mardi 30 avril 2013

FANGER & SCHÖNWÄLDER: Analog Overdose in the Applebaum Nebula (2012)

“Analog Overdose in the Applebaum Nebula is a beautiful album which shows the endless possibilities of an art that likes to slay its detractors”

1 Triumphant Return 10:10
2 Nebula Symphony 11:49 
3 Sabrini's Escape 15:42 
4 The Core's First Initiative 12:39 
5 Kino's Piece 8:00 
6 The Harc Lure 4:04 
Analog Overdose (The Novel) PDF Book

Ricochet Dream | RD069 (CD 62:23) ****
(Vintage psychedelicosmic sequenced Berlin School)

Sequences, disguised in the shape of Persian percussions, form the bed of the static and bubbling rhythm which opens this new timeless musical adventure of Fanger/Schönwälder. From the outset, we recognized ourselves in this motionless rhythm which pounds with its frenzied pulsations while the synths throw its twisted reverberations and its delicate fluty mists. A movement of bass sequence sets the pace for a structure of ascending rhythm and "Triumphant Return" takes its slow rhythmic flight under the acid rains of synths to the lamentations and tones as much vintages as quirky. And, as the masters that they are in the art of the electronic minimalist Teutonic movement, Thomas Fanger and Mario Schönwälder lay down the bases of a circular rhythm which grows with a movement of more jerky sequences of which the slightly stroboscopic jolts spin in a sound fauna so heterogeneous and poetic than psychedelic. Available in a pocket digipack format and in only 500 copies, “Analog Overdose in the Applebaum Nebula” is a work recorded at the very beginning of the new century, thus one of the first works of Fanger/Schönwälder, which serves the needs for a book written by Matt Howarth, available in PDF on the cd, about the story of the psychedelicosmic German duet. A necessity? Obviously that if we are a fan of the duet or/and if we miss the psybient moves of wanderings from Tangerine Dream; the question doesn't even need to be asked.
And it's this crowding with the vintages works of Tangerine Dream which jumps in our ears with the quiet and the ambiospherical "Nebula Symphony", about whom the title speaks by itself. It's a soft piece of interstellar ambience, a kind of fusion between Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre, where we let oneself be rocked by these soft sound waves which roll slowly on the back of stars. Quietly we are drifting towards "Sabrini's Escape" and its shy chords which dip the end of their tones on a movement of furtive sequences where, of the tip of their uncertain rhythm, they form a heady hypnotic spiral. And it is the frenzy. Deformed percussions, spectral lamentations, vague voices and tones, that only an electronic world can make oniric, encircle this delicate poetic arabesque. And it's the sublimity of these soft movements of wanderings and cerebral hypnosis unique to Berlin School which seizes our ears with a rhythm devoured by sequences with tones became of metal of which the fine circular line is chopping this movement of musing where strolls a synth and its dreamy solos. Now this is what we call a great track! "The Core's First Initiative" plunges us into the atmospheric phases of a black cosmos, deviating with lifelessness towards the tenebrous whispers of a final which falls into a still ambient, but more musical, approach of "Kino's Piece" and of its dreamy piano which spreads its melancholy notes in the seraphic sighs of fallen angels. "The Lure Harc" takes possession this phase of serenity to lay down a carpet of silvery mist. It's a prelude to loud sequences which dance in a heavy cacophonous approach. These sequences get astray in the arches of resonance of blazing chords which soak into emptiness and spread an atmosphere of corrosive nebulosity, bringing “Analog Overdose in the Applebaum Nebula” in a dark ending where the breezes are sighing and the murmurs turn into disturbing whispers.
The diehard fans of the vintage years psychedelic EM will love this latest album of a work mislaid on the shelves of time by the Fanger/Schönwälder duo. A chance that Matt Howarth had a story to tell, because we would have never heard the great "Sabrini's Escape". “Analog Overdose in the Applebaum Nebula” is a beautiful album which, without reinvent the genre, shows the endless possibilities of an art that likes to slay its detractors with a musicality, and of by its minimalist structures, constantly mesmerizing. This is great EM which honors the works of its precursors.
Sylvain Lupari (April 25th, 2013)

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

lundi 29 avril 2013

RALF WADEPHUL: Ich Bin Ein Berliner (2012)

“Ich Bin Ein Berliner is yet another nice surprise from Ralf Wadephul who presents a solid live performance which is in the same vein, more or less, as TD's 220 Volts”

1 Ghosts in the Satellite 6:40 
2 Remember '88 (Incl. Neptune's Cave) 11:05 
3 Into the Thunder 5:56 
4 Suffering Sharks 6:58 
5 Sungate 5:25   
6 Endless Blue 8:43 
7 Encore (Jump Van Halen) 8:50

Ricochet Dream | RD068 (CD 53:39) ****
(Up tempo, e-rock and New Berlin School)

I understood, when I went to the discovering of When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water, that Ralf Wadephul was quite a character who liked to bring a very theatrical touch to his music. It is thus to no one's great surprise that I learnt that he is now a well respected freelance sound engineer and that he mainly makes the final mixing of German versions of movies for cinema and television. And that's exactly this atmosphere of electronic party, where the fantasy is next to the limits of an imagination which finds all its depth in the shade of synths and sequencers, that we find on his first album solo and on “Ich Bin Ein Berliner”. Here is a very patriotic title (I' m a Berliner) for a performance given within the framework of the 40th anniversary of the Berlin School movement. And nevertheless Ralf Wadephul has nothing of an artist soaked by this minimalist and hypnotic artistic approach. Oh no that he is not! Accompanied by Thorsten Wagner, on guitars, Kai Wiegert, on bass and Heiko Gigner on percussions; W.A.dePHUL (the name of his band) delivers a surprising performance which respects all the megalomania of this sci-fi eater and of his music weaved in the explosives recollections of Optical Race, but with a clearly more intense musicality and a clear tendency for heavy electronic progressive rock decorated with subtle orchestral arrangements.
"Ghosts in the Satellite" is the only new music signed by Ralf Wadephul to appear on “Ich Bin Ein Berliner”. The intro offers a kind of prelude for a TV broadcast news show with a variety of tones and static cracklings which fade little by little to leave room to a hopping rhythm. A dark organ pad flies over the first steps of this tempo a bit simplistic while that a synth spreads a harmonic veil mi-spectral and mi-sci-fi on a track which rocks its harmonies on a structure more centred on a soft rock progressive kind of EM. "Remember '88 (Incl. Neptune's Cave)" begins with a vocoder, creating a brief moment of cybernetic ambience before that the first agreements of Neptune Cave make themselves hear. The interpretation is softer and gives the shape of a very down-tempo to the track. The atmospheric section in the middle is longer and includes the use of a vocoder, while the ambience around it is more fed, more compact. But altogether it still remains a very beautiful performance of a track which seems to be, and with good reason, one of the favorite of the audience. "Into the Thunder" and "Suffering Sharks" respect the parameters of When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water, whereas "Endless Blue" offers a kind of blues and lounge structure with a Ralf Wadephul talking to the public of an apathetic voice. I prefer this version where the saxophone is splendidly replaced by of soft synth solos, showing that the sax really adds nothing to EM, and that the guitar is silkier, dreamier. I didn't recall at all that "Sungate", from the Optical Race album, had been co written by Ralf  and Edgar Froese, thus it's with surprise that I saw it on the album set list. And still there, the interpretation is tinted of blues. A great electronic blues as much suggestive as it can be dreamy with a mordant guitar which mixes quiet well enough its solos and heavy riffs without ever distorting this melodious portion which always does its effect. The big ghostly layers of the Phantom of the Opera organ are flowing loudly on the opening of "Encore" before lighting a heavy atmospheric phase. This last nameless track gets out of its organ-nic coma, to dive into the unreal with a robotic and electronic version of Van Halen's (yes,yes) Jump, where solos of synth and guitars are sharing a furious fight of solo entities which will never manage to make us forget the original, but the game was worth the candle.
Unpretentious, and with an enormous respect for his audience, Ralf Wadephul, or W.A.dePHUL, delivers a performance which seems as energizing as his music. I was pleasantly surprised by When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water and “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” exploits deeply the strength of this amazing album that I have no shame to recommend. This is a very good live album weaved in the approaches that Tangerine Dream ran during its 220 Volts tour, either some furious and inspired e-rock. It's a beautiful album which shows that EM can also lift its passions in concert. That would be pleasant to have a video version.

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

dimanche 28 avril 2013

RALF WADEPHUL: When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water (2008)

“When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water is a nice surprise where Ralf Wadephul surfs on the recollections of Optical Race and navigates between rock, prog and symphonic EM”
1 To Earth? Why Not! 1:00  
2 Cosmic Cruiser 3:46  
3 1st Sunlight 4:43  
4 Endless Blue 5:58  
5 Into the Thunder 5:27  
6 Suffering Sharks 7:09  
7 Neptun's Cave 10:53  
8 Paradise Island 5:29  
9 Praying for Rain 5:14  
10 Dancing with the Clouds 4:54  
11 Melancholy of Nature 5:09  
12 Sunset Raga 3:01  
13 Going Home 4:34

Manikin | MRCD 7087 (CD 67:17) ***¾
(Up tempo, e-rock New Berlin School)
Tangerine Dream's Melrose years weren't my favorites at all. I quite liked a part of Optical Race, but I downright dropped out with Lily on the Beach. What is the link with Ralf Wadephul? Well it's him who has replaced Chris Franke during the making of Optical Race and the American tour which follows at the early autumn of 1988. It's from that era that lies half of the tracks of this first album in solo from the lightning visit in the multiple faces of Tangerine Dream. Released on Manikin label in 2008, “When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water” stands on two parts. The first one consists of 8 new compositions, while the second part is an answer to TD's Blue Dawn where Edgar Froese had rearranged 8 compositions that W.A.dePHUL wrote in 1988 when he was touring with Edgar and Paul Haslinger. On his Web site, Ralf Wadephul explains that the way Edgar Froese had worked his compositions didn't reflected his vision. It's thus with apprehension, and having received Ich Bin Ein Berliner, that I began the analysis of “When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water” and frankly I was pleasantly surprised. Ralf Wadephul dilutes skillfully an EM which inhales the rhythmic warheads of Optical Race, but with a more intense and more audacious musical envelope where the big electronic rock, casted in heavy and sharp-edged riffs as well as in hammered percussions and sequences at knocks of thousand rhythmic jumps, is transporting melodies dipped into intense film approaches. I got to say that it's beautiful discovery where Ralf Wadephul surfs, without hiding it, on the recollections of Optical Race and navigates between rock, prog and symphonic EM.
"Cosmic Cruiser" seizes of the anemic breath of "To Earth? Why Not!" to offer the first similarities with Optical Race. It's a well balanced electronic rock which makes grimace. Even if the solos are sharp, the rhythm remains fragile and is very near of the Dream hairpieces of the Melrose years. It's with "1st Sunlight" that Ralf Wadephul spreads his trap of musical attraction. Yet the melody is simplistic; a beautiful line of arpeggios pearled of fluty breaths waddles as an innocent lullaby, drawing an earworm which camps for a while in our brain. Whereas the melody bewitches time, the rhythmic structure lays down a more and more marked progression before falling towards a beautiful ballad abundantly watered by guitar solos.  By the way, who plays guitar on “When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water”? It's an unknown guest and he plays quite well. After this beautiful and very innocent pearl, "Endless Blue" crosses the waves which roll constantly on background to offer a very Dreamish structure with a sax à la Linda Spa which wraps of its suave breezes another melodious pattern which ends with a more solid rhythmic where are bickering in duel a sax and a guitar. "Into the Thunder" follows with a big heavy electronic rock. The rhythm is curt, jerky and follows the strikings of percussions which unite their knocks with sequences strummed with confidence. Orchestral pads dismount the twisted solos of synth which run on a steady rhythm while that "Into the Thunder" increases its strength and its swiftness to offer a livelier pace where organ pads, synth solos, explosions of percussions and heavy riffs of guitar and of its acuteness solos plunge the track in the middle of a symphonic and progressive electronic rock. "Suffering Sharks" tempers the heats with its approach of lunar lullaby which coos in a bath of cybernetic sound effects. One would say an electromagnetic storm when some fine arpeggios ring like in those messages of the old submarines on a line of sequence to the undulatory charms. The melody is offered by a synth to the drawling and wandering lines. A synth which releases airs of déjà vu while the track takes a film bend, allying an unbridled rhythm which gallops like a solitary rider on the plains of Pluto. The synth is very harmonious with a tone closer of progressive rock, we think of Pink Floyd and One of these Days, than of the purely electronic. It's a very good track with a tempo in constant progression which is dying of its Babylonian approach.
These rhythms and melodies in perpetual movement are the strength of this Ralf Wadephul's first album and "Neptun's Cave" is eaten from the inside throughout its 11 minutes. It's a very good track with a melodious portion which seems to be taking out of the Optical Race sessions with an acoustic guitar, or sort of, which seems to have inspired one or two tracks on Lily on the Beach. The synth is suave. It forges a beautiful melody which breathes the joy of life. The rhythm is soft, just like the ballads that the Dream used to make at this time. So, this delicate melody falls in a nothingness of lost tones and chords to fan itself on a meshing of pulsations and percussions which moulds a static rhythm that a synth waters with soft solos flying in a strange spectral envelope. And gradually, "Neptun's Cave" dives into a big e-rock where pads in tones of organs and heavy orchestrations hold a harmonious approach which is flooded in a torrent of intensity and decibels. And the reborn of this Dantesque oblivion to whisper us this enchanting tune which has difficulty to leave our eardrums. This is a great track that your brain will recall days later. "Paradise Island" is another beautiful e-ballad supported by a beautiful play of percussions and by some lively riffs from an acoustic guitar. The rhythm remains steady and throws in our ears their fine melodic variances which are caressed by a synth sometimes serene and sometimes belligerent with very good solos in the shapes of guitar and quirky tones which go against the harmonious structure. "Praying for Rain" presents a structure strongly livened up by crazy sequences which climb and go down on a dislocated skeleton. The structure of the rhythm reminds me a little of Cat Scan, but the melody is almost non-existent. Explosions of percussions remind us the genesis of the track’s naming while that the ghostly synth gets lost in a structure which increases ceaselessly its intensity, but not its shape, to end in a totally unexpected philharmonic envelope. Heavy and lively, "Dancing with the Clouds" is a nice ballad decorated by crystalline ringings and by beautiful solos of guitar which would copulated very well with "Paradise Island", while that "Natural Melancholy" would have copulated rather well with "Cosmic Cruiser". "Sunset Raga" is what is the most ambiospheric on “When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water” with a furtive approach which would complete a trilogy of harmonies with a cosmic tendency undertaken by "Paradise Island", whereas "Going Home" is an excellent ending which gleans here and there the ambiences, the heavy rhythms, the piercing guitar solos and the melodious approaches of this interesting find that is “When Aliens Meet a Drop of Water”; an inescapable if we are a big fan of Optical Race and those who, like me, were fussy about this work rich in musicality from Ralf Wadephul.

Sylvain Lupari (April 28th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

jeudi 25 avril 2013

STEPHEN PARSICK: Permafrost-Music for Hibernation (2010)

“Permafrost-Music for Hibernation enrolls under the registers of experimental ambient music where Stephen Parsick innovates within advanced techniques of recording”

1 Part I
2 Part II
3 Part III
4 Part IV
Part V

Doombient.Music sp004 (CD-r 76:00) ***½
(Dark ambient music)

Least that we can say is that Stephen Parsick is not afraid of ambitious artistic projects, projects that are out of the blue. Created in the Siberian coldness which covered the whole Eastern Europe from December 2009 till February 2010, “Permafrost-Music for Hibernation” is an ode to iciness which has rages in this sector where the wintry temperatures exceeded very often 30 degrees Celsius. Colds which bite the skin and freeze the eyes as the soul of nature that the German sound sculptor has knew how to catch with an artistic approach worthy of the great sound and wildlife explorers. In order to well seize this ice and coldness symphony, Stephen Parsick has settled microphones in order to record the murmurs of the ices, wind and snowfalls. The result is a stunning enchanting world where the solitude of hibernations can be felt from the tip of our ears.
An ice which is forming or which is fissuring opens this polar ode. Slowly the listener feels submerged by this glacier desert where the silence is the only witness of an inhospitable environment. The long and slow atonal strata traverse this silence of snows, wrapping this wintry incursion of a heavy sound coat where linear streaks tear an ambiance of white marble. Such as a dance of auroras borealis floating under our eyes without producing the slightest sound, a slow symphony blows in the cold. It's an enchanting universe, and horribly beautiful, which blows in our ears. It's a freezing universe where the madness of the intense cold brings us to hear sirens murmuring beneath the ices. Ices which collide and whose movements are amplified by the range of the microphones. Caustic and glacial, the universe of Stephen Parsick ravels into our ears with a never ending brittleness and an insidious cruelty which is the resultant of the cold on a naked body. Throughout this ode to coldness and to loneliness, Stephen Parsick  modulates its sonorities in order to drag the listener into the twilights of a winter that has no ending with multi strata of drones which glide under slow morphic layers. These are synth layers of a caustic soundscapes which reaches the paroxysms of tension while slipping into atmospheres with variations of weather. It's a cold universe. A somber one which unfolds with all the meticulousness of its Siberian exploration where are floating some beautiful synth layers sometimes obscures but also of a fine limpidity, a little as if the light wanted to pass through this thick curtain of solid water. Floating, with the slow modulations of the soft oscillations, the mordant universe of Parsick reaches its peaks of sonorous tranquility in a universe however upholster by heavy layers which tear the winter silence, like a huge knife which would want to mutilate a silk sheet beneath the reverberations of an amplified sonority.
Permafrost-Music for Hibernation” enrolls under the registers of experimental ambient music where his designer innovates within advanced techniques of recording. The outcome is a strange winter symphony where the cosmos is frozen under water, but however still perceptible because of the sound fauna which lends itself easily to the delirious of a loneliness where all can be intermingle, like mirages of a virginal coldness. The fans of Stephen Parsick, and of his ambitious projects, won't be disappointed by this glacial ode to the abyssal blackness because, even if the universe of ambient is strongly solicited, the German synthesist is successful in always to astonish by his sound structures as limpid as invisible, and this even when surrounded by a poetic blackness.

Sylvain Lupari (August 23rd, 2009 and translated on April 20th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mercredi 24 avril 2013

STEPHEN PARSICK: Cambrium - Music For Protozoa (2009)

“Cambrium - Music for Protozoa is yet another dark ambient work where Stephen Parsick shows us the other side of microbiological life by the means of his music”

1 Proterozoikum 6:25
2 DNA Sequence 6:50
3 Ekectric Soup Kitchen 4:55 
4 Primordial Glurp 6:03 
5 Trilobite 6:17 
6 Amoeba 5:23 
7 Cambrium 12:05 
8 Medusa 4:48  
9 Urge to Live 10:44  
10 Radiolaria 4:18

Doombient.Music sp004 (CD-r 67:48) ***½
(Dark ambient music)
The least we can say is that Stephen Parsick is in a shady period where the atonal forms of a tetanized music seem to be far from its conceptual priorities. In the same stride as debris, although less heavy and more atmospheric, “Cambrium - Music for Protozoa” is a more psychedelic than structured musical journey, depicting so the microscopic universe that surrounds us on some atonal movements intertwined into the heavy and full of life musical structures of a noisy musical life. Recorded in concert on May 29th, 2009 at the University of Bielefeld for the annual night of sounds, this last release from the German synthesist is a sound reflection of an effervescent microbiological world. It's a surprising musical journey where the microscopic life is bubbling throughout the ARP 2600 and VCS-3; synths known for their warm tones with faces as much astral as hallucinogenic.
Emerging softly from the meanders of a boiling life of metaphoric streaks, "Proterozoikum" floats in a spectral universe where choirs and acid breaths are flavoring a micro organic life of strange luminous parasites which contort themselves like sound jellyfishes. Odd laughers of ashed witches emanate from this context where a subjacent life reigns with color palettes proper to Stephen Parsick. The first stammering of a world out of control are popping out on the overture of "DNA Sequence". These are spasmodic sequences which collide in a strange fusional ballet, dancing in a dislocated way such as marionettes that we imagine to be germs, or enzymes, which converge on some point of entry. It's an abstracted dance of a microbiological world which spreads its tones among organic and ambiospherical structures like we heard on "Ekectric Soup Kitchen", "Amoeba", "Medusa" and "Radiolaria" and other structures livened up by a sequential pulsatory rhythm like on "Tribolite", which beats under somber strata in an arrhythmic flow, and the title track which merges on heavy reverberations whereas the heaviness and the reverberating roundnesses of "Urge to Live" are similar to the sound vividness of the last ['ramp] album; debris.
An abstracted cerebral journey or a sound exploration of an underlying life; “Cambrium - Music for Protozoa” presents us a Stephen Parsickin great shape. The German synthesist brings us where he wants to, either into the borders of a musical adventure where the stellar merges marvellously to a sonorous world that only himself can define with a multitude of organic tones which can easily survive in both worlds.

