vendredi 29 avril 2011

SPYRA: Gasoline -91 Octane (2008)

The more I listen Spyra, the more I discover an interesting artist who’s not afraid to melt contemporary EM with retro Berlin School and a zest of jazz lounge. Inspired by his many travels during his concerts tour, Gasoline-91 Octane is a fine mixture of electronic music kinds. We have some charming ambient and soft techno, while passing by the subtle modulations of a progressive electronic music which ravels with an absolute charm. This is some quite superb music that we have here.
Wind-borne pulsations introduce Shirogane limpid keys which sway nervously beneath a delicate groovy bass line. A soft fluid, sensual and minimalism tempo which is quietly dressing of a floating mellotron and fine percussions, Shirogane catches the ear with its synth that jazzes with a soft celestial voice and ear-catching breezes. Rantum Random has a lighter intro which espouses a style closer to modern electronica. Always so crystal-clear, arpeggios are supported by more pronounced percussions on a heavier structure and a synth that still stays so jazzy. Spyra puts the ease of access besides with Operation PPG, a track which borrows all paths of modern EM with its vaporous intro encircled of a serpentine collar which scintillates of a prism to thousand reflections. The beat increases vaguely its intensity using cymbals which turn into slightly spasmodic percussions. A weighty mellotron is processing along this rhythm, leaving nice fluty passages on a dance music structure which is slowly crumbling in the hazards of a progressive Berlin School; galactic eddies with stray percussions which try to restructured the rhythm, apocalyptic sirens which surround the movement without really animated it that much and superb analog zests which adorn a fading away structure which reborn of its rhythm with a final that nail ears on ear-phones.
Treskow Bridge is a superb melancholic ode which deploys his nostalgia on a beautiful piano and wandering percussions that knock together in an echotic harmony. It’s a nice music piece that guides us up to the delicious Below 20, a Berlin School flavoured of contemporary oils with its soft sequenced pulsations in a metallic universe. Below 20 progresses like in a dream with its dark choirs and a soft hypnotic tempo whipped of paradisiacal synth solos. Another great Spyra track that lives on a progressive and creative structure that the German synthesist exploits all of its 19:09 minutes with dexterity, plunging us in short ambient moments, before astonishing us with a rhythmic final shadowing the moments of Schulze-Namlook tandem. It’s quite simply exquisite, as the whole of Gasoline-91 Octane.


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

mercredi 27 avril 2011

JOHAN AGEBJÖRN: The Mountain Lake (2011)

While doing a short search on Johan Agebjörn we learn that he is a Swedish musician whose music crosses ambient approaches and classical piano. But he is more known for his work with the princess of Swedish disco, Sally Shapiro, with whom he impregnated a strong Italian disco style tendency. The Mountain Lake is his 2nd opus on Lotuspike and, with this soft disco touch, is a wind of freshness for this label which offers mainly ambient works tinted with a delicate progressive New Age approach. Structured on 13 tracks, The Mountain Lake is a pleasant album where the ambient and atmospheric EM styles is shaping quite well to hybrid and disparate rhythms, drawing thus very beautiful melodies which come up to standards of an intelligent and innovative synth-pop EM.Crackles, sizzling and static white noises open Spacer Woman from Mars (Ambient Mix). A soft synth line floats on a low pulsating undulation while Sally Shapiro’s felted voice sways among nervous oscillations which flicker around Spacer Woman from Mars. Static, Spacer Woman from Mars’ rhythm moves in stroboscopic circles whereas a sequential line is harmonizing with the hatched ethereal vocalizes from the Swedish Diva and that scattered percussions and along with a spasmodic keyboard shape a low circular and motionless techno. Spacer Woman from Mars depicts The Mountain Lake's ambivalent atmosphere where rhythms are in opposition to harmonies and are encircle by moderate musical elements. Amylium Casparium is more mordant with its stroboscopic sequential line which goes along with good panting beatings percussions. Fine resonant chords and good metallic percussions support the weight of the curt rhythm which, in spite of its clear technoïd trend, remains fossilized in its "dancefloor" approach wrapped that it is of nice layers of an airy, oniric and serene synth. The Stones Are Blasted is a beautiful electronic melody, quite as Swimming through the Blue Lagoon, with a minimalism sequence which pulses a hypnotic tempo with delicate arpeggios sparkling in a harmonious electronic atmosphere. Bells of a sombre monastery resound and Spiral Staircase spreads a dark synth line with tones of old organ coming from darkness. A mephistophelic approach where we follow a dark and murky movement, among synthesized whispers and variations in a movement of which oscillatory curves feed a soft paranoiac madness.
Zero Gravitation is The Mountain Lake's most electronic track. It’s a long musical piece which evolves in an ambient structure with fine pulsations of which palpitations awake softly a morphic rhythmic covered by nice wrapping synth layers. It’s a fragile and latent rhythm as well as slowly progressive that gives the feel to stamp one’s feet on a long track with vocalizes strata which criss-cross the blackness of a soft cosmic down-tempo. Take me Home is another beautiful electronic ballad that seems to be coming out of Amylium Casparium mould, but which remains more balanced, with nice percussions effects and soft felted voices which whisper behind soft arpeggios with tones of glass. The rhythm there is pleasant and lively, quite as in The Chameleon which is on the other hand more insistent and slightly livelier, especially with these limpid arpeggios which roll up a tempo become crystalline as it progresses on strikes of percussions and curt and scattered synth pads. Love Ray is a soft melody coming from stars where Lisa Barra's whispers float among crystalline chords and light hoops of glasses. Siberian Train encloses with a frenzied rhythm where a sequential line waves with strength on beautiful percussions which draw the movement of a train on a furious railroad. Johan Agebjörn amazes for his vision and musical creativity where everything is linked on a furious tempo but always coated by beautiful layers of a silky synth.

I quite liked this wind of freshness that surrounds The Mountain Lake. Johan Agebjörn managed to knit an album where ambivalent rhythms going from soft techno to down-tempo are shaping to ambient or moderate surprising structures. It’s a real nice album where suave vocalizes are being lost in the breezes of synths and hybrid rhythms that are seething on beautiful percussions and sequential lines always near rhythmic explosions that we have here and there. In fact, it’s a nice mixture that is just well dosed.


Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

mardi 26 avril 2011

AWENSON: Saphonic (2007)

“At once mesmerizing and mystic , Saphonic is a perilous musical adventure where dark ambient goes alongside with rhythms which become more and more uncontrollables”

