is for somebody and we find in “Tales of Light”, like in all of his albums by the way, a title which connects us to his music. A beautiful artist and a different EM to discover!

Sylvain Lupari (September 12th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find a way to order this album on the MellowJet Records web shop here

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