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:

vendredi 29 mars 2013

TRAUMKLANG: Natural Phenomenons (2006)

“Natural Phenomenon is a crossing between floating, psychedelic and sequenced music with many nuances in a very sclerosed cosmic world”

1 Wetterleuchten 18:28
2 Nebelschwaden 24:22
3 Sternenfunkeln 23:50

SynGate |CD-R TK21 (CD-R 66:40) ***½
(Analog ambiospherical EM)

As far as I am concern, Traumklang is a riddle in the wonderful world of EM. Sometimes a trio, with Frank Klare and Peter Farn, sometimes a duet and finally a solo entity, this initial EM project conceived by Dominik Ebert and Carola Kern navigates on the electronic oceans since the beginning of the 90's without making nevertheless too many waves. And when we speak about Traumklang in the social standing, the expressions are illuminated with admiration while too little speak about the music and the works (I counted more than 20) of this musical project as much discreet as a pope's cold. It is thus with a lot of interrogation that I kissed the musical decoration of “Natural Phenomenon” which is a nice immersion in the universe of vintages tones.
We navigate in the intersidereal spheres of the cosmic music with the opening of "Wetterleuchten" which sounds a bit like that of Software in Electronic Universe II with all these strata a bit philharmonic which waltz and roam in a cosmos jostled by enormous spatial waves and flooded with analog sound effects. Our ears are the witnesses of a fusion between two universes at the diapason of their possibilities with this silky intro which awakes the nostalgic passions with waves of Mellotron which come down from an absolute blackness to surround of a cosmic sweetness the percussions which peck the heavy atonal ambiences of a more concrete rhythm. A sustained rhythm which spins slowly such as a psychedelicosmic waltz and where the memories of old electronic and cosmic rock of Adelbert Von Deyen fill our ears with a Mellotron which multiplies its layers to tones of dark organ. This outline of rhythm fails in an intensely atmospheric phase at around the 9th minute. This is a short ambiospheric moment which starts to buzz intensely, a little as on Pink Floyd's On the Run without the cymbals, with a heavy oscillator line which gurgles and deeply swirls in a circular and static chassé-croisé where the rhythm turns constantly in a broth of electronic tones, there where are hiding these old tones of organ. It is a black, heavy and lively rotary movement which is inspired by the corrosive atmospheres of Klaus Schulze. "Nebelschwaden" presents a long ambiospherical intro with reverberations, sometimes twisted and sometimes threatening, as well as resonant synth pads which wind and float among some ringings and the scattered knocks of percussions. These percussions mark the time, as a metronome and its echo, in a long phase devoid of harmonies but rich in electronic sound effects of which the effect of stereophony is quarreling for our attention. One can hear some lost mooing mutter on a structure which sounds more and more like some Adelbert Von Deyen, whereas that the percussions reconcile their strikings, hammering a rhythm of false rock which skips in the vapors of a Mellotron sticks with a bad cold. A bass line and its hopping chords adopt the shape of this minimalist rhythm which charms the ear with these waves a bit eroded coming from a keyboard and of its soft perfumes of lunar organ, while that riffs of a blind guitar finalises the basis of what we can call a smooth psychedelicosmic rock. Remember Iron Butterfly? Well, let say that it might be this US psyrock band playing EM. Under its ringings to the asymmetric strikings and its cosmic sound effects, "Sternenfunkeln" remains suspended in the purest lifelessness. Cemented in its cosmic ambience filled by floating impulses, the track evolves slowly beneath the thick sounds arms of a Mellotron synth of which the soft orchestral wanderings form a strange symbiosis with these keys in the colors of glockenspiel which sparkle in a sterile felted crescendo. It is a track of ambience, without percussions nor agitated sequences, which glides in a static universe which seems infinite. Hum … I have to admit that I stayed on my appetite with Traumklang's “Natural Phenomenon”. With comments gleaned here and there on the Net and among my friends, I expected something more hard-hitting. I am quits for a small pleasure with this mixture of both Teutonic universes which moves to the limits of their styles, without ever really nesting there in a definitive way. It is a crossing between floating, psychedelic and sequenced music with many nuances in a very sclerosed cosmic world. For those who love ambient in its many shapes.

Sylvain Lupari (September 20th, 2006 and translated on March 26th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

jeudi 28 mars 2013

TRAUMKLANG: Homophony (2012)

“Now, here is something totally bewitching! Homophony is a pure delight of hypnotism where sweet earworms proliferate in a musical decor as charming as surrealist”

1 Längst vergangene Zeiten 4:04
2 Musique, Antique, Electronique 20:32
3 Just for Fun 4:28
4 Gleichklang 10:06
5 Cuculidae 20:17
6 More Fun 5:32

SynGate | CD-R TK24 (CD-R 64:59) ****
(Minimalist, hypnotic and melodic Berlin School)

When I'm starting a review, I begin with a lot of carefreeness. I put the silvery ring in my NAD CD player and I read or I play chess. And when my eyes frown at certain passages, I know that I have in my ears an album which has some potential. But when I am not capable any more of reading, or of concentrating to play chess, I understand that I have something very big. And nevertheless … What to think of “Homophony”? Well I would begin by saying that it is an album of a disconcerting simplicity which is build around two long epic tracks. An album which at first sight seems very accessible. It magnetizes the mind with these multiple layers of harmonies and of quiet rhythms which pile up on long minimalist structures. These harmonies and these artless rhythms infiltrate into our ears, weaving endless earworms which charm as much that they haunt on minimalist movements soaked with this Teutonic stoicism that is cybernetic Berlin School. Here we are! You have the rundown. But did I insist well enough on saying that you go to be magnetized? Here is how's that will occur.
First of all "Längst vergangene Zeiten" entails us straight in the enchanter minimalist universe of “Homophony” with a Teutonic cold rhythm. It's a kind of synth-pop à la Kraftwerk which is lacking of vitamin at the level of the automated percussions and of which every blow from it emasculates its alter-ego which rings of an ecstasy while hiccupping under the waves twisted of a black synth and of its iridescentes mists. In fact, this is a metronomic pretext to the delicious "Music, Antique, Electronique" whose hollow winds make the bridge between both tracks. And "Music, Antique, Electronique" will nail you in the comfort of your bliss with sinuous floating synth waves which raise delicate percussions, introducing a rhythm progressing softly under the layers of an organ with tones of the Flower Power years. Other percussions, more robotics, are stamping a finely jerky structure which will shell the first 13 minutes of a hypnotic minimalist movement, like a snake to bouncy undulations, to which is added many sound elements such as organic tones, scattered ringings, harmonies with criss-crossed tones and synth lines in pluralistic forms sometimes shrill, stroboscopic or abstract but always harmonious which sometimes exchange their harmonies for some solos in the shape of cosmic fog or for vampiric waves. At first listening it could sounds simplistic, but I can guarantee you that the bewitching which forges these enchanting and hypnotic earworms comes quite quickly on this structure which hiccups and rocks in an ambience mi psychedelic and mi Teutonic. Then "Music, Antique, Electronique" stumbles in a dense cosmic magma after its 13th minute when a black hole breathes of heterogeneous tones which skip in the absorbing winds of the void. A fine synth wave emerges from it and pulses delicately up to the intro of "Just for Fun" of which the start is a fusion of Baffo Banfi and Jean Michel Jarre merry electronic sambas which draw up its dance steps in a sound fauna sounding so much as a as youthful Kraftwerk with psychedelic gases (pouett-pouett, tchou-tchou). Sic!
"Gleichklang" begins the 2nd portion of “Homophony” cerebral journey with dense synth layers of which the echoing oscillations are upholstered by iridescent mist. Even cloistered in an ambient dumbness, the structure livens up delicately, pulsing with a sweetness in the puny harmonies of the hesitating arpeggios which skip awkwardly in this intense bath of lunar fog. Then comes "Cuculidae", the real jewel of “Homophony”. Drops ooze on the walls of the world, moulding a quiet halieutic symphony which let itself being caressed by the cuckoos of diurnal owls. One would imagine being in the universe of Kitaro and his famous Full Moon Story with these paradisiacal elements which surround our ears of a fascinating ode to nature. And it's in the most complete serenity that Carola Kern dresses, piece by piece, this surprising musical delight that will not stop to charm us throughout its slow evolution. You have to hear these shouts of tropical birds kiss this serenity, magnetizing our attention while that subtly a line of sequences spreads its series of keys, charmer of ears, to undulate with aphasia such as a thick cloud of small snakes of glass of which the coils fit together in the Eden of the floating water lilies. We cannot ignore the charms of Richard Pinhas' sequences movements of Iceland which embalm the harmonies of this long minimalist musical carnival while that the waves of synth coo constantly in this decor to thousand harmonious colors. This is simply magnificent and we want this charming minimalist lullaby to last even much more than its 20 minutes. A delight of hypnosis and abandon! And a little as with "Just for Fun", "More Fun" sounds out of tune with a robotic approach à la Kraftwerk where the annoying noises of the Autobahn traffic, and other iconoclastic clamours, overhang a jerky and cold rhythm interpreted by a gang of robots under painkillers.
I was pleasantly surprised by this album of Traumklang. “Homophony” is a pure delight of hypnotism and bewitchment where earworms proliferate in a musical decor as charming as surrealist. It is not complicated, even simple-minded at the limit, but magnificently well orchestrated by Carola Kern who amazes behind her consoles by delivering an excellent opus that I recommend without hesitations.

Sylvain Lupari (March 27th, 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:

mardi 12 mars 2013

TM SOLVER: Sparkling (2013)

“Sparkling is an impressive mosaic of electronic rhythms which swirl in the caresses and breaths of synth to thousand harmonious colors”

1 Sparkling 14:37
2 Metamorphose 10:08
3 Anamorphic 10:16
4 Return to 70's 12:37
5 Porzellan 8:02
6 Sonic Batic 9:33
7 Long Walk 9:55
8 Organ Lesson 4:57

SynGate | TM05 (80:05) **** (New Berlin School)

One of the things that attract me in EM is this infinite possibility of creating any forms of sounds smiths of incomplete harmonies which glisten on rhythmic structures that are never too much far from those which made dance and dream lot of generations since the first 3 chords of rock. With “Sparkling”, TM Solver quietly quits his universe which is imprint by the musicality of Software that had flavored the very beautiful Line on Glass. Thomas Meier becomes more audacious and ventures into the paths of a progressive New Berlin School where the rhythms and their spherical forms kiss tangents as much morphic as suave with a blend of mid and down-tempos which are illuminated by an impressive sound dryad.
Heavy winds of a somber synth, endowed with a beautiful harmonious line which floats with musicality, open the eponym track of Thomas Meier's 5th album. Jingles, sometimes in organic tones, pierce this cloud of musical radio activities. Prima facie discreet, they ring and interlock into a fine of line rhythm to get tied to a line of bass. The rhythm becomes pale. It pulses gropingly into the short breaths of a synth which splits its melodious reach by freeing some furtive floating harmonies and by clearing an intense morphic fog. This rhythm stemming from the void continues to drink eclectic tones and to swirl of its jingles to protean tints which sparkle and embroider some scattered outlines of unfinished melodies that lines of mist and choruses are wrapping of a dense coat of fog from which the minimalist approach denies at no moment its poetic reflection. And quietly "Sparkling" spins of its quirky tones, waltzing languishingly through the clouds of mists filled by silvery voices and leaning on the more steady pulsations of a bass line, drawing the doubtful route of a Horseman of the Apocalypse. This is a beautiful track which allies the originality and reminiscences of an art which fed itself by its mechanisms of complexity. "Metamorphose" sticks to the finale of the title-track with chords which skip with pins and needles in the legs. The sequence is nervous and shakes its jumping keys which roam with strength before that a soft bass line is weakening the rush. The track kisses then a suave lunar down-tempo where sequences bicker in the background of a structure which pulses with the slowness of an abstract object of desire. And fall the astral veils which bury "Metamorphose" of a celestial aura and where the synths draw mists to the colors of fire and breaths of a dreamy saxophonist and of his melancholic solos, bringing the listener in cosy comfort of the forbidden dreams. The train "Anamorphic" lands into our ears with its jingles which run against the wind. Tones of organic gurglings are pulsing in an anarchy plan, multi-coloring the road of "Anamorphic" which increases substantially its pace by scrolling in a musical landscape decorated by heterogeneous tones as much psychedelic as eclectic and lyrical.
"Return to 70's" gets into our ears with these organic pulsations which caw but especially sing on a structure which changes its moves between its two times. The movement is slow. It makes bend its oscillations in the rotatory circles of a slow allegorical spiral where are chuckling the bats and of which the derisive laughters become confused in the jingles of the metallic wings. The movement reminds me of a musical crossing between Visage, and their eponym album, and Software and of their finely hatched spirals. "Porzellan" continues to investigate these rhythmic figures with delicately jerky twisting which built the spherical rhythms of “Sparkling”. The musical fauna is always so rich with a thick cloud of quirky tones which ally the universe of the buzzing larvas to the one that more musical of the breaths of synths to fragrances of vuvuzelas with a cold. The synth is superbly soft. It throws solos which coo on this unique slightly spasmodic ballet to Teutonic structures, attracting "Porzellan" in a portion as melodic than lunar. After an intro eaten away by the indecision of its hatched riffs and its eroded circles, "Sonic Batic" dives into a great groove which swirls such as a circular cha-cha-cha to which it is lacking one step. The beat is a mid-tempo sat on good percussions and a bass line with the curvatures of big grass-snake crawling on fine sand dunes as well as on fine riffs sounding as organic gurglings. The musical set is always luxurious with allegorical spins which illuminate the mood of their fine evasive solos and synth layers which free twinkling stars. The puny start of "Long Walk" feeds itself on its good bass line, introducing another beautiful down-tempo which has nothing to envy to the very beautiful "Metamorphose". The tones of organs which cover the very psychedelic atmospheres of "Organ Lesson" charm also the fragile harmonies of "Long Walk" while that on the final they breathe a real ode into the experimental flavors of the 60's with a so threatening approach than bewitching. Iron Butterfly on Mind Over Matter...Delicious!
Sounds! A thick cloud of sounds in forms as quirky as charming, “Sparkling” is an impressive mosaic of electronic rhythms which swirl in the caresses and breaths of synth to thousand harmonious colors. Sometimes morphic and sometimes delicately lively, these hypnotic rhythms weave the pieces of magical electronic carousel where is raining some twinkling showers of meteorites trapped in the broth of a cosmos to floodlit harmonies.

Sylvain Lupari (March 12th, 2013)
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: