samedi 31 mars 2012

INDRA: Interactive Play (The Essential) Vol. II (2011)

"Indra deserves to be finally recognized for his true value"

1 Walking on the Moon (excerpt from Space) 3:46
2 The Living Forest (excerpt from  Seven) 5:38
3 Golden Ray (excerpt from Seven) 4:38
4 Prelude (excerpt from Plenitude) 3:14
5 Sheherezad (from Tales from Arabia) 3:14
6 The Holy Dance (excerpt from Magic Collection) 4:40
7 Passing Pulse (excerpt from Magic Collection) 3:26
8 Veda (excerpt from Cosmic Sound) 7:38
9 Turning Away (excerpt from Turning Away) 6:07
10 Rustic Pictures (excerpt from Kingdom of Light) 4:25
11 Plenitude (excerpt from Plenitude) 4:25
12 Synapse (bonus track recorded in 2007) 25:17

This 2nd volume of Interactive Play proposes a darker and more introspective side of Indra with more ambient and atmospheric titles where rhythms pierce iodized and iridescent membranes. Only vestige of the “Space” album, "Walking on the Moon" starts this 2nd compilation with a title which flows into our ears with a soft musical perfume of the psychedelic years. Waves of synth and keyboard are enlace into movements of invading and floating layers on percussions which thunder and resound, shaping a bewitching rhythm of cerebral trance where fine arpeggios appear towards the end. The intro of "The Living Forest" is submerged by cosmic breezes and puffed rustles which feed a muffled poly-sonic agitation. Sighs of violins are rising. They open the door to a heavy rhythm which plots a slow ascending race of which the steps weight in clouds of mist, moulding a steady and symmetric tempo. A tempo transported by the caresses of violins, hit by percussions and doubled by other keys of more crystal clear sequences. Also from the “Seven” album, "Golden Ray" leans on a rhythm pulsating slightly in the clouds of violin mists, bringing with it the soft melancholic fragrances which seems to reign all over this album from which I just can’t wear off this strange link that I do with Adelbert Von Deyen and his album “Atmosphere” It's very beautiful. With its chords which fall as a metronome on acid, "Prelude" gets ready to weave the cocoon for a beautiful ear worm. The flow is strangely mesmerizing, even if devoid of rhythm, with fine modulations in its progression. Sitar chords are tinkling behind this hypnotic tick-tock which quietly becomes soaked with iridescent mist and iodized choirs while percussions fall a little before the 2nd minute, solidifying the harmonious impact of this innocent ritornello. After an incursion into the tribal dances of the nomadic peoples of sands ("Sheherezad"), "The Holy Dance" offers a hesitating rhythmic approach with chords which sway on a bed of iridescent mist. The rhythm is fuzzy and delicate. It skips with lightness under lovely inspired synth solos, which perspire an astral serenity and unite their poetries to fluty breaths.
More in a staccato form, "Passing Pulse" shows its rhythmic cavorts by the means of percussions of which the irregular flow suits to the pinched chords, forming a light rhythmic whirlwind which swirls by the strength of the winds. Violin strata snap up this harmless rhythm and surround it of a beautiful staccato movement, like snowflakes swirling in a storm blown by choirs, perturbed by tams-tams and fed by voracious violins. I sure would like to hear the rest of it! "Veda" is a title of atmosphere where the synth waves are swirling and get tangled up among the keys of harp and droplets of water. It’s a long ambient passage, like "Plenitude" which is more orchestral on the other hand thus more moving, where the synth/mellotron plays a preponderant part by multiplying the amphibian waves which modulate a psychedelicosmic and surrealist approach, as in the first works of 
Tangerine Dream (Zeit and Atem). "Turning Away" is one of the first titles that Indra composed and it's a wonderful one which exploits completely its 30 minutes in its original version. On Interactive Play (The Essential) Vol. II, we have the finale part where the sequences swirl under morphic and waltzing synth layers which encircle a circular rhythm from where are escaping fine percussions to felted banging. It’s very beautiful and representative of the minimalist style of Indra, quite as "Rustic Pictures" from the album Kingdom of Light.The excerpt proposed exploits the heart of the harmonious envelope of this track with percussions of which the echoing hammering is wrapped by violins ate by continual jerky knocks of bows. Violins which dance with fury, seconded by choruses which hum with softness under the repeated knocks of percussions of which the echo goes gradually astray in a distant cosmos. Emerging out of iodized sighs, "Synapse" flaunts its rhythmic arsenal with a panoply of sequences which crisscross and fuse their tones as well as their circular movements around fine shimmering arpeggios which try to mold the breaths of an innocent melody. Sequences wind the movement, such as wings of dragonflies, weaving a finely stroboscopic movement while percussions fall to oversize an already very well fed rhythm. Synth chords chirp among the celestial breaths, enveloping this rhythmic crossroads which sounds strangely like the last works of Tangerine Dream with its synth breaths which enfold this fragile melody filled with forsaken arpeggios. This first rhythmic phase of "Synapse" dies away in the resonances of a long pulsatory movement from which the resonant outlines release another rhythmic phase. More robotic and slightly technoïd, this 2nd phase is developing over the oscillating waves of a residue of flickering sequence, laying the foundations for a very beautiful melodious approach which flows with a harmonious sweetness on a zootropic rhythm arched on pulsating percussions and fine melodic sequences which support the hypnotic hammering. Waves and choirs, as well as cosmic tones, surround this slowly bouncy rhythm which dances in our ears for about 8 minutes before that the last phase, more morphic, does switch off the charmer rhythm of "Synapse" which dies in the threatening reverberating breaths of its intro.
Obviously, Interactive Play (The Essential) Vol. II is the perfect complement to the volume I. All the 2 CD offers a very beautiful overview of Indra's first works which are regrettably mislaid in the abysses of time and of its imponderables. I continue to believe that it’s a compilation made to measure for fans, so allowing them to follow the evolution of the Rumanian synthesist for a period of splendor in compositions and productions because Indra has produced not less than 12 albums for the era aimed by Interactive Play. As for to the titles offered in bonus, they are very good; "Synapse" being my preferred. In all honesty, I believe that both are worthy of the money puts on buying each CD which contains very good music in a pond of titles which demonstrates all the creativity of this artist which deserves to be finally recognized for his true value.

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:
* If you want to know more and discover the musical world of Indra, here is his website:

jeudi 29 mars 2012

INDRA: Interactive Play (The Essential) Vol. I (2011)

"Interactive Play is a beautiful compilation of titles lost in the erosion of time..."

1 Sequence (from Kingdom of Light) 2:12
2 Beduins and Camels (excerpt from Tales from Arabia) 3:38
3 Colosseum (excerpt from Colosseum) 5:37
4 Prophet (excerpt from  Plenitude) 5:21
5 Clairvoyance (from Self Game) 5:31
6 Malini (excerpt from Kingdom of Light) 2:57
7 Dynamic Trance (excerpt from Magic Collection) 2:40

8 Higher (excerpt from Self Game) 3:22
9 Up-to-Date (excerpt from Self Game) 4:03
10 Coming in the City (excerpt from Maharaj) 5:13
11 Temple (excerpt from  Plenitude) 3:38
12 While in Oz... (Bonustrack recorded in 2007) 24:24

EAGLE MUSIC EMCD0312011 68:35

Indra's career is doing great and knows a very considerable increasing popularity. Over the years, albums and concerts, the Rumanian synthesist has collected a legion of fan which devoured his discography with passion, requiring from the poet of Hindus' incantations that it dusts his archives to hear his first works. A request that Indra has fulfilled with the reeditions of Turning Away, Kingdom of Light, Parallel Time, Plenitude and Cosmic Sound. Except that the other recordings suffer from the wear of time. They are partially, otherwise completely, destroyed or impossible to reedit. Interactive Play (The Essential) is a compilation which groups exactly some fragments of melodies that Indra managed to recover from these recordings lost in the magnetic erosions of audio tapes. If the quality of the sound varies, that of the compositions demonstrates a very beautiful progression of Indra who parades his influences to finally master them and find his identity in the breaths rhythms and ambiances which are enlace to make room to melodies which are the core of his sibylline approaches.
Indra's musical caves open with "Sequence", from the album “Kingdom of Light”, and its drops of metallic ions which fall in a reverberating pond, moving the caustic waves which insufflate the life to a delicate iridescent harmony. All in contrasts, "Beduins and Camels" offers its arpeggios pinched in the strings of a celestial harp which flow in the vapors of Arabic violins on a heavy bass line of which the threatening notes oscillate as on Pink Floyd's introduction on One of These Days. It’s heavy, powerful and deafening with fine nuances in the strength of the sound that some noble orchestral arrangements wrap of an Arabic veil. Veils which also enfold the swirling rhythm of "Colosseum" and its polyformic sequences which crisscross in a rhythmic chassé-croisé wrapped up by enveloping stratas. It’s a rhythm which reminds me strangely the claustrophobic atmospheres of Remy and Klaus Schulze which hide in a beautiful morphic melody dominated by a melancholic piano and angelic choirs. "Prophet" continues to exploit the dark and nightmarish moods with an intro paved by pantings of synth which measure pads with tones of organ. Without sequences the rhythm is drew by staccato knocks of synth which crisscross with lovely modulations in the movement. It’s a well crafted track which reminds me "Sequence" due to creative approach. "Clairvoyance" is a very charming melody where the dexterity of Indra on piano makes no doubt. The limpid notes flutter and flirt with innocence near fine lines of flutes, at the edge of the caustic resonances which encircle this cosmic melody of an aura of malevolence. The beauty and the beast, the day and night seized in a so short lapse of time! "Malini" is a wonderful title from the “Kingdom of Light” album. The short extract proposed reveals the net influence of Schulze on Indra. As quick as lightning, "Dynamic Trance" twirls of a sequential approach sits on a bass line fed with wild undulations and synth layers which undulate with the strength of winds. The rhythm is fiery and the approach reminds me a kind of crossing between Space Art and Edgar Froese with very vintage synth solos and cosmic tones as well as envelopes of Mellotron which free some thick clouds of astral choruses. A night-melody which also recalls the musical poetries of Bertrand Loreau, "Higher" flows with its melancholic chords which dream in the sheets of mist and pillows of twinkling feathers. In spite of a sound which has badly aged, one can’t hide neither the beauty and nor the sensibility of this title which floats on stars pushed that it is by the mists of Venus.
Another extract from the “Self-Game” album, "Up-to-Date" coos with the same melodic fluid as "Clairvoyance" and "Higher". Chords skip with candour on synth lines to silky tones. If some sing, others flute over this pact of sequences which pound according to their resonant and limpid tones, clicking and resounding with the duality of their harmonies. "Coming in the City", from the “Maharaj” album, is another small jewel on this Alibabic collection which is Interactive Play Vol. I. It’s a mesmerizing track which lies beneath a minimalist structure as only Indra knows how to decorate them with insertions of tones as attractive as unexpected. Fine tams-tams, with a kind of peak-wood tones, initiate the intro. Strikings of xylophones to tones of glass are dancing around these tams-tams, while the bows sway the hypnotic rhythm which draws the mainline of "Coming in the City" which is flooded by the massive arrival of the percussions' random knocks. Enchanter the rhythm limps with its alloy of percussions and its superb orchestral arrangement up to the notes of a surprising acoustic guitar which does court to a flute, parading all the knowledge of Indra to draw ambiances as solitary as poetic on evolutionary minimalist structures. After the waves as well as the abstruse and iodized tones of "Temple", the sequences which alternate of their muffled strikings, shaping the sequential marathon of "While in Oz...", to go astray in the madness of the xylophone strikings, brings us back into a more contemporary era of Indra. The intro swarms with arrhythmic palpitations which pulsate in all directions while a stroboscopic line waves and opens the rhythm to percussions which hammer a heavy and lively tempo, near a techno trance style, before being out of breath and caressed by the astral waves of a lyrical synth. A singer and dreamer synth, of which the iridescent layers float and wave such as the magnetic vocalises of the cosmic mermaids before the rhythm takes back its rights with percussions which resound on echoing pulsations of an irregular flow. A superb synth wave wraps this rhythm with so much hold that it seduces its ardour. But the pulsations escape and dig between two realities, roaming in an ambiance of space before bursting in a passage of rotary trance where everything pulses and swirls in a movement imprinted by invariability. And "While in Oz..." moderates the heats of its pulsations in the dins of an illusionary void at around the 13th minute, with synth waves which float in an oblivion fed by eclectic lamentations, cosmic breezes and intergalactic disturbances. A bad patch of a long sequential marathon which finds a 3rd breathe, near the 17th minute, with increasing sequences of which the lithe tones are melting to those of glass to skip in all senses under the breaths of a synth which widens its morphic melody until the dawn of its last ochred breaths.
Interactive Play (The Essential) Vol.I is a beautiful compilation of titles lost in the erosion of time which will undoubtedly thrill the fans of Indra. As for me, it allowed me to discover the vestiges of an album which seems to me very interesting; Self-Game. It’s a pity that it’s seems impossible to reedit it. And the bonus track is an excellent complement. Far from clashing in regard to the whole compilation, it’s rather representative of the rhythms, ambiances and melodies which decorate this first anthological phase. While respecting the sequenced structures that Indra used at that time "While in Oz..." also reveals the evolution of the Rumanian synth man in his rhythms and ambiances with nuances in his structures which distance the Indra of nowadays from his initial influences.

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:
* If you want to know more and discover the musical world of Indra, here is his website:

mardi 27 mars 2012

MATZUMI: In Mutatio Tempora (2011)

"Tempora is a full hour of pleasure that I never expected"
1 A long journey-Intro 6:02
2 Step by Step 5:16
3 Heights and Depths 7:28
4 Die Kinder der Erde 5:03
5 Who we Are 6:04
6 Chapters of Life 6:54
7 In Mutatio Tempora 4:59
8 Consolation and Oblivion 8:14
9 Never Alone 8:27
10 The Migration–Outro 5:14

A growl of gong opens "A Long journey-Intro" which slides immediately into the waltzing and clanic vapors of the thousand and one nights with Mellotron wings which wrap an immensely cinematographic intro. Second blow of gong; and drum rolls beat a pace of Egyptian slaves beneath even denser violined envelopes while the first sequences stammering click under a canvas of fat choirs which hum on an emblematic approach of a Persian hymn. After the 3rd blow of gongs, the rhythm of "A Long journey-Intro" hiccups of a spasmodic phase more electronic and the incisive guitar of F.D. Project spreads out its grating and twisted solos on a structure eroded by sequences and percussions which pound and stamp on a title more of a rock symphonic than electronic but as much intense as theatrical. Welcome into the astral journey of Matzumi. There where the Milky Way crosses lands soaked with poetries of the sand peoples and where the life stops and takes back its rights in the astral breezes of the Babylonians gods. In Mutatio Tempora, for the course of time, is an impressive work which goes out from nowhere. It‘s a very beautiful album where the soft poetry of Kathrin Manz sits astride on beautiful sequenced phases, cosmic and filmic ambiances on big symphonic progressive rock structures. It’s a full hour of pleasure which amazes each time that one puts this little flat disc in our driver!
Intense veils of violins encircle the intro of "Step by Step" of which gongs and ethereal mists adopt a little the cinematographic pattern of the opening track. The chirpings of synth, which stick to crackling and jerky sequences, draw a twirling structure which is similar to the one of Alan Parsons in I Robot from the album of the same name. A structure which oscillates curtly on the flying-wings of violins which lose altitude in the dreamlike vocalises, engendering a fascinating duality between this crushed rhythm and the poetic harmonies which exchange a structure where the progressive and symphonic rock is easily next to an EM heavily sequenced. Some delicate arpeggios glitter and chant with fine voices of Eden at the opening of "Heights and Depths". The oniric synth layers, which decorate this ethereal introduction, switch shapes finely beneath the jingles of cymbals for resonant waves while other synth layers burden the ambiance which undergoes the pulsations of a bass-drum. And quietly "Heights and Depths" takes off towards a more deafening rhythm where the percussions resound and pulsate around a slightly stroboscopic line which winds a bed of synth layers filled by Babylonian fragrances. Sequences fuse from everywhere. Oscillating and hopping of an unordered approach, they mould a heavy and resonant rhythm which moderates its ardor under the warm vocalizes of Matzumi, entailing the last phase of "Heights and Depths" in the dreamlike sweetnesses of a Pharaonic world. The saying about the strength of number applies to the stormy sequences which pound with a heavy and infernal rhythm on "Die Kinder der Erde". A reprise of a title that we find on the Nattefrost album, DyingSun/ScarletMoon, on which Matzumi played; it’s a title of an infernal heaviness that we don't get tired of listening to and which shows that EM can be downright furious. "Who we are" is a very moving title which begins by violins of which the strings draw tears which go astray into mist of violins. Piano notes and breaths of horns tear away sighs from souls snuggled up in the abandonment, while other violin strings feast in a contradictory joyful mood. It’s a very intense title endowed with a heavy dramatic style which embraces a more angelic portion with a delicate piano which makes dance its dreamy notes on a structure vacillating at the doors of termination.
"Chapters of Life" is a very good title of which the heavy and pulsatory rhythm gets excited on an evolutionary structure. Silky, the intro abounds of iridescent breezes and singings arpeggios which come out of the entrails of an indomitable beast. Superb spherical waves rise to undulate on a line finely bouncy while pulsations hammer a heavy rhythm. A rhythm where the stormy pounding progresses with a fine acceleration in its flow, while the synths divide its harmonies with waving lines and others with fragrances always filled with these old Arabic tales. This influence of dances and Arabian rhythms is in the core of the harmonies of In Mutatio Tempora. So, and after an ethereal intro layered by captivating synth wings, the title track offers a heavy structure where the rhythm gallops on a good mixture of sequences, percussions and pulsating bass notes. The rhythm throbs on the plains of the Persian deserts, encircled by a synth which swaps its cosmic tones for violin strings which fly with the voice of Matzumi. Violins with stratas at both bouncy and melodious which caress the curve of an increasing rhythm, fed that it is by riffs and slide-riffs which glide under more and more repeated knocks of bows, shaping a mesmerizing symphonic approach. The electronic and symphonic union which soaks into the scents of the sands’ peoples goes on with "Consolation and Oblivion", a long title where the lamentations of Kathrin Manz are moulding to the morphic synths’ layers. Latecomer, the tempo exhilarates a little after the 3rd minute with a mixture of percussions and sequences which pound beneath the jerky bows. The rhythmic pattern is latent and succinct, serving as pretext to divide the Arabian astral ambiances which throne above this title to the essences of poetic priestess stemming from Matzumi's vocalises and from her synths of Persians tones. "Never Alone" embraces a long angelic intro where the breaths of Orion caress the dusts of gleaming stars before that a curt and jumpy rhythm wakes up from the heavy reverberations. Like a gallop on astral plains the rhythm tergiversates regarding its pace before exploding under the strikings of the percussions which frame the synthesized harmonies and the vocalises chanted by Matzumi. "The Migration Outro" loops the loop of this fascinating musical journey in the heart of the ancient Arabian lands with a title as cinematographic and emblematic as its introductory title, the crescendo approach in less. A little as a long journey of life which arrives at its ultimate point; concluding a very beautiful album which ranked second best national album at the last Schallwelle Awards.

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

* If you want to know more about Matzumi musical universe you can visit her website by following this link:
* There are also 2 videos available on You Tube:

samedi 24 mars 2012

BODDY/WOLLO: Frontiers (2012)

"Frontiers is a superb album which get discovering even more to each new listening"
1 Vista 3:59
2 Trek 5:45
3 Undergrowth 4:37
4 Steppe 6:05
5 Migration 3:29
6 Reverie 4:25
7 Searching 7:13
8 Shelter 7:32
9 Frontiers 7:57
10 Ascension 5:25

DiN: DiN39  (CD 56:33) ****
Frontiers is the meeting point between two musicians and exceptional composers who left their imprints in their respective fields of creativity. If Ian Boddy is the chameleon par excellence of the modern and contemporary EM, Erik Wollo is specializes to create musical patterns which exude some unknown mystic landscapes. It’s an extremely poetic work where Wollo's guitar layers caress the fluty synths and the Martenot waves that Ian Boddy had slipped so well in our ears on Strange Attractors. The rhythms are soft and fluids. Weaved on a skilful mixture of sequences and percussions they are carried by moderate winds which structure surprising panoramic ambiances where Berlin School embraces the poetry of an ambient music filled by emotionalism.
Atmospheric, "Vista" spreads its exploratory wings and opens this musical soundscape with a breath of Eole which lifts a thick cloud of prismatic layers from which the iridescent breaths float on the undulating and piercing winds of the Martenot waves, feeding the light crescendo of "Vista" which ends its crusade of winds in a finale imprint of serenity. A finale of gust of the winds which throws itself into the intro of "Trek", there where the first sequenced stammerings shake Frontiers. Sequences finely drummed which skip and flutter among breaths of flutes while the percussions which are add and click of certain random strikings, in which some remain wrapped up in wadding, mould a light chaotic rhythm. A hybrid rhythm which squabble between the tenderness of the fluty lines and the sinister reverberations on a canvas of heterogeneous percussions before forking towards a short ambient passage, giving a second breath to "Trek" which becomes heavier and more incisive. After the morphic layers of "Undergrowth" which soak into the silence of the prismatic singings of frosty whales and galactic mermaids, "Steppe" transports us in a very soft ascending rhythmic movement. An upward spiral drawn by shimmered arpeggios which swirl with lightness on a delicate bass line, before being gobbled up by percussions which hammer with fineness an increasing procession under the angelic layers of a dreamlike guitar. Between the clanic universe of Steve Roach and the soundscapes world of Erik Wollo, "Steppe", progresses on a meshing of sequences and percussions to which are adding flitted jingles, shaping marvellously a difficult ascension under a sky of azure where the guitar strata merge with beauty with those of a discreet synth but oh so much effective. One would believe being at the time of Steve Roach's Western Spaces or Desert Solitaire. With its bells of ewe which ring in the increasing winds of plains, "Migration" is an atmospheric passage where the breaths of synths lift the anger of Eole and its northern winds which resound through immense Tibetan horns.
"Reverie" is a jewel in this musical box which is Frontiers. Fine guitar riffs sculpt some delicate harmonies of which the chords roll in loops on echoing percussions which slam in a dense vaporous mist. The harmonies of the guitar go astray into the tears of the Martenot waves which slide and caress the thoughts while drawing the dreams on shimmering arpeggios which dance and sparkle under a superb canvas of paradisiacal musical waves. It’s a wonderful title of an infinite tenderness which evaporates in the sequenced tams-tams which shake the introductory morphic vapors of "Searching". These sequences shape a quivering rhythm which holds onto a heavy bass line while the percussions fall to embrace a rhythm supported by a fusion of sequences and arpeggios which crisscross and pulsate in a kind of triturated resonance, hiccupping of a strange spasmodic fury where the rhythm seethes with a static friction. It‘s the progressive rhythm which hooks to its meshing of sequences and percussions, to which are grafted jingles which clink beneath the philharmonic breaths of synths to aromas of the TD years. Moreover, the growth of the rhythm reminds me the metallic rhythms of Tangerine Dream of the Logos years. It’s very good, but wait until the title-track before exulting! "Shelter" unveils the wings of its darkness with a shower which crackles on a dome covered with iridescent breezes. Ambient and dark "Shelter" mystifies the moon with its heavy loner line of bass of which the oblong elastics notes modulate arcs of resonances to criss-cross a black musical landscape fed by foggy synth layers, which float with an ethereal delicacy, and virgin arpeggios which twitter under the arcs of an abstruse sun. It’s a very solitary title of which the arid winds throw themselves into the intro of "Frontiers" and its strummed sequences which tinkle and emerge out of singing winds. A bass line with pulsating notes watches in wait for the rhythm to takes shape while another line of more crystal clear sequences is outlined and that percussions wait for the bite of an elastic note of bass to embark on the sequenced whirlwind of "Frontiers". And the magic takes place in our ears! On an oscillatory rhythm stuffed by chiselled and crisscrossed sequences as well as sober percussions, the breaths of synth to warm philharmonic harmonies awaken our memories and fill our ears of fine musical nectar to the soft perfume of Tangerine Dream and the Stratosfear era. Erik Wollo's guitar comes to add a filet of nostalgia with floating solos while that Ian Boddy affixes the seal of the electronic poetry with singings solo from a synth which wrap a rhythmic structure which makes no compromise in regard of its influences. "Ascension" comes closing this wonderful album with Martenot waves and guitar layers which cry in the solitude of astral winds.
Frontiers is a superb album. It’s a musical story on unknown territories told with the strength of the compositions and influences which furnish the know-how of these two icons of contemporary EM. As a first musical communion, the Boddy/Wollo duet shows a surprising complicity and weaves a wonderful musical universe where the celestial ambiances are skilfully measured to suave rhythms which flow with a dreamlike sweetness. If synths and guitars are sculpting horizons without borders which transcend any forms of imaginations, sequences and percussions are rocking their delicate poetic approaches; sign that our ears deal with two artists who understood each other from the beginning, making of Frontiers an album which get discovering even more to each new listening.
Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:
* If you want to have more infos on Frontiers and hear some MP3 snippets, you can visit this link:

mercredi 21 mars 2012

THE PELS SYNDICATE: Cinematic Blue (2010)

"Unfinished melodious structures on boiling rhythms must be the best way to describe Cinematic Blue"
1 Searchlight 2:53
2 Tesla Baby 5:05
3 Eclectic Electric 3:20
4 Tribal Civilisation 4:13
5 Yellow in 64 3:00
6 Hardcore Vision 3:13
7 Metro Movie 3:33
8 Inner Life 2:59
9 End Games 5:00
10 Invisible Cinema 3:24
11 Smooth Night Life 3:43
12 City Sky Walker 4:16
13 Freedom's Call 3:00

14 Cinematic Blue 2:56

I discovered The Pels Syndicate's musical universe by the means of its 2nd album Chemical Inconveniences. I had of course heard Cinematic Blue of a little convinced ear. And it’s after having tamed the Frank Pels' 2nd opus and its melodies stand firm on ambivalent rhythms that I decided to invest the universe of Cinematic Blue and its 14 titles where melodies are more fragmented, divided on much more diversified percussions, both in genres and in tones, where the influence of Jean Michel Jarre is very present. In fact, The Pels Syndicate's musical world, at least on Cinematic Blue, is concentrated on its percussions and its throbbing pulsatory bass lines, leaving just a few space to keyboards and their chords of melancholy, to synths which weave more often than otherwise wings of violins to which rhythms of lead, down-tempo and even of soft disco with a zest of synth-pop are binding to. In brief; a much diversified musical pattern for a first album which sometimes has the defect of its qualities.
Hesitating chords are roaming at the opening of "Searchlight". Floating in an ethereal ambience, they draw a somber thoughtful melody which hooks onto a slow rhythm, hammered by sober percussions to resonant tones. The rhythm slouching its shagreen, "Searchlight" waltzes weakly around its solitary chords which espouse the strikings of percussions in a universe of static cracklings where the wings of violins are drawing sighs of souls. The pulsating percussions of "Tesla Baby" extirpates us of Cinematic Blue's morphic introduction with a heavy and powerful rhythm. A rhythm of lead that layers of ethereal mist try to make swirl around delicate notes of piano, except that violent percussions fall down on "Tesla Baby". Metallic and slamming percussions à la Jarre which flood a furious, but after all, rather static rhythm that a synth surrounds with superb layers as harmonious as waltzing. It’s very good and very hard-hitting! At high volume, the eardrums are risking to drool there! "Eclectic Electric" pursues this duality of the harmonies on disconcerting rhythms with a soft piano, light and innocent, of which the notes are go astray in iridescent and dancing mists where pulsations stumble and percussions click and resound on a static rhythm. "Tribal Civilization" is another title where banging and echoing tribal percussions à la Jarre rage on chords with oblong elastic loops and flying violin layers. The influence of Jarre bursts the eardrums. Hooked in a downward spiral and bitten by a heavy roaring bass, the rhythm of "Yellow in 64" sounds as some old James Last on a disco acid trip while "Hardcore Vision" is more punchy with a slow rhythm which is leaning on a rich interbreeding of percussions and is waving on the curves of a good pulsatory bass line from where escapes some tinny piano notes. A structure which is of use as base to "Metro Movie" which is more vitamined on the other hand and which flies over at the violins fly.
"Inner Life" seems to get out of the molds of "Tesla Baby". It’s a very beautiful down-tempo with a broken strummed melody. Oscillating between the chill-out, the motionless and the waltzing styles "End Games" travels in search of rhythm and ambience, embracing the soft violins and fighting against powerful percussions. It’s intense and perplexing, a little as all we hear on Cinematic Blue. An unreal nursery rhyme which is dragging at the deep end of an alley, "Invisible Cinema" leaves the innocence of its first keys and abandon its portion of melody to grasp the tumult of percussions of metal, a little as in "Inner Life "and "Tesla Baby"; melodious portions very present in Cinematic Blue which disappear in oblivion. And even if the heavy violins try to moderate the whole thing, the morphic down-tempo which they draw spreads out a strange universe of seduction. "Smooth Night Life" flies on its wings of violin, like a 70's disco to whichwe grafted a good stroboscopic line which encircles the beat and transports it beyond its fluty melody, its mordant bass line and its resounding percussions. "City Sky Walker" is a charming dark ballad. A ballad for loner where chords of guitar resound in the absolute introverted solitude before being harpooned by percussions with knocks and tones as diversified as heterogeneous. The percussions are the strength of Cinematic Blue. They fall on us at any moment and it gives quite a whole dimension to a melody as much pink-candy as "Freedom's Call" which is a nice wink of eye to the 80’s and the synth-pop era. Static, the title-track concludes Cinematic Blue with percussions which flitter around a melodious structure trying to hatch.
Unfinished melodious structures on boiling rhythms must be the best way to describe Cinematic Blue. For his very first solo album, the Dutch synthesist puts the pressure on diversified rhythms and percussions to the detriment of ambiences and melodies making of Cinematic Blue an album which goes into the ears with strength, forgetting to tone down its passion. It’s a rough and heavy album which misses a little of this subtlety that we find on Chemical Inconveniences but which is ideal, I guess, to knock down pretty hard the eardrums and the walls. And those who like the eclectic percussions will be charmed by several titles on this album which also contains some very inspiring tracks. I think it’s the best of thee worlds!
Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:
* If you want to know more about The Pels Syndicate and hear snippets of music, you can visit its website here:

lundi 19 mars 2012

THE PELS SYNDICATE: Chemical Inconveniences (2012)

"Chemical Inconveniences' musical universe is quite fascinating"
1 Prelude Particles 4:39
2 Chemical Inconveniences 4:39
3 Distorted Reality 4:49
4 Toxic Swing 4:28
5 Mersik and Boomchick Dancing 5:51
6 A Beautiful Mind 5:53
7 Feels So Good 5:09
8 Diagnosis One 4:18
9 Transition Zone 6:14
10 The Day After 5:28
11 Trying to Remember 3:55

Spectral waves of Martenot kind encircle the pulsatory and echoing ions which jump on time and forge the stationary intro of "Prelude Particles". Syncretic tones pierce this vertical dance pounded by robotics chords, spitters of resonances, and hammered of sober percussions. If the rhythmic envelope stays of lead, the harmonious structure is simply delicious with its synth waves which snivel in the caresses of violins and tears of the piano. It’s a melody on a clashing rhythm, as on "Toxic Swing" and its dishevelled percussions. More quiet and balanced than on Cinematic Blue, the universe of Chemical Inconveniences always lays on a crossing of rhythms and atmospheres where the ethereal mists and violins of Orion transport beautiful melodious structures. But if the rhythmic envelope is softer, it remains not less still quite wild here and there. And it’s a little this musical universe crossed by paradoxes that we can expect on this amazing surprise which is The Pels Syndicate's Chemical Inconveniences. Frank Pels weaves the big lines of an album where groovy, techno and upbeat rhythms are of used as music canvas to surprising melodies which are at the antipodes, both at the level of rhythms and their cores of emotionalism.
"Chemical Inconveniences" pursues in this vein on a kind of break-dance structure with a zest of upbeat which leans on humming pulsations. The setting embraces the ashes of a jazz forgotten in a bottom of an alley with a delicate melody hummed on the notes that a piano is walking among felted echoing percussions, tetanised mists and iconoclastic tones, vestiges of the polyphonic ambiances which compose The Pels Syndicate's universe. On a slow rhythm, shaken by the din of percussions, "Distorted Reality" conjugates candour and malice on a splendid structure of musing where crystalline arpeggios are swirling such as a nursery rhyme on a slow whirlwind of pernicious violins. It’s a great track which does all its effect! "Mersik and Boomchick Dancing" is a bomb of rhythmic intensity with its percussions of tap-dancing kinds and slamming ones which pound around a strange pulsatory suction and a bass line of which the feverish chords are galloping between the resonant hoops of a rhythm in constant effervescence. It’s a rhythm which doesn’t stop giving into complexity and originality before being finally tamed by a beautiful melodious approach which turns upside down the eclectic ride without perturbing its global progression. "A Beautiful Mind" is a wonderful down-tempo. It’s a huge chill-out filled with sensual steroids that a heavy bass with vicious curves and lascivious resonances penetrates in our ears to make quiver our body waves with a suave synth to soft tones of a perverse saxophone. It’s very good and rather suggestive.
With its structure which swirls with an aura of serenity "Feels So Good" bears marvellously the weight of its title. The melody is soft and whistled on a daydreamer synth which pours its melancholy on a parallel line of which the delicate oscillation draws a musical wave which fades out in a cloud of shimmering arpeggios. Light, the rhythm is clicking, pulsing and resounding with the sweetness of a stalk of silk in a tube of metal, leaving all the room to the harmonious envelope which is making proud of a beautiful violin veil. Waves to tones of Martenot float in search of a melody. They team up with limpid keys which sparkle of a luminous brightness and hop of a furtive approach in an iridescent fog where flit about some furtive cymbals. A bass line hiccups of a heavy elastic note and the lascivious and sensual rhythm of "Diagnosis One" sits astride the violins of thought, propped up by sober percussions and caressing the notes of an electric piano and these Martenot waves which sing and stutter under the harsh and hatched knocks of the fanciful cellos. What a striking track!  "Transition Zones" shakes the melancholic mood with a heavy rhythm arched on an abrasive structure. It’s a rhythm of steel and lead where humming pulsations are harpooning chords with hybrid functions. If some are harmonious, others adopt spectral forms and others shine like small allegorical pads and hatched metallic hoops which dance and collide over fine percussions strikings of free-jazz style. Between Moonbooter and Element 4 styles, "Transition Zones" turns towards a dance-floor structure with the appearances of a psychotronic techno house where the sound exhilaration has limits only the imagination strongly sharpened of Frank Pels. Bright crystal arpeggios sparkle near riffs of fuzz wah-wah and eclectic tones, immersing the intro of "The Day After" into parallel universes where morphic choirs roam on the wings of violins, espousing the honeyed crescendo of the melodious arpeggios. Abandoning its poetic and oniric approach, "The Day After" dives towards a rhythm funky-groovy, where a fat bass line spreads its roaring notes in the trail of choirs and violins, accompanying the fuzz wah-wah and supporting this pulsatory rhythm which dupes the heart and the choirs of "The Day After". Tergiversating between the rhythm and the ambient, "Trying to Remember" sets its heart towards a fine ballad flooded with iridescent mist and layers, without having forgotten to brought  a beautiful harmonious envelope drawn in the shade of chords forgotten in the drawers of melancholy.
Chemical Inconveniences' musical universe is pleasantly fascinating. It’s a universe where the rhythms and melodies arise from a rich sound fauna full of a soft originality and of a clever subtlety. Built on 11 titles embroidered in the meanders of a musical and artistic research worth of great sounds and tones sculptors as well as percussions designers, Chemical Inconveniences abounds in these melodies sometimes melancholic, oniric and poetic which clash on rhythms of steel and lead, upbeat, soft techno and\or groovy/ mellow. Caustic and attractive contrasts! Oppositions which get attracted and seduced for the biggest pleasure of our ears.
Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:
* If you want to know more about The Pels Syndicate and hear snippets of music, you can visit its website here:

dimanche 18 mars 2012

CLAUDIO MERLINI:Enchantment (2012)

"Once again Claudio Merlini built a harmonious which hangs in the soul as in the heart"
1 Desire 3:40
2 Portraits 3:51
3 A Quiet Place 4:44
4 Enchantment 5:20
5 Faventibus Ventis 5:15
6 In the Air 4:01
7 Frozen Light 5:20
8 Masquerade Girl 5:21 
9 Inner Spirit 3:43
10 Float in the Dark 4:09
11 Magic Sleigh Ride 3:52 
12 Karma 6:10
13 Book of Memories 4:05
14 The Tower 5:59
15 Enchantment Power Mix 5:32
16 Enchantment DW Summer Club Mix 7:30
After a second album (The Colours of Music) where the rhythms got intertwined into musical embraces to the scents of Tangerine Dream (Le Parc), Jean Michel Jarre (Metamorphoses) and Vangelis, Claudio Merlini comes back with a second album on AD Music label and its New Age division. Closer of the New Age and Easy Listening borders than of contemporary electronic based sequence music, Enchantment proposes 14 titles which flow with more sweetness and romantism than his previous work where the rhythms, always soft, merge with beautiful melodies weaved in the sighs of Asia.
Spreading his romantic approach over recurring melodious themes, the Italian synthesist announces his colors from the start with "Desire" and its celestial choirs which introduce a slow lascivious rhythm. The percussions are bubbling in a static broth while chords to tones of guitars are forging a meditative melody which strolls in a musical pattern weaved in a tearing of Merlini's influences. "Portraits" follows closely with its percussions rolling which bring us towards a melodious approach where crystal clear arpeggios stream with a beautiful fluidity on a good nervous sequential line. The approach is very near the melodies of Tangerine Dream in the The Atomic Seasons with choirs and Mellotron violins which float above a musical structure filled by Asian flavors. With its silky flute on a rhythm which waddles innocently on fine percussions and chords of a romantic guitar, "A Quiet Place" revisits the beautiful melodious approaches of The Colours of Music. It’s a soft melody with a dramatic crescendo endowed with a rich musicality where choirs, flutes, guitars and percussions embroider a rich musical setting. And this is one of the great qualities in Claudio Merlini's works. "Enchantment" is a beautiful example with its delicate shimmered arpeggios which awake singing winds. The intro is soft and tribal percussions brighten a fragile rhythm. Angelic choirs and celestial violins are wrapping this paradisiacal rhythm which rolls like a ball of silk under the warm winds of the Mediterranean Sea before it’s torn between a soft orchestral violence and a dreamy melody, a little as all that is hearing all over Enchantment. A delicious bass line crosses the winds of ether which make twinkling the carillons and "Faventibus Ventis" transport us in quite a different Claudio Merlini's universe. A sitar accompanies the delicate tams-tams which forge a fascinating procession through a strange musical mist where the breaths of flutes and plaintive sighs float with a scent of mystery on a title which distances itself, both by its approach and by its aura of mysticism. It’s very good and very mesmerizing. "In the Air" is a soft melody which swirls in a cloud of voices and flutes on a changeable rhythm. If the intro is smooth with shimmering and dreamy arpeggios, the rhythm becomes tangled with a livelier approach in the second half.
More incisive, the melodious approach of "Frozen Light" transports us in the territories of Enigma where tribal essences are next to ethereal ambiances. The rhythm is framed by good percussions and by fine sequences while the ambiances are drawn by suave vocalizes, a little as with "Karma" which is on the other hand softer and more oniric. The breaths of flutes and choirs which roam on percussions with felted knocks and violins of mist are adding a poignant dimension to "Masquerade Girl", another meditative title with a melancholic zest to decorate Enchantment. For a short title, "Inner Spirit" roams on several crossed rhythms. Rhythms of the world built over a sequential structure which undulates like a floating carpet whereas percussions and fierce bass are scraping the homogeneity on a melody lulled by a synth which extirpates its vocalizes and orchestral arrangements with a beautiful sensibility. "Float in the Dark" is a title which navigates between melody and ballad in a somber sieved ambiance that tribal percussions carry at end’s of balanced strikings. Here, as in the great majority of Enchantment’s titles, Claudio Merlini exploits with dexterity the fusion of voices and flutes on good orchestral arrangements, giving a very melodious and musical dimension to his approach New Age. "Magic Sleigh Ride" is another very good melody where arpeggios to tones of harps flow on a bed of violins and enchanted choirs. Notes of misled pianos come to caress the soft melancholy of this title which gradually metamorphoses into a little more joyful ballad. "Book of Memories" is as much effective as "Portraits", while "The Tower" encloses Enchantment with a very strong title where percussions and sequences swirl on an at the same time stormy and melodious structure. A structure which collects the big harmonious influences of this Claudio Merlini's last opus. The album contains 2 mixes of the title track Enchantment. "Enchantment Power Mix" bangs with a heavy and pulsating rhythm of dance floor, while "Enchantment DW Summer Club Mix" is really magnetic with a hammering rhythm. Festive rhythms which clash of this New Age and Easy Listening envelope of Enchantment but which preserves all of its melodious aura.
Once again Claudio Merlini built a harmonious album where soft rhythms are anchored into very nice melodies. The synth man from Italia knows how to weave nice and catchy melody that hangs in the soul as in the heart on smooth rhythms. And that’s the story of Enchantment; 14 titles that are linked together in a very good tapestry of New Age and Easy Listening where influences of Enigma and modern Tangerine Dream go beyond the stories of The Colours of Music which too was a nice album of its kind.
Sylvain Lupari (2012)

jeudi 15 mars 2012

RON BOOTS: From the Forgotten Rooms of a Lonely House (2011)

"From the Forgotten Rooms of a Lonely House is a quite a musical gift"

1 Bielefeld by Night (MorPheuSz) 5:40
2 Another Timeroom!!! (MorPheuSz) 7:36
3 Da Capo (MorPheuSz) 8:36
4 Lost Stars 4:36
5 Vocat Cataclism 16:18
6 From the Dark Cellars of the House 9:24
7 Spinning out of Control 8:13

From the Forgotten Rooms of a Lonely House, what a title thought, is a CD gift that Ron Boots gave to his fans who attended to his concert at the Bochum Planetarium on December 30th, 2011. It’s an album of unreleased titles where Ron Boots has searched in the hidden recesses of his studio, from where the magnificent title, to dig out titles which show all the versatility of the Dutch synthesist. The first 3 titles are interpreted by MorpheuSz, while the 4 following ones come from Ron Boots' creative attics. Titles to the rhythms and ambiances very diversified which are linked in a long opus of 60 minutes where all the unreleased material sounds vaguely familiar, a little as if it would have been of use as basis to titles scattered here and there in the repertoire of MorPheuSz and Ron Boots.Recorded at the 3rd EM Festival of Bielefeld in September 2010, "Bielefeld by Night" plunges us into the hybrid ambiances of MorPheuSz, there where progressive rock meets EM. It’s a beautiful electronic blues/ rock where Frank Dorittke's plaintive guitar weaves some suave solos filled by emotions on good percussions. The synths vaporize clouds of mists and modulate waves which undulate while subdividing their winds into brief solos on a soft structure where the dream borders lasciviousness. A little as in Garden Gnomes and Goblins, "Another Timeroom!!!" transports us towards the borders of the sands' peoples with a languorous tribal rhythm built on nice Tablas style percussions. Synths, as guitar, embroider a world of whim with fine iridescent layers and melancholic notes which float, shine and sigh in an Arabic setting. "Da Capo" is a magnificent title pulled from by the album of the same name, written by Eric van der Heijden in 1998. It’s a gorgeous melody of which the harmonies are stolen by the splendid romantic guitar of Frank Dorittke. The intro is in a very Vangelis style with synths to angelic breaths which blow on rotary cymbals and harmonious guitar riffs. Dreamer, the rhythm strolls between the layers of a synth which also frees notes to tones of harp and the harmonic guitar solo which sing on percussions of which the steady strikings structure a boleric rhythm. And at around the 5th minute, riffs and strikings insist in their tergiversations. And bang! "Da Capo" trades its dreamlike structure for a more rock approach where Frank Dorittke makes figure of an octopus with his furious solos and Harold van der Heijden hammers an infernal rhythmic, pushing back "Da Capo" within the limits of a deliciously melodious electronic rock 'n' roll. It’s very good and its gives me the taste to know a little bit more about Eric van der Heijden's music.
The dark winds of "Lost Stars" introduce us into the 2nd portion of From the Forgotten Rooms of a Lonely House; that of Ron Boots. These caresses of Aeolus are blowing in our ears, making sparkle the stars and roll harmonious waves into a fine harmonious refrain. "Vocat Cataclism" is the jewel of this collection of unreleased tracks and it’s unthinkable that Ron Boots forgot this title in the meanders of his house! A fine sinuous line, molded in the Arabian curves, rises of an intro stuffed by winds and atmospheric tones. Glaucous and slightly resonant pulsations structure a pleasant down-tempo where dances this superb synth line with very suggestive ideas. The percussions fall, giving more mordant to a rhythm which embraces a languorous Berlin School of Klaus Schulze style and his digital era. The tempo is fascinating and hypnotic with its heavy percussions of which each strike resounds around a line of synth to outlines as sensual as intriguing. A tempo becoming heavier towards the 5th minute with more hammered percussions which slam under twisted synth solos. And "Vocat Cataclism" to continue its rhythmic journey of electronic insurgent with a more psychedelic approach in its 2nd part. Even if the synth solos whistle with a good cohesion above a rhythm of lead, the synth and the keyboards weave superb lines to tones of old progressive hymns of the vintage years Flirting with the illusion of an approach which seems well structured, "Vocat Cataclism" navigates on airs of improvisation where every knock of percussion nails us in our armchair and every synth fly transports us in the years of the chemical dreams. It’s a wonderful track which worth alone the buy of From the Forgotten Rooms of a Lonely House. Discreet percussions of which the furtive strikings get lost in imaginary rustles (or real ones) and oblong sinuous reverberations frame marvellously the naming of "From the Dark Cellars of the House" which is a long atmospheric prelude to "Spinning out of Control" which, as its title shows it, is molded into spinning rhythms. The cymbals make run their tsitt-tsitt, trying to escape the pulsatory percussions and other ones which resound and drive towards a pulsating rhythm. A heavy sequence throbs and encircles a rhythm which is decorate by fine hatched synth pads, aligning their melodious spasms in a long stroboscopic strand and propelling "Spinning out of Control" in the rhythms of dance-floor.
For a gift, From the Forgotten Rooms of a Lonely House is a whole beautiful one. It’s a good collection of unreleased titles which flows with a strange homogeneity for titles scattered in the attics of time. There are beautiful jewels in this collection which also contains nice musical charms. And fortunately there are still some CD left of this stunning collection which will delight for sure the fans of Ron Boots and MorPheuSz. And for those who still hesitate, it’s a good way to be introduce in those worlds, especially that the price is quite OK.

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mercredi 14 mars 2012

MORPHEUSZ:Garden Gnomes and Goblins (2011)

"Here’s the album by where the story of MorPheuSz began"
1 Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 4 (15:50)
2 Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 2 (10:34)
3 Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 9 (10:55)
4 Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 1000-1 (15:11)
5 Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 7 (5:33)
6 Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part Who Cares!! (5:58)
7 Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part Pizza!! (13:56)
               GROOVE: GR-185

Here’s the album by where the story of MorpheuSz began. Guest to give intimist concert on July 17th, 2010, Ron Boots received the support of his long-time companions, Eric and Harold van der Heijden. During the process of the rehearsals an invitation is thrown to Frank Dorittke. But MorPheuSz wasn’t still born. It’s during this concert that the quartet noticed that a chemistry settled down between them and it’s after this concert that MorPheuSz was born. Garden Gnomes and Goblins makes reference to this concert given in a garden. It’s the very first work of MorPheuSz who merges an EM to a progressive and psychedelic music where the improvisation is in the foreground on structures where atmospheres are subjected to good Arabic tribal rhythms
An ambiance of submerged cave floods our ears from the opening of "Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 4". Keyboard chords and guitar notes drag their solitudes there, among dark winds which ululate along the hollow walls and scattered percussions which sound as wounded hoofs. Between its pattern of mystery and its intellectual uncertainty, "Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 4" strolls in search of a rhythm, misleading its sound textures and composite tones which moo under the stammering of timorous tams-tams. And these tams-tams awake a soft rhythm filled by perfumes of Orient that a soft Mellotron wraps with a psychedelic balm, conferring to "Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 4" a more progressive approach than electronic where keyboard chords exchange a lunar melody with notes of a dreamy guitar. A sequential movement, like those Indian tams-tams, hopping under reverberations which caw of a sinister air livens up the introduction of "Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 2". Percussions with scattered strikings and riffs of guitars accompany this uncertain rhythm which will be flew over by superb synth solos. The percussions play a predominant part on this title. They fall and roll such as avalanches on a structure which becomes tightly wrapped up by very good synth solos and layers of mist, throwing a more electronic veil to a title which breathes just as much the psychedelic and progressive atmospheres à la Ashra, in particular with the guitar riffs which scratches the back of the howling winds a little after the 7th minute. The more we move forward in Garden Gnomes and Goblins and the more we feel the electronic vise tightened the artistic values of the quartet. Thus "Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 9" espouses a mesmerizing dreamlike structure with slamming percussions, twinkling arpeggios, dreamy ethereal guitar riffs and choirs/ mists which wrap a slow contemplative tempo, a little as on "Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part Pizza!!". The keyboard chords roam on this dreamy structure, floating here and there and embracing harmonious notes of a guitar which run in loops on a silky road.
With its very orchestral intro à la Vangelis where violins weave impulses of affection and synths mold impulses of melancholy, "Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 1000-1" pours into our ears like a splendid and lyrical Arabic procession. This is 15 minutes of pure happiness where tribal percussions and fine bass pulsations lay the foundations for a supple and exalting rhythm, while synths draw sieved and dreamlike veils of Orient and their thousand and one nights, numbing senses and weakening feelings on a lascivious cerebral dance. It’s especially very beautiful and very poetic. After a very atmospheric and ambient "Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 7" with its riffs and chords of guitars which surf in the shadow of synth layers, "Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part Who Cares!!" follows with a very gloomy approach where notes of an electric piano stroll with a scent of sadness on an ambivalent structure, supported by toms-toms percussions and riffs of a solitary guitar. Hollow winds draw the introduction of "Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part Pizza!!". They lift dusts of stars and awake tribal percussions which resound as all throughout Garden Gnomes and Goblins. Ambient and wrapping, the layers of synths float as shadows of prey above the strikings of percussions which go astray in this absolute tranquility. And quietly the rhythm is rising. It’s heavy and slow, such as a cosmic blues where the brief guitar solos are encircled by narrow layers of a morphic synth while the percussion strikings dig the difference between the ambient mood and the morphic rhythm.
Timid and retired, the quartet is experimenting its orientations and atmospheres throughout Garden Gnomes and Goblins; an album which addresses to fans of an EM which have a penchant for progressive music with a zest of improvisation well structured. As for me; I quite like this soft raid into the Arabic tribal ambiances. It’s very sensitive and poetic, especially for "Garden Gnomes and Goblins Part 1000-1", by far the best track on this opus. Harold van der Heijden's percussions are delicious while the synths weave sieved rustles of a stunning poetry for a live performance. It’s a beautiful album which establishes the beginnings of the excellent Days of Delirium and Nocturnal NightMares and which shows above all the authentic chemistry between these 4 knights of electronic.

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 12 mars 2012

BERLIN HERITAGE: Land of the Rising Sun (2012)

"Land of the Rising Sun is a wonderful album which will please fans of mid-70's analog EM"
1 Long Journey to Different Temples 34:50
2 Spectral Enso 10:00
3 Zen 16:20
4 Flying Cranes in Slow Motion 8:27


Here is a great surprise! With a name as Berlin Heritage we easily imagine towards what Robert Sigmuntowski wants to direct our listening. Molded in the reminiscences of a Berlin School that we believed dried up of its inspirations so much it was plundered to justify any reasons, Land of the Rising Sun is this kind of album that we didn’t expect. An album which arrives and which amazes, as Free System Project with Impulses in 1996 or Danger in Dream and Entrance in 2001, and which reminds us how much EM can be so beautiful.
Warm winds from Orion caress the incredulity of our ears. They cajole of their silvery songs the galactic psalms which undulate in the vaporous spheres, breaking into a wall of invisibility where hoops collide and notch the oniricity of the cosmic deliriums. And slowly the sequences of "Long Journey to Different Temples" emerge out of the intersidereal fog and are activate of their beatings so intuitive of the languishing sequenced cavort that Klaus Schulze weaved on Body Love. The hearing illusion is almost perfect. Agile sequences which cavort and bounce in a musical pattern adorned by dusts of iridescent stars that solos of synth espouse of their acuteness singings an oscillating shape which winds a cosmic wall bathed of a dense rippling mist. In this tapestry of layers, waves and analog white noises, the tempo fades away little by little and the first rhythmic phase of "Long Journey to Different Temples" disappears in some splendid synth layers which caress a black cosmos à la Jean Michel Jarre. They float and sigh in a great cosmic waltz, taken away by a fascinating astral poetry with fine modulations in the movement. Modulations which a delicate bass line sequence of which the chords undulates with a virgin finesse under the hybrid breaths of a synth which scatters its astral poetry through its choirs, its cosmic waves, its horns and trumpets as well as its delicate solos with a scent of ether. Caressed by these captivated choirs which chant above a synth with delicate twisted solos, the movement adopts a slow astral procession where sequences strum finely a contemplative minimalist passage. Anchored into our memories and dreamlike meditation, we hardly notice that "Long Journey to Different Temples" goes to another destination. Crossing over the threatening twilights of a cerebral cortex in fusion, the last phase of "Long Journey to Different Temples" appears from a thick tetanised fog with fine crystal clear sequences which pulse and trample, looking for some rhythmic direction. Another sequenced line is adding. It dances in parallel and espouses awkwardly the schema of its twin, shaping a chaotic ballet which swirls in a thick cloud of iridescent mist. Like an eternal dance in a silky fog, this last portion of "Long Journey to Different Temples" transports us again in the roads of illusion. There where everything was source of revival and beauty. Where everything was mysterious and immensely beautiful. And like a carousel rolling in its bubble wrapped of fanciful violins, morphic choruses and prismatic sequences, "Long Journey to Different Temples" ends its magnificent journey in the soils of Berlin School with all the romance and the delicacy of the great masterpieces which have marked our era. Our era to us, fans of a musical world full of dreams and poetries where only the imagination of masters such as Schulze, Froese, Franke, Gottsching, Jarre, Vangelis and so many others drew and wrote books, paintings and scenarios without words nor colors and which transcend the threshold of a creativity without border.
"Spectral Enso" drags us into the territories where the rhythm, as the atmosphere, adopts contradictory forms. It’s a long and strangely enchanting atonal title where a pond of twinkling sequences is bubbling from the inside under a sky blackened of heavy and sinuous reverberations. The rhythm, if we can say, is static and molded from fine pulsations which pulsate beneath these crystal clear sequences which lap on the spot while the atmosphere is forged in the darkness of the synth breaths where choirs and reverberations weave a spectral approach. "Zen" opens with a magnificent enchanted flute which walks its melody under a carpet of rippling waves. So beautiful it is, the flute awakens chthonian choirs and raises a cloud of iridescent mist, throwing a shroud of mystery on this superb intro which reminds us the morphic wanderings of Tangerine Dream. A sequential movement rises from this contemplative serenity. Such as an enchanting ride, its chords undulate with grace while others resound under the piercing singings of a synth which subdivides its harmonies with some evil sounding waves. "Zen" becomes then a stunning source of a rhythmic agitation with sequences of which the alternating strikings and others falling in parallel draw a wild oscillatory rhythm. A rhythm ennobled by oniric sweetness but still powerful, where superbly shrill synth solos overhang this sequential ride which rolls at full sequence before dying out in the ethereal breaths of an intro that we had lost in this almighty sequenced maze. "Flying Cranes in Slow Motion" ends this stunning medieval odyssey in the soils of vintage Berlin School with an ode to transcendental placidity where prismatic wavelets are glittering in an immense monastery filled by waves and layers of a synth with tones as much hybrids as their choirs which are inspired by it, intone secretly in the shade of scattered ringings.
Can we revisit the past without be repeating? Can we pay tribute to our influences without falling in redundancy? Well it seems that yes! Land of the Rising Sun of Berlin Heritage is the proof, in the same way as Impulses and Entrance were. It is a wonderful album. Without ever fall in the plagiarism, but by touching lightly the main lines of influences of the vintages years EM, Robert Sigmuntowski weaves a magnificent album where the rhythms and ambiances of this era are skilfully interlaced in a wonderful musical weaving where all the atmospheres of that time are visited with a dexterity imprinted by a nostalgia caressed by a vision more critical than admiring, making of Land of the Rising Sun a more creative album than idolatrous. And as it writing on the guide of press; listen, dream and be drifting away!

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: