mardi 25 décembre 2012

UWE RECKZEH: Mirror Images (2012)

“Mirror Images a powerful album of a heavy and lively EM which cannot deny the sources of its influences; Tangerine Dream”
1 Mirror Images 11:40
2 Waiting Steelness 7:41
3 Contribution 10:04
4 Most Diversion 6:17
5 Imaginations 8:49
6 Always Sunday 6:50
7 Holding Sympathies 8:00
8 Tomorrow with no Morning 8:09

MellowJet Records | CDR-UR-1201 (CD-R 69:27) ****¼
(New Berlin School, heavy and lively EM)
We cannot ignore the parallels between the music of Uwe Reckzeh and the cradle of his influences. Most of the works from the German synthesist are drinking of it without copying them. In fact, the music of Reckzeh goes over the borders abandoned by the various forms of Tangerine Dream. If Subsesizer explored what would have given the sound of the Dream with Peter Baumann onto Exit, “Mirror Images” gives us rather an outline of the Dream with Johannes Schmoelling within it after the era Poland. Melodious but carried heavily by a wonderful marriage of sequences to multiple rhythmic forms and electronic percussions to Teutonic hits which are crushed by powerful bass lines with ample destructive oscillations, this last album from Reckzeh is a heavy and powerful with rhythms which are leaning on melodic structures evolving inside pattern weaved by fine subtleties.
It's with a concert of enchanted breezes shining in a fog of iridescent particles that begins this superb new album of
Uwe Reckzeh. Soon, some disobedient voices are humming in this fine musical drizzle from where emerges a great line of bass with ample and juicy oscillations. The rhythm settles down with a line of sequences of which the fluttering ions espouse the furious oscillatory tangent of a bass line which feeds its growing rhythm with the arrival of sober Teutonic percussions and of another line of sequences with keys hiccupping under the aegis of great twisted solos. We are entering into the 2nd phase of "Mirror Images" where the rhythm softens its ardour and fattens its harmonious approach with sequences which swirl into short jerky spasms beneath more tenacious hits of percussions which harpoon a double-jointed phase that a synth covers of its divided harmonies. "Mirror Images" depicts marvellously the 55 coming minutes of a staggering album. And it's a very strong track, all in tones and shade which binds itself to "Waiting Steelness" and at its pace galloping under avalanches of percussions and solos hooting in a rhythmic and harmonious continuity which reminds unmistakably the Dream's period of Schmoelling. "Contribution" continues to feed “Mirror Images” of hypnotic sequences which collide delicately under the symmetric jingles of cymbals. The rhythm is hyper melodious. Hypnotic it draws its nuances in the colors of a synth of which the lines of voice get melting into harmonies which get lost in fleeting solos. Very heavy, "Most Diversion" explodes into our ears with an intro filled by an orchestral arrangement near drama. The percussions of a clanic kind add a surrealist dimension at this track of which the harmonies of synths hang on a smile at the ear. We close eyes and we imagine easily what Tangerine Dream would have been sounding if Johannes Schmoelling would have stayed with a group which feeds the inspirations of Uwe Reckzeh. The approach is explosive on this track which tries constantly to go out of its rhythmic pattern.
We stay in the intensity with the heavy "Imaginations" which begins nevertheless rather in secret. Timid the resounding chords hesitate to waltz with the percussions of which the knocks of clogs get lost in a bass line and its notes which bite a rhythm in ebullition. The whole thing forms a strange rhythmic choreographic to which are adding some light harmonized keys which ring in a din becoming softer, while that the synth spreads its beautiful solos which cover this rhythm much more savage than poetic. But a rhythm always harmonious rhythm which respects the plan drawn by the German synthman since the first chords of the title-track. And the more we move forward in “Mirror Images” and the more we are subjected by these with structures rhythms and harmonies so near and nevertheless so distant and distinct. With its sequences which have difficulty in outlining a sustained rhythmic figure, "Always Sunday" ends by collapsing under the weight of its percussions while the sequenced ions skip with stubbornness on a rhythmic structure destroyed by its heaviness. Vampiric, the synth widens its devastating solos which wave as spectres thirsty for rhythms. Rhythms of lead which feed amply these solos which seem to go out of the wild imaginings of a certain Edgar Froese. Heavy, rich and delicious! The last two tracks bring us towards more exploratory and schemers phases of “Mirror Images”. "Holding Sympathies" leads us to it with an acoustic guitar which makes meditate its notes under a heavy coat of iridescent mist. Odd bells made by an interbreeding of metallic chords embroider the outlines of a mephistophelic approach before that the rhythm tumbles down in a somber gallop made wrathful by the hits of steady percussions and the burning serpentines of sequences which encircle a rhythmic ride flooded by great solos of a black as much black as darkness. And it's this ambience which transports itself up to the intro of "Tomorrow with no Morning" and its glaucous breaths which breathe laboriously under a sky darkened by a thick cloud of beatings as apocalyptic as eclectic. Fine sequences succeed in dancing there, circulating aimlessly in a dense carpet of ochred mist that synth waves sweep like the glances of a lighthouse in darkness which quietly are waking up with a muffled rhythm. But too little too late, "Tomorrow with no Morning" does not breathe more than by our memory of a listening that we are going to multiply by putting back the counter to the opening track.
Without a shadow of a doubt, “Mirror Images” is an excellent surprise that almost went unnoticed. It's a powerful album with a surprising eclectic marriage of sequences, percussions and bass lines which weave rhythms hallucinatory melodic. The atmospheres are alive and rich, surrounding and embracing its rhythms among which the continual nuances and variances convince us even more that the different periods of post
Tangerine Dream had always something to charm. Wonderful and highly recommendable!

Sylvain Lupari (December 23th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

dimanche 23 décembre 2012

DREAMERPROJECT: The Road to Your Heart (2012)

“The Road to Your Heart abounds of beautiful harmonious structures where the rhythms and ambiences dance in the universes of Vangelis and David Wright”
1 Arped Sunrise 7:18
2 Waiting 5:18
3 The Cave 7:08
4 Flight 1607 6:49
5 Dreamscape 12:59
6 Ambient Waves 6:01
7 A Christmas Card 4:42
8 The Road to Your Heart 6:31
9 Morning Mist

AD MUSIC | AD 112 CD (CD 69:27) ***½

Dreamerproject is the last find of AD Music label. This musical project from the Norwegian musician Kjetil Ingebrigtsen wears well its name and the title of its first opus even more. “The Road to Your Heart” is a beautiful collection of 9 very musical pieces where the rhythms are molded in a tranquillity which sticks splendidly to a very romantic, nostalgic and harmonious approach produced in a masterly fashion by David Wright.
"Arped Sunrise" is a good indication of what waits for us throughout “The Road to Your Heart” with a fine melody emerging from an ambiospheric intro. The rhythm is delicate and follows an upward curve with glimmering chords of which the forms of riffs with the percussions draw a bewitching hypnotic tick-tock. The piano notes go away from this cerebral procession, weaving other snippets of melodies which court the ethereal choirs and the breaths of an orchestral synth molded in the souvenirs Vangelis. The influence of Vangelis fills the air all over this opus of Dreamerproject which overlaps the tranquillities of the New Age and the electronic rhythms of the New Berlin School. "Waiting" is beautiful lullaby for insomniacs which takes roots in the waves of a desert beach from which the drizzle rises up until the cosmos. There where tears of synth built of floating and moving pads are winding around a synth with chords sounding like a harpsichord which embroiders the delicate harmonies of a soft melancholy forgotten on the counter of time. One would imagine being in the warm nights of Opera Sauvage so much it's serene. The intros, and finales, which furnish every composition are soaked into soft ambiospheric moods. And so "The Cave" ends up by espousing a harmonious structure similar to the one of "Arped Sunrise", but with a more fluid rhythm, while that the spiraled melody of "Flight on 1607" invites us to a more electronic rhythm. A rhythm à la Software with a fine clanic approach where the percussions which sound like the manual ones resound in tender filets of voices that we lose in the breaths of a rather ethereal synth. It's a good and soft meditative maelstrom endowed with a hybrid structure, sometimes finely jerked and sometimes charmingly melodic.
Hollow winds jostle some isolated keys which clink in the tears of violins that have fed the intro of "Waiting". And after this quiet intro, "Dreamscape" offers us a superb rhythm which gallops finely in the roots of the beautiful hypnotic Teutonic movements. Delicate and harmonious, the rhythm oscillates into beautiful pads of a dreamy synth from which the lines and suave breezes surround a fine cosmic melody which grows rich of very good twisted solos. It's one of the good melodious tracks of 2012. It goes in my iPod! "Ambient Waves" is a soft melody which hangs on to its melancholic approach embroidered into some tears of synth. These tears are watering a delicate rhythm which hiccups in a circular movement set in fire by arpeggios to hybrid tones and by honeyed fluty blows that are nailing this track in its envelope of sadness. More cheerful "A Christmas Card" is also very musical and reminds to me the universe of Vangelis. Idem for the title-track which is very poignant and which offers a seducing dramatic approach with its violins which caress our soul, its hummed murmurs which lead our spirit to sleep and its orchestral arrangements which carry our troubled emotions. The rhythm follows a processional bend with its crystal arpeggios which resound like drops on a glass anvil while the percussions which roll on this carpet of nostalgia are shaping a mesmerizing morphic bolero. It's beautiful and it' especially quite musical. "Morning Mist" loops the loop with a long silky structure where the soft rhythm kisses a slow morphic dance which feeds on winds of violin. Winds which quieten a rhythm also harmonious as on "Arped Sunrise" but also orchestral that on "Ambient Waves", a little as if Dreamerproject would lay its melodies on a structure of which the homogeneity is the token of its charms.
I quite enjoyed my ride with this first opus of Dreamerproject which is going directly in my bank of albums that rock my nights of dreams. “The Road to Your Heart” abounds of beautiful harmonious structures where the rhythms, delicates need to say, and ambiences, movings I got to write, are forming 9 beautiful melodious symbioses which oscillate between the universes of Vangelis and David Wright. Divine Matrix and Dreamerproject! Yes, the future of AD Music floats in beautiful Milky Ways.

Sylvain Lupari (December 21th, 2012)

mercredi 19 décembre 2012

FANGER & SCHÖNWÄLDER: Stromschlag (07/11)

“Stromschlag is a musical journey finely depicted by a creative complicity that resuscitates admirably the old essence of vintage EM”

1 Wild Joe's 10:02
2 Mojave 7:15
3 Yellow Stones 15:32
4 See you later in Bozeman 23:39
5 Gallatin Field 8:47
6 Twintron 5:21

RICOCHET DREAM | RD067 (CD 70:46) **** (Berlin School)

Originally available in digipack format and in limited edition on the Manikin label, “Stromschlag” is a musical collection of 2 travelling salesmen invested of a desire to sell an EM with the analog perfumes of the vintage years. It's an opus that is also out of print but which is redone on Vic Reck's label, Ricochet Dream. We can describe this album as a scrapbook of hundred of photos taken in the lands of Steve Roach, that Tangerine Dream discovered in his 77 tour, restored into music during the Californian tour of this brilliant German duet. But is “Stromschlag” for an electric shock? Not really! But rather a nice and quiet musical collection stemming from the fertile imagination of Fanger & Schönwälder who doesn't stop to amaze in his making of a minimalism art where redundancy is held in contempt.
It's all in smoothness that "Joe's Wild" begins. Soft sparkling arpeggios are floating in a nebulosity filled of heterogeneous tones and where the sound effects of a boreal forest are trapped in a somber Mellotron which gets collusive of an effervescent musical taciturnity. The track livens up in a kind of groovy mood which sounds like a soft Mexican romance with fine percussions drumming beneath an acoustic guitar and some mislaid chords shining with a brightness echoïc harmonious air. The influence of Fanger (Mind-Flux) is striking on this soberly cheerful and rhythmical music piece which reminds me of Food For Fantasy
 or still the Californian breezes of Mergener/Weisser's works on IC label. It's a mesmerizing track which soaks into a jazzy/groovy mood and which ends in the soft ecstasies of a fluty Mellotron. And it's with an even darker Mellotron that "Mojave" is opening, exposing the air of the American desert wild savannas. We feel a sort of agony there while that floating chords call to mirage in a superb soundscape of a glittery beam. The soft paleness of "Mojave" goes up to until "Yellow Stones" with a splendid presence of Mellotron from which the hazes sound so much like the arrival of TD in the American soils back in 1977. A beautiful line of sequences splits the movement at around the 5th minute which livens up under some rather ingenious synth spectres. The spirits of the desert wake up with the lamentations of the first pioneers who left their souls beneath the sand. The musical reconstitution of the American West by Fanger & Schönwälder is striking and depicts with a surprising creativity those long bus journeys. But the duet never forgets his roots and delivers a superb Berlin School structure with mnemonic percussions and gliding hazes of Mellotron on the second half of "Yellow Stones" which ends up to be one of the very good tracks of EM in 2008. It's a wonderful music which wakes up and dies in the night-atmospheres of an eroded land.
From the same introductory pattern but this time fed by a fertile zoological sound fauna, "See you later in Bozeman" starts from barren furrows to finally create a slow and hypnotic Berlin School to which are joining a litany of sound effects and ghostly voices which merge to some aboriginal synth breaths. This long circular track exploits the spectral breezes and ghostly moods of a dense Mellotron which weighs up on a sober, hypnotic and steady tempo. This Mellotron is the cornerstone of this long hypnotic canvas where a soft rhythmic pattern is skipping smoothly beneath the iridescent breezes and flutes that go all the way to its end. It's quite good, a bit long, and it's a good indication of the complicity and the magic that surround the German duet that drinks of the analog years of the Dream and Klaus Schulze. And I know that I'm repeating myself but the duet seems to have an unlimited imagination. Let us take "Gallatin Field" for instance. Fanger & Schönwälder would have been able to lower the guarding and simply offers a well sequenced track which catches and forms a solid earworm such as hypnosis of the brain. But no! The duet has chosen to dress this rhythm which undulates in cascades with sequences which become entangled among nice synth melodies which crystallize in a rich and diversified sound excitement, always raising the hearing attention of a notch. This is yet another great track with breezes and winds of the Middle East among a southern touch, while that "Twintron" floats in the desert of serenity with beautiful tones of big organ. This dramatic touch is ending a journey finely depicted by a creative complicity from this amazing duet that resuscitates admirably the old essence of the progressive electronic era, with a zest of electronica. So, when is the next?

Sylvain Lupari (March 10th, 2009 and translated on December 18th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

jeudi 13 décembre 2012

STEVEN LANCE: East Setting Sun (2012)

“I don't know if it's because I listened Fringe Runner before East Setting Sun, but I found this last album of Steven Lance a bit more musical”
1 One Clap Ending 7:52
2 The Potokar Incident 5:31
3 Gremlins Workin’ Here 5:44
4 With what Time we Have 5:52
5 Viewing Infinity 5:41
6 A Palestinian State of Mind 7:05
7 Can you hear the Call 5:43
8 N _ R _ K 5:04
9 Crossing Vast Wasteland 6:03

STEVEN LANCE | (CD-R 56:49) ***¾ (Experimental, psybient, progtronic and...all!)

The very first time that the music of Steven Lance crossed my loudspeakers, Lise looked at me of a disconcerted air. So much noises for so few harmonies! It was with Fringe Runner! Well, “East Setting Sun” always disguises the frenzies of the New York synthesist with a musical approach as much dishevelled where the cacophonous rhythms and the organic elements terrorize melodies that have difficulty in blowing. With as backcloth the injustices and inequities as well social, politics and economic “East Setting Sun” is a shout of the heart on the music always rebellious of Steven Lance.
From the start "One Clap Ending" introduces us to
Steven Lance's colorful universe. The rhythm tries to climb a multitude of dunes, slowing down thus an absurd race among harmonious kicks, attacks of cymbals and glockenspiel keys. We feel quite well a melody which tries to survive through these fleeting pads, but the repeated attacks by this mixture of noisy rhythms and harmonies are reducing this melody to its perpetual embryonic state which tickles the hearing due to its innocent virginity. "The Potokar Incident" is an organic psybient filled by lines, layers and crisscrossed pads which weave a thick cloud of sound radioactivities. The structure reminds me of Exploring Uncharted Planet and A Solution for Strangeland from Fringe Runner with its broth of pulsations and percussions which foment disorder, amplifying a dynamic which sounds out of tune with this ambient approach. Divided into two phases, "Gremlins Workin' Here" goes out of its atmospheric intro to dive into an ambivalent harmonious frenzy. I hear bits and pieces of Earthstar (French Skyline) with these pads of perturbed voices which hum an opera for schizophrenics. We really are in the deep of an abstracted art here, quite as in "Viewing Infinity" and its surprising voices which roll in loops in very good celestial arrangements.
"With what Time we Have" offers a more calculated rhythm with heavy pulsations which pound in all senses, trying to bind themselves onto jazzy percussions which drum out of rhythm in a very electronic musical envelope. It's particular, different but it hooks on the ear and it fills quite well a headphone, as in "A Palestinian State of Mind" which presents on the other hand a more accessible and quieter structure, especially with this line of sequences which winds among the cawings of a beautiful bass line. It's the most electronic track of “East Setting Sun”. "Can you hear the Call" hesitates between jazz and tribal mood. There are some good moments scattered on this structure muffled by the paradox of rhythm and ambience. And the antipodes as rhythmic as melodic get multiplying with "N _ R _ K" which pounds on a bed of sequences and undisciplined pulsations. The layers of organ built a black harmonious structure which goes astray into sinuous resonances, concealing the beatings which weave a silky cacophonous approach. Still there we are in the abstract filled to the top, quite as in "Crossing Vast Wasteland" and its jazzy rhythm livened up by agile percussions of which the fervent beatings stop to let glide some brief ambiophonic interludes, there where are born soft pads which float adrift on a very good jazz structure.
I don't know if it's because I listened
Fringe Runner before “East Setting Sun”, but I found this last album of Steven Lance a bit more musical, more structured. Certainly the ears must be curious in order to seize well all the anarchic nuances which teem there except that the whole is far from being indigestible. It's a more musical anti-music which addresses a target public. For fans of musical experiments which are very juicy inside headphones, there where lies all the strength of this universe of eclectic interbreedings that is the one of Steven Lance.
Sylvain Lupari (December 11th, 2012)

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

mercredi 12 décembre 2012

STEVEN LANCE: Fringe Runner (2012)

“Fringe Runner leads you into the lands of a bouncy and jerked ProgTronic. What is that?'s Steven Lance's music”
1 Flee for Your Life 6:48
2 Our Gods Are All Dead 6:32
3 Fringe Runner 7:49
4 As the Moons Rise 8:20
5 And if we’re Mistaken? 6:22
6 Exploring Uncharted Planet 9:04
7 Schrödinger's Cat 6:02
8 A Solution for Strangeland 6:18
9 Goodbye, Our Sun 6:18

STEVENLANCE | (CD-R 63:33) ***¼ (Experimental, psybient, progtronic and...all!)

Steven Lance is a New York multi-instrumentalist who likes a striking and very experimental EM. His very dishevelled style embraces the frenzies of Ozric Tentacles in a style that he calls ProgTronic where his very progressive structures rest on sequenced base music and harmonies demonized by envelopes of multi-lines synth. “Fringe Runner” is his 2nd album. An album of musical science fiction where the fate of the human race, which left the Earth because of the falls of galaxies, rests in the hands of Fringe Runners. A story quite indicated to feed the ambitious corridors of a music s much crazy as abstract.
White noises, extraterrestrial waves and dialogues of galactic toads open "Flee for Your Life". This short introduction is fast harpooned by a progressive approach of free-jazz with lines of sequences and pulsations which lash out in the movements of unbridled percussions, structuring so a crazy running of which the jerky movements are resting into brief atmospheric moments. The lines of synth are as much violent as the rhythm, weaving an approach more extraterrestrial than purely electronic. Once this introduction (quite violent I got to say) passed, we dive into a more musical universe with "Our Gods Are All Dead" which is a beautiful ambient moment with its delicate synth pads crying in heavy static waves. The title-track offers an abrupt structure, which is legion in this universe made of rhythmic kicks and jolts, with a jerked rhythm which spreads its multidirectional layers of knocks and strikings under good and very enveloping synth layers. The keyboard is melodious, weaving a universe of paradox between prog, electronic and jazz. These indomitable rhythms which support serrated melodious approaches are copious in the abstracted universe of Steven Lance. A universe that is quite difficult to describe so much it's colourful and that all what is living all over it bicker into musical tumults which are the core of experimental music. Thus the rhythm of "As the Moons Rise" is made of these brief jerked movements which, once put in Indian file, form a rhythmic in waterfalls filled of delicate spasms oscillating in fleeting harmonies.

"And if we’re Mistaken?" offers an intense approach of paranoia with heavy organ layers which widens its mirror of schizophrenia in a dramatic orchestral structure worthy of the Phantom of the Opera. Steven Lance is also capable of ambient and contemplative structures...sort of! And "Exploring Uncharted Planet" is quite a good one where earthly and cosmic elements are cogitating onto an oblong lunar procession punctuated of keen amporphic moments. It's intense and the hybridization of the clanic, cosmic and organic genres made show up reminiscences of Steve Roach and Robert Rich, but in a more daring form. So is "A Solution for Strangeland" which evolves also in processional way, embroidering a tribal organic intensity which breathes of its duality. Here are two ambient tracks whom the slow and black evolutions are eaten away by a concern from Lance skillfully transposed into music. And if we thought of having faced the absolute abstracted in "Flee for Your Life", it's that we didn't hear "Schrödinger's Cat" nor "Goodbye, Our Sun" which concludes an album sitting on the throne of electronic and experimental works rather difficult to tame.
Yes I had some difficulties to listening in a single and straight shot this Steven Lance's “Fringe Runner”. In all honesty, I even stopped the hearing twice rather than one. But once the first 20 minutes digested by our ears, we invade a sound fauna weaved in the nuances and the subtleties of a music at the quest of its universe of extraterrestrial fantasias. And it's by delight that we discover all the musicality and the dexterity of Steven Lance on an album where tones, and its underlying elements, are among the curiosities that we like taming within a good headphone. It was moreover an approach very appreciated by my Lise.

Sylvain Lupari (December 11th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mardi 11 décembre 2012

VARIOUS AD Music: After Midnight (2012)

“A compilation isn't always something which cleans up your CD player, After Midnight is built around 16 wonders that will let you discover the magic of AD Music”
1 Everybody (The Pels Syndicate) 4:47
2 China Calling (David Wright) 6:04
3 Nucleogenesis (Sylvain Carel) 6:36
4 Soundtrack for a Fantasy (Robert Fox) 5:01
5 Realm (Steve Orchard) 4:34
6 Autumn Leaves (Claudio Merlini) 5:33
7 And she Held the Moon (Bekki Williams) 4:23
8 Deep Within (Glenn Main) 5:23
9 Eucalyptico (Richard Bone) 6:16
10 Meltdown Se (Code Indigo) 7:29
11 Fractal Dreams (Divine Matrix) 6:11
12 Memoires Astrales (Dead Beat Project) 5:10
13 Ocean (Dreamproject) 6:53
14 Girl Friday (Geigertek) 4:48                
Bonus Tracks from DDL
16 Light Dream (Acheloo) 7:12      17 Parallel Dreaming (Paul Sills) 7:10

AD100CD (CD 79:52) (DDL 93:30) **** (Berlin School, Lunar electronica, New Age)
The adventure AD Music began in 1989 with the publication of Reflections, the first album of its founder David Wright. Since then, the English label reached the high standards of artistic quality with a constant quest for new artists and new musical orientations, enriching so a catalog which covers all the spheres of contemporary EM. And it's the reflection of “After Midnight”. This last compilation of AD Music is an impressive artistic window where 16 artists reveal as much musical orientations which melt in the ears like oniric rustles.
The Pels Syndicate opens the ball with a technoïd track à la sauce Kraftwerk. The rhythm of "Everybody" jumps of its muffled pulsations from a loudspeaker to another around good orchestral arrangements of which the violent jolts chop the vocoder effects and the voices pads which melt into fine harmonious lassoes. "China Calling" brings us into David Wright's Asian romances. It's a long hypnotic track with dialogues in mute which draws its delicate rhythm around bongo kind of percussions and a bass line with chords pounding slightly in the harmonies of a melody flowing finely on a jerked debit. Sylvain Carel's "Nucleogenesis" jumps up softly in the furrows of Caravansary. Although less orchestral, the structure is just as much progressive with a latent rhythm which increases all in nuance in the mists and ethereal breaths of the Berber dunes where discreet sitar notes are dancing and shrilling under brief iridescent lamentations. It's one of the beautiful find from AD Music. "Soundtrack for a Fantasy" from Robert Fox brings us in the harmonious and romantic corridors of AD Music. The track is soft and very ethereal with a voice of goddess which sighs in the vapors of a dreamy piano. It's soft. It's also very melancholic. Steve Orchard's "Realm" is a delicate melody where fine Tablas percussions bear the harmonies of an acoustic guitar which espouses wonderfully orchestral arrangements weaved in melancholy. The "Autumn Leaves" of Claudio Merlini is another soft melody which soaks into some Eastern suspicions while that Bekki Williams' "And she Held the Moon" shows us Ireland with an approach very near the poetic aromas of Enya. After these 20 minutes of tenderness, Glenn Main's "Deep Within" awakens our weakened senses with a cosmic rhythm à la Jarre which swirls of its e-bass chords. The synth is melodious; astride New Age with its panpipes tones, it caresses the rhythmic jolts of a spherical rhythm.
It has been a while since I had heard Richard Bone. And "Eucalyptico" wears well its title with a light rhythm which cavorts in a plain very musical where harmony and simplicity are molding a catchy earworm. With its heavy rhythm crossed by a bass line with flickering pulsations, "Meltdown Se" from Code Indigo is a great teaser of the mythical English group upcoming album. Between a vertiginous cosmic ride and a good prog rock à la Porcupine Tree, the track is weaved in the heavy riffs and solos of a guitar whipped by a stroboscopic line of which the eroded contours embrace strong orchestral arrangements. It's very promising! Fans will love that one. As for me, the big find of AD Music is unarguably Divine Matrix, and the wonderful "Fractal Dreams" explains why. This streaked spiral which swirls in its cosmic elements is a jewel of New Berlin School. The tears of synth that are saddened all over it are crossing the soul to dance lasciviously in the trail of sequences to rotary arcs. That's simply wonderful and very heart rending and that explains the craze that I have for his last album Atmospheric Variations. Dead Beat Project's "Memoires Astrales" is a good lunar down-tempo soaked of an enveloping woman voice which rests the subconscious, quite as the lounge tempo of Geigertek on "Chorus girl Friday" while that "Ocean" is a soft chill-out finely jerked by Dreamproject, the last acquisition of the English label. The downloadable version of “After Midnight” includes 2 bonus tracks among which a very beautiful ambient musical landscape in "Light Dream" from Acheloo. The movement is of a restful morphic peace of mind with a slow waltz of synth lines which sing and float in a quiet dream world. Paul Sills' "Parallel Dreaming" ends this very beautiful compilation with an intense track filled by this clanic approach of the peoples of sands which is in the heart of the last realizations of AD Music label that this compilation invites you to discover with 16 small jewels to the orientations as much diversified as your fantasias.
Sylvain Lupari (December 11th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 10 décembre 2012

RAINBOW SERPENT: Voyager (1996/2006)

“Voyager is considered as being the most complete work of the New Berlin School of the 90's and I have to agree”

A) Past (22:28)
1 Overture 3:30   2 Ritual 8:23
3 Return of the Dreamtime 5:22   4 The Gate 5:14
B) Present (22:42)
5 Growing from Imagination 10:09
6 Wind, Rain and Thunder 6:06    7 Remnants 4:27
C) Future (18:45)
8 Visualities Labored for Thousands of Years 10:20
9 Final: Voyager 5:52
D) Beyond (Bonus sur Syngate) (13:54)
10 Dreams and Darkness 3:07   11 Elohim

SYNGATE | CD-R 2109 (CD-R 72:23) ****½ (New Berlin School, Teutronica)

Ah that I had difficulty to tame “Voyager”. But isn't the main quality of the timeless works? Needs to say that I so heard about this Rainbow Serpent opus that my expectations were very high. And with reasons! And if you heard Frank Specht's Sebastian im Traum before it, the taming can turn out even more tortuous because the similarity between both works is too much to disregard it. But don't give up or be discouraged, because you have between your hands a small work of genius from the Gerd Wienekamp/Frank Specht duet. Consisted between September 1995 and June 1996, “Voyager” is considered as being the most complete work of the New Berlin School of the 90's. And I have to agree with this observation. We find of everything on this 3rd album from Rainbow Serpent; big gyrating impulses of Schulzian kind of synths, a perfect balance between earthly and cosmic elements which lead the tribal-cosmic structures into perpetual indecisions, intense orchestral arrangements, hypnotic and rotary rhythms à la Software and finally hallucinogenic ambiences dear to the electronic wanderings of the vintage years with synths as much musical as lyrical. In brief, it's a musical jewel where the pleasure grows with the use and this no matter the dependence which ensues from it.
It's in the most total harmonious anarchy that begins Past. In 3:30 time, "Overture" does a very singular overview of what is expecting us on this 3rd opus from Rainbow Serpent. A piano soaked with a nostalgic approach spreads a delicate melodious approach which will be the melodic genesis of “Voyager”. This approach lasts only 45 seconds. Afterward, violent knocks of bows draw an infernal race against time until that soft violin strata unwind carpets of mists where stars and their sparkling are disrupted by electromagnetic storms. This ambio-spherical landscape is gliding until the first seconds of "Ritual" which floats downright in space. One would imagine then of being in the cosmic corridors of Stanley Kubrick and his 2001. Clanic percussions animate a vague trance, drumming out of time in a lunar waltz fed by wrapping violins. The rhythm livens up a little after the 4th minute, moulding again a circular running with sequences and percussions which pound with a balanced frenzy in veils of mists. The parallels with Sebastian im Traum continue to abound. One would believe to be in Steve Roach's roamings poems with this tribal-cosmic fusion that will guide the versatile rhythmic fauna of Past and Present. The morphic flutes of "Return of the Dreamtime" (a strange coincidence) kiss the melodious core of “Voyager” (and of Sebastian im Traum) with a delicious hypocrisy, caressing of their sweetness some sinuous reverberations which by-pass some scattered clanic percussions. Percussions with shy and scattered hits which gradually bind themselves to muffled pulsations of which the heavy palpitations go astray in suave orchestrations to mold a soft cerebral trance which gets lost again in this fragmented melody that roams throughout “Voyager”. Teasing and delicious! "The Gate" ends this first portion with a semi techno, semi disco rhythm. Frantic pulsations raise a circular sequential approach where undisciplined palpitations, the tsitt-tsitt of cymbals and the manual percussions insist on the clanic tempo of Past of which the present melody is kissing a staggering originality. Splendid, "Growing from Imagination" is a pure jewel of a crossing between Berlin School and New Berlin School. The rhythm is fluid and weaved by twinkling sequences which are swirling in the curves of a great line of bass. This inverted rhythmic spiral spins with a hypnotic exhilaration, gleaning the breaths of a lyrical synth which coos in the vertiginous furrows of its turbulence. A synth which also frees twisted solos and which plunges us into the universe of Klaus Schulze (Body Love
). And it's in this very Schulzian ambience that "Wind, Rain and Thunder" lands in our ears. A synth pierces the opacity of its nebulous intro, throwing whistled harmonies which roll in loops. And the memories of a melody forgotten in Past reappear. This melody charms due to its ethereal approach which gets lost in the violent torments of a staccato orchestral movement, where the bows plough a heavy static rhythm, leading this polyphase track towards another electromagnetic storm. "Remnants" concludes the 2nd verse of “Voyager” with another loud technoïd approach. The percussions tumble with suppleness in it, thundering in the resonances of a powerful hypnotic pulsation while that the melodious portion is subjected to weird synth lines which chant an electronic dialect in a loud ambience where scattered chords, harmonic pads and fragmented lines are twirling all around.
Future is the cornerstones of “Voyager” where the first 45 minutes have constantly titillated our hearing with this melodic approach which has always refuse to hatch. The intro of "Visualities Labored for Thousands of Years" is embroidered in the suspense with synths waves which welcome a fall of cosmic waves which float around other synth lines more undulating. A crystal clear chord raises itself between this heap of lines, amassing in its echo a rosary of other chords which form a sequence of ions charmer which skip in a soft harmonious cacophony. And quietly the rhythm gets forge. Fluid, it's harpooned by a bass line of which the heavy notes run against harmony, creating a sweet musical paradox which melts in the ear. We are charmed by this bazaar of sequences and bass chords which circulate in all senses, forging a perfect spheroïdal symbiosis to which add percussions of which the scattered movements amplify the ingenuity of "Visualities Labored for Thousands of Years" which will reach its peak with the powerful technoïd rhythm of "Final: Voyager". And this, my friends; it's a great moment in modern EM. It's like reaching a violent orgasm after the 1 hour of languishing sensual cavorts. I adore and it's more than brilliant. And it's there that the taste of listening to Sebastian im Traum reaches its paroxysm. "Dreams and Darkness", one of the two bonus tracks of this SynGate reedition, extends the very melodramatic finale of "Final: Voyager"
with powerful orchestral elements among which a superb violin which entails us in the fantasies of "Elohim" and of its Berber tribal approach which oversizes and stretches a great final that we would like timeless. I buy those tracks because they fit very well to the genesis of “Voyager”. Splendid!
Intense, dramatic and filmic; the 4 chapters of “Voyager” form a long electronic fresco where the universes of Gerd Wienekamp and Frank Specht collide in an impressive futuristic vision proper to an imagination without borders. It's an intense musical work which drags the listener among an entanglement of rhythms and ambiences from which the subtle variances are orbiting around the same melodic pattern, drawing a kind of long sexual intercourse which inevitably brings us towards a wonderful hearing orgasm. Superb! And it gives the taste to re listen to Sebastian im Traum each time, merging so two great odysseys which form only one.

Sylvain Lupari (December 9th, 2012)

dimanche 9 décembre 2012

ERIC G.: Conclusions (2001)

“A collection of music wrote between 1978 and 1996, Conclusion goes deep into the Teutonic soils of vintage Berlin School”
1 New Berlin 22:59
2 Aritmos 7 9:30
3 In The Moog 4:29
4 A Very Short Visit in a Froesen Desert 3:02
5 Spring 2:05
6 Raindrops  9:44
7 The Icecream Van Repair Man 17:29

ELMUCD CD101 (69:20) ***½ (Vintage Berlin School EM)

Year in year out, there is always a new artist who make his traces with a strong release. This year, the palm goes to Sweden Eric G.. An independent artist, who also paints fabulous drawings that are not without recalling the first artworks of Klaus Schulze albums, Eric G. presents to EM fans a powerful album that we relish from beginning to ending. Writing between 1978 and 1999 “Conclusions” follows a temporal curve, sailing between the analog area and a more contemporary period of EM.
"New Berlin" opens this e-ball with a marvelous composition which ties up all the musical zones that one can dream about the Berlin School kind. It's a slow and bewitching start with dancing cymbals and a hypnotic drum which let heard its orchestral rolls. Vaporous the synth gauges the approach whereas the percussions become more constant, hammering a hypnotic tempo à la Keller/Schonwalder. We are still under the spell when a nervous bass sequence with hopping waves is wriggling, initiating the step to a sulphurous fluty mellotron which releases an incredible mood between Tangerine Dream of the 70's and a more contemporary one à la Free System Projekt. And, of its 23rd minutes, "New Berlin" will cross some musical paths as much enchanter as hard-hitting with unsuspected musical directions filled by the progressive scents of the beautiful time of the 70's and of its analog moods. A truly masterpiece! Shorter, "Aritmos 7" gets out of hibernation from a long opaque drone which melts itself in a sequence line with hopping percussions, pointing out the clever manoeuvres of Chris Franke. It's a heavy track with some reverberating contours which explode on analog sound effects and furious synth solos to very Schulzian savours. "In the Moog" is an extremely livened up track that could easily be aired on FM broadcast. Cheerful and melodious we can't ignore the closeness of the styles between Jarre and Frederic Mercier's Songs from France. "A Very Short Visit in A Froesen Desert" is a well composed track which passes from ambient mood to a more steady rhythm, eroding the ashes of Froese's Stuntman.
A short ballade, "Spring" segregates pretty well the classical aspect of the Teutonic approach from the Swedish synthesist because "Raindrops" and "The Icecream Van Repair Man" propose us a more versatile and progressive style of “Conclusions”. On "Raindrops", the intro presents drops of rain that are extracted from a realistic world to merge within a more abstract approach. They dance and form a musical line which is used as a basis for a felted synth which combines harmony and obscure universe. The rhythm becomes more flowing. Surrounded by beautiful lines of a sentimental and nostalgic synth, it glides on a slow tempo where are merging unsteady percussions and metal drops with a texture of a glockenspiel. "The Icecream Van Repair Man" is the magical track of “Conclusions”. On a long dark shattered intro filled of vocal effects which exudes the voices fragrances of a famous German trio, the synth becomes of a haunting fluidity with synth lines crisscrossing in a tenebrous mood which is awakening on jumps of symmetrical percussions. It's a superb track which reveals a more theatrical side of Eric G. a little like the universe of Jean Pierre Thanès. The synth wobbling on a corrosive bass line is completely sublime, giving the track an ochred gravity. Avoiding the trap of monotony "The Icecream Van Repair Man" embraces a heavier rhythm with more mordant bass chords, recalling the aggressive riffs of Jarre on Zoolook. The whole thing is framed of a synthesized fusion where solos and edgy pads are fixing the track in a timeless framework to thousand sound delights.
Conclusions” is a solid 70 minutes opus which astonishes from title after title. I may hear it again, that I find each listening as much appealing as the last one.  It's an opus of a great beauty which follows a temporal bend and creates a remarkable sound intoxication. Eric G. shows an undeniable talent which, hope for it, will be hearing soon on a next opus.

Sylvain Lupari (June 29th 2007 and translated on November 28th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

jeudi 6 décembre 2012

VARIOUS DiN: Index03 (2008)

“In Index03 Ian Boddy knits a wonderful musical pattern where every style, nevertheless so different, coils up in a splendid mosaic of 77 minutes”
1 B2 Gigacosm 4:38     2 Foundry 3:18
3 Geode 2:53     4 Particular Moments 4:31
5 Conundrum 4:21     6 Slow Hand 5:56
7 The First Cry 4:05     8 Rapture 4:38
9 Beneath Fear 4:03     10 Veiled 4:32
11 Trident 3:52     12 Distracted 2:46
13 Dawn/Bleep/Dusk 3:01     14 Tane 4:41
15 Lithosphere 5:37     16 Phased Realities 3:29
17 Fracture 3:09     18 Elemental

DiN30 (DDL 73:54) **** (Berlin School, electronica, dark ambient, psybient)

EM is sorely lacking of visibility. For some it's a big multi-sonic thing where all styles are entangling no matter the origins. That is why that the influential people behind labels have to innovate in order to make better known their products and so widen the horizons of a public curious but more perplexed than fascinated in front of an art that many consider constructed on lines of coldness. Ian Boddy takes the lead by offering free of charge a compilation aiming 9 works of his label, like Index02 last year. “Index03” regroups music coming from artists with styles so much diversified that the pallet of genres of the electronica and classic EM is adequately represented. You just have to click on a link, download and let yourself being rock by a music without borders.
The adventure begins with "B2 Gigacosm" from Surface 10 (Surface Tensions) which offers a delicious psy down-tempo of which the jerky cramps hiccup in a smooth organic musical fauna. The synth layers inject a disturbing lunar ambience with spectral waves which little by little lose their threatening shadows in more dramatic lines of violin. Ian Boddy's "Foundry", from Elemental binds itself to the finale by displaying muffled pulsations which espouse a tortuous rhythmic pattern. The rhythm is loud. Each chord trembles under its weight, unveiling a resonant ray where are banging percussions of a sordid universe and are ringing frivolous sequences which sing in this chthonian universe. "Geode" from Lithosphere (one of the two albums of the duet Ian Boddy and Robert Rich to niche on this compilation) calms down a little the mood with a more ambient title. Keys are clinking into bright hoops under guitar strata forged in howling twilights. "Particular Moments" is from Tetsu Inoue's Yolo. It's psybient music where lives lazily an organic fauna which moves at the speed of a two-toed sloth. After a chloroformed intro, "Conundrum" (from the album of the same name) of the Hoffmann-Hoock/Wöstheinrich duet attacks our ears with a delicious lascivious and pulsating tempo of a Hindu tribal kind where Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock's guitar is simply brilliant. It's as much beautiful as extremely mesmerizing. Ian Boddy masters his mixes and the coming of "Slow Hand", from the React album (Boddy
/Rich) immediately after "Conundrum" shows all the reach of his musical ear. The rhythm and the ambience are similar, to some variances near. More quivering "Slow Hand" trembles of its fragile chords and floats of its guitar strata sounding like ethereal choirs, moulding a strange hypnotic trance which espouses at no moment the glaucous pulsations that are pounding in a thick cloud of colorful jingles. We attend to one of the strong moments of “Index03” which continues on this momentum of loud but static rhythms, wrapped by a somber chthonian approach, with "The First Cry" from Radio Massacre International's Septentrional which is a mixture of Arc, Boddy and Boddy/Rich. And speaking of Arc, "Rapture" from Fracture intoxicates our ears with heavy and black Berlin School. The rhythm runs after its breath, trying to avoid these mephistophelic synth pads and these bats of which the winds and the metallic jingles crisscross those dense malefic woods. "Beneath Fear", from Parallel Worlds' Obsessive Surrealism concludes this 1st half of “Index03” with a heavy rhythm which resounds of its percussions to hybrid tones, bearing a surrealist melody whistling its innocence in a rhythmic chaos scattered by its bewitching traps of naivety.
With "Veil" we redo the tour of the 9 works that furnish the selection of “Index03”. Contrary to "Slow Hand", the approach is ambient and very contemplative. "Trident" from RMI charms us right on the spot with its synth pads à la Tangerine Dream which wrap a torrent of percussions from which the captive thunders release themselves to forge a hard-line rhythm. It's an electronic rock which pounds with its numerous knocks of percussions and which rolls under the chords of a mordant bass line of which the wild rhythm won't get rid completely of a Ricochet influence. A strong track! "Distracted" of Parallel Worlds intensifies this very rock progressive portion where Redshift, TD and King Crimson cogitate under the same roof over heavy undulatory rhythms which are not quite defined with their tentacular grips. As for me Surface 10 is the beautiful surprise of “Index03”. "Dawn Dawn/Bleep/Dusk Bleep" is a kind of lunar hip-hop which swirls in uncountable synth lines which hold captive the harmonies swooshing in loops. If the tempo is curt and hatched, the harmonious envelope has soon gulping it down to make it swirls into some electro-cosmic phases. Tetsu Inoue's "Tane" confirms him in his morphic electro acoustic style while that "Lithosphere" embraces the tangents of "Geode". After the eclectic "Phased Realities" (Hoffmann-Hoock/
, "Fracture" entails us in the black ambient phases of Arc. And even if a string of sequences sparkles there, even if the rhythm unwinds little by little, the title will see its explosion only in the movements of the percussions from "Elemental", so concluding a superb compilation put together of a master hand by the DiN's big man.
A compilation is a compilation! But not at DiN, nor with Ian Boddy!
One would make me “Index03” plays without announcing it that I would have some difficulty identifying every track so much they sound different outside their usual contexts. Ian Boddy knits a wonderful musical pattern where every style, nevertheless so different, coils up in a splendid mosaic of 77 minutes. Genial and it's free until December 31st, 2012. Here's the link:

Sylvain Lupari (December 5th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: