samedi 30 octobre 2010

STEVE ROACH: Afterlight (2009)

The 2009 year will have been one of the soft stillness for our favorite American synthesist.Without broken anything or even caressed sound barriers Steve Roach will have released 4 albums of an absolute quietness, if we make exception of soft tribal rhythms from Destination Beyond. In fact, Afterlight floats within the limits of paranormal psychic, staying far from encroached on the wise spiritual paths of the Immersion series.
As a sound mist which blows towards crystalline stigmas of a forgotten world in an obsessive torment, Afterlight flows with a synth sweetness which recalls strangely superb exhilarating strata of Structures from Silence.Long epic title of 74 minutes, Afterlight undulates subtly under a sea of synth layers. Mi crystalline and mi spectral, strata are shaping to various psychedelic artifacts that the magic of closed eyes can create throughout this long cosmic journey. And this is what characterizes Afterlight from the Immersion series. The album bubbles of a mysteriously quiet life, but strangely livened up by numerous undulations of a synth as serene as melodious which intermingles its strata of diverse sound variances, going from dark passages to sharply more intense passages. This way, Afterlight becomes a peaceful musical journey stuffed of slow and multiple oscillations which glean sonority to limpid paradoxes, as if shadows were squabbling the brightness, both in tints and in forms.
For the umpteenth time, Steve Roach thwarts the placid rectitude of these long astral sound journeys. Afterlight boils of an intense life imprinted of a poetic serenity, so much the intimate vibrations are moving and poignant. A beautiful album, quiet certainly, but fed by magnificent synth strata livened up by an ethereal life, as soft dream that we shape during depressing periods. Beautiful and good, it is redirects me towards Structures from Silence of which I should write about all of its majestuosity….one of those days.

Timeroom Edition TM 21 (2009)

Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream;

INDRA: The Challenge (2006)

After two solids Berlin School style opus, The Call of Shiva Vol.1 and Vol. 2, Indra presents us another facet of his immense talent; The Challenge an aggressive album on explosive rhythms that doesn’t have anything in common with the usual EM. A muscled album with brilliant and furious sequences, leaving small room to harmonies and melodies. A sound experience out of that we don’t hear every day in EM domain.
One by one, keys fall with a perfect symmetry leaving in their wakes an echo wave on which a synth whistles Rudyan mysterious air. Tablas percussions collide finely before feeding this strange sequential hymn with constant strikes, like an incantatory dance. Synth with spectral breaths floats on this linear movement where the piano resounds among intriguing choirs which inaudible incantations stammer. Rudyan the mysterious is getting out of breathe and leaves in the echo of its waves. We could believe, without really being wrong, that Crossed Memories is a remix of Kraftwerk’s Man Machine. Rhythm is less robot-like, more melodious and encircles by beautiful synth layers with a more warmth tonality.
Intermission has a rhythm hammered by heavy percussions on a cold tempo, à la Kraftwerk. Percussions, percussions and yet other percussions on a robot-like sequence and very Kraftwerkian sound effects. At high volume the sound experiment is ultimate. A nervous line ravels at high spiral speed, on explosive percussions, like those on Prodigy’s Their Law. About Seven has a reckless rhythm on synths with Middle-East layers and a hyper nervous sequencer. A cavernous breath which is transforming into a howl of wolf emerges from oblivion, filtering indigenous raucous voices. A big drone stimulates Dreaming the Universe which takes its rhythm on striking percussions which strike slowly in a heavy atmosphere. Droning breathes on tribal percussions overload this track of a schizophrenic fever, so much the sound decor is tinted of an alienating madness.
With The End of the Childhood we are entering in a lees nervous atmosphere where a fine melodious sequence, forged of limpid notes, whirls on an atmospheric background. A 2nd sequence is adding to form a cloud of crystalline and syncopated keys which fly on soft stationary layers, soaked of heteroclite sound effects. With Serenade in Due we enter further more into the little twisted universe of The Challenge. Mooing decorate the environment of sound effects as frivolous as the lightness of the rhythm. Like a Pop band, Serenade in Due is balancing on a groovy line with good drums, good bass and a sliding synth with progressive effects. Voices encircle the empty ambiance of Fantasia. Sound effects whirl among these circular voices stiffed by obscure Middle-East breaths. Hard to start, Fantasia is nailed by a heaviness that rotary percussions try to release. A light flute emerges from it, captive of a static movement with weak turbulences. A sustained droning form an unexpected sequence, making slightly undulates a track that recalls the first works of Schulze on Picture Music and Timewind. The Soldier's Requiem, presents an experimental closing on a superb enveloping synth which minimizes the abstraction of the musical kinds which intermingle on an Arabian mixture.
The Challenge is all, except ordinary. It is a musical journey that goes to the bottom of our imagination. There where Indra provided all elements to modulate this voyage, according to perceptions that we draw. If the first part is superbly melodious, all what follows Dreaming the Universe comes from a soft creative madness which draws its idea in the shade of our perceptions.

Eagle Music EMCD001/2006

Sylvain Lupari (2006)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream;

vendredi 29 octobre 2010

STEVE ROACH:Live at Grace Cathedral (2010)

Steve Roach's sound universe always remains astounding. The man likes challenging the magic of sounds with recordings where the spiritual presence is the premise of his inspirations. A 2007 concert recorded at the mythical Grace Cathedral of San Francisco on June 29th, Live at Grace Cathedral claims to be the witness of the sound risks that Steve Roach likes to tackle. With its architectural curves that shape all sound reverberations, the Grace Cathedral is the ideal place to structure the modulations and oscillations of an ambient music where the slow and morphic synth strata follow the architectural arcs of this old cathedral. To capture all the dimension and depth of his music, Steve Roach proceeds to a very direct recording, hanging microphones in the heights of the Grace Cathedral. This making, murmurs of a hypnotized crowd by elongated synth flights add a spectral dimension to Steve Roach music.
Soft ghostly layers open Embracing the Space. Synth layers which are delicately entangling form a peaceful musical maelstrom which increases its intensity by the only strength of its sound extents. Roach is the master of atonal music and the reverberating curves of Grace Cathedral shape marvelously the bends of its sound arcs. Even in suspension and reflection mode, Roach music infiltrates with a divine harmony at the mercy of his synth modulations. A peaceful flashback to Suspended Memories and the sublime Structure from Silence! Modeling his music with all his creative assets, Steve Roach takes advantage of the passivity his works to create infinite musical possibilities. Discreet, the angelic voices which wind around morphic strata of the 2nd part add a spectral dimension that suits pretty well the pertinence of its environment. The strength of the Californian synthesist lies in its capacity to transform his long ambient works. Thus, after the slow immersion of Embracing the Space first two parts, we dive in a sound labyrinth to multiple tribal breaths. Nuances breaths which drag their echoes among sinuous strata, recall the prosaic universe of Serpent’s Liar and Mystic Chords and Sacred Spaces.
Strangeness sounds, reverberating waves with sinister breaths, Merging with Grace’s opening seems much more arise from an abyssal depths of an infernal world than from curves of a pious cathedral. Majestically, Roach adds to it a subtle sound limpidity which sparkles in a diagram of plasma fusion. But the sound remains dark and very penetrating, even with the whispers of a crowd staggered by this immense sound sail which swallows up any living species. We are in the depths of Possible Planet and heavily we slide towards more musical strata which breathe a heavy spirituality which increases its modular intensity with powerful synthesized pads. Layers which are spawning among the only latent percussions that we find on this double-cd set. A discreet dynamism which re-appears on the 3rd part with its strange jerky movements, unique to Roach sound world, which sounds like hiccupping sequences coming out of a tribal world with trance dances, beneath a horde of strata as much melodious as intriguing. Intense and melodious Roach guides us towards his meanders fill of thousand sound subtleties with a magic dexterity, so much that the emotion filters this ambient kirmess which quietly fades away with a striking 4th part, where strata’s powerful reverberating copulates with the serenity of a synth who’s delivering its last breaths. A crossing between Michael Stearns’ Chronos, Dynamic Stillness and Immersion!
As for me, Steve Roach remains the reference concerning ambient music. He is one of the only artists in this domain to create an emotion towards its slow modulations which, for many ears, seem abstract. And yet if one listens to it very close, one hears, one perceives all the density and intensity of a solitary man who is led by an existential quest. Live at Grace Cathedral is a kind of greatest hits of his spiritual music. There are lots of winks of ears and references to titanic work such as; Suspended Memories, Arc of Passion, Dynamic Stillness, Landmass, The Magnificent Void, the Immersion series and the unique Structure from Silence. His recording at the Grace Cathedral gives a highly particular and unique character, worthy of contemporary music masterpieces. Live at Grace Cathedral is an unavoidable which only its detailed listening can explain. A chef-d’oeuvre!


Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream;

jeudi 28 octobre 2010

INDRA: The Call of Shiva Vol. II (2005)

Usually, at least with movies, a continuation always leaves a small bitter taste. A little something that tastes like some heated leftovers! One remembers that Magic Circle enclosed The Call of Shiva Vol1 with techno jolts. The Call of Shiva Vol. 2 opening track, Enigmatic Rumours continues on this impetus. Quite heavy, with a sequencer that hiccups a dynamic pulsating bass line, Enigmatic Rumours criss-crosses a techno trance hymn with synthetic spasms that flies over a boosted atmosphere. A great way to open an opus that has an undeniable sense of beat. Without spinning with as much energy Ankh is a boiling track. Static, it whirls with force on varied intonations around a discrete mellotron. A mellotron which surrounds with wonder an exploratory synth which throws scattered laments among superb strata, shaping a slow ambiance animated by a weak and timid percussion. Courted by breaths and sound effects as cosmic as analog, as well as tabla percussions, Ankh continues its progression on suave synthetic blows. Subtly, the movement varies with an infinite tenderness, even if the sequencer tries to brew the pot. A superb cosmic procession fill of sensitivity to shivers the spine and makes hairs rise. Though a little more agitated, Bindu holds us in this static cycle. Minimalist percussions fly over a tempo which grows felted with the measure of its progression. Floating, the synth fits the atmosphere with a placid darkness, filtering parsimoniously overwhelming sound streaks with mellotron surges. A great hypnotic art that brings us back per moments to the huge Totem by Klaus Schulze, which is not negligible. Dhurjati is a real musical feast. A musical bomb of nearly 27 minutes that starts with nonchalance on a floating intro filled of cosmic breaths. A bit later, notes are gliding with heaviness forming a circular tempo in immersion. The movement is liven up, driven by metallic hammering percussions which bombard a deafening rhythm. A good line of bass is adding and Dhurjati leaves at the parting of rhythms as varied, heavy and lively. A unique musical fresco which gathers all the ingredients necessary to a psychedelic party! From ambiguous sequenced movements to wild pulsating rhythms while passing by techno and techno trance sequences, Indra polishes the kinds by maintaining a quite diverting harmonious ease. Seldom had I heard such a long title which has as much rhythm, without pouring in easy hypnotism. Short but how much sublime is Nataraja. On a weak pulsating bass a super synth borrows various mellotron breaths to decorate our ears of suave melodies to take down a tear, just a small one.
I did listening EM a lot. And Indra doesn’t cease to impress. From an opus to another, he always succeeds to surprise me. The Call of Shiva Vol.2 is an intense opus, melodious and of an infinite tenderness. And this even with these wild rhythms which abound from everywhere. In spite of momentary madness and audacities, as well in rhythms than structures, Indra preserves its latent sensitivity which always ended up leaving in the shade a superb melodious passage. An album without faults, burs and one second of much, The Call of Shiva Vol 2 is, in my opinion, the album of 2005. A must have!

Sylvain Lupari (2006)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream;

TANGERINE DREAM: Timesquare – Dream Mixes II

If we had interrogations concerning the fact that who was the dominant figure of the artistic new approach of the Dream in the 90’s, this Timesquare-Dream Mixes II gives us the answer. According to the history of the Dream, Jerome Froese spent the summer of 97 to concoct this album which was planed to be a suite of The Dream Mixes issued 2 years earlier. But Jerome rather composed and released an album of Tangerine Dream, with only two remixes; Mobocaster and Towards the Evening Star. And all what’s left? Well, 5 impetuous tracks which explode on rhythms in constant permutations and which explain the musical origins of the Dream since 1992 (Rockoon) up to 1999 (Polaris Mars) and which, parsimoniously, are continued up until our days and maybe beyond. In fact the continuation of Tangerine Dream history bubbles in the hands of Jerome Froese. Timesquare-Dream Mixes II is superior to its predecessor. Jerome Froese has matured and offers a fresh diversity as well in the rhythms as the atmospheres.
Mobocaster is one of Timesquare2 remixes. It’s a new version of Twilight Brigade from 94’ Turn of the Tides CD. If the intro is mystical with its stifled percussions and layers of a misty synth, the extreme rhythm doesn’t wait to burst with a rollercoaster sequential approach. The tempo undulates with force and speed, accompanied by a dense universe of percussions which brush as well techno, with hammering drums, than dancefloor with a whirling syncopated rhythmic. On the other hand, Jerome brings balanced nuances to a rhythm which floats in various sieved atmospheres, respecting thus the harmonious musical approach of Twilight Brigade with the acoustic guitar, which collapses under a cloud of synthesized effects and an avalanche of percussions. After an ethereal intro, Jungle Jacula wakes up with a structure encircled of a movement build on a stamping bass and a sequencer with ascending and syncopated lines. The rhythm is flexible and strikes tenderly under beautiful synthesized strias which whistle around lamentations of an unknown voice. The beat changes. It permutes towards an Oriental softness with beautiful percussions and synth pads which hoot beneath sound effects that pierce towards another rhythmic variation. Throughout Timesquare, Jerome is hyperactive and decompartmentalizes his cadences to offering a rhythmic diversity which amazes with through various sound effects. On this level the intro of Towards the Evening Star is just splendid. Percussions! A world of heteroclite percussions which outline an elusive cadence under laments of a corrosive synth, whereas the keyboard tenderly takes again the melodious notes of the original version. Obviously, Jerome cannot remain as much charmer and dreamer. So Towards the Evening Star takes a groovy turn with a good undulating bass line and solids percussions which hammer a beat constantly challenged to change its orientation, around great layers of a hybrid synth which are not without pointing out the universe of the old Dream. This constant permutation of rhythms and these layers of a nostalgic synth make of Towards the Evening Star a remix which amply exceeds the musical range of carbon copy. Digital Sister offers these same rhythmic permutations, except that the title becomes more rock and punchier with its frenzied percussions which bombard nervously a structure a bit slow compared to drum strikes. We can guess that Jerome had a hell of a time there! Pixel Pirates offers an odd intro where layers of synth howl in a syncretic universe. A bubbling universe of sounds and disparate voices before that a heavy encircled rhythm comes to drag all those disparate sonorities to mold an excellent track where the syncretic approach is constantly present on rhythmic structures so much varied as the melodies which cross them. Heavy and syncopated rhythm, voices with Oriental fragrances, keyboards which perspire the Dream at full notes, clever sound effects and crystal keys which hammer an insane rhythmic are as many elements which pullulate the complex, but harmonious, universe of Pixel Pirates. Another good track on Timesquare- Dream Mix II! By listening to Cupa Levis attentively, we have the feeling of hearing all the musical evolution of Tangerine Dream since its association with sonny Froese in 1992. A long track offering a cadence that gallops on various rhythmic tangents of the Dream, with subtle variations, since Rockoon. Tangents seasoned of beautiful percussions as well as beautiful sound effects and vocal which are coated with these synths and keyboards that became out of deep and colors… since Rockoon. A synth whistling among tinted sound effects of a watery fog opens the ethereal intro of Timesquare. Scattered keyboard notes trace a delicate melodious bit whereas percussions shape a slow bewitching rhythmic. Timesquare bubbles in an intro which weighs down with heavy riffs of an abstracted guitar, whereas that all gently the rhythm became heavy wraps the melody which spouts out of one synth with t liberator layers. Preserving its melody and its suave rhythm, Timesquare evolves with through many rhythms and atmospheres, tracing one of the beautiful rhythmic melodies that Tangerine Dream lay down since Legend. A superb piece which concludes a stunning album where Jerome Froese ended up to charmed a resistant to the Dream new orientation.

 TDI009CD (1997)

Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream;

mardi 26 octobre 2010

INDRA: The Call of Shiva Vol. I (2005)

Here is a finest EM opus of the contemporary area. When you will look at The Call of Shiva’ artworks, Vol.1 as much as the Vol. 2, don’t get fooled by those pictures that look like mythical Hindu. Far from being inspired by a kind of Hindu religion at all, The Call of Shiva is a powerful CD with random and complex movements in a boosted atmosphere. One of the good albums that respect the whole spirit of Berlin School, up to the most distant parts of its imaginary borders, I heard since a long time. A timeless musical voyage, with today’s sonorities, that few artists are able to make us live. Indra persists, and signs another monument of EM. Him who begins to accustoms us with his small chef d’oeuvres.
Pole Shift starts with a shimmered sequential line that flies with grace and voluptuousity, on a spiral movement that carefully goes up and down. Sparkling, percussions maintain a nervous beat which modifies subtly its race on limpid keys, which are moving away from the initial sequential movement. A beautiful Berlin School, with all of its nobility, on a rhythm that skids to cross a vaporous atmosphere just to redo its strengths and leave again with more luminosity. On a cosmic sea, aroused by astral sirens, Great Ancient Gods Are Coming floats on a soft atmospheric movement. Synth lulls its orchestral waves with depth and serenity, whereas a superb sequencer emerges and agitates the tide, which whirls while being folded up on its furrows.
The intro of In Search for a New Land mixes a moderated sequence, kind as Pole Shift, with the vaporous quest of Great Ancient Gods Are Coming. A perfect blend that shows Indra subtlety for all kinds of EM. The movement progresses on a discrete mellotron breathe until the 9th minute, where a short atmospheric pause brings back the movement to its start case. It’s under intense percussions thunders and a groovy-jazzy tempo that In Search for a New Land takes its second blow. Still under the charm of the Rumanian genius, we hear the sequence permutes again to become more suave and take again its initial movement with more mordent. An excellent track where Indra shows us his ability to evolves with limpidity and ease on complex rhythms. Sinai begins with a furious sequential pulsation. An unbridled rhythm, nourish by superb metallic sound effects and a synth with Arabian fragrances which blows tortuous solos. Indra plays with rhythms and develops industrial sounds atmospheres on a musical texture of traditional Middle East spirits. A powerful track that astonishes by the spontaneity of tempos and mystifies by it exotic beauty. We hardly recover from this enhance movement that Magic Circle surrounds us with a sequential aura quite as more powerful. Nervous, a bass and biting sequential line curves a meandering movement that plays with its tempos, as flexible and unforeseeable as rollercoaster. Sometimes frantic, sometimes atmospheric, the rhythms interconnect to finish into this ball of rebellious with straightness rhythmic on trance hymns. An excellent track to ends a striking opus that will please any EM fan, as well the Berlin School style as progressive.

Sylvain Lupari (2006)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

lundi 25 octobre 2010

RUDY ADRIAN: Desert Realms (2008)

It’s inspired by a voyage made in the national park of Utah that Rudy Adrian concocted Desert Realms. These desert kingdoms are composed of 11arid musical landscapes carried on warm winds from a synth with heavy and touching layers as well as flutes which transpierce immense dunes of architectural stones.
Delicates shimmered arpeggios open Saguaro Silhouette. A soft wave intermingled with Amerindian vocalizes, just like in Circling Hawk, crosses a desert plain where rattlesnakes bells and Tibetans cymbals wrap an atonal movement. The wind alone offers a light undulation in a sound structure as rich as mystical. A fluty sound floats on slightly anvil percussions on Pathway opening. Here, as on the whole 12th opus from the New Zealand synthesist, the movement is linear and without forms except for few fine modulations which are lurching through the sound memories of Rudy Adrian. Desert Realms is a long peaceful powerful ode of American Western South desert grounds. A title with musical poetry which espouses a structure sometimes dramatic on a synth with breaths a little more seizing as on Cloudburst and its spiral flute. Fading Light is synonymous of tenderness and nostalgia.Subterranean River borrows the same musical paths that one can meet on this arid work. Sound samplings of a desert nature are present on each track, as on the morphic Of Clouds And Mountains and Rocks Under Moonlight as well as on the melodious at The Edge Of The Desert which is completely relaxing with it bird songs.
Desert Realms is an album of a sidereal softness filled of melodious passages that would please to fans of landscapes sounds or to those astral travelers who are able to leave without moving out of their bodies. An album that is very near the floating and tribal worlds of Ray Lynch and Steve Roach.


Sylvain Lupari (2008)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream;

vendredi 22 octobre 2010

RUDY ADRIAN: Distant Stars (2010)

Here is some fine ambient and floating music! Far from his tribal inspirations, Rudy Adrian plunged in the deepest of himself to offers an album with very introspective emotions in order to make us travel among stellar stars and other constellations on a musical background rich in subtle modulations. Distant Stars is a slow astral symphony where the New-Zealand synthesist moulds his emotions through dense synthesized and mellotroned layers where sidereal choruses, sidereal breaths and movements with heavy metallic drones border Steve Roach and Michael Stearns superb impulses.
A distance cosmic breath opens Distant Stars introduction. A wind shaped in galactic semi-darkness which is propelled by a synth with dark and sober layers. Just like what’s going on over this Rudy Adrian 13th opus, Distant Stars proposes a slow astral journey where movements are carved in the oblong modulations of a synth which mixes superbly well drifting hypnotic pads and choirs. Far from being monotonous, the intro of Distant Stars is punctuated of soft shimmered notes which scintillate in a cosmic gravity. A little as if one could hear stars. Fine modulations deflect the course of layers which float and thread among scintillating notes and dark breaths, sometimes struck by fine explosions plunging Distant Stars in a culminating cinematographic atmosphere peak. Around the 9th minute, becomes more limpid but still remains atonic. Synth layers are clearer and release a less anxious ambiance, spreading out a 2nd part which reflects a painfully started galactic voyage. Certainly, emotional orchestrations are pointed here and there surrounding the eponym title in a constant duality emotive which reaches its paroxysm with powerful layers of a synth howling its fright of the unknown in a delicious musical perfume which points out the ultimate work of a musical cosmic voyage; Michael Stearns’ Chronos. Trajectory is quite as heavy as the introductory track. A long atonal track, where synth pads float in a syncretic cosmic universe of which fright accompanies the unexplored. A synth which releases a linear movement crossed of subtle modulations, as much as sound level than on the impulsion of its structure. A structure soaked with metallic sonorities which draw the moving of a space shuttle roaming to seek for a new earth. Le Songe Du Singe bathes in the same ambient atmospheres as the first 2 tracks of Distant Stars, except that the movement waltzes with kindness in a nascent luminosity. A sound effervescence which divides the nebulosity of this intensely dark album, even if it’s a cosmic one. Synth impetuous waltz in harmony with layers of a mellotron flooded of oniric and poetic sources as well as liberator choirs. A superb piece of ambient music where emotions are feeling and living sensitively.
Voyage Through Darkness is a dark cosmic litany where synth layers bubble and drone in the borders of a syncretic universe which releases an astonishing perfume of paranoia with its multiple layers which tangle up in a strange atonic waltz where only imaginations can draw their structures. A long track which contains superb musical winks to Steve Roach complex ambient universe and where the beauty explodes with superb mellotron flutes which accompany a movement became more limpid and superbly more ethereal. Still there, Rudy Adrian fascine by its way of getting his modulations out of dark ponds that he’s weaving on each introduction. Soft honeyed Netherworlds floats in a poetic musical universe which is in contrast with the heaviness of the first 4 tracks. In fact, one could advance that Netherworlds and Entering The Temple Of Haruka Kawagishi are the rest of the storm which surrounds the lugubrity of this astral voyage fill of intense synthesized sonorities. Much far from stars and nearer the Earth, these 2 tracks involve us in the delicious tribal world of Rudy Adrian. He of which is the only one to draw all its musical canvas.
Distant Stars is a powerful atmospheric album which undoubtedly please fans of ambient, floating and cosmic music. A superb album where Rudy Arian’ emotions abound in a universe bubbling of syncretism and atmospheric dualities, even if cosmos is oblivion of coldness and fright. Strong feelings quite well shored up on a good structured album, like a long departure towards the unknown of interstellar spaces.


Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

dimanche 17 octobre 2010

BRUNETTE MODELS:Last Poem (2008)

Another musical project from label, Brunette Models is the alter ego of Peter Krzyzanowski, a sound sculptor from Torun in Poland. Sound sculptor because the music of Last Poem is an interrupted suite of sound samplers over sound effects, molding an odd architecture of sounds where the fusion of ambient and abstract gives birth to some rhythms lost here and there, giving a relief more than particular to an album that plays as much as the wear of time as the effect of contemporaneity.
After a short introduction where an oscillatory wave opens Brunette Models 5th opus, Call Him Dr. Moog starts this strange musical voyage that tests out your cerebral limits. Peter Krzyzanowski explains the Moog functionalities through a multitude of sound samplers which form a bizarre musical sphere where stray piano notes float heavily around space voices, cosmic streaks, static interferences and fugacious hip-hop rhythms, when not techno, in a long sound wake where sinuous eclectic sonorities mold a slow movement of a huge UFO. A dark and cosmic track that depicts the paradoxical artistic approach of Peter Krzyzanowski who continually forms musical structures from a full array of finely elaborate sonorities. Birds chirpings, ducks quacks and oars strikes that dig sidereal water, In the Garden of Aphrodite flows on a smooth bass line with soft pulsations and delicate tom-toms which recall the syncretic and poetic musical universe of Johannes Schmoelling on Wuivend Riet. One track out of some which easily hook the ear with Lemessos, This is an Empty World and Searching. With Fly With Me Margo we plunge in Peter Krzyzanowski more than abstract musical world. Divided into two segments; the 1st part offers a very syncretic intro, a bit hostile to the limit, with its long metallic layers which squeak in a placid atonal universe whereas the 2nd part is more poetic with fine pads of delicate a synth which waltz around keyboard keys, scintillating and tinkling among variant strikes of piano notes.
And thus Last Poem ravels. Each title is structured of much metalized linear movements where strong sensations of fright, discomforts and paranoia travel on ingenious samplers and ephemeral rhythms, as on Anadyomene' Secret. Soft and melancholic, Lemessos is a suite of violin layers that progresses among fine loops of which reverberations are widening in an wavering morphic ballet. Picture of your Mind explores the same patterns, but with a darker approach where metal streaks moo among waves which break lethargically in loops. Layers of synth animate a syncretic atonality whereas metallic beats form a minimalism and hypnotic tempo, such a tick -tack of a clock without time, before permuting in a slow tempo which beats under a tetanized fog. Madame Charme offers chords in suspension which wander in a strange abstract world with much metalized scents before a dark nursery rhyme spins in a light carrousel of fear beneath violin layers with metallic chords that a dusty fog wraps without never really smothering it. Even with an absence of rhythm, This is an Empty World is not absent from life. A long lineal movement filled of strong emotions and slow mislaid rhythms, This is an Empty World does not leave indifferent because of its propensity to introspection on a structure where the melancholy and syncretic poetry abound. A very beautiful title, just like Lemessos and Searching!
Although the rhythm is not very present, that there is no sequential movement, Last Poem is a sound adventure that goes well beyond the simple musical lifelessness. It is dark and sad while being rich and full of emotions on lineal structures filled of sound samplings and isolated rhythms which destabilize and intrigue with a strong feeling of sound immersion.


Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

samedi 16 octobre 2010

INDRA:Signs 2005

One of Indra’s strength is diversity. The Rumanian synthesist isn’t afraid of evolving in his artistic mode. From retro Berlin School with deep ambient moods while passing by New Berlin School, his opuses are as much astounding as puzzling at first earings. And there is always a little something that pushes us to listen to these again and again. Signs is full with these small some things. A colossal CD that astonishes by the plurality of its kinds!
All in echo Atlas on Stage fascinates us with its fine sequential line, its suave beat and its percussions filled of analog flavors. Synth keys are entangling in echo and start a hypnotic walk on an orchestral background. Whereas movements with colors of string sections twist with languor, Atlas on Stage espouses a line that spins, turns and whirls while retreating into one shelf. A great track that hooks instantaneously! The table is put for Signs. An album with various sonorities which proposes light and melodious tracks which oscillates between a light techno, a timid New Age and some good Berlin School sequential lines. Indra is the master of its kingdom and exploits his notes and pulsations in spiral, giving an amazing depth to its compositions. If Saltimbanc is bordering New Age with its pianoting synth and its light rhythm, Ariel is a deeper title. A soft synth blows on a hesitant sequencer, forming a canvas full of echo. The tempo is slow and is swinging on drawling percussions and silky Tablas. With The Bride is Happy it is time to stamp on foot. The approach is quite techno with its snap beat and heavy chords, a little à la Depeche Mode. Sheik’s Dream is another lucky find. On a hesitant line, shaped out of a sensual bass, a synth is escaping to free great chords of Asian savors accordion. The synth fuses superb solos, which are spread by echo, hook on solids percussions. A superb title which evolves on a genial passage, where percussions and synth cause an eddy which intensifies the pace. One of Indra’s great tracks! Quick Movement proposes a whirling Berlin School sequential line. Without being hypnotic, the beat spins around galloping percussions and disordered notes which espouse melodious movements. To Jenna has a soft Jarre techno beat which whirls around a melodious synth and analog sound effects that marked Jarre first works. Another great track as much melodious than lively. More poised The Monk emerges from atmospheric raucous noises and embraces a fine Berlin School hypnotic sequential line. The beat charms and astonishes with its tribal effects lines. Next Future strikes with its huge percussions. The rhythm is static and is lulling on a continued line supported by a synth fabulously disordered approaching Schulze style. In midway the tempo breaks and becomes more animated with very good synth solos and wild percussions. Yet, another very strong track out of Signs! Telos encloses Signs on an ambient note. Synth cries among short sound effects. Does it cries or mutters? It does not matter. It’s totally melancholic and has a softness which only equals its beauty.
Signs is one of the great CD of 2005 regarding EM. Indra embraces all kinds of EM with more facility than he controls his multiple synths. It’s an extremely harmonious opus that we listen to it from start to end without seeing time passed by. Not even a single note lost nor of artistic wasting. Fifty-five minutes well served that worth amply the money spent!

Sylvain Lupari (2005)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

INDRA: Generation 2006

Indra’s strength is to amaze, from one album to another. After the stormy and boiling The Challenge, I would have expected Indra to returns in a good Berlin School opus, just to ease some startled fans. Well, I’m totally wrong, because Generation is in the same mould as The Challenge. A bit less progressive, but as much percussive!
YeahYeah... throws a female voice, on a pulsating beat formed from the synchronized duet of sequencer/synthesizer. Sound effects imitate nervous percussions colliding, before a more rolling percussion adds a real drum touch with a hammering drum. The beat then becomes more techno with other sound effects which are moulding among superb whirling and sinuous synth solos. The beat then hits a moderate passage, before rebounding with more energy on disordered keyboards keys which find their places in this ‘’technoïd‘’ tornado. Confession reflects the sound universe you will find on Generation. Similar rhythms moderated just enough, so each one has its own structure. The sequences are heavy and multi directional, creating abundant rhythms supported by hammering percussions. El Gringo proposes a beat quite as much powerful which follows the path of a hesitant and nervous keyboard which forms the 1st sequence. Real percussions are inserting on those tortuous synths with plaintive and acute solos that sound effects fly over, leaving a sound cloud on its wake. The beat takes an unstitched tangent with superb percussion which re initiate the movement through more nervous keys and solos quite as much sinuous, but more languorous.
Disjointed and curled keyboard keys open In to the Night with an undulating bass movement which feed the lead sequence. Percussions supports a nervous rhythm cross of variegate sound effects on a hesitant movement. With its hollow Tablas percussions and its spinning rhythm on an odd sequence I' m Home Alone is a nervous music piece with Middle East vocal effects. Percussions become incisive on a synth which blows solitary laments, succeeding to seek a melodious ode to conclude this title filled of strange movements. An agitated sequence pushes the first measures of Germinal. A pulsating line of bass holds a rhythm surrounded by eccentric circular percussions with ‘’tssitt tssitt‘’ disco mode cymbals. The more the track progresses, the more the percussions play a prevalent part, hammering the tempo with gravity. The strikes resound of their echoes, increasing Germinal rhythmic intensity on a synth hedging of weak rotary laments. Another title, same result! Bella Donna shapes its tempo on its reverberations and a nervous sequence that whirls in spiral on a progressive techno dance approach. The more Bella Donna progresses, the more its tempo’s wild, whereas Le Jeu du Maitre offers a slower tempo and a more bewitching mood. Intro’s tinkling keys mark a pause on this opus full of life and musical turbulences. Circular synth, on a fine jerky movement, surrounds the title of a serene aura which extends even more on shades of string chords layers that lull our hearing, as well as our imagination. Breathless is like Confession. A DJ with a suave voice cheers his crowd on a sustained rhythm where voice samplings sigh on a hypnotic synth sequence. A second sequence with heavy loops insufflates a tempo tugged by soft techno percussions and synth layers with jerky movements. A track perfectly arranged that fits marvellously on the lascivious and passive Cutting Edge which rolls on an undulating bass and resounding percussions that shake the floor. Like an African sensual tempo, the impulsion is slow and moves with sequences in loops and a provocative synth. A languorously luxurious track which enjoys nuanced percussions, giving a hypnotic depth that shakes our senses. Touareg Love is a bonus track. The rhythmic spirit is always present with suave bass, intense percussions, DJ sound effects and a whirling sequence. But there is this voice... a suave and hot voice that pushes long erotic sighs, inviting to a more carnal pleasure than a small dance.
The more I hear Indra, the more I seek to hear it. Even if Generation has a techno tendency, the Rumanian synthesist charms by the harmonious approach of his furious rhythms. Because behind each title, a melody is hiding, whispered or hammered that makes our ears wide open. Indra has a great musical vision, but contrary to others, he has the talent of his originality.

Sylvain Lupari (2006)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

mercredi 13 octobre 2010

CREATE: Words Just Get In The Way

Create has the gift to take the listener in a journey through meanders of time and cosmic sound elements which constitute its musical fauna as diversified as its influences. From dark cosmic and psychedelic ambient of a musical universe in perdition to ephemeral and sometimes savages rhythms, Words Just Get in the Way is a disconcerting amalgamation of a music that still has superb phases to explore. Phases that Stephen Humphries doesn’t hesitate to take by storm with the determination of first explorers.
The Obsidian Eye is the first of 3 long tracks that fill the sound universe of Words Just Get in the Way where fragmented rhythms are isolated in slow cosmic and morphic approaches. A warm synth pierces galactic stammering of its intro to waltz tenderly in a cosmos filled of multiple sound signals. Delicate percussions are grafting and drum candidly on a soft rhythmic visited by heavy chords agreements to briefs sinister harmonies. Slow layers of an ethereal mellotron surround this first portion of a split up tempo, immersing The Obsidian Eye in a long musical carrousel where everything is in suspension. Sequential movements, as isolated as divided rhythms, abound in an asymmetric fluctuation among oblong atmospheric passages surrounded by a synth with caustic cosmic sonorities and of a tender mellotron to padded layers and chthonian choruses. But when cadences are born, they are sometimes violent, sometimes deliciously hypnotic, and explode in a universe besieged of a caustic and apocalyptic synth fills of superb tinny solos, unique to Create sound world. Closer Than You Think offers a soft atmospheric intro where slow layers of a morphic synth are bitten with acuity by the very Floydian guitar of Hashtronaut’s own Mike Daniel. Slow caustic reverberations surround this oniric approach where the tempo takes shape with through a mellotroned silk which waltz on increasing pulsations and a synth drawing splendid loops to encircling echoes. Hypnotic and minimalism cadenced pulsations of Closer Than You Think evolve slowly, under the weight of a synth and a guitar which exchange solos and rhythmic chords on a structure which crosses at the end of its course a superb sequence with limpid tinkling before concluding in atmospheric pads of its introduction. Slave to the Groove begins slowly. Slow resounding and twisted layers soak a musical nothingness which quietly takes form on pulsations moving stealthily beneath loud resonances of a caustic synth. The pulsatory rhythm is accentuating around a nice misty mellotron, whereas an undulating sequence adds to it a hybrid cadenced rhythm which evolves under loops of one synth with rippling solos.
Electronic, syncretic and caustic, Words Just Get in the Way crosses multiple sound galaxies in order to offer a solid EM album which moves away from the usual paths of Berlin School. Always influenced by Air Sculpture atmospheric ambiances, Stephen Humphries continuous to develop a musical world which is proper to him. A universe not always easy to tame and where musical creativity evolves among various oscillations as much hybrid as near of its fugacious melodious passages.
Year of release: 2009
Create Website:

Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

samedi 9 octobre 2010

KLAUS SCHULZE: La Vie Electronique 2 (2009)

Whereas La Vie Electronique 1 swarmed very close to known grounds, La Vie Electronique 2 presents us a more or less known musical world with the first incursions of the German composer into the world of the synthesizers with ARP. But the Farfisa is always strongly present, just as a vague attempt to create a group with a little progressive New Age consistency. Representing material written and recorded between 1972 and 1975, La Vie Electronique 2 isn’t really on Irrlicht or Cyborg doors, seals and flies towards complex skies where reverberations, drones and organs are crossing and uncrossing in a parallel universe.
As of the first reverberating loops of North of the Yukon, one discovers music definitely more inspired where Schulze handles oscillations of its new toys with an astonishing dexterity. If we are into Irrlicht and Cyborg era, it’s however a Black Dance background that we perceive with its hatched sounds that curve and fall as droppers in a caustic world with fragrances from an organ that push Arabian moods. If you know Moontain from Vanilla Queen we will be on familiar ground as its structure is nearly identical to North of the Yukon with its oscillations which undulate hypnotically before striking a wall of resonance to reappear again in another very similar form. In 73-74 Klaus Schulze tied its efforts to Hans-Jörg Stahlschmidt’ in order to form a band, whose names were as variable as the transience of the experiment, which wrote an album that never saw the light of day. Nightwind, Minuet, Signs of Dawn and Land Der Leeren Häuser were part of this never seen album. In spite of its obvious sound deficiencies, Nightwind is a beautiful lunar duel between sonorities of Farfisa, Arp Odyssey and an acoustic guitar with soft melancholic chords played by Hans-Jörg Stahlschmidt. A crossing between Iirlichtt and Black Dance under an organ with superb musical arch. It’s a movement of an acoustic guitar that waits for us on Minuet. An acoustic Ways of Changes which gets Schulze out of its crenel of electronic musician with a beautiful variant, but on the same minimalism structures to which are adding chords and suite of chords at the same time isolated or in series. I quite like it! Dark hypnotic movement where a minimalism pulsation moulds a padded tempo, Signs of Dawn evolves between two worlds as much spiritual as rhythmic, beneath dark incantations and hooting made from reverberating loops. A blend of aquatic and cavernous sonorities, Study for Philip K. Dick is like the tail of an anemic and stoned rattlesnake which furrows vague astral territories. Even if it is short it can seems long because that all these oblong resounding loops were already exploited under better sound skies than on Study for Philip K. Dick.
CD2 is for die hard fans who love the floating style of Schulze Farfasian’ waves. It brings us at the borders of atonal music but with Schulze’ subtle oscillatory nuances that made us dream so much on Cyborg and Irrlichtt. Taken from a radio show of August 1973, Das Große Identifikationsspiel is a long atonal purely experimental music piece and where the cadenced life is molded from booming loops which hem such of winding distortions. The Farfisa is grafting delicately, brighten up placid and caustic monastery monotony. Of a same conception and as much angelica, Titanensee transports us in a cosmos of ether, whereas Electric Love-Affair offers a warmer structure with hot oscillations slipping such as cosmic waves below superb and, sometimes moving, layers of a synth still timid. Well…a very ambient, floating and waltzing CD 2!
We have to wait until CD 3 before feeling some sorts of Schulzian familiar sounds through LVE2. Land Der Leeren Häuser plunges us into Pink Floyd and the More era with its notes of an acoustic guitar which drags its hesitations under the layers of a ghostly synth and a wandering voice which inhales the 70’s psychedelic era. Studies for Organ, Keyboards and Drumset drags us savagely in the world of Blackdance, more specifically Ways of Changes, with feverish bongos and percussions unique to Klaus Schulze’ drums movement that bite in undulations and floating from an organ rather gliding and intriguing. A superb music piece that would have its place on Blackdance. Memento Mori is the host land for fine oscillations, drones and delicate synth perfumes which prowl under a ochre sky, until minimalisms pulsations support a fine and suave tempo which pulsates in an insane race against the arrhythmia. Blaue Stunde is a splendid cosmic symphony where passivity borders with wonder of fine oscillations to timid tempos. A slow musical piece finely elaborate where one can easily imagine Schulze floating in his attic to assemble these long electronic litanies with through various spheres and modular phases. Fans of ambient and cosmic works will be charmed by this orgy of circular and morphic layers which plane among reflecting drones and loopy reverberations which sometimes modulate a light and brief tempo mislaid in time and caustic coldness
Different because unexpected compared to Schulze chronological works, La Vie Electronique 2 is a superb box-set always well documented bringing together a music that we never wearied to listen to, and this even if albums that came out of this era are definitely more dominant. Except for the work with Hans-Jörg Stahlschmidt and Minuet, this 2nd box-set brings together beautiful lucky finds which are marvelous complements to a music that one knows only too, but never enough to weary from it.

Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

vendredi 8 octobre 2010

POLLARD/DANIEL/BOOTH:Vol. 3 (Eindhoven 2009) 2010

To explore the musical universe of Pollard/Daniel/Booth it’s unrelentingly make a temporal musical voyage that brings us to the roots of Berlin School. Even with technologies and today’s equipment, the English trio is continuously attracted by long bewitchments of analog synths whose soft perfumes of Mellotron mist travel on wonderful sequences to random rhythms. Recorded 2 weeks before the famous Hampshire Jam 8, this spectacle in the grounds of Netherlands School presents 3 long titles with ethereal ambiances whose nervous sequential rhythms cross the fogs and flutes of a wrapping Mellotron with synths to sharpen solos and sound effects of a forgotten analog world.
The concert begins with a Mellotron filled of Gothic and mystical breaths whose ethereal fragrances set foot on a drizzle of analog sound effects, thanks to Phil Boot who adds a unique dimension to Pollard/Daniel/Booth Berlin School style. Spectral and strident hooting which lasciviously surround a Mellotron whose dense layers and fluty sonorities float such as morphic clouds embellish of mislaid piano notes, adding an even more mysticism to Eindhoven I intro. Towards the 6th minute spot a sequence with hatched keys moulds a nervous pace which gallops a cadenced structure with subtle permutations. Constant, the tempo hammers at a movement seized by a synth overflowing of cosmic sound effects and heavy reverberations, borrowing a Jarre rhythmic appearance on Les Concerts en Chine. Weighs down by heavy resonances which come out of everywhere, the rhythm crosses a minimalism road where a guitar to forceful solos sets ablaze around the 12th minute point, followed of a synth with twisted solos. On a hypnotic cadence Eindhoven I becomes loud and metallic. An aggressive Berlin School that slowly moderates its pace to penetrate the soft auditory fragrances of a cosmic rock drowned of an approach as celestial as spatial. Eindhoven II presents a fabulous intro where piano notes embrace a soft celestial flute. A tender intro that a fulminating sequence wakes up it senses towards the 7th minute. Follows a heavy and aggressive rhythm which undulates under the weight of synths with symphonic breaths and the lightness of piano notes which tag along a completely unforeseen sequential line, adding more weight to a heavy cadenced which overlaps under a beautiful bass line. Eindhoven II becomes heavy, even violent, with a powerful rhythmic movement, liven up by heavy synthesized spheres which spit evasive streaks of the reducing scratches in a weighty sound immersion tinted of symphonic and apocalyptic synths. A fierce movement which overlies cosmic plains before landed on shores of a Magic Flute galactic world, just as its introduction. A slow intro with heavy sound effects of a syncretic and galactic world opens Eindhoven III. A world of artifices and arcades which gradually made room to morphic fragrances where monastic choirs, mellotronned flutes and fluttering synth layers zigzag slightly in a spangled cosmos of cosmic sound effects. A soft flute gets free of it, announcing the arrival of a sequence with heavy resounding chords which hammer a powerful hypnotic tempo, surrounded by a synth to sinuous waves. The sequential movement splits, mislaying chords shaping a cadence released of its minimalism approach. A cadence that rams an undulating tempo, crossed by briefs solos of an incisor guitar and synths solos of which layers intersect in a space heaviness worthy of the great Berlin School of vintage years.
It is true that Pollard/Daniel/Booth doesn’t invent something. Claim the contrary would be showing fan fanaticism. On the contrary the English trio excels in the art to make us revive the Berlin School retro while adding a touch of contemporary that can’t also be denied. A modern-day touch nourished by furious sequences to hiccupping doubled blooms. Sequences which shape daring tempos to multiple rhythmic fragmentations, transcending the hypnotic and minimalism rhythms of the vintages years. In short Pollard/Daniel/Booth offer solid retro Berlin School, as at the beautiful time, but with a perfect meshing of the equipment and innovating visions of the valiant knights of EM, all eras put together.

Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

POLLARD/DANIEL/BOOTH: Vol. 2 (Hampshire Jam 8) 2010

Let just imagine 6 synths, as much of Mellotrons, 3 or 4 sequencers, a guitar as brilliant as cosmic and a synth which fills rare holes while wrapping intros and finales with ingenious sound effects to analog steams. One then obtains an immense wall of electronic sonorities which waltz, undulate and float in a cosmic universe where random and subdivided cadences are rolled up in thick clouds of symphonic synths and celestial Mellotrons. This is what the lucky spectators present at the 8th Hampshire Jam festival, held on last October 31, attended. For this occasion the Pollard /Daniel/Booth trio was accompanied by Jerome Ramsay (Brendan Pollard’s sidekick within Rogue Element) and Free System Project’s Ruud Heij and Marcel Engels. It resulted in an immense musical immersion in a rich and dense electronic world which breathes fragrances of Tangerine Dream, Ricochet and Encore eras.
Hampshire I opens this concert with sound effects that buzz, like wings of dragonflies, in a cosmic pond soaked of analog sound effects. A solitary keyboard drops notes orbiting in suspension. Notes that cross a fluty Mellotron and choruses of medieval monks. All gently, Hampshire I reveals a sound fauna which sleeps under a thick Mellotron coat and animates softly on a sequence with feverish chords. A sequencer with a striking tempo of which the hopping pace fits to a cascade linear movement wrapped of superb Mellotrons to cold blowpipes, monastic choirs and a mystical fog which filters its heady sound effects of a distant analog world. This sequential movement permutes by striking a good bass line, taking away the opening track in a heavy swirl of oscillating sequences which fidget beneath languorous incisive guitar solos of Michael Daniel whom fly over a rhythmic storm inundates by synths which spit symphonic, spectral and twisted solos on a cadenced race which finishes its journey with keyboards notes which gently disappear to make room for a morphic final. Hampshire II offers a splendid dreamy intro where Mellotrons draw splendid cosmic auras. An electronic dawn still spangled by analog sound effects which pave the way to a sequential approach which subdivides its tempos under the laments of a synth to ochre breaths. A superb heavy and aggressive sequential movement whose chords circle with force and constancy under Michael Daniel corrosive guitar and synths bubbling of apocalyptic and undulating solos which cross a multi-colored synthesized world of heavy reverberations and twisted psychedelic streaks. After a syncretic intro where the world of darkness opens under our feet and ears, Hampshire III offers a powerful sequential movement which tears this introductory veil to multiple sounds strangeness. A heavy sequence which undulates with strength, spawning among a wall of synths and Mellotrons of which solos and enchanted flutes open out a misty mystic that can’t manage to chock all the ferocity of a movement which revolves and meanders with the power of its rhythmic approach. Hampshire 3 concludes in the tumult which gave him life. A superb way of concluding a magic musical performance worthy of the talent on stage!
Hampshire 4 is the first Encore. An Encore which begins savagely, with a heavy sequence that moves in a powerful movement cascade, surrounded by superb Mellotron flutes and synths with layers soaked of fogs. Frantic and swarming of an intense rhythmic activity, Hampshire 4 whirls in a sea of Mellotrons to heavy wrapping pads that Daniel’s guitar is able to penetrate, just like superb synth solos. A heavy musical piece that will make the delights of Tangerine Dream fans as well as Redshift’s. Hampshire 5 introduced itself of a suave psychedelic approach where panoply of heteroclite sound effects spins around an atonal introductory structure, as in the psychedelic years of the Dream. A heavy resounding sequence pierces this syncretic curtain. A rhythmic assault contained by a wall of synths and rich Mellotrons to cosmic fragrances. But the sequence decreases finely its intensity, offering a fragmented pace which infiltrates finally in this torrent of synthesized and mellotronned breaths of which analog effects swallow up the tempo which little by little crumbles away in this torrent where electronic and cosmic go alongside. As in Tangerine Dream beautiful years!
Pollard/Daniel/Booth vol. 2 is magic just like it’s quite simply divine. This concert in Hampshire Jam 8 is an excellent Berlin School Revival imprints of a superb musical richness where rhythms and harmonies are prisoners of splendid Mellotrons to padded and dreamy layers. A splendid album! The best of its kind in 2010, regarding Berlin School retro!

Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

POLLARD/DANIEL/BOOTH: Pollard/Daniel/Booth 2009

For EM fans, Brendan Pollard is synonymous of retro Berlin School. His solo works, as much as with Rogue Element, are all magnificent jewels of an EM which embraces tenderly the roots of TD’s analog years, with a subtle zest of contemporaneousness. Recorded in one day, live and without overdubs, this Pollard/Daniel/Booth eponymous album doesn’t make exception about BP’s musical orientations. Brendan Pollard, Michael Daniel (Hashtronaut) and Phil Boot are delivering an album which exudes a somber tranquility, drawn by luxurious mellotrons, and a sweet improvised madness which gets closer to the Dream repertory as well as RMI’ first works.
Envelopes opens with a warm mellotron flute which quavers slowly on a loud linear movement, perfumed by chords of a forlorn piano and electronic eclectic sound effects. Ambient and atmospheric, the English trio plunges us into the depths of Phaedra and Force Majeure era with a beautiful foggy intro, a bit nostalgic, which is feeding of a secret ambiance while lining a ghostly approach, with its waves and droning flutes, on oscillations to intriguing resonances and synth to captivating loops. A slow crescendo is developing with a chthonian slowness, molding a slow rhythm which grows without sequenced surges until the 10th minute. A moment where a solitary sequence gallops in zigzag on flickered cymbals, forging a hypnotic tempo which gradually plunges us into the oversize rhythms of Envelopes. Waves on hoops hemmed of biting reverberations from where escape crystal clear sequences which astride opposite ascents, as well as heavy sequences to random rhythmic directions draw a loud pace. A heavy and frantic tempo which circulates in loops on a guitar with well chiseled solos form a 2nd vitamined part, which goes out slowly with its anemic rhythms wrapped in sweet hazes of a fluty mellotron. A mellotron making charms of the introduction. In contrast, Skaters deviates constantly in a sea of caustic sinuosity, stuffed of rippling spectral mellotron waves and a synth to corrosive laments. A music piece tinted of a post nuclear atmospheres that frees troubling aura, somehow a little bit touching.
Fine keys of a melancholic piano open Ladders worrying first measures. A dark intro where the synth bends its tones as shouts of a mephistic feline, in an oddly icy ambiance. A pulsation emerges from this syncretic chaos, filled with circular reverberations and animated by dragonfly cymbals. An intro of a solitary who strolls out in limbs that clears up on a fluty mellotron and a sequence with spiraled debits, forging a tempo sustained by a symphonic odes synth. Ladders finds a continual pace, robed by magnificent sequences, aggressive solos and a loud synth eroded by corrosive resonances. A good progressive, even psychedelic, Berlin School which borrows well structured cadenced permutations, feeding by furious guitar solos on a musical background tenderly ethereal, especially towards the finale with its subtle tones of organs which float on circular flickered cymbals; signifying the end of a track surprisingly audacious and furious for a Berlin School style.
Pollard/Daniel/Booth offers a very beautiful opus inspired by the Berlin School style. But a more daring and adventurous one where tribal elements’ synchrony of this music style thwarts its slowness with an audacious and clearly more progressive approach. It is a pity that it’s only available in 100 copies, but you can find it as a downloadable format.

Sylvain Lupari (2009)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

jeudi 7 octobre 2010

KLAUS SCHULZE: La Vie Electronique 1 (2009)

Following re editions of his earlier works, Klaus D Mueller launches the re edition of all Schulze Ultimate Edition in a new series of musical chronology entitled La Vie Electronique (LVE). La Vie Electronique 1 recaps years 68 to 72. That is years preceding Irrlicht. But how to analyze all this sound depth of the 70’s in 2010, nearly after more than 40 years of evolution as well as technical as sonorous in the wonderful world of EM? That will be the challenge of this chronicle, and those which will follow, regarding LVE. I’ll try, after a fashion, to situate well phases and contexts, in order to better make the work of Schulze equal to his creative genius and his rudimentary equipment which evolved as years passed by, in concordance with the LVE.
I was Dreaming I was Awake and then I Woke Up and Found Myself Asleep opens this big musical fresco exactly as Irrlicht was created; from triturated and patched-up organ sonorities as only Schulze could realize well before the first stammering of EM. A floating music piece with slow oscillations which tumble down in a caustic oblivion, where sonorities amplified and molded in loops strike an imagination without boundaries. The last part transports us beyond floating borders with fine percussions that Schulze handles delicately, in the shade of heavy layers emerging out of a floating organ which unroll like a funeral march for zombies. The Real McCoy espouses a soft ecclesiastical sonority with a Farfisa, or an old Teisco, with sober undulations which curve among dubious whispers, establishing a strange climate of paranoia, and weak Tablas drums. More vibrant, and totally hypnotic, Tempus Fugit makes us discover Schulze solitary who very often was alone in its small room with his old organ, bongos, his Telefunken recorder and other home made electronics components, to wander its thoughts with an astonishing melancholy for a young person of its age. Here, the sound is ambient with fine modulations which cross a heavy magnetic field where limpid organ chords intermingle with vitriolic sinuosity for an era that far. More eclectic and rhythmic, with its percussions which tumble down in loops, Dynamo had the appearance of a cosmic good old rock with a dark and mephistophelic organ which haunts in symbiosis the pulse of percussions.
Perfectly experimental with a light Pink Floyd influence, Traumraum is structured in 4 phases with a rhythmic approach well rounded for the time. It’s flowing, Schulzian and filled of sonorities already exploratory for a period that far. Study for Brian Eno is a superb ambient track, full with emotion and moving layers which plane and juxtapose with a planing and psychedelic richness which will come off on first inspirations of Black Dance and Tangerine Dream’ Zeit and Atem. A very beautiful title where one perceives not so distant horizons on Schulze works. Written in 1972, Cyborgs Traum could undoubtedly be at the origins of Cyborg because one hears all there the caustics and spectral subtleties, given rhythm as well as atmospheric, which reign on this difficult double album, and this in less than 40 minutes. Opinions can be divided; as for me I appreciated Cyborg … but much more later. But those who found it too long will be delight by this curtailed version.
Die Kunst, Hundert Jahre alt zu Werden is really an astonishing title with its wild percussions that strike a disproportionate measure versus the slowness of organ oscillations. A destructive track where the rhythm is unceasingly droning under heavy hatched reverberations and slow curled oscillations of an organ to Middle-East fragrances of which Schulze makes vibrating from all of its keys. If the 1st half is overflowing of unbridled rhythms from an explosive drum, the rhythmic approach of the 2nd part rests on the oscillatory loops of the Farfisa which intermingle with caustics reverberations, creating a parallel cadenced universe, but without the drum shape. A long track, very eclectic, which shows all the work of a genius of the sound creativity, but which requires a good open-minded and listening in order to tame it better. Study for Terry Riley is an explosive rhythmic minimalism hyper active ride where the organ and its variations are the dominant part. Unchained bongos and first appearances of an analog synth, Les Jockeys Camouflés is the ideal anthology of rhythm on cosmic surges. The poetic paradox or duality of Schulze astral perceptions which are spread out over a very cosmic synth and analog ravings of the 70’s on wild tam-tams. Those who liked Black Dance will be thrill!
La Vie Electronique 1shows that Schulze got a grip on rhythms as much as atmospheres at his initial period. On this level, I would say that Irrlicht and Cyborg are fewer representatives of percussionist habits that animated Schulze during his primary era. Presented in its chronological conceptual context, LVE 1 is a true sound delight where one notes all the ingeniousness which lived in the enormous creativity and, especially, the audacity of Klaus Schulze which makes wonders with his Farfisa and a Telefunken recorder machine. A beautiful small box with a very nice booklet and unseen photos which show us youthful Schulze… all the opposite of an astonishing musical maturity.

Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

RAMSAYGEE: Exotique (2009)

Here is a nice discovering from AD Music catalog. Born in South Africa, Gareth Ramsay tallies with wonder to David Wright's label musical philosophy with a world music which oscillates between borders of EM and New Age, brushing even a jazzy approach. Available as a download format on AD Music site, Exotic is Ramsay2nd opus. An album with varied rhythms where the tribal approach crosses soft harmonies to fragmented cadences and tugged between soft romantic approaches, inspired by beautiful piano and guitar à la Mike Oldfield and Edgar Froese specters. A nice surprise that will please those who appreciate Paul Haslinger’s incursions in the Middle East tribal world.
Eastronica opens Exotique with a rippling and intriguing intro which permutes in a soft tribal trance with Middle East flutes tones synth, as well as the latent tribal percussions which collide on a beautiful serpentine line of bass. Slowly, Ramsaygee immerses us of an exotic flavor with louder percussions, a synth to subdivided oriental harmonies and a throbbing rhythm of Baladi dance that charms in a mi spectral ambiance. The synth is tinny and borrows various sonorous waves, creating one of Exotique several charms. Sentinel of the Sea is a soft electro -pop where fine voices are entangling with synth breaths, establishing a path imprints of mystery. A beautiful track which recalls me the music of Walter Christian Rothe on Let the Night Last Forever. Soar is out of tune from Exotique tribal mood by offering a soft tempo where an acoustic guitar crosses surges of an electric guitar and notes of a forsaken piano which fly over brief rolling percussion sequences. After the Storm is another great surprise on this opus. The tempo is fractured by slamming percussions and a synth with a very catchy refrain. A music piece near Mike Oldfield mood with its harmonious approach builds on catchy synths and percussions with metallic tremolo. Origin is a more tribal trance with good frenzy Tablas percussions sounding pretty well like jungle noises which roll on a good line of bass and a synth to melodious variances getting closer of After the Storm, but with foggier strata and spectral breaths. With a bass to deep keys and a jazzy piano, El Cielo Chispeante is constantly tugged between a soft pace and a soft romantic ambiance with a beautiful Spanish guitar. A mix of Patrick O' Hearn and Al Di Meola!
Gardenias and Myrrh offers a soft melancholic intro initiated by a piano which borrows the paths of a beautiful ballad of New Age style, surrounded by soft Tablas percussions. Slowly the tempo wakes up and becomes a little heavier without altering the piano melancholy which dodges its notes among Arabic flutes. This New Age side is also presents on Soul Friend but with a tinny synth instead of a piano and a soft electric guitar with vaporous solos, as well as on Walking Within and its similar piano approach, but of which rhythms are more constant and torn. A musical piece which is very near the African soil! Tatsu Dansu (Dragon Dance) is another title with a tribal approach, but a bit more eclectic, which amazes by its great rumbling percussions feeding an audacious hatched cadence. A rhythmic wrapped of an oriental spectral approach. Fire in your Eyes embraces a split tribal tempo where the lascivious rhythmic approach goes alongside a slightly ambient musical universe with flutes and percussions of an Arabic world. World Peace concludes this rosary of 12 titles on a throbbing rhythm and a musical structure near Oldfield with beautiful vocalizes which are molding to a tinny synth.
Ramsaygee’s Exotique is a nice album filled of small musical surprises that charm and amaze. A beautiful blend of styles, which flows softly and harmoniously on great lively tribal rhythms. I do believe it’s a good album that will charm fans of a world music packed of multiple electronic fragrances.

Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

mardi 5 octobre 2010

TANGERINE DREAM: The Dream Mixes 1995

Tangerine Dream’s works hold on tightly to wearing effect of time. Initially released in 1995 on Miramar label, with a horrible art cover, and in a CD single version, The Dream Mixes knew not less than six lives of which the last one appears on the German label Membran with the title Dream Mixes One. I’m going to write about the TDI edition, released 2 years after the Miramar one and which includes one additional CD. And I will surprise you! Me who undertook the discovery of the DM with apprehensive ears, I was pleasantly surprised by the creative modifications and visions that Jerome Froese has for the music of his paternal. Mainly scrutinized starting Tyranny off Beauty, Rockoon, and Turn of the Tides, Jerome Froese brings to The Dream Mixes a technoïd touch which is enduring rather well from music already insipid. So the challenge wasn’t that big, since these albums weren’t what TD laid of better in its Miramar years, therefore why not test on titles in the search of nobility? This edition of The Dream Mixes includes 10 remixes and 6 new tracks, of which some are quite interesting.
Tyranny of Beauty’s hyper soft and extremely melodious Little Blond in the Park of Attractions opens technoïd hostilities. Nothing is really happening. Jerome maintains the harmonious envelope of it, adding heavy percussions, padded cymbals borrowed to Jarre universe and a strong base line. A loud rhythmic divided between a hard tempo and the harmonious approach of Little Blond in the Park of Attractions. If I’ve been asked, I’ll say that I this version is much better than the one on Tyranny of Beauty. Keyboard with jerked chords and very dance-floor tempo, Rough Embrace comes straight away from Jerome Froese musical factory with a solid rhythmic draw on a frenzied bass line and arpeggios which ravel on a bouncy movement. Fractured, the tempo espouses frenzies of dance-freaks with synth layers a bit all the same enough ethereal, a kind of way to tie bond between TD’s public and the one that Jerome is trying to win. If you like, Virtually Fields is in the same vein, though a little more robust. I have a little difficulty to understand Mixes titles, like Forest Mix and Reptile Mix. What does it means? What is the meaning of these Mixes names? Except that, Touchwood (Forest Mix) presents a nice melodious introductory line whereas the title plunges in an unbridled rhythm stuffed of good synth solos, percussions and sound effects à la Jarre. I got to say that it gives its effect. The 2nd part is more dance with good bass and great percussions which roll up Touchwood in a ceaseless swirl of rhythms. I like Jungle Journey (Reptile Mix) with its heavy and languorous tempo which is twisting around good percussions. Besides percussions and rhythm machine are Jerome Froese strength. If guitars and synths are modest, sonny has the gift to surround his Dream reprises with solids percussions and clever sound effects, while maintaining the light and harmonious structures of original titles. Thus, Firetongues (Break Freak Mix), Catwalk (Dress-up Mix) and Bride in Cold Tears (Motown Monk Mix) enjoy all the same technoïd approach where loud strikes of unbridled percussions and good lines of bass mold artificial rhythms. But that breathes a bit better than the originals. San Rocco, another original title of sonny, shows a Jerome Froese who’s looking for himself with a structural approach very close of the Dream harmonies on furious rhythms, a bit as Iowa, where suction pads pulsations, frantic percussions, frenzied chords and orchestral arrangements of disco years fill a title which becomes heavy of insipidity. The kind of track which makes resounding loudspeakers so much that pulsations are uncontrolled. Too many is like not enough! Another Jerome novelty; Exchanges of the Gods is less heavy and as much effective with a very clever percussions play on a hatched structure, with good more balanced passages where solos of guitars marinate with accuracy in this ocean of jerked rhythms. Another good title coming from the handling of Jerome studio’s equipments who seems strongly inspired by Jean Michel Jarre’s Cousteau era.
Added in order to promote sales of The Dream Mix on TDI label, CD2 contains different mixes from 4 titles of the 1st CD. The rhythmic structures are bit different, but not really to try making us swallow grass snakes. If that sounds, the ethereal approach could appears more present on heavier and more rock structures as the whole of the first CD. From both new tracks, Sojus holds more my attention with good bongo percussions which initiate a frantic rhythmic line wrapped of a good synth with padded layers and a galloping bass line, worthy of dance-floor great tracks. A long music piece where fragrances and melodious approaches of Tangerine Dream from the Miramar years are omnipresent, but on wild tempos that remove every ambiguity towards Jerome Froese musical direction.
It is obvious that for the purists and the die-hards TD fans, the Dream Mixes series something that bother and I understand… but not completely. I will lean much more for the opposite. JF is attacking feeble works of the Dream to be teething and thus to give a melodious and a strongly rhythmic turn to a music which already missed essence and subtlety in its original concept. I do not say that TD should have borrowed this tangent. Not! As for me, Edgar should have forsaken the name of TD and start his own projects under another name, but that remains another debate. On the other hand as long as has to change musical course, why not doing it with a more mordant one?

Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;