jeudi 20 juin 2013

IAN BODDY: Liverdelphia (2013)

“Liverdelphia is brilliant album where the universe of EM gets cover of its warmest tones in a superb progressive shroud”
1 Open Door 8.22
2 Crystal Light 8.12
3 Driftwood 6.32
4 Triptastique 12.27
5 Overture 4.53
6 The Long Road 14.33
7 Never Reaching 7.05
8 Destination Zero 10.19
9 Coda 2.52

DiN42 (CD 75:24) *****
(Progressive cosmic Berlin School)
Ah Ian Boddy... When we talk about EM we forget too easily his name. And nevertheless if there is an artist who doesn't stop to surprise, from album to album, and this no matter the kind, it's got to be Ian Boddy for sure. Drawn from the recordings of concerts given at the antipodes of the planet, Philadelphia and Liverpool, “Liverdelphia” is a powerful work. A work where the musical duality spreads its veil of magnetism and where the listener is swallowed to be teleported in a sound universe to the measure of the immoderation of an artist to the visions as infinite as the musical meanders of his synths cables. A work where the cosmos of the vintages years is skilfully rediscovered, a work where the atmospheres get revitalize in rhythms as hard than pure, “Liverdelphia” will nail you in your dreams with a surprising dominance on your fascination.
Winds, of any forms and of all colors, which blow among electronic chirpings are quietly chased away by a series of twinkling arpeggios. These sequences, which skip shyly from the tip of their chords, forge a clumsy rhythm which limps under the grave octaves of the chthonian choirs. The ambience becomes of mist, while that "Open Door" hears its chords of rhythm ringing out with more vivacity under the sinuous curves of solos in the soft analog perfume. Solos of synth which float lazily on a rhythm became soft that a bass line harmonizes with some metallic jingles, whereas calmly "Open Door" sinks into the gaps of an electronic ambiospherical universe where twisted reverberations and dialect of the machines prowl in the cosmos while waiting for the soft circular rhythm of "Crystal Light". Like a carousel of magnetism, "Crystal Light" offers a superb structure of tranquillity with its glass arpeggios which swirl like the horses of woods in the old merry-go-rounds of our childhood memories. The rhythm is ambient. It revolves with a morphic slowness in beautiful sequenced volutes, while the rippling mist is switching shape into some fine poetic solos, allying magic, fancy and virginality in a long waltz slow and floating where the crystal sings its lunar lullaby. It's very beautiful. These fragmented singings get lost in the very ambient "Driftwood" and of its symphony of solos singers which cry in a cosmos disrupted by oblong dying reverberations and by scattered astral gong sounds. The ambient world of Boddy is pretty unique. It's rich in composite sound elements which always manage to create a fascinating symbiosis where the slightest wind, the slightest beating stigmatize a sound wealth in perpetual mutation. We dream, we float in "Driftwood" which serenely brings us towards the piece of resistance: "Triptastique". We are in full heart of a pulsations storm which forges the bases of percussions drummed in the winds of ether. Even static, the rhythm is exhilarating. It pounds on the spot, lazy that it is to make caress its whimsical jumps by the vapors of the ionosphere, by orchestral sighs. One would imagine being at the heart of the genesis of Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene. And the solos arrive. Tinted of ambivalent tones, they overhang this long track of long twisted breaths. Curly breaths which shout on a rhythm which becomes more intense and whose chaotic fluidity marries that of solos before becoming blurred in a peace of mind drummed by some pulsations forgotten on the path of space. And so closes the first act of “Liverdelphia”.
The concert of Liverpool opens with the vampiric veils of "Overture". Slow strata are wrapping us, as the night switches off the day, in a dark and bewitching atmosphere. It's a track where Arc stumbles over Redshift in a slow movement where the synth layers inhale of a black life among scattered explosions and chthonian choirs. Intense and puzzling, "Overture" does all its effect in a black night out of electricity. "The Long Road" is drinking from the finale of "Overture" with hoarse winds and guttural reverberations which intertwine and fade into abstract bangings and shamanic shouffs, while the first furtive chords are trading the bass pulsations against resonances of glass. And "The Long Road" to spread its slow structure of cosmic groove. The luminous chords are sliding under the influence of cosmic gases, while the cymbals flutter about of their silky jingles and the slippery solos are dancing on a structure in perpetual bickering between its light rattling rhythm and its erratic cosmic cha-cha. This uncertain rhythm kisses a steadier pace, making war to ambitious solos which swirl ceaselessly over the false dance steps of a dance without precise schema of which the drummed steps get lost in a line of crystalline arpeggios which tint in the echo of its harmonies. This is some great Boddy we have here! After the very ambient and very wrapping "Never Reaching" and its huge vampiric veils which blend in beautiful orchestral arrangements, "Destination Zero" offers a breakneck pace which sits on violent spasmodic oscillations. Percussions and bangings feed this starving rhythm which runs with ferocity beneath the solos of a synth among which the melodious presence and the oniric mists spread a bit of sweetness on this oscillatory storm. Here is a powerful track which knows a little short quiet passage before being reborn of its unchained oscillations. And "Coda" ends a concert amazing of violence and of tenderness with the same imprint of mysticism as "Overture".
Liverdelphia” is brilliant album where the universe of EM gets cover of its warmest tones in a superb progressive shroud. Ian Boddy surpasses himself with pre-Jarre cosmic ambiences and rhythms of which the surprising variations stabilize this fragile harmony between the ambient world and the universe of sequences fed by thousand arrhythmic pulsations. There is not one single minute of lost on this splendid album where all the colors of EM are used to give a sound picture of a fascinating hearing beauty. An album as wonderful as the borders of the art itself.

Sylvain Lupari (June 20th, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 17 juin 2013

RICHARD BONE: Images from a Parallel World (2013)

“Faithfull to Richard Bone's eclectic conceptual approach, Images from a Parallel World is an album of a stunning diversity where all the facets of EM are visited. All but Berlin School”
1 A Deeper Shade of Sleep 6:29
2 Eucalyptico 6:16
3 Dadaelia 6:07
4 Trans Mutual Sunshine 6:47
5 Cathedral Spires 4:58
6 System Wide Slumber 5:57
7 Simple Sirius 4:17
8 Eight Sufis Swinging 6:35
9 Lavacicles 5:31
10 Lithographic Lines Love 5:01
11 Of Flowers and Fools 4:48
12 Atma Is 4:24

AD MUSIC | AD114CD (CD 67:34) ***½ (Versatile range of harmonious EM)
"A Deeper Shade of Sleep" starts this Richard Bone's new musical adventure on AD Music with a concerto for angelic voices. Chords in to tones of harpsichord or of baroque guitars waddle in the harmonious furrows of those choruses, drawing two lines of parallel harmonies which melt in the ear with a surprising musical poetry. While the voices begin to hum, percussions are flavouring the absent rhythm. The soft strikings give to the track a form of cerebral trance that layers of synth caress of their vampiric veils. And "A Deeper Shade of Sleep" drinks of fanciful sitar, plunging slowly into a phase of electronic rock skilfully manipulated by a meshing of percussions, as much handily as by drum sticks, and sequences which shake a rhythm trapped in its astral waves.
Down from its 6 minutes, "A Deeper Shade of Sleep" is the reflection of “Images from a Parallel World”. Like a musical anaconda, the music of the Richard Bone's last opus changes of skins, allying eclecticism and melody in structures which maintain alive their embryonic forms. If at the beginning we get lost in this strange electronic folklore, we are rather easily seduced by this carousel of harmonies which turns constantly on structures as much hard to seize than a snake. If there are a few simplistic tracks, I think in particular of "Eucalyptico", "Lithographic Lines Love" and "Of Flowers and Fools" with light rhythms full of drive, synths with catchy harmonies and nice orchestrations, the rest is my faith as convincing than impressive with a pleiad of tracks which deserve a more ample investigation of the hearing.
"Dadaelia" is a beautiful ambient track where the ends of chords are splitting up into multiple shimmering mirrors fragments which twinkle and resound in a space as dark as the pulsations of a bass line of, drawing so the slow agony of 6 great minutes of ambient music. "Trans Mutual Sunshine" pours its sorrow into the morphic ashes of "Dadaelia" before mutating into a beautiful lunar down-tempo where the chords of glasses, and their shadows, forge the shroud of a beautiful ballad for agitated nights. More fragile, "Cathedral Spires" is a very good lunar melody which hangs on to a meshing of drummed percussions. "System Wide Slumber" is a great monument of ambience which caresses juvenile dreams. The synth strata are smooth and float with such a weightlessness that it nails us in our waking dreams. And the seraphic choruses… Oh this is so beautiful. "Simple Sirius" is a sweet melody brightened up by some percussions sounding like xylophone hits which give a freshness of the Caribbean Islands to this track which could have been a great one for a documentary about penguins. It's a little bit like "Eucalyptico", except that there is a little something that hooks the hearing. "Eight Sufis Swinging" is a macabre procession which changes finely its skin before falling in a kind of a rather suggestive blues. That's the kind of track that we don't expect, that we don't see coming, in particular with some brilliant Arabian orchestrations, and which eventually charm, otherwise disturb. The same goes for "Lavacicles" whose intro is also sinister but of which the evolution amazes with its rhythms and its harmonies which follow the contiguity of the intro. "Atma Is" surprises us with its approach of organic hip-hop, demonstrating so all the eclecticism and Richard Bone's versatility on “Images from a Parallel World”.
You remember Michael Stearns' Plunge? It's a little to what makes me think “Images from a Parallel World”. It's an album of a stunning diversity where all the facets of EM are visited, except those of Berlin School style. We find some synth-pop, down-tempo, black and cosmic ambiences mounting of beautiful lunar harmonies. This is a beautiful album with some nice pearls that fans of Berlin School will unfortunately have to let it pass...unless that, like me, other kind of good EM doesn't bother you at all.

Sylvain Lupari (June 17th, 2013)

mardi 11 juin 2013

MIKTEK: [Elsewhere] (2013)

“More sober than the usual albums from Ultimae, [Elsewhere] from Miktek is the best way to finally be attracted by these soft psybient down-tempos”
1 False Dawn 6:28  
2 Elephants 5:57  
3 Incompressible Flow 5:19  
4 Ominous Ride (album edit) 6:09  
5 Human Theory 6:28  
6 Abismo 2.0 5:14  
7 Song of the Burning Mountain 7:02  
8 Purity 5:36  
9 Elsewhere (The Fade edit) 6:32  
10 Magnificient Desolation 8:05  
11 Nascency 6:10  
12 Time or Place 5:42

Ultimae Records | inre062 (CD 73:41) ***½
(Morphic and ambient down-tempos)
The universe of the Lyonnais label Ultimae Records is sewn by sonic enchantments which stroll in structures of down-tempos and ambient rhythms full of psychedelic froths. Except that sometimes, there are works which escape the artistic madness to offer us something of interest which at first hearing looked shady, disturbing and finally exquisite. That's what “[Elsewhere]” is all about. After having offered two compositions on the Ambrosia compilation, Miktek comes back haunting our ears with a first album on Ultimae which is justly part of those doors that lead to the other side of reason. It's an album which pounds of its rhythms as contradictory than ambiguous where the down-tempo is a king and master of its ethereal ambiences.
"False Dawn" sets the tone to an album which exploits marvellously the soft rhythms and atmospheres which are astride paranoia and cerebral acuteness. After an intro molded in cosmic breaths, of which the run-ups are forging some floating hoops, the rhythm spreads its ambient canvas with fine pulsations which beat soberly in an electronic atmosphere. Castanets resound in glass while that some arpeggios, fragile of their ringings, roam such as singings of cicadas under the stars of the Alpha Centauri. The rhythm is getting more insistent. Weighing down the pace, it becomes a semi heavy down-tempo where the bass line pounds of its throbbing chords. The arpeggios go out of their wandering, ringing of a lunar approach on a structure which brings together little by little its harmonious and sonic elements to establish the skeleton of “[Elsewhere]” which will peel its 12 tracks on structures of rhythms on which the fine variances cajole more the listener than overexcite him. Contrary to its title, "Elephants" is quite delicate. Cymbals flicker in the middle of hands slamming while that a quite simplistic melody in its minimalist device is charming the hearing like a beautiful earworm. The structure isn't   really different from "False Dawn". Everything is in subtlety; the rhythm which gets loose from its initial skin to accelerate a little the pace, the cosmic broth which develops its vaporous plans with fine nuances in tones, the choirs that we lose in abstruse winds and the paranoiacs' whispers decorate a structure that we find again, without really being bored there, throughout the 73 minutes of “[Elsewhere]”. After a slow psybient departure, "Incompressible Flow" kisses the structure of a soft  morphic down-tempo where are dawdling beautiful chords of an e-piano. The percussions are heavy. They and forge a slow and knocking out rhythm which resounds such as a gunshot in emptiness. This delicate piano finds again its harmonious shape on "Ominous Ride" which swirls slowly under its white noises, its cosmic rain and these choirs of which the sighs shape the penitentiary hoops of “[Elsewhere]”. Because of its structure of indefinable rhythm, "Human Theory" is the most complex track of this first opus of the Greek sounds sculptor on Ultimae. The rhythm lives through a plethora of percussions and pulsations of which the ill-assorted tones shape the walking of spiders to uneven legs. The lines of synth spit a convoluted harmonious poison, a little as breaths of spectres connected on a Théramin short of breath, while this pattern of melancholic piano resurfaces, nuancing its notes but not its gloom. After an intro blown in the sighs and sound hoops from the Milky Way, "Abismo 2.0" offers a heavier rhythm hammered by punitive percussions. And every blow goes into the ear while the rhythm is running like waves of noises under the aegis of astral choruses. A rhythm which, shameful of its heavy fury, welcomes a soft melody which sings of its uneven chords.
Skipping on the metallic elytrons of a rhythm which roams between its swiftness and its lack of liveliness, "Song of the Burning Mountain" gives itself to another good down-tempo decorated with a collage of tones and with vampiric harmonies which sound very recurring all over “[Elsewhere]”. Except that here, the cymbals tear literally the hearing. "Purity" is another interesting track which survives to another ambient and cosmic intro. The rhythm flutters around on its typist's strikings and its neurotic flow. The whole reminds me a little Prodigy, but the comparison stops there. If the rhythm is more incisive, it remains under the threshold of a good mid-tempo which beats through its ambiospherical phases. The lines of synth forge these soft fragments of harmonies which go and come, under diverse vampiric forms, throughout the envelopes of cosmic melodies which roam everywhere around this opus. A little as in the title-track where they hoot such as souls lost on a rhythm which splits up its knocks, which subdivides their echoes in order to give it a curve without equal. A line of rhythm where the sequences jostle and meet strikings of percussions, embroidering a pace as heavy as incisive. This is, by far, the best track on “[Elsewhere]”. "Magnificient Desolation" is not bad either and it wears splendidly his title. It's a beautiful lunar ballad with a rhythm as absent as its strikings of percussions and its soft pulsations. A superb veil of blackness, molded in a meshing of choirs and astral synth waves, envelops this ambient rhythm which little by little breathes of its solitude on a beautiful lunar and very ethereal down-tempo. "Nascency" is quite a great track which breathes of its symmetric pulsations, its murmured hoops and which shines by its synth lines floating over a universe of forbidden rhythms. It's heavy, sensual and a bit Motown, in particular with these orchestral mists which feed a lecherous appetite. Isolated in its solitude, "Time or Place" is a gloomy track where the piano melts the ice of our entrails to let it the tears pour. A beautiful way for Miktek to say goodbye, but especially another skillful way of decorating a down-tempo which is not a really one.
More sober than a great majority of the works that I heard up to here on the Ultimae Records label, “[Elsewhere]” remains not less very beautiful, very musical. Mihalis Aikaterinis develops its new vision of the down-tempos by sprinkling to his minimalist rhythms of some fine nuances which every time bursts of an unsuspected flavor. Oniric, poetic, sensual and sybarite Miktek shows as much sensibility as boldness on 12 structures which dance, float and stroll with cosmos and where even his glaucous ambiences are upholster with sighs and angels' drizzle. As for me, it's the ideal album to let ourselves be bewitched by the soft psychedelic call from the ambient rhythms' coat of arms. When the esotericism is dancing, it gives “[Elsewhere]” from Miktek.

Sylvain Lupari (June 11th, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

lundi 10 juin 2013

ERIK WOLLO: Crystal Bells E.P. (2012)

“Crystal Bells shells its 20 minutes in four structures always so contemplative which interlace in some fragrances of mystery”
Crystal Bells 1 6:26
Crystal Bells 2 3:29
Crystal Bells 3 6:37
Crystal Bells 4 3:39

Projekt | ARC00076 (DDL 20:11) ****
(Progressive esoteric EM)

Ah..! The joys and delights of Internet and of its download platforms; a tool which is going to fulfill the gluttonous appetite of the fans. And Erik Wollo  has his fans' legion. And the latter will be delighted to hear this 2nd mini album that the Norwegian synthesist/guitarist is sliding in the clouds of the WWW by the means of the Projekt Records label. Surfing a little on the ambiospherical rhythms and melodies of The Nocturnes, “Crystal Bells” shells its 20 minutes in four structures always so contemplative which interlace in some fragrances of mystery where the poetry of Wollo floats as shadows of tenderness.
"Crystal Bells 1" is a small jewel of ambient rhythm. The onset is done by a synth which frees lines of solitude of which the musical light beams get through some crystal bells ringing within winds swollen by emotions. The melodious approach perspires the one that we find on The Nocturnes with chords finely hammered on a shagreen. Soft manual percussions rock this delicate rhythm which, strangely, feeds on a symbiosis of instruments without rhythm while the solos of guitar are flooding this ode to solitude from which the rhythm increases finely, faithful to the passion that devours it. After the ambient winds and the absent voices of "Crystal Bells 2", "Crystal Bells 3" awakes to life with this fusion of bells which ring such as ballets of prism. These silvered reflections dance beneath slow and sinuous layers of synth/guitar which float like a melody singing between two spaces. Then an acoustic guitar comes to feed the rhythm of its subdivided presence. And it's a nice fusion of guitars which is melt in the shady harmony of "Crystal Bells 3". Under a sky darkened by absent voices and gloomy synth layers, the lines of electric guitars cry of heart-rending tones on a harmonious union of two acoustic guitars which are in confrontation in a duel rhythm and melody. It's meditative (layers of floating guitars) and slightly lively (chords of acoustic guitar) and it depicts all the oniric environment of “Crystal Bells” which dips back into a black ambient passage with "Crystal Bells 4". A short final fed by the hybrid breaths of guitars and synths which weave an ambiospherical abyss where the boreal poetry of Wollo remains in an ambience of blackness immensely Scandinavian.

Sylvain Lupari (June 9h, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

dimanche 9 juin 2013

ERIK WOLLO: The Nocturnes E.P. (2012)

“The Nocturnes is sensitive, solitary and moving with a good balance between ambient rhythms, ambient moods and catchy melodies”

Nocturne 1 3:43
Nocturne 2 4:08
Nocturne 3 4:41
Nocturne 4 3:07
Nocturne 5 2:23
Nocturne 6

Projekt | ARC00059 (DDL 22:14) ****
(Progressive esoteric EM)

Composed in 2005, “The Nocturnes” was until then reserved for those who visited Erik Wollo's Myspace page. There were more than 50,000 listening counted for the 4 available parts of this work when Erik Wollo finally decided to deepen and remixed it for the greatest pleasure of his fans. Inspired by the icy beauty of the Scandinavian nights, “The Nocturnes” is the first one of a series of 3 mini albums that the Norwegian bard makes available to his public via the download platform of Projekt Records. But was it necessary?
Night-waves awaken the wintry weather which gets crystallizes at opening of "Nocturne 1".These waves which cross our ears with an infusion of absent voices are cradling the chords of a shy guitar while other luminous chords shake the fragile tranquillity of “The Nocturnes” first act. A Scandinavian melody infiltrates our ears. Drummed into chords of ice, this melody binds itself into an oniric down-tempo tinted by discreet riffs and by ringings of prism to swirl in dusts of ice and weave a pleasant earworm. This very beautiful melodious approach, as much lyrical than contemplative, marries the shape, in some variances near, of a meditative piano which makes sing its notes on a brook of gleaming ice on the very beautiful "Nocturne 2". So far, our senses are skilfully wrapped by the delicate nostalgic approach of Erik Wollo. Under the morphic waves of a synth of mist, the rhythm of "Nocturne 3" laps of a soft approach of trance spiritual to finally run with the chords of a guitar which parade in harmonious loops beneath a mist become denser of its floating layers of guitar. This delicate tempo reminds me of the nebulas structures of rhythms from Patrick O'Hearn. "Nocturne 4" is a wonderful ballad for solitary souls. A slow dance of the regs where the guitar of Wollo is dragging like a smoke of despair with long plaintive chords which cry in a bed of more harmonious chords, drawing so a figure of melody for cowboy of the cosmic dunes. The synth subdivides its vampiric lines which oscillate such as razor blades cutting the horizon by jolts, multiplying tenfold the effect of solitude and melancholy which wraps this track where the unexpected crescendo at the very end is tearing the tears of the soul. This is very good and very sensitive. Another very good track forgotten in the vaults of Wollo is "Nocturne 5" and its piano which cries in the blackness of a solitude night drawn by knocks of strata from a synth as melancholic as the piano. This one is definitively too short. Waltzing in the blue strata of a synth which mixes marvellously its angelic choruses with its morphic mist "Nocturne 6" offers a discreet rhythm weaved by slightly galloping riffs. The melody from the synth choirs becomes more acuteness and is melt to some chords with an oriental flavor, while that "Nocturne 6" makes quietly another earworm which is added to the 5 other pearls of “The Nocturnes”.
A necessity? Absolutely! “The Nocturnes” isn't just another banal excuse to make some cash on the back of Erik Wollo's fans. It's indeed a very good mini album which exposes all the introspective poetry of the electronic nomad. That's sensitive, solitary and moving where the meditative ballads are measured with just what it needs to make them simply exquisite. Not too many synths, nor too many guitars. Not complicated nor easy. It's the perfect balance where everything flows with a fascinating harmonious symbiosis. And yes, it's worth being download.

Sylvain Lupari (June 8th, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

vendredi 7 juin 2013

REMY & MY BREATH MY MUSIC: Sessions 2012 (2013)

“Sessions 2012 is a striking album where the sensivité of Remy shines through the breaths of a life nailed in a wheelchair”

1 Temptation 13:29 (with Korneel Oskam)
2 In High Places 17:33 (with Christian Gouweleeuw)
3 Hunter 15:14 (with Glenn Nugteren)
4 Full Moon 15:03 (with Karin van Dijk)

Deserted Music Island | DIM003 (CD 61:20) ****

(Theatrical Dutch School)

A strange beauty, fragile and poetic, emanates from this last work of Remy. “Sessions 2012” is an album about resiliency where 4 handicapped persons offer to the music of Remy quite another dimension. My Breath My Music is a quartet consisted of Korneel Oskam, Christian Gouweleeuw, Glenn Nugteren and Karin van Dijk. Persons heavily disabled who play an instrument specially conceived for those who have none, or little, mobility at the level of arms so that they can create EM. This wind instrument looks strangely like these tubes that the handicapped persons put between their lips to activate their wheelchair. But in fact it's based on the concept existing wind controllers like the Yamaha WX-series. The Magic Flute can be connected to other sources of electronic equipments, such as synths or MIDI software, so multiplying a wider range of musical winds, fluty breaths, tones of synths and wind instruments of which the profound sensibility seems to have no secrets for 4 members of the Wind quartet.
Be not surprised if you recognize in "Temptation" the furtive structure of rhythm that we hear in I-Dentity from the album of the same name. For the needs for the cause, where all the profits of “Sessions 2012” will go to the My Breath My Music foundation, Remy offered four structures which come from the following albums; The Great Church Trilogy, I-Dentity and Exhibition of Dreams, to the members of this quartet of winds. Except that everything is in the winds. Here, they are contortionists. They marry to the ethereal forms and melt themselves with delight in the original solos on a structure which lost nothing of its originality. "In High Places", which is a reworked version of the digital download track from I-Dentity; Vulnerable,
is striking of emotivity with the very heart-rending breaths of Christian Gouweleeuw. We would believe to hear a synth with a soul where the windy lamentations of Gouweleeuw follow the slow dark crescendo of this fascinating track which takes here a whole new dimension. To tell the truth, I prefer this version which is simply poignant. "Hunter" plays on the flowerbeds of Destination Berlin III, still from I-Dentity, with a sound of acoustic guitar which brings a touch of flamingo to this track fed by curt and cutting chords of a bass line which doesn't stop throbbing of its threatening circles. Glenn Nugteren brings fluids solos in the 2nd portion. Complex solos which compete at ease with a synth manipulated fiercely on a track that we hardly recognize and, once deprived of its primary harmonies, reveal a very beautiful structure of at the same time tribal rhythm and groovy, but heavy and curt. "Full Moon" is a wonderful reworked version of the soft and romantic Lunascape from the famous EoD. The ethereal synths breaths to the aromas of angelic voices are replaced by breaths of saxophone splendidly returned by Karin van Dijk who is more nostalgic than rainwater on a faded rose.
Sessions 2012” is a beautiful charitable project of Remy where the best of his melancholy finds itself in the pain of 4 persons to the sensibility multiplied tenfold by a life without remorse. The work is striking, in particular because of the reworked versions of Vulnerable and of Lunascape, where the synths find a soul that even the analogue couldn't give. It's very good. The choice of tracks is judicious with a beautiful balance between drama and its unsuspected happiness. And as I wrote in start; there is a strange beauty behind My Breath My Music which gives to life the breaths which are too often lacking in our imagination, in our need to understand what escapes a vision which refuses to see. Hat to you Remy, to have accompanied My Breath My Music throughout his four compositions. But especially hat to Korneel Oskam, Christian Gouweleeuw, Glenn Nugteren and Karin van Dijk. Persons to have known how to find in the music of Remy this little something that makes him so unique and to have exploited it with so much depth as the Dutch synthesist.

Sylvain Lupari (June 7th, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mercredi 5 juin 2013

BERTRAND LOREAU: Souvenir Rêvé d'une Promenade Nocturne (2012)

“Difficult to tame? Maybe. But that doesn't strip all the beauty you will find here and there on Bertrand Loreau's last Souvenir Rêvé d'une Promenade Nocturne which is more than just a daring album”

1 Saint Pierre 3:07
2 Jardin des Plantes 6:59
3 Gournerie 4:53
4 Nantes Atlantiques 3:00
5 Ile de Versailles 2:55
6 Grand Blottereau 3:40
7 Procé 5:33
8 Sainte Anne 3:11
9 Prairie aux Ducs 4:31
10 Quai des Antilles 2:53
11 Beaulieu 1:22
12 Jonelière 3:21
13 Beaujoire 7:16
14 Gare Sud 12:00

Independant | (CD/DVD 64:42) **** (Experimental EM)
It's good to hear a more daring Bertrand Loreau. It means that the man is in full control of his means and that he isn't afraid to create out of his comfort zone. Make hear the images, make speak their pixels. It's not a small matter. It's an audacious project that the electronic bard of Nantes has agree to do by letting speak his vision and by letting glide his night-feelings, like the wings of a diurnal predator chasing the beauties of the night dreams, over the panoramas of the photographer Lionel Palierne. The universe of “Souvenir Rêvé d'une Promenade Nocturne” is of complexity and abstruse with 14 musical paintings which depict 14 places of Nantes dressed of its nights where the silence breathes at blows of secrets. Bertrand Loreau succeeds marvellously to take away the shadows of silence out of more than hundred photos by forging abstract structures where abound fragments of melody, showing all the tenderness and the meditative poetry which tears and torments Bertrand Loreau's introspection. Beyond its experimental appearances “Souvenir Rêvé d'une Promenade Nocturne” is an eclectic work where the poetry of Loreau is heard through its ambiences, its abstract sound paintings and its soft incursions in his alleys laminated by the Berlin School style. From Vangelis to Tangerine Dream, Loreau does quite a tour de force by giving life to the day death.
Steps on pavement, barking of dogs and trots of a ghost coachman which resound in winds whistling for the anger of blackness among whistling of wandering onlookers, "Saint Pierre" offers all the panoply of the contradictions of the night-life of Nantes. If Lionel Palierne's images are beautiful, the music of Bertrand Loreau finds to it some contrary significations with these tones of a glass look which kiss the sometimes surreal images of "Jardin des Plantes". This is an organic universe which breathes through these photos, driving the listener in a mode of reflections to invisible connotations. The statues of the garden push "Jardin des Plantes" up until a dance of oscillations and pulsations. The sky is painted of cosmic streaks and necromantic lamentations which set ablaze an electronic rhythm of which the repetitive impulses kiss a life out of life which runs away by train. It's one of the good moments in “Souvenir Rêvé d'une Promenade Nocturne” which enters into a forest of locusts with silvered wings with "Gournerie". We fall in the pure organico-ambient phase of this fascinating artistic fusion between Loreau and Palierne. "Nantes Atlantiques" is decorated by breaths of metal and by organic mooing which bicker the night-life of Nantes airport. "Ile de Versailles" offers a fine structure of rhythm which adopts the influences of Edgar Froese and Vangelis, while that "Grand Blottereau" proposes a soft French-style night-musing with sounds of accordion lost in blue mists which gather the tears of a synth to the sentimental adrift . We are without a shadow of doubt into the most beautiful passage of “Souvenir Rêvé d'une Promenade Nocturne” while Bertrand Loreau continues to make his synths cry minimalist some tears which flow under the twisted lamentations of "Procé". "Procé"
which spreads a fascinating melancholic procession, quite as the very beautiful and very poetic "Saint Anne" which cries and cries of her dark melody, making spring a soft brook of sequences which dance in forgetting. This is some great Loreau that we have here. After two tracks with abstract musical faces, "Beaulieu" offers a soft carousel glittering such as the bluish melodies of the Dream. "Jonelière" brings us back into the intersidereal void of a night which is dying while that "Beaujoire" marries marvellously its still life with electronic chirping and gurgling before offering a great sequenced approach where the keys are dancing as far as the eyes can see. Swirling as the drunkenness into happiness, the track inhales the life under fluty breaths to made blush Peter Baumann. "Gare Sud" is simply wonderful. After an intro of ethereal mysteries and wild imaginings of the machines, the race on the pavement starts again. These noises of clogs forge an over-subtle tempo that a line of sequences remodels into a nursery rhyme for wandering. A superb passage unique to the tenderness of Loreau who frees the last minutes of “Souvenir Rêvé d'une Promenade Nocturne” with a magnificent carousel ritornello where the universe stops to watch dancing the angels. A moment of wandering is settling down. And it's the clogs which dance by limping in smoke ashes which reanimate the life whilst the sequence comes back to marry this oniric approach which inhales the drama à la Halloween. It's a pity that the finale has to wake up the day.
Difficult to tame? Maybe. But that doesn't strip all the beauty you will find here and there among a collection of 14 tracks filled by the great camera shots of Lionel Palierne. Offered in a CD/DVD combo, the sound effect is staggering on the DVD, “Souvenir Rêvé d'une Promenade Nocturne” is an inspiring work with deep emotions which will appeals the fans of electronic dialects and background noises. Noises and sounds from a fusion of a contemporary alchemist always in quest of an artistic search as high as his visions. When I tell you that Bertrand Loreau is as surprising as sublime...

 Sylvain Lupari (June 5th, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:
Here are 3 links to Watch short videos of this CD/DVD combo:

mardi 4 juin 2013

KLAUS SCHULZE: The Schulze-Schickert Session (2013)

“In first ear, The Schulze-Schickert Session can seem difficult to tame but then we let ourselves wrap by the magical universe of analog tones that only Schulze knew how to train”
1 The Schulze-Schickert Session 45:17
a) Die Sehnsucht Des Laien (5:48)  
b) Hymns to the Night (10:20)  
c) No-Frills (6:46)
d) Heart of Darkness (6:05)  
e) Twilight Chill (9:18)  
f) Blessed Twilight (7:08)
2 Spirits of the Dead 8:17
3 Happy Country Life 12:36

Mirumir | MIR100704CDD (CD 66:10) ***½
(Vintage ambiospheric Berlin School)

The benefit of time is that it has all the leisure to dust its boredoms by making a backwash of its years, decades and so make us discover a pearl that it hid. The first time that I heard “The Schulze-Schickert Session”, it was with The Home Session bootleg. And I got to say it straightaway, I wasn’t thrilled at all. But here we are! The bootleg becomes an official album and finds its niche on the Russian label Mirumir in a180 gram vinyl album, a CD and a Deluxe version CD which includes 2 unedited tracks which inhale the ambiences of this session improvised in Klaus Schulze's living room in Hamburg on September 26th 1975. Was it the time of Timewind and Moondawn? You bet it was and it shows all over this album. And suddenly I rediscover this private session became public where the atmospheres and the dark rhythms of Blackdance and Timewind float in a musical broth which smells and sounds like the one of Ashra. “The Schulze-Schickert Session” is an eclectic duel synth/guitar where the EMS Synthi A of KS spreads its membrane of musical schizophrenia on a surprising guitar play which forces the rhythm like a sequencer with acoustic keys.
Such as a pistolero of electronic dunes, the guitar of Günter Schickert bites some winds biased by glaucous snores which expire its dusts of rocks. Layers of organs sleep in nightlight while the intro floats in its nasal aromas. The electronic tones of bat, peculiar to the EMS Synthi A, shell the silence like a dropper fed on iodine. Sparkling of their extraterrestrial tones on the back of layers sounding like an old Farfisa, they get lost in the 12 strings of a Framus that Schickert pinches with address. The rhythm of "The Schulze-Schickert Session" is slightly carried away with Hymns to the Night. Nasal, the synth lines sing an erosive melody which drags its ashed voice in the greyish dusts of other lines in tones and in contiguous melodies. The guitar of Günter Schickert guides the rhythm like a sequencer with a balladish approach. And little by little Klaus Schulze is dressing his chords which roll in loops into melodies and lamentations in constants fragmentations, shaping a lyrical duel which spits its new musical horizons as "The Schulze-Schickert Session" moves forward in its chapters. We are right in the heart of Timewind and Body Love, percussions less, where Schulze fills our ears to the top with all his finesses and nuances which remodel the vampiric approach of this session knotted in improvisation. The big pads of old organ and the nasal breaths cover a rhythm defined by the pulsions of a very discreet bass line and chords of a guitar as lively as melodious which rolls its serenades as a cowboy chews his nostalgia. The lines of synth become waves of an oceanic blue while that No-Frills sings and oscillates on organ sounding layers. It's one of the good moments of this session, which certainly influenced the writing of "Happy Country Life", where Schulze shows a sensibility which crosses our skin. And the solos shout on a phase which spits the poison of Blackdance on a bed of roguish melodies weaved in the fury of the synths. The most beautiful moment comes up doubtless at around the 28th minute with a phase which glitters the gleaming arpeggios of Mirage. A great moment where the keys of sequences flow in waterfall before melting in the chords of a guitar which brings back the orgiastic and vampiric breaths which, if by moments are aggressive, weave a tune of old witch on LSD. If the brief attempt of singings by Günter Schickert sounds out of tune on this work, its origin and all which surrounds it, seems on the other hand to have inspired the boldnesses of Adelbert Von Deyen. "Spirits of the Dead", which bears proudly its naming, is a track devoid of rhythms but not of ambience with its slow synth layers and its twisted reverberations which roam in a cave oozing of discomfort. It's all the same rather surprising to notice the participation of Schickert in this oblong procession for lost souls. "Happy Country Life" is a beautiful find. Günter Schickert rolls its repetitive chords which forge an ethereal rhythm. An ambient rhythm which flows like thousands of twinkling wavelets on a bed of synth layers which, little by little, spreads an ambience as much frightening as theatrical.
At first ear, “The Schulze-Schickert Session” can seem difficult to tame. The synths of Klaus Schulze are as well aggressive as they are nerve rending. They squeak some surrealist melodies which quietly find a comfort within our ears. And after that, we say ourselves; aye, it's a bit like on Timewind (Wahnfried on 1883). And there we let ourselves wrap by this universe of analog tones that the guitar of Günter Schickert decorates with a fascinating approach which reminds of a certain Manuel Gottsching. Admit that it's kind of attractive!

Sylvain Lupari (June 3rd, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

dimanche 2 juin 2013

KELLER & SCHONWALDER: The Reason Why… Live At The Jodrell Bank (2000/2013)

“There is not a single second of lost in The Reason Why… Live At The Jodrell Bank which, I do believe, is what we can call a timeless album”

CD 1 (Live 2000)
1 Live at Jodrell Bank 45:22
a Mysterious Sounds (6:52)   b Space (10:22)  
c Firewalker (21:31)   d Shadows (6:35)  
2 Beyond the Sea 21:37  
3 Tempus Fugit 7:11

CD 2 (Live 2001)
4 Da Capo 31:24  
5 Tanz Der Elfen 22:24  
6 Chill Out 18:48

SynGate |2 CD-R MRX3 (CD-r 146:54) *****
(Typical Berlin School EM)
The first presence of Detlev Keller & Mario Schönwälder at the famous evenings of EM held in Leicester's Jodrell Bank in England was described for a long time as the best performance from the German duet and also as one of the most striking one within the framework of these evenings produced by Dave Law, one of England EM pioneers. Two albums came out of this live event; The Reason Why Part One (in 2000 on Manikin ¦ MRCD 7050) and The Reason Why Part Two (in 2001 on Manikin ¦ MRCD 7057). And as time passes by, they became out of printed for ages. Faithful to its habits to resuscitate the striking works in the history of contemporary EM, regarding the catalogs its artists, the German label SynGate makes be reborn both albums under a double CD package entitled “The Reason Why… Live At The Jodrell Bank”. A very beautiful initiative because the MP3 version that Synth Music Direct had put on sale in 2006 had left to me a bitter taste. A taste now forgotten because “The Reason Why… Live At The Jodrell Bank” is by far one of the most seducing works that Detlev Keller & Mario Schönwälder signed at the dawn of 2000's.
Originally divided into 5 parts "Live at Jodrell Bank" begins this journey in time with synth waves floating among some NASA samplings. And it's not because it's ambient that it's deprived of interests. The intro floats with its double synth layers among intergalactic chirpings. Joined by a beautiful line of dreamy flute, the ballet of morphic lines spreads its aura of mysticism until that the intro is diving into a phase of dialect of the synths. And the heat floods the space with floating choirs which hum into sibylline mists, ending thus the first 17 minutes of an intro that we didn't hear passed. And the sequences arrive. Pressed that they are by a very Dreamian. approach, the listener feels reliving the memories Encore with these plump keys which sparkle with resonances, they tumble down real fast from cosmos. The rhythm that they forge is weak. Sometimes wild, sometimes balanced and sometimes stationary, it fills up us the ears of an unknown ferocity while the breaths of symphonic synths and the chthonian choirs drag us into the dark meanders of Tangerine Dream. Only the disgorged keys, and those more limpid which dance with desperation, bring us back to the reality of Keller & Schönwälder. And there, the anger of the synths springs out with Babylonian mooings that some fluty winds try to calm, while that subtly "Live at Jodrell Bank" go astray in the high spheres of Klaus Schulze. And this my friends, that's worth the purchase of the CD because the next minutes will be not only infernal but they will feed us of a stunning symbiosis between the differences of the big names of vintage EM; Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. To me, that is something that I never heard with such precision so far. The hot twisted solos spit an electronic dialect on a rhythm supported by these pulsing keys of which the parallel lines are never in concordance. And "Live at Jodrell Bank" to rage in a furious structure of rhythm for about 30 minutes. Wild and complex rhythm which increases by a notch to regular interval to finally return its sequences at around the 40th minute, where this powerful magic moment stops into some iridescent mists. Powerful, magical and absolutely delirious! It's in the confusion of fluty lines, dark and tenebrous layers of the organs that the ambient intro of "Beyond the Sea", the 2nd encore of this concert, gets to our ears. Some furtive sequencer keys sculpture a curt rhythm which does Tango on a structure of rhythm crushed by the thunders. Keller & Schönwälder is kissing this hesitating rhythm with a panoply of lines in tones as much dark than harmonious with fluty lines and gloomy choirs which hum on delicate piano music scores. We feel that the concert coming to its end because the duet offers more quiet tracks, as to chase away the devils that poke the feet of the spectators always starved. "Tempus Fugit" closed this concert with a black and very ambient track where lines of cathedrals' old organs flood our ears. Playing on nuances and tones, the duet exploits the side dark of the organs with such a dexterity that will lead the fans to the exit. It was effectively a last encore.
Carillons ringing into seraphic winds open "Da Capo". This track which had followed the powerful "Live at Jodrell Bank" proposes an intro of ambience with synth lines filled of cooings solos and other lines to orchestral perfumes which glance through these ringings of silvery prisms which little by little form a strange jerked rhythm. A skeletal rhythm in the colors of prism which gallops awkwardly beneath some striations a bit abstruse. A line of bass sequence binds itself to this rhythm. Making wave its keys it gives more depth and nuance to a rhythm which shines with its polyhedral glitter. The jingles of cymbals sing under the azure mists while that Keller's piano spreads a melody which will split up its beauty throughout "Da Capo" which continues its shopping of tones and percussions to offer a pure rhythm which skips and hiccups under the assaults of a synth and of its efficient solos, chthonian mists and seraphic pads. Recorded at a concert in Lüdenscheid, "Tanz Der Elfen" proposes a minimalist structure slightly comparable to "Da Capo". The first part is very hypnotic with its chords which pile up into fast pas-de-deux, shaping a hopping rhythm which stores the adjacent pulsations. The harmonious envelope is fed by lines of synth with orchestral fragrances, fluty lines a bit breathless and gleaming arpeggios which sparkle here and there. It's fascinating to hear the track evolution which shows its nuances sparingly, fleshing out even more its imprint of hypnotism. And after a heavy foggy passage, the second part of "Tanz Der Elfen" assaults our eardrums with more precision in the sequencing which flows with more fluidity. The rhythm became then wilder; "Tanz Der Elfen" debauches the shyness of synths and sequencers by diving into a universe of organic percussions, sequences and jingles of which the sound beauty is supported by a stubborn rhythm. A rhythm which pushes of its two bordering phases a pace bitten by a synth which makes breathless its jerked harmonies of bluish mists and which uncovers its twisted solos of which the appearances of hoarse voices sow a confusion deserving of a structure as well intelligent than interesting. This is a great track and I would have loved to hear the whole of it. "Chill Out" was played in concert at Kassel. As its naming indicates, it's a kind of relax track with a soft rhythm structured on sequences which pound with a cybernetic symmetry to which are added heavy pulsations which roam under synth lines multi layered in their harmonies, their singings and dialogues, their vampiric solos and their sibylline mists.
Can we make new out of old? It seems like yes. In spite of 12 years which separate this live performance of Keller & Schönwälder from all the typical works of minimalist Berlin School, where artists' tens, and very good believe me, have walked on the musical imprints of the Berlin duet, which influenced as much artists as TD and/or Klaus Schulze did, “The Reason Why… Live At The Jodrell Bank” still breathes of its originality. There is not a single second of lost in this immense work which doesn't stop offering structures at which the fine variances amaze once they came after one to another. Then we say ourselves; hum ...what did I missed? And we listen again and we say ourselves; ha … brilliant! I imagine that's what a timeless work is. Inescapable!

Sylvain Lupari (June 2nd, 2013)

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