mardi 30 octobre 2012

KIKAI: Labor (2011)

“Kiki's Labor is an album filled by soft rhythms à la Software which are trapped by the cosmic fragrances of Jean Michel Jarre”

1 Past (5:29)
2 Hope (4:36)
3 Chant (4:18)
4 Thunder and Love (5:14)
5 Wish (5:57)
6 Transparent Dreams (5:46)
7 Turn (5:19)
8 Seahorses (8:08)
9 Winter (7:48)
10 Decent (4:22)
11 Gates (6:39)
12 Relief (Tribute to Japan) (6:50)
13 Tribute to Japan (5:07)

SYNGATE |CD-R KI01 (CD-R 73:50) ***½

Kikai, for ocean of energy, is Marius C. Hammerich's musical project that seems strongly inspired by the Teutonic tempos of Software and the intergalactic atmospheres of Jean MichelJ arre. And Kikai is not exactly a new player in the chessboard of modern EM. It's since 2005 that Marius C. Hammerich composes an EM which serves the cause of humanitarian works. Distributed by the independent label Kikai Kigalu, his music is also available on several download platforms and the profits go to various charitable works. “Labor” is his first album on a major label (Syngate) and contains a variety of melodies well camped into approaches of New Berlin School of the 80's with light and lively rhythms which go alongside to cosmic atmospheres.
It's exactly with these electronic cosmic tones, shaped in the memories of the galactic works of Software, that "Past" titillates our eardrums. The rhythm is fluid and hangs onto sober percussions which mislay their strikings with the jumps of crystal clear sequences. The rhythmic universe of Kikai abounds with tones which excite the hearing. Here it's tones of duck which cackle softly, adding a psychotronic depth to a soft lunar down-tempo where lives a soft melodious approach decorated by solos of which the cosmic charms float on a bed of sequences and percussions with strikings and tones as varied as arrhythmic. "Hope" is more experimental with very ethereal atmospheric approach. A soft piano shells its notes in an ambience congealed into heterogeneous tones where synths moan like badly caressed guitars, merging their abandons in a beautiful morphic melody which blows its charms on a bed of riffs and sequence teeming with a parallel rhythmic life. "Chant" follows the harmonious bow of "Hope". The synth divides its wandering melodies in rich angelic reedy voices which chant on a tempo the movements of which have difficulty in swirling in a broth of cosmic effects à la Jarre. Morphic and carouselic, "Thunder and Love" makes swirl its delicate rhythmic riffs into vapors of ether. Schemer with its breaths of perditions and its voices which harass the peace of mind, the synth instils to this track, as well as on the entire “Labor”, a fascinating cosmic/poetic aura which bewitches with its very Jarrish influences and tones. "Wish" amazes with its sequences in tones of peak-wood knocks which lets off steam on hollow wood. The rhythm is strange. It clicks from everywhere, gauging the shape to take with muffled pulsations to glaucous reverberations. One would say a somber hesitating walking by a Halloween evening with imperfect leaps which zigzag in wide semicircles beneath some not really inviting solos. It's a very good track of atmosphere that manages to collect its sequences and pulsations in order to mold a more coherent rhythm. To listen to at good volume and earphones to seize the full dimension of it.
"Transparent Dreams" pursues this dissection of Jarre's cosmic influences with tones of extraterrestrials and voices of outer-space which murmur in an absolute void. The rhythm unfolds vaguely with a good bass line of which the resounding notes get mold subtly to the meshes of a sequence to progressive rhythm. The solos have difficulty in piercing all of this sound opacity. The screams get lost in the mists of Orion, preventing a latent rhythm from blooming, quite as in the very magnetic "Seahorses"; a long morphic and seraphic ballet that has difficulty in climbing its intense cosmic veil. "Turn" bathes in an intense melancholic broth with a furtive rhythmic approach which floods its uncertain sequences in of tearful strata of a synth to orchestral tears. Another harmonious phase gets free of this influence of sadness with sequences which click in the winds of the weeping solos. And the more it goes and the more it's heart-rending. Totally atmospheric "Winter" scatters its weak pulsations, its futuristic beeps and its riffs into the psychotronic lavas of a synth to lamentations and coils as much ghostly as wintry. Concerto for voice mislaid in a rhythm in perdition, "Decent" shelters its slow harmonies which drag like lost souls. The contrast of tones and rhythms is quite bewitching. "Gates" plunges us into the Teutonic rhythms of Software with a chain of sequences which swirls into a hypnotic glass carousel rolling under a sky blocked by dense layers of a synth of which the twisted solos are unfolding on percussions which abandon their sober strikings to become, knocks by knocks, stormier. "Relief (Tribute to Japan)" offers an approach tinted by sadness with ghostly sequences which roam with a fear of disturbing. Bubbles of water explode here and there, bringing a dimension of video game to a title which quietly goes out of its melancholic embryo to offer a soft electronic ballad where some echoing riffs are waltzing in the perfumes of exhilarating solos to the nostalgic tints. Oceanic waves, funeral bells and audio reports furnish the apocalyptic decoration of "Tribute to Japan" which parades in our ears like a cloud of sadness on a land for ever broken.
Soft melodies which flow on light rhythms, “Labor” is a beautiful album of an EM which will please undoubtedly the fans of Software and its post Chip-Meditation era. Marius C. Hammerich excels at the art to surround his compositions of a sound fauna that makes ears open wide. It's beautiful and catchy with an only drawback; the titles end in a sometimes too abrupt fade out. So what makes the charm of earphones in fact also an annoyance that can also upset certain ears …

Sylvain Lupari (October 29th 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

samedi 27 octobre 2012

ROBERT RICH & MARKUS REUTER: Eleven Questions (2007)

“Destroying the myths of a music without motions, Rich/Reuter weaves black ambiences where hang on ounces of melodies which charm with a strange enchantment”

1 Reminder (3:27)      2 Reductive (4:27)
3 Recall (2:24)            4 Retention (6:34)
5 Remote (4:16)          6 Reluctant (3:27)
7 Redemption (6:418 Relative (3:21)
9 Reception (3:05)    10 Refuge (5:53)
11 Refuse (3:43)       12 Rebirth (3:26)
13 Remainder (2:12)

UNSUN GRECORDS | UR003 (CD 52:56) ***½

Robert Rich and Markus Reuter union can only give an astonishing result. “Eleven Questions” for 13 tracks! All of them starting with the letter R. We could believe that we are into a total tetanized delirious here. There where the fusion of these two alchemists of sounds is bubbling at the border of their imaginations. Composed in only one week, “Eleven Questions” is an album which is necessary to listen deeply with an open mind on a tribal cultural world where sweet flutes get mix subtly with guitars in an arid atmosphere.
Strange and dark titles like "Reductive" and the sinister "Remote" which thunders on ogresses percussions. "Reluctant", "Refuse" and the heavy "Remainder" are titles a bit charmers but always so tenebrous, like "Reminder" and "Recall". There are "Relative" and its jazzy vaporous style, "Refuge" and its black nostalgia as well as "Rebirth" and its softness which floats on a six strings whose sharp-edged notes arouse an uncomfortable and a strange charm. We can even hear titles with heavy and slow rhythms which succumb to an unexplored sensuality, like "Retention" and its loud bass and "Redemption" and its atmospheric wandering. In short, all the musical possibilities are meticulously visited and worked with an atonal heaviness which succeeds to attract the auditory curiosity. The voices and the flutes are superb. They fit perfectly well with all this strange musical phenomenia where some hallucinogens form a wonder of sound abstraction which pours from all around this silvery disc. And these long forms of bizarre reverberations floating around like iridescent spirits over desert rituals are deep intense movements of ethereal strangeness. How can't this not be good?
Destroying the myths of a music without motions whose dark ambiances fill the abstract walls of a land of perdition, Rich and Reuter succeed quite well in producing 13 titles, all as much strange than the others, in a context of an indefinable artistic sealing.
Closed like oysters, the eclectic duet produces in “Eleven Questions” a sound universe completely deprived of innuendos to offer an originality that can’t be hum but which contains ounces of melody hanging around and hooking the hearing and senses with a strange enchantment.

Sylvain Lupari (November 30th, 2007and translated on October 26th 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 26 octobre 2012

ROBERT RICH: Nest (2012)

“Far from the rhythms the American synthman is capable of delight where the simple beating of a cicada wing is transformed into a fascinating boreal symphony”

1 Memories of Wandering, Pt I 5:03
2 Memories of Wandering, Pt II 3:59
3 Seeking Eden 8:06
4 Moss Carpet, Sky Blanket 7:01
5 Generosity of Solitude, Pt I 8:03
6 Generosity of Solitude, Pt II 11:12
7 The Gate is Open 8:38
8 Memories of Home 13:50

SOUNDSCAPE | SP023 (CD 65:05) ****

Nest” is the last sound testimony of a tiny world in perpetual procreation signed Robert Rich. The lightning strike for the subject of his last opus came during his Australian tour of the beginning of 2012 when Robert Rich was the witness of a luxuriant tree-dwelling animal fauna which was born and swarmed beneath the diverse singings from a variety of orchestras of invertebrates. These singings of cicadas and tree frogs as well as the surrounding noises of a jungle in full awakening furnish the wandering melodies and the sweet contemplative atmospheres that are structuring “Nest”.
Noises of branches, chirping and whistled singings of exotic birds awake "Memories of Wandering, Pt I" which meditate under an intense veil of mist. The meditative notes of piano roam as thoughts mislaid during a walking in mountain, reflecting the intense moment of solitude that encircles this last Robert Rich's album. These piano notes are piercing of their transparency a soundscape fed by angelic voices which whisper a spiritual ode in this paradisiacal harbour of serenity whom is "Memories of Wandering, Pt II". The 8 titles of “Nest” parade in a long papouasian tale where the peace of mind is the cradle of dreamlike melodious approaches. The 8 minutes of "Seeking Eden", with its flute and its tremulous breaths which float on the waves of a synth to ochred vapors, is a perfect example. "Moss Carpet, Sky Blanket" offers a darker approach with opaque breezes which float such as hollow clouds on a fauna whose rustles are covered with meditative bells. The lines of the pedal-steel guitar draw spectral ramparts throughout this long title which moves us deep within our inner peace with a pair of earphones. Moreover this correlation between instruments and noises of nature gives to “Nest” a mesmerizing harmonious depth that supplants the total absence of rhythms. This says very long on this stunning musical journey in the full heart of the Australian coasts forests.
The rustles of leaves, the singings of cicadas and the iridescent winds continue to float such as radioactive effects on "Generosity of solitude, Pt I and Part II" on which only the scattered piano notes are resounding in an intense enveloping effect of solitude. The 2nd part is less organic. The long fluty drones shape silent incantations which wind a melody strewn by a solitary piano. The synth strata cast a voice veil over a pure moment of meditation where the balance of the universe is getting lost in all this immersive serenity. The violence of the winds which transports "The Gate is Open" shakes this tranquility. Even without rhythmic instruments Robert Rich is capable of atmospheric turbulence with howling breezes which glide in the ear like Siberian winds into caverns of ice. There is a whole paradox of the ambiences on this title with these piercing winds which tear the strength of silence and the quiet synth layers which are rocking the ambiophonic lethality in it. Layers which transpose their serenities towards "Memories of Home" where the percussions of cicadas are typing telegraphic messages and where the scattered piano note are weaving of unreal and paradoxical universes which glitter all the meditative poetry of an intense organic work.
Nest” is a work intensely poetic. Robert Rich manages to display a world of sound delight in a contemplative envelope which transcends the simple atmospheric and ambient approach. Far from the rhythms, the American multi-instrumentalist is capable of delight with its charming soundscapes which abound in a universe where the simple beating of a cicada wing is transformed into a fascinating boreal symphony. And it’s not because there are no rhythms that it’s not beautiful! On the contrary …

Sylvain Lupari (October 26th 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

jeudi 25 octobre 2012

INTERCONNECTED: Current Flow (2010)

“If you like music and its eclectic pleasure, Current Flow is a very good album where rhythms and ambiences are soaked in a pond of 1001 sound pleasures”

1 Greenerblue 6:08
2 Dark Clouds 4:53
3 Springs 4:36
4 Deepestsespeed 6:16
5 Flowerescape 5:19
6 Smotion 4:10
7 Pulsating 8:09
8 Timebender 6:32
9 Cats 3:03

VU-US VU-US018 (CD 49:05) ****

The more I dig into the musical universe of Bakis Sirros, the more I discover a great musician and an audacious artist who knows how to put in perspective his creative priorities without doing any commercial compromise. Interconnected is his new musical project that he forms with German synthesist Ingo Zobel, putting together a duet of musicians fond of a strongly experimental music. “Current Flow” is a first, and only one to date, album. A mesmerizing album filled of minimalism rhythms which go through strewed paths with colorful tones. This album took 3 years to make, a period of time where the 2 accomplices attend to their respective careers, keeping time to create this surprising sound journey of which the exploration of musical forms, so eclectic as they are, combine brilliantly in a soft perfume of sound freshness.
Furtively, "Greenerblue" introduces us to “Current Flow” with a fine sequence which jumps in loops beneath a soft mellotron veil pierced of fine arpeggios which fall as an unreal rain. A minimalism intro where the charm worries oneself of its jingles of cymbals which announce the arrival of a rhythmic disturbed by the sparks of several percussions. These nervous and indocile percussions fuse out of everywhere to support a structure soaked of heterogeneous tones to which a soft celestial voice adds a dreamlike depth. This opening reflects the dyad ambiance that surrounds each track of “Current Flow”. "Dark Clouds" presents a more intriguing structure with a tempo which waves languishingly and whose chords floating with hesitation add a sinister touch to this effervescent sound dryad which is between Steve Roach's sound landscapes and the very syncretic world of Ramp. "Springs" gropes forward on a hesitating pace which hiccups under a musical sky streaked by a rain of metallic stars. Here, as almost everywhere on “Current Flow”, the approach of the synth mellotron brings an astral depth to a title which embraces the steams of a renewed Plastikman, quite as on "Smotion". "Deepestsespeed" is boiling of agitation and rhythmic nervousness. It's a very beautiful title that recalls the fanciful deserts of Roach with its sounds of rattlers which wind a tribal tangent livened up by a frantic tempo and where colorful and indefinable voices plunge us into an absorbing hearing paranoia.
"Flowerescape" is in the same lineage as "Dark Clouds", bringing us to more peaceful and more limpid rhythmic proportions with a slightly nervous tempo that crackles of a thousand and one percussions, as much varied as unusual. The synth is dropping its breaths among heavy reverberations while fine crystalline chords pierce this nebulosity to create a more harmonious musical universe where the rhythm gives the strange illusion to increase around rich wrapping strata. Heavy, "Pulsating" reminds me of Johannes Schmoelling's surprising sound universe on Wuivend Riet, with its multiple shouts of locusts which rock themselves in the blackness of a night filled of sounds strangeness before biting the rhythm with more heaviness towards the finale. It’s one of the best tracks on “Current Flow”. "Timebender" is strongly tinted of a metallic ambiance with its anvil percussions which shape a tempo as heavy as slow around some hesitating arpeggios which float with a strange grace in this industrial apocalypse universe. "Cats" ends this 1st Sirros/Zobel collaboration on a touch just as much eclectic where we recognize cats mewing towards a dense minimalism veil where percussions and keyboards chords are tumbling down in echo on a tempo which is on the borders of atonality. Ambivalent borders which strew an album with harmonious conflicts, but strangely musical, which is situated between audacious Roach or industrialized Ramp and Plastikman on slow lifelessness evolutions. If you want something else.

If you like music and its eclectic pleasure, “Current Flow” is a very good album where rhythms and ambiences are soaked in a pond of 1001 sound pleasures!
Sylvain Lupari (March 17th, 2010 and translated on October 24th 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 22 octobre 2012

DAVID WRIGHT: Connected (2012)

“Each time that I heard an album from David Wright I keep telling that it's his best. Connected is no different. It's really his best...until his next I guess!”

1 Elemente der Psychophysik 7:51
2 Constant Perceptions 6:37
3 Stimulous...Response 4:37
4 Sensory Perception 6:10
5 The Science of Consciousness 4:37
6 The Threshold of Perception 5:35
7 Sensory Overload 5:28          

8 Into the Void 4:03 
9 Confusing Ambiguity 5:06    10 Picture Thinkers 4:25 
11 Signal Transduction 3:15   12 Connected 5:41 
13 Social Contagion 5:51        14 Invisible Webs 4:53
AD MUSIC | AD110 (CD 75:00) *****

I never grow tired of hearing the music of David Wright. With each new album and style, he imposes his very musical works with a stunning harmonious cohesion. For some, his music goes away from the Berlin School or England School territories with a more coherent structure which looks for more the harmonies than the confusion. Fans of EM may debate the point; but who says that beauty can have only one visage? “Connected” travels melodiously in the furrows of the brilliant “In Search of Silence”. David Wright creates the canvas of a wordless story where the listener is called to furnish his fantasies upon the precision of a musical soundscape where the slow crescendo is as much harmonious as emotional.
The first act of “Connected” extends from "Elemente der Psychophysik" to "Picture Thinkers" with a rhythmic approach mainly driven by "Constant Perceptions" and that journeys between a soft techno and a suave down-tempo. The musicality emerges from a distant blade of synth which lays a musical aura to subtle philharmonic veils. The intro undulates of its synth layers which float and glide across an empty sky filled with prismic cosmic tones of which the tranquility is briefly disturbed by an isolated kick. Our ears are caressed by the voice of a solitary ocarinathat awaken an enchanting world swirling around pulsations and percussions which resound in space.
These breaths awaken an enchanting world, while that hove muffled pulsations and percussions which resound in space. Their echoes eventually weave a mass of sequenced ions which pound with an increasing ardour, weaving the minimalist rhythmic structure that will shake the harmonious carpets of “Connected” first verse. The rhythm embraces a shy technoïd tangent, while that "Constant Perceptions" goes deep into our ears by a suave voice that flirts with a sense of desire. Such as a painter and his canvas, David Wright paints a fascinating picture with his synths. The evolution of a hypnotic rhythm with persistent pulsing ions under delicious and complex solos which weave their way over a structure underpinned by philharmonic veils that imply the essences of Oriental nights. This animated rhythm, halfway between a soft techno and a down-tempo, is the cornerstone of the prosaic cradles of “Connected” first chapter. It grows in subtlety on "Sensory Perception" before reaching its zenith on "The Threshold of Perception". These three titles are connected by some quieter interludes, as on "Stimulous... Response" and its enchanting flute which sings on a bed of gentle pulsations and pads. A sparse rhythm switches shape into dazzling pulsations and crystalline beauty before charging into "Sensory Perception" then evolves into a denser orchestral structure underpinned by the chords of a fascinating sitar. "The Science of Consciousness" isolates itself on silvery sequences which swirl in felted ambiences, before being helped by a bass line and to beat towards "The Threshold of Perception"."Sensory Overload" is a fine astral bed song that allows its chords to swirl into a fine timeless spiral. Other chords are grafting there. Shy, they roam and ring of a hesitating approach, hanging on onto of smooth celestial voices to gradually be absorbed by the silence of the celestial bodies. The fans of Vangelis will be on familiar ground here. Simply delicious!
A delicate gong opens "Into the Void" which still retains the vestiges of "Sensory Overload" but which also signs the end of the Arabian fragrances from “Connected”. The mood is rather of a soft cosmic tint with strata which snivel in the lanes of time. The synth layers merge their silvered tones with celestial choirs to gently embrace the scattered melodic tones which bind themselves to the gentle rhythm of "Confusing Ambiguity". As the pulsations fall, so the remnants evolve into a rhythm which bends its harmonies under the oscillations of a good bass line and a rain of jumping ions, entailing in its chaotic rhythm the jingles of cymbals. It spreads into a wide rhythmic pattern that builds with a fusion of pulsations and palpitations, as "Confusing Ambiguity" shells its seconds. The percussions and funky chords bring us towards the heavy riffs of an electronic guitar which casts its resonant shadows on the intro of "Picture Thinkers". The rhythm is heavy and slow. Like a monument of hypnosis it flows lazily, drawing ample circular bows under the splendid solos of a synth which reminds us that this instrument is not only a smith of noises and atmospheres. The last chapter of “Connected” shows us how much
David Wright roots the fact that he is doubtless the most beautiful feather for one to lay an EM which allies of impetuous movements of sequences pounding under superb melodious approaches. Electronic chirpings open "Signal Transduction". From an Arabian world, we go to a futuristic universe à la Blade Runner with these so harmonious synths which outline some intense philharmonic veils. The impact combines the beauty and the drama in an ambience which displays all the influence of Vangelis over the English synthesist. We swim in full cosmos and we are feeling good. But the best is yet to come! Too often, the music of David Wright made my arms' hairs try to sting my heart. You know, these hairs which are directly connected to our emotional sensor? Well, he does it again. The way "Connected" strikes our brain is colossal. The rhythm is slow to start and it explodes through the barrier of the ambiences with heavy pulsations which beat among of more discreet percussions and rhythmic elements that sounds like an epic melancholy film finale. A beautiful melody with oriental flavor is nesting in the hollow of this heavy rhythm which pours into "Social Contagion" where choir and angelic synth lines get unite to draw the last drop of emotion from the stream of melodies in evidence throughout this David Wright's 24th opus. The synth solos lift the mood of a profound melancholy, rocking our repressed hopes towards the distant tranquility of "Invisible Web" which closes another David Wright's big work. I would say to you that it’s his best that I would still repeat myself again. It’s simply grand. This is great music which grabs us from the inside, haunting our ears always and always. But we are used to it. After all, it’s not him who gave us the immortal Walking with Ghosts?

Sylvain Lupari (October 22nd, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 19 octobre 2012

BERTRAND LOREAU: Journey Through the Past (2012)

“Journey Through the Past is an excursion in the universe of a composer who redefines the scales of melancholy on an EM that has nothing to envy to Schulze, Froese, Jarre and Vangelis”

1 Le Ciel est Jaune d'un Liquide Inconnu PII 5:35
2 Le Ciel est jaune d'un Liquide Inconnu PI 14:24
3 Summer 9:16
4 DX Seven Age 18:30 
5 Mickie Love Song 7:20
6 Moog on the Moog 7:16
7 Welcome to the Show 5:35
8 L'Arpège a Tord 3:23
9 Meeting You 4:55

SPHERICMUSIC| SMCD 6300 (CD 76:32) ****½

Finally, the fine music of Bertrand Loreau crosses the France borders. Fascinated by the revival of a French EM in constant effervescence, Lambert Ringlage has decided to make his ear much more curious in order to deeply discover a musical universe which transcends the borders drawn by Jean Michel Jarre. And the boss of Spheric Music has succumbed to the immense poetic approach of Bertrand Loreau. As its naming explains it, “Journey Through the Past” is a flying over the career of the synthesist from Nantes where Lambert Ringlage made a judicious selection of 9 titles composed between 1982 and 1988. Nine tracks that show all of the versatility of Loreau who is very at ease in a psychedelicosmic style than into a progressive Berlin School or in electronic synth-pop. Presented within a new musical envelope, which respects all the poetic depth of this smith of timeless melodies, these pieces of music from Bertrand Loreau are more than just a journey in the heart of a music forgotten in the bend of a too fast evolution of the digital technology. It’s an artistic excursion in the universe of a composer who redefines the scales of melancholy on an EM which makes the bridge between the works of Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre.
Like a pianist of electronic jazz alone with his sorrow, the first chords of "Le Ciel est Jaune d'un Liquide Inconnu PII" float in the air, like grief does in vapors of alcohol. Very different from the version that we find on Réminiscences, "Le Ciel est Jaune d'un Liquide Inconnu PII" offers a duel between solitude and company with joyful synth strata which twirl around between passages of an electronic keyboard to forsaken chords. An intense synth wraps the waltz of those mixed emotions, adding a perplexity to a movement of duality. This first title sets the tone to an album divinely lyrical, a musical mark innate of this French School composer with a zest of Vangelis. We have difficulty in recognizing "Le Ciel est Jaune d'un Liquide Inconnu PI" of which one retained only its second portion, versus the one that nests on Réminiscences. This pure wonder is an ode to Berlin School with a much more fluid rhythm where sequences jostle in a superb movement of a minimalist symmetry. Such as strikings of a glass xylophone, the sequences are moulding a fast walking under the zigzagging streaks of a synth lost among dark voices. It's a mini festival of chiming that digs our ears before embracing a more lunar phase a little after the 5th minute. The movement becomes then a profound exploration of an abstract galactic universe with synth blades which slow down their harmonies in a sidereal space where accumulate of slow fusional lavas with musical rays very near the explorer paths of Synergy on Chords. And it's supported by delicate electronic percussions that the rhythm releases itself from this intergalactic yoke, rushing headlong of its pace à la Klaus Schulze towards more celestial harmonies. It's a huge track of which we find the rhythmic vestiges on "Moog on the Moog" and its strong Schulzian approach which navigates beneath wild twisted solos. "Summer" pours into our ears with a mesmerizing harmonious approach. The hypnotic melody is weaved in a series of chords from which the shadows get juxtapose in a fascinating echo to roll in superimposed loops. And we let ourselves rock by this serial approach which allies magnetism and tenderness in a musical envelope in constant ubiquity of the airs. Jingles of percussions, which flutter as typist's strikings, come to ennoble this mnemonic rhythm whom the intra evolution doesn't stop growing rich of external elements which oversize a surprising electronic bed song rich of a powerful worm of ear.
"DX Seven Age" is the epic track of “Journey Through the Past”. The intro proposes synth layers which cry in an ambience of hurdy-gurdy baroque music. These moaning, which waltz of their sorrows in a cosmos starred of ochred dusts, fade little by little revealing a sequential approach which makes its keys waddle under the aegis of a synth to solos and twists sounding so antique. Sequences bounce along on a lunar rhythm before being harpooned by electronic percussions, plunging "DX Seven Age" towards a strong electronic rock where spirals in the shapes of glass ballerinas and shrillness twirls go out of breath on a rhythm which little by little goes astray in the vapors of a cosmic nostalgia. We are in the 9th minute point and the fragile keys pierce crystal clouds, drawing fleeting romances with melodious wanderings à la Vangelis (Apocalypse des Animaux and Ignacio) where delicate hesitating chords are curtseying in cosmic mists filled by delicate cinematographic aromas. This is simply beautiful and it’s a wonderful mixture of harmonious and cosmic universes that have made the delights of the electronic movements from the analog years. "Mickie Love Song" is exactly a ballad to the analog perfumes of the Space Art years with a slow rhythm which is pulsing under a synth to lines of mellotron mist and melodic rays. The drum of "Welcome to the Show" shapes a nervous rhythm of a kind of free jazz which rolls under the loops of a synth to cherub tunes before espousing a heavier and livelier structure which is similar to a lively cosmic rock. Nervous, "L'Arpège a Tord" is another title inspired by the French School of Space Art with a rhythm rolling like an escalator under a bed of arpeggios that the idle undulations are charming a firework of analog cosmic tones. "Meeting You" ends this first collection of Bertrand Loreau's electronic poems outside the territories of France with a wonderful lunar ballad which gives us the taste to dig further more in depth these rendezvous of melancholy. The tears of keyboard float of their steps of ethereal dance, forming by moments some acrobatic tendrils which swirl like a neurasthenic ballet in a carousel of regrets. It's very beautiful, even intimate, a little as if Bertrand Loreau had this capacity to see in each of us.
Ah … I forgot how much beautiful is the music of Bertrand Loreau. If you do not still know this splendid universe where the music is read on the bottom of the soul, it’s greatly time to travel aboard “Journey Through the Past”. This very beautiful compilation of the French synthman timeless works is a window opened on his wonderful world of astral poetry where the rhythms and ambiences can be as well progressive as melodious, a little as if Vangelis had put his melodies on Klaus Schulze structures of. If we can discuss the selection of the titles (it turns out that other incredibly delicious ones were forgotten on the counter of time) we cannot deny all the wealth of an EM that has only as borders its lack of visibility. While waiting for a suite...

Sylvain Lupari (October 19th 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 12 octobre 2012

MICHAEL STEARNS: Chronos (1985)

“Michael Stearns' Chronos has changed my perception of EM where I understood that EM could definitely have a soul”

Bonne journée mes amis!
Greetings friends!
I have transfered the reviews of Michael Stearns on the new website of Synth&Sequences here;

mardi 9 octobre 2012

NORTHCORE: Desatero (2012)

“Desatero is an amazing musical journey which gets tasted with a bewitchment ceaselessly increasing”

1 Looking Glass 4:19
2 Jupiter 5:05
3 Nocturne 5:41
4 Oxygen 3:51
5 Ladybird 3:53
6 Quercus 3:02
7 Green Fridge 4:53
8 Metronome 2:48
9 Parting 4:18
10 Min Ros 3:48

SPOTTEDPECCARY| SPTD2101 (CD 41:38) ****

Here is an unexpected release out of Spotted Peccary label. Northcore is an obscure English duet composed of Carl Gibbons (keys, synths, voices and effects) et Jana Tillotson (voices and effects) who built an enviable reputation in the spheres of underground EM, without having realized a single album. And it’s this American label, rather famous for its EM to caresses of progressive New Age or to soft sequenced impetus, which managed to capture the sound universe of Northcore with a superb musical production where all the cultural details are stigmatized with a master's hand. “Desatero”, for 10 commandments, is an album without borders. Presented in a nice disturbing card artwork (like old LP’s), it’s a fascinating musical mosaic of 10 titles, from which the near half are sung and/or told, which navigate between down-tempos and ambient world music in a wonderful poetic envelope. Here’s an autopsy of a surprising album which bewitches in every listening.
Footsteps creasing a metallic snow open "Looking Glass" which displays all of the sonic magnificence of “Desatero” with a sound painting to thousand prisms. Ethereal breaths lift prismic dusts when a felted voice gives the start to a delicious down-tempo on which hangs on a melodious line cavorting between the ambiophonic meanders of "Looking Glass". The rhythm is divided between its glaucous and crystalline atmospheres, avoiding constantly a steady structure to roam between its hallucinogenic phases. "Jupiter" is the only track of “Desatero” to present a steady rhythm. And it’s a heavy one! Arched on good pulsating strikings it beats a measure of a kind of mid-tempo with fine circular sequences which mould a light stroboscopic filet that a synth line flies over of its chiselled melody. And, as every title on “Desatero”, the sound envelope is rich and abounds in related tones that add a dimension, this time it is rhythmic, unreal to this first album of Northcore which assails the ears with an incredible sharpness. "Nocturne" emerges from a fauna of white noises to offer an attractive Berber incantation where clanic tom-toms and big tenebrous organ pads expose all the paradoxes that slumber in “Desatero”. Both sensual and lyrical "Nocturne" fleets between two phases, crossing from an ambient tribal dance to a deep nightmarish immersion. "Oxygen", a track sung of a suave and absent voice, settles a mood of horror tension with this nursery rhyme for Freddy Kruger whispered by a felted voice that a fine and malicious line of piano leads into the depths of a cerebral paranoia. "Ladybird" is a beautiful moment of ambient music with its life synth lines which chant in divinatory circles around a strange public market where a Czech bed song is whispering. "Quercus" continue the bewitching marathon with a carousel of tinkling keys which swirl under the warm winds of a dreamlike flute, while "Green Fridge" brings us to antipodes with an alarming approach where shrill lamentations screech after an intro darkened by dreadful breaths. Besides, its intro exceeds all fiction with a swarm of abstruse tones which lift glaucous pulsations and creaks of wooden teeth to bind itself to a furious dark rhythm which tergiversates between its circular gravity and its spectral wanderings. Like a tick-tock fleeing its time "Metronome" sleeps on an ambient down-tempo wrapped of an incredible musical aura where is nesting a delicious melody arisen from an uneven duel of voice. This is quite very beautiful! And it’s just too short. Always rooted in a shape to non-be, the voice of Jana Tillotson has to envy nothing to Beth Gibbons, especially on "Parting" which is a superb ambient down-tempo. "Min Ros", a Swedish traditional song encloses “Desatero” with all the mysticism of a Celtic work, a witness of the multiethnicity from this surprising and delicious first work of Northcore on Spotted Peccary.
Desatero” is an amazing musical journey which gets tasted with a bewitchment ceaselessly increasing. Northcore weaves the outlines of a stunning crossing between Dead Can Dance and Solar Fields which makes the listener travel through the corridors of the world with tales and bed songs trapped in paranormal ambiences and where the rhythms and ballads float in a rich and fascinating sound fauna which enhance the borders of a psychedelic universe. It’s noteworthy and striking and it’s especially extremely mesmerizing. The pleasure increases tenfold with a good pair of headphones.

Sylvain Lupari (October 9th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 5 octobre 2012

KLAUS SCHULZE: Trancefer (1981/2006)

“Trancefer is the album which allies a little better the old music of Schulze to his new digital era”

1 A Few Minutes after Trancefer 18:20
2 Silent Running 18:57
3 A Few Minutes after Trancefer (Version 33 Halfspeed) 18:17
4 Silent Running (Version 45) 19:07

SPV 305502 CD - REV 071 (CD 74:41) ****

After the cold surprise of Dig ItKlaus Schulze returns with an album that allies a little better the old Schulze music with his new digital era. Although “Trancefer” is the shortest album that Schulze produced to this day with hardly 38 minutes on 2 long tracks with slow and minimalist evolutions. Well, the sound is not what it used to be but the soul and the heat which float there make of “Trancefer” an album that should have preceded Dig It instead of following it. But how can we talk about heat with the digital coolness? The answer lies in Wolfgang Tiepold's cello and Michael Shrieve's percussions which cut in this digital ambience and bring to this 2nd essay of Schulze in the digital spheres a musical depth which enhances an approach which wants to be closer to the paths of the old Master than Dig It.
"A Few Minutes after Trancefer" starts things abruptly with pads of churches' organs veils which spread over an empty movement of which the reverberations weave a painting which welcome nervous chords and keys circulating in random tandem with subtle tones of percussions. The atmosphere gets filled by tears of cellos which shear and caress a movement of which the metallic jolts are twinning with the percussions of Shrieve. This first part offers a great cello/synth dual. Tiepold labours his cello which merges with the discreet laments of a synth, giving an intense structural depth and a harmonious heat to a movement with cold tones of industrial churches. The ghostly pads tear an ambience of thick sheet steel when the native percussions of Shrieve harpoon "A Few Minutes after Trancefer" of undisciplined strikings which go marvellously with a movement become indocile, and this in spite of all the synergy between digital sequences, synth pads to tones of organs and discreet bows of Tiepold who pinches his strings of his agile fingers.
A dark veil of mist pushes the intro of "Silent Running" towards an aura of suspense. Cymbals ring their jingles which sparkle everywhere around synth strata forged in fragrances of mysteries, uniting their spectral lamentations beneath glaucous pulsations. Wolfgang Tiepold tears up the strings of his cello which draws curt and nervous movements, tearing the synthesized twilights which jump under the scattered strikings of the percussions. The movement amplifies on an uncertain pace with a staccato rhythm, like a runner out of breath on a slender thread of alienation, while a delicious crescendo settles down with the jerky lamentations of an aggressive cello of which the bows tear the tranquility of morphic violins. The rhythm increasing gradually the minimalist slope, "Silent Running" sinks into the spectral veils of a synth which hoots to perdition and in the curt knocks of a cello which drain its strings into an attractive orchestral envelope where the rhythm of percussions drowns there.
The bonus tracks which roll on variable speed are some small strokes of genius! One, because the minimalism movements allows it without altering the melody and two, this allows to catch all the subtlety of their modulations on richer and more powerful musical textures. If "A Few Minutes after Trancefer" is a bit slower, it doesn't really sound like that because the musical envelope is denser and unctuous. The effect is opposite on "Silent Running" which goes faster. That leaves me perplexed because the speed removes a lot of charm, except towards the end where cello and synth are sublime. But it doesn’t matter! These remix of the original tracks give us a delicious paradox of “Trancefer”. And the booklet, as on all the republications of SPV, locks photos and bibliographic notes which decorate more than 70 minutes of creative EM. Again, this is some great

Sylvain Lupari (February 6th, 2007 and translated on October 5th 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

jeudi 4 octobre 2012

JAVI CANOVAS: Psychedelic Voyage (2012)

“Javi Canovas concocts another very good opus which finds its way through all available mysterious cerebral meanders”

1 Psychedelic Voyage 18:20
2 Mechanic Spirit 18:02
3 Into the Sylence 3:57
4 Sundown 27:13

INDEPENDANT (DDL 67:32) ****

At the beginning 2012 Javi Canovas had amazed the small circle of EM with an album (Transfiguration) that plunged us in full heart of the psychedelico-cosmic frenzies of the Tangerine DreamKlaus Schulze and Neuronium vintages years. With its 3 long titles with introductions of blue mists and its rhythmic phases of which the slow evolutions end into hypnotic minimalist structures, “Psychedelic Voyage” pursues this quest undertaken with his accomplice David Parades (23fish) on the album Unforgiven Machine where the atmospheres and the music found root into imaginations fed by strange substances.
It’s in a thick cloud of cosmic particles that the intro of "Psychedelic Voyage" begins our journey into the very psychedelic states of Javi Canovas' 11th opus. Allegorical twists in tones of cold sirens are snaking in all directions a wall of stigmatized drizzle whereas that quirky tones and echoing fuzz are squabbling these moments of hallucinogenic frenzies. This cerebral spasm sinks into a thick angelic fog which dissipates little by little when the first sequenced pulsations emerge with fright at around the 6th minute point. The rhythm zigzags shyly under the eye of a synth which scatters its abstruse breaths with mixed tones under a tempo which grows ceaselessly before becoming heavy. A feminine voice comes to caress our hearing while tha Canovas  exploits his fine and tortuous solos which decorate a rhythm became wiser. The smoke intro of "Mechanic Spirit" is shorter than on "Psychedelic Voyage" while the rhythmic approach is sharply more incisive. On this title the Spanish synthesist brings us downright in the years of Tangerine Dream's Phaedra with a very good mellotron fluty line which floats above the keys of a sequencer which mould an undisciplined rhythm. The chords of a sober guitar come to ennoble this rhythm which little by little gets dissociate of its Cartesian approach to arches itself and hiccups of curt spasms which pounce with crash in a heavily metallic ambience. Like a steel ballet "Mechanic Spirit" swirls in infinite minimalist loops, revealing its sequenced ions which try to hang on to the discreet amber vapors of synths and to this flute which had avoided it since its opening.
After the delicate dance of dreams drawn by a the soft piano and the enchanting flute of "Into the Sylence","Sundown" propels us in the much more audacious phases of “Psychedelic Voyage” where evanescent atmospheres and rhythms are interconnect to a structure which borrows more the paths of a progressive cosmic rock à la RMI than the psychedelico-cosmic wanderings of the vintage electronic years. More ethereal, the intro frees soft synth clouds which undulate thoughtfully. Sequences emerge from this lethal fog a little after the 4th minute. Waddling of a fast pace they draw a circular movement which skips of its symmetric arrhythmia under the charms of a divine mellotron flute while a guitar sprinkles its uncertain chords on a structure which swims in its perpetual duality. In fact "Sundown" is a long climbing with rest areas. The rhythmic passages are tremulous and molded on nervous sequences which skip such as a herd of mislaid sheeps, while heavy impulses of a synth which puts its Redshift clothes draw aggressive curves and kicks away captivating mists that a guitar is wrapping up with shuddering riffs and scattered solos.There are intense moments on this track which vanished, as it had hatched, in oched mists. Sat comfortably on a musical approach with infinite possibilities, Javi Canovas concocts another beautiful opus which find its way through all available mysterious cerebral meanders. “Psychedelic Voyage” is an album which swims in a Berlin School style to progressive and experimental roots. A little as the excellent Metamorphosis, but with an even more audacious approach.

Sylvain Lupari (October 4th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: