jeudi 30 janvier 2014

HALO MANASH: Caickuwi Cauwas Walkeus (2008/2014)

“This quite fascinating sonic experience is for fans of electro acoustic ambiences where the winds catapult the hostile silences as the invisible roaring”

1 Yli Corpein Huocawat 8:00
2 Läpi Soiden Waeltawat 8:35
3 Caickuwi Cauwas Walkeus 8:23
4 Mustan Mullan Alle Maatumahan 8:35
5 Pimeys On Ninquin Walkeus / Puuxi Tullut 10:22

Aural Hypnox / Stellar Mansion's Series (CD 43:56) ***½
(Experimental electro-acoustic music)

Do you like the strange? You will doubtless going to like “Caickuwi Cauwas Walkeus” from Halo Manash, or still Anti Ittna Haapapuro, a Finnish artist who specializes in the universe of the spiritual percussions and the electro acoustic sound effects. “Caickuwi Cauwas Walkeus” is an occult album which has passed under the radar during the French tour of Halo Manash in January 2009. The fact that it had been distributed in only 29 copies, all signed, helps to make of it an obscure object of desire among the fans of the psybient electro acoustic genre and a very silent work at the marketing level. The label Aural Hypnox has decided to reedit “Caickuwi Cauwas Walkeus” under the banner of its Stellar Mansion' Series division in only 444 copies and 44 others offered in a wooden casket. A completely justifiable initiative because this album of Halo Manash inhales these splendid ambiospherical elements where the Earth, its celestial bodies and its secrets align themselves for a strange and inexplicable pleasure of the sense.
A long lamentation of a gong opens the sonic forest of "Yli Corpein Huocawat". Straight out, the Finnish sound sculptor immerses us of his sound painting with scattered beatings, gongs with resonant voices, shimmering winds and odd cracklings which are covered by long sighs of mammoth having a cold. The noises and the resonances forge a surrealist ambience where a prehistoric fauna seems dominated by a Tibetan religion. And so takes place the 5 verses of “Caickuwi Cauwas Walkeus”. "Läpi Soiden Waeltawat" is more musical, even lyrical, with a fascinating voice which caresses the hummings of gongs. The ambience reminds me the theatrical music of Jean Pierre Thanès. The lamentations of the Bone Flute are simply striking. Their breezes, at both times guttural and celestial, are a key element in this album inspired of the boreal and ancestral forests. The rhythms are slow. They are rather movements of ambiences which move forward by the strength of the gongs and the percussions scattered in an audio work which allies mystery and drama, as in "Mustan Mullan Alle Maatumahan" which, following the very quiet and idle "Caickuwi Cauwas Walkeus", gives the impression of preparing tribes for a war. "Pimeys On Ninquin Walkeus / Puuxi Tullut" ends “Caickuwi Cauwas Walkeus” by a strong ambiospherical presence where gongs, as the winds, are covering the quietude of a growing threat. Doubtless the most powerful track of an album which will rekindle more the nightmares, by its occult strength, than paradisiacal dreams. This is for fans of electro acoustic ambiences where the winds catapult the hostile silences as the invisible roaring.

Sylvain Lupari (January 28th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mardi 28 janvier 2014

TANGERINE DREAM: Franz Kafka / The Castle (2013)

“Franz Kafka – The Castle continues where The Angel from the West Window had been stopped. A good album with a couple of great tracks on it”
1 Approaching Snowy Village 8:16
2 Odd Welcome 6:29
3 The Untouchable Castle 5:51
4 The Apparently Lunatic Hierarchy 4:36
5 Barnabass the Messenger 7:42
6 Irredeemable Entity 7:51
7 The Implicit Will to Meet Klemm 7:09
8 Desperate Neverending Longing 7:33
9 Surrender and Adaption 7:12
10 A Place of Mercy 6:09
Eastgate 065CD (CD 68:48) ***½

(Dark atmospheric and theatrical with a zest of E-Rock)
It's with the breezes of a very melancholic synth that "Approaching Snowy Village" unwinds the rather dark atmospheres of “Franz Kafka – The Castle”. The rhythm which hangs on to it is very delicate. Fighting into a mixture of bass sequences and electronic percussions, it takes little by little a pleasant velocity with more agile and translucent sequencer keys which skip and tumble into their shadows like in the years Poland or in the powerful rhythms of this series. An acoustic guitar offers a very meditative harmonic rhythm which whispers to the ears of breezes became now more strident ghost harmonies. They whistle over this rhythmic agitation, subdividing their tones at the beat of a rhythmic awakening finely drummed while that all softly "Approaching Snowy Village" embrace the gloomy ambiences of its opening. This last musical adventure of Tangerine Dream in the meanders of his series Sonic Poem Series is just as much perfumed by mysticism than the first 3 volumes of the series. We feel that the duet Froese and Quaeschning is well in the saddle and in known territories by plunging into darker atmospheres knitted in very beautiful arrangements and atmospheres deserving of a Dream who survived in all these years of transition.
Set apart the very boiling "Odd Welcome", whose dashing rhythm wriggles on this meshing of sequences, electronic and manual percussions that became the mark of the contemporary electronic rhythms of the
Dream, the rest of “Franz Kafka – The Castle” rests on beautiful gloomy theatrical ambiences which are as just melancholic as the melodies, like "The Untouchable Castle" which is a beautiful dark and sober ballad. The slow down tempo waddles dreamily under the caresses of a synth and of its singings so characteristically of Edgar and his Mellotron years. Nasal singings tinted of melancholy and iridescent breeze, flavored by voices and  ethereal mist are transporting this delicate morphic rhythm in the hollows of our listening with a pleasant complicity. These synths to the harmonies clouded of mysticism are the core of the dark charms of "The Apparently Lunatic Hierarchy" which is an intense ambiospherical track where the sound effects, the whispers and the tooting, made hoarse by musical filets as symphonic as apocalyptic, awaken souvenirs of The Keep and Legend. It's one of those tracks with a lot of ambiences offered by the gang of Froese since a very long time. These atmospheres and these hollow winds sneak until the introduction of "Barnabass the Messenger" where a keyboard spreads some fleeting chords which get lost in the echo of the winds became voices, like crumbs of bread taken away by the singings of a dark forest. A rhythm hatches out. He is curt and nervous. He sparkles with this meshing of sequences and electronic percussions which characterize the lively rhythms of the last years of TD. Edgar proposes beautiful and very passionate guitar solos of which the tears fade in this broth of agitated rhythm. "Irredeemable Entity" offers a nervous rhythm, worked on a fusion of keyboard and sequencers keys and of which the leaps forge little jerks, just like in "The Implicit Will to Meet Klemm". Both tracks offer a cute melody which is swaying in the sonic decoration and which is clinging to the ear rather fast. But if we listen carefully we hear these choirs of fed vampires humming absent airs. The ambiences are very rich and they caress the indecision of a rhythm which, if keeps its strength softens its depth. I like it but that stays in the field of simplicity. I still prefer the passionate furious "Odd Welcome" and its ride which flees a troop of gargoyles. The arrangements are surprising of realism and the sequencing is just delicious. "Surrender and Adaption" is a very dark track. A slow piece of music and a ballad for depressed with an acoustic guitar and its nostalgic notes which think on a pattern of rhythm fed by nervous manual percussions. The synth covers this dark of a wrapping cloud of melancholy which floats and floats...up until the arms of Morpheus. "A Place of Mercy" is as much darker. The rhythm is deliciously organic with pulsations which gurgle as much as they pound in a sonic environment which transports us to the banks of a swamp teeming of glaucous spectres. Notice the superb arrangements which draw in parallel a finely jerky structure of rhythm.
Does the circle is completed? I'm asking because, without being bad, I have the vague feeling that “Franz Kafka – The Castle” is build around the remainders of the Sonic Poem Serie's first 3 opuses. It's good, nothing more. Set apart the very mesmerizing and mysterious "The Apparently Lunatic Hierarchy", “Franz Kafka – The Castle” brings nothing really creative to this series built around black themes. There are good tracks, as there are also tracks which are lacking originality and which seem to be bringing out of
The Island of the Fay and of TheAngel of the West Window sessions. Well, remark that it's not a default in itself. But I would have hoped for more. Maybe next time and as I said, it's good, nothing more.

Sylvain Lupari (January 27th, 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 26 janvier 2014

DIGIALSIMPLYWORLD: Tout Devient La Musique (2013)

“Tout Devient La Musique is a striking ambiosonic album build around a sound fauna to make bleed the eardrums”
1 Flame of Earth 7:51
2 One Light Day from Home 6:42
3 Un Lieu où Tout Devient la Musique 6:01
4 Konradopulosuss 8:04
5 Amnesia 8:27
6 Time Travel 8:06
7 Year 2013 9:37
8 Year 2058 8:26
9 Tout Devient la Musique 12:25
10 Fin de Siècle 5:40

Bandcamp (DDL 81:18) **** (Ambient industrial landscapes)
Somber breezes arise of the void, awakening metallic beatings of which the random knocks reverberate in an echo which wraps "Flame of Earth" of a surrealist ambient layer. There is rain on this earth of ambiences. As there is rain everywhere around “Tout Devient La Musique”. A rain where the crystalline drops burst out on the ground by crumbling. Their earthly rings are getting lost into white noises, illuminating the dance of interferences of which the crackling feeds the endemic blackness of a silence which roars of its invisible jaws while the iridescent rhythm of "Flame of Earth" shies away like a train fleeing the agony. The noise is a curse to music, his unwanted child, rejected at the childbirth and returned to an unknown. Placed well, the noise becomes a coherent element of the musical space. These words are from Marcin Melka and depict marvellously the sonic universe soaked of harmonious corrosivity from DigitalSimplyWorld. Just like The City Dark Synth, “Tout Devient La Musique” is a striking ambiosonic album which arm itself of fuzzy rhythms and of ghost melodies which get lost in a sound fauna to make bleed the eardrums. But once these ears accustomed to the sound-effects atmospheres of DigitalSimplyWorld; everything becomes music.
"One Light Day from Home" steals the same psybient ambiosonic pattern of the opening track. The ambiences are denser. Our ears confuse the drops of metallic greyness, the electrostatic breaths, the sounds of lost footsteps and the breaths of Minotaurs which float on a backcloth weaved by the breezes of a synth to the dark breaths. And this is the big difference between
The City Dark Synth and “Tout Devient La Musique”. DigitalSimplyWorld knits an always intense and very thick sonic garden, except that he adds to it a touch of musicality with ectoplasmic harmonies, "Konradopulosuss", who hum on ambient abstract rhythms, such as in "Time Travel" or still "Fin de Siècle". "Un Lieu où Tout Devient la Musique" is particularly well made at this level. The vocal samplings sketch an aura of echo which undulates in a loop, forging a delicate rhythm which rolls in a universe of paranoid whispers. Rather disturbing! "Amnesia"? Well the title says it all. It's an intense ambient phase where all the breaths of the black souls weave a slow cerebral flight. I like these disturbing voices towards the finale, just as the organic fauna which stimulates the listening of the very ambiospherical "Year 2013" where the knockings of a train running on wooden rails forge a strange monophasic rhythm. "Year 2058" is more intense, even apocalyptic. The title-track is simply superb. DigitalSimplyWorld lists all of his sonic palette and assembles it in a very beautiful mosaic where the noises form some ill-assorted harmonies which hum on rhythms as abstract as ambient. We easily imagine ourselves being in a grotto, as in a big deserted downtown or still in a mythical forest where the line between the sensation to be between two universes is more than tangible. This last parallel reflects the entire dimension “Tout Devient La Musique”; an album where the noises resuscitate the rhythms and harmonies abandoned in their angers of having been ignored since the beginning of times.

Sylvain Lupari (January 26th, 2013) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

jeudi 23 janvier 2014

BEST Of 2013

Doing a countdown best albums is rather difficult. I think that this way of doing things is outdated and may be interpreted on the wrong  way by many artists, fans and columnists. But I've been asked all the time ''what are my best albums of the year?''. So here is a list of the best albums in 2013, according to my tastes and to the reactions gathered here and there. 2013 is a year where I listened to mostly 250 albums and I wrote about 230 reviews. The choice is huge but I'll try to be consistent with my opinions. The list is split in 3 categories, if needed:

-Berlin School and progressive styles of EM
-Dark ambient Music
-Best newcomers of the year

And remember: I'M NOT GOD!

Best albums Berlin School and progressive styles
1 Pyramid Peak  Anatomy
 You can taste a bit of it here: Iceland
2 Bernd Kistenmacher Utopia
3 MoonSatellite Low Life
4 Klaus Schulze Shadowlands
5 Steve Roach Live Transmission - From the Drone Zone at Soma FM

6 Axess Aviator
7 Ian Boddy Liverdelphia
8 Johan Tronestam Roots and Legends from the North
9 E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr Kometenbahn
Bertrand Loreau et Olivier Briand Interferences

11 Steve Roach At the Edge of Everything
12 Paul Lawler Opus

Best Newcomers in 2013
Beyond Berlin Music for Cosmic Nights
E-Tiefengrund Voltige Sessions

Best Dark Ambient albums
Ian Boddy Sepulchre
Shane Morris and Mystified Emergence

mardi 21 janvier 2014

STEVE ROACH & KELLY DAVID: The Long Night (2014)

“The Long Night is an ambient musical journey in the night heart where the sleep bickers with its misty guest and their premonitory fights”

1 Last Light 10:52
2 Season of Nights 10:16
3 The Deep Hours 12:25
4 Calm World 13:06
5 The Long Night 14:09

Projekt Records | PRO297 (CD/DDL 60:52) ****
(Ambiospherical EM)

In spite of all these albums where the apathetic winds sing on plains deserted by reliefs, the music of Steve Roach continues to seduce always as much as she calms. Composed with Kelly David, to whom we owe Broken Voyage, “The Long Night” is an ambio-morphic ode for a long night when torments harass the rights for a sleep. A long night skillfully sculptured by some slow and captivating synth breezes of which the soothing breaths are confronted with the rebels of the insomnia.
And that begins with the hollow breaths which recall of the "Last Light". The intro is relaxing with lines of synth which heap up such as a somber musical thick cloud pierced by fine chords which float like harmonies worn-out and lost in a dense sonic envelope which moves with the slowness of its opacity. The movement is familiar. Slow it floats with its duality between serenity and anxiety. If at times everything is quiet, we feel a threat soaked of tragedies which announce that the desired quietude will soon be perturbed by the guards of the awakening. And this is this impression which gets loose from the first night-waves of "Season of Nights". If the movement always stays without beatings, we feel the hand of a trap which threatens the dreams to come with darker synth lines which, if wrap the movement of an intense sluggish sound mosaic, sneaks between the phases of the NREM sleep and REM sleep. Like black dreams, these lines infiltrate the confusion with sonic upheavals deserving of a storm that only dreams can foment inside the sleep. After this disturbing ambiosonic phase, the slow tribal rhythms of "The Deep Hours" go deeper into the anxiety with an ambient rhythm which magnetizes the howling winds. "Calm World" is as calmer as its naming and brings us back to the peace of mind abandoned by "Season of Nights". Its second part offers an attractive paradisiacal approach with a charming sound universe where the carillons sing in a shower of prism. This is some great
Steve Roach here who concludes his journey through the meanders of night tormented by a quietude desired and found in the winds of the serenity which lulls title-track.Steve Roach won't reinvent his style. His musical signature can vary between his long monuments of meditation and his structures fed by rhythmic disturbances, but it remains always unique… And it's the same thing when he collaborates with another artist. This being written, “The Long Night” respects the ambient territories drawn by Steve Roach and the darker approaches, even dramatic, imagined by Kelly David. It's a journey in the night heart where the sleep bickers with its misty guest and their premonitory fights. It's pure candy for fans of deep ambiances which bicker between the serenity and its duality.

Sylvain Lupari (January 21st, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: 

lundi 20 janvier 2014

TOBIAS REBER: Kola (2013)

“Built upon a bed of an atypical percussions pattern, Kola is difficult to tame for sure and is as fluid as a water oxygenated by million sonic bubbles”

1 Pinata 6:13
2 Polyglot 5:24
3 Omara 4:31
4 Maniok 7:32
5 Habitat 7:36
6 Petroleum 5:41
7 Diaspora 10:07

Iapetus Store (DDL/CD 47:08) ***½
(Experimental tribe EM)

The rhythm is brisk and nervous. Fed of an alloy of percussions with varied tones and jerky breaths a bit fluty, "Pinata" bursts between our ears like some overheated pop-corn in a microwave. These percussions have the fever of a fascinating tribal dance with a suite of quick movements which dance like gurus in trance with a bass line and its organic snores. Welcome to the surprising world of percussions to the eclectic tones of “Kola”. You remember the dishevelled rhythms Centrozoon's last album, Boner? Well, Tobias Reber was part of it. Except for the structures of rhythms built on a range of percussions with tones as much ill-assorted as shining, “Kola” has nothing in common with Boner ...well, set apart "Pinata". Even if Tobias Reber brings in it his arsenal of electronic programming which has made the sonic oddness of Boner, “Kola” breathes of a strange quietude in troubled waters. Here, everything is subject to interpretation. Because this last Tobias Reber's solo album is lulled by rhythms with figures as much abstract as the melodies can be evasive. Indomitable rhythms which sparkle and burst in a wild an amazing fauna of percussions of which the diverse heterogeneous tones bicker on a background music which seems to have been extracted out of the labyrinths of an unexplored jungle. If "Pinata" offers mostly a structure of unbridled rhythm, the rest of “Kola” lies on rather ambient rhythms with percussions which sparkle in all directions, such as bottles which collide in a quite small pond of water seized with opposite halieutic currents. It's the waltz of knockings on a sonic background where the improvisation of the harmonies fits very well with their uncertainties, like in "Polyglot" and "Diaspora" where the multiple and gluttonous knock of xylophone wriggle such as an iguana on ardent shards. We would believe to hear the rhythmic skeleton, including the bass, of King Crimson which looks for his suit. It's rather special and quite unique. We have the impression that there is a form of life which gurgles all along these evasive and organic rhythms which jump like balls with triangular outlines. The portion of guitar, in particular on "Omara" and on the heavy but fleeing "Petroleum", sounds like Markus Reuter and roots the perception to hear King Crimson to the very experimental state. Anti-music? We are not really far from this. Rich in percussions stuffed with eclectic tones and with bass chords with organic pulsations, “Kola” is swarming of an atypical rhythmic universe. Let's take "Maniok" and "Habitat" where the rhythms stay of ambiences with percussions which beat an unreal measure beneath the multiple anemic shouts of bat.
In brief, this last album of Tobias Reber is a sonic experience for ears gourmand of a musical extravaganza where the borders always remain to define. This is rhythm without skin, or almost. Skeletons of rhythms where the bones of glasses sing more than the harmonies enchant. An album difficult to tame but not deprived of interest that will please undoubtedly to fans where the chaos of Art Zoyd and/or Univers Zero is as fluid as a water oxygenated by million sonic bubbles.

Sylvain Lupari (January 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:

samedi 18 janvier 2014

GUSTAVO JOBIM: Inverno (2014)

“An intense black ambient and experimental album, Inverno navigates between a Siberian blackness and a Scandinavian heat from the nights of March”
1 Frozen Lake 6:35
2 Zone of Silence 7:07
3 Ice Age Coming 5:03
4 Permafrost 7:13
5 Winter Song 20:03
6 Wanderer 3:11
7 Mountain 10:00
8 Last Shelter 4:59
9 Summit 3:26

Bandcamp (DDL/CD-r 67:40) ***½
(Deep dark and experimental ambient EM)
Hardly of his highly progressive and experimental sonic experiences with albums such as Connection and Manifesto, Gustavo Jobim concludes a very charged year 2013 with another album of sound experimentations which kiss the genesis of the ambient and experimental Krautrock movement. “Inverno” floats between our ears with a disconcerting fascination for an album of very dark ambiences. An album weaved in the mysticism of a black winter when the colds are often the only allies of our remorse.
It's with shivering pantings that the sonic winter of
Gustavo Jobim gets to crystallize in our ears.The arrhythmic movement of "Frozen Lake" is more disturbing than tenebrous with chords which shiver in a long linear movement and of which every echo of the jerks is freeing a wintry weather of ether which floats among organic groans. "Zone of Silence" follows the same principle of hypnosis by the disturbing sounds with winds which this time replace the pantings. The track slips towards a more psychedelic sound fauna with murmurs and rustles which get lost in long dying drones. The intro of "Ice Age Coming" reminds me the heavy pads that Tony Banks used to let fall on the opening of Watcher of the Skies. The track is more caustic with rustlings which sneak through heavy reverberations. This one really asks for patience. Let's say that it scratches the ears and it's rather representative of the naming.  But it's nothing compared with the sonic storm of "Permafrost". My Lise has really frown the eyebrows in my direction more than once!
"Winter Song" is THE track to be listened on “Inverno”. Rich in emotionalism, it wraps our eardrums with a mixture of very penetrating synth pads which forges the characteristics of the howling winds of a disturbing winter. That reminds me intensely the dying metallic synth lines and pads that
Schulze exploited in Cyborg and Mirage. We feel the cold here just a bit, because there is a voracious passion which roars inside this dense ambiospherical shroud where the tears of Daniel Cardona Roman's guitar merge marvellously with the breezes of a Mellotron intensely black and wrapping. This is a great track. After a "Wanderer" less acid than "Ice Age Coming", Gustavo Jobim returns with another long more musical piece in "Mountain" where some slow cold spells wrap an oblong pulsatory movement pulsatoire. The tempo is soft, slow. As a life trapped in the ice. "Last Shelter" is a another charming track. It's more crystal clear, more harmonious with a delicate melody mislaid in a wandering piano of which the weakened notes make symphony with the crackles of ice-cold water and the Siberian winds. "Summit" ends this wintry dawn serenade with explosions, Nordic jets of vapors and gongs lost in a mysterious and enveloping wintry aura, less dark but just as much intriguing.
Klaus Schulze's Cyborg, Tangerine Dream's Zeit and Stephen Parsick's Permafrost; “Inverno” navigates between a Siberian blackness and a Scandinavian heat from the nights of March. It's an intensely ambient album where, if we accept its hearing invasion, can carry us way beyond what the still life of a merciless winter can well propose with eyes divested of listening. I have to admit that my first contacts have made shivering my ears and that my girl (my soft Lise) has gave some funny looks at me so much the waves which overflowed my headphone revealed an atmosphere of somber sound perversions. Intense, ambient, black and very creative; this last Gustavo Jobim's album is mainly for ears avid to hear farther.
Sylvain Lupari (January 18th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: