jeudi 30 décembre 2010

PRZEMYSLAW RUDZ: Self-Replicating Intelligent Spawn (2010)

It’s a bit difficult to tame Przemyslaw Rudz’s musical universe. A sound world full of paradoxes where the Polish composer and synthesist is delighting in introducing there a multitude of tones as eclectic as electronic on musical structures in constants permutations, and this no matter their lengths of time, in soft atmospheres sometimes cosmic, oniric, morphic and intensely rhythmic. Self-Replicating Intelligent Spawn is the last part of a trilogy begun in the end of 1999 with Summa Technologiae. A trilogy taking pattern as each of the first 2 albums was released and which tells the story of mankind during 21st century. A 21st century EM tale and a surprising album where, as its icon Jean Michel Jarre, Przemyslaw Rudz destabilizes his listeners with an astonishing variance of styles.
Stroll Along the Paths on a Chip opens Self-Replicating Intelligent Spawn with tablas and congas percussions, adorned with some hissing cymbals. Piano notes add a night club melodious dimension with a zest of lounge tendency. A line of bass is detaching and waves with strength, surrounding itself with heavy felted pulsations and interrupting this suave jazzy intro, plunging Stroll Along the Paths on a Chip into a more electronic atmosphere. Keyboards and sequences keys sparkle and skip, molding a stormy and nervous pace which jumps up with good percussions whereas that a synth with brief melodious breezes and twisted solos assumes the melodious portion. Stroll Along the Paths on a Chip hooks instantly the hearing, quite as the very nervous and livened up The Race Towards a Knowledge with its hybrid solos and its roaring rhythm as well as the technoïd and heavy Short Message to Tomorrow which would peel off a dancefloor while bringing us to dreamlike territories with its romantic refrain and symphonic synths. Short tracks which are interlacing between more audacious ones as Neuronal Disorders Inside a Silicon Brain, a track that wears well its naming with its hyper syncretic intro which scratches cerebral cells. Enormous caustic synth strata tear linens of a cosmic oblivion to stimulate nerve-cells of a latent schizophrenia. They roar with their metallic magnetisms between the pure stillness and a disparate melodious movement which tries to pierce this heterogeneous wall. Behind these syncretic sound panels with heavy reverberations, we perceive a dramatic effect being drawing. A tempo takes slowly shape at around the 6th minute with a fine sequence with subdivided chords. Chords which are subdividing beneath a sky stuffed of intriguing reverberations and sound serpentines disentangling such as pearls of a broken necklace. A strange tempo nests in the hollow of a nervous, but static, structure which sways on a long motionless circular movement. A long cosmic and static bolero, Przemyslaw Rudz is dressing it quietly on a melodious pattern percussion which redoubles one’s efforts on powerful reverberations and strident silvered streaks, before that foggy mellotron pads and a hopping warm bass line try to make us forget its long eclectic intro.
The 20th Century Dark Echoes still plunges us into a duality as rhythmic as harmonious that furrows the works of Przemyslaw Rudz. The rhythms in constant permutation, the initial tempo begins with a wooshy pulsations sequence which crosses another, more ephemeral and militarized. A wave of synth mist glides above this tempo that percussions hammer in a dysfunctional way, a little as in the finale of Neuronal Disorders Inside A Silicon Brain. And the imperceptible complex universe of Przemyslaw Rudz takes place in our ears with pleasant synth strata which fly over a cadence in constant permutation under warmth streaks reminding the musical universe of Jarre on Les Chants Magnétiques. At around the 6th minute, synth solos float and are embracing themselves in a firmament filled with a mellotron mist and serpentine streaks, plunging the finale of The 20th Century Dark Echoes towards a abyssal musical world where a heavy organ draws a somber dark line, while a delicate sequence dances there in secret. An intro, extremely musical long, introduces us to Giant Leap for Mankind. A light and celestial wave floats among reverberations and stellar streaks which disentangle in a musical decoration so much morphic than psychedelic. A long intro where the recollections of the first cosmic albums of Kitaro with a very Floydian floating synth, are feeling at ears tip. At around the 9th minute, a cosmonaut voice that we too often heard emerges out of this morphic intro, moving forgotten rhythmic ashes of Short Message to Tomorrow with stormy and nervous sequences which are colliding. Sequences which skip without really shaping a cadence and which undulated with a heavy floating synth as well as samplings of Japanese guitars. More than 5 minutes farther, a bewitched minimalist rhythm hammers our eardrums, seconded by a syncopated sequential line which is agitating on a synth with twisted solos and an array of cosmic electronic laments. An infernal tempo which warms up even more with a heavy line of bass, wrapping Giant Leap for Mankind's finale of an infectious heat. Home Again concludes with a magnificent hybrid ballad. Piano notes are getting astray at high tide while Home Again progresses to embraces a swaying line of synth. A stunning poetic union which goes towards a soft hypnotic and chaotic with strange sequential chords that are coming out of a cold duck throat. Przemyslaw Rudz dresses Home Again of a surprising sound and rhythmic variety, unique to his style. So notes of piano, sober percussions, a warm line of bass, tinted keys as a xylophone’s and a suave saxophone send Home Again in a sulfurous musical world where the minimalism allows this dreamlike poetry which lulls the cortex of the unloved and tortured ones. I adore this track!
Self-Replicating Intelligent Spawn is as complex and tortuous as Cosmological Tales, but we feel this evolution and this desire to seduce which liven up the creative instinct of Przemyslaw Rudz. If the album presents a little more difficult passages than others to tame (Neuronal Disorders Inside A Silicon Brain, The 20th Century Dark Echoes) it hides some great tracks that show that EM does not stop evolving and amazing; two of the most great artistic qualities of Przemyslaw Rudz.

Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream :

BRENDAN POLLARD: Flux Echoes (2007)

Cosmic or cerebral voyage, the music of Brendan Pollard touches irremediably our senses. For its last opus, the analog wizard brings us again into the nebulous meanders of a phosphoric EM to vibrating stalactites which perfume the atmosphere of an exceptional sound density.
The title track begins with eclectic sonorities and reverberations from a strange amphibian world. The tone is soft and is flood of spectral choirs that move on a slow and sensual bass line. It wobbles on slinky waves which lull an obscure and tender sea of tranquility. Soon the ambient noises fly with sorrow, exciting our speakers of a happiness which awakes our teenage passion towards sound forms. Brendan Pollard does not invent anything. He improves what exists and what stupidly ceased being. He pushes the exercise further and presents us what the music of Tangerine Dream should have been within years later. What EM should have been. Around the 6th minute, a superb sequence with echotic pulsations circles with agility and transports us to the doors of a sonorous world in constant boiling, where sequences and movements intersect on cymbals with felted sparks. It’s a heavy voyage which visits the phases of an eroded core to polish it on beautiful and a majestic mellotron which blows out poetic odes.
Radiant Transmission goes straight to hemmed sequences with multiple criss-crossed hammerings. A long epic track in the heart of a wild analog jungle where movements collide on steady rhythms, drowned with choirs to spectral fogs on heavy ethereal mellotron. Sumptuous synths tear this musical opacity with symphonic breaths, imitating to perfection the Mephistophelean trumpets which eye a fragile sound constellation. Hammering, the first 18 minutes are of a heavy constancy on infernal rhythm. An atmospheric passage, with disconcerting syncretic resonances, weaves the movement towards a velvety final on groovy sequencer, impresses of subtle synth mellotron solos. Soft Phosphore Skyline soaks in an amber atmosphere. The psychedelic phosphoric breezes stir up the floating waves towards a heavy final, guided by a sequencer with ephemeral gallops. Just what it needs to re-animate the hot ashes of an intro froze in a gelatinized mobility which is drying on a beautiful piano movement. A sober and melodious final with a side of Brendan Pollard that is not enough exploit. Torque is boiling on a sterile spiral, where thousand vapours of a compressed eruption retain their breaths.
I just love Brendan Pollard’s music and style. I have an enormous respect for his musical approach. And Flux Echoes explains easily the reasons for this. It is a solid opus of EM that bubbles and bursts out of a rare intensity. The English synthesist shows clearly that pure analog can be combined to rhythms and twisted ebullitions, even in the darkest recesses of a music filled of psychedelic fragrances. Flux Echoes is the kind of opus that we will listen for years, like one listens to Stratosfear and Phaedra; with delightfulness, in spite of the years that are separating them. Along with the standard release there is also a limited edition promotional of 2 cd set with 2 bonus tracks showing that the gift of the author got out straight from his ears into ours. Just email Brendan to know if there are some left.

Sylvain Lupari (2007)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

BRENDAN POLLARD: Expansion (2005)

Brendan Pollard is a member of the English duet Rogue Element, the same which gave us the 2004’s master piece, Premonition. So it’s without surprises that he presents here a solo opus with divine sonorities of analog years. Expansion could be considered as a suite to Premonition that we won’t be surprised at all.
Solitary chords float in a dark atmosphere with mysterious lapping and sound effects resembling to cosmic cetacean. Choirs with monastic voices emerge from this artificial oblivion embellished by sounds from a flute. An idle bass line undulates with strength and resonance, beneath a delicate sequence and elusive synths. Tegula takes shape on reverberations coming from this bass sequence tinted of abyssal voices and superb synth solos. The track deviates in an atmospheric sphere where dark pulsations reflect on numerous sound effects that espouse a thousand and one forms. It’s under heteroclite noises, creating atmospheres bordering an electronic schizophrenia that Toxic Blue moves on. From flute to dark choirs, while passing by violin breezes, the mellotron floats in this iconoclast sphere where a soft floating passage succeed to touch us, right before the rise of the wind. A solitary cello takes back this softness on sad chords with cold metallic sonorities. Gently, preludes of a sequential impulse are drawing on a bass which hiccups towards a floating mellotron. The rhythm becomes lively on superb sequential snippets which twirl around resounding pulsations, accompanying a light synth and flute before overflowing on a furious sequence which rolls at high speed on a rhythm exploding of power. Another sequential passage is opening around the 16th minute point beneath mordant synth streaks. In staccato the rhythm rolls such as cascades on analog sound effects and a string chord mellotron, whirling with intensity that even a virginal flute can’t slow it down. A superb and totally insane passage! With Nebulous we are entering a sphere where sound effects mix with strange voices on vaporous mellotron passages. A track worthy of Pink Floyd psychedelic atmospheres, but with a very nowadays sound freshness. Valve first pleasures start as Nebulous finishes. But after a few seconds, a whirling sequence takes the lead with beautiful layers of an allured synth. The movement takes more depth when a bass line replaces the sequence and undulates with accentuated speed over a fluty mellotron. Aquarius encloses Expansion on a suave and melodious mellotron, which sails on a calm and idle water, like the sublime flute which comes to close the harmonies of Expansion.
With or without Rogue Element, Brendan Pollard exploits the analog structures of the 70’s, with his own personal touch. Beyond the mellotron passages, the English synthesist exploits a more daring sound environment, with more psychedelic and edged passages than Premonition. Writing a track like Toxic Blue alone shows an attractive audacity that could be suicidal, because only one movement in less, as in more, could have tip up this track in a total indifference. Idem for Tegula. But Brendan Pollard known how to arrange extremes with subtlety, creativity and emotionalism. Expansion is an album that we listen with the passion that it took to create it. And with headphones, the effect is unique.

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:

mardi 28 décembre 2010

PRZEMYSLAW RUDZ: Cosmological Tales (2010)

It’s with a full blast from a metallic synth Through the Planck Era opens. These are shots across the bows that strike, making us jump, among which synth resonances and residues spread their tones over fine twinkling notes, paving the way to strong twisted solos of synth which roar in a powerful electronic atmosphere. After this deafening intro, Through the Planck Era floats between two zones of rhythms with multidirectional chords sequences which mold a serrated pace. An ambivalent rhythm with slow synth sparkle which wave under fine twinkling of glass, trapped of heavy pads of a foggy mellotron. Inside its8 minutes, Through the Planck Era reveals the musical duality that reigns towards the 6 tracks of Cosmological Tales. If Przemyslaw Rudz had seduced and gained the charm of new fans with Summa Technologia, this 2nd opus risks to disappoint them because the musical approach of the Polish synthesist is different and transcends the zones of comfort of music to thousand possibilities.
The God Particle's Dance is the kind of musical piece which hangs instinctively the hearing. A beautiful track which has all the elements to please and which begins with a mellotron waltz of which foggy pads float lasciviously with a set back soft synth whistling its melancholic air. A soft oniric intro disrupted by a sequential line with chords that skip and hiccup with good percussion strikes which hammer a pace silkily wrapped in a mellotron mist. Synth solos fuse and get entangled around sequences coupled to limpid keyboard keys, creating a cozy bed of twinkling arpeggios caught in a mellotron mist. Let There Be Light presents the first atmospheric and atonal moments of Cosmological Tales with unusual synth tones which collide in a cosmos perfumed of dark hooting and whooshing pulsations which pulse among chain of fine crystal clear tones scrolling eclectic snigger. A curious psychedelic-electronic world which slowly takes a more musical shape when latent synth waves wrap this heterogeneous introduction to make it waltz in a cosmic oblivion from where appears a delicate sequential movement with doubled chords. Chords which waddle in a zigzag hunted by reverberations and synth serpentines, before acting alone in an ephemeral tranquility rushed by heavy synth strata with edgy orchestrations. Let There Be Light espouses then a rhythmic structure which skips such as street gangs’ allures in an environment punctuated with sequences which tinkle among suave solos of synth.
Islands of the Universe is an intense cosmic ballet that will end as it begun. A long track, more atmospheric than atonic, which presents us another facet of Przemyslaw Rudz. The intro plunges us into a musical universe submerged by strange breezes and reverberations of a cosmic tribal world. Rumblings of galactic thunders and shooting streaks accompany this mixture of tribal elements, reflecting the universe of magmatic fusion of Jarre on Les Chants Magnétiques. This atmospheric intro makes room to a more melodious segment where strata of a hatched synth waltz such as pleasant snowflakes, reminding the fabulous structure of Snowflakes are Dancing. These synth strata dances with soft notes of a solitary piano before being melt in vast synth breath which recovers the middle of Islands of the Universe by a somber abyssal coat. A cold silvered sequence à la Stuntman from Edgar Froese is coming out of it. She waves and pulses under a rain of cosmic streaks, embracing Frédéric Mercier's analog and oniric universe in Songs from France, while another short-lived sequence is joining to strum brief fast flows, before Islands of the Universe dives back into the tribal and morphic approach of its intro. Always in ambient and melodious mode, We Live Here presents us a magnificent ode to melancholic with a magnificent piano which spreads its solicitude a pouring rain and thunders being serve as its companion. Very beautiful and sensitive, it is the kind of music that melts the ice around the misled souls. Disputable Future encloses this 2nd album of Przemyslaw Rudz with a more rock approach where nervous and feverish sequences are joined by unbridled percussions and where the synth with stormy undulations and twisted solos is supported by a heavy rock guitar. A heavy and powerful track which doubtless tries to rally fans a bit confused whom had discovered a more rhythmical and melodious Przemyslaw Rudz on Summa Technologia.
Although very different from Summa Technologia, I quite liked the musical adventure of Cosmological Tales. I discovered there a musician who, without denying his influences, goes out of his comfort zone to offer an album where rhythms still heavy are mixing quite well with atmospheres as poetic as oniric. Cosmological Tales is an album divided well between rhythms and atmospheres with all the power and the sweetness which livens up these two paradoxes which live pretty well on this Przemyslaw Rudz 2nd effort.


Sylvain Lupari(2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream :

PRZEMYSLAW RUDZ: Summa Technologiae (2009)

What strikes the most when we are listening Przemyslaw Rudz is the richness of an analogue sonority which caress the electronic beauties of Jean Michel Jarre as well as beautiful artworks which decorate the eye while the music cares about ears. Another nice discovery from the Polish label, Przemyslaw Rudz is a Polish synthsist strongly inspired by the French School style (Jean Michel Jarre, Space Art and Thierry Fervant), but with an even more progressive approach and, by moments, a more rock one. This gives a multi- dimensional album, where soft melodies travel through a strange sound fauna tinted by heterogeneous tones. In fact, Przemyslaw’s first opus Summa Technologia is a beautiful sound adventure where the cosmos is the front door of a fascinating musical world.
Dilemmas begins by a rather eclectic intro. Varied tones compose a sound fauna of the most eclectic where everything is forming and hearing through strange felted pulsations, threadlike reverberating serpentines, hoops and chinking which are colliding and floating in a cold cosmic atmosphere, while a sequence with curt and hatched chords pound an odd rhythm which zigzags beneath this thick cloud of colorful tones. In spite of this staggering sequential frenzy, Dilemmas is in static mode and boils up in a dark cosmos where a linear sequence hiccups beneath a sky streaked by brief synth solos, crystalline arpeggios, intriguing dark breaths and crystal clear keyboard keys which sculpture momentary harmonies. A musical world of contradiction which embraces a new tangent in the 8th minute whilst another sequential line, a bit lower while being also heavier, give a second breath to the static broth that is Dilemmas. A sequential line with chords which caw and which is held by sober hits of percussions and keyboard keys while a discreet mellotron synth amplifies this rise of cosmic adrenalin around sound prisms which sparkle and wave in loops. And quietly, Dilemmas fades in time with a soft mellotron mist which turns off the last breaths of a rich and diversified analog life. Two Evolutions is what compares the most with the musical universe of French School EM. An ascending and threatening sequence à la Jarre evolves in it beneath strange electronic vocalizes which remind Clara Mondshine's schizophrenia. Two parallel musical universes which are harmonizing beneath the somber layers of a synth with superb swaying and cosmic waves of which harmonies sparkle artlessly before the rhythm explodes with good percussions, throwing Two Evolutions towards a more rock tendency. The edgy and steady rhythm of Two Evolutions is constantly illuminated with beautiful synth passages which recall strangely Thierry Fervant's musical world while the rhythmic flickers under the fragrances of Space Art, in particular with the crystalline chords which hammer and are subdividing to stir nervously at the end of the road. This is a very good Revival French School EM that ends in a foggy mellotron, introducing the ambient and floating world of Space Civilizations. Heavy sequences bubble nervously on Intellectronics, propelling us in an aggressive world of sequenced turbulence where sequences pulse, are intersecting into wavy cascades and flicker fervently around synth striations which glance through and scatter with crash and acuteness on a title as boiling as motionless.
After this enormous sounds storm, Prolegomena To Omnipotence brings us in a shelter under cover with a soft and oniric track where eclectic tones glance through this soft electronic procession. Haughtiness, Phantomology is the cornerstone of Summa Technologiae. A soft intro, very celestial in fact, charms our ears with a synth filled of layers that waltz and are entwining languishingly in a warm cosmos. Fine arpeggios sparkle at around the 4th minute, making resounds their echoes in a quixotic cave crossed by heavy dark winds while a first sequential movement livens up the serenity of Phantomology. A sequential line which staggers to bind itself to slightly metallic percussions which drum delicately under heavy spectral winds. Towards the 8th minute Phantomology rhythm is well settled around sequences which wave in loops, nervous percussions and a synth with a kind of talk box. A nervous and fragile rhythmic that heavy synth solos is wrapping, freeing in their attacks some shrill streaks which wind in a multicolored electronic universe of a rhythmic as complex as unusual. It’s a good track that shows all the complexity surrounding the suave and frenzied rhythms of Summa Technologiae. Determinedly more rock, Creation of the Worlds begins with a dramatic intro where the synth waves and winds in a sphere of resonance. The rhythm becomes heavier and faster with weighty sequences which hem with robust percussions while the synth is waving there while fleeing laments wrapped with a beautiful mellotron fog. With firmness, Creation of the Worlds goes astray towards the more crystal clear sequences of Pasquinade On Evolution which collide delicately in the shade of a synth of which delicate solos perfume a synth aura where strange rustles of pastels are getting lost in the mists of a cosmic mellotron, concluding a first opus of Przemyslaw Rudz which lets glimpse an artist with a very convincing potential.


Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream :

mardi 21 décembre 2010


We could never separate the compositions, as well as the music, from Free System Project and Brendan Pollard with electronic and scenic exploits of a Tangerine Dream fossilized in our nostalgic cultural souvenirs. And the addition of Michael Daniel (Hashtronaut) doesn’t make anything to ease these memories of an analog musical world which seemed to be without borders in those days. Mind out of Time answers Time out of Mind! Improvised and recorded during Time out of Mind sessions; Free System Project, Brendan Pollard and Hashtronaut are the undeniable proof that the art survives time. Because even with a music constantly revisited corrected and replayed on its same precepts Mind out of Time will find a way of seducing and awakening vestiges of an EM that some people thought it had make its time.
Shadows and Fog is the reflection of its naming. A long track of nearly 40 minutes which offers a long intro as atmospheric as atonal. A slow morphic intro where a pleiad of electronic tones winds in serial oniric poetry where chirpings unscramble around somber moving pads and an abandoned flute which hums a lyrical ode in a forest stuffed of 1 001 tones. Shadows and Fog’s intro is make of shadows and mist, but also of eclectic tones which evolve beneath somber mooing, humming and intriguing reverberations. Spectral pads which slowly move around layers of synth and ghostly guitars whereas isolated guitar notes and caustic synth streaks pierce a heavy astral nebulosity. An intro which espouses those whom we find on Time out of Mind, but in a more slender format which quietly highlights certain nuances of the Dream. In particular this hesitating sequence which pulses nonchalantly among spectral streaks and a more crystal clear flute, towards the 22nd minute. A sequence which finally shakes the slowness of Shadows and Fog with an unbridled rhythm which routinely pounds a pace to odors of déjà heard on very symphonic synths and nice mellotron pads, chthonian choirs and discreet guitar solos. A metallic bow kneads strings of a fragile cello, grinds the ropes of making squeak and scold The Upper Chamber's opening on a thick cloud of electronic diurnal birds. A deliciously strange atmospheric intro of which we cannot ignore the recollections of embryonic Phaedra with misled synth layers and spiraled filaments which accompany a soft mellotron flute. Contrary to Shadows and Fog the intro doesn’t seem eternal and is well dosed between atony and rhythm. An edgy rhythm which emerges from fluty sweetnesses towards the 7th minute with a sequence strumming nervously a minimalist pace. A pace of which powerful resonant chords are crawling before being intersecting and coupling with beautiful rhythmic permutation, in the shade of a magnificent foggy and fluty mellotron which waltzes of its ethereal pads beneath a sky streaked with multiple synth chirpings. The Upper Chamber maintains this feverish cadence on heavy sequences which pulse by resounding in an oniric mist of a hybrid mellotron and a synth of which discreet solos overfly laments with analog tones.
As its title indicates it, " Option C " (Slight Return) is a return to the original sources of " Option C " from Time out of Mind opus. Longer, " Option C " (Slight Return) explores more deeply the atmospheric ambiances which divert on a wavy-like and spherical sequential movement. A feverish and nervous sequence which gallops on a mellotron with dense foggy pads, chthonian choirs, movements of enchanted flutes and a synth with nasal solos and hatched layers which surround a circular sequential movement. Obviously the whole thing inhales Tangerine Dream to full nose, but from the Encore area with its very symphonic synths which become entangled harmoniously well with mellotron strata and minimalism sequences which hammer a good hypnotic rhythmic. The finale there is very beautiful with its solitary notes of piano that drag around this mellotron mist. A mist wrapping a quixotic forest where centaurs charm birds while accompanying their chirping by fine fluty odes.
Free System Projekt, Brendon Pollard and Hashtronaut succeed again to plunge us into its nostalgic atmospheres which definitively seem to miss to a legion of Tangerine Dream fans, Phaedra years. Mind out of Time is the reflection of Time out of Mind and this need of a whole generation to relive the magic of morphic intros, stuffed with heterogeneous tones, which led to those same sequential movements. Structures heard hundreds of time and which always succeed to captivate. Why? I don’t have any clue at all. All that I know it’s that every time I listen to this music I still fall under the charm. As this puppy love that was full of innocence and reverie.


Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:


I already see you frowning of the eye, ears waiting but skeptics or out of phase by another album from Pollard and cie. After all, are we not tipsy by all these electronic musical creations which copy the Tangerine Dream style of their years of glory? Well, it looks like it’s a need! Time out of Mind is the ideal name for this other collaboration between Brendan Pollard and other artists who flood their musical melancholies in the very vaporous and cosmic spheres of the 70’s. Brendon Pollard with Free System Project and Hashtronaut! A gang of chums which meet and jam a couple of days. That gives a hell of an opus. No doubt the best album of EM, Berlin School style, in 2009 and even beyond!
The Valther Twins begins in a soporific cosmic universe with thick clouds of stellar dusts which float among psychedelic sound particles. An intro where the composite sonorities float in a cosmos covered with brief caustic synth layers. A sweet intro which caresses softly the psychedelic era of a Floyd on LSD and the one of a dreamy Schulze who looks after the universe’s door. Superb I would say! A superb temporal journey which dazzled even more with a symphonic synth which blows the measures of the Dream on Cherokee Lane, dispersing spatial ashes to make room to a splendid sequence which exchanges its swaying chords beneath semi-darkness’s of a rising bass structure and a mellotron with breaths of a romantic sweetness. The rhythm is traps in this astral journey and spreads its aftereffects on fine percussions whereas that a synth with mephistical loops howls to silence on a sequence which accelerates the pulse with a heavy imperceptible zigzag in the howlings of an ethereal guitar. This is a great Berlin School there à la sauce psycho-progressive that we have there. The vaporous intro with psychedelic breezes of Exodus is shorter. It soaks in heavy reverberations which act as circular lighthouses, enlightening a sweet hopping sequence which initiates an innocent rhythmic but whose flow becomes more fervent, espousing Phaedra’s somber heaviness. This cadenced gravity filters a charming mellotron flute which perfumes this wild air of a paradoxical sweetness, while the sequence is more frantic and the synth more perverse with its layers which surround a closed place from where escapes good guitar solos.
Time out of Mind is the epic track of this opus with very Tangerine Dream sound aromas. Made in the shape of the introductory structures of The Valther Twins and Exodus, Time out of Mind opening is slower and rests on a suave mellotron with diverse flute tones which cross the paths of a cosmos with austere choirs. We feel the bass frequency of a heavy cosmic resonance, such a slow impulse of a space shuttle, which has difficulty to moves among this stream of cosmic particle. This reverberation hatches its linearity, propelling a heavy sequence which spawns in a strangely poetic astral nebulosity. A synth dresses this sequence of beautiful vaporous strata in a musical sphere where mellotron, sequences and synth merge in a complex harmony but so soft at the ear which we do not see, nor hear the time fly. " Option C " encloses this brilliant opus with the same concept as the longer tracks, except that the sequence is more caustic on a mellotron of which flutes cross a synth with rippling layers which imprison the musical uncertainty into the synth symphonies of the Dream.
It is obvious that with such an artistic panel of so talented musicians highly inspired by the music of Tangerine Dream from the 70’s, as well as the Berlin School style from the same area, that Time out of Mind would of be tinted from the first note to the last one of this musical influence. And it is. But it’s well done and well structured. In fact Time out of Mind is a superb Berlin School EM album which uses perfume aromas of Phaedra, Rubycon, Atem, Zeit, Ricochet and Encore with zests of dreamy Schulze and Pink Floyd on strong hallucinogen essences. Admitted that such a cocktail can only be divine!

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

vendredi 17 décembre 2010

IAN BODDY: Pearl (2010)

I have to admit that I don’t really know Ian Boddy's musical universe. I discovered the music of the English synthesist following his association with Mark Shreeve for Arc, as well as his last collaborations with Markus Reuters and Robert Rich. So, Pearl was totally indicated to me. And I discovered it an artist who infiltrates the music as a chameleon. Ian Boddy can as well embrace synth and techno pop, melodious and poignant EM, as well as a more complex and darker music. A double album compilation which glances through 30 years of career, Pearl travels among around 40 Ian Boddy's albums. A career well filled which, in my opinion, can hardly be describes easily on only 2 CD.
Outer DiN contains tracks from the pre DiN area. We have 15 tracks which are linking up in a long segment of 76 minutes presenting a more accessible EM where the heaviness and darkness which surround the Ian Boddy's first works already teem. Mermaids’ choirs swaying in a musical limpidity open Hyperion. Synths there are very symphonic and oniric. They wrap with their orchestral strata a slow intro which leads on a superb melody with notes of a dreamy and nostalgic piano. This is a splendid heartbreaking ballad which bursts with robust striking of resonant percussions, shaping a slow rhythmic brood of silky layers of a symphonic and celestial synth. A little as on Who Controls Who which is more dramatic on the other hand, but always fed by heavy symphonic synths with a very baroque approach. Aquanaut is a more livened up track with a nervous rhythm, bitten by a good line of bass and sustained by percussions with a fast flows and sometimes slamming, à la Jarre style. The synth is mordant and spits riffs and solos as heavy and incisive as a guitar but with which mellotron choirs are tinted of a dark mythical aura, enveloping litanies of chords from harmonious keyboards which scroll in spiral. A track near the synth and techno pop, but which keeps this electronic envelope thanks to dark and wrapping synths, quite as heavy and fervent Sequence in Blue and its apocalyptic ethereal synth, the heavy and spatial Beyond the Event Horizon which succeeds the sublime and atmospheric Floating. Continuum - Alpha is a mesmerizing track where the hypnotic and hatched rhythm is unfolding on a wavy-like sequential movement, supported by a discreet line of bass and metallic percussions flickering around linear spirals. Twists which move towards melodious hoops in a sound universe at once charming, cosmic and unrealistic with its ghostly synth strata.
Heaven Gate oscillates between two worlds; the rhythm and the atmospheric on a dark approach and a synth as symphonic as on Hyperion. After an intro which waves like the surface of a sea moved by winds, the rhythm is waking up a little with fine percussions and a grand-sounding bass. Except that this rhythm seems fixed in hesitation, in spite of the little more nervous percussions and cymbals which flicker on a synth with strata waving as celestial choirs. Towards the finale, the tempo hatches out in a soft melody which remains captured with its captivating and stifling strata. Living in a Ritual is another techno synth pop where rock singer Brian Ross sings on it.It’s a nice track with percussions which alternate on a slightly syncopated pace where solos of synth spin fervently. Shrouded is dark, slow, heavy, hypnotic and especially intriguing. It is the slow procession which marches with difficulty, encircled by multiple mephistophelic sound effects, like chains and breathes from hell and which hides a beautiful melody under the shape of devilish bed song. After an intro that sticks pretty well on Shrouded, The Climb takes off with a heavy and furious rhythm on strange electronic percussions and a synth with layers subdivided between the rhythmic support, misled solos and the spectral melody. After a heavy atonal passage in Outer Kimits, Skylights is impregnate us with a superb ethereal melody of which synth breezes are as well divinatory as harmonious, climbing a soft rhythmic of keyboard keys which rise in spirals, under heavy dramatic pulsations. A short track, Metropolis sways with grace around wrapping strata and on a heavy rhythmic pounded by percussions hammering a sustained pace. Living Planet encloses Outer DiN with an ode to cosmos, to oblivion and to sculptural idleness with a sober waltz of times and slow perpetual movements.
The 2nd CD crosses the period of DiN. A period when Ian Boddy multiplied collaborations with artists as eminent as Mark Shreeve, Robert Rich, Markus Reuter and Dub Atomica, Chris Carter as well as Bernhard Wostheinrich. Inner DiN continues the exploitation of rhythms and melodies with a dramatic spirit undertaken before the birth of DiN, but with a darker musical approach among a surprising palette of tones as powerful as heterogeneous. Never Forever is a soft introduction to the complex musical world which spawns in the universe of DiN. Slow synth layers waltz and entwine around a delicate melodious line moved by wrapping synth pads. An electronic world in fusion which leads us to Walking the Slow Path and its sequential line which moves in secret among a vibrating line of bass and percussions drumming a discreet tempo which bathes in indecision. Something that is halfway between Arc and Redshift, Walking the Slow Path evolves delicately, as a procession towards an infernal world, and this even with its limpid and silky chords which chime here and there. Coriolis and Chiasmata borrows too this same mephistophelic tangent, but a bit less deep, with slow processions, synth laments with ochred breaths, percussions and sequences with a little more arched rhythms. Atomicity changes a little the dark climate of Inner DiN with an array of percussions which fall in burst from everywhere. A bass line, fragile solitary keyboard keys and fine lines of synth which hoot provide the harmonious portion.
After fossilized strata of the ambient The Mechanics of a Thought, Presentation Of An Offering explodes of a curt and nervous rhythm which progresses on a structure sometimes ascending and sometimes still. A track with an ambivalent rhythm which exploits more the essence of the static rhythm with solos of synth which shape Arabic inspirations. Other track on static rhythm, Moire is besieged by percussions with tones as varied as its multidirectional striking, shaping a strange hatched rhythm skimmed over by lamentations of synth / guitars which scroll in loops, beneath a delicious mellotron aura. Edge of Nowhere follows with its languishing tempo and its plaintive guitar which spits eerie strata on a cadence held by metallic percussions and a discreet sequence with grimy poundings. A track with increasing tempo and dark atmosphere which dips back Inner DiN towards its dark paths with the very beautiful and somber Aurora who floats with its mi angelic and mi devilish ambiance with its wandering choirs which glance through fine crystalline arpeggios. It’s a superb ambient track just before the ardent Arc-Angel and its nervous sequences which are stirring in solitary before sinking into the chthonian and hyper sequenced world of Arc. Troubadour continues the exploration of the fervent rhythms beneath an avalanche of notes which tumble down towards a languishing and very lyrical synth. This is a nervous track, with a hiccupping rhythm and a heavy pulsation, which oscillates between the techno and the disco, chewed by a rebellious synth with Martenot and spectral waves which spin innocently in a hammering rhythmic. Elemental concludes Inner DiN on a beautiful and heavy melodious approach with a dramatic side. The rhythm it’s heavy and fascinating with movements of percussions beneath a sky streaked with synth layers which illuminate a procession with chords and sequences at once limpid and dark. Sequences and chords which unfold as condemned persons walk towards the green line.
Pearl is a musical box fills by magnificent jewels of a music to the antipodes of the growth, as personal as artistic, of a musician who had accept to get out of the cozy harmonious paths of Outer DiN to create a more progressive and innovative contemporary EM. More than a musical box, Pearl is the witness of this splendid growth of an artist whom some people saw passing by without really attaching the importance which was due to him. In Pearl, you have the opportunity to correct yourself.

DiN 36

Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

IAN BODDY: Slide (2009)

Welcome to Ian Boddy's strange world. The founder of DiN label is to EM what Tim Burton is for cinema, the finest of contemporary art, with fantastic blinks of eye to outdated master works. Yet, Ian Boddy is far from being a novice on the EM scene. Slide is already his 16th solo album, him who realized works with Robert Rich, Mark Reuters and Mark Shreeve for the very Berlin School duet Arc.
Slide for sliding. But also for a music which flows on a slide guitar or rather on a slide synth. Slide is a superb album of an audacious music which will please as much the amateurs of contemporary music as the Berlin School style, because Ian Boddy transcends these 2 worlds with a surprising approach on unexpected paces and as limpid as rocks which steep torrents. Rhythms stuffed with a synth to legatos undulations which bewitch in a sound universe arched by the massive use of Martenot waves, composing the almost totality of an album with ethereal incantations. Yet it’s timidly that starts Slide with The Probability of Doubt and its Tibetan gongs. An ecclesiastical intro overhung by a slinky synth mellotron which strata marry the serenity of the moment. Layers which are made threatening of which spectral laments wave on an unbalanced tick-tock, matching a shyly tone of chains which accompanies the ghosts midnight-march. Pursuing this spectral approach Lost and Found begins with Martenot waves which act as ectoplasm lamentations on a structure which livens up with flickered cymbals and a synth with breaths of a sliding guitar under percussions sounding as guttural words, where harmonious phases skip with delight. When we speak of strangeness! Slide, the title track, begins on percussions which click as dragonfly wings on a slippery synth and a wavy-like bass. It’s a beautiful piece of music. Maybe the catchiest on the first listening with its ascent crescendo on spectral waves and its switching rhythm which embraces a soft techno. Quite delicious! Tourmaline is a wild running which begins in a good-humored way. A hyper nervous sequence draws a frenzied pace that a synth wraps with a morphic tenderness. But the rhythm persists and bursts out under a mellotron synth, with a kind of ear-worm melody, and a Berlin School rippling sequence torpedoed by heterogeneous sound effects, model after Ian Boddy's musical world. This is another very nice track that appeals as soon as the first measures strike the ears.
After the quiet A Moment of Gliss which spreads its Martenot waves such a gull trapped in wind turbulence, Yesterdays Memories drives us in the rhythmic universe of Arc with a good hesitating and heavy sequence, coupled with a feverish synth with hopping arpeggios. Arc atmospheric heaviness is present with its droning echoes that mask fine xylophoned percussions and technoid "tsitt-tsitt" cymbals which lurch such as spectral waves. Incidentally Yesterdays Memories is the beginning of a boiling musical section, showing the passion of unusual and innovative rhythms that lives within Ian Boddy. Builds in the same mould Mechamystical is however lighter, even with its heavy resonant percussions which fluctuate irregularly on a synth filled of apocalyptic waves. A synth which leaves its spectral side to offers good solos on a cadence that becomes more limpid. A little as on Troubadour who offers in return a more frenzied rhythm, beneath an avalanche of chords which tumble down towards a very lyrical and languishing synth. It’s a nervous track with a hiccupping rhythm and a heavy pulsation which oscillates between techno and disco, chewed by a slinger synth with spectral waves which spin innocently on a hammering rhythm. The Possibility of Existence is the calm after the rhythmic storm started by Yesterdays Memories. A beautiful ambient track where the spectral Martenot waves redo surfaces, the same as lamentations of fed and serene whales in the black blue of an ocean of tenderness. A wonderful way to conclude an opus superbly surprising which takes delight from the first to the last breath, with all of Ian Boddy's futuristic poetry. Slide is definitively an opus to get…if it’s not already done.

DiN 31
Sylvain Lupari (2009)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:


First released on Manikin label in 2001 and rereleased by Groove in 2004, Viermal Drei (4x3) from Grosskopf, Baltes, Heilhecker, is a pure extension of Ashra’s works, but with a more industrial touch, always binding itself within psychedelic approach on a fine technoïd structure. A great album which contains 4 extremely interesting tracks.
A desert wind which is transforming into a hoarse apocalyptic siren opens Blue Lake. It’s an acid lake with heavy and metallic waves which hems in a prehistoric atmosphere, although very progressive. A forgotten world. An industrialized universe which hops on nervous sequences, in a sea of squeezed strata which crisscross an increasing and frenzied rhythmic. Harald Grosskopf's percussions draw an atmosphere of carnival, while slowly; the loops of Axel Manrico Heilhecker guitar merge with this celebration rhythm under hot breezes of a discreet, but very effective, synth. This musical set up makes us forget the rhythmic progress of Blue Lake, so much our ears are invaded by an unimaginable sound horde. A vicious progression, under guitar loops à la Ashra and percussions more and more frenzied with tom-toms which are stirring up beneath striations of a six-string filled with heath. And yet, we only are at the 8th minute point. Minutes which increase constantly under an intense musical influx where guitars and percussions are in the front-scene. Grosskopf takes the control and beats the skins of its drum furiously beneath a hiccoughing guitar and an apocalyptic synth, announcing a rhythmic fracture under a solo of percussions …before the tempo explodes in a soft techno movement à la Juno Reactor, under an avalanche of striations, coming as much from the synth as the six strings. A guitar that roars and shoots magnificent solos, below a frenetic rhythm. Blue Lake is a magnificent opening, as sublime as Echo Waves and Niemand Lacht from Ashra in Japan or Sauce Hollandaise.
Crazy Snake starts without ambiguity. A strange rhythm, without movement but noisy, with metallic percussions flickering under a static and booming guitar. Suddenly the rhythm is shaping under a fuzzy guitar which hems under a storm of industrial sound percussions and effects. A heavy title, less technoïd but more fluid than Blue Lake, which soaks in a surrealist atmosphere. Very good and especially very audacious. I like this metallic frog which caws in this musical shanty town. A fine low pulsation opens White Deer Skin Dance's tempo. Striation of guitar and synth brood the progression of this track which borrows a nervous rhythm under guitar jerky chords. Less laborious than Blue Lake, White Deer Skin Dance remains very interesting; wild rhythm, bordering techno atmospheres, under a psychedelic industrial sound fauna. The work of Grosskopf is splendid and takes all its excess in the 2nd part. Another very good track that gets closer to the subdivided paces of Blue Lake. The Long Walk is a more static track which begins in a paralyzed atmosphere where guttural vocalizes are molding to metallic thunders. The wind there is dark and the lightning stream beneath a deaf increasing pulsation and strata of a misty guitar which floats as a ether perfume in a magnetic desert. In middle course, the piece livens up with a heavy slowness, under strident guitar loops, stowed to percussions which run lazily on a more " psychoprogressive " than electronic musical structure.
Grosskopf, Baltes, Heilhecker’s Viermal Drei (4x3) is a splendid album filled of composite tones which is leaning on wild and indefinite rhythms. Hard and pure rhythms, with a technoïd approach which made the delights of Sauce Hollandaise and the 2 Ashra albums in Japan. A loud, musical and rhythmic album that I recommend without hesitations.

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

jeudi 16 décembre 2010

HARALD GROSSKOPF: Synthesist 2010 (2010)

Expect the Unexpected! That’s the warning we can read on back of the inside inlay of this 6th studio album of the famous German percussionist. And it’s completely true! Synthesist 2010 is a violent album. Full of rhythms, in constants permutations on minimalism and linear structures, Synthesist 2010 lurches between the wild techno and the intelligent one with a stalk of melancholy that betrays the nostalgia for this mythical character. Ashra Temple’s drummer (and also for other EM bands and artists, among whom Klaus Schulze,) Harald Grosskopf built a solid reputation of percussionist and machine man of electronic rhythms within the small world of progressive and EM. I had the chance to hear Digital Nomad and I was quite impressed by his very eclectic vision of EM and his much diversified approaches towards his rhythmic modulations. Synthesist 2010 is a continuation of the first solo album of Grosskopf released in 1980, simply entitled; Synthesist. Except that Synthesist 2010 is not a reprise of the original work. Only a work which complements the evolution of Grosskopf over the years and his fellowships with various groups (Sunya Beat, Ashra, Wallenstein to name but a few). A boiling and heavy album where rhythms cross minimalist techno and melancholic melodies in a rich sound fauna, stuffed with musical samplings as brilliant as hard-hitting, which exceeds the capacity that our ears have to assimilate everything in the same listening. But we were informed: We have to expect the unexpected!
As soon as Vivacissimo Con Moto starts, the musical universe of Grosskopf is drawing; heavy minimalism rhythms hammered by strong percussions which pulse in a heterogeneous sound universe. An odd cosmic reverberation is opening its first measures. Mellotron pads float and cross notes of guitar trapped in this heavy sound whirlwind. A heavy zombiesc waltz sways, while guitar notes are transformed into ethereal loops, forcing a rhythm which explodes with strong percussions hammering a heavy and lively rhythm, embraced by synth strata that waltz around a furious structure. We think that our ears are full? Error! Much more unctuous strata wrap Vivacissimo Con Moto which pulses with frenzy on a rhythmic structure interrupted by short moderate passages, hooked by sound serpentines and strata which creak as violin strings in flame on a furious rhythmic. A good track, quite as Vivacissimo Con Brio which is on the other hand heavier and more incisive, of which notes pianos merge with xylophones to give quite another technoïd dimension. More moderated Andante Amoroso is a fine romance which evolves on a structure with dark wavelets. Loops which continue to infinity and which hoot as an owl in the moonlight on a minimalist pace. A long track of nearly 11 minutes, Andante Amoroso is constantly transforming on a hypnotic tempo, taking melancholic airs with its soft nostalgic piano, ethereal airs with a synth filled of spiral loops which wrap a structure lurching constantly between a quiet hypnosis and semi techno. We observe the same phenomenon, although more eclectic, on Vivace Lugubre.
Heavy percussions, tribal tom-toms, syncopated sequence and big grand-sounding bass line, Allegro Con Fuoco criss-crosses a furious movement of which the run is drawing with a wild piano which zigzags desperately in permutation with a heavy hatched line. A superb heavy track, but lively, contrary to the slow and very weighty Largo Con Dolore which moves with big hits of bass, shaping a tempo which waves with gravity on beautiful synth layers. As much heavy, with its mordant bass, Moderato Giusto is livelier and is a nice mix of Allegro Con Fuoco and Largo Con Dolore. Ingenious and hard-hitting, Presto My Non Troppo brings us in a more techno universe and always stuffed with great sound effects. The tempo oscillates and skips on percussions which caw and chuckle strangely, as well as the other percussions which always add this strange impression that we are flying over a surrealist jungle. The synth spits hatched violins strata on wrapping mellotron pads. The duality of rhythms and melodies, which is attacked by a crowd of sound effects all so delirious some from the others, is as delicious as unsettling. While we believe to have heard everything, Andante Mosso is adding more with its spectral intro, where anvil percussions woo cymbals and where a slow hawing synth layer gets sort out and spits a rhythm of Irish parties. The tempo becomes rapidly a kind of techno with fractured movement and grinded by fine chiseled synth solos.
Synthesist 2010 is a bomb! A heavy and powerful album, full of live and which spits decibels at the same speed as Grosskopf harpoons its percussions. Filled with rhythms fragmented by surprising permutations, it is an intense album which demonstrates all the sense of rhythms which lives in Harald Grosskopf as well as his affinities with samplings his sound samplings which teem of 2010 heterogeneous tones. To listen at high volume…if we can!


Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

HARALD GROSSKOPF: Yeti Society (2004)

Yeti Society for a world of ice! A world where the courage and the bravery is read through the story of the Endurance boat equipage and which is listening through 7 tracks and 2 videos where the dry and hatched rhythms are flooded with percussions and sequences as nervous as unforeseen. It’s flanked by his accomplice Steve Baltes, that Harald Grosskopf weaved his 5th solo album inspired by this amazing historic epic. A dramatic story which is not nevertheless depicted with the same musical approach, because even if Grosskopf throws beautiful synth and mellotron layers as melancholic as dramatic here and there, he prefers an irradiant approach of steady, alive and technoïds rhythms in surprising musical structures where the duality is always the prerogative of its furious cadences.
A tribal song on a synth waltzing wave opens Circumspection, losing Chamanizes in its trail. A curt rhythm, fed by sudden sequences stops and go, breaks this strange prayer which was transformed into popular clamor. Already, we know that Yeti Society's tracks will be coated by a heterogeneous sound world where the harmony will cross multiple sound samplings. Incisive strikes of percussions hammer a nervous pace and shape a hatched rhythmic which hiccups of a strange echo, while keyboard keys circulate on a nervous and frenzied structure. A little as some vague musical loops which wave on a sea of harmonious contrariety where the brute rhythm gobbles up all the circling harmonious fragments behind this strange rhythmic pattern. Bravery moves on with a heavy sequence, stuffed with chords with echoing harmonies, on an avalanche of percussions which tumble down as in a sulfurous progressive jazz-rock. The tempo becomes hemmed by syncopated loops which spin around crystal clear and melodious chords, on a structure broken by nervous percussions which strike with indiscipline among varied samplings. A fine ethereal wave awakens the first jolts of Elephant Island which wave on Tablas percussions and a pulsating line with hatched coos. Electronic percussions with varied tones and tribal singings live up a structure which stirs up in a brief moment of frenzy before embracing a duality, both in the harmonies and rhythms, with very exhilarating and captivating synth mellotron strata which are griping with a hesitation, forging a soft lascivious echo.
With its arpeggios which skip in loops on a nervous musical structure and its drum kit which hammers a heavy, constant and weighing rhythm Endurance is a nice techno interspersed of a brief atmospheric passage. A soft harmonious passage before the rhythm is taking back more vigor with a syncopated line which winds around heavy thud hammerings, forging a rhythmic worthy of rave parties and dancefloors, as on Broad Liquids which is on the other hand more in a lounge style. A distant reverberation with tribal fragrances opens South Georgia. Guttural loops are unwinding in musical hoops, while crystal clear chords stroll around heterogeneous percussions on an ambivalent structure, mi atonal and mi lively. The tempo kicks up in the 2nd portion of South Georgia with resonant riffs and percussions which drum a soft structure dressed of brief catchy melody. Endeavourance closes magnificently well Yeti Society. It’s a soft electronic ballad starting with a delicate avalanche of crisscrossed strata, which are dissipating to make room to a very charming feminine voice which blows a tribal ode on a dramatic organ line background. Delicate crystalline arpeggios circulate in an air revived by waves of a reverberating synth and oniric choirs, while hesitating percussions fall, as sound the knell. Quietly, but especially dramatically, Endeavourance is getting free of its atonal grip to embrace a slow rhythm, livened up by flickering percussions which click under heavy layers of a grand synth.
A synth of which its thick dramatic coat will never mute these arpeggios so fine and delicate which swirl such of crystal tears in a sea of bitterness.
Yeti Society shows once again that Harald Grosskopf controls as much rhythms as melodies and synths as percussions. Even if yeti Society's rhythms are based on percussions, as acoustic as electronics, and sound samplings, there is a subtle mixture keyboard / synth and percussions / samplings which modulate beautiful melodies often taken by the constant rhythmic influx which develops on each of the track of an album to emotional antipodes.


Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream :

mercredi 15 décembre 2010

KELLER & SCHONWALDER: Live @ Dorfkirche Repelen 2 (2008)

After the successful Live @ Dorfkirche Repelen 2006, Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder is doing it again with a double cd this time, merging concerts gave at the same place, but in 2007 and 2008. The first CD contains the performance of January 20th, 2008, whereas the 2nd one includes bits of 2006 and 2007 concerts. Always accompanied by Raughi Ebert on guitars and Thomas Kagermann on violin, the Berliner trio offers a very minimalism electronic music which is enhanced by Kagermann violins predominance. Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder offers a diversified music where Berlin School is the premise of beautiful melodies which fork in improvisation risks.
Kangerman violin is the soul of Lanes of the Lord. The longest track of CD1 begins in a nebulous atmosphere stuffed of synths with eerie breaths which agonize among the stammering of electronic percussions. A suggestive bass line is twisting with percussions beneath unctuous breezes of synth pads. A minimalism melody pierces these misty pads on a more swaying bass, Tablas percussions and a solitary violin. Lanes of the Lord espouses then an Oriental structure with a hatched sequential approach, giving a hopping pace to a throbbing track where the violin trails its melody with a poetic heaviness. A fine sequence, à la Robert Schroeder opens Moers Part I, a small jewel of minimalism art which grows harmoniously beneath superb orchestral arrangements, floating synths with penetrating choirs which recall Klaus Schulze’s. The rhythm becomes pounding with a beautiful sequential movement, accompanied by a very lyrical and oniric violin which stretches its laments among mellotron choirs and flutes. A track that makes all the room to Kagermann! Rock This! supports pretty well its appellation with a hopping sequence girdled by a guitar with expressive solos. A curled sequence surrounds a tempo which turns more powerful whereas the beat becomes straightforwardly more rock with beautiful guitars solos from Raughi Ebert. Source of Life is a splendid ode to reverie. Heavy string instruments shape a temporal waltz to which are adding a virtual choral and an acoustic guitar, accentuating even more repressed emotions. A track model after a good Oldfield, but to avoid if the soul is gloomy cause tears could easily surf on this splendid melody. Moers Part II continues this softly quest with a strange virtual mermaid which moulds her voice to a slinky mellotron. Guitar notes embrace this quietude, like a minimalism cycle, whereas the tempo rides a light crusade before being melted on a heavy pounding percussion caressed by a violin which is melting to fine synth solos. Strongly tinted by Schulze influence, Shiauliai is hammered of overwhelming percussions which are pummeling by a plaintive violin and composite sonorities. A track that is near cacophony, but at the same time quite ingenious with a musical approach influenced by the Middle East with its Tablas percussions and dragging guitar. esreveR oloS seems to come out of nowhere with its musical structure near a Mexican fiesta thanks to its guitar play and synth trumpets which feast around a traditional folk violin.
A soft synth wave and a melancholic piano open Return to the Beginning. A maudlin violin adds a poignant touch whereas the tempo progresses in procession on beautiful orchestral arrangements where guitar, violin, sequences and percussions are melt in an indefinable, but coherent rhythmic context. The movement is dark and heavy, pummeled by some guitar notes lost on a tempo which is accentuating and pulsating soberly on an electronic march with echotic suction pads sounds. Again there the piano, violin, flute and guitar orchestrate beautiful melodies on a minimalism and heavy track which drags its rhythmic energy near good cyclic percussions. Deeper Silence is atonal. A dark track, with multiple synth layers that float in an intriguing nebulosity. It’s a world where the silence is black, with lugubrious choirs humming on fine arpeggios which shimmer softly in a universe without souls and life. Except towards the 10th minute when a heavy sequence whirls, without creating a rhythm, captive of heavy layers which smothers its desire of freedom. Klaus, Where Are You? Is another good moment on Live @ Dorfkirche Repelen 2 with its galloping sequences animated by cold cymbals and girdled by good synths solos. This is good old Berlin School finely finicky with a hybrid rhythm, whereas the violin spreads smoldering solos on a structure which evolves through good orchestral arrangements. Bows on virtual cellos which hypnotize with a tempo sustained on a frantic tempo. This is some true Schulze … and good candy for BS fans. Initiated by good guitar, Another Magic Moment progresses on percussions which hammer a light rhythm. The violin follows this cadence which permute in a universe with electronic jolts to follow a more frenetic tangent with good percussions and nervous sequences. A track that sounds like Rock This! ,but guitar in less. Cut & Paste is purely electronic with a sequence which rolls up an improvised structure on a nervous rhythm and heavy riffs, whereas Raughis Song is peace and quiet with a beautiful acoustic guitar and a piano which are wrapped of a serene and melancholic synth layer.
There is lot of music on Live @ Dorfkirche Repelen 2, beautiful music that reflects the passion of Broekhuis, Keller & Schonwalder for the Berlin School style. If there is a thing that annoyed me is the predominance of Kangermann violins which smother subtleties the synths. On the other hand, the minimalist aspect is superbly melodious and quite detailed. There are jewels on this double opus which we cannot be unaware of. Tracks that enchant and hypnotize, as well by their melodious approaches than their progressive complexities. All in all, Live @ Dorfkirche Repelen 2 is a very good album, full of surprises, like the first one.


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


Mario Schonwalder is one of the rare Berlin School EM style composers who continue to exploits those same minimalism structures. With nowadays and the continual collaboration of exceptional acolytes such as Bas Broekhuis on percussions and Detlev Keller on synths, Mario Schonwalder succeed in preserving these slow processions of repetitive chords which evolve among ethereal synth strata, percussions with accentuated strikes and a romantic mellotron. Blue is the 2nd part of color theories, as visualized and putted in music by the German trio, started in 2007 with Orange. Blue, is a color which is harmonizing with the fluidity and limpidity of this 11thopus from Broekhuis, Keller and Schonwalder.
Nervous, the first keys of Blue One roll on a great warm and waving bass structure where sequential crystalline arpeggios are coiling up in total harmony. A progressive minimalism structure, this 1st portion of Blue is delicately shaken and hems in an ethereal ambiance with a magnificent mellotron which throws his wrapping romantic veil on tablas percussions, vestige of an Arabian world. This bluish aura moves quite gently beneath the robe of a mellotron which divides its breezes between the bows of violin and cello, while murmuring a soft fluty sound with gentle harmonies. It’s all in softness that the tempo is living up with hesitating sequences which tinkle on more weighted percussions and an even slinkier mellotron, transcending an unreal Arabic world. The rhythm sways of a nice limpidity under a dense mellotron and percussions with so tribal fragrances, caressing at the end the so romantic musical universe of Schulze from Timewind and Mirage years. A superb Berlin School, hypnotic which is binding with heaviness and crash to Blue Two and its eclectic ambiguous intro where percussions strike undisciplined measures beneath heavy synth layers. Little by little, Blue Two remolds its acrimonious tempo to espouse an odd military pace with its rolling drums and its synth with distant mermaids blows which hum melodious singings, giving the vague impression of an aquatic immersion. The underwater waves have an unusual backwash effect, molding an undulatory movement which is hooking to bewitches sweet songs with fine strummed notes. This mesmerizing melody survives to Blue Two numerous rhythmic jolts, which is endowed of a rhythmic course of the most diversified; either lights movements of zombies trances, ambient passages purely ethereal where synths roar such as specters in twilights and ambient passages with hiccupping sequences. Varied paces for such a complex title, but which keeps its beauty towards this cyclic melody which espouses a sound variation more than enchanter. If Blue Two enjoy a colorful rhythmic structure, Blue and Red shows a constant rhythmic evolution. Atmospheric opening perturbed by diverse colorful tones, Blue and Red fits the contrast of its colors. At around the 6th minute point, the tempo opens with a beautiful Hawaiian approach to be sinking into a beautiful bass structure, drowned by multiple synth layers which wrap and fly over a soft moderate rhythm. Hopping sequences on synths with mermaid’s breezes, Blue and Red effectuates a beautiful transition between two colors with paradoxes of tranquility, quite as its progress which goes from warmth ambient to balanced rhythm to ends on a good hopping sequence and banging percussions that even the soft mellotron with cello tones does not manage to conceal the latent fury.
Even if we know what to expect from Broekhuis, Keller and Schonwalder, the trio continues to amaze in a musical universe that is still very near the Berlin School old roots. Hypnotic and mesmerizing, Blue is the proof that good old Berlin School still has some originality to offers and it’s far from being in the forgetting of temporal cupboards. Some good old Berlin School dressed by nowadays technology which preserves this warm approach of hypnotic and bewitching rhythms, as well as atmospheric ambiances on permutated sequences to hatched jolts, with a touch of aggressiveness that the trio rarely exploits, letting glimpse beautiful sequential possibilities on Red.


Sylvain Lupari (2009)
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lundi 13 décembre 2010

KELLER & SCHONWALDER: Repelen 3 (2010)

The music of Broekhuis, Keller and Schonwalder had a second breath with the addition of Raughi Ebert on guitars and Thomas Kagermann on violins and voices, during the very first Repelen in 2006. This way, the minimalism approach of the Berlin trio grew rich of several other musical layers, adding a harmonious depth to music already inspiring and very hypnotic. Recorded in Detlef Keller studios, Repelen III is the first studio album from the German quintet. Album played in concert at the Dorfkirche Repelen on February 7th, 2010. An album that is truly at the musical image of Broekhuis, Keller and Schonwalder, a minimalism Berlin School with soft progressive harmonies.
Fine chords evolve stealthily on Storm Chaser's opening. A soft opening with slightly hopping sequences, imprisoned by a discreet mellotron, which cross other sequences as limpid as nervous. A light violin calms the awakening of this intertwined sequential movement, which grows on a steadier pace, where notes of acoustic guitar and piano perfume the melody of a foggy tenderness. Languishing and superb, Sunset Café is the cornerstone of Repelen III and one of the beautiful musical pieces of modern Berlin School style to charm my ears these last years. This is some pure Broekhuis, Keller and Schonwalder we have there with a sweet minimalism progression which hypnotizes and mesmerizes with a delicate tempo tinted by a little bit melodramatic approach that starts with a foggy mellotron. Slowly it’s releasing of its sea spray, freeing a fine line of bass and a bass-drum pulsation which introduce a hypnotic pace beneath hesitating strata of a charmingly dreamy synth. This harmonious procession is getting dress by beautiful notes of a solitary piano, keys of an unpredicted xylophone and arpeggios of a romantic guitar which drag here and there in this foggy course which is Sunset Café. These minimalism jolts, which shape this hypnotic cadence, continue on Sunrise. A track swarming of a livelier rhythmic activity and which is deploying beneath strikes of bow, stretching its tones under choruses of a misled mellotron and a good line of a pulsating bass. This is another beautiful Berlin School which pulses on cawed percussions and hybrid sequences while being criss-crossed by a violin with eroded laments.
Madrigal is a beautiful lullaby that the Berlin trio uses to presents us from time to time. A romantic piano and a mellotron synth, from which breezes of flute from an imaginary country, cross an angelic choir where sober percussions, charming violin and a guitar with pleasant solos lull our sleep up to the edge of our dreams. More liven up Old Kids on the Stick is moving on a nervous pace, where a synth with strange spectral tones is adding a ghostly touch to a structure which waddles on sequential jolts and a warm bass line. An opening with jazzy percussions, floating keyboards keys and a guitar with heart-rending laments, Babylon Road plunges us into a universe of minimalism Berlin School. A Berlin School on a sober rhythm which increases subtly its pace, releasing soft passages of mellotron mist, but prioritizing an exchange between a chiseled violin and a guitar with brief mordant solos. Skinner’s Run concludes with a very rock approach. It’s something new for Broekhuis, Keller and Schonwalder who amazes by this steady rhythm where Bras Broekhuis hammers the pace along with a guitar filled of gorgeous solos and a synth with twisted and ghostly solos which are hiding the light mist of an ethereal mellotron. This is high electronic dynamite compressed in 8 minutes that we have there and another striking musical movement from the Berliner trio.
We can’t have the best of both worlds! This said, Repelen III is a solid EM album of Berlin School style. Certainly different because recorded in studio, so without any improvisations at all, and it’s the big paradox in Repelen III. With a more structured music and especially by prioritizing Kangermann’s violin and Ebert’s guitar, Detlev Keller and Mario Schonwalder forgot theirs synths approaches which are filled of twisted solos and morphic strata. But they always remain concentrated on their so much mesmerizing rhythmic visions and progressive minimalisms sequential movements. As for Broekhuis, his percussion play is still so delicious. As for Kangermann and Ebert, they certainly bring a new dimension to the minimalism Berlin School of the German trio, adding harmonious touches and a musical depth to a more and more delicious rhythmic thanks to Broekhuis, Keller and Schonwalder audacious sequencing vision.


Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

samedi 11 décembre 2010

KELLER & SCHONWALDER: In Repelen (2010)

This CD / DVD combo of the German trio Broekhuis, Keller and Schönwälder is cut in luxury. A beautiful digipack with a 16 booklet of pages including pictures of the trio, and their accomplices for the Repelen sessions; Raughi Ebert and Thomas Kagermann. A nice combo of which the DVD presents a concert where the quintet interprets entirely their last opus as well as a track from Repelen 2; Source of Life. The CD includes 5 new tracks, among which 4 are played in concert in the chapel of Repelen on January 18th, 2009 and one recorded in Detlev Keller studios on October, 2009, as well as 2 tracks that we can see on the DVD; Storm Chaser and Sunset Cafe. A nice box-set, with a fine presentation, that will make fans of Broekhuis, Keller and Schönwälder, and their Repelen projects, very happy.
Recorded in Dorfkirche Repelen on February 7th, 2010, the DVD presents a very intimate concert of the group, among which 5 members are placed in the small chapel’ choir of this church which welcomes the band since 2006. Broekhuis, Keller and Schönwälder is well nested on the top of steps of the church choir while guitarist Raughi Ebert and violinist Thomas Kagermann are in front stage. A sober arrangement, where synths are heightened wrapping with their strata and imposing presence all the atmospheric magic which is freeing of this warm concert. A beautiful and serene show, just like its environment, where we see the Berlin quintet interpreted Repelen 3 with all its array of home instruments with their futuristic looks and tones so charming that are in the core of BKS musicality and sound richness. The lighting part is sober and well sieved while shots of digital cameras, which are perched around musicians, give us clear images with beautiful raids onto musicians, revealing so quite their dexterities and the complexity of these instruments which they manipulate with such a disarming ease. The show begins with Storm Chaser where Eva Kagermann is doing a lascivious and ethereal dance with movements which espouse slow and progressive rhythms of Storm Chaser and Babylon Road. The music of Repelen 3 is aptly returned and the performance on Old Kids on the Stick is quite unique with its strange futuristic cellos which serve as synth and sequencers, toyed with enjoyment and complicity by the German trio which kicks down the church with the solid Skinner's Run. Madrigal is another highlight with the home chorale of Repelen. We notice that the violin moves out of tone. Mario Schonwalder explains that sound difficulties explain this strange phenomenon of acoustics which is corrected with the version of Kagermann during the rehearsal, respecting so the principle of live sound and performance. Source of Life respects the solemnity of the concert with a soft and dreamlike music which is a very beautiful ode to daydream.
If the DVD is the cornerstone of In Repelen box-set, the CD is not only there to make the box bigger. It’s a nice CD which offers nearly 45 minutes of new EM, showing us that the quintet has still some beautiful things from the Repelen sessions to make us listen. Only track to be recorded in studio, Warm-up is a strange Berber ode where lamentations of violin and quixotic cello caress notes of a guitar crossed with a fanciful harp. Tranzz08 offers more rhythm with a hemmed sequential movement which waves among breaths of flutes and percussions which drum a tribal rhythmic. A track which lurches between a cosmic and ethnic rock with Thomas Kagermann psychedelic vocalizes and which evolves on wrapping synth mellotron pads. The Gates of Kairuan is in the most beautiful tradition of Berlin School Berliner. A superb intro with a sequential line which is espouses a rosary of crystal clears chords which sparkle as the majestic Klaus Schulze Crystal Lake. This limpid and hypnotic sequential movement progresses among an array of veils, violin layers and solos, guitar and a synth which swirl around a fine line of bass and additional sequences which click as snips of scissors among little more sober percussions. It’s a splendid Berlin School which finds all of his nobility around mad synth solos. Great BKS we have here! With Far from India 2009 and Memories of Hampshire, we dive into a more rock and ethnic approach of Broekhuis, Keller and Schönwälder. Strata of synth which undulate with a metallic essence open Far from India 2009first measures, of which fluty mellotron breezes are more much nervous than percussions which try to find themselves in an intro that we feel explosive. Tabla percussions, Percussions banked, enchanting flutes, breezes of synths with reverberating waves and guitar / sitar structure a nervous and ardent intro which explodes around the 3rd minute with percussions which rock and roll on beautiful layers of an ethereal synth, plunging Far from India 2009 into an almighty ethnic rock. A heavy and stormy movement which calms down towards finale where the Berber singings are measuring to big synth solos, before that Far from India 2009 dips back into its wild rhythm with its percussions which gallop on rippling synths layers. It’s another good track, quite as Memories of Hampshire which, after an indecisive intro, progresses on a nervous rhythmic with guitar riffs and solos which scatter on an undisciplined structure.
With its 16 tracks on 1 DVD and 1 CD, In Repelen is a great gift of music for fans of Broekhuis, Keller and Schönwälder. Especially for those who appreciate the Repelen area where the trio abandons a little its fragrances of Berlin School to create a skillful ethnic, progressive and electronic fusion. I have to say that’s a very nice DVD and a good CD which includes beautiful pearls of a music which transcends the usual Berlin School.


Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 10 décembre 2010

RAINBOW SERPENT: Live @ Liphook 2007 (2008)

When we hear Live @ Liphook 2007, we have difficulty to conceived that this album was recorded in concert, so much everything is held and linked with a surprising complicity. Because Rainbow Serpent music is not so easily tamable. It is of a kind of progressive and experimental Berlin School which is constantly evolving. Compositions structured around heterogeneous sound elements in which are grafted beautiful harmonious passages. Recorded live during the 2007 Hampshire Jam Festival, Live@ Liphook 2007 presents us a Rainbow Serpent in very great shape. The colorful Serpent accompanied by Thomas Kagermann on violin and Eva-Maria Kagermann on ethereal vocalizes. And faithful to their trademark, the Berlin group offers us his complex music with electronic melodies divided by sound effects and noisy inserts, like those thunderous percussion strikes, creating a stunning musical paradox where powerful melodies abound in unsuspected contexts.
Gerd Wienekamp and Frank Specht don’t waste time. Straight from Le Vent dans la Plaine opening, Rainbow Serpent plunges us into meanders of a musical world full of sound imagination. Le Vent dans la Plaine starts on badly calibrated motorcycle. A bike with a bad cold that a huge sound wave covers from a synth of a metallic coldness and which exhausts its din in atmosphericosmic strata, before that brutal percussion strikes ring a rhythmic awakening with a slow and sensual beat, coated by a synth whose spectral waves undulate lazily. Le Vent dans la Plaine displays then its wonderful melody with piercing synths cooing of hypnotic circles and sinuous lines which charm and sing on heavy percussions. Synths which split their lines creating melodies on melodies, coated by intense mellotron strata, and moulding a very emotional dramatic approach on a structure hammered of a suave and heavy tempo. A little more and I would believe to hear the splendid Sebastian Im Traum from Frank Specht. Le Vent dans la Plaine slides towards Twelve Celli and its ambient structure which recalls Bernard Xolotl's musical universe on Procession. A slow and very atmospheric movement where Thomas Kagermann’s violin and the spiritual incantations of Eva-Maria Kagermann glance through an arid structure which wakes up on heavy Indian percussions. A slow procession which gains in rhythm with beautiful sequences that flicker on a yet indecisive structure, nibbled by a hesitating violin. Tangram starts with shimmering notes which flutter in a sphere with colorful reverberations. A great sequenced movement comes from it, undulating with limpidity reminding the universes of Tangerine Dream on Tangram, while the fluty mellotron recalls the poetic-cosmic universe of Software. Another great track which navigates on Rainbow Serpent quirky currents, while respecting this so melodious touch which is his. Calais offers, within 5 minutes, the multiple facets of Rainbow Serpent. An ambient intro adorned by the soft dreamlike voice of Eva-Maria Kagermann which coos in a dark cosmos, while percussions and line of bass shape a fine languishing rhythm which ends its course with a drum roll, plunging Calais into the caustic twilights of its introduction.
En Passant is Live@ Liphook 2007 highlight. A synth with symphonic layers which flow such as soul sighs, a little as the solitary saxophone that we hear on Vangelis’ Blade Runner, is opening its intro. A poignant intro on a mellotron with angelic vocalizes, but also with strange percussions which caw and drum randomly with cymbals that flicker in an eclectic mist. In brief, a universe worthy of Rainbow Serpent that wakes up with an uncertain sequential movement and zigzags in a heterogeneous sound universe. Beautiful pads of a symphonic synth recover this rhythmic finely hammered by great sequences which espouse marvelously all percussions variety revolving around En Passant which dives into heavy atmospheric, but never atonal passages, with brief awakenings sequenced and hammered by a grand-sounding bass-line. A long track as beautiful as strange, which suffers undeniably of a melodious bipolarity syndrome. After a soft melancholic ballad in Memories, Rückblenden emerges from a smoothing cosmos saturated by atmospheric strata à la Schulze. Composed with Mario Schonwalder, Rückblenden seems out of-key with its sober structure which livens up on a nice hypnotic sequential movement, wrapped by fine ethereal strata. A pulsation bites the rhythm which grows slowly, as in Schulze’s Moondawn, before crossing a passage where percussions modify the rhythmic structure as if we listened some good old Klaus Schulze.
Rainbow Serpent’s Live@ Liphook 2007 is a monumental work that passed by my ears and which I finally rediscovered with Stranger. A superb album filled by creative music and diversified rhythms but which leave room to surprising melodies. This is great progressive Berlin School which makes its winks of eye to Tangerine Dream, Software and Vangelis with whole range of musical memories that furnish a pleasant moment of contemporary EM.


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