dimanche 30 octobre 2016

PERGE: Pleonasms (2016)

“Pleonasms is another fantastic voyage through times where we dive back in these great years when the charms of the analog were competing the coldness of the digital”
1 Pleonasms 4:12
2 Fluctuation 12:27
3 Calybration 7:58
4 Atemporal Dispersion 11:19
5 Soliloquy 6:42
6 Cool Sands of Vermillion 16:11

Perge Music (CD/DDL 59:00) ****
(Berlin School)

Perge is sticking to their guns! Having dusted the old recordings dating of the 70’s and the 80’s with Aural Coefficients Within a Fractal Plane, appeared last February, the English duet which was one of the most important in the virtual universe of EM to the 70’s through the 90’s, gets back on the train in order to present us another recording which was one of the most popular on the market of bootleggers (who did not hear The Undulated Soundtrack For Phantasy' and 'Space & Sfears?); “Pleonasms”. I adore the double-sense of this title which is the 9th official album of Perge and which was recorded at the famous Preston Guild Hall and then at the Brighton Dome in England. These two places were also known to have been the witnesses of electrifying performances in November 80, for the Guild Hall, and in March 86, for the Brighton Dome, by none other than Tangerine Dream.
The title-track rouses our ears already in appetite with a heavy introduction loaded of whirlwinds of cosmic waves where from emanate thousands of bubbles of oxygen and thin lines of voices without souls. These effects of electronic ambiences reach a good level of intensity as the broth which guide "
Pleonasms" pours into "Fluctuation". The noises of crowd become rumors while the sounds of gong announce the awakening of this concert given at the Preston Guild Hall. The atmospheres remain dark when lost chords fall. A rather lively line of sequences copies the rhythm of a train which spits its pace under the itches of the small elytrons of metal. We are at the right place! Rolling of percussions get in at the same time as the synth layers, molded in harmonious riffs, and some very airy solos. "Fluctuation" becomes then in permutation of rhythm. The train mislays its sequences in another more nervous line and the percussions become more steady. Other synth layers are crossing the atmospheres, welcoming in their ethereal flights some very nice solos where effects of flutes and of foggy voices pepper our imagination, otherwise our desire to hear those effects. And quite slowly, under these layers and riffs which sound strangely like Tangerine Dream (to place well the reader), "Fluctuation" goes towards a finale which inhales its opening begun in "Pleonasms". For those who are eager of comparisons, and there are, "Calybration" is molded in the ashes of Calymba Caly but with a better sound quality. Perge does a very good dust removal from this classic where a line of sequences rises and falls, drawing a hypnotic spiral which is convenient to some very good synth solos. Sequences in the form of castanets, that we hear for the first time, are completely delicious for my ears always starving for novelties and for additional sound effects.
Effects and synth twists lead us to an unedited track played during this concert, the very good "
Atemporal Dispersion". A movement of sequences goes up and goes down, binding itself at a meshing of bass pulsations and electronic percussions. The atmospheres are of silk with a load of synth layers and of harmonies stylized under the forms of solos, while a keyboard takes the lead for the real harmonious portion. The chords are sharp and are like a blade on a rhythm which quivers in its structure of vertical spiral which hiccups in series. Awesome! Little by little the large amount of effects and other percussions are redirecting "Atemporal Dispersion" towards a more cosmic electronic rock phase with an approach which has doubtless influenced the Tangerine Dream of the 80’s. The solos are wonderful and flutter like singings of astral mermaids on a structure as much lively as immensely dense and which at times reveals the influences of Calymba Caly. A piano and a very melancholic synth cover the finale, Matthew Stringer settles down at the piano and offers us the very moving "Soliloquy": a small jewel which drew its delicacy from Tangram and which doubtless has served as inspiration for the superb Song of the Whale Pt II… to Dusk of the album Underwater Sunlight. This piano stretches its melody beyond the borders of "Cool Sands of Vermillion", where a surprising fusion between Vermillion Sands and Cool Breeze of Brighton waits for our ears as much disbeliever as fascinated by Matthew Stringer's guitar and these solos of Graham Getty's synth which spin like metallic fireflies on a fiery pattern of a hyper active sequences. Great track!
Pleonasms”? It’s another fantastic voyage through times and at high volume, we dive back in these great years when the charms of the analog were competing the coldness of the digital.

Sylvain Lupari (October 30th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Perge Bandcamp page here

vendredi 28 octobre 2016

DEAN DE BENEDICTIS: Salvaging The Present (2016)

“Salvaging The Present is an album as fascinating as difficult to tame where it's necessary to persevere in order to discover all its wealth, all its depth”
1 To the End of Elations 8:29
2 Micro Souls Anthem 8:18
3 Pagoda Tiempo 9:36
4 Never the Sacred Stretch 7:58
5 Night Arch 7:51
6 Blue Mesa 6:57
7 The Purity of Season 279E 8:25
8 Whisper Country 6:24
9 Regret in G (The Sky Remembers) 6:02

Spotted Peccary | SPM-1702 (CD 70:04) ***½
(Psybient, Experimental Electronica and film music)
Atypical and not really easy to tame, “Salvaging The Present” is this kind of album which seduces by its atmospheres and its texture well before its structures of rhythms or its melodic patterns. In fact, it's the sound aestheticism which will attract the ears curious to rub themselves in a style of ambient Electronica ambient and at the least very experimental. Pushing the boldness up to the bottom of our eardrums, Dean De Benedictis weaves a universe of sounds where are spawning many pieces of rhythms and of melodies which pop out from everywhere but not were expected. And each time, our senses, our ears and our judgment always stay in the limits of questioning.
"
To the End of Elations" begins with a relative intensity. Knockings and layers of synth, guitar chords and felted explosions, voices and radioactive waves form the genesis of this opening title where everything is drawn from a world that we consider futuristic, so much the perfumes of  Vangelis and his Blade Runner embalm the atmospheres. A form of rhythm emerges at the edge of 150 seconds. While notes of piano unfold a veil of nostalgia, the percussions are awakening quietly this very industrial down-tempo and whose lively structure is decorated by an acoustic six-strings as well as these strange cooings of the synth. A little more vigorous and immensely nebula, the structure of rhythm is wrapped up in a stunning sound mosaic where our ears have difficulty to count the effects and the instruments used and which make of "To the End of Elations" a fascinating opening for “Salvaging The Present”. At times that sounds like a music theme, while at other moments that sounds like a very good psybient, as melancholic as melodic. I don't say that we hook straight away, but our ears, as long as that they are attentive, have found a pretty good sonic gold mine. That continues with the small knocks of bursts of the percussions which open the structure a little bit Ska of "Micro Souls Anthem". The line of bass spits its snores of which the amplitudes resound on a bed of agitated percussions and get lost in layers voices filled of lunar prism. There are some flashes of Patrick O'Hearn which slumber in this structure which aims to be the most lively, except for the finale, of “Salvaging The Present”. Afterward, we enter the unknown! "Pagoda Tiempo" offers a long structure of atmospheres rich in sound effects and in effects of intensity. There also we can easily tie a link with a dark futuristic music theme like Blade Runner or still The City. "Never the Sacred Stretch" is the most interesting title of this strange mosaic of sounds. A structure of rhythm knotted in intensity tries constantly to hatch in an ambiance which is near of the nocturnal madnesses forced by a too big dose of hallucinogens. The  rhythm (can we call that rhythm?) explodes from we don't know where and takes a ghost shape out of the unknown. Except that the evolution and the changes of sonic scene are completely delicious. It's as brilliant as awesome! "Night Arch" proposes a structure of dark ambiences which is going to remind you the first albums of Tangerine Dream with its electrified rhythms which quiver by impulses.
If we like the dark ambient of
Steve Roach, kind of Immersion series, "Blue Mesa" will please you! The rather telepathic universe of "The Purity of Season 279th" is a little disturbing with these sound waves which look for elements of radioactivity and these voices which whisper in order to feed a kind of paranoia. The music here is also very filmic with a violin which drags its melancholic sighs in the shadow of a bass line which crawls like the best titles of movie music from Patrick O'Hearn. The finale is more oniric, like the introduction of "Whisper Country" where a delicate carousel of arpeggios shines in a kind of ballad for imps. Here, as everywhere on this last album of the one who has so much seduced the aficionados of the Ambient Berlin School with his Surface 10 project, the rhythms come from where? We just don't know! And they take an unknown shape in a mass of sound effects as much attractive than intriguing. A little as a kind of very morphic down-tempo with percussions which click and a violin coated of a sad melody from Asia. "Regret in G (The Sky Remembers)" concludes this fascinating album from Dean De Benedictis with a structure of rhythm knotted in the ritenuto with effects of bass which want to explode like the firing of a crossbow in a dense veil of cloudiness. The atmospheres are very Steve Roach, as in "Blue Mesa", but with a rhythmic genesis which eventually dried up its knocks to evaporate themselves in the tears of a violin. There is of all in here, as in each corner of “Salvaging The Present”. Chords of a guitar perfumed of a little Country music, Layers of voices and of synths and these percussions which sound like worn out hoofs. In brief, an album as fascinating as difficult to tame where it's necessary to persevere in order to discover all its wealth, all its depth. In fact, and even if it's not totally my kind, I have quite enjoyed this first meeting with the music of Dean De Benedictis and his “Salvaging The Present”. What do you want! We have to know how to widen our horizons!

Sylvain Lupari (October 28th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album or a link to order it on the Spotted Peccary webshop here

lundi 24 octobre 2016

GLENN MAIN: Tribute To Jean-Michel Jarre (2016)

“To my worn-out ears this Tribute To Jean-Michel Jarre is one of the most intelligent done in these uncountable remix and tribute to Jarre that I heard”
1 Equinoxe Part 1 1:38
2 Chronology Part 6 6:42
3 Equinoxe Part 4 4:52
4 Oxygene Part 2 5:00
5 Equinoxe Part 7 3:54
6 Magnetic Fields Part 1 4:14
7 Magnetic Fields Part 2 3:58
8 Souvenir de Chine 3:58
9 Oxygene Part 4 3:28
10 Oxgene Part 11 4:31
11 Second Rendez Vous 4:18
12 Oxygene Part 7 3:47
13 Fourth Rendez Vous 6:03

AD Music| AD186CD (CD/DDL 55:23) ***½
(Synth-Pop and Cosmic French School)
Am I wrong or the Halloween, the night of masks, is for this October 31st? I light innocently the question because Glenn Main has already found his costume and disguises himself like Jean Michel Jarre the time of an album, “Tribute To Jean-Michel Jarre”. And let me tell you that the costume is more than successful! The influence of the French musician always guided the music of Glenn Main since he heard  Oxygene and Equinoxe at the age of 9. Equinox Part 1 was his first very favorite and the title played non-stop on his tape recorder. About 20 years farther and six albums at his credit later, all influenced by the music of Jarre, Glenn Main breaks the ice and plunges into an album which redoes the biggest successes and by ricochet the music he loves the most of the famous French musician. Yes! An umpteenth album tribute to Jarre! The problem is that with all these albums, official or not, which paid tribute to Jarre or which redo his music in the form of uncountable remix, is there any more room for another album of the genre? I'm asking the question to you because I have never managed to stand none of these albums and this no matter the forms. So this “Tribute To Jean-Michel Jarre” from Glenn Main? Well...It goes down a little better. Doubtless because we have the tiny conviction that it's Jarre himself who retouches, with an extreme delicacy, this collection of 12 titles to which we listen to rather well I have to say.
Credit where credit's due, it is with this title which has so much obsessed the young
Glenn Main Henriksen that is opening “Tribute To Jean-Michel Jarre”. It's those delicate cosmic waves, rolling and rolling non-stop, which sharpen our ears with the opening track "Equinox Part 1". If the effects are almost similar, the sound of the synths remind us that we are into a tribute album here. But that remains well done. How many of remix of dance and trance were made of the music of Jarre? The version of "Chronology Part 6" belongs to this category. It's a moderated techno with a great sequencing pattern which exploits nice organic tones on a lively beat where the dance music and techno for marinated zombies are flirting marvelously. The voices are more silky and the harmonies of the synth are just a little bit different so that we appreciate Glenn Main's boldness. And the sequencer is very contagious! The version "Equinox Part 4" offers some more lively jerks. We are always in the territories of dance music where the harmonies are very close to the authentic. "Equinox Part 7 " is made in the same mold but with a wilder approach. The versions of "Magnetic Fields Part 1" and "Magnetic Fields Part 2" also offer more aggressive, more energetic structures of rhythms with a very good play of percussions, especially in "Magnetic Fields Part 2". And always, the harmonies are redone with a fair precision. What amazes the most on this album, it is that we really have the impression that it is Jarre himself who reworks his music. I like the version of "Oxygene Part 2". Glenn Main manages to keep the cosmic essence while injecting a rhythm of dance on which I would not be ashamed to dance on. It's done correctly. "Souvenir de Chine" has more soul here, more melancholy than on the original version. For me, "Oxygene Part 4" is a monument. A big piece that Glenn Main dares to reinterpret and I prefer the original, although that the Norwegian synthesist stays closer there but something is missing, or something is of much. "Oxgene Part 11" is the more trance, the more trash title of this collection. I don't know if Glenn Main wants to give a wink to these DJ and these makers of hyper modulated and noisy techno, but it's very noisy and rather irritating for my ears worn out since 1958. But I imagine that the fans of the genre are going to adore. "Second Rendez Vous", as as well "Fourth Rendez Vous", propose also these structures of boosted rhythms which we recognize on the late. The harmonies and the synths always remain faithful, in particular in the festive finale of "Second Rendez Vous"."Oxygene Part 7" offers a more danceable approach here. I stayed of ice, but that was the same thing for the original. I love a lot on the other hand the version of "Fourth Rendez Vous" with a more audacious approach of the sequencer. Not bad at all!
So, did I enjoyed this “
Tribute To Jean-Michel Jarre” concocted by Glenn Main? I guess so, even that at some points I was pleasantly enchanted. Glenn Main brushes the dance and techno approaches but without going for any reasons into those endless bang-bang boom-boom which distort too much the essence of remix. And it's doubtless the big strength, at least to my ears, of this album the tribute from Glenn Main. One of the most intelligent albums in these uncountable remix and tribute to Jarre that I heard!

Sylvain Lupari (October 24th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

You will find this album on the AD Music web shop here

mercredi 19 octobre 2016

COSMIC HOFFMANN: Best of (2012-2016)

“Best Of is indeed the best way to discover the great world of Cosmic Hoffmann, an iconic figure in EM and in the Krautrock Kosmik Musik style”
1 Howling Wolves 8:08
2 Shiva Connection 10:39
3 Hypnotic 5:08
4 Opera Mellotronique 7:51
5 The Call of Gullu 10:41
6 The Gate of Bihar 6:03
7 Sehr Mystisch 5:53
8 Spacewards 12:37
9 Crab Nebula 7:39

AD Music ‎– AD165CD (CD-r/DDL74:43) ****½
(Mix of vintage Berlin School and Krautrock Kosmik Musik)
That feels great to hear again the very beautiful music of Cosmic Hoffmann, of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock. Although this brilliant guitarist and synthesist founder of Mind Over Matter is a little more discreet since the making of Hypernova, his last album including a collection of unpublished titles released in 2009, he remains an always symbolic character of EM as prove his multiple collaborations and his participation in the creation of digital Mellotron, the Memotron of the Manikin label. The AD Music label re-releases the albums of Cosmic Hoffmann (7 all in all) for the needs of the streaming platforms. “Best Of” is a re-release, without new mixing nor mastering, of the compilation album entitled Best of Cosmic Hoffmann which saw the light of day in 2012 on Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock's label, Heart and Mind.
Composed in 1997, "Howling Wolves" sets the tone with a slightly jerky but rather fluid movement with a line of bass sequences which waves peacefully under layers of synth in the colors of Tangerine Dream in Desert Green and under the howlings of cosmic wolves. The approach is rather vintage with very warm tones which and with beautiful synth solos which coo in a mass of cosmicolectronic tones. The atmospheres are soft and the effects are near the psychotronic universe the 70's. It's a very good title stemming from the first album of Cosmic Hoffmann, Beyond the Galaxy. "Shiva Connection" presents us the very energetic side of Cosmic Hoffmann with a hyper jerky structure which parades as a train at a brisk pace in the interstellar landscapes. Other title and other structure of rhythm, "Hypnotic" changes of tone with a rhythm livened up by some motorik percussions which shake a nest of sequences skipping with fright. The synth spreads a mixture of charms as much of a flute and saxophone with beautiful harmonies, so giving an approach of hypnotic tribal trance to a title which reaches the aimed purpose. "Opera Mellotronique" doesn't really need presentation! It's exactly what we wish to hear of this master of Mellotron. Beautiful and ambient, one listens to it the eyes in the stars. The finale is magnificently captivating. Fine minimalist pulsations draw the rhythm slightly pulsatory but resolutely ambient of "The Call of Gullu". An avalanche of synth lines get entwine and unroll in a thick cloud of sound hoops from where escape solos and harmonies all carriers of the Krautrock Kosmik Musik seal. Always very comfortable with a Mellotron, Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock brings us in the dark spheres of la belle époque with a beautiful floating structure where voices and effects of enveloping layers remind us the sublime period of
Tangerine Dream's Phaedra. If we like those cosmic ambient phases, "Spacewards" will know how to fill our waits with a beautiful structure which too is not far from the Phaedra period but in a more cosmic envelope. "Sehr Mystisch" flirts a little with the structure of "Howling Wolves" with a wave-like movement and some rather piercing songs of synth. The effect of cosmos is always very present. "Crab Nebula" concludes this very representative collection of Cosmic Hoffmann with a structure which drifts as so comfortably than "Spacewards" and where the sweetness of the Mellotron and the beauty of the cosmicolectronic effects are as much inviting as the sweetness of Morpheus. There is a bit of Vangelis in this title for the effects of intensity which make rise a little the adrenalin of an eater of cosmic tones on the edge to fall asleep.
We had lost Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock a little in the fog since a couple of years. And this initiative to put back on the map a piece of his immense career with his Cosmic Hoffmann project is completely justified. It's the best way to discover this brilliant artist and this “Best Of” describes aptly the styles and the approaches of this iconic figure of the Krautrock Kosmik Musik style.

Sylvain Lupari (October 19th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the AD Music web shop here

lundi 17 octobre 2016

SYNDROMEDA: When IN-Side becomes OUT-Side (2016)

“If we look for something different in EM, this new When IN-Side becomes OUT-Side from Syndromeda will answer to your needs”
1 Native Alien Meeting 27:10
2 Upside Down 15:13
3 Reproduction NOT Allowed 10:35
4 Back to Sub-Reality 16:02

SynGate ‎| CD-R SS23 (CD-r/DDL 69`02) ***½
(Dark ambient and progressive vintage EM)
A distant shadow settles a sound texture of ambiences. Dark ambiences which swap their hollow breezes for layers haloed of astral voices. Slow! It's with an epidemic slowness that develops the long introduction of this last opus of Syndromeda. Near celestial bodies, the sounds and tones take the appearances of the dreamer. On "Native Alien Meeting" Danny Budts has braided an alloy of industrial mechanism, hollow breezes and distant voices which float like a wreck across the intersidereal space. And not, Syndromeda did not change at all his sound signature. Dark ambiences, piercing shards of synth and radioactive sequences mixed with Tangerine Dream vintage sother equencing patterns liven up the 70 minutes of his last opus on the label SynGate. Flirting with the blackness of gaps, the synth lines roam like spectres come from far away. Set apart some pulsations and movements of layers which weave intense moments, the first 19 minutes of "Native Alien Meeting" are purely of ambiences and of dusts of noises. Percussions begin hammering discreetly under a mass of cosmic voices while the sequences sparkle of these organic tones that Syndromeda likes to give to his ambiences. In fact, all of the action for the senses takes place in the last 6 minutes of "Native Alien Meeting". The rhythm there is ambient with a mixture of sequences to tones as much diversified as the bases of the rhythm. I like Syndromeda but I found the introduction of this meeting of the extraterrestrials' first nations much too long. But Danny Budts knows how to straighten his sound ship. The structure of sequences, which we listen to like a concert of chirping of birds which stammer, of "Upside Down" emerges after a short ambiospherical moment  from where emerges a language of extraterrestrial shape. The rhythm is forged by sequences which limp and of another line of pulsations, before becoming more fluid with a movement waving as an endless ascent. A very beautiful line of flute throws a surprising musicality to this rhythm of which the wall of astral voices always surrounds with an envelope of mystery. It's some good Syndromeda who fills our ears of a rhythm unique to his signature for the next 8 minutes, before that a duel between this concert of apathetic voices and of those beautiful songs of flute is wrapping "Upside Down" in a morphic cocoon. I really loved that one. "Reproduction NOT Allowed" proposes an introduction loaded of mechanical groans that more musical layers are cradling of tenderness. This sound of Syndromeda is unique and fascinates with an almost vampiric approach. Sequences bang as a metallic ball attached to a thread and which returns to bang continually on a pallet of metal. Another crawling line accompanies this static rhythm which is suddenly flooded of absent voices. Another line of sequence livens up even more the rhythm with lively and mixed jumps, giving an artificial rhythmic life to "Reproduction NOT Allowed" which will preserves its stationary approach. The same goes for the rhythmic structure of "Back to Sub-Reality"! Although more steady and presenting two lines, one rather conservative and the other one very nervous, of rhythm which is molded in the pattern of "Upside Down", except that the shrill solos replace the harmonies of the flutes. This is some pure Syndromeda and it needs more than one listening before really hooked on it. But this is the whole story for the great majority of the albums from the Belgian synthesist. If we look for something different in EM, because the sound here is completely unique, and a progressive cosmic music, “When IN-Side becomes OUT-Side” will answer to your needs. It's another beautiful sonic adventure of Syndromeda that his fans are going to savour neurons in the cosmos!
Sylvain Lupari (October 17th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

You will find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp page here

dimanche 16 octobre 2016

JAMES MURRAY: Ghostwalk E.P. (2016)

“To be honest?! I already heard a ghost's walk a little more discreet than this Ghostwalk”
1 Ghostwalk 6:58
2 Ghostwalk (Kinosura remix) 7:08
3 Ghostwalk (Martin Nonstatic remix) 7:27

inre088 (DDL 20:39) ***
(Psybeats, Groove & Electronica)
I already heard a ghost's walk a little more discreet than that proposed by James Murray! The title-track of this foretaste of the comeback of the British composer  on the Ultimae Records label opens with bass pulsations which skip under the delicate bites of cymbals. Layers which buzz like wings of big bumblebees intimidate this opening with a surprising effect of humming, defining the barriers of "Ghostwalk" which will balance between a rhythm slightly bouncing and some brief passages of atmospheres which are quite near a surrealist decoration peculiar to the night-ballads of these dear spectres which feed our most serene insanities. The sequences flow with fluidity and with a beautiful effect of gap in the pace, offering a structure which gets loose from the minimalism mood and which hooks the captivity of the listening. But the effects, and this spectral melody which mystifies with its misleading appearances, are at the heart of "Ghostwalk" with an approach more ghostly than organic. It's a premiere for me from this always very creative label. This E.P. offers remixed 2 versions of “Ghostwalk”. The first one comes from a new artist Kinosura. Here, the lines of basses are more captivating and the rhythm is more linear with laconic pulsations and with effects of percussions which click and fly away like a thick cloud of noises. The synth layers get melting in a sonic decoration which is closer to the roots of Ultimae Records with nice effects of hoops and with dark breezes always as much spectral as James Murray's vision. I liked this approach a bit more dance and groove than the original version. Martin Nonstatic's remix is more lively with sequenced pulsations which are more accentuated, some good effects (I particularly like the noise of these metallic doors which make creak the hinges) and a delicate melody which is more hummed in this ambience of spectres and their hypnotic charms. It bears the seal of Martin Nonstatic and it's the most electronic version of “Ghostwalk”. The album is expected later this year and I expect something rather unusual. But isn't it always the case with Ultimae Records!
Sylvain Lupari (October 14th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Ultimae Records Bandcamp page here

jeudi 13 octobre 2016

DRIFTIN' THOUGHTS: Secret Dimensions (1997)

“This is an honest album which keeps this cachet of the EM albums of this period. Besides the long title-track is one of the very good to have emerged from this time”
1 The Spirit of the Trees 6:50
2 Silence After Midnight 2:50
3 Rain 4:31
4 Secret Dimensions (Parts 1-4) 19:01
5 Panta Rhei 6:41
6 Windward 3:54
7 Disguised Illusions 6:23
8 StrangeLand 8:51
9 Broken Mirrors 5:23
10 Serenity 5:33
11 Forgotten Places 3:38

Spheric Music ‎| SMCD 8001 (CD 74:56) ***½
(E-Rock & New Berlin School)
The 80's and the 90's represent a little the dark side of EM of the Berlin School style. Abandoned by its main leaders who vainly tried a more commercial approach, the kind has waded in a creative slump where the emergent artists, and even some of the golden era, have tried hard to ally those 2 poles. It was doubtless the starting point of the New Berlin School. Several names appeared with a short series of albums and are disappeared in the creative labyrinths of EM. Driftin' Thoughts is part of this category! This project of the German musician Marcus Hildebrandt counts a thin total of 3 albums plus some titles that we find on uncountable compilations which appeared on various labels of this time besides a compilation of unedited tracks released in 2000 on the Spheric Music label. Apparently inspired by the approach of Tangerine Dream's most melodious years, “Secret Dimensions”, also released on Spheric Music label in 1997, proposes a very beautiful mosaic of styles which represented at that time the twist of the Berliner style towards a more concise approach where the melodious side and the rhythms of the digital synths dominated now all this analog side that the pioneers had developed in the 70's.
"
The Spirit of the Trees" starts things up with a structure of circular rhythm. The sequencing, as discreet as sneaky, draw oblong 8 while the percussions build a structure which balances between a very TD electronic rock and a good New Berlin School with another movement of sequences of which the keys cavort and are fool around out of time of the very linear approach of the main movement. The movement and the melody remind me of Johannes Schmoelling and the effects of percussions hook on the spot the attention of those who like the colors of sounds. It's a great opening! And if we like this kind of electronic rock highly inspired by TD's Jive years we shall like this album, especially with titles as "Disguised Illusions", "StrangeLand" and "Serenity" which alternate between a good e-rock, dance music and a bit of Electronica with a Techno zest. The melodious approach is at the heart of this collection of small titles and Driftin ' Thoughts offers to us beautiful ballads tinted with a romanticism a la Tangerine Dream of the Tyranny of Beauty and Turn of the Tides years. I think of titles like "Rain", "Windward" and "Broken Mirrors" with the Dirk Radtke's very edgy guitar. Here, Linda Spa's essences soak these moods of Easy Listening of these 3 titles. The atmospheric side is also very present on “Secret Dimensions” with tracks such as "Silence After Midnight", "Forgotten Places" as well as the wonderful morphic ballad of "Panta Rhei".
Of good e-rock to cosmic/ambient moods while going from Electronica as well as the syrupy ballads,
Marcus Hildebrandt also proposes a very good evolutionary piece of music with the very long title "Secret Dimensions(Size) (Parts 1-4)". The adventure begins with layers of synth which float over the echoes of some crystal drops and of which the ringings resound in a submerged cave. The voice of Andrea Hoffmann, which can also be heard on "StrangeLand", waltzes lazily with these layers which spread a cosmic aura, bringing a touch of esotericism to the introduction of this key title which is flooded with the influences of Tangerine Dream from Le Parc era. The sequences begin to stir some 90 seconds later. The alloy with the percussions give tones of the Hyde Park track. Flooded of layers and of cosmic effects, the rhythm of "Secret Dimensions(Size) (Parts 1-4)" is heavily harpooned by percussions while the sequences get wriggle all over this structure which always looks for its melodic approach. The approach lives in fact in the sequencing pattern and when the title dives towards a short ambiospherical phase, the rhythm returns with clothes of e-rock in a style which is more in Jarre's than TD. The percussions are very enticing at this point. Solos abound also in this part with a touch clearly more melodic than sequences. The three phases structure of this long title remind me a little of the brilliant Travelling Tune which we find on the album Breezing Sequence from TeeKay. Album appeared on the IC label in 1989.
“Secret Dimensions” is an honest album which keeps this cachet of the EM albums of this period. Those who are fond of these more rock and more ballad periods of
Tangerine Dream will be delighted by this album where Johannes Schmoelling's essence and those superb effects of percussions, one of the main attractions of this album, are what stands out the most. And "Secret Dimensions(Size) (Parts 1-4)" is one of the very good titles to have emerged from this time.

Sylvain Lupari (October 13th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You can find this album and order it here