Sylvain Lupari (December 2nd, 2009 and translated on April 22nd, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mardi 23 avril 2013


“The strength of a black and ambient work is its capacity to seduce with atmospheres where squeak, shout and float pale and scarlet tones: this is Lament”

1 Weigthless Particles 8:30
2 Hoarfrost 8:55
3 Lament 3:25
4 And all which is not 24:13
5 Lurk 3:31
6 Below Ice 8:54
7 Reign of Dust 11:22

Gterma 003 (CD 69:07) ****
(Dark ambient music)

The strength of a black and ambient work is its capacity to seduce with atmospheres where squeak, shout and float pale and scarlet tones. You remember this long dark and ambient work that ['ramp] and Markus Reuter had concocted in 2007? ceasing to exist had riveted the lovers of deep floating music, to fine scents of industrial music rotting in its toxic ashes, at their headphones. About 5 years later, Stephen Parsick and Markus Reuter put back that with a black and intensely floating album which is to the measure of their unequalled talents to breathe life to dead structures. “Lament” is a powerful sound cocktail where the multiplicity of droning layers from synths and guitars gives life to these scattered implosions which punctuate the almost oniric blackness of a work which is savoured completely curled up in the comfort of a good pair of earphones. It's an intense work which doesn't stop seducing at the minute that it insinuates itself into our ears.
Winds. Spectral and iridescent lamentations debauch the peace of mind of "Weigthless Particles". Agglutinated in an immense sound mass, they float with a mixture of threat and seraphicity. The guitar of Markus Reuter releases a perfume of serenity with its more bright layers which defy those more intense and black of Stephen Parsick, while that the fusion of their elements brings a bit of musicality on these lifeless darkness where breezes of weeping-metal are squealing in the mists of Mellotron mislaid here and there. Purely ambient, "Weigthless Particles" defines the main lines of an album which is just as much. The beautiful "Hoarfrost" cries for solitude with its layers of guitars which weep into the shapes of solos, shouting its disarray in the morphic and abyssal sweetnesses of the layers of a synth which eventually spreads its heavy dark veils. A furtive fight between the loops to the deformed echoes by the guitar and the density of the synth pads, guided by a biblical ferocity, bring the beautiful and dark "Hoarfrost" to its dying breaths, where we still hear the ultimate breaths of a fatigued guitar. Short but intense, "Lament" makes its beast mooing through the loops of pulsations which gurgle with strength in a lunar setting drawn by the waves of a guitar which borrows the Arabian breaths of a lost civilization. We have just overtaken the borders of the beast and of its den with the long and without any forms "And all which is not" which plunges us in full agony. Heavy and black, the intro ends to disperse its Mephistophelian layers which roar as howling winds dismantling mountains in a powerful abyssal descent. There is a mixture of terror and dirty poetry in these first 7 minutes which graze any forms of virgin thoughts and where the doubt between the coexistence of two parallel universes is melting bit by bit. The vertiginous descent ends in a bath of fusions between these numerous synth layers and those of an abstract guitar which tear the listener by the strength of their blackness and the serenity of their luminosities. We are floating in a strange linear waltz where the evanescent tranquility remains the prey of the intestine storms which prowl all around this long fresco on the nothingness. We hear some reminescences of  Michael Stearns' Chronos  stroll here and there on a structure which is quietening little by little. And we arrive there. We arrive at these pulsations and these glaucous implosions which fed the vampiric ['rampian] atmospheres of ceasing to exist. And while we thought that the Parsick/Reuter duet had reached the zenith of the abstract art, "And all which is not" breathes again and is reborn of its toxic ashes to kiss a finale where the pernicious breaths of a quirky interbreeding throw a honeyed ambience of satanic serenity which will be in the heart of a finale puzzling with the very beautiful and melancholic "Reign of Dust" and the taciturn solos of Markus Reuter.
"Lurk" offers the first semblances of rhythm on “Lament” with Tibetan carillons which resound in an outlandish black mass. Even if the winds moo with opacity, we hear all these small sound details which make the strength of this somber union between Stephen Parsick and Markus Reuter. The atmosphere weaved by this pile of multiple layers to ill-assorted tones is as well intense as poignant. "Below Ice" surprises us by the ferocity of its alienating lamentations. This time the descent is of aggression with these hootings of schizophrenia which yell of insanity into scattered ice implosions. It's a skillful mixture between the crystalline and frightening tones of Permafrost-Music for Hibernation and the Reutertronics lamentations which rise with its Babylonian shouts on a finale to make dream the sound-effects engineers of the oceanographic works. With their approaches a bit poetic, "Below Ice" and "Hoarfrost" separate marvellously the sepulchral atmospheres which upholster the black universe of “Lament”. And, drawn from the cave of "And all which is not", "Reign of Dust" offers a finale of the most unexpected where the revival inhales the purity. It's a very rare oniric nectar in Stephen Parsick's works and a monument of beauty on this intriguing ambient opus that is “Lament”.

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

dimanche 21 avril 2013

RICHARD BONE: Anthology (2013)

“Anthology is a great compilation of wonderful melodiuous tracks where Richard Bone digs in the memories of his most accessible works”
1 Waters of Assiyah 5:39 
2 In Japa 4:11
3 Outside the Incrimination Field 4:28
4 The Inland Sea 3:55
5 A Column of Glyphs 4:30
6 Vesperia Pt 3 6:46
7 Beginning to Fade 3:53
8 By Any Other Name 5:43
9 Aquaville 5:59
10 Imperial Glide 5:37
11 Amorita Dive 4:48
12 Always Drifting Down 6:07
13 My Pretty Debris 4:15
14 Zumaphile Shift 5:16
15 Father of Pearl 6:26
16 (You Are) Essence of Diamond 6:35
17 Unknown Waters 5:56
18 A Silent Season 5:07
19 Fractal Ashes 3:47
20 47 Youth St 6:33

ADMusic |DDL AD123 CD-r (105:21) ***½
(A blend of New Age and eclectic EM)
Spring! Ah...What a good period of the year, and of life, to go after the discovery of this soft and oniric compilation of Richard Bone. Avoiding all labels to establish himself in a style of the most diversified EM, the American synthesist, who released a beautiful opus of ambient organic music in Serene Lives of Microbes in 2006, opens the vaults of his memories in a compilation of his most accessible works. Available in downloadable format (we can also obtain it in a CD-r format), via the platform of the English label AD Music, “Anthology” risks to disappoint those who have waited for an ambient work to the abstract colors. Always unpredictable, it's rather from the garden of his introspection that Richard Bone decided to pick 20 fine musical pearls, pulled from his collection of albums on his label Quirkworks. “Anthology” breathes of its 20 bewitching melodies which roam on ambient, even abstracted, structures, on lunar down-tempos and on soft orgasmic jazz which transport our feelings, as time calms their incomprehension.
After an intro blown by fluty breezes, "Waters of Assiyah" lays down a fine structure of jazz/ lounge fusion in the deep of our ears. A delicate melody hangs onto glass arpeggios of which the fight between their echoing, resonant and crystal clear tones stimulates a harmony whispered to our ears with such sweetness that we ask for more. And, faithful to his very eclectic signature, Richard Bone amazes with this stunning clanic approach which drums finely on a seductive piano line, drawing so the main lines of an attractive musical rendezvous with a composer who is not afraid of misleading his style in a universe of a thousand sound delights. We find these fragrances of jazz which are cradled by soft mid-tempos like "Outside the Incrimination Field" and its vampiric breezes, the lively "Amorita Dive" and "Zumaphile Shift", while that "47 Youth St" sways the hips languishingly on a suave down-tempo to the smells of soft jazz. Beautiful ballads like "Aquaville" and "Always Drifting Down" have more tendencies of a lounge and ballads mix. "In Japa" is an appealing morphic lullaby illuminated by chords of glass which ring in the shade of delicate notes from a crystal piano, weaving a soft ambience of musing and melancholy. A soft pulsation of a bass line shakes the movement of the carillons which float in the breaths of suave seraphic choruses. It's a soft music piece where the ambient mood and the New Age melodies meet with harmony, like on "The Inland Sea" and its notes of koto which resound in ambient breezes, where sing birds which coo on the undulations of those furtive pulsations weaved in the tones which ring as a somber guitar of solitary cowboy.
We also find in these lunar and meditative settings, tracks as "A Column of Glyphs", the very beautiful and
Vangelish "Vesperia Pt 3", the somber and very pensive "My Pretty Debris", and the quiet "Unknown Waters" which floats on its black breaths and its discreet orchestrations. If "A Silent Season" sounds distant from the rest of “Anthology” with its lyrical acoustic approach, one would believe to hear Steve Orchard, "Beginning to Fade" is not outdone with its strange voices which sing on a rhythm as fuzzy as its voices, but livened up by moments of a morphic down-tempo. "By Any Other Name" follows with a languishing cosmic down-tempo. The melodious approach is embroidered in stars. "Imperial Glide" is another beautiful cosmic ballad with a tribal and filmic approach which enjoy a very good orchestration, like the sublime "Father of Pearl", boy what a great track! Then comes the very lively and hyper melodious "(You Are) Essence of Diamond" and African fragrance) as well as "Fractal Ashes" which is darker on the other hand.
Since the time that we know the magic of
David Wright, it would be the time to recognize his talent to unearth composers and musicians who are capable of surfing on his imprints as melodic than melancholic and on his lunar ambiences where the rhythms as the ballads adopt the forms of their fantasies. And it's the entire story behind this very beautiful compilation of Richard Bone. We listen to “Anthology” like to get a surprising complicity with life, and this no matter of its moments. It's soft and dreamy, dark and melancholic, ambient and livened up. In brief, all our contrarieties wrapped in a musical texture which answers the ambitious criteria of the label AD Music. Surprising and very good!

Sylvain Lupari (April 18th, 2013)

jeudi 18 avril 2013

SYNDROMEDA: The Final Conspiracy (2009)

“The Final Conspiracy is a good album of complex EM which won't disconcert the fans of Syndromeda, nor the fans of Berlin School”
1 The Rise and Fall of the Chaos 10:56
2 Break the Walls 4:06
3 The Illusion 9:11 
4 Discover the Temple 9:11 
5 Funny Looking People 11:37 
6 The Revenge 10:50 
7 Switch 9:06 
8 Kojo no Tsuki 1:52

SinSyn | 200902 (CD-r 66:55) ***½
(Progressive Berlin School)

Strange tones, coming from a world in perdition floating between a cosmos calcified by its dense sound fauna and its depth of heavens, open the introduction of "The Rise and Fall of the Chaos". The circles with outlines eroded by reverberations is stabilizing little by little by making jingles, gnawing this uncomfortable blackness before sinking into the soft whirlwind of a heavy line of sequences and of its stumbling rhythmic covered of a synth to acid singings and twisted lamentations. This heavy rhythm pursues its cosmic ride by crossing a dark and thundering movement where subtle of resonances degrade the magnificence of this structure which quietens down to sink into cosmic waters. An apocalyptic siren filters its stridencies there whereas a vocoder is talking like he was whispering in a metallic nothingness streaked by ochred strata, plunging us in a dark radioactive ambience where the tempo beats lazily under a synth to laments always so corrosive and distorted. Welcome to the strange world of Dany Budts and to “The Final Conspiracy” whose "The Rise and Fall of the Chaos" announces the colors of a heavy album filled by intriguing, puzzling and mysterious tones. Such are the qualifiers that occur me to describe as good as possible this last album of the enigmatic Syndromeda. "Break the Walls" is a track with a seething rhythm where the synth soliloquizes in a misty ambience which wraps itself with a mass of streak in ebullition. "The Illusion" is a long sclerosed ode which begins to undulate at its mid-point with a jerked sequential movement which espouses a delicate crystalline wave under a somber ambience full of caustic reverberations. It's a soporific track but of an intriguing atonal heaviness, ideal for a nightmarish passage in a good horror movie. "Discover the Temple" is a very imaginative track as I love them. An intro with soft blows and clanic choruses of a jungle flew over by ochred synth veils quietly awake an increasing movement. A rhythmic pulse shapes a slow and hypnotic tempo which is pierced by some curt breaths which whistle as darts going out of their blowpipes beneath a rich sound dome full of synth streaks and broken solos. A more crystal clear sequence, forged by circles echoing, adds some more depth to this strange tribal rhythm which strides along a pleasantly heavy and mesmerizing rhythmic path. This is a very good track.
A structure of wave-like and fluid sequences opens "Funny Looking People". This movement of sequences, which sounds so much like TD's, harpoons a rhythm which is sustained by a bass line flooded under an avalanche of shrill and circular sharp solos by moments melodious and other moments jerked. "The Revenge" rages on thunders of percussions which break up the nothingness, following a soft vaporous intro. These percussions thunder in a heterogeneous universe where distant voices and Mellotron breezes are courting court a strange sound whirlwind which takes shape of an atonal Hindu dance. "Switch" pounds on a wriggling line of sequences wrapped with a Mellotron aura which breathes life to a fine bass line. Delicate synth streaks overhang a sound horizon watered of scattered keyboard keys and synth solos of which the circles are tie together into a melodious minimalist pattern. After the first three minutes of dreaming some curt and clear percussions are colliding slightly within the structure to lead it towards more increasing rhythms, without ever becoming too fervent, to end on a stumbling sequential movement encircled by well spicy solos. It's a track which has all its effect with a good headphone, giving thus the opportunity to discover all the sound wonder which surround "Switch". The same thing applies to the whole album which is a nest for heterogeneous tones. The album ends with a short and strange track in "Kojo no Tsuki" and its strange tenebrous procession which goes out of a dark Middle Ages, testifying of the conceptual strangeness of this 19th opus from a musician which merges marvellously fat and undulating sequences to synths to the tones as colourful as sharp. “The Final Conspiracy” is a good album of complex EM which won't disconcert the fans of Syndromeda, nor the fans of Berlin School style who like EM with a zest of progressive touch.
Sylvain Lupari (October 9th, 2009 and translated on April 16th, 2013)

mardi 16 avril 2013

KLAUS SCHULZE: Angst (1984)

“Angst is a beautiful and melodious one which is an excellent way to introduce those afraid of those long exploratory tracks usual to Klaus Schulze's repertoire”

1 Freeze 6:36
2 Pain 9:36
3 Memory 4:50
4 Surrender 8:41
5 Beyond 10:16
6 Silent Survivor (Bonus Track) 31:40
SPV 304812 CD-REV 032 (2005) (CD 72:06) ****(Minimalist New Berlin School)

Angst” is Klaus Schulze's 17th album solo and it's also the soundtrack of an Australian movie, written and directed by Gerald Kargl, which talks about the life of Werner Kniesek; a psychopath and serial killer. And “Angst” is an album as striking than the movie, of which the film-maker embroider around the music, and the 14th album of Schulze to be reedited in a luxury format by the Revisited Records label. A necessity? I think so, because “Angst” remains a work always underestimated in Schulze's repertoire. It's an intense album. And even if the rhythms are blazing, the ambiences are at the same time dreamlike and intriguing, amplifying a strange discomfort which increases as the music enters insidiously between our two hemispheres.
"Freeze" goes into our ears with a subjugating digital sweetness. It's a superb oniric melody which has accompanied a lot of my difficult sleeps and which is blown in the glass that it's slowly stroke of magic wands. There are scents of Audentity, as well as Mike Oldfield's reminiscences of Incantations, which are floating here and there among these delicate arpeggios of glass that the Fairlight II sculpts and make clink into seraphic breaths. It's the ballad of glockenspiel's keys with a Schulze hallucinating of tenderness who plays of virtual xylophone, like a pianist who's charming his piano of a disappointment anchored by despair, on this strange symphonic harmony which sparkles with a surprising lyrical coldness. A superb electronic melody which has doubtless inspired Robert Schroeder in Brain Voyager. One of the most beautiful I heard. "Pain" enters like a knife in a cloud of puff with a heavy and slow rhythm which makes contrast with its bed of nervous sequences. The rhythm is pulsatory and holds on a good bass line which beats of a symmetric measure, even when the moods are becoming of anxiety with strata of staccato violins, to become of leaden with some spectral laments roaring in a finale which kisses the memories of Dziekuje Poland
. This is a good track which lulls between electronic rock and funk and where reigns a form of psychosis with this tearing between the violence and the harmonies that Schulze depicts skillfully on a background of tension which gives justice to this Australian film for television. "Memory" is a track which surfs on the harmonies of "Freeze" with a short structure which uses its chords like a frivolous panpipe all in bickering with a synth and its more conventional chords. "Surrender" changes things upside down with a rhythm which is fluid and well cadenced by a strong play of percussions whose strikings and metallic jingles resound and answer in a tactical echo while bombarding a hypnotic tempo that a sweet synth covers of a shy foggy melody. The rhythm is extremely minimalist and the melody brings its fine shades on a rhythm ploughed loudly. I would say that we feel in it some replicas of rhythms from Transfer Station Blue. "Beyond" is a very good title which went unnoticed in the work of Schulze. It's a skillful mixture of funk and groove which sways hips curiously in a musical envelope forged in the cosmic tones of pre-X era. An ambivalent movement full of restraints and contradictions which is prisoner of its static structure, "Beyond" answers absently to its Tablas kind of percussions of which the evasive strikings have difficulty to match to a steady tempo while it tries a breakaway towards an approach more groove than a funk, at around the 5th minute, to be snatched by the discomfort of a strange industrial brass band.
"Silent Survivor" is the cornerstone of this new edition of “Angst”. And it's by far the most beautiful track offered by Schulze on this series of new editions. A synth to the waves heavy and dirtied by crystalline dusts floats in an absolute blackness that a chthonian choir caresses of dark voices. In spite of the slowness of a soporific impulsion, the movement breathes of these iridescent layers which entangle around the first linear pulsations. Quietly, a soft musicality goes out of the improbable with astral waves which whisper on the notches of the pulsations. And "Silent Survivor" to grow insidiously. It's soft and appealing. The first keys which begin to dance seem harmless. Suddenly this series of keys livens up on head winds and forms a rhythmic approach which seems disjointed, such as a hesitating samba of which the nervous step is prisoner of the intense mist of Mellotron. And the rhythm explodes of these rotary keys which spin with fury in this bed of mist, entailing "Silent Survivor" in a whirlwind of infernal sequences which undulate and oscillate furiously to bind themselves in a bass line, throwing so the pattern of a circular rhythm that a synth welcomes of its misty voice. The minutes which follow are as well intense as musical with a rhythm which becomes muddled, abandoning its melodic structure to mix up with isolated sequences and knocks of symphonic jaws which amplify the incoherence of a confused brain (remember that it's firstly movie music). Between being steady, divided and inconsistent rhythmic approach, "Silent Survivor" gets through a lot of phases which are in accordance with the level of wandering of a cruel psychopath. Klaus Schulze hammers our eardrums and tears our ears with his sense of muddled beat and his synth solos which fly over this vague structure. This is great Schulze but I doubt that it might be a track mislaid or unfinished in the vaults of “Angst”, although by moment we feel a breath of the tracks performed during the Polish tour of 83.
I never understood the silence which surrounds “Angst”.  People talk few about it; a little as if it was a wrong turn in Schulze's career and this nevertheless that the work is striking with its rhythms, and especially its ambiences, which plunge us into a musical paranoia that only Schulze can sign. It's like a big mishmash of rhythms and moods where sequences and orchestral raids are in the continuity of Audentity. And amazingly, it's an album which is more melodious and so an excellent way to introduce those who were always afraid of the long disconnected explorations of the Master of Teutonic EM. And, as usual, this reedition is magnificently well presented with a very beautiful, and instructive, booklet which flies over the period of “Angst”, and beyond, as well as a bonus track of which the forgetting would be a crime against e-music.

Sylvain Lupari (April 13th, 2013)

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

samedi 13 avril 2013

GUSTAVO JOBIM: Connection - Tribute to Conrad Schnitzler (2013)

“Don't look for harmonies of Connection - Tribute to Conrad Schnitzler, there aren't. But there is noise and noises...and noises”
Connection 1 4:11
Connection 2 3:52
Connection 3 3:31
Connection 4 2:15
Connection 5 2:11
Connection 6 3:00
Connection 7 2:33
Connection 8 3:14
Connection 9 3:50
Connection 10 5:18
Connection 11 2:30
Connection 12 3:26

Gustavo Jobim | Free Download (DDL 39:51) ***
(Industrial Music)
Is this anti music? Absolutely! And it's not because it is 12 Connections disconnected from the music phases that our brain usually assimilates that “Connection - Tribute to Conrad Schnitzler” ain't worth seeing. From the first reverberations which gurgle and roar with insanity on the back of the pulsations which subdivide their linear strikings with ferocity, we know that the next 40 minutes of this tribute to Conrad Schnitzler
 will be forged in the labyrinths of the most absolute abstract art. "Connection 1" is sculptured in noises of floating sheet steels and their cold metallic tones which melt themselves in a stunning oscillatory maelstrom which, eventually, turns out to be of a musicality that leaves perplexed. "Connection 4", although much jerked, is another track which pulses with a shambolic frenzy... if we like this kind of loud and noisy minimalist style. Look for harmonies nowhere; everything is out of tune, un-harmonic on this Gustavo Jobim's musical essay. "Connection 2" offers an organic structure which floats in some sizzling waves, white noises of which the ample movements describe big winged arcs. We like? Well there is "Connection 8" which is divided between the sourness and its sweetness and also "Connection 10" which...euh...You have to hear it.
We enter into the cave of blackness with "Connection 3" and its intense dark layers of organs which blow in the lost flights of the frightened bats. A sombre track, like "Connection 5" which is more musical on the other hand with its vampiric waves and "Connection 9" which is a slow procession sleeping in the basements of a vast deserted warehouse. "Connection 6" brings us to another level with its percussions which swirl in a fusion of helicopters' propellers on a bed of waves of which the metallic tones blow and suffer in indifference. "Connection 7"? What to say if it's not that it's made of noises. It's an explosion of explosions and backfiring of fireworks which burst of 1 000 electronic colors in the pains of the synth layers as dark than sad. A chance that there is "Connection 11" to groom our ears which are exposed in one the most colorful sustained fire of tones that are of the most colourful and rhythms of the most strangely invertebrates we can imagine. And "Connection 12" to re-chlorinate our ears with its long resonant laments which pulse in toxins clouds of cracklings, completing a work of which the beauty lives in this will to feed the abstracted music from these tones which only a brain illuminated with a mission can restore; the mission to pay tribute to an artist as much strange as necessary.

Sylvain Lupari (April 12th, 2013)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream