mardi 13 septembre 2011

VARIOUS GROOVE: E-Day 2011 (2011)

1 Bahnhof Zoo (Rene Splinter) 4:29
2 Shadows of Ignorance (Remy) 16:34
3 Ataraxia 1 (Erik Wollo) 7:33
4 Ataraxia 2 (Erik Wollo)  7:38
5 Tunnel Vision (Rene Splinter)  9:13
6  E-Day live 1 (Harald Grosskopf &Sunya Beat)  9:13
7 E-Day live 2 (Harald Grosskopf &Sunya Beat)  9:14
8 E-Day live 3 (Harald Grosskopf &Sunya Beat)  6:36
9 Lemniscate Live (Rene Splinter) |8:12

A spring event very appreciated by EM fans of the grand region of Eindhoven in the Netherlands the E-Day festival, quite as the E-Live festival, also attracts hundreds of spectators from all around the world. E-Day 2011 was on its 6th edition and presented performances by René Splinter, RemyErik Wollo and Harald Grosskopf. Once again the organizers, Kees Aerts and Ron Boots, succeeded in presenting a festival high in tones where Berlin School goes alongside more progressive and more atmospheric music, while reminiscences of Tangerine Dream of the 80’s were also very present. And, as every year, Groove label produces a CD which wants to be a souvenir and an excellent window while being a complement to this festival where each artist offers unreleased music. It’s a nice collector's item for these fans of the artists performing on this festival and for those who want to discover them.
If you are a Tangerine Dream fan, mostly the Schmoelling years, René Splinter will know how to get your interest. "Bahnhof Zoo" is a superb track pulled out of the Exit and Thief years with a strong rhythmic influence of Kiev Mission. All that you will hear from this track will return you unmistakably in the core of this period. With its metallic chords, felted pulsations à Le Parc and its sequences which undulate such as a metallic snake skeleton, "Tunnel Vision" bathes in the ambiances of Le Parc and White Eagle, before criss-crossing a pulsating hypnotic rhythm, propelling by furious electronic percussions and surrounding of a magnetic sequential movement. Very fine and chiselled as whistles, solos hum on this structure to musical elements which are so near TD that we would believe to listen to unedited material of the Dream. The intro of "Lemniscate Live" always soaks into these TD atmospheres, except that the track elaborates a nicer melodious approach with synths to pleasant winds and metallic pads which stay in suspension on a structure filled of nervous flickering. A pulsation emerges out of it and beats stealthily an uncertain pace while a good sequential movement hiccups a circular rhythm to plunge "Lemniscate Live" into a rhythmic incoherence where the tempo will permute constantly into ambiances and solos always very near the roots of TD of the 80’s. Chords with dark pulsatory tones zigzag among percussions which shape weak thunders under a fine mellotron mist. Following the shape of Schulze’s work, Remy’s "Shadows of Ignorance" evolves with a delicate rhythm beneath fine synth solos to spectral night-wanderings. Solos which chisel nervously an evolutionary rhythm, even a bit groovy, which becomes incisive when the percussions fall for the first time at around 6th minutes. Then the tempo of "Shadows of Ignorance" will permute constantly, going from ambient phases to infernal rhythmic hammered by furious percussions, harpooned by mordant bass notes and fly over by superb solos of synths both spectral and piercing which let filter fine mellotron mists. It’s true that I’m a diehard fan of Remy whom I consider as being a Klaus Schulze’s equivalence, but I adored this great track which shows off all of his musical complexity on rhythms in constants permutations surrounded by striking synth solos. Those who still don’t know this brilliant synthesist and writer; it’s high time to put you to him.
Nervous riffs to jerky swaying hips dancing on tribal style percussions open "Ataraxia 1" which fine guitar layers wrap with a morphic membrane. A little as in his collaborations with Steve Roach, Erik Wøllo weaves strange and nice melodies, a bit tribal, on staccato rhythms where guitar riffs support solos which are melting to floating envelopes of synth layers. Very nice guitar solos fly over spasmodic riffs of "Ataraxia 1", creating a strange fusion between a hatched rhythmic structure and an ethereal ambiance. More melodious, "Ataraxia 2" proposes a more delicate rhythmic approach where solos of a spectral guitar hang over a rhythm livened up by riffs which unfold in loops, embracing even a bit a rock approach. One of E-Day 2011 highlights is the presence of Harald Grosskopf and his group Sunya Beat who presents a rather particular music style where cosmic rock embraces Krautrock. "E-Day Live 1" begins with heterogeneous tones encircled by oblong layers of a guitar which undulate with listlessness, whereas a bass shapes a slow and sensual tempo, accompanied by docile cymbals. Guitar laments turn into shouts where riffs and brief solos make strange syncretic chants on a languishing tempo which increases with the arrival of hammering percussions. And "E-Day Live 1" continues its progression on a rhythm always heavier where the guitar sculptures stunning tones and good solos which roll in loops on a pace pounded by more aggressive percussions. "E-Day live 2" starts with a dazzling guitar solo which seizes the audience while Harald Grosskopf grabs his cymbals and Tablas percussions to create a bewitching rhythm of a weird cosmic tribe. After a short atmospheric passage, the tempo returns with more strength to draw an approach a bit technoïd, (à la Ashra on Sauce Hollandaise) with wild percussions which strike in an eclectic atmosphere where the electronic style, with his shrill synth solos, embraces a cosmic rock fed by very nice and floating guitar solos. Notes of e-piano resound in the silence to awake the disjointed rhythm coming from the unbridled percussions of "E-Day Live 3". A bass with free jazz notes seconds this structure filled of composite tones which is very near the progressive roots of Ashra, especially because of these enchanting guitar solos. Solos floating constantly around a jerky rhythm where ethereal choirs daydream on a structure became more and more chaotic but which protects all the same its melodious approach with its piano notes which come and go in a strong musical tumult. Percussions, as acoustic as electronic, become unchained and Harald Grosskopf is offering to himself a furious solo, feeding the spasmodic and hatched rhythm of "E-Day Live 3" which quietly joins its point of origin.
For a compilation of unreleased tracks, E-Day 2011 is simply delightful. Once again Groove NL is not afraid of exploiting various musical styles in one festival, transposing its recipe on a CD which really has no weaknesses. There is for all tastes on this compilation which, in my opinion, is the best of E-Day and E-Live to date.