1 Le Rasoir D'Occam 22:41
2 Metropolis 6:44
3 Interstellar Overload 5:54
4 Lolita's Waveform 4:48
5 Technoff 21:00

MUSEARECORDS: DR8480 (70:57) ****

Before Wizard Awenson had a life. He began with  Shadows (Awen) in 2005 and “Saphonic” is his 2nd opus. It’s a strange album where the rhythm grows peacefully before exploding literally with the impetuous and dynamic "Technoff". And already we feel all the passion that is living in Awenson for an EM with free and random movements which float or jump wildly into a very cosmic atmosphere. In “Saphonic”, we understand quite quickly all the dimension of Awenson whom will offers us, 3 years later, his real masterpiece; Wizard.
A slow cosmic air wave sways and multiplies a series of waves which roll in a studded cosmos. "Le Rasoir D'Occam" is a long atonal movement where the still rhythm is moved by morphic modulations which are sometimes heavy and sometimes discreet. An elongated ambient track very well inspired by Klaus Schulze's first works with a caustic and metallic synth which moves its floating layers in a universe imprint of a certain melancholy. Fine harmonious oscillations unfold behind this musical universe, moulding thus a strange paradox between the silence of celestial bodies and the singing of stars, where breezes of shadows unfurl like nostalgic sighs to finally embrace limpid arpeggios of which the resonance espouses waves' reverberations so as to spread their metallic groans. An odd cerebral dance is following with the circle of crystal clear chords which criss-cross other hesitating chords, offering to "Le Rasoir D'Occam" a finale where the harmony challenges the cosmic blackness. A track at once fascinating and macabre, "Metropolis" advances at strikes of organ pads which walk on a sinuous caustic and resonant air wave. A melodious synth emerges from this march of the slow death and violined a fine serenade which is extending as far as borders of the unreal, there where pulsations and pulsating pads deviate the serenade at the dawn of cacophony. But it’s only a short musical disorder because a beautiful sequential movement with skipping chords encircles the movement where a metal wind blows behind a superb movement which, regrettably, goes out too quickly.
Shaped in the same mould, "Interstellar Overload" begins with a heavy linear movement where the beatings of synth pulse with an increasing feverishness in a sound universe imprint of a dim implosion. It’s a race against music where pulsations are more substantial and draw a feverish undulation which is airing in breaths and beatings of a corrosive cosmic world. And then fine crystalline arpeggios sparkle and dance in a universe in suspension, shaping a sequential movement which continues its minimalist road in the belly of a synth to pulsating modulations and heavy gloomy layers among which caustic modulations and delicious nasal and twisted solos betray the passion of Awenson for Schulze."Lolita’s Waveform" offers a languishing rhythmic structure with a sequential swaying hip which waddles as a solitary cowboy being astride cosmic plains. It’s a nice ballad bowed of a bass guitar which is waddling like a sequential minimalism where synth solos flow among analog sound effects full of cosmic fragrances. Technoff begins with fine pulsations which spin in all directions. A cymbal supports the movement, followed by a bass-drum which hammers a heavy and insistent pulsation while synth pads flicker with feverishness. "Technoff" follows a demonic tangent with unbridled percussions which pound a hyper nervous rhythm in the shade of mooings of a hoarse synth. A synth which frees wild and twisted solos in a rhythmic debauchery rarely heard in an EM musical piece with a frenzied beat which adopt with wonder a heavy progressive techno. It’s a vitamined Berlin School EM style with a striking infernal pace where synth lines are criss-crossing whilst letting go murky sounds and crashes to noisy echoes. Spirals with aggressive resonances circulate in this electronic heap of tones which continues to increase its rhythmic bite with splendid permutations in its tones. That’s a titanic track which ends in peace and serenity, beneath waltzing waves of a romantic synth which frees some studded fragments, forging these so beautiful electronic musical sunsets.
At once mesmerizing and mystic with its tenebrous layers of a very metallic synth, “Saphonic” is a perilous musical adventure where dark ambient goes alongside with rhythms which become more and more uncontrollables. I would say that it’s an intense and powerful album because of the strong presence of a melancholy hiding out behind luxurious and mysterious layers of a mordant and burning synth. In fact, we hear through “Saphonic” the first vestiges of Wizard and the strong influences of Schulze on the French synthesist. “Saphonic” is now released and distributed by Musea Records and can be find on good EM stores such as Groove et Cue Records.

Sylvain Lupari (April 26th 2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

* There is a promo video of Lolita's Waveform on YouTube:

lundi 25 avril 2011

SPYRA: High Phidelity (2007)

High Phidelity is a super journey through the different musical styles of one of the most underrated German synthesist; Wolfram Der Spyra. A remarkable anthology from one of the best American EM label in the States; Ricochet Dream, which covers 2 years of concerts in different locations, as well in the USA and Europe. More than 2 hours of music where we follow an artist free of all artistic restrains who explores the different sonorities of a Berliner EM, ambient and abstract with a range of hallucinating sounds effects for the greatest pleasure of our ears.
Zzyxxsties opens with beautiful synth waves which initiate a melancholic universe. Slowly the synth frees arpeggios which swarm of a parallel life filled of big synth bursts with a gloomy and threatening mood. The musical world of Spyra is slowly deploying on hopping chords and beats that swindle the pulse. What was a simple cosmic and floating intro turns into a long rhythmic procession where the hypnotism of a languishing Berlin School evolves by sequential moves supported by soft and superb solos from a lyrical and melting synth. It goes through a brief moment of serenity before recaptured a more upbeat tempo on a synth with multiple layers and great mellotron effects. We are near Schulze territories. Duplex pursues this evolution with a heavier rhythm and percussions with striking hits. Synth releases nice wrapping layers which fractionate some superb honeyed solos. The beat becomes more alive with percussions hammering a nervous and bass sequence. Leisurely Spyra drives us into a passage where percussions and sounds effects fall into a staggering psychedelico-atmospheric duel. A short break just before tempo modifies subtly its level to become louder, always drown by sumptuous solos. Xylophane is a sweet cosmic melody where xylophone arpeggios circle a futuristic ambiance between the worlds of Vangelis and Schulze on Angst. It’s a superb musical piece imprint of a strange softness which flows with nostalgia and soul greyness. The more we go, the more we enter into the eclectic universe of Spyra. Drum’N’Melody starts up on a nice sensuous dangling where soft synth strata wrap a tight-fitting bass which becomes heavier and mordant. Percussions roll a frenetic tempo whereas synth is transforming into an Arab flute. This languishing movement, with snake charmers sensuality, crosses spherical resonances phases where voices, percussions and synth streaks are bandy chords for a fragile tempo. Last Train To Philadelphia presents an intro with compulsive pulsations which are colliding into a frenzied sonorous duel. Tempo becomes more restrained, with nice ambivalent passages which waddle between soft sensual atmospheres and little bit more nervous passages.
CD 2 begins with a very ambient Starsent Introduction where isolated layers are bathing in a weighty atmosphere. Kingnewdrum is also dragging us into a very ambient mood but tinted of a melodious romanticism. Guitar and piano notes float in a futuristic world filled of vocal samplings, giving though the illusion of being inside a lounge jazz club. On a soft and sensual evolution the movement bursts into life with great percussions and heavy riffs to stormy reverberations. Mixing ambient to deep atmospheres and a more experimental music, Spyra maintains a continual interest with a creative percussion play and a synth with saxophone impetus worth of free jazz sessions that go beyond borders of the exceptional Aerial. Phuture of the Past bring us back to the roots of Berlin School style with winding sequences and a lyrical synth. With Gilgamesh, the German synthesist shows his expertise of eclectic sounds. Even in concert Spyra multiplies the oddest of sounds effects on a Break Dancing beat with disparate percussions. This cacophony makes room to a harmonized softness where breezes of excessive parallelism swindle which is lulling of nostalgia in a caustic universe.
High Phidelity is simply sublime. It’s a great work that covers all EM facets, witnessing the innovative creativity of a musician who pushes his artistic reflection far beyond established standards. It’s a 2007’top 10!


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

SPYRA: Invisible Fields (2003)

One of Wolfram Der Spyra great quality is being unpredictable. From a long time considered as a possible successor to Klaus Schulze, Spyra pooh-poohs of all conventions to offer very coloured works where the unexpected crosses brilliant flashes of this superb musician. Invisible Fields doesn’t flee of that rule. Spyra delivers an opus with an astonishing mixture between retro EM, with some nice analog heat, and a soft futuristic jazz ‘’à la’’ Blade Runner while passing by long waves of synthesized transmissions. In fact the only weakness in Invisible Fields is its too many sound directions and varieties to be appreciated in only one listening. It’s rather an album that we listen to it parsimoniously and which can be tastes and enjoys bites by bites, according the mood of the moment. You can also enjoy it, quite as I did, from start to end because of its high degree of ingenuity. There are tracks that are melting to all settings and senses, testimony of the immense talent that lives in the German composer, sound designer and synthesist.
Test Transmission begins with heavy booms and out of rails robotized vocal samplings à la Kraftwerk. It’s a dance floor track with heavy sequencers and bass on a ‘’hypnolunatic’’ tempo with great synthesized fluidities. Entropy Is Just has Seven Letter Word is a superb track with a very jazzy atmosphere that melts in ears. The tone, synths, percussions and bass are running on a sensual keyboard which is a prescriptive to a melancholy that we want it last forever. Then some great music touches us on the short but surprisingly seducing Three Players in an Artificial Landscape, an acoustic track where the flute is bewitching with an astonishing clearness. XyloCity is, in my opinion, the actualization of Berlin School style. Berlin School refreshed by a cosmic vision which oscillates between spasmodic floating waves and light minimalisms rhythms which progress with a proportioned ferocity. The 2nd part is more furious and bathes into a very libertine jazz ambiance where percussions awake a synth/piano with felted notes on a vicious bass. Quietly the tempo becomes blurred to slide a superb adagio of xylophone glockenspiels which resounds unctuously within ears. This first part of Invisble Fields is simply brilliant and will please to all fans of traditional EM, soft techno or ambient music. Bath, the epic part of Invisible Fields, plunges us in a corrosive ambient with a taste of metallic citrus fruits. Acid and enveloping, it begins on fluids of Martenot waves mixed with synthetic thunders with virulent sparkles. Quietly the movement is stabilized to float with an appeasing slowness, before continuing its way with through sonorous meanders as mysterious as untameable which depicts a paradox as well artistic as emotional. The soft Temporarily Not Available encloses on a tender melancholic touch this superb work of contemporary EM that we hear too seldom.

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

vendredi 22 avril 2011

TANGERINE DREAM: Under Cover - Chapter One (2010)

Is it another element to fatten all those legends revolving around Tangerine Dream or simply an easy explanation to justify the intrusion of Froese and Co in the very easy world of synth-pop? However Under Cover - Chapter One is the result of a bet between Tangerine Dream’s members and one of the Los Angeles concert’s promoters held at the end of 2008. The idea was to see if Tangerine Dream was able of playing rock music (And what about Rockoon?). But not any kind; reprises of some biggest pop songs of the last years! The stake in the bet is a long ballad L.A. / Vegas for each of Dream’s members if the group failed and, in opposite case, the mysterious promoter would have an interesting proposition on the table for the band aged more than 40 years. it a myth or reality? Let’s hope that the offer was worth it because Under Cover - Chapter One is a perilous incursion in a very melodious musical world where passion, words and vocals have a direct incidence on the quality of these hits. Fafans of TD I already see you frowning. But do not worry, even if Edgar has to possess one of the most complete and sophisticated studio (we remember that the purpose of all these reeditions, remasterings and soundtracks was to build a studio at the state-of-the-art technology), Under Cover - Chapter One is an average album with a strong commercial potential where I dare to believe that the promoter respects its part of the bet. But there is something that’s annoying me...
The album opens with Cry Little Sister, a 1987 strong hit pulled out The Lost Boys’ soundtrack. It’s a good rock doubled of a nice ballad and the Dream approaches it such as, a bit as a copy and paste with good riffs but quite fade percussions. If guitars and sequences are good, the rhythmic portion is cold and without big depth and this is Under Cover - Chapter One big weakness; if sequences, keyboards and guitars are aptly returned, the voices and rhythmic structure are weak and very far from improving (isn’t the idea behind every interpretation from a track written by someone else?) the original version. I like Everybody Hurts’ version. The piano, synth strings and Chris Hausl’s vocals give a more intimate version than the original. I don’t know Precious from Depeche Mode, but I vaguely have the impression that this interpretation misses punch because it’s sounds strangely as Cry Little Sister's version and Forever Young. I salivated at the idea of hearing what the Dream would make with Space Oddity and I got a bitter disappointment, in spite of dazzling guitar solos. I don’t understand why the gang of Froese wants so much to give a rock and techno-pop approach to this avant-gardist track. I expected more and with good reason, considering the enormous potential of the musicians present there. Idem for Hotel California which, except for guitar solos, is a version that misses imagination and feelings, quite as Iris which is a very beautiful song returned here with an anemic performance. Yes the guitar is beautiful but the emotion is not really just in time.
Heroes is another deception where I have the feeling that it’s reproduced on a single chord or riff. Quixotic violin strings didn’t throw any feelings and the voice of Hausl is not as half Bowie’s emotions. In these cases I tell myself, I know that I am not a musician, we should play on structures, sequences and rhythmic depths. In place, we have a Heroes that will fit to elevator or market music. On the other hand The Model is completely brilliant and really fits to interpretation category. Here, there are no electronic rhythms or synth-pop, but a beautiful ballad played on piano where Hausl’s voice is caressed by nice orchestral arrangements and suave flutes. It’s a very nice and surprising interpretation. Sorry but I don’t like this new version of Wicked Game which here is takes the shape of a big techno pop with a voice that shows some limits (and we all know that Hausl has a powerful voice) on a structure which copies too much the empty and sanitized rhythms of the Dream post electronic Berliner years. But there aren’t only deceptions; Suzanne is very beautiful interpretation with a little more pronounced rhythm and a voice surprisely just from Thorsten Quaeschning who gave me the taste to rediscover the original, idem for Hallelujah which is bursting of emotion and melancholy. Recorded live, Norwegian Wood is a strong version with a heavy and minimalism rhythm and a superb amalgam of guitars, sitar tones and synths with strident wanderings which wrap quite well Quaeschning voice. Wish You Were Here? Bah... I am outraged. If the piano on it is nice and twinkling chords add a new dimension to this Pink Floyd classic, I still don’t understand and feel the need to add a touch of livid synth-pop. I’m telling myself that before attacking such a classic, you better be provided very well on imagination and obviously Tangerine Dream looks as he has a pretty high level of lack here and among other tracks in this reckless adventure. 
Did T. Dream win his bet? I wouldn’t say it. If Under Cover - Chapter One has a rock touch, it’s not an electronic rock one but rather some light synth pop played on electronic equipment. I can’t deny the presence of heavy riffs and sequences, except that these elements are torpedoed by an anemic structure faithful to what Tangerine Dream produces in its last years. Yes there are good moments, but there is so much potential behind the vast majority of selected tracks that we can only be disappointed by the very rash and symmetric approach of the Dream, which has not the boldness of the potential of his equipments. In fact I have the feeling that Tangerine Dream approached this challenge sat on his reputation and effortlessly with an edifying artistic detachment.  And what’s annoying me the most? If there is a Chapter One, does this means there will be a Chapter Two? Who would dare such a bet? And if ever it’s Stairway to Heaven that goes in the wringer!

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

jeudi 21 avril 2011

VARIOUS: Dreams of my SPACE Vol. 1-Thanx for the Add (2008)

“Dreams of MySpace Vol. 1 is a splendid collection of modern melodic EM that I highly recommend”

1 The Last Chance (Kristalium) 4:09
2 Journey to Fairyland II (Guido Negraszus) 6:06
3 Deneb (Alpha Lyra) 5:12
4 Time is Life (Kristalium) 3:56 
5 May Rain (Mac Mavis) 5:40 
6 Fox Hunters Part 3 (VFX Designer) 4:22 
7 Unterseeboot (McCartnotron) 2:53 
8 Live Improvisation (Nightbirds) 3:31 
9 Moonlight Dance (Guido Negraszus) 6:52 
10 Kopenhaachen (Nattefrost) 6:37
11 Time is Lost in Space (Mc-Honert) 6:42 
12 Heaven Six (Dust Free) 4:30
13 Toward the Infinite (A.D.S.R.) 6:23

SPHERIC MUSIC: SMCD9101 (CD 66:54) ****½

For some years there is a musicians- composers' outbreak for a hybrid EM style, between Berlin School, ambient and electro synth-pop music, who have no other choice than to put their music online in order to catch the attention of some snooping ears. Very interested in this proliferation of new musicians who punctuate the musical sky of a soft and beautiful EM, Robert Schroeder put on feet a project entitled Dreams Of MySPACE in 2007. Lambert Ringlage's label, Spheric Music, decided to encourage this project by selecting a dozen of musical pieces which demonstrate the surprising quality and the quantity of music always snub by Medias but which continue its breakthrough and to attract its fans' legion. So, here is the 1st chapter of “Dreams of MySPACE Vol. 1: Thanx for the Add”.
Kristalium, a French synthesist, opens the waves of outer-space with a beautiful synth line which floats of its nice captivating and slinky pads. A soft jerky rhythm moulded by hesitating keyboard keys and supported by good percussions give to "The Last Chance" a suave and groovy rhythm à la Enigma. A resonant and a bit funk bass line grumbles inside this rhythmic structure which is nicely wrapped of synth pads at once astral and spectral as well as a soft and celestial feminine voice. Some nice synth pop that continues on "Time is Life" which is on the other hand sturdier with heavy percussions which hammer a brief but always hatched heavy tempo. A bouncy beat encircled with pretty good pads of a circular synth of which the mist frees texts paraphrased on vocoder. Guido Negraszus' "Journey to Fairyland II" is a real small jewel of romanticism and a splendid melody with beautiful piano notes which are melting to pinched chords of a solitary guitar, on a discreet organ background. The tempo he is light, dreamy and catchy, and makes to kiss stars. I was charmed by Guido Negraszus, whose style looks amazingly like Mike Oldfield. He plays on emotions by adding beautiful mermaids vocalizes that sound like spatial and oniric Sarah Brightman. His 2nd track, "Moonlight Dance", is as better but has more with a rather similar melodious structure; suave beat, organ sounds and superb synth which sings as much as it cries. It’s a beautiful electronic ballad which flows beneath beautiful synth layers with studded tones where we would believe to hear harmonious Mike OldfieldAlpha Lyra's "Deneb" is a soft night-melody with minimalist chords from a threatening keyboard which rolls in spiral beneath soft ethereal mist and pads of a lonely synth. It’s a very beautiful track from Christian Piednoir where the emotion reaches the deep of our soul. Curious, but very interesting and rather particular, "May Rain" from Mac Mavis offers a strange rhythmic forged in a mixture of hopping sequences and percussions with hybrid resonances. Synth chords hesitate and stagger in a progression supported by pads as spectral as melodious which hem and coil up in a sombre eclectic universe, whereas the tempo finally bursts of a solid structure always haunted by hootings of a synth as funeral as festive. It’s a strong track that we got here that draws its originality from its sequences and percussions plays which pulse and bang in a gloomy but attractive universe.
There is some drama and emotion behind VFX Designer's "Fox Hunters Part 3" which is slightly floating with its arpeggios of glasses dancing around a vocoder as discreet as an uncertain rhythm. It’s an ambient track which drifts in an aquatic atmosphere with a thick cloud of synth strata which are waving and entwining in a twinkling universe. In another register, McCartnotron's "Unterseeboot" is an electro music-pop à la Kraftwerk with a robotic and curt tempo where cold voices are hearing from a vocoder. It’s not “Dreams of MySPACE” best moment cause it’s insert between two very nice ambient tracks of which Nightbirds' "Live Improvisation" and its nice cosmic synth layers floating near borders of a cerebral galaxy stuffed with good analog sound effects. Soft and emotive, it's an ideal title to dive into our thoughts. It's pleasant to find "Kopenhaachen" from Nattefrost on this compilation. This is a boiling track with a solid rhythm that we initially found on Transformation and which quickly became one of Nattefrost classic. It has all ingredients to catch the beat and stamps one's feet; nervous evolutionary rhythm, criss-crossing and blistering sequences, melodious and discreet synth, line of bass with hatched chords and a nice play of guitars of which solos are moulding quite well with synths filled by symphonic laments. A bomb of infectious beat which explodes of a wonderful power at high volume. Just turn it louder but be sure of being very good friend with your neighbourhood. Mc-Honert offers a beautiful cosmic melody in "Time is Lost in Space" which sounds a bit like Vangelis. It’s a very nice cosmic Bolero with arpeggios which sparkle in a motionless rhythm where a beautiful synth layers amalgamation overhang a fine spiral sequence. Dust Free's "Heaven Six" has a jazzier tendency with a sensual rhythm bitten by pinched notes of an acoustic guitar. Synths are vaporous and spread delicate pads on top of a beautiful line of a caustic bass and a feminine voice which really overflows into jazz lounge. That’s a track which reminds me a lot of Robert Schroeder's huge palett of styles. This compilation closes with a very heavy track in "Toward the Infinite" from the Spanish band A.D.S.R. A circular rhythm swirls with powerful percussions and is assaulted by a heavy spiral tornado, forging a furious pace split up by brief less noisy passages where the fusion of vocalizes and isolated piano notes isn’t without reminding Jean Michel Jarre's unbridled universe.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and musical variety of Dreams “Dreams of MySPACE Vol. 1: Thanx for the Add”. There are really no big weaknesses because the editing and mastering of Robert Schroeder allow us to navigate from a style to another and amazement to surprises. Cause so much variety cannot please the same public and it’s there that the genius and sense of beat and melodies from Schroeder takes all its impact. I strongly encourage you to get this compilation which is going to allow you to discover a bunch of very interesting artists. If some are already known (Alpha Lyra and Nattefrost) others are pure strangers with great perspectives of skill (Kristalium, Guido Negraszus, Mac Mavis, Nightbirds, Mc-Honert and the boiling A.D.S.R.). In short, there is everything for all tastes and styles of contemporary EM.
Sylvain Lupari (April 21th, 2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

mercredi 20 avril 2011

THE ELECTRIC GOLEM: The Electric Golem (2010)

Beatings being transformed into irregular signals of a Geiger counter imprinted of a disturbing statism open Deep Diving for Chickens' intro to be infiltrated into a vague rhythm where accordion pads cross indistinct mooings. Strange you may ask yourselves? Well, it’s only the beginning. Very experimental, The Electric Golem is an American duet formed by Trevor Pinch, who has the peculiarity to create his own synthesizers, and James Spitznagel. Together concoct a abstract musique de cuisine where rhythms are parsimonious and buried below an avalanche of sound effects as much cosmic than electronic and experimental. A music more ambient than sequenced where floats an array sounds and noises of all kinds on an approach more psychedelic of the 60’s and 70’s than electro-cosmic.Deep Diving for Chickens offers a nebulous intro with an inconsistent rhythm and ambiguous structure where everything is pretext to a massive use of heterogeneous tones. If experimental EM appeals you The Electric Golem, will satisfy your curiosity of sounds and...senses. If there are long ambient moments filled by an ambiance where green smoke does its work, there are good moments and moments that are simply genius like this pace which arrives from nowhere, at around the 8th minute, and which quietly espouses a slow rhythm hammered by hesitating percussions. Heavy strikes that fall among chords of hatched synths, within the framework of a shaky rhythm. Toying between pure ambient and fragmented rhythm, Deep Diving for Chickens caresses nice ambient moments that lead towards very eclectic tones, sometimes aggressive, before forming these sudden paces that make the charm of Deep Diving for Chickens.
This Must Be the Place presents a slow caustic intro where reverberations circulate among whimsical notes of a disoriented guitar. Anguishing synth streaks fly over an atonal movement from where fuses a variety of tone as much melodious (notes of piano) than cacophonous (twisted synth strata in with slow resonances). And, a little as in Deep Diving for Chickens, the structure embraces an atonal phase before deviate on a rhythm arising from diverse tones. A brief minimalism cadence before This Must Be the Place dips back into torments of sound searches and meeting points of the musical schizophrenia and the caustic psychedelism.
You will have understood that The Electric Golem is not for all ears. It’s a highly psychedelic, and electronic, album where parsimonious rhythms are flooded beneath a torrent of colourful sound effects as much strange as a snowstorm right in the heart of Sahara. For audacious ears and fans of a purely abstract music!


Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mardi 19 avril 2011

SPYRA: 0B41H (2011)

Always so unpredictable, Spyra is offering us a floating work where tender romantic synth layers merge to more eclectic, caustic and metallic strata in a hybrid musical universe. A universe shaped of multiple layers of a synth which dresses in tones of violins, cellos and flutes in musical structures free of rhythms and sequences but which evolves by subtle pulsations and oscillations just as much melancholic than irascible. 0B41H (Zero Beat for an Hour) is an editing of ambient tracks written between 1993 and 1999 and that Spyra remixed to make a long musical piece divided in 8 parts where synthesized surges are, now and then, moulded in symphonic and\or cosmic axes. I think it’s a nice album as much mesmerizing as disturbing where Spyra spreads all its abstract bipolarity and we listen to it as we breathe in the night-freshness. But, as many works of Ricochet Dream, 0B41H is offered in a nice digipak and in a limited edition of 300 pressings.
Maurice Theme begins this work to well felt paradoxes with a very orchestral approach. Violins float and are enlacing with a fragile emotionalism to slowly waltz in a dark cosmos. A rolling of symphonic drum is breaking this softness, like a heavy cosmic wave which strikes the cliff of a grazed planet, throwing the soft synth waves of Maurice Theme in the very harsh intro of Consciousless which presents a start with strewed acute eclectic tones and galactic impulses. We perceive here cogs and spaceship engine noises among a din of caustic and metallic sonorities which tear the silence of celestial bodies. That’s an intro rich in colourful tones which eventually quieten down to offer quietude atmospheric as in a shape of a sonorous unconsciousness where delicate layers find softness while floating adrift with sweet breezes of synth which perfume the ambiance of saxophone, oboe and cello tones while crossing their quixotic chords beneath celestial bodies and diverse ringing. Some strange twinklings that resound as well under soft strata than assorted sound elements before finishing their resonances into languishing philharmonics pads. Treysa II pursues this cosmic ode with soft orchestral synth surges which embrace singings of locust from another universe and fine xylophones striking which resound beneath erosions of rippling metallic strata. Two parallel universes which overlap, the one in a delicate harmony and the other one in a rustic and cranky universe where bird chirpings and morphic sweetnesses exploit the paradox of the movement which wants to be as celestial as infernal. A slow movement constantly twitched which is ending in calm and is sprawling until Wale Im Bergwerk and laments from whales which sing in a universe of psychosis and an ambiance more cosmic than aquatic stuffed of delicious synth pads which cross timeless tickings.
These out of times tick-tocks are continuing over Orange Toad’s intro, a little as if time found again its importance in an intro where pulsations cross voices as childish as grown-ups which whisper a psychosis on more accelerated mechanisms of the timeless watchmaker. But a soft flute wraps this race against time where hissing and discreet, but dark, choirs are delirious in a morphic softness liven up by a fine pulsation but embellished by the suave clarinet of Eric George which criss-crosses the roads of isolation and solitude on the very moving Eric Theme and its very beautiful clarinet breeze which floats in a cosmic silence. A silence that continues in the mechanical breaths and layers of Helium Soft morphic synth which doesn’t succeed to smothered whispers of dementia of an enslaved solitude and which is linked to fascinating and eclectic metallic breaths of Die Blinden. If the intro is acrimonious with all these sound effects that squeak and such as twisted metal sheet, the suite is a soft morphic ballad always papered by heterogeneous tones. But sounds and breaths that mould a mixture of tenderness and anger where beauty remains caustic but of a fascination which has only an equal to the psycho psychedelic perception proper to the paranormal cosmic and universe of Spyra.
Fascinating, strange and disturbing but of an indefinable beauty, 0B41H transcends the punctual works of ambient and cosmic music. A strange rendezvous that the audacious Spyra throws to his fans and to those who look for a touch of madness and psychosis in a psychedelico-cosmic chamber music where only the imagination can frame any borders. Zero Beat for an Hour is an audacious album and a faithful reflection of the depths for Spyra unique abstract art.


Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

lundi 18 avril 2011

TANGERINE DREAM: Sorcerer (1977)

Sorcerer, a William Friedkin's movie, is the first a long collaboration between Tangerine Dream and the Big Screen. Since, Edgar Froese and accomplices covered an impressive number of films, and documentaries, of a music that fits very often and very well all images and dimensions. For this movie, strangely dark needs to admit, Froese, Franke and Baumann had to elaborate a new artistic approach; compose short and structured tracks for a movie that they only read the scenario. A tour de force if we consider the result because, as the movie, the soundtrack is dark and lugubrious and commands TD to create for the first time short tracks. At this time, the German trio was in the full spirit of Stratosfear and Encore and there are full of reminiscences all along this soundtrack that some fans judged superior to the movie itself. Well, let’s discover.
Main Title opens the ball on a very dense and dark atmospheric hymn. The approach is very atmospheric and similar to the strangeness that TD shows on Invisible Limits with a very spectral synth filled of harsh reverberations. The Search presents a heavy wavy sequenced structure that roll in loops with a symphonic synth and Edgar guitar who’s match his solos to synth moves. It’s a nice and melodious track that has a scent of what we heard on Encore. The Call is a short track with a fine pulsating mood and languishing synth solos. Once again, we have the impression of déjà heard whereas Creation presents a fragile sequence that pulses lightly among deep synth pads and short guitar solos which create a real desert ambiance pattern. Vengeance is a strange bolero that evolves on slamming cymbals and synths with gloomy harmonies. Tangerine Dream is perfectioning the sinister aspect with this haughtiness march. Hopping sequences and a nice fluty mellotron shape The Journey short and beautiful melody while Grind presents the very first musical draw of what will become The Scale but with a more symphonic approach. Rainforest is another dark track that runs on pulsating and unbridled sequence which are surrounded by various and static pads. It’s a dark and very experimental track of which the beat is circular and magnetism like a race against time.
Abyss is the longest track on Sorcerer. We can hear it as a collage from various sound themes exploit on Sorcerer, I’m thinking in particular to Main Title, The Call, Creation and The Journey, but the track evolves with a nice wave sequenced pattern surrounded by nice synth pads. I like that pulsating and spinning sequence that run like water under the bridge and like this constant race against time which is the main topic of the movie. The track exploits a lot of theme for its length and goes from upbeat and wavy sequences to deep abyssal moods. It’s a great track. Softer but pretty nice The Mountain Road brings a silkier and lighter breath whereas Impressions of Sorcerer rocks with its tablas percussions, double fast sequences and a symphonic synth which complete Edgar’s guitar solos. Betrayal (Sorcerer Theme) is the track of this first TD soundtrack. Chords fuse and merge in a spectral way on sequences which wave with dark loops and a synth with a very gloomy atmosphere. The melody is very nice and reminds of some other TD music, especially these long synth loops that seem to whistle in the dark. It’s a very good track with nice sequencing and tenebrous synth moods.
Sorcerer has the defaults of its qualities. Obviously we would love to hear longer tracks but the deal was short and atmospheric tracks. But there are lot of melodies behind and in each of them, even the ambient ones which are not many after all. Of course, when you’ll heard it for the first time you will be deceive by these short tracks but when you will dig deeper you will find all the finesse of TD’s art, especially from this wonderful trio that is Baumann, Franke and Froese. Sorcerer is a great soundtrack. It just needs your patience to understand that the music really fits the spirit of the movie and then, everything will be set in your mind.

Sylvain Lupari for Synths&Sequences (2011) 

vendredi 15 avril 2011

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Floating Music (1980/2008)

Floating Music / Divine My Future / Pastime
Out Of Control / Visions / Meditation For The Next Part / Shadows In The Night / Rotary Motion
Rotary Motion V.2 (1985) 5:18
Rotary Motion V.3 (1994) 8:01

NEWS CD R 12-002 (CD-R 49:33) ****

After a first album, Harmonic Ascendant, where the ambient and atmospheric structures were moulding to a deep romanticism, Robert Schroeder undertakes a first musical change of direction by offering a 2nd album filled of a very great wealth in eclectic tones. Here, no romantic guitars that flirt with a solitary cello or vocoders which roam in a cosmic mist, Floating Music (whose title has nothing to do with its musical structure) is an album where the rhythm at once funky and sensual thrones among suave cosmic flights. A first change of course from an artist whose versatility will be the cornerstone of his musical charms.
"Floating Music"1st part is opening with a long twisted breeze coming out of a synth with quavering and spectral tone. A first sequential movement introduces a minimalism structure with a tempo fed of low felted notes where limpid chords of a fickle keyboard cavort. Hesitating, the rhythm follows the tangent of an unreal world where the sequential movement waves and moves stealthily among a thick cloud of synthesized laments, an outbreak of undisciplined chords and maracas which erode a tempo vitamined by a little bit funky bass and heavy percussions. Already the soft musical universe of Harmonic Ascendant flees by this heavy and minimalist beat which takes advantage of every chord to grow richer of a new tone. But the wandering spirit of Schroeder  lives and can be feels a little more in "Divine my Future" where the tempo is discreet and drawn by fine pulsations which beat under galactic sound effects and beautiful pads of a mellotron synth which go down from cosmos like leaves fall in waltzing from a tree. It's a soft eclectic interlude, because a more caustic and insistent sequence plunges the intro of "Pastime" into the uncertain rhythm drawn on Floating Music. Less funky but more sustained, the rhythm of "Pastime" is moulded in a sturdier psychedelic minimalism where each strikes of percussions and sequence chord initiate a sound renewal of an exceptional wealth for that period.
"Out of Control" begins with small electronic chirpings coated by a somber synth layer. A cosmic envelope where twisted solos are entangled there whereas percussions alternate their heavy striking in concordance with resonant chords. Yet Rotary Motion's track is drawing while a fine synth pad wraps this stillness rhythm from where fuse fine solos with well chiselled edges. "Visions" follows with its spectral synth line which dives into a swaying sea where crystalline chords are lulling in a soft swirl of an always so romantic synth. But the tension increases and Visions offers a finale a little less gleaming with fatter chords that dance agreements fatter which dance and gambol on a sinister approach before falling in the charms of "Meditation for the Next Part" and its notes from a quixotic guitar which draw a brief moment of nostalgia. A glum well framed by a foggy and melancholic synth which is lying down up to "Shadows in the Night" doors and its soft cosmic intro which quietly is leaking away in rumblings, resonant chirpings and cosmic that overwhelm the tranquility of Shadows in the Night. Quietly the heavy structure of "Rotary Motion" is rising with percussions which roll and hit curtly, sequences with alternate striking and chords in form of suctions. "Rotary Motion" tumbles of a wild electronic rhythm, with its discreet funky bass, surrounded by furious synth solos. It’s a furious track that will become a Robert Schroeder classic and will draw the path to more explosive musical pieces that will punctuate his long career. This last edition of Floating Music contains 2 versions of Rotary Motion. If number II is more aired and frees a more electronic approach with beautiful synth solos which roll up a structure always so furious, version III is closer to Jean Michel Jarre 's synth pop style with a funkier approach and solos always so suave and twisted.
Floating Music won some prizes and allowed to EM of this circa to overflow towards a more rock tangent while keeping its cosmic aspect. That’s a cosmic electronic rock where the heavy and funky rhythm cohabited with fineness with brief floating surges. With Floating Music, Robert Schroeder redefined the genre and proved that the so said synthetic music could have as many visages as tones. It’s a pivotal work in EM history because it gave a new drive to the use of synths and sequences which were amply going to furnish the new wave of synth pop music.
Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

jeudi 14 avril 2011

KLAUS SCHULZE: Body Love (1977)

Body Love, is the 7th opus in the chronology of the Klaus Schulze’s works. And the big question was; how an artist can survive a work such as Moondawn? Schulze didn’t really find the question quite difficult. His answer? Body Love! And it’s quite an epic musical journey that Klaus Schulze concocted us at this period. It’s an unexpected work that takes off trousers, without any play on words or senses here, some 30 years later and a brilliant work where Schulze shows his control of physical movements and sensual fluids which gets free of it.Stardancer begins with a soft synth line which is unwinding among weak choirs experimenting orgasms in a galactic universe. Analog sound effects, disorderly drum which strikes fall with fierceness, sonorous gases which perfume a drifting atmosphere.
Stardancer’s intro is gargantuan. From everywhere fuse hallucinating sound effects of a cosmic psychedelic era. And the rhythm topples over in the dementia that surrounded Moondawn. Because, it’s necessary to be honest in description, Body Love sounds like a suite to Moondawn. Lasse Braun, director of the porn movie Body Love had used the music of Timewind and Moondawn as his first soundtrack of his movie. Braun tried songs a bit more pop but that didn’t stick to the spirit of his movie, even less to the sinuous and languishing movements of the actors. So Lasse Braun contacted Klaus Schulze so that he would write a soundtrack with Moondawn influences and essences. What Schulze did, admirably well indeed. Stardancer is completely in compliance with the unbridled sequences of Floating that we found on Moondawn with its huge twisted and spectral synth solos and the drum which strikes overhang all over with grace and pragmatism. That’s a great track which follows the path of Floating.
Blanche was written for Klaus Schulze’s girlfriend at that time. It’s a superb electronic ballad where piano notes are muting into chords of a shrilling synth on a nice line of bass. Solos, of a sensual slowness, are dawdling with nonchalance, giving to Blanche a unique nostalgic depth. P.T.O. ah … P.T.O! What a lovely musical piece! From a single breeze, Schulze elaborates a line in suspension which progresses on pulsations that look like silky hypnotic percussions. It’s a long ceremonial that evolves on a minimalist tempo and where Schulze still goes with superb solos and orchestral arrangements with choirs cross diverse strata in evolution. Harald Grosskopf rolls his drum on rhythms in permutations which progresses as much with intensely as Stardancer. This new SPV re edition offers a bonus track written in the same area with the same spirit and is a tribute to Lasse Braun. Notes fall with echo in a smooth atmosphere. Quietly this sonorous litany forms a sequence which moves with flexibility on Schulze trademark and suave solos. It’s very familiar sounds cape from Picture Music and Timewind era.
Body Love is an inescapable work for any collection of electronic or progressive music. It’s an intense deep work and without weakness where synths are exhilarating, as I rarely heard from that time. It’s a very suggestive synth orgy with great taste in sounds and solos. As far as I’m concern it must be one of his warmest masterpieces. Nothing is lost and all lines have its senses, depth and story. It’s at ounce a cosmic and sensual album, a truly and pure masterwork in analog and contemporary EM. I think that there was just one man to do such a work and Schulze is the man and still today he continues to astonish and amaze. And there is a suite...
Except from the bonus track and the nice booklet this re edition of Body Love from SPV doesn’t bring anything really new about the mixing and mastering. I still prefer my Thunderbolt cd. But for those who still don’t have Body Love, this is a must because it’s another masterpiece from the king of contemporary and analog EM, Berlin School or not.


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

mercredi 13 avril 2011

IAN BODDY: Elemental (2006)

After Aurora I continue my discovery of Ian Boddy's charming musical world with Elemental. A different album, because more down-to-earth and less cosmic, with a more rhythmic and just as much melodious approach, Elemental offers 8 tracks which are linked and teem with a rhythmic life halfway between Arc and the very eclectic, sometimes industrial universe, of the English synthesist. A very nice album that makes us discovers another facet of this pioneer of contemporary EM and founder of DiN Record.
Never Forever begins this new musical adventure with fine and twinkling arpeggios of which the echo is hiding into slow synth layers that waltz and entwine around a delicate melodious mellotron mist. Nice and short Never Forever frees its last notes in the nebulous oceanic intro of Stormfront where hesitating pulsations from a heavy line of bass draw a rhythmic which staggers besides chords of an electric piano. A soft mellotron fog wraps this uncertain tempo, a little as the mystic universe of Arc, and floats above these e-piano chords which dance of a crystal clear and random pace, conferring to Stormfront an at once melodious and mysterious ambiance. A fine metallic shower unite Stormfront to If all the World Was Blue, a long track to hybrid ambiances which crowned the intro of Stormfront. Foundry is as much brilliant as delicious. A cooing line of bass encircles an intro to metallic sonorities. Quite early, percussions and a syncopated sequence mould the bass circle and shape a surprising rhythmic dipped in steel and which waves among nice melodious chords. Percussions strikes with anvil resonances strew the lively cadence of Foundry of which the insistent tempo is wrapped with nice mellotron pads, always dressing Boddy music of a mysticism and bewitchment aura, before falling in its finale with floating industrial ambiances to join the very ambivalent Reflex.
Emerging out of a slow intro stuffed with metallic tones and scattered percussions, Reflex is waking up with a hypnotic pulsating beating, flickering cymbals and a soft mellotron synth which wraps these strange metallic percussions which unfold with a stroboscopic approach. The tempo slow, encircled by a nice line of bass of which the vibrating oscillatory pulsations espouse a superb line of synth with subtle spectral lamentations, Reflex evolves quietly on a supple cadence fed by a pleiad of electronic and metallic tones before merging in the very ambient and atmospheric Flow and its floating synth layers. Although less heavy, All Roads Lead to Home is a crossing between Stormfront and Reflex with its uncertain rhythm which oscillates between hypnotic strikes and pulsations that make feet trample and its fine melody forged in delicate crystal clear chords. Fine pads roam in oblivion whereas twinkling arpeggios swirl delicately on Elemental opening. It’s a very nice cosmic Bolero where hatched chords are grafting to this dance of stars. The rhythm is getting heavier and becomes more dramatic with its percussions which roll beneath a sky streaked with synth layers which illuminate a dark astral procession. It’s a very nice track that crowns another Ian Boddy's finest album which definitively deserves that we discover this artist for whom the name seems more known than its immense skill and wonderful music.

DiN: DiN25

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mardi 12 avril 2011

IAN BODDY: Aurora (2002)

I had this crush for Ian Boddy music while listen to Pearl; a superb collection that gave me the taste to discover the musical universe of the English eclectic synthesist. Taking spaces of a cosmos to thousand harmonies Aurora flows in our ears as a gloomy cosmic tale on structures where the ambient is moulding to rhythms sometimes flexible and sometimes unbridled. A very nice album that is an excellent companion in any cosmic reverie.
It is with a sudden sound brightness that starts the first morphic movements of Gravity Well. A reverberating wave is freeing out of it and draws a sinuous cosmic ballet where multiple synth strata float in a cosmos filled with esoteric vocalizes and galactic sound effects. A delicate prelude of a cosmic tale which is melting to Ecliptic and its fine pulsations which draw an intermittent weakened rhythm which gets astray and reappears in sparkling of astral lines synth that sing colors of the prism. Splendid, Ecliptic soaks in a hybrid musical world where smells of the ambient are dismounted by soft rhythms of a down tempo that come and go in a rich cosmic sound texture. Heavy and dark, Vox Lumina agonizes of its weighty introductory breath freeing at random exhalations lost in keyboard keys which quietly switch into heavy strikes of metallic percussions which hit and resound in a structure without rhythm.
Zero-G transports us in the soft Milky Ways’ musing with fine synth lines that wind around an abstract lunar world. This is a long ambient track of which last breaths collide the floating percussions of Escape Velocity, an excellent track which oscillates between stars and darkness. Percussions which collide with a quiet violence, but for a short-term because Escape Velocity explodes of a heavy and felted rhythm with dark threatening synth lines which hoot on nervous and jerky sequences. Closer to dark ambiances à la Arc, Escape Velocity is flying away on an ascending sequential movement, hiccupping and switching between the pure rhythm and balanced ambiances, with a mixture of deaf and metallic subsonic percussions which collide among synth strata shrouded by discreet spectral roaring. This is a very good track that we have here where the rhythm is gradually becoming blurred, ending its cadenced crusade with deaf sequences which fidget in a cosmos where arpeggios sparkle around heavy resounding waves. Waves which encroach on Aurora's intro, the title track, which encloses this Ian Boddy's very cosmic album with hybrid synth strata floating in an ambiance mi angelic and mi devilish with its wandering choirs that glance through fine crystalline arpeggios, a little after having been rejected by quixotic jets, symbol of all the sonorous delight that lies in Aurora.
That was worth discovering Aurora. It is a beautiful album of an exquisite spatial musicality which is addressing as much to angels as demons, so much stellar as terrestrials. I discovered in it a Ian Boddy, sometimes melancholic and sometimes dreamy but just as much aggressive and fretful. The beauty and the beast in a musical way! An album which frees a very beautiful sensibility (Aurora and Zero-G), while having a rhythmic amazingly wild (Ecliptic and Escape Velocity). The best of both electronic worlds, wrapped with a skilful cosmic texture.

DiN: DiN12

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 11 avril 2011

INDRA: Turning Away (1993-2011)

1 Turning Away 28:06
2 Archetype 16:00
3 Transcedental Path 12:38
4 The Sacred Hall (Bonus track) 11:07

Eagle Music | EMCD027/2011 (CD 67:53) **** (Vintage and New Berlin School à la Schulze)

Finally, the first works of Indra are dusted and remastered. I say finally because I consider that Indra is a sublime EM composer and musician that I catalogue in the same vein as Klaus Schulze, although their musical universes are full of paradoxes and didn’t follow the same path. This said, the major point of comparison between Indra and Schulze is the great passion they have for long minimalism ceremonials is hearing on subtle rhythmic modulations. And Turning Away is the anchor point of this comparison and also the very first musical adventure of the Rumanian synthesist. It’s a nice album with long minimalist movements rather introspective and mysterious where the ambient goes alongside with progressive and bewitching rhythm that had revealed us a quality synth player on Echo in Time.
A long mesmerizing track which exploits a soft and minimalist hypnotic approach, Turning Away makes us travel in towards dreams of an exotic Arabic universe in the tales of 1001 nights. The whole thing begins with a breath of sands which awakes a synth of which the twisted melody floats among bits of intermittent percussions and suave breezes whereas delicate sequences with tom-tom tones alternate their fine striking of tribal percussions. A soft cadence is settling down. Mesmerizing it criss-crosses a superb melody with Arabesques serpentines of which a mellotron mist is wrapping all of the charm beneath the aegis of percussions at once felted and metallic. Quietly, Indra dresses Turning Away with delicate synth solos which spin and wave with enchantment among spectral breezes, charming flutes and fine orchestral arrangements, like quixotic violins being caress by winds and oniric Middle-East choirs. Apart those sequenced tom-toms, which are the base of a bewitching minimalist structure, delicate intermittent percussions guide the fragile movement of Turning Away which offers subtle modulations in its evolution to reach a more ethereal passage around the 16th minute. A soft moment, more ambient and more introspective, where mellotron layers are entwining to create an odd motionless waltz which is moulding to more predominant flutes whereas that, gradually, the charming world of Indra takes back its shape with sequences which alternate with more mordant in a structure just as much oniric. That’s a very nice music piece which, in spite of its28 minutes in the meter, rolls with all the finesse from the Rumanian synthesist’ compositions.
A synth with saxophone tones opens the first measures of Archetype. A mysterious silvered mist is wrapping all breezes whereas piano notes suddenly appear to stroll with hesitation on a structure sometimes delicate and sometimes dramatic which quietly embraces a more symphonic phase. Violins and cellos strata are flying away with strings that seem to be rubbed with doggedness, flirting with Schulze approaches on Goes Classic and Das Wagner Desaster before embracing the soft laments of a saxophone that is even more solitary and nostalgic than in the intro. The first breaths of mist that surround the intro of Transcedental Path vaguely remind me the melody hiding in Mike Oldfield's Ommadawn ashes. Transcedental Path is a long ambient track where celestial choirs and mellotron flutes unite their hymns with subtle modulations which progress towards a poignant astral ode. Written in 2007, The Sacred Hall jars with his more contemporary approach. Fine sequences pulse and alternate their low striking beneath a dense wavy mellotron veil. Isolated note tints, like a delicate anvil, moving away the metallic mist to get The Sacred Hall's rhythm more limpid. Jerky and nervous chords, two linear sequences among one that has a resonant oscillations and a vaporous synth draw the hypnotic cadence of The Sacred Hall which, with its minimalist tempo, is in the purest and beautiful Berlin School tradition. A cadence which is fading away at around the 5th minute in a dense metallic mist, from where are breaking through soft and floating synth solos.
Even if it’s Indra’s very first album, we aren’t in unknown territories with Turning Away. If certain passages, as in Archetype and Transcedental Path, show an Indra which is not necessary in full control of its creativity, the title track is a real small jewel of the electronic minimalist art and innovative contemporary Berlin School for the time. And The Sacred Hall is the icing on the cake, revealing once again the immense musical borders that Indra crosses. Him who is so much capable to transcends his most intimate feelings, either on progressives and touching themes. And, as in each of his opuses, the Rumanian synthesist takes well care of bringing us in it.
Sylvain Lupari (April 14th, 2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 8 avril 2011

JAVI CANOVAS: Aureal (2011)

Continuing on the road cleared of rhythms and sequences started on Behind the Shadows, Javi Canovas offers to his fans another album of pure ambient EM. Aureal flows with a soft astral limpidity on 13 tracks where he brings the listener to the borders of a shady cosmos where slow sonorous irruptions are going along Berber poetic odes and waves of morphic synths.
Open Flux opens this work of cerebral serenity with a soft wave of synth which glides of a linear movement where fine impulses draw a celestial harmony. Molded of hybrid sonorities, synth strata are entwining in a slow conceptual journey as in the title track which floats rolled up of smooth nasal waves in sinuous elongate movements. Perception offers an intro closer to Tangerine Dream’s Stratosfear years with guitar notes that roam in a multiplicity of morphic strata. Some nice sleepy surges of a synth with padded waves which recover notes of guitars lost in a cosmic desert where we can hear, if the imagination lends itself to it, light breezes of harmonica. Cosmic and soft, Perception is the ideal solitude journeyman to contemplate stars. Threatening synth breezes plunge Aeternus’ intro into a universe tinted with mysticism both spectral and intersidereal. Synth layers are floating and entwining in a slow cosmic ballet quite as in Empty Memory and its skinny and floating line of synths. Downfall presents beautiful and slow movements of synth tinted with a beautiful poetico-astral approach. It is a nice track à la Steve Roach quite as the moving Fractal Dimension and Aureal II with its tribal fragrances so unique to the American synth player during its Australian journeys.
Echoes from the Dryland is soft and odd cosmic Berber ode with a synth filled of puny breezes which sing under delicate layers to captivating reverberations. This is a suave and poetic track with a cosmic tribal mood quite as the surprising Age of Irreality. Limpid Aureal III floats around its cosmic waves and a quixotic harp which unwinds its notes in a slow spiral. After the oblong atonal light wind of Aureal IV, Aureal V concludes this ambient epic with a track full of emotionalism where soft synth layers are coiling up in a beautiful harmony-cosmic fusion. It’s soft, tender and oniric, quite as the morphic entity that is Aureal; a cosmic journey in the depths of its own introspection.

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: