mardi 29 novembre 2016

OWANN: Eternal Return (2016)

“Between rhythms and ambiences, the music of Eternal Return travels with the elegance of the most beautiful sonic poems”
1 Return to Sils-Maria 9:40
2 Frozen 5:56
3 White Forest 6:48
4 Silvaplana 15:40
5 Muottas Muragl 5:25
6 Eternal Return 8:00
7 Walking in Surlei 20:12
8 Memories 4:24

Wool-E Discs | WED006 (Digipak 76:05) ****½
(Mix of ambient moods and Berlin School)
Like winds coming from icy summits, a distant humming sweeps the horizons of "Return to Sils-Maria". We hear waves there to roll in the air, as these snowbanks which tumble down from the mountains. And then, the noise of the void which widens its veil of the sadness. And behind these 90 seconds, a superb movement of crystal clear sequences pierces the mystery and draws spheroidal circles of which the graceful movements of the fairy ballerinas swirl on the slow amplitudes of a completely delicious bass line. We dance and dance in our head with these fairies, like we waltz on the theatrical ice where are tipping over the fogs and the frosts of the cold. We are not alone. No! Layers of synth with perfumes as much heavy as black wrap these embraces of an unreal touch, so giving more tonus to the circular rhythm of "Return to Sils-Maria" which is a splendid opening to this 2nd long-awaited album from Owann. Inspired by the several stays of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in Sils-Maria between 1881 and 1883, Johan De Paepe undertook a kind of musical pilgrimage in the winter of 2016. Blown by the beauty of the landscapes, his trip inspired him the title of “Eternal Return” following a concept, a contents of thoughts, wrote by Friedrich Nietzsche during a stay in the enchanting décor of this small village of Switzerland. This sound collection of Owann is so traced on the model of his very beautiful Particles; an album intensely poetic. And between rhythms and ambiences, his music travels with the elegance of the most beautiful sonic poems. After this small jewel which is "Return to Sils-Maria", "Frozen" throws us in a state of hibernation with slow synth layers filled of sizzling and grave tones which infuse a delicate sibylline perfume. The undulation of the layers makes sing the cold in a universe of deep ambient moods as penetrating as that of the Steve Roach. The opening of "White Forest" is like a fine drizzle which crystallizes its embrace. If the movement is slow, it's still melodious with a piano which tosses its notes as thousands of branches which burst under the torture of the cold. We even hear the ghosts of the forest here to snivel of solitude. We can even imagine their breaths get congeal in the cold while the echo of the keyboard chords gets lost among these heavy effects of reverberations which hide the lunar decoration of “Eternal Return”. After an introduction of ambiences where our ears get beatified in front of a concert of drones which accumulate its iridescent lamentations in a symphony for cold hummings, "Silvaplana" glitters between our ears as these Michael Stearns' mirages in M'Ocean! Fluid but relatively quiet, the sequenced waves stack static loops of rhythm which let fall some repetitive harmonious filets where hide murmurs and humming of an astral choir. This is a splendid title which little by little takes the shape a very good morphic slow dance.
"Muottas Muragl" is a crossing between the ambient moods of "
Frozen" and "White Forest" with pinched keyboard chords which reveal a perfume of Steve Howe. Intense and dramatic, like the title-track which also proposes a wall of breaths and hummings in a warmer and also more sibylline envelope. The same recipe is kept for the opening of the sublime "Walking in Surlei" which will climb all the roads of the Berlin School EM style with its delicately jerky structure of rhythm where the sequences possess this breath of glass flute while keeping a percussive approach. A wide carpet of mist unties some strands which roam like starving spectres. Simply joyous. The music dives into an ambiosonic void after the point of 8:30 minutes. Then a sweet movement of sequences so close to those of Klaus Schulze’s contemporary years emerges. The beat gets on its feet again some 90 seconds farther. As much beautiful and magnetic as its first phase, it adopts an approach closer to Electronica with a nice morphic down-tempo. The bangings, the mute choir and the effects of resounding drones lead this wonderful title in a completely unexpected territory. Brilliant! Hat to Owann for it. "Memories" concludes this superb album of Johan De Paepe with a piano which throws its notes as we filter our souvenirs. The melody which results from it is like a shower of tears over the most beautiful moments of a life passage already too far. Yes, a very beautiful album my friends.Sylvain Lupari (November 29th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

You will find this album on the Owann Bandcamp page here

mercredi 23 novembre 2016

BERTRAND LOREAU: In Search Of Silence (2016)

“Few artists can really do retro Berlin School as Bertrand Loreau does and this In Search Of Silence proves it. A wonderful team effort with Lambert Ringlage”
1 In Search Of Silence Part 1 (41:03)
a) Engines of Search 6:25  b) Rain of Stars 5:55
c) Orbital Journey 10:34   d) Space Flight 4:14
e) Arise in the Desert 5:57
f) A World Apart 7:58
2 In Search Of Silence Part 2 (13:30)
a) Walking on Dunes of Time 13:30
3 In Search Of Silence Part 3 (16:55)
a) Meeting One Self 4:22
b) Introspection 5:52
c) To the Center of the Earth 6:41

Spheric Music | SMCD 6304 (CD 71:28) ****½
(Vintage Berlin School)
EM of the vintage Berlin School style still exists. You know this old model with atmospheres as cosmic as Mephistophelian and rhythms as soft as fuzzy which take strength and shape through a high wall of sounds with constants evolutions? Eh well…if a lot artists succeed to reach these levels, few can make it as Bertrand Loreau. In fact, since his very first album made on the Spheric Music label, Journey Through the Past in 2012, the brilliant synthesist from Nantes spreads his dominance on the genre with such an ease that each album manages to surpass the precedent and to surprise his public. “In Search Of Silence” won’t be apart!
This 2nd collaboration with 
Lambert Ringlage begins with astral waves which propel electronic chirpings. "In Search Of Silence Part 1" opens in a symphony of ambient noises where roams a good synth with the harmonies as so worn-out as the anarchy of the sounds which dominate the territory of Engines of Search. The stars whistle and crumble off while the sequences pound aimlessly nor precise rhythms and the synth sculptures solos which stretch out in the comatose hummings. We are in a sphere of experiment of sounds and of the reheating of the machines when Rain of Stars moves on with a movement of sequences which makes its keys cavort innocently under a sonic density which cools the ashes of Armageddon. And always, the synth waves are concentric in their cosmic envelopes. In voices and dust of mists is born the superb movement of Orbital Journey. The rhythmic skeleton of Rain of Stars widens its minimalist approach which metamorphoses in capers hardly faster but definitively more cheerful. The ambiences are weaved in cosmic mists and in dusts of stars while the synth multiplies the solos which sound as the laments of a happy but always nostalgic saxophonist. And the more we move forward in "In Search Of Silence Part 1" and the more the structure of rhythm metamorphoses according to the fluidity of the agile fingers which torture the sequencer. Thus, Space Flight reveals a wild rhythm where the sequenced keys are jumping in the reflections of bass of their main chords. The synth injects solos which are more musical and less solitary with a sibylline approach which defies the melodious side of these synthesized songs. We are in the heart of vintage EM with Tangerine Dream's shadows, period Phaedra to Sorcerer, which glide over structures of rhythm tinted of nebulosity. Arise in the Desert follows with a softer rhythmic structure. Here, the movement of sequences lays wide loops with 5 keys which roll and play with their shadows whereas the synths adjust their charms with celestial harmonies. And the solos are devastating for those who are crazy, like me, of artists who did not forget the principles of EM. They float like splendid songs of nightingales in a lunar decoration. It's somehow as if Jarre has infiltrated the atmospheres of TD. The residual hummings of Arise in the Desert throw themselves into A World Apart. The synth dresses again the skin of a saxophone with an approach of Blues while the sequences skin their membranes with organic tones to limp in a decoration which sets ablaze their velocity for a brief moment, before that the cosmic ambiences wrap the whole thing. The rhythm is reborn! Softer it skips with difficulty whereas the synth solos always remain so attractive, so catchy with their tints of saddened saxophonist who mixes tears and grudge with an infinite tenderness.
"
In Search Of Silence Part 2" takes back all the attributes of Part 1 with a beautiful progression in the minimalist walking of the sequences. The only difference is in the spheroidal approach of the movement which gives a more contemporary approach to a title which breathes Klaus Schulze at full nose, period Body Love, except for the synth solos which are more electronic, less nostalgic and airy here. The effects, the atmospheres and the decoration, although I like this subtle flavor of Jarre, are so near Schulze … We just cannot not like it! And it’s also true for the trilogy of "In Search Of Silence Part 3" which confronts the structure of rhythm between lively and\or ambient movements, on the same bases as "In Search Of Silence Part 1". Except that here, the structure is more condensed and varies with more speed its approaches. For one, Meeting One Self begins heavily, like an interbreeding of Ramp and Redshift, before quietening down with a more ambient phase. The synths are always of delicious decorative objects with very beautiful solos and effects to be made buzz our ears. Introspection offers a lively structure with a fight between crystal clear and bass sequences, the heavier ones get the win, in a shower of very Schulze solos. Isolated in its corner, To the Center of the Earth is Dantesque, both in its rhythm and its ambiences, and ends a very strong opus where the fans of retro Berlin School will have ears full. Very strong and very beautiful! The effect is even more devastating with a listening divided in 2. One listens to "In Search Of Silence Part 1" one evening and to its 2 younger brothers of sounds the other evening. So all the strength of this album strikes us quite harder. To recommend strongly! It snakes through a place in my Top 10 list of 2016.

Sylvain Lupari (November 22nd, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album at PWM and CD Baby or else on this web site of Spheric Music

jeudi 17 novembre 2016

LOREN NERELL: The Venerable Dark Cloud (1998/2016)

“The Venerable Dark Cloud isa nice album of ambient ethnic music build upon a great  ensemble of clanic percussions”
1 Dark Horizon 6:15
2 Eclipse 8:53
3 Liquid Metal Stasis 7:42
4 Another Cloud 9:08
5 Tenganan Grove 6:36
6 Within the Cloud 3:49
7 Ablution 2:23
9 Lambat Lane 24:24

Projekt ‎– PRO330 (CD/DDL 69:11) ***½
(Ambient ethnic music)
A distant breath takes its hold on our senses by accentuating its presence with a glaucous humming from where escape a drizzle of prisms and some secret voices. Tom-toms blacken this sibylline atmosphere with scattered knockings while the muffling of drones becomes comatose with the presence of contrasting synth lines and songs of flute. Meditating on the direction of its approach, "Dark Horizon" continues its linear obituary walking which will really take off with the very good "Eclipse". Recorded for the needs of the Italian label of ambient music Amplexus at the dawn of year 2000, “The Venerable Dark Cloud” sees again the day in an edition lengthened of some 47 minutes on the American label Projekt Records. At that time, this 5th work of Loren Nerell was published in format mini CD and had known quite a success among the music lovers of atmospheres which came from an unsung universe, that of the Balinese tribal ambient music. If the fans of the kind are beforehand conquered, those who grope the genre from the tip of their timid ears will also find some benefit there.
After the slow introduction of "
Dark Horizon", "Eclipse" dives into our ears with an uncommon intensity. The Balinese percussions sculpture a slow ritual rhythm of trance with winds which caress the senses and the small bells, as well as their shadows, which draw a minimalist melody by two opposite phases. The strength of the buzzing breezes weakened a little the charms of the percussions, but the bells which always remain so hypnotic. "Liquid Metal Stasis" is a new track on this reedited version of “The Venerable Dark Cloud”. The movement is as linear as these musical winds which sweep endless horizons where are shinning two ringings and their distant echoes. This 2nd phase of this new edition is almost similar as the original version, as the first two following titles are traced on the same roles as the two first ones. After its rhythm of a ritual trance as "Eclipse", "Another Cloud" slides towards the quieter abyss of "Tenganan Grove" and its strange noises which sound like murmurs of an open-air cave. "Within the Cloud" and "Ablution" were a part of the original opus and are 2 titles of glaucous atmospheres that a flute decorates slightly towards the finale of "Ablution". "Lambat Lane" is a segment of more or less 25 minutes which is added to this 2nd sonic skin of “The Venerable Dark Cloud”. It's a long wall of atmospheres weaved between the black charms of a synth guided by its Mephistophelian needs and of percussions which add a veil of intensity as so black and wrapping as the music of Steve Roach in his moments of introspection. I think in particular of his Immersion series.
The Venerable Dark Cloud” is an album in 2 tints where the lascivious rhythms amaze and seduce in this immense envelope of glaucous breezes of which the very nuanced contrast navigates on surprising ensemble of clanic percussions. It’s a nice album of ambient ethnic music that is going to please undoubtedly to the aficionados of the genre who have missed this episode in 1998.

Sylvain Lupari (November 16th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Projekt Bandcamp page here

mardi 15 novembre 2016

LUNA FIRMA: New Horizons (2016)

“New Horizons is above all for the music lovers of deep cosmic atmospheres where the frontiers of Brian Eno and Vangelis go pretty well together”
1 Angular Distance 7:16
2 Chandra X 4:14
3 New Horizons 3:36
4 Albedo 0.6 5:40
5 The Frozen Fields of Hydra 4:40
6 Charon 4:12
7 Snowcaps on the Edge of Darkness 7:12
8 Sputnik Planum 7:44
9 The Drifting Hills of Pluto 5:09
10 LORRI 5:02
11 Krun Macula 7:40

Borders Edge Music (DDL 62:25) ***½
(Deep ambient cosmic EM)
New Horizons” is the 2nd album of Luna Firma, a Canadian-American duet made up of Kuutana (Ron Charron) and of the New York guitarist Eric Taylor. Inspired by the spatial mission of the same name which explored the planet Pluto in the summer of 2015, “New Horizons” surfs on the influences of Vangelis. Master on board of his sonic shuttle, Ron Charron who multiplies the big diversity of his label Borders Edge Music, puts in synthesis the collection of field recordings amassed by Eric Taylor, plunging “New Horizons” in a universe of meditative music which fits to its heterogeneous source of sounds, so giving this impression to feel Brian Eno's atmospheres. Except that the very Vangelis approach of the duet Luna Firma creates this necessary balance between the abstract music and the music as such. In this respect "Albedo 0.6" is simply wonderful. But before...
"
Angular Distance" binds itself in our ears with dark and frail breezes of which the delicate indecision is gobbled up by good impulses of cosmic drones. Crystal clear chords get scatter through the chants of astral flute, drawing an inevitable parallel with the universe of Vangelis. Oblong sighs of synth amplify this hold of Vangelis on the influences of Luna Firma, whereas our ears perceive a carpet of metallic murmurs which whisper in the background. These slow morphic embraces are transformed little by little into momentum of ambient rhythm which implode in the majority of the phases of “New Horizons”. Yet the influences of Vangelis enclose the slow movement of "Chandra X" with synth layers to the perfumes of the apocalypse which progress like inked hands over knockings of which the brightness become lackluster as the intensity rises. The title-track breathes on the atmospheres of "Chandra X" and runs away with a nice oriental lullaby to set ablaze a nervous and spasmodic structure of rhythm which sweeps the sweetness of “New Horizons”, up to here very peaceful, for a good small minute which even brushes the borders of Electronica. After the slow and intense orchestrations of "Albedo 0.6" which reveals a wonderful lunar melody to makes cry a solitary synth, "The Frozen Fields of Hydra" borrows the paths of "New Horizon" with an opening misted by synth superimposed in different colors in order to take the shape of an increasing rhythm which drives again towards another kind of Electronica. As improbable as unexpected, this structure of rhythm melts in a paradisiac environment haloed by beautiful astral voices and by chirping of birds still unlisted. "Charon" is a very aerial, very celestial, title with a guitar more than Floydienne which sheds its tears over a bed of buzzing drones. "Snowcaps on the Edge of Darkness" is the most beautiful example of the delicate balance between the universe of the metallic murmurs of Eno and the soft morphic embraces of the oxygenate cotton hands of Vangelis. It is as much beautiful as the face of the unknown can be misleading. The dark breezes and the jingles which surround the atmospheres of "Sputnik Planum" is worth of a Robert Rich and Steve Roach collaboration. The same goes for "The Drifting Hills of Pluto" and the very intense "LORRI" with its guitar which makes a too short appearance at the very end. We definitively reached the threshold of the intensity of “New Horizons” with this title and the oriental moods of "Krun Macula" which explodes of a stunning tribal rhythm at about the 4th minute before the sedative atmospheres try to calm the sleeper awakened suddenly by this temporary rage.
In the end, “
New Horizons” is above all for the music lovers of deep cosmic atmospheres, rather intense at times, with beautiful implosions in the impulses of intensities which perturb the soft orchestrations and the delicate reverie of the synth layers to the fragrances of Vangelis. Some fragments of rhythm can disturb the musing of the night nomads, but there is enough sedative space to reroute them near Morpheus’ doors. The crossing between the antipodes (yes, yes) Eno/Vangelis is more attractive than disturbing because of the processing of synthesis made by Kuutana. Thus, an album which has the qualities of its defects, is to make too much place to the influences of Vangelis and of his various visions. But when it’s just that, it’s not so bad after all!

Sylvain Lupari (November 14th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Borders Edge Music Bandcamp page here

dimanche 13 novembre 2016

MICHAEL BRÜCKNER: 3 Briques (2016)

“Unusual but fascinating, 3 Briques is a good and very versatile album which shows before all Michael Brückner's talent to create things out of nothing!”
1 La Brique Bleue 32:19
2 La Brique Verte 8:44
3 La Brique Noire 36:14

SynGate CD-R MB04 (CD-r/DDL) ***½
(Electronica, ambient and experimental)
Unusual! And it’s not because that it’s not fascinating. We have to think of the music of Tangerine Dream, period Zeit, or still Conrad Schnitzler and the experimental passages of Ian Boddy to notice that this kind of music always attracts the curiosity of those who likes hearing something else. If for some of you Michael Bruckner seems to be a new name in the field of EM, it’s quite the opposite because this talented synthesist produces EM since moons. In fact, well before his 100 Million Miles Under the Stars, which was released in 2012, the German musician had dozens of music chapters which often exploited the abstruse character of the music and its forms. “3 Briques” is an unusual album where the music and its experiments overshadow the harmonies and those short structures of rhythm which rock between cosmic music and Electronica. The genesis of this album goes back to last March while Michael Brückner had an idea more technical than musical that he created with a series of small musical segments among which each was a mutation of the present one. Little by little "La Brique Bleue" took shape. By gathering all these bits and pieces Michael Brückner noticed that a certain musicality was perceptible. He thus added fragments of melodies and rhythms as well as effects and another parallel line to the rhythm. He posted this experimental project on the Mixcloud platform. Kilian Schloemp, the big boss of SynGate, found the whole thing very interesting and asked Michael Brückner if he could make an album out of it.
"
La Brique Bleue" is the most musical part of “3 Briques”. Its first 15 minutes exploit a very good mixture between its spheroidal phases and some fragments of down-tempo and of Chill moods with effects which feed from the glaucous and futuristic synth layers of Vangelis and with sequences haloed of organic tones which are very close of Michael Brückner's repertoire. The effects come from a cosmic vision that we all know and the voices seem to go out of a television screen. The structure of rhythm seems to shade its momentum with softer or ethereal passages, sometimes times more lively, while the sequences of rhythms always feed these stroboscopic lines where there are missing mordant fangs. Charmingly ambient, almost celestial, passages give munitions to a structure which exploits marvellously the charms of the minimalist art and the synth scatters to satiety some smooth cosmic waves as well as good solos. The 15th minute brings an ambiospheric passage of 4 minutes before the rhythm returns in a more eager envelope which reminds me of Steve Roach when he decides to drive madly his sequencer. It’s very good and that sounds as a very well tied up title.
During an exchange of texts with
Michael, he explained that "La Brique Verte" is an ambient passage between both monuments of sounds, and rhythms and melodies of “3 Briques”. It’s very ambiospherical with a thick cloud of synth lines which agglutinate in an immense wall of sounds. With "La Brique Noire" we enter into the pure unusual. When Kilian Schloemp asked Michael Brückner if it was possible to make an album from the elements of "La Brique Bleue", the German synth magus had only 30 minutes of music written. He remembered then that he had several music bits and pieces which were dragging somewhere and which were dated of the early 2000. It’s from these bases that "La Brique Noire" was composed. The beginning is charming with this line of sequences which returns constantly and whose recollections go as far as the Wuivend Riet album from Johannes Schmoelling. Three minutes farther, the movement of sequences and the whistling synth are fading out in the first moments of deep atmospheres which dominate the 37 minutes of "La Brique Noire". Between these 2 phases which are exchanging these 37 minutes on 5 occasions, Michael Brückner adds a veil of intensity which is more steady on the rhythms of which the presences don’t even reach a total of 10 minutes in all. The remainder is an immense mosaic of atmospheres, voices and effects which reaches its peak towards the border of the 25 minutes and up until the finale.
Unusual but fascinating!
Michael Brückner is quite a phenomenon who likes going out of this commercial zone to experiment a music where hides constantly some moments of pure delight. If we hook rather easily on "La Brique Bleue", "La Brique Verte" is a good moment of intense elements of ambient music, "La Brique Noire" tests our capacity to get out of our comfort zone. It’s these passages of sequences of rhythm that will get us hooked. And in all and all, “3 Briques” is a good and very versatile album which demonstrates before all Michael Brückner's talent to create things out of nothing!

Sylvain Lupari (November 12th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp page here

vendredi 11 novembre 2016

NORMAN FRIEDENBERGER: Talisman (1996)

“Talisman is a very nice EM album loaded of melodies and percussive effects which rock between ambient rhythms and some good e-rock”
1 The Ivory Tower 1:58
2 Through Imaginary Landscapes 5:02
3 Dance of the Hydra 4:23
4 The Divination 2:59
5 Corona Borealis 5:28
6 Memories of You 4:16
7 Talisman 2:47
8 Escape from Tartaros 4:36
9 Desire & Delusion 5:10
10 Fathomless 4:14
11 Emotional State of Mind 4:34

Spheric Music ‎– SMCD6001 (CD 45:14) ****
(Very melodi e-rock in the vein of TD and David Wright)

Norman Friedenberger is part of these names who came to make vibrate our eardrums in the 90’s and who have disappeared after some laps in the big circus of contemporary EM, leaving behind him 2 albums, both appeared in 1996, Mind Odyssey and “Talisman”. It’s with the Logos tour that this German musician fell in love with EM. His adventure began in 1993 with the purchase of a first synthesizer. Then a first album, Mind Odyssey came, which was praised by the criticisms. A few months later, in autumn, “Talisman” landed in the tubs. At that time, the Berliner EM style wasn’t available in America. With the arrival of Internet in the early 2000’s I learned that this kind of music was well and truly alive on the other side of the Atlantic. Over the years I amassed an impressive collection. One album often came during the discussions with the aficionados of the kind; “Talisman”! The years passed and I forgot this name. While going through the impressive catalog of Spheric Music I have remarked it. Lambert Ringlage then had the extreme kindness to send me a promotional copy. The first contacts were so/so…So it took some listenings, because I was somewhere else in my quest of EM, before to seize well the dimension of an album which is very inspired of the Miramar years of Tangerine Dream as well as of an EM of the more accessible vein as Software of the post- Syn Code years. years
Breaths and buzzing breezes lift the veils of an astral orchestra which feeds the mysteries of "
The Ivory Tower". It’s in softness that “Talisman” begins. The voices and the winds of ether go up to "Through Imaginary Landscapes" and its little jingles which do the rodeo on a bank of ethereal breezes. The synth is splendidly soft and throws layers filled of tenderness and of voices which it is necessary to imagine. A line of sequences gets loose and tortures its keys which drum like nervous fingers doing ta-ra-ta-tam on a table. This slightly animated structure of rhythm stays in the background of a sonic decoration rich in silky textures which extend such as ink stains over a blotting paper. And it’s towards the end of "Through Imaginary Landscapes" that the synth becomes more of Tangerine Dream's reminiscences. Each title of “Talisman” is linked in a suite of electronic saga which clocks the 45 minutes. And each of them brings its degree of intensity. Thus "Dance of the Hydra", which has some difficulty to get out from the cocoon of "Through Imaginary Landscapes" offers a rhythm which is more accentuated and more pulsatory, but which always remains smothered by the immensity of the layers from where sparkles a tiny reflection of harmony and shine some good electronic effects. "The Divination" changes the course of things with a more ethereal approach. The synth is more melodious but also more moving with airs of sadness which sleep on a bed of clanic percussions, kind of Tablas, and others which are more metallic. I like this opposition! The rhythm is soft and the harmonies are sibylline. I have the impression to hear David Wright.
Even if my ears had already perceived a beautiful melodic and ethereal approach, it’s with "Corona Borealis" that this desire to rehear “Talisman” arouses our senses. The rhythm is soft, like a lascivious tribal dance where a female dancer and her physical charms bewitch the next meal of the gods. Layers and voices which float over this mesmerizing rhythm are as moving as the most beautiful secrets of Walking with Ghosts. Simply great!
"Memories of You" is a nice morphic ballad which offers a very sweet melody which is sometimes charming and sometimes nostalgic. And always these layers crowned of celestial voices which float like these stains of black ink. The title-track is an ambiospherical refuge which guides us towards the very lively rhythm of "Escape from Tartaros". The bass line is especially fluid and very alive while the melody is as evasive as ephemeral. Ephemeral because "Escape from Tartaros" dives rather fast into a universe of jingles and of sonic hoops which roll and clinch in an effect of weightlessness. Percussions fall and they plough a structure without guides. Little by little, our ears slide towards the wonderful "Desire & Delusion". A lot of noises but no rhythm, this title is a dose of heterogeneous tones with its alloy of percussions and effects of percussions which is a delight for the ears in search of aestheticism percussive. The last tom-toms are fading out while “Talisman” takes a 3rd direction with the very beautiful "Fathomless" which is a superb melody. The rhythm is as lively like a good rock, with good effects of percussions, which roll and clink under the mysteries of a very nice spectral melody. This is very good. And this melody flies away on the spheroidal structure of "Emotional State of Mind" and its swarm of harmonious sequences which flows as a trickle of water in a mass of airs and of ethereal voices. It's a real nice ending which urges us to listen again to this “Talisman” which in the end is a very beautiful album which was lacking in my collection. To discover absolutely if we like the kind of soft electronic rock from TD, period of Turn of theTide and of Tyranny of Beauty, as well as the very stylized touch of David Wright in Walking with Ghosts. I have adored!
Sylvain Lupari (November 11th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album at CD Baby or at the web shop of Spheric Music here

mercredi 9 novembre 2016

LOOM: Years in Music (2016)

“There is not much to say about this Years in Music except that it's Loom and it's very good as usual and as expected”
CD 1 (54:29)
1 Prologue 1:03
2 Polaroids from Anywhere 8:20

3 Cloudwalk 5:56
4 Perpetual Motion 4:16
5 Speech of Johannes Schmoelling 3:00
6 Love Theme (from Logos) 5:41
7 Rejuvenation 8:30
8 Metamorphosis 3:17
9 Cartoony Universe 7:34
10 Tachycardia 6:52
CD 2 (65:47)
1 Epilogue 0:59
2 Emerald Suite 9:33
3 Towards the Evening Star 6:35
4 Time Scanner 5:36
5 Below the Playfield 7:07
6 Piano Improvisation (Kneeplay No. 9) 6:23
7 Excerpt from Force Majeure 3:19
8 Final Theme (from Logos) 5:01
Encores:
1 Time & Tide 7:25
2 The Origin 6:07
3 Choronzon 7:42
Viktoriapark | VP 1613 (2 CD 110:16) ****¼ (Melodic E-Rock)
Are they still some CDs available? Such is the question with the universe which favors an approach for collectors and retailers over the net whom Loom establishes with a too much restricted pressing of its albums. If the first live album of the band, Scored, included a lot of reprises of Tangerine Dream mixed with Johannes Schmoelling's titles as well as those of Jerome Froese, this “Years in Music” shows the real identity of Loom; a good trio of energetic electronic rock strong on melodies. Drawing from their last 3 studio albums of the Berlin trio, 200 002, The Tree Hates the Forest (all 2 appeared in 2013) and 300 003, which was released at the beginning of this year, “Years in Music” redraws the main lines of a memorable concert which made chattered a lot on the social networks. Videos circulated on the Net, and Facebook was fast flooded by those. The fever Loom broke out!
Long hummings coupled to hearty applause introduce the trio on stage. Quietly and soberly, "
Prologue" is ardently welcomed by a public already won beforehand. Then follow in order the first 2 titles which opened The Tree Hates the Forest. All the details are present and the music is more powerful; "Polaroids from Anywhere" sets the tone with a just interpretation and a rather aggressive Jerome Froese with his Guitartronica. Moreover, the solo which gets out of this good electronic rock reminds us the good moments of his father. This title and "Cloudwalk" introduce an excellent 2 hours where the music of yesterday flirts with that of tomorrow at the present moment. The selection of the titles puts us into appetite, if we are a fan of Loom. Everything is performed with the professionalism of Schmoelling and the vast experience of Jerome while Robert Waters follows the pace and completes well the duet. We feel a complicity between these 3 musicians and it transposes through an approach of the music which is warmer than that of you know who. If the titles seem known to us, there are surprises and new music. The great surprise is this very good interpretation of "Kneeplay No 9" which leads us towards a short excerpt of Force Majeure which slides towards a stunning finale of Logos and a Jerome very dedicated to the guitar. Very good and we are nailed to our sit! Another extract from Logos, "Love Theme", is also played in a sober and rather moving way. Another title of the Tangerine Dream universe is also performed; "Towards the Evening Star". And the more Jerome plays it, and the more it gets lively and powerful. It's a very good interpretation with nice melodious nuances and a beautiful play of sequences which parade with a contrasting limpidity. We are also entitled to a first title written by Robert Waters; "Metamorphosis". We understand now the complicity which unites Waters to Jerome because his music inhales an approach of Electronica which is reminiscent of Jerome Froese 's debuts. I shall talk about his music from his E.P., Time Ahead Time, pretty soon. But that sounds rather promising. "The Origin" seems to be a new title from Loom. Inserted between 2 Encores, which were also present on Scored, the music makes very TD from the Tyger era. And that always pleases to hear another version of "Choronzon", fiery and very rock with a lot of riffs from the Guitartronica, which fits very well here after "The Origin".
There is not much to add about “
Years in Music”. This live album is more personal to Loom with a flying over the solo albums of each of its members and a small incursion in the universe of Tangerine Dream which is always pleasant to hear. Everything is well presented. We feel that the energy of the trio is contagious. I only wish you readers and late fans of Loom to be able to find this CD (I saw it on eBay) and to wish us that a DVD will eventually go out to immortalize Johannes Schmoelling in concert. I can put an old 2 dollars on that… After all, money talks!Sylvain Lupari (November 9th, 2016)

lundi 7 novembre 2016

JOHAN TRONESTAM: Arthur Went Above the Clouds (2016)

“As he always know how to do, Johan Tronestam offers a very catchy album loaded of those cosmic beats and moods of the 70's and 80's with influences from Michael Garrison and Alan Parsons”
1 Climbing the Beanstalk 11:12
2 A Reflection on Possibilities 8:48
3 A New Discipline 7:58
4 Arthur went Above the Clouds 8:46
5 The Kármán Line 6:44
6 A Journey of no Return 9:26
7 Magnitude 7:48
8 Mining Operations in the Solar System 8:36
9 Anti-gravity 8:46

SynGate ‎– CD-R JT04 (CD-r/DDL 78:04) ***½
(Classical cosmic rock)
Always inspired by works of science fiction, Johan Tronestam dives into Arthur C. Clark's universe to produce another small jewel of cosmic electronic rock which always hesitates between the influences of Jean Michel Jarre and Michael Garrison. Composed between 2013 and 2015, “Arthur Went Above the Clouds” is a collection of 9 titles, from what I’ve read there is enough material for another album which could be released later, which draws its roots from The Long Journey and that the synthesist from Sweden dedicates to the memory of his father who died last March.
After an ambiospherical introduction which clocks the 150 seconds, "
Climbing the Beanstalk" reveals a good electronic rock which gets closer to The Long Journey's opening. The rhythm is supported by sober percussions which hammer a soft but lively pace and a line of sequences which scatters shining shadows. We hear synth waves which copied the mooing of sirens and which also throws some very nice aerial solos which bath in a tearful harmonious approach. We are in the lands of Tronestam and we already like it! "A Reflection on Possibilities" is more lively, more punchy, with motorik percussions, jumpy sequences and synth layers which float with a bit of mystery in the harmonies. It’s a catchy tracks which set fire on our feet and which does very Michael Garrison with a beautiful sonic decoration where the cosmos challenges e- rock. The 2nd part offers a beautiful fight between sequences and percussions which restructures slightly a rhythmic approach wrapped up in celestial humming. The feet bite the beat! The opening of "A New Discipline" reminds me that of Voice from Alan Parsons' Robot album. Although a little more livened up, it’s between a mid and an up tempo, the structure of bass sequences calls back memories. Little by little, Johan Tronestam decorates his approach with sequences which flicker under the soft waves of a synth loaded of floating and melancholic harmonies, especially with the appearance of a choir of spectres. The title-track begins in an ambiospherical mood with a kind of funeral march where the synth lays down plaintive harmonies. The rhythm settles down gradually to reach a good pace with a play of nervous sequences which skip in a chaotic approach. Always very present, the synth scatters melodies and effects between nice small soloes and layers of voices. The approach is very progressive and it makes of it one of the most interesting titles of Johan Tronestam's repertoire. "The Kármán Line" offers another good electronic rock with a mid-tempo fed by a structure of sequences of which the mixed leaps give an approach as fluid as jerky. One would say a train which rolls quietly on summits decorated with voices and with cosmic effects. The harmonies, set apart the voices maybe, are absent here. I like the soft and wave-like rhythm of "A Journey of no Return" where the synth amazes with its very melancholic approach. It's my small very fave because of its melancholy which does very French movies of the 70’s. Very good! "Magnitude" goes between the both poles of "The Kármán Line" and "A Journey of no Return". "Mining Operations in the Solar System" is a very catchy cosmic rock which is smothered in its envelope of bass sequences which oscillates with the fluidity of its heaviness. "Anti-gravity" ends this last work of Johan Tronestam with a soft and hopping rhythm coated by layers and astral solos.
How not to like the music of
Johan Tronestam? Navigating on the influences of 2 big actors in the field of the electronic cosmic rock, the Swedish synthesist always offers a catchy music which is stuffed of beautiful harmonies, good intergalactic sound effects and good solos. An EM where the synth and the sequencing pattern live freely without overshadowing one or another. And “Arthur Went Above the Clouds” is molded in this style. A very good album which is going to please undoubtedly to the fans of Tronestam. And to those who miss Michael Garrison's style. If it’s your case, you should follow then the artistic path of Johan Tronestam.

Sylvain Lupari (November 8th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp shop here

vendredi 4 novembre 2016

INDRA: Archives-Emerald Five (2015)

“Listening the music of Indra is really contagious and Emerald Five does nothing to refute this fact. It's the best so far from this titanesc series”
1 F.A.Q. 8:51
2 Over the Dunes 12:57
3 Madeline 10:52
4 Libertados 16:41
5 First Contact 16:32
6 Air 7:22

Indra Music
(CD 73:17) ****½

(Minimalist Roumanian School)
It's contagious to listen Indra! Babylonian beatings structure a muffled tempo where is fluttering a mass of sequences. After the point of the 60 seconds, and with the arrival of electronic bangings, the rhythm of "F.A.Q". becomes more steady, like a kind of cosmic rock where we glide with our feet getting sluggish. Magnificent in his minimalist approach, Indra forges this minimalist rhythmic approach which he waters abundantly with effects of percussions and with sequences which join like some stroboscopic thin lines. Delicious, the harmonies are weaved into silk! In songs of synth which that he tinted of a fluty fragrance and which sound very melancholic, kind of music theme of French movies of the 70’s. A little bit nasal layers travel there too, adding an even more esoteric depth to this structure which pants at the end of its 5 minutes. Yes, listening the music of Indra is really contagious! This 5th chapter of the mega series Archives-Emerald from Indra is undoubtedly his best to date. The Rumanian synthesist forges charmingly some mesmerizing minimalist structures with a very beautiful increasing intensity. The winds which sweep the opening of "Over the Dunes" show a very cinematographic approach (we cannot chase away from our mind these images of the famous movie) while that quite slowly is taking shape another structure of rhythm which gives the crawling effect of these worms which we saw in comic cartoons. The rhythm is soft. We roll of the neck and we tap our thigh in a kind of trance with as imaginary decorations this dozen of ringings which shine on a figure of harmonious sequences. The title accelerates its pace, which remains magnificently hypnotic, while the harmonies are weakened by layers and effects of synth which oversize the allegorical decoration of "Over the Dunes". We have just had some very good 20 minutes when "Madeline" brings us in Klaus Schulze's territories, period Mirage, with arpeggios of ice which crystallize a spectral melody on a pulsatory rhythm. The song of the angels is appealing, but not as much as these crystal arpeggios. Let’s say that they complement each other marvellously. "Libertados" is THE title of “Emerald Five”.
Pulsations coming by far skip in the shadow of electronic effects which fit to the pace of the deaf knockings. Knockings which become more lively whereas a melody settles down with agreements which hesitate to ring on this bed of pulsations and now of percussions. The rhythm is ambient, but magnificently bewitching. More steady percussions are added and more insistent sequences invite each other to this lascivious dance. Effects of percussions fed of gas, laments of synth and whirling sequences, "
Libertados" becomes then a wonderful minimalist structure which fattens its charms from minute till minute. And quite slowly this structure annuls its elements of charm to enter in a bustle of dark and buzzing winds. A short moment of calm before it becomes again alive again with all its elements of elegance and a feeling that everything has became more aggressive. Superb! "First Contact" clashes of this peaceful sound decoration of “Emerald Five” with a more aggressive approach. Pulsatory chords skip sharply with completely opposite tints. Effects and winds feign a more cosmic structure with a level of intensity which sounds like a warning. The beating of the pulsation is minimalist while the sequences of glass seem more in anarchy mode, creating an effect of panic in face of the ferocity of the winds which roar with a destructive strength. It’s cinema full the head. It’s the beauty of a music without words. "Air" is a musical act of atmospheres without a structure of rhythm. Only layers which unfurl and which move by implosions to reach a luminosity which will make a thick cloud of sequences hatch of which chirping are like those of birds after a violent thunderstorm. Yes, listening the music of Indra is really infectious! The long hypnotic moves are clearly wrapping us of a veil of submission. And this “Emerald Five” does nothing to refute this fact, to avoid this obsession to dive there even farther. The first 45 minutes, and especially "Libertados", are monuments of the art of the minimalism. I really enjoyed these minutes!Sylvain Lupari (November 3rd, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

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