lundi 30 juin 2014

MATZUMI:Symphony of Silence and Humility (2014)

“Symphony of Silence and Humility is an album built around passion which allies the Berlin School style to a form of progressive melodious New Age”
1 Symphony Prologue 1:57
2 Calm Down my Heart 8:40
3 The Origin of Life 8:36
4 The Creation 6:17
5 The First Breath 6:47
6 Sublime in Silence 12:46
7 Downfall and Rebirth 9:42
8 The Eternal Struggle 9:58
A New Age is Dawning 7:25

Wolf Entertainment (CD/DDL 73:31) ****
(Symphonic EM)
Ah the music of Matzumi! What a delight! What a hearing pleasure! With her very poetic feather and her approach filled of a mixture of sensualism and mysticism, Kathrin Manz manages to amaze the ears and to touch the senses since her very beautiful and first album; In Mutatio Tempora in 2012. Ethereal and rather intense by moment, “Symphony of Silence and Humility” is an album dedicated to life. An album with an approach as symphonic as cinematographic which depicts the vision of Matzumi about the history of life and its evolution on earth. If the history was repeatedly run, Matzumi approaches it with an innocent coolness that Emilsam Velázquez (the Porto Rican Ron Boots) brings back with a great mixing and mastering. From its sweet scent of the Middle East and the Persian eras, “Symphony of Silence and Humility” floats as much in our ears as in our imagination with a musical signature unique to Matzumi, who really has the gift to build dramatic crescendo with superb orchestrations to make revive the flames of Vangelis, in a musical pattern that allies the Berlin School style to a form of progressive New Age. To achieve this very melodic filmic structure Kathrin Manz surrounds herself once again with very experienced musicians (Hellmut Wolf on flutes, Frank Steffen Müller on guitars, Sean O'Bryan Smith on bass and Emilsam Velázquez on mastering), and whose talents transcend “Symphony of Silence and Humility” beyond the already very symphonic borders of Bravura Apasionada.
A soft fluty is floating over some fine tribal percussions. The voice of Matzumi roams on "Symphony Prologue" with ethereal breezes which caress her telling while the slumbering rhythm breathes more and more of its tribal strikings. Slowly, we enter with this sensation to dream in the world of “Symphony of Silence and Humility”. The voice of Kathrin Manz is a string furthermore in her arsenal of music equipment. She melts in the ear such as the one of Irene Papas on the music of Vangelis. She haunts the ambiences of "Calm Down My Heart" with airy breaths which dissolve marvellously with the flute of Hellmut Wolf and of a small concerto of forsaken violins and their long tears which scrape the solitude. These elements will decorate the moods of “Symphony of Silence and Humility” which slowly wakes up to the music and to the rhythm with the bass of Sean O'Bryan Smith, from which the sweet pulsations get lost in some tinkled ringings, and of a sequences line whose organic beatings run towards electronic percussions which beat a ride harmonized by a sweet dreamy piano. The breezes of "Calm Down my Heart" are floating up until the ambiences, as much ominous as philharmonic, of "The Origin of Life" and its arrhythmic beats which fit snugly to the jerky metal breaths. This is a track of ambiences with a very ambivalent structure of rhythm which is mainly fed by indecisive percussions and a bass with grumbling cooings; two furtive actors which roam in a carpet of mist and some beautiful orchestrations. A gong cuts the moods and leads us towards the very ambient "The Creation" and of its enchanted flute which floats as an outraged witness on a field of sadness. Matzumi signs all over her album some very beautiful orchestrations with tears of oboe which moan in the comforting arms of violins. Slyly, the pulsations invite each other in these ambiences and in the songs of the arabic flutes. We are hearing here some nice and very effective rattlesnakes wandering between our two loudspeakers while quite slowly "The Creation" transports the birth of its rhythm which gallops lazily up until the gates of "The First Breath". Oh that I have this feeling to hear the divine Lucia Hwong with these violins which cry pearled tears. A structure of sequences with ions jumping into a spheroidal harmony seizes the very poetic vibes of "The First Breath". Their anarchy jumps awaken percussions which drum as much than the shadows of sequences, alienating the weeping violins in a rhythmic ritornello which gets out of breath in some jerky orchestrations and in violent knocks of symphonic percussions.
The ashes of these orchestrations float towards the delicate introduction of "Sublime in Silence" which invites us in the most intense part of “Symphony of Silence and Humility”. The approach is very lyrical with tears piano which dream in the ochred mist of heavenly voices. One feels a subtle beginning of a dramatic crescendo settle in with airs of violins in suspension as well as some discreet momentums of staccato. Percussions drum an anger under the caresses of violins and oboe while the acoustic guitar of Frank Steffen Müller spreads an approach rather daydreamer on a structure of rhythm always fanciful which reaches a Babylonian peak in an intense and explosive finale. Then come "Downfall and Rebirth" which adopts the same pattern of based sequence rhythm a la Berlin School and moods lost in airy mist which interlace together and bicker in a theatrical approach as dramatic as strongly melancholic. "The Eternal Struggle" is doubtless the highlight of “Symphony of Silence and Humility” with a heavy and mordant rhythm which waves in sung winds and a charming pattern of percussions. Still there, the orchestrations are superb and remind some of Vangelis' heavy passages. This heavy and wild rhythmic ride ends in a surprising very theatrical conclusion with "A New Age is Dawning" where the acoustic guitar calls out to some ambient winds before singing into some dramatic orchestrations which are the privilege of an album as attractive as these tales about the 1001 Arabic nights of our childhoods. A story in music where we literally see the images is the sign of a carefully orchestrated album, an album written and made with passion and with a musical poetry which touches and moves. The flesh and the bones; the music and the orchestrations of “Symphony of Silence and Humility”.
Sylvain Lupari (June 30th,2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: 

samedi 28 juin 2014


“In Arcana the black and the silence breathe of colors and tones which are at the diapason of our imagination”
1 Liminal Worlds 5:25
2 Imagination is Memory 3:10
3 Night Has a Thousand Eyes 9:40
4 Arcana 11:43
5 Unwoven 8:59
6 Epoché 8:29
7 Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight 8:13
8 In Situ 7:40
9 Waning in the Glow of Unknowns 5:54
10 Zero Point Field 29:32
11 Our Shadow Sense 2:42
12 Porcelain Sky 12:16

Robert Scott Thompson Bandcamp (CD/DDL 113:47) ***½
(Ambient electroacoustic music)
Robert Scott Thompson is a Californian musician who likes the progressive ambient style with a zest of electroacoustic elements. Like several of his colleagues who fertilized the American west coast of an esoteric music, Robert Scott Thompson is a very prolific artist with nearly 40 CD, albums and cassettes since the first stammerings of this movement at the turning of the 90's. And since his very first album in 1991, Deeper in the Dreamtime, Robert Scott Thompson has gathered ceaselessly an increasing legion of fans. And his last album, “Arcana”, has all that is necessary to maintain these fans in its trail with an intensely meditative music where the twilights are silently seduced by celestial harmonies. Here is a chronicle of a fascinating album filled of unsuspected feelings.
And that begins with "Liminal Worlds" and its long black breath which lifts up some very meditative somber acoustic chords. Chords which in fact sound more like subtle percussions. This breath multiplies a lineage of which the sibylline tones float in a sonic sky where the twilights are under the charms of a soft ethereal voice which makes undulate its meditative harmonies in a concert of carillons and spiritual drones. The moods are tinted of black, even if holes of radiance are drawing translucent lines where the serenity crosses the enigmatic. We go from black to white with the short "Imagination is Memory" which keeps in background the very celestial approach of "Liminal Worlds"."Night Has a Thousand Eyes" is clearly darker. The black winds shove some acoustic carillons whose ringings of dead wood tones resound as lost harmonies. This electroacoustic approach irradiates a meditative music with rather tenebrous visions, whatever some experts of the genre say. In fact, all the skeleton of the “Arcana” ambiences are on the same diapason and are especially fed of the same breezes which lift in their winds some variable harmonies. The title-track is the most melodious of the genre with its scattered notes which tinkle over a heavy mist from which the melancholic drizzle ooze the dews of the lands which lived dramas. "Unwoven" offers very dark breezes with notes of piano scattered into an abyss with lost horizons. "Epoché" remains the most serene of the tracks of “Arcana” while "Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight" makes float its shadows with slow hypnotic oscillations. If the first attempt leaves you sceptical, the following ones reveal treasures of harmonies suspended from ambiences fed of black silk. There is a touch of madness which hides in there. Darker and more meditative, "In Situ" adopts the passive vibes of "Epoché" while that "Waning in the Glow of Unknowns" is at the rather romantic and melodious sonic image, if we can say, of "Arcana", the title-track. “Arcana” comes with 3 bonus tracks which are available in digital size. Dark and very penetrating "Zero Point Field" invades us with around 30 minutes of ambient music where the peace of mind is painted of black. The moods resuscitate those very morphic of "Liminal Worlds" without its electroacoustic elements and plunge us literally into the very immersive universe of
Steve Roach. Very short, "Our Shadow Sense" inhales the senses of its title with a short intrusion into the world of organic tones of which the strange ambiences continue on the very fascinating "Porcelain Sky" which reminds me a little, except for its delicate harmonious and ethereal envelope, Shane Morris' reptilian dreams universe alienated by the black pensive atmospheres of Memory Geist.
To be completely honest, I had heard the name of Robert Scott Thompson in the circles of ambient music for a while. But as in each of the names proposed in this genre, my ears made faces. Thus, this is on the tip of my eardrums that I approached this “Arcana”. And without saying that I was totally seduced, I quite enjoyed this first contact. The highest quality of Robert Scott Thompson is this ease that he has to give life and to color his abstracted ambiences with the nuances of its paradoxes. This is at least what I felt when listening to “Arcana”. The black and the silence breathe of colors and tones which are at the diapason of our imagination. And it is so beautiful to see the emptiness getting furniture between our ears.
Sylvain Lupari (June 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:

jeudi 26 juin 2014

MAGNETRON: Spherics (2014)

“On a musical genre that a lot of people said it is worn out to the rope, Magnetron succeeds to sneak and leave a sonic visiting card extremely attractive”

1 Prelude 0:43
2 Return to Earth 27:11
3 Spherics 14:09
4 Call for Peace 12:34
5 Survival (For Yolande) 12:17

Magnetron Bandcamp (DDL 66:56) ***½
(Minimalist base sequenced EM)
Magnetron?! It's the meeting of two English artists who surfed on the English electronic vague of the 90's. Xan Alexander (The Omega Syndicate) and Steve Humphries (Create) grew by discovering the music of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream. But it's the explosion of the England School (Redshift, Andy Pickford, Arc, Air Sculpture and others) that literally brought them to create their own music. If I am rather familiar with Steve Humphries' universe, I am a little less with the one of Xan Alexander whose band specialized itself in concerts of improvised EM highly appreciated in the English underground scene. “Spherics” is their fourth album. An album strong in static, minimalist and circular rhythms with movements of sequences which get loose to forge some delicious rhythmic echoes so unique to a Berlin School hidden behind the heavinesses of the English movement. Hypnotic rhythms which are carefully coated by solos, by mist, by harmonies, by ambiences and by recollections which find their cradles in the metal years of Tangerine Dream.
The ears on the wait, after the very short introduction to “Spherics”, our loudspeakers are flooded of electronic braids which open the sonic fairies of this last Magnetron album. The echoes of din pour various sci-fi tones which plunge us into a universe on the border of cosmos where silky synth lines are floating and waltzing idly, caressing at passage the psychedelic corkscrews as well as the groans of an intergalactic machinery which produces sonic stigmas to the colours of imagination. Trying to describe the introduction of "Return to Earth" it is as trying to describe a slow volcanic eruption where a magma in colours as well scarlet as black is escaping in a vertical corridor and swirls lasciviously in a long transparent cylinder. But there is a leak! Quite slowly "Return to Earth" tries to get out of its static hold. Always and always, the allegorical streaks are tearing the horizons of their hallucinogenic stripes while the machines expire their last groans and that orchestrations continue to lull this whole sonic tapestry. And there are these tears of synth so characteristics of Steve Humphries' universe. And bit by bit, "Return to Earth" lets itself be tempted by a movement of sequences of which the resonant ions draw a hesitating rhythm. Chthonian choir welcome this shaky rhythm which oscillates in a hypnotic spheroidal imperfect movement. While the ions get loose and split a rhythm which dance slightly with its shadows, its misty fogs and some fine sharp solos, synth pads which remind the metallic universe of Tangerine Dream are covering this static rhythm which resound more and more, as it flirts with the darkness. Switching shapes acutely in the course of its 27 minutes, "Return to Earth" wears a more melodious approach with chords of e-piano which do the serenade to a movement of sequences whose incessant multiplicity of the jumping keys forge a rich rhythm as much static than complex which takes a shape of a structure as crystal clear than black and which ends with a more subtle dramatic approach.
With sonic whirlwinds fed by jumping ions with arrhythmic flows “Spherics” offers magnetic rhythms which develop from their inside. The title-track presents a movement of sequences with ions which jump in a very tight way in a bewitching movement of staccato. Sequences spin in their glass trap, jostling the shadows of sequences which draw ethereal mist while that quite slowly "Spherics" multiplies its harmonious keys which skip in a delicious cacophony. A sonic rhythmic canon made of multiple keys with mixed tones, "Spherics" takes the shape of a perpetual solitary walking with a big path in the form of 8 of which the sky is pearlized of sonic shadows to the colours of despair. This fascinating sonic ritornello is the bed of "Call for Peace" which is more incisive on the other hand with a long and more articulated rhythmic skeleton. The breaths of synth and their cosmic harmonies remind all the influence of Tangerine Dream on the development of EM at the turning of the 80's. Composed within the framework of a vast global movement for the victims of the Cyclone Hayian in the Philippines, "Survival (For Yolande)" is also built on the same pattern of hatched structure of rhythm, as well as the very Dreamy harmonies, whose curt and nervous debit soaks in electronic moods spiced of quietude and solitude. The Mellotron here is very beautiful and throws lines of flute which make forget the romances and the wanderings of Peter Baumann. We can also find this track on the excellent Radio Happy Music Compilation for the Haiyan / Yolanda Victims:
On a musical genre that a lot of people said it is worn out to the rope, Magnetron succeeds to sneak in and leave a sonic visiting card extremely attractive. But we have to enjoy at least these minimalist rhythms, which swirl like static merry-go-rounds, where wagons hiccup under a sky stuffed by the 1001 charms of this delicate fusion between the Berlin and England School in order to be seduced by the music of “Spherics” and Magnetron. All in all? I think it's worth it.
Sylvain Lupari (June 25th, 2014) &
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

mercredi 25 juin 2014

ART OF INFINITY: New Horizon (2000)

“New Horizon is a short and sweet invitation to a universe of EM which still bathes in its very Floydish progressive shield”

1 The Dragons Flight 1:25
2 Ocean in Space 4:20
3 Written in the Sand 3:35
4 Three Days Winter 8:45
5 Evolution 21:04 
ATM Records 5405 (CD 39:21)

(Mix of Progressive and ambient EM)
With the quite recent rerelease, in a digital format, of Evolution (Parts 1-4), I have to talk to you about its genesis; the “New Horizon” album. This first album of Art Of Infinity places the group of Thorsten Sudler-Manz and Thorsten Rentsch on the borders of an EM which still bathes in its very Floydish progressive shield.
And the album starts slowly with a foggy and vaporous synth which crosses the very melancholic breezes of a wandering saxophone. Moreover this union between synths and saxophone is the cornerstone of
Art Of Infinity's harmonious side which manages well enough the blend these two sonic antagonists under the same musical sky without altering anything of its finished product. So, "The Dragon Flight" enters in our ears in the shape of a short ambient track which introduces an album whose vibes are oscillating between some sweet harmonies and more ambiguous movements. Then comes "Ocean in Space" which floats on the fog of a sibylline Mellotron and some sweet voices as much strangely as so sensual. A movement of percussions a la Vangelis surprises the bewitching slowness of a movement which becomes intensified and livens up on a nice duel of synth and guitar. "Written in the Sand" brings us back into the ambient and mysterious universe of Art Of Infinity. Thorsten Sudler-Mainz tells a poem about love while some ethereal mist of a poetic synth and breaths of a nostalgic saxophone are floating over some arpeggios struck like chords of a xylophone. The rhythm becomes heavier with hypnotic percussions in the opening of "Three Days Winter" where a semi-sung voice haunts the ambiences. The tempo breaks suddenly to let hatch an ambient structure filled of heterogeneous tones. Then a strange mood settles down with a keyboard which throws some syncopated jolts and a howler sax on a movement pulled between its rhythm and its non-rhythm and where a kind of sensualism always finds its place. As I wrote before, this is music where the oniricity and the harmonies live on structures as much melodious than heterogeneous. "Evolution" doesn't need another presentation. Please, take the time to read the review I just wrote and you'll see how beautiful it could be. 
New Horizon” is a short and sweet invitation to the universe of
Art Of Infinity. The strength of this album lies in the outstanding track which is Evolution. This is the front door of a universe with lot of Pink Floyd moods mixed or lost in great ambient but melodic phases. A universe that will charm even more with the very beautiful, and more complete, Dimension Universe.
Sylvain Lupari (June 24th, 2014) &

lundi 23 juin 2014

ART OF INFINITY: Evolution (Parts 1-4) (2000/2014)

“Evolution (Parts 1-4) is above all for those who know, or don't know, the music of Art Infinity just only recently”

1 The Beginning 4:14
2 The Creation 4:05
3 Through the Ages 9:52
4 New Horizon 2:34

Digital Download (DDL 21:04) ****
(Mix of Progressive and ambient EM)
Some new music from Art Of Infinity? Not completely! It's been a long 2 years since that the fans of the Thorsten Sudler-Manz & Thorsten Rentsch's band have nothing to put in their ears. So, just to make them wait, especially the new ones, Art Of Infinity puts on-line an old music piece from the New Horizon album which is dated from 2000. An EP entitled “Evolution (Parts 1-4)”. And there is nothing new to write about, except that this longest track from the Art Of Infinity repertoire is now divided in 4 parts. Still this is beautiful and as always very oniric. It's a long track which depicts with wonder the universe of the German band which is very at ease with EM and progressive style and where the spirituality and the harmonies live on structures as much melodious than heterogeneous.
"The Beginning" gets into our ears with noises of machines which get lost in a cosmic horizon. We hear some delicate arpeggios shiver in the resonances of some notes of piano which are scattered through the fragile breaths of synth. Dreamy solos caress our ears of their ambient harmonies. They float of this structure filled of sibylline mist and moods a la 
Blade Runner and they sometimes sound just like laments of a wandering saxophone while quite slowly "The Beginning", and its industrial explosions, glides towards the very soft galactic down-tempo which is "The Creation". There, we are totally in a Floydish universe with celestial choirs, a heavy but very harmonious battery, some very sober guitar riffs and f a synth with peaceful smog aromas. There is a seductive fusion between this synth and a saxophone which throw harmonies, as well as ambiences, which greet the soft voice, a very Roger Waters' kind, of Thorsten Sudler-Manz. Although melodious, the universe of “Evolution” rests on an emotive fragility that plunges us into some beautiful ambient phases. "Through The Ages" proposes a very ambiospheric, and quite ambiosonic, structure which little by little is split in a cosmic drama where elements burst out in order to scatter phases, as ambient or tribal or simply savages, in the roots of a soft increasing madness. The title-track concludes this EP with an ambient sweetness which takes back the very attractive and hypnotic harmonies of "The Creation".
Nothing new! It's true, but this always remains so beautiful. “Evolution (Parts 1-4)” is above all for those who know, or don't know, the music of
Art Of Infinity just recently. It's available on Itunes and it's an excellent way to learn about this group which possesses this small romantic cachet where the harmonies shine on structures as ambient and as progressive but always very melodious.

Here is a link for a video trailer of this album:
Sylvain Lupari (June 23rd, 2014) &

samedi 21 juin 2014

PILLION: Centillion (2014)

“Centillion is at the greatness of the imagination and the talent of Walter Christian Rothe to create dark and very inspiring works”
This review has been moved on the new SynthSequences Website here CENTILLION

jeudi 19 juin 2014

DERELICT THOUGHTS: Autumn Moon (2014)

“As usual all that touches Ron Boots turns out to be very special, very unique like these superb whispers of thoughts that we find on Autumn Moon”

1 Songs for an Autumn Moon 37:18
2 A Gentle Night 5:10
3 Lingering On 4:29
4 Half Moon Rising 10:55

Groove | GR-206 (CD 57:53) ****
(Ambient, spiritual and clanic EM)
One of the big craftsmen, otherwise the most influential, of the Dutch School movement, Ron Boots swaps his clothes of architect of the heavy and lively sequenced rhythms for structures a little more ambient, a little more meditative. If we listen closely to Ron Boots' works we notice that the synthman of Eindhoven likes to put ambient passages which counterbalance his impetuous movements of sequences on most of his albums. And in order to not confuse his fans, an extremely honorable gesture in my opinion, Ron Boots offers his very first ambient album under the very poetic pen name of Derelict Thoughts. Presented in a slender and very beautiful cardboard artwork, “Autumn Moon” is built around 2 live performances, swollen with improvisations, of ambient music that the magician behind Groove Unlimited has presented in Amsterdam and The Hague. And as all that touches Ron Boots; this is far from being usual.
"Songs for an Autumn Moon" starts this ball for meditative moods with a plethora of synth lines which pile up and get interlace in an intense ambiosonic pattern whose thickness kills all possibility of lights, even the glowing ones. The movement is slow and sculptured in hollow winds with iridescent reflections which are strangely transformed into discreet, even absentees, Gothic chants. These evanescent singings, which make work the imagination, are transformed into long laments of wars roared through a big heathen cornet. Dusts of carillons rise up, disguising an abstract din of which the fascination lies in its capacity to delude the ear. We also hear some very discreet knockings. Knockings which little by little are sculpting a solitary rhythm totally encircled by this abundance of synth lines to the colors of the solitude. "Songs for an Autumn Moon" reveals its small intimate moments by interposed segments where the moments of dark and meditative ambiences turn out in more festive phases. Riffs of percussions redraw a wandering rhythm of which the regular beatings forge a delicate clanic trance. We hear a first fragment of harmony roaming in this bright phase, while that quietly "Songs for an Autumn Moon" crosses the bar of 20 minutes with an exotic ethereal approach by caressing a soft moment of serenity which brings us towards more enlightened places. And the rhythm remains quiet. We are at the edge of a river of prisms where the water stretches its small wavelets in celestial harmonies, calling back very well that one of
Ron Boots' big influences is well and truly Steve Roach. And if we doubt it, the very beautiful "Half Moon Rising" is there to prove it.
With its tears of synth filled with melancholic sighs and its scattered note of piano lost in a sibylline mist, "A Gentle Night" paints the effect of a painful meditation by moonlight. Black, intense and very striking! Always in the same register of melancholy but with a more harmonious approach and a less floating mood where the percussions drum an absent rhythm, "Lingering On" offers some very solitary notes of guitar which shine in ambiences weaved of black silk. Little by little, we go to very surprising "Half Moon Rising" and its hollow winds which blow on a desert plain. Very early, a galloping rhythm lifts a cloud of organic dust. Respecting the signature of the solo works of his alter ego, where we always hear an ambient passage, Derelict Thoughts gives back to 
Ron Boots by presenting a more lively structure in this ambient ode. And if this is ambient; I would listen to it every day. Certainly the rhythm is static. Panting under an intense pattern of percussions of a rather clanic genre, it quivers with thousand bites of these percussions. The sky is marbled by discreet guitar notes, by hooting winds and by glaucous reverberations where one would swear to hear gutturals lamentations from the West Californian desert shamans. Yes, the allusion with Steve Roach is completely justified! Simply splendid, this title filled by tribal fragrances ends an album of surprising vibes of which the crescendo of radiances over the twilights reaches its paroxysm with "Half Moon Rising".
Sylvain Lupari (June 19th, 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 17 juin 2014

MICHAEL BRÜCKNER: Thirteen Rites of Passage (2014)

“Thirteen Rites of Passage is what does best regarding an EM which is astride various styles without losing its identity”

1 Fluctuations Number Three 14:30
2 Thirteen Rites of Passage 11:37
3 A Train of Thought 10:49
4 Gentle Passages 7:42
5 Spine Transfer Dotcom 8:52
6 The Goddess of the Amber Trees 12:55
7 Fluctuations Number One 10:28

SynGate | CD-r MB03 (CD-r 76:56) ****
(Mix of techno, IDM, cosmic rock, ambient and Berlin School)
He is quite resourceful this Michael Brückner. As much comfortable with the classic Berlin School, like in the ambient style and rhythms of modern EM, he shows his very big versatility in “Thirteen Rites of Passage” which is a real mosaic of furious rhythms and of meditative electronic moods that the German synthman has presented during various appearances on stage, or during rehearsals, and on more intimate concerts called Living Room Concerts in 2013. If I was pleasantly surprised by the very beautiful Sparrows, “Thirteen Rites of Passage” didn't left me on my appetite. It's a superb album where Michael Brückner is the architect of around 80 minutes of music with harmonies very near Edgar Froese's register which caress sometimes stormy and sometimes softly rhythms where the spectre of Klaus Schulze feeds Michael Brückner's very creative imagination.
A slow black shadow leads a cloud of waves to the obsessing shape and to the colors of melancholy. "Fluctuations Number Three" is float between our loudspeakers with a thick cloud of morphic layers which poison themselves of lethal kisses. An intrusive vampiric wave isolates this arrhythmic movement which rebels by freeing a pleiad of white noises as well as a horde of sequenced ions of which the nervous palpitations get agglutinate in a wild static movement. Unexpected percussions harpoon the rising rhythm of "Fluctuations Number Three" which runs furiously in a sort of a big e-rock. This lively electronic ride is flogged by synth solos as much acuteness as creative, caressed by orchestral mists and pecked by baroque cracklings before laying down the rhythmic arms and getting lost in the rather cosmic introduction of "Thirteen Rites of Passage". The stars shiver here, creating a rainy mood of which the crystalline drops sing more that they fall. Some soft orchestral waves invite each other in this static dance, pushing the title-track towards a slow cosmic ballet filled of scarlet nuances. One would say Tomita on
Software. And like in "Fluctuations Number Three", a rhythm appearing out of the void catapults "Thirteen Rites of Passage" near a finely jerky circular structure with ions which skip in the shadows of all, so creating a very electronic rhythmic harmonic figure which crawls under a cosmic thick cloud of synth streaks. "A Train of Thought" retrieves these fragments of stars lost in the introduction of the title-track to make them sing in a kind of a very attractive musical cannon filled of so many electronic charms. Soon, the rhythm shakes its frenzy with a nervous sequencer which activates its keys in a boiling movement of staccato whose feverish velocity accompanies astonishingly the delicate march of the crystalline arpeggios from the opening. This pulsatory rhythm filled of adrenalin and of abrupt beatings feed its fury with a serial of heavy oscillations, driving "A Train of Thought" towards a heavy and furious electronic cosmic rock which goes up and goes down vertiginously under a sky copper-colored of acid synth pads and choruses a bit celestial. After a soft intrusion into a more contemplative universe with "Gentle Passages", Michael Brückner takes on the clothes that Klaus Schulze has tidy just before his adventure with Lisa Gerrard,
 with a solid and very catchy electronic techno where "Spine Transfer Dotcom" spreads its rhythm of IDM in an electronic pattern with cosmic flavors."The Goddess of the Amber Trees" is a long ambient track which pours in the introduction of "Fluctuations Number One". A little bit long, this track can mislay a listener who does not appreciate that much the ambient structures. But when that the first sequences shake "Fluctuations Number One", “Thirteen Rites of Passage” ends its versatile electronic odyssey with a superb structure of rhythm, once again very harmonious, where jumping ions with tones of soft wood are falling at eye-dropper in the oscillations of black pulsations to create a delicious fusion between cosmic techno and IDM. Even there, we cannot ignore the influences of Klaus Schulze with a series of synth solos, as it does rarely too much since a few years, which are painting brightly a heavy electronic ambience.
Michael Brückner is an emerging artist to be taken very seriously . “Thirteen Rites of Passage” is what does best regarding an EM which is astride various styles without losing its identity. Even if we do not like techno or IDM, or still the ambient or the cosmic rock, the way Brückner brings us where he wants is in the purest subtlety and delicacy here. We fall and we say to ourselves: WoW! And this feeling arrives 6 times on 7 tracks, showing all the depth of an album to the thousand nuances.

Here is a link for a video trailer of this album:
Sylvain Lupari (June 17th, 2013) &

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