samedi 30 mars 2013

CODE INDIGO: MELTdown (2013)

“Without being hard-hitting, MELTdown is another small wonder from Code Indigo that speaks to us, sings to us and enchants us”

1 Welcome to the Asylum 5:01
2 Meltdown 4:48
3 City of Fools 2:00
4 Costing the Earth 3:28
5 Eco-Nomic 4:31
6 Information Cascade 6:15
7 Keep Taking the Pills 8:26
8 Black Gold 2:03
9 ID Code 9:00
10 Carbon 2:55
11 In the Dark 5:30
12 The Men who Crashed the World 7:33
13 Bail Out 3:53
14 Bankers in Wonderland 3:55
15 Greed in the Bubble 3:21
16 Bonus Culture 3:23

AD MUSIC | AD 109CD (CD 76:04) **** (Soft and melodious progressive EM)

After an absence of more than 7 years, Code Indigo makes a strong comeback with a solid album which allies ethereal progressive rock to melodic EM. “MELTdown” is a delicious concept album which denounces white collar bandits and their economic crimes. There are lots of noises and background ambiences in this finely polished album, indeed, the atmospherics remind us of Pink Floyd with voices and brief commentary of current events weaving within rhythms and ambience. The music, and its musical themes, bewitches us, both by a delicate harmonious approach and the constant progression of its splendidly content rhythms. Code Indigo forges a musical story that conjures up an image of the failure of society and the financial sharks in suits. Beyond its story, “MELTdown” is the result of a strong musical consortium where David Wright, Dave Massey, Neil Fellowes, Nigel Turner-Heffer and Dave Bareford charm as much as they amaze with an album which seems as timeless as the talent of its authors.
Winds, gratings of blue metal, rustles and jerky ringings which scroll with hesitation herald the opening "Welcome to the Asylum" which widens its five minutes in an asylum where the noises and spectral winds feed constantly a climate of paranoia. We are hearing easily the lost arpeggios which ring in an ill-assorted harmony, where tears of synths kiss the emptiness. They evaporate to make room the chords of an piano with a vague melody that hangs onto the elytrons of cymbals in order to merge into the soft rhythm of the title-track. Arched on a bass line, from which the chords are cooing in a soft undulatory shape, sober percussions and synth lines with crisscrossed tremors, "Meltdown" seizes our ears with a superb guitar which draws a haunting, melodious riff. The rhythm is fluid. Not aggressive, it sits astride a sonic valley. Escorted by azure winds, hiding suspicious lamentations, by eroded hopes as well as by lines of guitars and synth with moods torn between soft, progressive and ethereal e-rock. It buries itself in the lost ambiences of "City of Fools" and of voices tinted with scorn which curse to the black winds and spectral lamentations of floating guitars, before being reborn out of its ambiences with "Costing the Earth". The track evolves into "Eco-Nomic" and the rhythm softens into sequences which flicker in a static sphere where guitars and synth are exchanging harmonies through some suave morphic solos. The rhythm takes back its vigour to put down its last chords in the organic intro of "Information Cascade". The big wealth of “MELTdown” is its sound depth! There is no weak spot over the 76 minutes which fill this latest magical opus from Code Indigo. And this intro of "Information Cascade" is a perfect example. With the gurgling, cascading noises that fills the veils of the ether and then the tears of violins waltzing beneath a thick cloud of pulsations of which the beatings forge a pounding rhythm, "Information Cascades" pulls us between its dynamic rhythms and lamenting mood conclude “MELTdown” first segment.
Even if the rhythm is pulsating, "Keep Taking the Pills" reveals its soft harmonic veil with a melancholic piano whose relaxing notes fly through the breathe of a lunar saxophone. A duel takes shape between the guitar and the piano where the music witnesses an atmosphere of morphic jazz on a rebellious rhythmic structure that is kept harmoniously well tamed.
With sparkling arpeggios which cavort with innocence to join the chords of a guitar weaving through an embryonic rhythm, "Black Gold" surfs on a line of blue vapor, establishing the link between the atmospheres of "Keep Taking the Pills" and the incisive rhythm of "ID Code". Strong percussions and sequence lines are crisscrossed and flutter to shape the structure of an edgy rhythm where the guitars treat our ears to solos sculptured in harmonious rock. Angels with crystal breaths and synth with seraphic strata take this rhythm into an ethereal universe, giving the final part of "ID Code" with its more hammered rhythm and chords under anvil tones of solos and melodic synths spread out their vampiric veils in the edgy harmonies and solos of guitars, sculpturing “MELTdown” 2nd musical part. The further forward we move into “MELTdown” the more it wraps us in its aura of melodious and ethereal splendour. On the soft harmonious tones of a keyboard and its keys of gentle glass, "Carbon" hints at some leftover rhythms under the cover of its mislaid voices which come back to denounce constantly the power of the economic world. The mood becomes dark and we fall in the airs of "In the Dark" and its lugubrious synth line which groans over an organ like fine rain. Guttural rustling threaten this fragile balance between despair and its antagonist when angelic voices rise and chase away the agonies. Leaning on a line of a slightly humming bass, a soft guitar joins these oracles of silvered voices and morphing solos which cry out in the tranquility of a track which frees itself in the cosmic waves of a seraphic finale. And then "The Men who Crashed the World" falls on our ears like cosmic blues. Drinking in all the sonic elements which fill the mixed ambiences of “MELTdown”, this guitar navigates on a deep and increasing rhythm to be swallowed by a synth and its mystic solos. There follows a harmonious duel where the two main musical entities of “MELTdown” are trading their moods and harmonies in a superb morphic blues. "Bail Out" follows with a nervous rhythm where the pulsations and the metallic ringings forge a tempo which bubbles without ever bursting. And this melody, embroidered in a fusion of guitars and synths, forge the last part of “MELTdown” which crosses the increasing rhythms of "Bankers in Wonderland" and "Greed in the Bubble" to end in the soft atmospheres of "Bonus Culture", where footsteps fade out behind a door which slams violently.
In spite of an absence of more than 7 years and a new line-up with only David Wright remaining from the original band, Code Indigo has not stagnated. Without being hard-hitting or aggressive, “MELTdown” possesses the harmonious colours of its writers. It's an album which transports us constantly over the course of its soft rhythms and bewitching melodies to a musical universe embroidered with imagination that respects the vast musical experiences of the members of this mythical English EM band. It is not just well done, it is extremely well done. And it speaks to us, it sings to us and it enchants us.

Sylvain Lupari (March 29th, 2013)

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

jeudi 21 mars 2013

LOGIC GATE: Voyages (2008)

“With Logic Gate's Voyages; the fans of vintage Berlin School, filled by the gasps of organs of the darkness running on heavy dark sequences, are going to feast”

1 Into the Infinite 9:12  
2 Voyager 12:05  
3 Starlight 4:58  
4 Permafrost 7:35  
5 The Voyage Home 14:52

Logic Gate Music |LGM 002 (DDL or CD-R 48:41) ***½
(Vintage sequencer based Berlin School)

Lines of mists are undulating lazily in an astral tranquility, like the kittens of dandelions pushed by the weak winds of heat waves. It's with this intro, filled by the soft perfumes of a Mellotron suspended in the spirits of the times that "Into the Infinite" invites us to another festival of Memorandum tribute to Tangerine Dream. A bass line spreads its heavy sequenced chords which mould themselves onto the curves of the lines of mists, pushing the tempo towards a circular movement where the harmonies plunges us in the dark atmospheres of Stratosfear. Heavy and fluid, the rhythm of "Into the Infinite" rushes into the chthonian voices before lowering its intensity under the caresses of a synth to the very detached lines of the style of Steve Grace's influences, but just as much musical. It's a brief moment of calm where the heavy rhythm takes back its rights before sinking for good into the sighs and the singings of astral bodies. Like it or not, Logic Gate comes back haunting the spheres of EM with another work which depicts the worship of his creator for the black EM of the analog years. And as on From the Silence, “Voyages” is to crunch at full ears even if Steve Grace presents it to us with a more original approach.
"Voyager" is a jewel of black and sinister ambiences. The boat is on the sea. Charming the seagulls of its copulative undulations with the waves, it's struck by a heavy dark pulsation which jumps on the spot with frenzy. These pulsations awaken these clouds of mist which fill the morphic moods of the works of Logic Gate with winds of violins which hide the discretion of the piano notes from which the simultaneity flees the one of the sequences. And slowly, this rhythm bombarded stubbornly faints in the lunar embers of a long ambiospherical passage where these notes of piano struck in the minimalist art draw the harmonies of a lullaby for cherub's imps who let gladly being caressed by the magnificence of an oboe forged in the patience of synths. This is splendid and intensely sensitive. Except that a heavy drone shakes the calmness a little after the 7th minute. A powerful hoarse breath which brings its triplets, and other more shrill breaths, disrupting so a ritornello of serenity that we would have wanted eternal and which comes back for good from this useless storm, bringing in its trail these sequences that we had lost from ears. These sequences, but also percussions, and their jingles knock out the ending of "Voyager" of a rhythm as heavy as slow which wraps itself of a very beautiful symphonic veil. It's a superb well placed 12 minutes! "Starlight" is a short ambiospherical track where cosmic tones shell their idlenesses in layers of mists and in the bed of a slow melodic approach mislaid from "Voyager". That reminds me a chthonian mixture of Rogue Element and the cosmic moods of Software, in particular at the level of the crystal clear sequences which swirl with so much slowness. It's maybe short but it remains very musical.
Trapped in heavy and dense strata of Mellotron and its gaz of fog, the rhythm of "Permafrost" is as much soporific as its horse collar of mist. A beautiful line of a solitary synth sweeps its musing under winds of an ocean of fire, while that notes of an electric piano roam with a full harmony of déjà-vu under the slow pulsations of a bass line which avoids the rhythm in front of so much ice floes of fogs. The black march may change skin at around the 7th minute point, swapping its veils of mist for an intense chthonian choir; "Permafrost" remains as apathetic as black, but always frees this soft perfume of somber night-madness which always soaks the folds under our sheets of terror. It's in these ambiences that "The Voyage Home" is wrapping us in order to immure the musical journey of “Voyages” in a bath of nostalgia. Layers of synth to timeless musicalities blow on the fine sequenced keys which dip the tip of their sounds into a superb line weaved in the black harmonies of an old organ à la Klaus Schulze (Irrlicht
) and of its ghostly singings. These sequences follow each other in single file, moulding the whims of a movement which answers of its echo in a dense vampiric musical painting. Another line of sequence, with darker pulsing keys, forges a slow upward minimalist rhythm which strides along  the void in this lyrical duel that are doing the lines of mist and the glaucous harmonies of an organ of the darkness. A beautiful fluty line re-appears from the past, caressing a rhythm which was lost in these black breaths for a brief moment before taking back its rights over a more lively circular rhythm but always draped by this intense morphic veil which retains the rhythms of “Voyages” in its beautiful prison of mist.
Different from From the Silence, “Voyages” remains nevertheless very beautiful. Logic Gate  offers a more personal album where the rhythms are more evasive and the ambiences darker. An album which exhales at full winds the reminiscences of his influences but with a bigger freedom which makes that “Voyages” offers more originality in a musical pattern where the summit seems unattainable. The fans of old Berlin School filled by the gasps of organs of the darkness running on heavy dark sequences are going to feast.

Sylvain Lupari (March 21st, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mercredi 20 mars 2013

LOGIC GATE: From the Silence (2003)

“From the Silence is a very nice surprise highly recommendable for those who miss the old days of analog EM”

1 Code Red 15:15
2 From the Silence 15:23
3 Biomorph 15:10

Logic Gate Music | LGM001 (DDL or CD-R 45:48) ****½
(Vintage sequencer based Berlin School)

The electronic life and its uncountable musical landscapes conceal always these small marvels hidden in the meanders of the forgetting. Logic Gate is one of these pearls. Musical entity founded by Steve Grace, Logic Gate released a first album in 2003; “From the Silence”. Album strongly recommended by the famous EM webzine Electroambient Space (Huge thanks to Phil Derby), “From the Silence” is a splendid album with the perfumes of vintage EM built around the bewitching clouds and the charming flutes of marvellously musical Mellotron, as well as on heavy movements of sequencers from which the loud circular rhythms stamp the airs of their tenebrous approaches. All here will have recognized the musical imprints of Tangerine Dream and of their psychedelicosmic years.
Clogs of mists slam in the heavy winds of ether. Eventually molding an ascent made languid under a heavy soporific cloud, these knocks of clogs, which remind me with delight Thierry Fervant's Universe, exchange a measure which fainted in order to switch shape with a heavy pulsing bass line and its ions jumping lazily into the caresses of hyper foggy Mellotron. And so "Code Red" invites us in a journey in the time of Tangerine Dream, period Baumann-Franke-Froese. A delicate harmonious line espouses the uncertain march of a heavy rhythm and of its chords which skip of the end of their notes on a pond frozen by iodized gases. The lines of rhythms and harmonies are add and are compress to form a morphic symphony where old analog tones, as well as absent voices, spread their phantom veils on a 1st half which drowns itself in its fogs of Mellotron. The 2nd part infiltrates our ears with notes of an electric piano which dance in a delicate epitaph choreography. Fragile, these glass arpeggios interlace their harmonies in the pulsations of a sequenced bass line and in the prismic breaths of another line of sequences to gleaming arpeggios. Like an architect of minimalist structures, Steve Grace stacks his lines of harmonies with a swarm of related tones to unite them within a weighty line of sequences and his black ions which jump in a sort of imps figure into a rhythmic structure as slow as heavy whose obvious morphic charms harmonize themselves with the breaths of Mellotron to nasal evanescent harmonies.

A soft and poetic flute opens the title-track which hears its shrill breaths be immediately sprayed by an iridescent mist. Heavy pulsations are skipping with uncertainty, moulding an undulatory rhythmic approach which embellishes itself of jingle of cymbals and floating chords of an electric piano which sings in lunar vapors. We would believe to be in the psychedelic spheres of Pink Floyd (Ummagumma) and Tangerine Dream (Encore) with this throbbing and semi-floating rhythm which welcomes in the strikings of percussions drumming an even more hallucinogenic measure. An oniric fog moderates the storm, plunging "From the Silence" into a brief ambient passage where the Mellotron subdivides its lines of mists and voices. Another line of sequences emerges, cutting the gliding horizon with deep circular keys which draw a boiling up-tempo where hangs onto constantly the morphic harmonies of the Mellotron and some synth pads à la Logos. The first minutes of "Biomorph" are kissing the lunar tranquility coming from the deep harmonic fogs. Then comes a beautiful flute and its enchanting singings to decorate this seraphic pattern that a soft bass line caresses of its delicate pulsations, carrying the first dream of "Biomorph" under the falls of white noises. A mislaid note draws scattered circles which are eventually interlaced to forge a heavy circular rhythm which gulps down at the passage some tinkling notes of which the ringings marry the slow circular movements of Mellotron gusts.
From the Silence” deserves to be heard loud and clear! It's a superb album of an EM as much musical as poetic which walks on the paths of the mythical Berlin trio without ever falling into the trap to be just a pale reflection. Behind his coat of Logic Gate, Steve Grace manages the improbable bet to seduce with a style that several have drained by dint of copying without wanting to give effort to embrace any originality. It's splendid and highly recommendable EM for those who miss the old days and those who enjoy the music of Jim Kirkwood and Arcane.

Sylvain Lupari (March 20th, 2013)

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

jeudi 14 mars 2013

IAN BODDY: After the Rain (2012)

“After the Rain is an immense monument of deep ambient abstract EM”
1 The Final Transmission 25:20
2 After The Rain 40:07

DiN|DDL013 (DDL 65:27) ***½ (Deep ambient EM)

Clouds of metal in fusion release some strands of steel which float and crisscross at the opening of "The Final Transmission". Like some rustles of magmatic spectres, these strands switch shapes into fine galactic waves of which the guttural breaths get lost in an abyss where the white noises prevail on silence. Recorded at the Basic Electricity of Berlin at the end of June 2012, “After the Rain” is an immense monument of abstract EM. It's an experimental work where Ian Boddy pushes the limits of his Serge Modular system and his Ableton Live with a thick cloud of electronic tones which forge the elements of a black silence or the rushes of rhythmic adrenalin. Like on the 2nd portion of "The Final Transmission" where the beeps and galactic sound elements are shaping some electrostatic oscillations which roll such as musical waves in an ocean of intra-galactic tones. It's a world of synthesis, where the abstract art produces impulses which roll in a nothingness of slow combustion before getting lost in a massive space storm. What surprises and makes all the charm of “After the Rain” is the reach of these abstracted tones in a pair of earphone. Never the emptiness will have been so musical even if the melodies are in hiding in a world without harmonies. The title-track is a slow symphony of electronic sound elements which agglutinate in an immense arrhythmic mass. Delicate sounds which float and roam, assembling one by one to forge quietly a first implosive storm between the 6th and the 10th minute. Ian Boddy displays all the sound possibilities of his Serge Modular on "After the Rain" by freeing a pallet of arpeggios which go and come, like cosmic jellyfishes dancing and dreaming up until the Sea of Tranquillity which unchains its refrigerated keys. Keys which stammer an extraterrestrial language, a little as to establish a verbal contact, before that the excitement gets seize of the cybernetic dialogue and that blow the abstracted winds from a storm to come. These winds of Orion are roaring with some scrawls in breezes, amplifying even more the abstract wall which separates our ears of the imagination. And thus is taking place this long carnival of tones and muddled up movements which forge the cosmic storms and calm them with passages as much soft as latent implosions, feeding so an electronic shower of the most experimental that Ian Boddy brings to our ears with a bit of abstract poetry. A peaceful shower which bursts out with one finale deserving of the best musical storms than the universe of the analogue can modulate with a surprising rhythmic precision. A universe where the imagination of the English synth wizard is boiling as much as the restlessness of the arpeggios which dance and tear to pieces in one finale which we would like so much longer.
This album available in download format comes with two short demos of both tracks on “After the Rain” where the rhythms, the cosmic melody (After the Rain's demo) and the cosmic atmospheres are fairly divided the time, just to show us all the amplitude of the improvisations that Ian Boddy embroider for this concert in the lands of the abstract and experimental EM. Available at

