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

KLAUS SCHULZE: Irrlicht (1972)

From the start, I have to tell you that it’s not with Irrlicht that I tamed Klaus Schulze music. If I remember well, I found that bluntly annoying. ‘‘Anti-music it is’’ that I said to myself. At that time I was listening Pink Floyd’ Meddle and also Led Zeppelin IV, therefore you will understand that Irrlicht came out from another planet. Later when I learned to know the music of Klaus Schulze a little bit well, Irrlicht and Cyborg were those that really didn’t attract me. I was even wondering how people could enjoy this odd and floating music that seemed to me without souls, without depths. At this era the press specialized in underground and experimental music shouted out how genius he was. Schulze had the press on his side that spoke highly about the merits of this avant-gardist masterpiece. I got to say that I and my pals looked pretty weird when we tried to listen to it.
Nearly 35 years later, Revisited Records releases a new mastered edition that includes a long bonus track for fans and collectors of Klaus Schulze. Considering that I only had an old scratched vinyl of Irrlicht and that I became a huge fan of Schulze, I let myself go and bought this new mastered edition. Even if I knew that I will go through a dark and ambient universe, because today my tastes didn’t totally change. Even if I tamed floating music, it’s still not my cup of tea. So it’s rather with my current ears that I’ll write about this work of yesterday that changed the music of tomorrow and whose synth breaths always nourish works of today. Satz Ebene is a strange incantation. A long floating musical piece which drags its pathetic harmony, on a huge organ that would have made the delights of the Phantom. A track which comes out straight of Zeit icy atmospheres! A long suspended organ solo which floats with its undulations toward the very ambient, icy and lugubrious Energy Rise which is as much floating and abstract as Satz Ebene. Satz Exil Sils Maria is as much floating, but the ambiance is less dark, less intriguing than on Satz Ebene. A long sound mass which changes subtly its tempo, without really gains in rhythm. Dungeon is the bonus track. And it could really have been writing on the early 70’s, because it overlaps the synthetic spirit of Ebony and Exile Sils Maria.
No, my ears didn’t undergo for the contemporary evolution of those long vaporous synth masses. I always remain a heart of rhythm, even if I do appreciate a little more the ambient music. But I do like music that moves on rhythms in permutation. Irrlicht isn’t of this kind. On the other hand, the attentive listening of this remastered edition made me discover the roots and the avant-gardist genius that one allotted to Schulze, though I was strongly in agreement with this assumption. One perceives the ideas and the creative lines that were going to be used as musical stepping stones to create those fabulous albums which will follow one on another until X. Irrlicht is a long floating voyage, a symphony for atmospheric organ at the height and importance of minimalists works by Steve Reich and Philip Glass.

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;

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;

DEBORAH MARTIN:Deep Roots Hidden Water (2010)

I had been seduced by the musical approach of Deborah Martin on the very beautiful Erik Wøllo album, Between Worlds released in 2009. Enough to investigating a little more her musical universe, which is describes on Internet as being New Age. It is thus with little apprehensive ears that I approached Deep Roots Hidden Water, an album that was out of print and which Spotted Peccary remastered in a beautiful special edition including a digipack booklet in 2010. The album includes 10 tracks that bring us into prohibited spiritual territories, on structures semi- ambient and strongly tinted of a mysticism orchestral approach at the same time lyric and tribal.
Well sited behind its synths, Deborah Martin has fun to modulate a pallet of sampling that sounds like a mini symphonic orchestra, a chamber orchestra. And it’s this way that Deep Roots Hidden Water opens. Haunted by Water and A Dark and Silent Place are molded on samplers of soft violins, oboes and cellos which creates soft atonal melodies built on intuitive dream. There are no rhythms, like everywhere on Deep Roots Hidden Water, but only a lyrical orchestral fusion that flows like a timeless poetry. The structure of the title track is identical, except for Tony Levin bass which shapes an indecisive soft rhythmic on an amalgam of poignant violin strings and noble oboes. Fine Tabla percussions open the mystic One Sun. A slow and bewitching track which evolves on a soft oniric structure, where angelic voices caress soft and warm astral winds on synths with celestial trumpets fragrances. The more we go deeper into Deep Roots Hidden Water to more we are entering a further complex musical world. Crossing Plateau is a track without rhythms, apart the bass pulsations which shape a soft tempered surge provides by a synth with incantative murmurs and orchestral veils besieged by sound elements as heteroclite as fascinating. Blue Lake brings us at spiritual doors of First Nations people with soft tribal flutes which amalgamate their songs on a synth with slow dark surges which form hemmed loops in an ethereal fog. Chords of a solitary guitar roll in loop and throw a little light on this dark track, but very revealing of indigenous spirituality.
One could describe The Strength of Stones like a strange ghostly western with his acoustic guitar and its synth with raucous breaths which modulate sonorities like an out of tune violin. Evolving in an ambiance both weird and mysterious, The Strength of Stones is the ballade of a black knight getting out of a dark and still unknown world. Voices of the Rim fills our ears deeply with this fusion of flutes, Indians and traditional, which blow soft atonal melodies on a slow curtained of an ancestral fog. The Brilliance of Stars is very poetic with its synth to slow movements of serenity which cross a discrete flute with light breaths. Across Sky is the only track where we can hear a form of movement behind a dense curtain of orchestral layers which shape a soft symphony for solitary dreamers. A solid and intense title, Across Sky finishes where Deep Roots Hidden Water had begin.
A dark orchestra in dunes and phantasmagoric woods of an extinct civilization! Here is the best way of describing this strange, but graceful, ambient album that is Deep Roots Hidden Water. I don’t believe for a minute that this 2nd album of Deborah Martin soaks in the insipid facility that is New Age. Too much dark and atonal for that! But Deep Roots Hidden Water is a stunning musical voyage at the same time dark, intriguing, mysterious and surprisingly melodious. As these melodies which emerge from the unknown to taunted our ears.

Spotted Peccary SPM-0503 (2010)

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;

samedi 23 octobre 2010

DAVID HELPING & JON JENKINS: The Crossing (2010)

There are albums like that. Albums difficult to describe! Not because they are not good, but rather because each title seems to be conceived with the same musical ideology. The Crossing, the 2nd collaboration of David Helpling and Jon Jenkins, is of this kind. A beautiful album that we listen to as one observes a photo album or an exhibition of musical paintings inspired of whimsical landscapes of these two artists to musical antipodes. If Helping likes to cherish softness of New Age, Jon Jenkins is more mordent and likes brushing music closer to progressive electronic. By doing this, the two artists in extreme territorial of a world split by tectonic plates meet by creating a music inspired by sinuous bass movements of Patrick O' Hearn, tribal and synthesized wanderings of Rudy Adrian and musical mysticism of Mark Isham. The result is an album of which music pieces are shape in the same mould, except for some nuances, and where divided rhythms abound in atmospheres in suspension, there where New Age and EM weave sometimes redundant musical canvas, but all the same quite attracting.
Awake starts this musical voyage with a synth which moulds slow hybrid layers that a guitar scrapes of its harmonious galloping keys. Short track but intense, Awake evolves in a dramatic crescendo whose culminating point is its final which explodes of an amalgam of guitar and keyboards chords and percussions that strike a soft latent rhythmic. A title with a progressive evolution just like the very powerful and moving The Crossing and Lifted as well as From The Smallest Seed which is a bit lighter. Two Paths is more representative of the universe which surrounds The Crossing. A little like everywhere on the album, the guitar of David Helping is floating. It releases tickled notes whose resonances form echotic loops that float in delicate tinkling atmospheric. Notes in suspension which furrow musical structures whose rhythms are divided by mordant percussions and filled up with beautiful layers of a synth more oniric than progressive, seeking to protect the soundscapes approach which immerses all around The Crossing. One cannot also be unaware of Patrick O' Hearn bass structures influences which shape rhythmic sometimes suaves and sensual, sometimes eclectic. With its split up rhythms on a hesitant structure and superb percussions, The Lesson is very near Two Paths structure. The Same Sky is a beautiful ambient track where everything is in suspension. A musical world turning slowly with guitar notes which stiffen on a synth with layers of desert dunes. A beautiful title that shows ambient can indeed be melodious. The intro of For the Fallen follows the floating tangent of Above All. A soft intro weaved by layers of a dreamy synth, in communion with the stars, which embrace Roach structures on Western Spaces. A beautiful ambient title, just like the very quiet Not Forgotten! To The Ends of the World espouse pretty well its meaning with an ambient intro where the percussions mould an avalanche of thunders which strike a desert dressed of oniric pads. Guitar notes, always scattered and floating, add a more melancholic approach whereas the bass line carves a solitary movement. A very beautiful track where splitting up cadences annihilates the ambient charm while really depicting an ambiance totally apocalyptic and angelic.
Did I like The Crossing? Let’s say that it is not really my cup of tea. I prefer, and by far, a more complex EM with constant progressive sequenced structures. Elements that we don’t find on The Crossing. On the other hand, I must admit that there are superb titles hiding behind these parallel structures which make that one has sometimes the impression to hear the same track, track after track. A thing that annoyed me a bit.


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 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;

lundi 18 octobre 2010

KONRAD KUCZ:Railroad Paths (2008)

After a heavy, syncretic and tenebrously ambient album in Via Vita Contemplativa Litania, Konrad Kucz hits the bull's eye by offering a splendid album filled of vintage moods and sonorities. Railroad Paths is bordering an analog world where fragrances of Jean Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream marinate on lively structures with rhythms in constant movements of duality. Interchangeable structures where the ambient espouses with wonder rhythms and sonorities of French EM of the 70’s (Jarre, Space Art, Heldon and Fervant) that meet precepts of Berlin School style à la Schulze and Tangerine Dream.
A beautiful flute harmonizes its melody on a rivulet which scintillates in opening of Path I. The notes are high and draw arch poetries on a musical canvas of enchanting forest. A synth wraps of its sinuous waves this ode of Centaur, bringing it in underground dens. There where beautiful musical hoops undulate, forgetting the rhythm and running gracefully on a linear movement. A movement that perspires heavy synth waves. They swarm in a powerful tuneful work of art where strong layers of a dark organ shape its movements in a maelstrom filled up of baroques and sinister choirs, before concluding in a sound din with analog eddies. A long black intro, ambient and sinuous which frees its cadenced anger on Path II with a synth with hems which roll in jerked loops, of which the meshing of ferrules moulds a sequence undulating below a sky overcasts of sonorities as analog as motleys. This train of intermingled sequences follows its race under beautiful wavering layers, finishing its race in a honeyed quietude, where choirs and chirping form a nectar of serenity. Path III is more powerful with its chords which spin in cascade on zigzagging spirals. A strange syncretic ballet on a heavy movement which embraces more ventilated and definitely more progressive tangent, pointing out the universe of Heldon with its percussions which hammer a very cosmic rock beat and its vocodor which sounds so much like Richard Pinhas on East-West. A good piece of music that adds to Railroad Paths’ multi dimensionality.
Path IV offers a superb sequenced structure which rolls like a train under superb synth solos. Solos which wave and zigzag with a very beautiful dexterity, recalling the synth and sequence synchronism of Klaus Schulze. In constant progression, the rhythm plunges in a sparkling mellotron softness before taking up again the rhythmic rise identical to Path III intro, in order to plunges again in the hazes of dense and black mellotron with whining layers. A wonderful track that will wake up lot of ear memories for the music lovers of the 70’s. Path V opens with a beautiful mellotron pad which extends its coat until the first 3 minutes.Thereafter, an undulating rhythm curves a structure filled up of fog. A fog which is dissipating, letting foresees a rhythmic anarchy which curls under flutes of a hybrid mellotron. A track where the rhythm pains to pierce the density of a mellotron with thick fog and bewitching flute before concluding in the half-lights from a train running off the line beneath Tangerine Dream misty fragrances. With its mechanical rhythm and its hyper melodious vocodor, a little bit à la Kraftwerk, Robotic Missions is out of keys from this enchanting universe that surrounds Railroad Paths. But still there, Konrad Kucz tergiversates between the simple melody and rhythmic complexities which pullulate on this brilliant opus that is Railroad Paths. A quite simply genius album from the Polish synthesist, whose only defect is to have passed unperceived. Thing that, I hope, this chronicle will try to correct.
Sylvain Lupari
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;

KONRAD KUCZ:Vita Contemplativa Litania (2008)

Written and recorded between 2005 and 2006, Vita Contemplativa Litania of the Polish synthesist Konrad Kucz is the very first album of Poland label Polonaise An ambient, dark and emotive opus which opens with an odd cosmico-monastery mass where a cosmic monk mutters an incantation propelled by sinuous ethereal waves. This galactic mass stops abruptly! And the intro continues, wrapped of heavy layers whose fine oscillations increase the gradually emotive intensity. Muttered prayers, intermingled with heavy resounding layers furnish Litania/Intro, initiating a stunning galactico-pastoral journey in the heart of dark and medieval ambient with a fine cosmic aura.
Vita Contemplativa Litania is a slow liturgy which oscillates between two universes on slow strata that move at the speed of cloister meditation. There are few movements. Only longs synthesized waves that float in suspension among fleeting choruses that murmur and espouse hardly audible dialects in a heavy atmosphere of sound cloister where only spirits seem to hold a right-of-way. Litania I is a succession of atonal loops which tangle up among placid sonorities and ecclesiastical elegies, whereas the resounding loops of Litania II are spreading like slow metalized elytrons. Fine arpeggios glean here and there with a delicate insistence, on a lineal movement that concludes with a dark organ which opens voices of a sidereal choral to the syncretic vocalizes.
Adeptly mixing the austerity of medieval monasteries to a cosmic enquiry, Konrad Kucz weaves webs of a strange incantation to liturgical paradox on a succession of movements of unequal oscillations and Gregorian chants of a fragmented universe. Skilful, Kucz knows how to mould his ambiances by adding to it of fine lines of bass, enveloping and fugacious layers as well as isolated choruses, increasing gradually and continuously the intensity of its work to reach a superb paroxysm with a very musical and poetic final where everything fits together in order to conclude a piece of art both mystical, dark and constantly intriguing.
I got to say that Vita Contemplativa Litania is not easy. It is a work torn between two ecclesiastical antipodes where the Renaissance seems to rebirths in cosmic spheres. It is necessary to listen attentively Via Contemplativa Litania to appreciate all subtleties of this highly ambient work where the weak surges and sequences animate parsimoniously parts V, VII and VIII. But beyond the thin and short rhythms hide an astonishing intensity which climbs with hesitation among superb poetic layers (Litania VI and Litania X), in a fractionated universes where atmospheres as much cavernous as cosmico-tribal are in perpetual tugging. An astounding and astonishing work for fans of dark and syncretic ambient!
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;

jeudi 14 octobre 2010

INDRA: The Pyramid Concert

Presented in Rodvig, Denmark on July 28th, 2008 The Pyramid Concert is a whole musical event during which Indra invited his fans in a surrealist decoration; a floating pyramid made of wood which sails on the Baltic Sea. A show high in color where the Rumanian synthesist shows all of his knowledge with an inspired and inspiring music, where hybrid rhythms border this suave musical poetry which oscillates between cosmic and angelic breaths.
It’s on a musical background of metalized mist where marginal gongs resound among singings of big surrealist locusts which starts The Ruler. Indra’s musicality deploys as only him knows how to settle it with jerky tablas percussions and cymbals to felted breaths that accompany a sequence with wriggling pulsations and clinging bends, insufflating a soft rhythmic waving of a fine line of bass. A keyboard with nervous chords flies over this soft hypnotic trance of which tinkled percussions scent of a starry sound, shaping this movement of continual jolts and striking stereo effects which ally frantic rhythm to a more serene passage under the veils of a soft mellotron as mesmerizing as captivating. Like alarms of a liner announcing its departure, King Warrior advances heavily before falling into frenzied percussions under a sonorous sky gaudy of synth solos which roar under slow echotic pulsations. An astonishing mellotron lesson follows which spits its unbridled orchestrations beneath percussions which slam in a symmetric disorder. A fiery musical piece, that has its serene passage, and of which the stunning grows on each orchestral impetus of a wild mellotron which shears its arrangements with a dexterity that Indra succeeds to combine to hooking harmonies. By far the most accessible track on The Pyramid Concert, which ends into soft ethereal hazes recalling the oceanic world of Jarre on Magnetic Fields.
A finale which throws into the somber reverberations of Reclusion opening, one of the darkest and most powerful title I heard in EM. A dark intro where apocalyptic bells resound in an abyssal heaviness filled of lugubrious, sinister and angelic voices which recite a mysterious ode in spiritual language. Behind this vocal pattern draw round a heavy hopping bass à la Pink Floyd on One of These Days and a synth which tears this misty opaqueness of long plaintive solos. A drum hammers this spasmodic rhythmic by inserting a bass pulsation which follows the heart palpitations of a mephistophelic choir under streak of a synth with caustic solos. As loud as stunning, it’s a magnificent mixture of dark and heavy on angelic discord. Listened it at high volume to seize its entire dimension, but paint can easily be ripped out of your walls. Synthesized hooting pierce the astral cloudiness of Tiamat Response, a shorter version of Tiamat which we find on Bhuvaneshvari and which Indra preserves frenzies approach of sequenced pulsations which are shaping melodious snippets on a synthesized background at once astral and biting. Conceived beneath spontaneous inspiration, The Dreamer is in the purest poetic tradition of Indra. A soft wadding intro where a mellotron floats among heterogeneous tones, preparing the approach of a hatched rhythm where chords from a hesitating keyboards cross a soft pace eaten away by colorful tones and embellished by pleasant ethereal vocalizes.
And the story repeats; album after album, Indra doesn’t stop amazing and seducing with its music with rhythms stuffed of strange Indian aromas and with mesmerizing spiritual embraces. The Pyramid Concert does not really make an exception of what the Rumanian synthesist offers us with its Trantic Edition series. It is a very beautiful album where Indra spirituality transcends the musical borders with an audacious approach where various melodies, so much trances than meditative, always eventually end where we expect it least.

Sylvain Lupari
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;

mardi 12 octobre 2010

INDRA: Live in the Salt Mine 2007 (2010)

For Indra fans, see him live is not at everyone’s range. Concerts of the Rumanian synthesist are parsimoniously scattered in his country, restricting chances of his fans outside of Romania to see him in concert. Live in the Saltmine corrects the situation by transporting us in a concert that vast mining caves made very intimate. A good CD/DVD box where we see the concert, the ‘‘Making Of’’ and a long interview of almost 1 hour in Indra’s studio. An interview that demystifies a bit the man behind keyboards. But over all, the DVD shows us one of the great artistic Indra strength; his extreme ability of dressed, and this all in smoothness and subtlety, his minimalism rhythms and structures. Recorded in Turda salt mine, in 2007, Live at the Saltmine is a pure exercise of style where Indra captivates his audience with long titles built on minimalism structures that quietly take the magical Indra shape.
A sequence with chords which pulsate frantically opens Magneto. Right from the start Indra charms with the adding of another sequence with chords which cackle nervously on a twisted structure undulating in loop. Already, our ears are taken by storm by these 2 sequences which intersect in a strange minimalism trance that belongs only to Indra musical universe. Metallic and streak layers fly over this hypnotic movement where a panoply of heteroclite sonorities, worthy of old shut down factories, are adding to this hatched rhythmic, whereas a salvo of synth solos whirls on top of a tempo which, per moments, increases its intensity, such a train crisscrossing uneven small valleys. Long and sinuous twisted solos on warped curls fly over this sequential course which, at around the 8th minute, borrows a technoïd musical path with a beautiful bass line which hems under metalized layers. Magneto gets dressed of a heavy rhythm, notched by agreements which hop with amazement on a syncopated sequence which undulates around frantic rhythmic keys, bringing Magneto on the rails of an underground train submerged by waves of a synth to hybrid musical envelopes where rhythm continues its minimalist rush. Pulsations become more intense and felted, propelling the rhythmic train between rock and techno, under superb enveloping layers. A wonderful hypnotic trance à la Indra which ravels such a train charged on steroids sequences. Borrowed from Klaus Schulze world minimalism, this structural musical concept became unique to Indra who knew how to modify the sense by adding a superabundance of sequences and electronic elements on rhythms in constant growing. Just take The Moog Prophecy and its heavy resounding pads that make its introduction. Drummed percussions dance in alternations under the aegis of fine twisted solos, whereas the movement develops gradually with another hatched sequential line which moulds a fine syncopated tempo. A tempo which interchanges its cadenced structure in an electronic realm filled of syncretic sonorities coming from the panoply of synths that Indra handles.
Mythical Forest is a long ambient title which evolves on a slow rhythmic structure fragmented of atmospheric passages. This longer title of Live at the Saltmine opens all carefully, offering a gray universe besieged by a fine drizzle and delicate laments of a synth with sonorities of a saxophone mislaid under the rain, pointing out vaguely the universe of Blade Runner. Little by little the tempo takes shape, borrowing a soft sensual movement which vanishes and reappears beneath solitary layers which overhang soundscapes that flirt with the world of Spyra and Vangelis, whereas the rhythm takes more strength and embrace an aboriginal tangent to conclude on a beautiful finale tinted of a sensual spirituality. A very good title which must be a little difficult to hear live, because of its massive immersion of tranquility, but which in revenge lulls superbly our night dreams. Encore is one of these explosives tracks that Indra like to propose us from times to times with pulsations which oscillate in a syncretic and wonderful Hindu universe, before exploding with a technoïd approach where a synth talks to its audience with an incredible effect of surprise and astonishment. A track of which the rhythm jumps in a sound universe in constant change, worthy of Indra’s best of musical world.
Live at the Saltmine is a must for all fans of Indra and to those who want to discover the man and his music. The CD offers 3 catchy tracks and a long dreamy music piece whereas the DVD presents a visual approach which respects the visibility that one can have in a mine, explaining the grainy image that surrounds the live performance. A concert that was difficult to capture because of the imponderables link to an underground filming, from where a shorter version of the concert on DVD than the CD which gains 25 minutes missing on the DVD performance. Anyway, it remains o good audio-visual document and a very good CD where the music of the Rumanian magician cannot let anybody indifferent.
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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;