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

vendredi 9 septembre 2011

TRINITY: Music for Angels (2011)

New Age? Humph! Only David Wright could have convinced me to re-dip my ears into this insipid and boring musical style. Because I already gave and you can be sure about it! In the 70’s, in North America, we vaguely heard about the psychedelico-electronic movement that was going on in Europe. Of course we knew about TD and radio stations played some Jarre, Vangelis and Kraftwerk. But we had to have good contacts in order to find the right records store that wasn't afraid of digging to get great EM importations and the music of Schulze, Ashra and others. With Virgin, we discovered the music of Tangerine Dream and Mike Oldfield and HMV distributed the IC catalogue, but that was all. So, doors were wide open to New Age. And radio airings were infested by it. Artists, including TD, coming from catalogues such as Narada, Private Music, Windham Hill, Miramar and others, had all the room and threw the real EM in commercial oubliettes to conceive some music with soft rhythms and celestial tones. We were far from pure EM. Then after came Internet, and artists' discovery such as Andy Pickford, Mark Shreeve, Ian Boddy and … David Wright. Artists who, from the bottom of their dens, continued against winds and tide to create avant-gardist music which, on the other hand, only pleased to a small audience and was being avoided by labels and producers who considered it too complex.
This long introduction brings us to the new vocation of A.D. Music label which will produce a new music series of relaxation. This new orientation answers a real need and a greater demand of a very active public which is dying to hear New Age, from where the group Trinity (not to be confused with Trinity of Ian Boddy and Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock who assisted David Wright) and the album Music for Angels. Trinity is formed by David Wright, Neil Fellowes and NigelTurner-Heffer; 3 musicians having a vast and solid background in progressive and electronic music with Code Indigo and in solos who accepted to raise the challenge and create a progressive style New Age.

A delicate waterfall awakens the rhythm of acoustic guitar riffs which, on his turn, gets a soft synth out of its musical hibernation. With its synth to angelic winds and fine orchestral arrangements, the very airy tempo of "Love’s Purest Light" shines of its twinkling arpeggios to offer a soft rhythmic imprinted of oniric sweetness. The rhythm on is light with this acoustic guitar filled of harmonious riffs, whereas the melody is assured by a fluty synth to delicate modulations and light tremolos à la Kitaro. Celestial choirs, twinkling arpeggios, poignant mellotron momentums and superb orchestrations furnish this long mi-cosmic and mi-New Age ballad which unfolds with fine permutations in its structure while remaining always as fluid as melodious. I have to be honest and admit that it’s a beautiful track which does its effect and even pleases to my love. Delicate notes of a quixotic harp open the first measures of "Angels in the Sunlight". The tempo is non-existent and notes float in a light static whirlwind where everything turns in circle, as the reflections of a hypnotic light. A fine bass line drops its notes and chords of an electric guitar are waking up while "Angels in the Sunlight" permutes finely towards a kind of galactic blues. A very long track full of restraint and mainly centred on acoustic instruments, "Angels in the Sunlight" reminds me a little bit of Osamu Kitajima’s The Source with this long melody which goes through the same rhythmic lines by adding here and there all the kiss curl ingredients for a public who doesn’t want to hear heavy sequences, nor long solos to excessive lamentations. It’s there that the experience of these 3 veterans that are David Wright, Neil Fellowes and NigelTurner-Heffer can be feeling; they succeed to create a long melody which constantly turns on a rhythmic structure to fine permutations. The 2nd part offers a more electronic approach with a synth which whistles fine cosmic solos, moulding the blues to New Age while passing by a light jazz on suave fluty synth solos while passing by a delicate cosmic approach.
How to turn our back to "Eternal Reincarnation"? The first portion offers this delicate acoustic guitar which pushes back its notes in an ethereal cosmos, there where the angels embellish the walls of stars and where cosmic winds feed the biosphere. A wonderful synthesized voice emerges from there. She breathes and frees suave lamentations which are lulling in a studed cosmos. Here is a superb introduction moulded in the bosoms of tenderness and melancholy with an angelic voice which blows our sighs in a delicate melodious approach. Nostalgic, the acoustic guitar is to make dream the rebellious. Angelic, the voice reminds those of mothers absent of our cots. She hums and murmurs our soft innocent musing in dusts of angels and stars, retrieved by a loving and romantic acoustic guitar. I would have liked this portion a bit longer but "Eternal Reincarnation" goes out of its charming bed in half-time with a soft festive approach, introduced by Tablas percussions which shape a fine tempo watered by light fluty winds. A livelier rhythm which gets back the introductory charms, creating a skilful meshing where Morpheus' sweetness and beauties are slowly dancing on a light bluesy and groovy rhythm.
If the future of EM architects passes by New Age, it’s so to wish that this New Age passes by artists as talented and composers as experienced as David Wright, Neil Fellowes and NigelTurner-Heffer. If I found that "Angels in the Sunlight" went round in circles, I can’t deny all the beauty and depth of "Eternal Reincarnation". A great relaxing track which nests in my Ipod and which accompanies my bed music because its really is music for angels. No I am not still in favour of New Age and I am very disconcerted by the commercial approach of A.D. Music, but when it’s beautiful and well done, it’s beautiful and well done and Music for Angels is a nice album which shows that New Age can be made in beautiful conditions of creativity. And by the way, David informed me that his next album will be very electronic and that the Trinity project has to be separated with his other musical activities.