Sylvain Lupari (August 16th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

dimanche 10 mars 2013

KLAUS SCHULZE: Shadowlands (2013)

“I savoured every minute of Shadowlands which is an opus shining of the serenity of Klaus Schulze who dresses his 3 wonderful minimalist movements of bright nuances”
1 Shadowlights 41:12
2 In Between 17:07
3 Licht und Schatten 17:23

Synthetic Symphony ‎| SPV 260070 (75:42) *****
(Contemporary, eclectic and minimalist ambient EM)

Here is an album that we stopped to expect since months, if not years. There were several questioning and mysteries regarding “Shadowlands”. In 2011, one already spoke about a possible date for this 46th (yes yes, 46!) album of Schulze and then zip! Not a word, even a breath of news.  And in the meanwhile, rumors! Rumors about the health of the German master of the minimalist symphonies sowed the concern among his fans, but also rumors in the effect that the squabble was boiling between Klaus Schulze and MIG (Made In Germany) which knew any sorts of difficulties with the publication of the last La Vie Electronique and especially Tonwelle. And the rumors are spreading till the end of 2012 when a date is moved forward and finally moved back … In brief, it's a dead end. And finally, “Shadowlands” lands in the trays in February 2013. That's about 3 years (according to certain rumors which would be well-founded) after that Klaus Schulze had given his first knocks of strata on his new Roland Jupiter 80, weaving the beginnings of “Shadowlands” which arrives in 2 editions; one with a single cd and another in a limited edition of two cd for about 150 minutes of new music. “Shadowlands” sets up its musical grandeur on three or five, depending of your choice, long tracks of which the minimalist paths are skilfully orchestrated by the Master who adds constantly musical elements and fine variances to embellish all the hypnotic impact.
Undulating synth lines intertwine themselves and caress their harmonies in hibernation under diverse heterogeneous jingles. The rhythm is pounding with keys which skip frantically to catch a more homogeneous rhythmic structure. The mood is stifling when the tears of Thomas Kagermann's violin calm the heaviness, cherishing of its rosaceous complaints the panicky pulsations which skip always under those sinuous evasive lines. A voice is rising. A powerful and brief wind of male vocal cords diverts our attention whereas the rhythm, hypocritical, settles down. Resulting from a fusion of a splitting of tireless jumping keys, this rhythm takes the shape of a long hypnotic race where a runner, jogging in our imagination, has to by-pass various obstacles, diverting thus finely the course of a long minimalist rhythm that knocks of bass-drums, tabla kind of percussions and silvery cymbals decorate of fine variations. Melodies? They are mesmerizing. Coming from a fusion between the tears of violins, the scattered flutes, the ethereal voices and cloistered rustles from Lisa Gerrard, Crysta Bell and Julia Messenger, they float in the sweetnesses of a synth and of its soothing lines. These voices which haunt our ears throughout this slow agony of shadows reach peaking points, making "Shadowlights" topples over into poignant dimensions, like around the 15th minute when the percussions which fall and the roaring of angels energize a long track which amazes constantly by the address of Klaus Schulze to peppered his so very long structure of fine variations. And the more "Shadowlights" moves forward and the more Klaus Schulze modifies subtly its musicality. The 2nd half is more aggressive with arrangements drawn by hatched keyboards riffs which sound like fiddlestick and fatty chords which are waving such as dull spasms to tones a bit organic, moulding a strange approach of an ethereal funk on a half floating rhythm. The voices and violins are feasting in an incestuous merger, adding constantly elements of charm to this long minimalist track that Schulze manipulates in a masterly fashion, ignoring the traps and the probability of a possible boredom which watches for these long musical rivers that are the tracks of the kind of "Shadowlights". Here are 41 good minutes that I never heard passed!
After a tortuous introduction where filets of astral voices kiss a rhythm which has difficulty in skipping, "In Between" spreads the charm of its hesitation with its uncertain opening. Pleasant choirs of spectral mermaids sing the breaths of life and despair on a rippling bed of arpeggios to the gleaming tones. This mesmerizing dance of immobility shakes its torpor with discreet tabla percussions. And in the orgiastic breaths in seraphim voices "In Between" sparkles of its hardly perceptible skips, drawing the axes of a minimalist rhythm which finds its freshness in the modulations of the harmonies and in the imperfect circles of a stroboscopic line which swirls lazily in the background, such as a wizard and his dance of the infinity. A bass line clasps this delicate cerebral trance at around the 8th minute, giving more depth to a rhythm which becomes subtly groovier. And Schulze to continue to dress his minimalist rhythm of percussions to tones of maracas while that the stroboscopic line goes out of the anonymity to dance in eroded circles with these unchanging choirs which have fill the harmonies of "In Between" from which the percussions are escaping to resound with transparency on the beginning of "Licht und Schatten" which marries the same rhythmic rules as "In Between" but with an approach closer to the operas lost of Totentag. The voices are very musical. Mixing feminine octaves to males' ones, Schulze weaves the lines of a wild opera which sneaks into an impressive meshing of jerky arpeggios and percussions among which the tones and the strikings, as limpid as incisive, fall over to a mnemonic trance where from re-appears the distant memories of the very beautiful universe of Audentity. As in the opening track, these voices of nymphs caress a universe of musical nuances and introduce magical moments which amaze the senses and comfort our desire to let us bite by the teeth of Morpheus.
So ends the first act of “Shadowlands”. I savoured every minute of it. And no! Klaus Schulze did not lose his creative touch. From the top of his 65 years he signs a work in the greatness of his serenity with minimalist movements that only he knows how to structure in order to avoid the traps of boredom. Everything is in the tone. The voices are superb. They float in harmonies of a sometimes discreet synth which avoids solos to concentrate better on these lamentations of nymphs which fly like what his solos should be. It's soft, dreamlike and very melodious. It's an album of the reason which shows all the greatness of a timeless man and of his creativity.

Sylvain Lupari (March 10th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

KLAUS SCHULZE: Shadowlands Limited Edition (2013)

“This second cd of Shadowlands is much more for the collectors and the die-hard fans of Klaus Schulze than for a public ready to finally discover the Master”

CD 1(75:42)
1 Shadowlights 41:12
2 In Between 17:07
3 Licht und Schatten 17:23
CD 2 (73:14)
1 The Rhodes Violin 55:24
2 Tibetan Loop 17:50

Synthetic Symphony ‎– SPV 260070 2CD (148:56) ***½
(Contemporary, eclectic and minimalist ambient EM)

Why two chronicles for the same album? Well because said album is presented in two formats; a simple album which will survive the special edition of two discs, but especially because the global note for “Shadowlands” would suffer enormously if I will melt both chronicles in a single one. You see me coming?
A great majority of comments are very laudatory concerning this 2nd CD offered in limited edition. I am quite enough shared about it. By moments (yes it could happen to the Master) our friend 
Schulze has the annoying mania to want at all costs to fill the 80 minutes of the digital bits of the silvery disc. It's a little bit what happens on this second disc of “Shadowlands” which puts us into our ears a much too long minimalist dissection of "The Rhodes Violin". True that the small gleaming arpeggios which sparkle in Oriental moods, into the tears and riffs of Thomas Kagermann's violin and his vague prayers are mesmerizing. Also true that the rhythm, absent in the beginning, which is drawn and which increases by some sequencer keys fitting into a wound stroboscopic movement, that the bass line which pumps its round and hopping chords and that the percussions which pulse a delicate techno for zombies are ending by offering one of these always magnetic rhythms on behalf of the Master of the electronic serial art. But it's also true that "The Rhodes Violin" suffers of these too long minutes between each of these aforesaid musical elements are integrating in order to harmonize its 56 minutes scattered in the spheres of boredom. Truncated of 20 minutes, and "The Rhodes Violin" would have been as delicious as "Shadowlights" is. "Tibetan Loop" leads us at another level with a fascinating spiritual incantation chanting on the wings of an abstract musical art. The synth waves are dark and strangely musical. They weave these walls of comfort which bear the weight of the vocalized heresies created by Schulze where the violins of Kagermann get lost within a skillful fusion of two musical entities which confuse the hearing with enchantment. Except that "Tibetan Loop" is all of ambiences. It's a mixture of lunar and clanic ambience with singings which are more Berber than Tibetans. Chants which get lost in a wind mosaic where synth and violins mislaid their fragile nomadic harmonies, confirming by moments all the questioning on the necessity of this 2nd cd which is more for the collectors and the die-hard fans of Klaus Schulze.

Sylvain Lupari (March 10th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 8 mars 2013

KLAUS SCHULZE: Kontinuum (2007)

“Kontinuum is a wonderful album where Klaus Schulze puts back in our ears his old fragrances to offer us what he had refrained itself for ages”
1 Sequenzer (From 70 to 07) 24:54
2 Euro Caravan 19:41
3 Thor (Thunder) 31:47

SPV | 49392 CD (CD 76:22) ****½ (Classical Berlin School)

There are 2 ways to approach this last offering from our friend Klaus Schulze; with the ears of the former days and those more critical which are pervaded by a more contemporary state of mind. Navigating between both poles of Klaus Schulze, “Kontinuum” is an album which kisses the nobilities of his vintage years. The eras of MirageBlackdance and even Irrlicht. An album which also crosses thorny digital dimension and which surfs on Moonlake's forbidden delights while leaving musical doors opened for the musical playwright whom can be Klaus Schulze when he begins to investigate his darkness by with sulphurous cosmic frenzies.
"Sequenzer (From 70 to 07)" says it all! From the first chords to prismic tones which dance with the winds of space, "Sequenzer (From 70 to 07)" kisses the phases of a superbly soft sequenced maelstrom which wraps us and makes us glide in a dance of crystal clear chords swirling in the whims of our dreams. These chords fluttering with a contained fervour are forming an element of sequences which spin nervously and whose oval forms cross another line of sequences which flutter indefatigably in a surprising duel which caresses the rhythmic lifelessness. We float in this semi ambient and half cadenced universe deserving of the analog scrapbook from the
Mirage era with this ode to the former days where the rhythm, divided by sequencer keys skipping on the spot, is letting itself gradually caressed by fine vocal filets and discreet orchestral arrangements. Dark strata wrap this frivolous tempo which swirls with drunkenness by the soft velocity of the isolated keys of which the asymmetric jumps eventually forge a surprising harmonious homogeneity and which a soft seraphim voice captures to bring it near time. It's beautiful, it's serene and it's going to please undoubtedly the fans of Schulze in his 70's mood. "Sequenzer (From 70 to 07)" is dying in the black winds which fail on the quiet opening of "Euro Caravan". An anonymous voice pushes its wounds of time on these black and hollow winds, moulding a floating introduction which increases quietly its pace around the 9th minute. The rhythm is taking the shape of a cosmic gallop with a heavy bass line and chords with their tones of organic rubber which pound in the echoes of sober tom-toms.
Binding itself to the windy finale which anaesthetises the rhythm of "Euro Caravan", "Thor (Thunder)" invades our ears with a long music piece of atmospheres which are not without recalling the cosmic wanderings of
Irrlicht. Fluty breaths are singing in the breezes of Orion which by moments are fitting closely to the groans of cosmic choirs. But we are on familiar ground here. These imperfect harmonies are the seal of Schulze who takes an obvious pleasure to fill his plasmatic universe of iconoclastic tones which serenade in a world of confusion. Organic chords emerge and dance in the tones of vaporous tom-toms while that a line of synth spits its nasal harmonies which ooze in cosmic mists. And subtly this ambiospheric intro sacrifices itself for a nervous rhythm, fed by curt chords which pound into a fusion of mists and subdued choirs. And "Thor (Thunder)", which has thunders only of its naming, continues its minimalist progression in an ascent watered here and there by more melodious soft lines and of ambiospherical contrasts where are squealing the shadows of solos, crying astral lamentations and rustles and stirring a quiet broth of ions, smiths of evasive rhythms, in this musical magma which refuses to explode, preferring the cosy comfort of its abstract approach.
Kontinuum” is a wonderful album. This is some great
Klaus Schulze who puts back his old fragrances to offer us what he had refrained itself for ages; an album in the purest traditions of X and other jewels from that era. It's thus a pleasant surprise for us who are flooded by all these rereleases from SPV Records and who are seeking for so many artists who are emulators of the Grand Master. I adored as much, if not more, than Moonlake, although that Playmate in Paradise...humm! It's a journey in time when the magnetism of the analog sweetnesses and its minimalist structures fed our waking dreams and our hallucinations in groups. It flows into our ears and our memories as in la belle époque. An inescapable which is hiding in a wonderful jewel case artwork where we can read an excellent observation from KDM. And for a rare time, I am in total accord with his statements.

Sylvain Lupari (March 8th, 2013)

vendredi 1 mars 2013

IAN BODDY: Sepulchre (2013)

“Sepulchre is a monument of somber atmospheres where the shadows live and float through the keys and knobs of keyboard and synths”
1 Forbidden 7:11
2 Vault 9:46
3 Remembrance 9:33
4 Monument 16:03
5 Forgotten 9:27
6 Rest 11:58

DiN | DDL14 (DDL 64:02) ****½  (Dark ambient EM)

What a title! A naming which depicts the lugubrious universe of an intense black album that Ian Boddy has sculptured for his 6th North American tour in autumn 2012. Performed in the studio of the WXPN radio station, at the aurora of October 14th, “Sepulchre” wears marvellously the meanings of its naming. It's a monument of somber atmospheres where the shadows live and float through the keys and knobs of keyboard and synths, disturbing the night-peace with sinister singings, vampiric hooting and epidemic breaths which weave the roots of anxiety. Sorcerer of the nights of black meditations, Ian Boddy spreads the great lines of a disturbing musical universe where the life beats at knocks of sighs of Mellotron and its allies. “Sepulchre” is a big shroud of black poetry where Ian Boddy is the architect of an unforgettable musical night which reaches its paroxysm in the incredible dance of sequenced goblins of "Monument", a track which should be a piece of anthology in the art of sequencing.
A slow lava flow of black waves and whiner breaths open the somber cosmic night of “Sepulchre”. Cosmic because all that lives around "Forbidden" sound like an intergalactic journey without helmet. One would imagine being in a corridor without walls, in an immense black hole where are taunting, chattering and sniggering some cosmic tones and organic winds which are prisoners in a mess of lines to the lamentations of twisted metal. Lifeless, the movement of "Forbidden" is delicately pushed by muffled implosions and slow modulations which are drawing some black movements. Discordant movements with abrasive outlines which move in an absolute void, such as dreams trapped in night sepulchres. And it's in this opposition of the phases that "Forbidden" extends its passive tones to "Vault" and its waltzing breezes which continue the exploration of the somber night territories without future. Rustles of night-whales invade our eardrums, waltzing in the arms of Morpheus who unfolds his metallic tentacles like some sighs of steel. The first rhythmic impulses can be hear on "Vault" with ice-cold shadows which float such as threatening laments in this astral tranquility which quietly is transformed in a night of anxiety for diurnal virgins. Ian Boddy weaves the lines of his abyssal world with a multitude of layers of which the implosives forms dance lazily in the rustles of organic sheet steel, creating a strange climate of obsessional madness which bursts out in an electronic storm. "Remembrance" is intense and distressing but also strangely musical with these synths and Mellotrons and their lachrymose tones which squeal and wave in a strange harmonious ballet, challenging so the laws of cacophony with a strangely poetic approach for a so passive track.
"Monument" is …monumental! We are entering in the den of the nightmarish agonies of “Sepulchre” with a stunning rhythmic pattern. Vibrations to the organic tones skip furiously between invisible lines, drawing aerobatics butterflies which oscillate frantically around the pulsations of a bass line. Synth layers caress this linear rhythm which clicks and makes crackle its ions to gelatinous tones in the furrows of an intense movement of rhythms which wave aggressively in the whims of Mellotron mists and synth solos which remind us a certain era. This rhythmic skeleton makes grow its bones with other resonant pulsations and sequences which intertwine its jumping ions in a rhythm of steel which rages in the lulling pads of a morphic synth. Synth solos are swirling there, embracing of their hypnotic loops a track which mislays by moments its demonic influence before dying in its last rhythmic palpitations where are squeaking these tears of steel and die gradually in this ballet of glaucous tramplings. "Forgotten" brings us to the ambient and black phases of “Sepulchre” with delicate twinkling arpeggios which are drawing the vestiges of a melody slain by darkness. "Rest" continues the exploration of these narrow corridors where breathes anxiety. The synth lines are agglutinating there, forming an intense pattern of emotions with hybrid tones which dance with tiredness in the breaths of night-whales. The Mellotron is intense. It draws morphic caresses which waltz with night and spin with passion in the implosions of muffled pulsations. The laments are as well touching as disturbing. They mould breaths of life of which the opposites bite for their survivals. And it's in this long morphic ballet where cry tortured spirits that “Sepulchre” ends its descent in the last night lights, fascinating the listener who would well like to return to the dark labyrinths of his magical night. Available here:

Sylvain Lupari (February 29th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: