jeudi 23 mai 2019

AGE: Lost in Silence (2019)

“Lively E-Rock with some Berlin School zests along with cosmic ambient phases, Lost in Silence trades one mood for one beat in a fascinating mosaic of retro EM”
1 Hope in Silence 2:42
2 Departure to Nowhere 5:14
3 Hypnagogie Part 1 9:34
4 Light Arrows 5:01
5 Hypnagogie Part 2 8:51
6 Nowhere 4:33
7 Whispering Light 1:50
8 Running Through Time 4:26
9 Palais Montcalm 1:42
10 Gone Alone 3:43
11 Timeless 2:57
12 Scary Night 3:02
13 Hypnagogie Part 3 5:39

14 Hope and Silence 2:09
Groove | GR-264 (CD/DDL 61:06)
(Cosmic Berlin School)
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  **Chronique en français plus bas**
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Me, who thought that AGE had made a comeback last year with the reissue, by Groove, of Landscapes, I was left for a pleasant surprise discovering that Emmanuel D'Haeyere and Guy Vachaudez was very active since 2015, and went on to make two more albums following this LOST IN SILENCE, produced and also made on Ron Boots' label. This 14th album of AGE is a studio version of the concert that the Belgian duo had presented as part of the E-Live 2018 festival held in Netherlands. The music presented here is from 2 upcoming albums, namely Hypnagogie, which is a purely ambient and cosmic album, and Sequenz, an album structured on the work of the sequencers. It's thus a journey between the stars and the rhythms that awaits the listener who is heading to discover the 61 minutes of LOST IN SILENCE.
And it begins with a "Hope in Silence" which arises with its slow wings of orchestration which embrace a sensitive and moving piano. A voice whispers behind the scenes and its whispers join "Departure to Nowhere" and its introduction gassed with a superb Mellotron flute. We go back in time with this analog savour which initiates a good electronic rock. Structured on a mesh of rhythmic lines from the sequencer and the electronic drums, the pace is fluid and lively with rattling effects which whisper to our ears always so intoxicated by these perfumes of flutes that sing some divine harmonies. The synth activates its charms with good solos that come out from harmonies of the flute and are just as oneiric. "Hypnagogie Part 1" is the first part of a long ambient journey, and possibly a cosmic one, which will alternate with so many rhythmic phases. We fly over a hostile territory filled with dark winds and subtle wooshh and waashh. Sound effects are painting the moods with a cosmic vision whereas buzzing, cavernous breezes and purring rustling as well as rippling of living water blow a more earthly vision. But no matter, this sound fauna feeds on its impulses. These dark ambiences are decorated with stray piano notes and cello strings that wander between multiple winds and a variety of sound effects, mostly percussive, including creasing footsteps and some quavering caught here and there. These atmospheres overflow up until "Light Arrows", I even hear bells, and its very Berlin School rhythm with percussions that give to it a rock look a la Poland. Lively with synth solos sounding like a guitar, "Light Arrows" is one of those tracks that make the perfect transition between ambient passages and the good Berlin School presented here in order to keep the audience on the alert.
The zigzagging and delicately spasmodic rhythmic structure leaves its imprint in "Hypnagogie Part 2", whose dark and gloomy ambiences are struggling to camouflage the ghostly presence of "Light Arrows" sequencing pattern. The decor is almost identical, except that the impression of going along the bowels of a long tunnel is palpable. As much here as in "Hypnagogie Part 1". The phantom rhythm gets back with strength in "Nowhere". The movement of the sequencer is stormy. Two lines of rhythms are superimposed and dance in close symbiosis, while a line of arpeggios makes rodeo on the main movement which is very Berlin School. Layers hover above the rhythm without deepening their presence. "Whispering Light" is a beautiful, but too short, melody in the genre of Vangelis' early years. It's wonderful ... but too short! "Running Through Time" comes with a rhythm structure that fits very well with the vision of its title. A nervous rhythm sat on the thrill of the first rhythmic line of the sequencer. Bongos, electronic percussions and another line of stroboscopic sequences complete the rhythmic frame which gesticulates under a plethora of layers, lines and effects which place the genre between the 70's and 80's. A wide range that speaks a lot on the capacity of Emmanuel D'Haeyer & Guy Vachaudez to weave a universe of enchantment which gathers essences from all eras. "Palais Montcalm" is another quiet title, mostly assumed by nice orchestrations. "Gone Alone" is a little more demanding. It's a cosmic rock as melodious as avant-garde with orchestrations in staccato. We are talking about a progressive vision!? "Timeless" is really something else with its structure forged in an avalanche of glass chimes that clump together on a nervous conveyor. A melody strum on a fake guitar completes the melodious approach of which the Greek essence melts in the orchestrations and the scary effects of "Scary Night". "Hypnagogie Part 3" fits quite well the structure of "Scary Night" with its percussive effects, its muted impulses and the sensation of wandering deep into gutters. "Hope and Silence" ends LOST IN SILENCE in the same way that "Hope in Silence" started. With beauty and tenderness! But especially with this desire to re-hear a fascinating ode where rock and cosmic ambiances have never been as in close symbiosis as here.
Sylvain Lupari (May 23rd, 2019) *****
Available at Groove nl
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                       CHRONIQUE en FRANÇAIS
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Moi qui pensais que AGE avait fait son retour l'an passé avec la réédition, par Groove, de Landscapes, j'ai été quitte pour une bonne surprise en découvrant que d'Emmanuel D'Haeyere et Guy Vachaudez étaient très actifs depuis 2015 et s'enlignaient pour réaliser deux autres albums suivant ce LOST IN SILENCE, produit et réalisé aussi sur l'étiquette de Ron Boots. Ce 14ième album de AGE est une version studio du concert que le duo Belge avait présenté dans le cadre du festival E-Live 2018 en Hollande. La musique présentée ici est tirée de 2 albums à paraître prochainement, soit Hypnagogie, qui est un album purement ambiant et cosmique, et Sequenz, un album structuré sur le travail des séquenceurs. C'est donc un voyage entre les astres et les rythmes qui attend l'auditeur parti à la découverte des 61 minutes de LOST IN SILENCE.
Et cela débute avec un "Hope in Silence" qui se pose avec ses lentes ailes d'orchestration qui embrassent un piano sensible et émouvant. Une voix chuchote en arrière-scène et ses murmures transitent vers "Departure to Nowhere" et son introduction gazée par une superbe flûte de Mellotron. Nous reculons dans le temps avec cette saveur analogue qui initie un bon rock électronique. Structuré sur un maillage de lignes de rythme du séquenceur et de percussions électroniques, le rythme est fluide et entraînant avec des effets de cliquetis qui murmurent à nos oreilles toujours enivrées par ces parfums de flûtes qui chantent de divines harmonies. Le synthé active ses charmes avec de bons solos qui se détachent des harmonies de la flûte et qui sont tout autant oniriques. "Hypnagogie Part 1" est la première partie d'un long voyage ambiant, et possiblement cosmique, qui alternera avec autant de phases rythmiques. Nous survolons un territoire hostile remplit de vents sombres et de subtiles wooshh et wiishh. Des effets sonores peignent les ambiances d'une vision cosmique alors que des bourdonnements, des brises caverneuses et des bruissements ronronnant ainsi que des clapotis d'une eau vivante soufflent une vision plus terrestre. Mais peu importe, cette faune sonore se nourrit de ses impulsions. Ces ambiances ténébreuses sont ornées de notes de piano égarées et des cordes de violoncelle qui errent entre les vents multiples et une panoplie d'effets sonores, pour la plupart percussifs, avec notamment des froissements de pas et des chevrotements captés ici et là. Ces ambiances débordent vers "Light Arrows", j'entends même des cloches, et son rythme très Berlin School avec des percussions qui lui donnent un look rock à la Poland. Enlevant avec des solos de synthé sonnant comme une guitare, "Light Arrows" est un de ces titres qui font la parfaite transition entre les passages ambiants et du bon Berlin School question de tenir l'auditoire sur le qui-vive.
La structure de rythme zigzagante et délicatement spasmodique laisse son empreinte dans "Hypnagogie Part 2" dont les ambiances planantes et sombres peinent à camoufler la présence fantôme des séquences de "Light Arrows". Le décor est quasiment identique, sauf que l'impression de longer les entrailles d'un long tunnel est palpable. Autant ici que dans "Hypnagogie Part 1". Le rythme fantôme revient avec force dans "Nowhere". Le mouvement du séquenceur est houleux. Deux lignes de rythmes sont superposées et dansent en étroite symbiose, alors qu'une ligne d'arpèges fait du rodéo sur le mouvement principal qui fait très Berlin School. Des nappes planent tout au-dessus du rythme sans pour autant approfondir leurs présences. "Whispering Light" est une belle, mais trop courte, mélodie dans le genre des premières années de Vangelis. C'est très beau…mais trop court! "Running Through Time" s'amène avec une structure de rythme qui colle très bien à la vision de son titre. Un rythme nerveux sis sur le tressaillement de la première ligne de rythme du séquenceur. Des bongos, des percussions électroniques et une autre ligne de séquences stroboscopiques complètent l'ossature cadencée qui gesticule sous une pléthore de nappes, de lignes et d'effets qui situent le genre entre les années 70 et 80. Un large éventail qui en dit long sur la capacité d'Emmanuel D'Haeyer et Guy Vachaudez à tisser un univers d'enchantement qui s'abreuve à tous leurs âges. "Palais Montcalm" est un autre titre tranquille, majoritairement assumé par de belles orchestrations. "Gone Alone" est un peu plus demandant. Il s’agit d'un rock cosmique aussi mélodieux qu'avant-gardiste avec des orchestrations en staccato. On parle de vision progressive!? "Timeless" n'est pas piqué des vers avec sa monture forgée dans une avalanche de carillons en verre qui s'agglutinent sur un convoyeur nerveux. Une mélodie grattée sur une fausse guitare complète l'approche mélodieuse dont l'essence Grecque fond dans les orchestrations et les effets épeurants de "Scary Night"."Hypnagogie Part 3" épouse assez bien la structure de "Scary Night" avec ces effets percussifs, ces sourdes impulsions et cette sensation d'errer profondément dans des caniveaux. "Hope and Silence" termine LOST IN SILENCE de la même façon que "Hope in Silence" l'avait débuté. Avec beauté et tendresse! Mais surtout avec ce désir de réentendre une ode fascinante où le rock et les ambiances cosmiques n'ont jamais été en aussi étroite symbiose qu'ici.

Sylvain Lupari 22/05/19

mercredi 22 mai 2019

DIGITAL HORIZONS: December Runways (2018)

“This is a long long track album offers only on DL at a fair price, so I think it worths it”
1 Launch 9:35
2 Control Tower 7:07

3 Landing 21:22
(E-Rock of the 80's style)
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I quite enjoyed Ghost Station. Enough to make a very detailed review! I'm not saying that DECEMBER RUNWAYS is its equivalence, but the atmospheres are very close. Enough not to make a link. Composed and recorded at the end of 2018, the music breathes this atmosphere of cold winter, as well as this strange sensation of traveling through this cold. This mini album, this E.P. of 38 minutes has this particular attraction at the level of sound, the impression of hearing the reflection of music on the frosted windows of a wagon filled with the feeling of living tight between the elbows of travelers. And if you like Tangerine Dream of the digital years, and even beyond, you must look at Digital Horizons, because Justin Ludford has never hidden that it was his main source of inspiration.
It's with staggering and ill-fitting chords that "Launch" comes to our ears. The tone is sizzling, like white noises coated with verdigris, and resonates in opalescent mist gases. It's like a carousel dragging overweight. A huge synth layer lies down. Swapping for a more symphonic approach, it envelops this introduction built on uncertainty. Lively and nervous sequences spew forth a rhythm which advances and stops in a setting of the industrial genre with chthonic voices as layers of winter mood. And everything freezes after 3 minutes! "Launch" breathes through the faint pulses of mist and of the chords which ring like glass anvils hit by an ice hammer. The arpeggios of the introduction come alive again when a layer of buzzing helps the stop-and-go structure to come out of limbo. This time, percussion breathes dynamism and intensity at this pace which relapses into its ambiospherical industrial phase, but "Launch" arrives at its last destination. This membrane of white noises, crackling in the background of the music, is also present on "Control Tower" and its undecided structure that clings to a big electronic rock at around 2:30. Dramatic effects spew resonant vibrations as the sequences and arpeggios jump into the muted impulses of the reverberations in which astral voices are huddled. The structure is very similar to that of "Launch", except for some adjustments in the harmonic design of the arpeggios and a more percussive approach of the drum machine.
The long title "Landing" offers precisely this kind of heavy ambient rhythmic structure that shines of very Tangerine Dream tones with repetitive suites of keyboard chords which travel between Firestarter and Wavelength. Tied around this pattern of sequences and percussions which hop up and down, the tempo is more fluid than in the first two titles with rattling percussions that whisper in a language adapted to the metabolism of white noises, of interferences. And if we pay attention, we hear a ghost structure that is incomplete at the level of sound maturity and that fills the moods, among other elements, for a good part of DECEMBER RUNWAYS. Split into two parts, "Landing" offers a very solid second part with a hyperactive structure crisscrossed by a good and zigzagging bass line. Synth effects stretch their musicality in multi-color layers that re-form into other effects and then into orchestral layers. Additional percussive effects try to influence this quite nice axis of sedentary rhythm, but nothing to do; this finale is rich of its sedentary rhythm and its plethora of synth layers painted of ambivalent colors. This "Landing" is worth the cost, which is not very high, of DECEMBER RUNWAYS if one seeks to fall under the charms of Digital Horizons and discover the universe of Justin Ludford.
Sylvain Lupari (May 22nd, 2019) *****
Available at Digital Horizons' Bandcamp
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                       CHRONIQUE en FRANÇAIS
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J'avais bien aimé Ghost Station. Assez pour en faire une chronique bien détaillée! Je ne dis pas que ce DECEMBER RUNWAYS est son équivalence, mais les ambiances en sont très proches. Assez pour ne pas faire de lien. Composée et enregistrée à la fin de 2018, la musique respire cette atmosphère de froideur hivernale, ainsi que cette étrange sensation de voyager au travers ce froid. Ce mini album, cet E.P. de 38 minutes possède cet attrait particulier au niveau sonore, cette impression d'entendre le reflet de la musique sur les vitres givrées d'un wagon rempli de cette sensation de vivre serré entre les coudes des voyageurs. Et si vous aimez le genre Tangerine Dream des années digitales, et même plus loin, il faut regarder du côté de Digital Horizons, parce que Justin Ludford n'a jamais caché que c'était sa principale source d'inspiration.
C'est avec des accords titubant et mal ajustés que "Launch" se présente à nos oreilles. La tonalité est grésillante, comme des bruits-blancs enrobés de vert-de-gris, et résonne dans des gaz de brume opalescente. C'est comme un carrousel traînant une surcharge de poids. Un immense nappe de synthé se dépose. Permutant pour une approche plus symphonique, elle enveloppe cette introduction construite sur l'incertitude. Des séquences bien vives et nerveuses crachent un rythme qui avance et arrête dans un décor du genre industriel avec des voix chthoniennes comme enveloppe d'atmosphère hivernale. Et tout fige après les 3 minutes! "Launch" respire par les sourdes impulsions de nappes de brume et par ces accords qui tintent comme des enclumes de verre que l'on frappe avec un marteau de glace. Les arpèges de l'introduction reprennent vie lorsqu'une nappe de bourdonnements aide la structure stop-and-go à sortir des limbes. Cette fois-ci, des percussions insufflent dynamisme et intensité à ce rythme qui rechute dans sa phase ambiosphérique industrielle, mais "Launch" arrive à sa dernière destination. Cette membrane de bruits blancs, de grésillements dans le fond de la musique est aussi présente sur "Control Tower" et sa structure indécise qui s'accroche à un gros rock électronique autour des 2:30. Des effets dramatiques crachent des vibrations résonnantes alors que les séquences et arpèges sautillent dans les sourdes impulsions des réverbérations où se blottissent des esquisses de voix astrales. La structure ressemble beaucoup à celle de "Launch", mis à part certains ajustements dans le design harmonique des arpèges et une approche plus investie au niveau des percussions.
Le long titre "Landing" propose justement ce genre de structure de rythme ambiant lourd qui reluit des tonalités très Tangerine Dream avec des suites répétitives d'accords de clavier qui voyagent entre Firestarter et Wavelength. Noué autour de ce pattern de séquences et de percussions qui trépigne comme des pieds dansants, le tempo est plus fluide que dans les deux premiers titres avec des cliquetis de percussions qui murmurent dans un langage adapté au métabolisme des bruits blancs, d'interférences. Et si on prête attention, on entend une structure fantôme qui est incomplète au niveau de la maturité sonore et qui rempli les ambiances, parmi d'autres éléments, d'une bonne partie de DECEMBER RUNWAYS. Scindé en 2 parties, "Landing" offre une 2ième partie très solide avec une structure hyperactive entrecroisée par une belle et zigzagante ligne de basse. Des effets de synthé étirent leur musicalité en couches multi couleurs qui se reforment en autres effets et puis en nappes orchestrales. Des effets percussifs additionnels tentent d'influencer ce bel axe de rythme sédentaire, mais rien à faire; cette finale est riche d'un rythme sédentaire et d'une pléthore de strates de synthé aux couleurs ambivalentes. Ce "Landing" vaut le coût, qui n'est pas très élevé, de DECEMBER RUNWAYS si on cherche à tomber sous les charmes de Digital Horizons et découvrir l'univers de Justin Ludford.

Sylvain Lupari 22/05/19

mardi 21 mai 2019

INDRA: Archives-Platinum Three (2016)

“Everything is so alike and yet quite different in those 4 minimalist structures of this album that makes hope for more music from Indra”
1 Wobbling 26:30
2 Elle's Dream 11:39
3 On/Off 11:57

4 The Missionary 26:20
Indra Music (CD-r/DDL 76:28)
(Roumanian & Berlin Schools)
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It's with a reverberation of a horn posted to the West that the sound effects of "Wobbling" get cemented in an introduction that doesn't announce at any point the fluid flow of a sequencer which is already busy building a pattern of rhythm subtly jerky and amply undulatory, like these Berlin School rhythmic trains. Cavernous breezes and sibylline layers spread an enigmatic reflection over this structure which releases a much more jerky flow. A synth line develops a fascinating vampiric melody that has all the appearances of a nursery rhyme for children of another planet. A bass pulsation makes hear the weight of its resonance appear in a context where frailty and heaviness clash. The synth hesitates between its solos, its sound effects and this melody that stigmatizes our dependence for a musical itch whereas the first confusion will be born of percussive effects which change the ambulant approach for a kaleidoscope of percussive and tone effects. The vision of "Wobbling" changes completely around its 10 minutes with this circular avalanche which swallows the last bit of melody. Surrounded by a veil woven in a psychedelic vision, the next minutes of this first title to open PLATINUM THREE are an escalation towards the creativity that Indra still has in his minimalist vision. The music is lively and rather catchy, like a semi-trance in a morphic techno, until the point of 20 minutes where an isolated sequence jumps in saccade to guide "Wobbling" towards a zone of mist and cosmic effects in a final breathing a little of the substance that had initiated it. Recorded in the years 13-14, PLATINUM THREE brings us closer to the last of this mega production of sound archives of Romanian musician/synthesist. And it's been a world of discoveries where everything is similar and where nothing is however so identical. It's also this kind of album that inspires fans of Indra with 4 long structures centered on hypnotic rhythms and whose slow evolutions serve the cause of the many layers of melodies and additional rhythms that Indra designs with his vision coated of a sensitivity and an understanding of the minimalist art in electronic music that is very personal to him.
"Elle's Dream" offers a pattern of ambient rhythm that ripples in a horizontal zigzag trajectory. A line of bass sequences purrs deliciously, rising and falling in the jargon of electronic percussions that add a minimum of velocity to this minimalist structure. Oscillating slowly throughout its 11 minutes, "Elle's Dream" hosts timid and fragile arpeggios that sparkle like music bubbles, while others seem to fall from sky. The synth shapes solos which cry like these waves from a Theremin. A voice of astral goddess sticks its seraphic chants to it, and another line of arpeggios, more in mode of sequenced loops, dance in these atmospheres which even spread an anesthetic mist. Nearly 12 minutes can seem long? It's to know Indra badly who always leaves a nuance in the voluptuousness of his astral rhythm or in his melodious approach where an arpeggio is absent on some occasions. A very good title that didn't suggest it on its first listening. One immediately hooks on the noticeably spasmodic rhythm of "On/Off". Catchy with its bass pulsations and bass drum, it opens with a line of nervous oscillations which jump feverishly beneath the caresses of good synth solos which get unfold in a same tonal symbiosis. Its the percussions that develop this approach of convulsive semi-rock and semi-dance with halos of arpeggios that fall in a choreography of ascending movements. The catchy rhythm and melody are at the rendezvous in this title."The Missionary" is molded in the same spaces and visions as "Wobbling". Either evolutionary with a nice collection of arpeggios and sequences that add up to needle throughout its 26 minutes. Its approach is timid with arpeggios dancing on a structure that goes up and down, like those wide loops of rhythm and melody of the Berlin School kind. The harmony of the chords tinkles as in the superb Mirage by Klaus Schulze. Velocity is adjusted to the Indra style when the carousel increases speed by one notch. The synth casts solos while other chords come in reinforcement, increasing the melodious mass of "The Missionary". A soporific haze rises after 6 minutes while the percussions spew some vaporous effects while still increasing significantly the rate of rhythm which remains in its minimalist philosophy. And gradually, Indra enriches its musical texture by bringing layers of additional melodies, orchestrations and percussions more accentuated around the 13 minutes. Moment when sound effects flood the musical sky of "The Missionary". The 16th minute brings us to an ambiospherical zone that one can imagine as being a tropical rainforest with an active tone fauna from which emerge sporadic elements of rhythms and of melodies that are familiar to us and which are reconstructed in a finale drawn in the elements of the 13th minute. Some great Indra, always pleasant to hear. To analyze!
Sylvain Lupari (May 20th, 2019) ****¼*
Available at Indra's Bandcamp
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                       CHRONIQUE en FRANÇAIS
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C'est avec une réverbération d'un cornet posté à l'Ouest que les effets sonores de "Wobbling" se cimentent dans une introduction qui ne laisse présager en rien le fluide écoulement d'un séquenceur qui déjà s'affaire à construire un schéma rythmique subtilement saccadé et amplement ondulatoire, comme ces trains rythmiques de la Berlin School. Des brises caverneuses et des nappes de voix sibyllines étendent un reflet énigmatique sur cette structure qui dégage un débit nettement plus saccadé. Une ligne de synthé développe une fascinante mélodie vampirique qui a toute les apparences d'une comptine pour chérubins d'une autre planète. Une basse pulsation fait entendre le poids de sa résonnance dans un contexte où fragilité et lourdeur s'affrontent. Le synthé hésite entre ses solos, ses effets sonores et cette mélodie qui stigmatise notre dépendance pour ver-d'oreille alors que la première confusion naîtra des effets percussifs qui remodulent l'approche ambulante pour un kaléidoscope d'effets percussifs et sonores. La vision de "Wobbling" change totalement autour des 10 minutes avec cette avalanche circulaire qui avale le dernier brin de mélodie. Nimbées d'un voile tissé dans une vision psychédélique, les prochaines minutes de ce premier titre à ouvrir PLATINUM THREE sont une escalade vers la créativité qu'Indra cerne toujours dans sa vision minimaliste. La musique est vive et plutôt entrainante, comme une semi-transe dans un techno morphique, jusqu'au point des 20 minutes où une séquence isolée sautille en saccade afin de guider "Wobbling" vers une zone de brume et d'effets cosmiques dans une finale qui respire un peu de cette substance qui l'avait initié. Enregistré dans les années 13-14, PLATINUM THREE nous rapproche de la grande dernière de cette méga production d'archives sonores du musicien/synthésiste Roumain. Et ça été tout un univers de découvertes où tout se ressemble et où rien n'est pourtant pas identique. C'est aussi ce genre d'album qui inspire les fans d'Indra avec 4 longues structures centrées sur des rythmes hypnotiques et dont les lentes évolutions servent la cause des nombreuses couches de mélodies et de rythmes supplémentaires qu'Indra conçoit avec sa vision enrobée d'une sensibilité et d’une compréhension de l'art minimaliste électronique qui lui est très personnelle.
"Elle's Dream" propose une figure de rythme ambiant qui ondule dans une trajectoire de zigzag horizontale. Une ligne de basse séquences ronronne donc délicieusement, montant et descendant dans le jargon des percussions électroniques qui ajoutent un minimum de vélocité à cette structure minimaliste. Oscillant lentement tout au long de ses 11 minutes, "Elle's Dream" accueille des arpèges timides et fragiles qui pétillent comme des bulles de musique, alors que d'autres semblent tomber des nues. Le synth façonne des solos qui pleurent comme ces ondes d'un Thérémine. Une voix de déesse astrale colle ses chants séraphiques et une autre ligne d'arpèges, plus en mode de boucles séquencées, dansent dans ces ambiances qui étendent même une brume anesthésiante. Près de 12 minutes peuvent paraître long? C'est mal connaître Indra qui sort toujours une nuance dans la voluptuosité de son rythme astral ou encore dans son approche mélodieuse où un arpège s'absente à quelques occasions. Un très bon titre qui ne laissait pourtant pas présager cette option à sa première écoute. On accroche tout de suite au rythme sensiblement spasmodique de "On/Off". Entraînant avec ses boums de basses pulsations et de caisse grave, il éclot par une ligne d'oscillations nerveuses qui sautillent fébrilement sous les caresses de bons solos de synthés dans une même symbiose tonale. Ce sont les percussions qui développent cette approche de semi-rock et semi-danse convulsive avec des auréoles d'arpèges qui chutent dans une chorégraphie de mouvements ascendants. Le rythme entraînant et la mélodie accrocheuse sont au rendez-vous dans ce titre. "The Missionary" est moulé dans les mêmes espaces et visions que "Wobbling". Soit évolutif avec une belle collection d'arpèges et de séquences qui s'ajoutent de fil en aiguille tout au long de ses 26 minutes. Son approche est timide avec des arpèges qui dansottent sur une structure qui monte et descend, comme ces amples boucles de rythme et de mélodie du genre Berlin School. Les harmonies des accords tintent comme dans le superbe Mirage de Klaus Schulze. La vélocité est ajustée au style Indra lorsque le carrousel augmente la vitesse d'un cran. Le synthé lance des solos alors que d'autres accords arrivent en renfort, augmentant la masse mélodieuse de "The Missionary". Une brume soporifique s'élève après les 6 minutes alors que les percussions crachent des effets vaporeux tout en augmentant toujours très sensiblement la cadence du rythme qui reste toujours dans sa philosophie minimaliste. Et peu à peu, Indra enrichit sa texture musicale en apportant des couches de mélodies supplémentaires, des orchestrations et des percussions plus accentuées autour des 13 minutes. Moment où des effets sonores inondent le ciel musical de "The Missionary". La 16ième minute nous amènes vers une zone ambiosphérique que l'on imagine comme une forêt tropicale humide avec une faune sonore active d'où émerge de façon sporadique des éléments de rythmes et de mélodies qui nous sont familiers et qui se reconstruisent dans une finale puisée dans les éléments de la 13ième minute. Du grand Indra, toujours plaisant à entendre. À analyser!

Sylvain Lupari 20/05/19 

lundi 20 mai 2019

INTERVIEW with BERTRAND LOREAU

“Here is an interview done by Jean-Michel Calvez of Clair & Obscur, a French webzine about EM and beyond...”


C&O Your double CD “Finally” released in 2017 is a compilation, a sum of “the most important tracks you produced”, you said. Upon to you this album is also “a conclusion or maybe an assessment, hence its title” and might thus be considered as a goodbye or final act. But one year later is released Catvaratempo composed in collaboration. Would it mean this new duet is a turning point in your musical activity or creating process?
I
became a fan of electronic music in the end of the seventies thanks to Klaus Schulze, so he highly influenced my first compositions. All along my life I never stopped listening to music from Klaus Schulze and other musicians, I mean music made with synthesizers to compose dream music based on pads and sequences. Then when I started recording as a professional my own releases in the middle of the eighties, I gradually introduced in my recordings melodic elements which might have been composed before on the acoustic piano. Although I continued all along the nineties to compose tracks based on synths and sequencers capabilities, I became aware I preferred music focused on melodic parts. Since my meeting with German label Spheric Music, I paradoxically recorded and distributed Berlin school style CDs that perhaps brought to me some recognition inside a musical world that was not that highly sensitive to the melodic music I had already recorded all along 1986 to 2006. The impression people had about me (mostly in Germany) to be an artist devoted to Berlin school led me to express further my melodic mood through producing a compilation of tracks representing another side of myself, and this other myself I do consider essential too. This "best-of" is Finally. The title also conveys the idea this might be sort of conclusive release, as I doubt I will go on further with music tracks in this vein, the reason is I feel I have now reached the end of the way in this direction.


C&O You have been known a long time for your solo CDs (and sometimes compared to Klaus Schulze), but far less for collaborating with other musicians. So can you tell us about your encounter with Frédéric and what led you to release a CD on which you are not alone to compose, in other words: not the “captain of the ship”?
It is quite true I really don’t feel motivated by collaborations. Through music I’d want to share emotions, so I think when you are searching deep in your own feelings and trying to translate this in sounds and notes, it is not that easy to get along with another composer… and it would be even worst if it were a band. Vangelis said « Have you ever seen any great composer in the past who was involved in a band? ». Naturally, although I don't consider myself as a “great composer”, I wouldn’t feel easily tuned to or compatible with any other artist, due to the way I use to work. However my friendship with Olivier Briand led me in the past to ask him to play keys in some of my tracks, and we worked together too on a CD titled Interférences. But to tell the truth, Olivier had just to add his own musical parts on tracks of mine, most of which were already composed, along with the same process for me with his tracks. Olivier and I stayed in the canvas of Berlin school style in which individual sensibility is less important than our own abilities to blend into a shared mood or global feeling. This probably happens very often in the world of synth players, and many of these artists turn to work with synths just for the feeling of freedom it promises. Klaus Schulze told quite the same thing in 1976 when his LP Moondawn was released. He explained in many interviews that there were bands only because a single musician could not play alone the whole of his instruments. About collaboration again: very recently, Lambert played with me on In Search of Silence and else, I have played once too on a track composed by Awenson.
It is easier to understand my project with Frédéric when you know that beyond melodic music and Berlin school I am fond of experimental and avant-garde music. It has been so since I was a child and when I heard Pierre Henry’s music but this feeling deepened when I heard of Marc-Henri Arfeux’s works released by Patch Work Music. I’m very interested in the idea of a feeling being expressed through sounds or even silence, instead of giving too much importance to the key I play. Thus, I was interested in Frédéric’s works (who I knew through Patch Work Music). He plays neither abstract nor electroacoustic music but his research works stress on raw sound material and his tracks of sequences are like nude stone still to be sculptured and polished. My motivation to play with Frédéric were favored by the fact he let me improvise freely on what his material would lead me to play, without any second sought or specific aims. In fact, I let Frédéric’s music tracks guide me, while I still stayed aware his avant-garde spirit mixed with my taste for serene harmonies would work as complementary elements. Frédéric has firm ideas about (his) music. Sometimes we don’t agree about it, e.g. because he thinks technology in se can lead us towards something, while I generally consider that the composer ought to know which are his aims prior to composing. In the end, Frédéric was right as both records we released together came far more naturally for us that we thought they would do in the first steps. But the most important is that we agreed on the idea of composing a so-called Berlin school set of music, while the music would not forget the search for atmospheres and may also tend towards avant-garde in mood. Frédéric and I do share the idea that the most interesting music opens ways and doors that let imagine other possibilities beyond, as the artist only takes the main track opened to him at the very moment he is creating.


C&O Having released two CDs with Frédéric, can you tell us what brings to you the process of creating in collaboration? For example, what brings to you these imposed/proposed rhythmic patterns that existed prior to your own composing process?
I only considered collaborating with Frédéric as an experiment which might work or maybe not, and might not necessarily lead to further works as a duet. But both of us were astonished by our complementarity and the many doors and possibilities offered during the whole recording, issued from the sequences he proposed. It sometimes happens Frédéric records very strange tracks far from tonal scales or create very unexpected breaks that forced me to change either sounds or harmonies, things I would never have done or played in my own solo releases. The most stunning is that we achieved two releases set in the same vein, which simultaneously were very different from each other. On Catvaratempo we found back the vein of great tracks that are sort of invitations to travel for the listener, tracks where one can both closely and carefully listen to the music and freely let his thoughts fly and evade.


C&O Which is the role of improvising vs formal composition in such a CD (same question for your other CDs, if relevant), keeping in mind improvisation always played a major role in electronic music generally speaking, of course in your live sets, but not only on stage (example, Klaus Schulze and many other musicians)
The music I composed can be the result of acoustic piano improvisations that progressively melt in melodies, chords or harmonies but for me, both Berlin school and avant-garde music are mainly based on the moment and spontaneous playing. The most difficult is to find the stamp that will be tuned to Frédéric’s proposals. Anyway, for one part of the track, what is played on the release is most of the times recorded from the first take. But I often had to stop playing when a sequence drove me towards harmonies I couldn’t follow in the very moment because I am less talented as Keith Jarrett for this. I usually begin with layers and bass sounds that will enrich the harmony, then I add a solo part in a second take, working once more on the sound in order to obtain something that will work well through the mixing step. Then I add some other sounds, noises, effects, and in the end the last polishing step with echoes and reverb.

C&O All along your long career, you released CDs on labels Musea, PWM, and now Spheric Music since 2012. Does it imply having with each of them a specific musical direction, color or mood? Of course, I think of Berlin school for Spheric Music. Can you tell us about your relations with this label? This German label perpetuates a specific tradition and mood with all that this implies such as a specific image, including a link with space and with so-called cosmic music, and this can clearly be seen on their homepage.
I discovered Spheric Music and Lambert Ringlage (the man who created this label) (thank to Patch Work Music). I had the idea I could send to Lambert some unreleased tracks of mine from my Schulze influenced era I recorded in the beginning of the eighties and saved on twelve CD-Rs. He proposed to release a CD with extracts from this material. Spheric Music is almost the one European label specialized in this music and I was proud to sign with them. And happy too that could be released some of the old tracks in which I still can hear the feelings I put in them in the past. Since 2012 I have developed friendly relationships with Lambert who is a truly honest, highly sensitive man. He only distributes and sells the music he likes, with no concession to the market. I guess he influenced me and led me to compose new floating tracks based on sequences and Moog sounds. I realized also that as a composer, Lambert is a great Berlin school artist, you really ought to to listen to his CDs, they are “must have” for any fan of Tangerine Dream.
It is true that Berlin school is associated with space and science fiction. I played with this kind of images on In search of silence, and Lambert played in this release along with me. Space is silence…


C&O This link sounds less claimed and maybe somewhat blurred or more discrete on PWM releases, this can be guessed too from the titles or artworks of these CDs. It seems your CDs released with PWM, such as Amarres rompues or Correspondances, are more “personal” or, to some extent, somewhat experimental; same for the use of the piano which is quite unusual in Berlin inspired electronic music (while I remember Tangerine Dream too used piano on some of its older releases)
I claim my passion for German electronic music of the seventies and most of all the music of Klaus Schulze, but I think this music will have no future if it only uses and repeats principles that turn to clichés. Playing the piano, inserting natural sounds and musical breaks, getting closer to experimental and electroacoustic music and so on are means to open new doors and give a future to Berlin school music. I sometimes moved away from the most classic Berlin school patterns such as noise effects, layers, sequences and solos, just to prove that other ways can be used in synth based electronic music while keeping its pioneer spirit issued from the seventies.


C&O On the opposite, Catvaratempo feels directly and fully obliged to Berlin School (this we can even read on the booklet!). Is this trademark still pertinent nowadays, from either its vintage flavor or its German origin (i.e. German, from a historical point of view)?
It can’t be denied both Schulze and Tangerine Dream have pioneered in a musical genre that was based on synths and sequencers from the very beginning of the seventies era. It must be reminded too that during this era this music was not yet called Berlin school but Krautrock or “Kosmische Musik”. Thus, whatever the name, sticker or “file under”, I claim feeling obliged to these artists because they have fueled me with the passion or electronic music and synths. In fact it must be most of all admitted that neither Schulze not Tangerine Dream have ever been equaled. As for K. Schulze, LPs like Timewind, Moondawn, Mirage, X, Dune, Audentity are second to none, same with Rubycon, Ricochet or Stratosfear for Tangerine Dream. These releases will stay forever as true milestones because as far as feelings induced by their music and technical skill are concerned, they are true classic that never will be out of fashion.

C&O Nowadays the so-called Berlin School music is quite set back from other more “contemporary” currents of electronic music (which were born later… but were greatly inspired by this Berlin School). How can you explain this decay? Can it be considered you perpetuate a current born in the sixties/seventies or on the opposite, that you kind of renew or refresh it? While fully contemporary (if taking into account the date of release), the music on Catvaratempo comes from, and remains faithful to the canons and patterns of vintage Berlin School. So, could it be in the same time seen as “contemporary” music (considering the meaning of this word as used by media)?
I feel our civilization is decadent. German artists have composed stunning music nobody wants to hear any more nowadays, just because they created music that was made to be listened to. The very act of listening means staying quiet and sitting in front of high-end loudspeakers, not in front of a computer with headphones on your ears, or in a car. In fact, only very few people still really listen to music nowadays. Either in electronic or in rock music, media induce people not to listen but to move their body with the music. Music is no more made for the mind but for the body! Maybe you have seen videos of artists clapping hands during their concerts. Downloading, streaming and so on are new ways of consuming music, and this too is responsible of the voracious listening of music, which is incompatible with another kind of music requiring listening efforts, patience and availability. Being now able to have an access to music for free or at low cost is a shame because this leads to zapping. Some time ago I read an interview of Chick Corea who said he intended to have his music available on line, and the journalist told him: “If you want to delve seriously in something, you first have to invest in this thing”, this is just what I too am thinking.
For music fanatics who have been listening for a long time to authentic Berlin school and know it well, Catvaratempo doesn’t pretend to renew the genre; nobody will ever renew either Bach or Mozart (Schulze and TD were the Bach and Mozart in this music). This release just intends to offer new feelings and emotions and to show that this style has not yet delivered the whole bunch of what he may deliver. Then I have to say Frédéric sometimes creates and records literally never heard stunning sequences, because he dares to go where even the masters of this genre didn’t go because they wanted to stay accessible for their audience, so they avoided going too far.

And I hate the word “contemporary” music too because I think Mozart is far more contemporary than most of these guys making music by just programming a bass drum on whatever beat they want. While it depends on to the use you make of this word, I have to admit Catvaratempo is not that much “contemporary”. On the opposite, this release has been composed for a careful and quiet listening, not to move or shake your body and dance on the music.

C&O Maybe I insisted too much on the Berlin School trademark, which is obvious (nobody will deny this) but can be in the same time too simplistic and incomplete if not irrelevant to fully describe your style of music. Would you prefer to define or classify your music with other, more relevant words or concepts?
Categories can be useful as marks or references to help and guide you to select the music you like. The problem is that within a given musical genre, you might love one release and hate another one. As an example, while beloved by more or less the same fans during the seventies, Klaus Schulze’s and Tangerine Dream’s aims and projects were very different. I guess that Schulze’s ambition was to compose “great music”, so instruments and gear were only tools he used to reach and achieve an ambition he had in mind from the beginning, On the opposite, the guys of Tangerine Dream were influenced and led by the capabilities of their instruments and hardware to reach the best possible music they could do with that.


C&O As an example, a pan flute sound can be heard all along Eka (first part of Catvaratempo), which is quite unusual in a genre where people are far more used to hear “classical” synthesized sounds issued from analog oscillators, instead of say “natural” sounds imitated/emulated/sampled from an acoustic, fully recognizable instrument. Could you comment the choice of such a sound leading the listeners somewhat on the verge of the concept of pure synthetic music? While a pan flute is perceived as exotic and oneiric to European ears, would it have a different, more personal or intimate meaning for you? For example, something closer to (or inspired by…) the famous mellotron-flute sounds often used in the sixties and seventies era?
Well, I don’t really care that much about the meaning of a given sound in my music. I just wonder whether it may be useful for the musicality of the track and the feelings it may induce on the listener. Anyway many examples of flute sounds can be found in electronic music thanks to the mellotron, but not only that. To be remembered Steve Joliffe in Cyclone, Tangerine Dream with Schulze in Electronic Meditation, Genesis in Selling England by the Pound, Jethro Tull and so on. Flutes can be heard on Pink Floyd releases too, as in Ummagumma or Atom Heart Mother.

C&O Can you comment on the two language booklet? The use of English in a German release (i.e. not French) is quite logical; lots of French pop/rock artists do the same (an English booklet to help worldwide sales). But why no dual English/French booklet? Why didn’t both artists select either the same language or even better both languages for a wider audience. Doesn’t it sound strange or paradoxical?
Yes I admit this may sound somewhat strange. Well, you know, the release has been produced by Lambert, who loves both France and French people. Then Frédéric’s words are perfectly tuned to my own thoughts, and I was pleased that doing this way, our friends in Patch Work Music could access to the content in their mother language. Here we took an odd way to do but this remark proves that even in this field, some habits or rules should be taken into account. Well, this was also a way to help people keep in mind we are French artists, while released on a German label.

C&O Which are your aims or projects for next year and the years after? Maybe one or some other collaborations close to Catvaratempo or in any other style?
I hope I could create within the following months a mostly melodic release, but I have to say I have not yet started working on this new project. I mostly would like to play quite simple tunes, in the same mood as if I was improvising on the piano but with beautiful synthetic sounds. I also have prepared a new compilation or 1981/82 tracks of mine I have somewhat arranged; the kind of highly floating tracks I still love much. I grant myself some more time left but I hope I will release one day a vol. 3 and 4 of Finally, a highly Berlin school oriented release, sort of “Best of” of what I had composed in this style, which would start with my very first 1981/1982 recordings up to tracks I compose nowadays. Now, when I look back to my older recordings, I often realize some tracks I recorded in the far past times are more precious to me than what I can compose nowadays. Anyway, the most important to me is emotion and feelings I can share and offer to listeners, but I think some wearing out of inspiration can occur, being tired to have to express your feelings on each release, year after year. When you are at the very beginning and recording your own music, you do this with lots of passion. And as far as I am concerned, even many years after, I still can clearly hear this passion when listening back to this music I created in my young years.


C&O  In fact, it seems passion and emotion conveyed by music are crucial for you, although all in all synthetic music (not only Berlin school) is often considered as cold, soulless and focused most of all on rhythms or trance (e.g. Klaus Schulze’s long improvised live sessions, same as in his studio releases). This is very different from any melodic touch and mood that can move one’s heart – I mean music one can feel, that conveys feelings too. Catvaratempo delivers sort of nostalgic mood of the seventies and of their vintage sounds, which can trigger strong feelings too, just like a moving melodic tune. Do you share this feeling about the fact a sound can convey an authentic emotional/reminiscing power comparable to the reminiscing power of a scent or a perfume, something close to the famous “Proust’s madeleine”? Does this have an impact on the sounds you used, such as this flute sound in the first track of Catvaratempo I already mentioned? Is this sound “analog” (a play on words here) to a human voice that can be preferred to another one in a song? In fact, is it true we may “fall in love” with a human voice or even a given keyboard or guitar sound, whatever the tune it sings or plays?
Maybe what pushed me to love Schulze’s music in the middle of the seventies is most of all my fascination for electronic sounds. When I still was a child and even before I has heard of Klaus Schulze, electronic sounds already intrigued/fascinated me. Anyway, Schulze’s music has always been very important for me as it revealed to me that melody is not really necessary to generate emotion and feelings. In fact, we can understand with Schulze’s music that even when there is no formally melody or tune played, there is some suggested anyway. In Mirage’s booklet, Schulze talks about this and explains the listener ought to add his own interpretation to what can be heard in the music itself. Although it is quite impossible to sing Schulze’s tunes, when you are in the mood to feel and receive his music, you can guess and hear inside yourself songs that will turn out to become your own songs. Bergson said: “The aim of art is to engrave feelings in you far more than to express them”, and all in all nothing could reach better this aim than a supposedly not-melodic music.
Of course I love melody based music too and I feel happy when I can have a tune I will be able to play many times and to modify on each take the way to play this tune. But I am aware too of the intrinsic limits of any melodic pattern, i.e. you can feel bored with it just because the tune is sort of imposed to your mind. Paradoxically I think that a tune freezes and limits the listener’s imagination; that is the reason why you can’t infinitely listen to a tune, even the most beautiful one. In the eighties, I thought of a concept to create music that may be simultaneously hypnotic and floating while including some melodic parts too. As an example, on my recent release Correspondances imostly based on electroacoustic and field recording techniques, I have included some piano based melodic themes along with others based on Berlin school style. Anyway, I never intend to demonstrate anything, I just let my intuitions lead the way I compose.
When I was working with Frédéric, we composed together mostly Berlin school oriented music while the music opens ways towards other musical worlds. I avoided playing melodic themes in order to prevent any unexpected unbalance applied to his previous work on sequences, thus still allowing the sequences to play a major role in the final released tracks. Frédéric’s ever present improvisations along with his way to carefully avoid taking musical paths sounding too hackneyed or polished or perfectly tuned give to Catvaratempo a specific unusual color second to none, hence a release sounding simultaneously floating and experimental.

C&O On the same subject, I guess there would be much to say about the piano: the sound itself, the specific touch of piano keys, its influence on the way the music is composed, what pure acoustic piano sounds can tell to listeners, highly different from synthetic electronic sounds. As for me, great fan of vintage Tangerine Dream, the piano intro on Ricochet is one of the purest emotional experiences I could ever feel in the whole bunch of Tangerine Dream releases, and another one is the almost romantic tune in the middle of Monolight track (on double LP Encore issued from their 1977 US tour).
Yes this is an excellent example of complementarity, sort of « Madeleine de Proust » effect (reminiscence of the past). Obviously, piano sounds will always echo on something hidden deep inside your mind; as an example the music of Chopin. And this is a very efficient way to give a romantic mood to a track. In fact, which is the most essential in electronic music is its sensitive content, its ability to drive specific feelings. On Ricochet (and even far more on Stratosfear), Tangerine Dream fabulously succeeded in matching acoustic and electronic gear and sounds. Rather than being opposed, electronic and acoustic sounds fully blend and complement one another. Schulze too created his best tracks with the help of Klaus Krieger’s drums or maybe even better with Wolfgang Tiepold’s cello. Acoustic instruments enforce the feeling of mutual exchange or communion between an “authentic” player and a listener. Which allows a better understanding of what makes all the difference between electronic or romantic Berlin school music and music issued from machines, these ones being made to measures for the body more than for the soul. Although Schulze or Tangerine Dream electronic music from the seventies were avant-garde in style, they delivered the feeling that there was a real musician delivering each sound or playing each instrument. And this “human” dimension makes a huge difference with most of contemporary electronic music, which is quite too clean and perfect and so, it could have been created by anybody or “anything” (such as a robotized hardware?)


C&O You use to evoke emotion and feelings in your music. Could you tell more about what you have in mind, and which feelings you would want your music to convey?
Klaus Schulze said: ”I put my whole soul in my music”, and the same sentence I could apply to myself. For me, music is not only a source of pleasure. The artists I like the most are those who make me think I feel connected to something set inside myself, something that might be called God. So I feel inspired each time what I am playing makes me think I am in osmosis with something simultaneously intimate and great, and each time I can share this feeling. I feel happy when I think what I have played tends to connect me with something greater than myself, something that just travelled inside myself or crossed myself. So, it is not just by chance or for fun I have been playing or composing music. My releases have titles such as Prière, Sur le Chemin, Connexions, In Search of Silence and in such titles, I always intended to tell about sort of a quest of mine. Most of the time, when I feel I succeeded to express my sensibility and “put my whole soul in my music”, as Klaus Schulze said, it happens through quite simple things that can be felt inside the silences, that can be felt in the intervals between keys. Of course, I know this matter is quite subjective, and I imagine that what I can hear either in my music or in pieces of music I like, other people can feel it too, would it be in other music than mine.

C&O Can you tell us about your work in the PWM association before you met Frédéric?
Since the end of the seventies and my involvement in electronic music, I signed in associations of passionate fans: fans of Klaus Schulze at first, then technology and hardware freaks, then just musicians in the end. In 1995 was created the Patch Work Music association thanks to my friend Olivier Briand, this way was launched KS Mag, a magnificent fanzine. This association also produced a compilation CD, the title of which was just PWM. In 2009, the association decided to go one step beyond and distribute on its Internet homepage the CDs we and our friends composed then on a more and more regular basis. In order to find the way to create a quality homepage, Olivier and I gathered some artists we knew, in order to give them the will of investing in a homepage that would distribute and sell their music. Frédéric and I met for the first time during this meeting. We made friends at once as Frédéric knows how to share his passion and he drives us as artists in almost philosophical debates that give us the impulse and the will to compose music.


C&O You have been releasing CD since the nineties on Musea label. So what else does the PWM association bring to you?
I have been deeply involved in PWM since 2009. Paradoxically, I did so because at these times I was in a deeply no-inspiration mood to compose my own music. So, I thought I could find back the pleasure to compose and record again my own music through helping and promoting other artists. And this worked beyond all my hopes as I met Lambert Ringlage thanks to PWM, who helped me compose Berlin school music and new sequenced tracks. Being part of PWM and working for other artists, e.g. writing inspired by their music, brings me the will to share their works and to share mine too. I think that almost all PWM artists have heightened their ambitions through this process. Thanks to PWM, most of its artists are now referenced on important distributors lists such as Cue-Records and Groove Unlimited and can reach this way new electronic music fans previously who had never heard of them. Thanks to PWM too, these artists had the opportunity to play live, and this led too to the launch of Synthfest festival.

C&O Is there no internal competition between PWM artists?
For me, the main concept and aim of gathering artists under PWM banner was the opportunity to share contacts and fans, and to succeed in promoting French electronic music through us as artists. Up to now this worked pretty well. In 2009, we were only about ten artists: and now more than twenty. I think all PWM artists are now aware the success of a given artist will ever profit to the whole team and will help too to distribute and sell all other artists’ releases. I think nowadays both Netherland and German fans know there is also sort of “French school” that is perfectly able to compose good music.

C&O How is this “French school” you mention that special and different from Berlin / German or others electronic music school or genres?
I think Jean-Christophe Allier (maybe me too) symbolize a specific and personal approach of composing and working on sound material. I think that to some extent we may symbolize what Debussy represented vs Wagner. German artists tend to privilege huge orchestral masses and loud heavy imposing majestic sounds, while French artists tend to privilege more delicate and suggestive tones. I admit this statement is somewhat rough and caricatured but I do think French electronic music tends to sound lighter while deep altogether.


C&O You use the notion of “progressive electronic music” to describe your music. Can you comment upon this word?
Progressive is a way to describe our musical style, and since 2009 I have been trying to share this idea in order to highlight the difference between ours and other electronic music. The idea is to claim our homage and our connection to Tangerine Dream, Schulze or Kraftwerk, as they were themselves inspired by early Pink Floyd music. In the seventies, electronic music that pushed us to compose our own music was considered as belonging to the progressive genre. And I bet Jean-Michel Jarre is a fan of Pink Floyd music too. Hence, our music stays somewhat connected with progressive rock music and in the same time with earlier vintage pioneers of electronic music such as Pierre Henry.


Published with the kind permission of Clair & Obscur
Voici le lien pour l'entrevue en Français

dimanche 19 mai 2019

LINGUA LUSTRA: Sonic Being (2019)

“Sonic Being is a deep cosmic ambient opus that might lead you to a great moment of meditation, if not of sleep”
1 Sentinel 10:08
2 Sweet Oscillation 12:51
3 Gem Float 7:16

4 Love Prism 24:47
Exosphere | exo07 (CD/DDL 55:02)
(Deep Cosmic Ambient Music)
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  **Chronique en français plus bas**
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It starts with a piercing breath. By an interstellar wave that has the same stridency as these spaceships that have came from another dimension in The War of the Worlds. In fact, it may well be a shower of fiery volcanic rocks from Pluto or from beyond. It's high-pitched and it whistles violently between synth pads stuffed with a less icy mist. I have already heard these sounds in the Solar Fields archipelagos. But here, there will be no rhythms. In fact, there will be none on SONIC BEING, but many noises that will be associated with a universe of interstellar stridulations. A dialect of machines and of tepid buzzes split the "Sentinel" atmospheres that sway between the discomfort of its coldness and with synth pads to the colors of Chronos a precursor album of Michael Stearns' cosmic processions. And always, the impression of drifting into the cosmos is brilliantly tied to our senses and our sound observations. SONIC BEING is the brand new opus of Lingua Lustra. His 2nd on the American label Exosphere, after Nautilus last year, for this sculptor of cosmic atmospheres who is from the country of Ron Boots, the Netherlands. Albert Borkent is Lingua Lustra! Sharing his creations between the pseudonyms of Sol Tek and Lingua Lustra, Albert Borkent has earned an excellent reputation in the community by presenting works of great sonic precision. His 30 albums have been on various labels, such as Databloem, Spiritech, Psychonavigation Records, Lagerstätte and Synphaera Records' sub-label; Exosphere, which specializes in deeply ambient-cosmic works. In a 24 Bit realization for download formats, this SONIC BEING proposes 4 movements of intensely immersive cosmic atmospheres that are inspired by the works of a pioneer of the genre; Michael Stearns.
"Sweet Oscillation" softens our ears with slow and peaceful oscillations which circulate on a comfortable bed of heavenly mist. A slight buzz, the drones are quite present in this album, is the source of this accumulation of misty layers waltzing with the reflections of the oblivion among the meteorite falls and their whistling sighs. The scenery is incredibly rich and textured with a precision that no doubt meets, at least mine, this perception of a symphony of empty voices and black cosmos. It's a very quiet title, apart from these whistling of agonizing meteorites, with slow interstellar layers very effective to meditate or move towards the arms of Morpheus. But I prefer these layers drenched with secret voices that buzz and lie down in the ambiences of "Gem Float". Other synth layers advance with slow sonic wings which carry the murmurs of chimes. Chirpings of birds flirt with these murmurs, giving a lyrical touch to this cosmic ode where the slow oscillations are formed that float with a timeless zigzag shape in the movement. The more I think about it and the more I hear Michael Stearns' huge influence in the depths of SONIC BEING. The long "Love Prism" begins with an inexhaustible falls of synth lines that flow into a basin filled with seraphic voices. A slow bass line, that our ears have encountered in "Gem Float", carves a phantom rhythm powered by mute implosions. The voices dominate the musical aspect of the lines that fall like a sustained sound storm, creating a thick curtain of absent voices from which filtered chords as secret and discreet as this bass line. I found it very beautiful and very intense! Enough to interest me a little more in Nautilus since I found SONIC BEING an ideal music to guide me to the night and its sleep.
Sylvain Lupari (May 19th, 2019) ***½**
Available at Synphaera's Bandcamp
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                       CHRONIQUE en FRANÇAIS
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Ça débute avec un souffle perçant. Par un onde interstellaire qui a la même stridence que ces vaisseaux spatiaux venu d'une autre dimension dans La Guerre des Mondes. En fait, ça peut bien être une ondée de roches volcaniques ardentes venant de Pluton, ou de plus loin. C'est aigu et ça siffle violement entre des pads de synthé bourrée d'une brume moins glaciale. J'ai déjà entendu ces sons dans les archipels de Solar Fields. Mais ici, il n'y aura pas de rythmes. En fait, il n'y en aura aucun sur SONIC BEING, mais beaucoup de bruits que l'on associera à un univers de stridulations interstellaires. Un dialecte de machines et des bourdonnements plus tièdes scindent les atmosphères de "Sentinel" qui tanguent entre l'inconfort de sa froideur et des nappes de synthé aux couleurs de Chronos, un album précurseur des processions cosmiques de Michael Stearns. Et toujours, l'impression de dériver dans le cosmos est brillement ficelé à nos sens et à nos observations sonores. SONIC BEING est le tout nouvel opus de Lingua Lustra. Son 2ième sur le label américain Exosphere, après Nautilus ‎l'an passé, pour ce sculpteur d'atmosphères cosmiques qui est originaire du pays de Ron Boots, les Pays-Bas. Albert Borkent est Lingua Lustra! Partageant ses créations entre les pseudonymes de Sol Tek et Lingua Lustra, Albert Borkent s'est taillé une excellente réputation dans le milieu en présentant des œuvres d'une très grande précision sonore. Ses quelques 30 albums ont niché sur des étiquettes diverses, tel que Databloem, Spiritech, Psychonavigation Records, Lagerstätte et le sous-label de Synphaera Records; Exosphere, qui se spécialise dans les œuvres profondément ambiantes-cosmiques. Dans une réalisation 24 Bits pour les formats de téléchargements, ce SONIC BEING propose 4 mouvement d'atmosphères cosmiques intensément immersives qui s'inspirent des œuvres d'un pionnier du genre; Michael Stearns.
"Sweet Oscillation" amadoue un peu nos oreilles avec de lentes et paisibles oscillations qui circulent sur un confortable lit de brume céleste. Un léger bourdonnement, les drones sont assez présents dans cet album, est la source de cette amassement de nappes brumeuses qui valsent avec les reflets du néant parmi des chutes de météorites et leurs sifflements ahanants. Le décor est incroyablement riche et texturé avec une précision qui répond sans doute, à tout le moins la mienne, à cette perception que l'on se fait d'une symphonie des ronflements vides et noirs du cosmos. C'est un titre très tranquille, mis à part ces zozotements de météorites agonisants, avec de lentes nappes interstellaires très efficaces pour méditer ou se diriger vers les bras de Morpheus. Mais je préfère ces nappes gorgées de voix secrètes qui bourdonnent et se couchent dans les ambiances de "Gem Float". D'autres couches de synthé avancent avec de lents coups d'ailes sonores qui transportent des murmures de carillons. Des pépiements d'oiseaux flirtent avec ces murmures, donnant une touche lyrique à cette ode cosmique où se forment de lentes oscillations qui flottent avec une forme de zigzag intemporel dans le mouvement. Plus j'y pense et plus j'entends une énorme influence de Michael Stearns dans les profondeurs de SONIC BEING. Le long "Love Prism" débute avec une chute intarissable de lignes de synthé qui se jettent dans un bassin rempli de voix séraphiques. Une lente ligne de basse, que nos oreilles ont rencontré dans "Gem Float", sculpte un rythme fantôme actionné par des implosions sourdes. Les voix dominent l'aspect musical des lignes qui tombent comme un orage sonore soutenu, créant un épais rideau de voix absentes d'où filtrent des accords aussi secrets et discrets que cette ligne de basse. J'ai trouvé ça très beau et très intense! Assez pour m'intéresser un peu plus à Nautilus puisque j'ai trouvé en ce SONIC BEING des pièces de musique idéales pour me guider vers la nuit et ses sommeils.

Sylvain Lupari 18/05/19