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 5 septembre 2011

KLAUS SCHULZE: La Vie Electronique 3 (2009)

La Vie Electronique III brings us in the heart of 1975 with live recordings in Germany, France and Hamburg as well as studio unreleased music. All tracks on LVE III appear on the Historic, Silver and Ultimate Edition and are presented in a chronological order, allowing thus to follow Klaus Schulze’s musical evolution who always uses his Farfisa organ, EMS Synthi, ARP synths, his homemade Syntanorma sequencer and for the very first time; the Big Moog. LVE III is a superb box-set, with its small recordings flaws, which shows all of the Schulze creative ingenuity in an era where EM concerts was a fair of improvisation but which also stayed a huge poetic mass presented by a man alone.
Recorded live in Munich, May1975, CD1 starts with "Alles ist Gut" and its sound effects of a cosmos unknown by all and which seems so simple in the understanding of the German synthesist. It’s a long 36 minutes track where a delicate sequence emerges from white noises to waddle innocently of a minimalist movement which progresses stealthily. This furtive movement awakes a solemn organ of which lugubrious and enchanting layers float and sing all over the intro. The sequential movement accentuates nervously the pace near the 9th minute to swirl in a furious spiral and merge its chords with those of the Farfisa, creating an oscillating and hypnotic drummed waltz, but without percussions, with impulsions of sequences and organ.
Gradually the tempo evanesce into Schulze’s cosmic foggy where only hypnotic, but weak, sequential movement survives in an interstellar frenzy where improvisation stages a lugubrious celestial and apocalyptic world which sails on a latent rhythm which takes back its initial sequences to get astray in a crazy furious ritornellos and transport us in the slow morphic, soporific and shrill vapours of "Alles ist Gut" long final. More experimental than musical, "Well Roared, Lion!" begins in an intense syncretic cacophony where waves of synth undulate on a shimmering linear movement to gyratory impulsions. A crazy and strongly aggressive track filled with reverberations, sinuous waves and cosmic winds roaring through a cosmic storm stuffed with white noises, which goes out of breathe in layers and odes of a solitary organ to gradually reach a point of tranquillity and a more celestial atmosphere. "Der Blaue Glaube" is another long 32 minutes track of which the opening, made by a suave synth wind, still breathes fragrances of Blackdance
 but with fine twinkling arpeggios which roam and stroll on a nice line to subtle oscillations. Slowly its intro progresses as a poem without words where chords and the musicality of Schulze lead us in a wonderful moment of reverie whereas delicate percussions fall to awake this delicious cosmic ode. We can feel the embryonic state of Moondance, with a zest of
Blackdance, on pre recorded percussions which follow the unbridled movements of these 2 works by Schulze, who has difficulty to follow with his synth and coordinate by his solos. The hazards of being alone with pre recorded percussions! But we have to be honest and to admire all the fluidity of Schulze who adapts itself rather quickly to follow the rhythm of the drum skins without falling in a rhythmic anarchy. A bit further, "Der Blaue Glaube" embraces the cosmic noises and enters a morphic phase where layers of synth undulate, while dropping solos, whereas appear the first sequential outlines. Sequences which strum a minimalist and insisting rhythm, on a rippling linear movement flew over by suave ethereal synth layers. Between the raw rhythm and the oniric sweetness of synth winds, "Der Blaue Glaube" evolves on subtle rhythmic permutations which come and go like sinuous movements of cascades on a moderate but charmingly musical rhythm. It is a superb musical piece, quite as "Alles ist Gut".
CD 2 offers diverse recordings of various concerts presented in the autumn and winter of 75. Recorded in France, on an unknown date, "Fourneau Cosmique" seems to be coming out from the Picture Music
 sessions, has it happens on Totem, but with a stronger intro with synth waves which interlace in a feverish hypnotic musical movement. Synth layers coupling in a nervous ballet which waves furiously in a curious waltz in staccato that a sequential movement espouses of a series of strummed and pounded chords. These chords isolate and strum more slowly, surrounded by a suave mellotron mist which casts a distressing veil on "Fourneau Cosmique" of which the evolution seems hesitating before sinking into glaucous pulsations which are not without recalling the universe of Totem but with less musicality. Scattered beatings permute in strange pulsations which plunge us into the caustic musical world of Totem before embracing a long atonal movement shaken by brief impulsions but fed by delicate twinklings arpeggios of which the echo resounds with strength in this universe at once biting, cold and very experimental. Recorded in Germany, autumn 75, "Die Lebendige Spur" opens with fine sparkling arpeggios which stroll on a latent rhythmic line where fine bass pulsations are clouded by a soft mellotron. The rhythm explodes with a superb synth play which kicks away furious chords hopping nervously in a beautiful zigzagging melody before falling in sulphurous solos which spin and criss-cross furiously on a sequential movement pounded of insistent chords and fed by a flowing bass. We are in the heart of Moondawn and especially Body Love years with a very progressive, even psychedelic, electronic approach which strongly influenced the French School style. "La Présence D'Esprit" is a small marvel which follows a tangent full of restraint. A very romantic and poetic track which begins with an electronic broth from where escapes fine drummed sequences and synth winds which come along in a long minimalist melody dressed of cosmic tones. The track evolves as a fine bolero, on a soft line of bass imprint of mellotron mists and a fusion organ/synth from where constantly filters these brief whistles which go astray in an ethereal melancholic foggy and scattered sequences on synth undulations of the Moondawn era. Very beautiful and quite good! Recorded in Hamburg studios in winter75 "Der Lauf Der Dinge" is a long sequential movement where chords spin, flicker and entwine in fine rhythmic permutations. The particularity of this track is that there are no synth and keyboard/synth chords to weave a melodious shadow on this sequential movement. We are finding there these sequences which swirl into spirals to multiple musical faces. This is another remarkable track buried in Schulze vaults and which justifies the publication of his numerous Editions.
CD 3 begins with "Zeichen Meines Lebens", recorded during a concert in Munich (St-Ursula Church) in October 75. It’s a very long and bewitching movement beginning with fine twinkling sequences which undulate on a soft musical river. The movement progresses with intensity, supported by layers and pads of the Farfisa which float and wave with a stunning fluidity above a brilliant mirror of sequences to the colors of the prism. I would be tell that we hear the musical skeleton of Mirage that I would believe it, especially when that the synth blows its first solos on another sequential movement camped by chords to minimalist variations. Twisted solos on a hypnotic sequential movement "Zeichen Meines Lebens" progresses with light variations in its structure, always keeping the cape of its alternative minimalist movement, its initial sequences to gleaming prisms and its solos became spectral. We are between Blackdance
Picture Music and the skeleton of Mirage as well as Body Love and it’s simply brilliant. The other tracks on CD 3 are studio recordings reflecting the works of this era, as on "Semper Idem" and "Wann Soll Man Springen?" which seem to come out of Blackdance sessions to roam in phases and more experimental structures on static and hatched movements fed of hesitating and sometimes warm sometimes jerky synth solos. Taken out from nowhere, "Experimentelle Bagatelle" hiccups also on a hatched linear movement which is later invades by metallic beatings and pulsations a bit deafening. Between Totem and Body Love, "Kurzes Stück Im Alten Stil" gallops on drummed sequences and great twisted solos. It’s a short but magnificently musical piece where Schulze cosmic bats glance through a wonderful electronic movement from the analog years. "Gewitter" concludes this outstanding box-set of unedited music with a synth line to hatched furrows which wave on somber pulsations. A little between the philharmonic arrangements of X and percussions impetus of Body Love, "Gewitter" rocks the house down with black pulsating sequences which crisscross the mad beatings of Harald Grosskopf wrapped with a rather discreet synth. This wild and unbridled rhythm stops curtly to fall into syncretic metallic and synth lines which weave unreal violins lamentations. An atonal movement which goes by increasing but without ever being feed of rhythms, as in X.
La Vie Electronique III is the most beautiful of the first 3 box-sets of the uncountable re Editions of Klaus Schulze. It’s a box-set where every CD offers pure brilliant moments, encircled by some jewels that aren’t less brilliant. To my ears it’s more than a box-set of unreleased works. It’s a real album that got lost in times and multiple mobile studios (read tape-recorders) that our synths poet constantly lugged-around. Simply wonderful and highly recommendable, it easily equals and surpasses by moments Picture MusicBlackdance and Timewind. This is a real masterpiece!

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