jeudi 29 octobre 2015

PETE FARN: Blow my Tears (2015)

“Friend of sounds? Lover of tones? Blow My Tears is anything but beats and harmonies. This is a sonic abstract art at its best”
1 Blowing Up 6:49   2 Orang Orang 4:14
3 Stampferl 4:05   4 Granz 3:15
5 Sync Dirt 6:37   6 Wald Nr. 83 4:49
7 Udung 4:19   8 Vong 4:55
9 Go! 4:29   10 Metal Sky 4:57
11 Obö 4:42   12 Rolling Tears 4:16
13 Palästina 4:18

SynGate Lunar | CD-r pf14 (CD-r/DDL 61:52)
(Abstract form of EM)
I had had the ears a bit fearful, and fairly painful, after my first experiences with the universe of PeteFarn's sounds. And I have to admit that they were of marble when my eyes have scrutinized the pastel colors of this  “Blow My Tears” artworks where its abstract art releases more colors than the one of Cryptids which had a clear penchant for sci-fi. I anticipated, and rightly, an even more difficult album to access and I was not even at the end of my troubles. Before beginning, let's place the axes of this last Peter Schaefer's boldness which leads scrupulously the listener in the psychedelic lands of Zeit (Tangerine Dream)or still Interstellar Overdrive (Pink Floyd) with an approach which aims to be a book of ideas and a horn of plenty of sounds and tones in a universe of parallelism which lines the borders of a music which avoids all etiquettes. In fact this mosaic of sounds literally reminds me an orchestra of musical instruments of all sorts, as much philharmonic than of streets, which scatters through the mazes of a city where streets are so narrow that the echo of a fragment of this orchestra makes noise on the sufferings of another one. You follow me?
Strange metallic singings (a sitar disguised as a bagpipe?) open the eccentricities of this last adventure in sounds and tones of
PeteFarn. Already our ears feel assaulted by the introduction of "Blowing Up". Look for no rhythms nor for harmonies! The ambiences are at the top of their art with these origins of noises, of breezes or of sort of singings which drag the dusts of steel and of which the arcs of sounds are grazing the ears. The wearing of a headphone here is banned, so much the depth of the sound radiations is intense. As we move forward in the track, we indeed recognize a kind of sitar (a very metallic one) which crumbles its pinched chords in twisted ambiences where a kind of big tuba is blowing its nostalgia in some clouds of static prisms. It's slow and distressing with a direction (we speak all the same of ambiences here) which are totally diverted from their axes of passivity with abrupt movements. Violins and cellos cry in an indescribable din where a language, foreign for me, breathes life to a moment of Japanese-style tragedy in "Orang Orang". I wonder how Peter Schaefer does, but he managed downright to make the nothingness grimacing and roaring. But I know why my neighbors are kind of mad at me! It's necessary to lower the volume, because the moods become unbearable for some (Hello my love!). While "Stampferl" manages to be a surprise with a good rhythmic approach which touches Electronica, the track crumbles with a thick cloud of iconoclastic noises in our ears. So bad! The press guide announces that there are good surprises in “Blow My Tears”. That depends on the point of view that we are putting ourselves! The following tracks are all sound essays which are scattering tones, sounds and fragments of rhythms into unknown territories. "Udung" is the first track to really offer a homogeneous structure (a kind of very progressive free jazz) on its length. Afterward "Go!", "Obö" and its delicious funeral march in a very avant-gardist New Orleans, and "Palästina", a superb structure of anything I have to admit, that I have choose to be played on our radio show in Montreal, help us a little more to discover a universe where the noise of sounds and the other side of music take quite an all new dimension. For adventurous and audacious! In fact for the eccentrics who like distancing themselves in a crowd with a thing which leaves absolutely its mark, its separation between two universes which are nevertheless so close one of the other one. I won't say it's not good, but it's definitely not my taste!
Sylvain Lupari (October 27th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp page here

lundi 26 octobre 2015

ERIK WOLLO: Echotides (2015) E.P.

“You want soft ambient rhythms which make dance sweet harmonies? Harmonies which will leave indelible traces in your ears? You are at the right spot with this Echotides!”
Echotides No.1 8:05
Echotides No.2 3:35
Echotides No.3 7:00
Echotides No.4 7:24
Echotides No.5 6:20
Echotides No.6 3:58
Echotides No.7 6:47

Projekt Records| PRO00320 (DDL 43:00) ****
(Ambient rhyhms filled by melodious moods)
I like the music of Erik Wollo! The sonic bard of Norway made a success of the improbable in this universe; have his own sound etiquette that we hear only throughout his sources of inspiration. His inspirations are translated into guitar loops which he likes to put together into long sonic filaments for melancholic atmospheres. Forged in this concept, where he is also experimenting new devices and effects of pedals, “Echotides” offers seven reflections on tides and echoes, among which two main themes which are running on some subtle variations. An album bewitching with delicately enveloping rhythms, like always!
Tootings more seraphic than spectral introduce the first harmonious measures of “Echotides” with the opening of "Echotides No.1". Astral synth waves are covering these harmonious loops of a dense melancholic veil that a delicate line of bass brings to a level of peaceful rhythmic structure. The movement is minimalist and slides slowly towards some electronic percussions which mold a pleasant morphic down-tempo. One of the many pleasures in
Erik Wollo's music! "Echotides No.2" leads us towards some clearly more meditative horizons with a mixture of lines of synth and guitar which forge the magnificence of the Norwegian winds. Erik Wollo lays here some delicate solos from his six-string always so nostalgic. The sweetness element seems essential in the Wollo universe, and this even with rhythms molded on sequences combined with the effects of guitars. At this level, "Echotides No.3" is a superb example with a dreamlike structure where are floating thick masses of breezes with the charms as attractive as their sound colors. "Echotides No.4" reformulates the ghostly melody, which seems to roam everywhere in this E.P., over a structure of rhythm slightly more accentuated than on "Echotides No.3". But here the effects of jerks and percussions sculpture a slightly spasmodic ambient rhythm. And these loops of harmonies forge in our ears a worm from which we shall whistle all day long. The nuances are very beautiful with lines of guitars which float like tears while the rhythm offers more depth with the addition of a well felt line of bass in the middle part. These last two tracks are doubtless the best moments in “Echotides”, although I like this delicate ambient serenade which is "Echotides No.6"."Echotides No.5" continues the exploration of the rhythmic diversities of this last Erik Wollo's E.P. with jolts of sequences filled with organic tones which swirl under the multiple colors of Wollöian breezes. "Echotides No.7"concludes “Echotides” with a slow ambient movement which reminds me so much of  Steve Roach. An artist who influenced this rather particular universe where also here Erik Wollo always seems to find a symphony on the cliffs of his native Norwegian. A beautiful album, always so tenderly poetic, which is available only in downloadable format. The first 300 manufacture-pressed CD having all been sold...
Sylvain Lupari (October 26th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Projekt Records web shop here

mardi 20 octobre 2015

REDSHIFT: Life to Come (2015)

“Bravo Mark Shreeve! Life to Come is the best thing which can be produced by analog machines this year. And 2015 was a great year in this field. A superb album my friends”
1 Soft Summer Rain 10:16
2 Vampyre 11:38
3 Mission Creep 8:47
4 Bloom 5:31
5 Slam 12:58
6 Circling Above 8:25
7 Life to Come 6:12

Distant Sun DS013 (CD/DDL 63:52) *****
(Pure analog sequencer-based style)
From the first seconds of "Soft Summer Rain" the Redshift signature for dark moods is gobbling up our brain out! The rhythm and the life take shape through breezes which are lost in dark industrial ambiences. Felted explosions, knockings of clogs, pulsations and abstract sequences, which answer to their echoes, are shaping an ambient rhythm which tries to take root with its scattered tentacles. Murmurs of a bass line breathe over this ambient anarchy, releasing big snores which chew a line of rhythm divided of its chaos. The movement remains magnetizing with a thick cloud of sequences which skip as imps and their hooves in a figure of a rodeo for dwarfs Capuchin. "Soft Summer Rain" becomes heavy and black, as a Gothic ballad, where sequences lost in the snores are eventually weaving a strange melody while another storm of sequences comes down to break up our loudspeakers and crush this portion of melody nevertheless more devilish than seraphic. Some people will say that it's not music. I'll say that it's the pure magic of the analogue world; build a life from nothingness!
This last opus of
Redshift was more than unexpected. It was madly desired for years! In fact, many of us thought that the adventure was well and truly ended. Arc took over with two wonderful albums which are marked of the Redshift seal. And even if there was Colder in 2011, we have to go back as far as 2008, with the boiling and incisive, Turning Towards Us to have new and original music to put between our ears produced by the mythical English entity. And it's Ian Boddy, the partner in crime of Mark Shreeve in Arc who gave the game away with a tweet on Twitter which announced a return for Redshift. It was like to put of the fire to a powder trail! The combustion sowed  a kind of collective enjoyment and all the fans of EM were looking forward to this “Life to Come”. Me, the first one! And what a feast my friends.... Heavy, powerful, dark and fiendishly melodious, this last opus of Redshift inherits from the past of Mark Shreeve who, once again, raises the standards of excellence for all those who aspire to the Redshift throne. The big Moog Modular spits the fire and the effects of its reverberations find echo in a tumult of sequences which have difficulty in containing the proposed structures of rhythms. The atmospheres are chthonian and remain soaked with a somber industrial veil unique to Redshift. I have listened to it several times, to dissipate all the doubts of my fanaticism towards Redshift and Mark Shreeve. My first idea changed in a certainty; “Life to Come” is a pure master work! It's one ton of bricks in the face and I savored with delight this magnificent fusion of both entities where Mark Shreeve, of his Assassin and Legion eras, is watering a Redshift always so dark and loud of a literally more harmonious water. By doing so, we have the best of both universes of England School between our ears. And if the ambient, but always howling, structure of "Soft Summer Rain" doesn't convince you, what is to follow is going to destroy your doubts!
"Vampyre" spreads its cloud of sonic intrigues with breezes coming from hell. An electric piano begins the drilling of a ghost melody which scatter its chords in fogs filled of white noises. A rattle titillates our ears in the background. The approach radiates these of Rick Wright's evasive melodies, while the hooting of spectres infiltrate insidiously our ears. The voices are as much beautiful and the piano is so much dark. While this contrast exhilarates our senses, a movement of sequences knocks down its keys which gallop at good speed now. The rattles become rolling of industrial percussions which push in the back of the galloping keys. And
Mark Shreeve settles his tenebrous moods. A delicious guitar makes counterweight to this structure of rhythm which seems so threatening, scattering its harmonious loops in the doubtful chants of the spectres. The bass line breathes a second life at this structure which will keep the course of a steady rhythm where the sequences flicker keenly in the slowly undulatory breaths of the bass line. Between a heavy, sometimes explosive,and a fluid rhythm, decorated with sonic intrigues, "Vampyre" weaves a beautiful bridge between the initial works of Mark Shreeve and the somber paintings of Redshift. The basis of “Life to Come” is anchored well and truly. It only just needs to fix its ornaments. "Mission Creep" wears judiciously its naming. Its intro is forged in the tumults of the spectres who decorate hell. A fascinating pattern of rhythm emerges from it a little after the 2nd minute. It skips as in a kind of heathen trance with nervous pulsations which are knotted with the bangings of bones and the jingles of chains. The effect is intrusive with a heavy structure which feeds on its echo and from where is coming a superb melody of horror which will leave its traces many hours later. Yes, Mark Shreeve will have never fed so well Redshift! A short track full of spectral atmospheres on a heavy and vindictive rhythm where sequences are forged in the hammering of silversmith's trade which tames the assault of these moods, "Bloom" leads us to the pinnacle of “Life to Come”.

Pulsatory heavy and humming sequences are dancing with jingles. Our ears hear well this mooing of the darkness, but our senses remain oriented to this feverish dance of sequences which fidget as spasmodic skeletons. A shadow of a melody lies down with dreamy chords, except that we feel the breath of the beast. The murmurs disorientate our senses and we feel that "Slam" is going to get wild. And it does! Of its long evolutionary structure, which feeds on many bites left for crumbs up to here in “Life to Come”, "Slam" travels between two universes with a structure always near the horror and near these macabre atmospheres. The rhythm goes and comes, always bent in the rotary arcs of the sequences movements which flicker like fireflies racing in a long oscillatory tube in order to flee the light. Avoiding the din, as much as the peace of mind of the harmonies sung by horned angels, it opts for a wild race at around the 6th minute. The rhythm becomes then explosive with a troop of analog sequences which avoid the bites of the percussions in order to run wild beneath a thick cloud full of fanciful violins. The flow of the sequences is as much indescribable as being breathtaking for the senses. Lost, a line of sequences makes jump up and clink its crazy keys in anarchic jerks 2 minutes farther, restoring some gas to "Slam" which runs again to lose breath and always by stepping on the accelerator of the indecision. This is huge Redshift my friends. "Circling Above" moderates the moods with a long dark introduction which flirts with gothism. Percussions dance a little before the point of 4 minutes. Sequences come to peck at this soft rhythm with the effects of attacks from giant flies. And while our ears are centered on this surprising meshing of ambiences, the rhythm spits a strange poison of white noises. It's heavy and vicious. The chthonian choruses add to the intrigue while the track fetches refuge in a very theatrical mooing. The title-track reborn again out of these ashes, throwing an ochred mist where are shouting the sparrows along with the hooting of spectres. The synth pads, and this is as in every corner of “Life to Come”, are as much black than weighty, wrapping an intro in a shroud of horror where will gambol a superb melodious approach which is knotted in suspense. That does very Mark Shreeve. That does very Legion and that feels good. And it also ends a splendid album which plays in loops in my cd player for already one week. “Life to Come” is a huge album my friends. It's a huge work from Mark Shreeve who does everything here. An inescapable and undoubtedly the best of 2015 which nevertheless showed some solid albums here! Yes, a big year for EM! There was only missing new music from Redshift and it's now done. Hat to you Mark!
Sylvain Lupari (October 20th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Redshift Bandcamp page here

dimanche 18 octobre 2015

KLAUS SCHULZE: The Dome Event (1993)

“Lot of samplings and lot of things for nothing, but there is a solid 30 minutes at the end of what seemed to be...nothin”
1 The Dome Event 63:31
2 After Eleven 10:44

Venture ‎| CDVE 918 (CD 74:15)
***

(Minimalist, orchestral and tribal Schulzesk moods)
Honestly! Would we talk about this album if it wouldn't be listed in the gigantic catalog of Klaus Schulze? I'm not really certain of it!  Let's abandon the chauvinism! Let's put aside, if only for one moment, this disproportionate worship which is the privilege of the most inflexible fans of the German Master and let's speak about the music. Only about the music! For me, I really find that this album is one album too many in the discography, already well garnished as for the live albums of that time, from the man that I like the most in this universe of sounds and tones which is EM. We had Royal Festival Hall the year before and the Dresden Performance two years prior. What is the link? The long introductions plastered of iconoclastic voices and with samplings which challenge the patience, if not the boredom. It seems to me that Schulze has made literally the tour of his researches to put an end to this. But no!
The too long "The Dome Event" is a sonic river of 63 minutes which is constituted in 3 non official parts. The first minutes offer an eccentric introduction painted with effects of operetta voices a la 
Zoolook and other voices divided into Arabic or oriental ambiences. The soft synth pads, fed with effects of flute which remind indefatigably those of Tangerine Dream in Le Parc, lose their ethereal luster for some effects of voices which melt into lamentations of violins. The percussions! Always and always, these piles of strikings which structure no rhythm at all but which murmur noise. While the sound effects are always pulling us towards oriental moods. This is a long intro of samplings which goes beyond 6 minutes before that a structure of rhythm is going on. It's soft, idle! Chords, dressed up in a tone of acoustic guitar, weave an ambient ballad which is shaken by knocks of bass percussions. A fluty synth caresses these two elements in an ambient duel which will widen its minimalist structure beyond 35 minutes. Like an architect who seems to disenchant, the Master scatters sound effects (voices, orchestral effects, flutes, violins and others) which thicken the atmospheres, while the percussions inflate little by little a slow rhythm which will always remain very worn out by the heaviness of the samplings. Beyond the 30 minutes, the atmospheres become a stream of tranquility where takes shape peacefully the part 2 of "The Dome Event". And there my friends, we forgive everything to Schulze! After a large range of the quirky possibilities of samplings, which lasts a big 3 minutes (it's long!), the Tablas percussions restructure a peaceful rhythm into a more nervous one. Jingles spice up this tribal approach from another universe, while the synth embalms the air of orchestral caresses. Little by little, the 2nd part of "The Dome Event" sets in motion. Songs of flutes, electronic babblings and percussions livened up of a sovereign desire of techno swindle the time. It is magnetic and mesmerizing. A huge bass line  chews on our ears little before the bar of the 43 minutes, calling back these panting and dissolved melodies of Audentity or still of Trancefer. The arrival of the carillons sound the knell for these distorted ambiences, bringing "The Dome Event"  towards a boosted finale where Klaus Schulze has of literally  knock out his public with a lively and jerky rhythm tortured by soloes which are more than audacious. Simply superb! But we have to pass over well and truly the first 35 minutes to reach this electronic oasis. Did we need "After Eleven"? Composed (sic!) one year after the concert given at the Cologne Cathedral, this bonus track offers a more fluid structure which seems to fit quite well to the ambiences of this concert. The percussions sound horribly false and the bass line, running out of breathe, is too present and sometimes even out of context with the wrigglings of the percussions. Still here the 2nd part is more interesting with nice orchestrations on a semi structure of a techno filled with Berber moods and torn by these orchestral explosions which became the mark of Schulze in these years of samplings. We heard that before! Thus I found this “The Dome Event” quite long to tame. Schulze has offered better recordings than this one. But I have to admit that the last 30 minutes of the epic track is worth the spending ... But then again, I'm a kind of diehard fan!
Sylvain Lupari (October 17th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

jeudi 15 octobre 2015

BOUVETOYA: Timeslip (2015)

“This is a fine album which mixes marvelously these old Berlin School ambient and bizarre moods on structures of rhythms borrowed to the New Berlin School and a bit of the England's”

1 On the Soul of the Universe 11:12
2 Celestial Spheres 12:00
3 Amagestum 13:59
4 Nihil Fit Ex Nihilo 18:59

SynGate Records ‎| CD-r MJ03 (CD-r/DDL 56:20) ***½
(A mix of ambiospherical and sequencer-based EM)
"On the Soul of the Universe" begins this new odyssey of Bouvetoya with interstellar breezes empty of life. Their whistles are acute and plunge our eardrums into a kind of black hole from where emerge synth pads flavored in tones of old pastoral organs. Other pads shine all around, multiplying tenfold the sound effects which irradiate in a thick cloud of waves and wrap us in these atmospheres of ether of the Phaedra and Cyborg years. A darker shadow spreads its veil of bass, amplifying this hollow approach which inhales a little that of the Phantom. A line of vampiric melody is all traced out. A movement of sequences makes then roll its keys in sizzling oscillatory loops. These keys go and come in a universe multicolored of electronic fireworks. The vampiric melody is always present. It surmounts this avalanche of synth pads loaded of bucolic flavors. The ambient animal is dying. Its breezes are fading away and its snores cheat death. This is where a heavy movement of black sequences, one would say the big Moog Modular of Mark Shreeve, harpoons our ears and our senses, guiding the 2nd part of "On the Soul of the Universe"  in a glaucous and strongly livened up universe. Pure Redshift moments here! It's a whole start which propels the 4 bulwarks of rhythms and ambiences of “Timeslip” towards ears always eager for long tortuous movements where the rhythms torture the moods, and vice versa, of the analog years. Continuing on the ashes of his very good Interstellarphonic, Michael Jones delivers another solid opus in “Timeslip”. Here, no surprises! The musician/synthesist from Ireland makes relive the essences of his inspirations by mixing skillfully, as in his last album, the flavors of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream in the experiences a little watered down by the time of Pink Floyd. That gives a beautiful album, a very beautiful album for the nostalgic who never have enough, which is more ambiospherical, this time, than rhythmic but which risk to be a surprise, like this 2nd part of "On the Soul of the Universe", by a structuring rhythms which really sound like in the time of the analog fragrances. The introduction of "Celestial Spheres" brings us literally at the heart of the mortuary atmospheres which preceded the birth of the sequenced rhythms of the Berlin School. The pads of ether and these evasive waves which floated as these dreams fed by hard drugs are incredibly enriched and dense. The pads of fogs coming from mystic organs are intense and wrap our cortex for the first 7 minutes of "Celestial Spheres" before that a herd of sequences, jumping like numbered balls which are floundering in an abacus, weaves a structure of ambient rhythm. The wrigglings of the balls increase a little the velocity, but remain always docile under more and more vampiric caresses of synth pads always perfumed in tones of old organs. Ambient but very intense!
The introduction of "Amagestum" scrapes our ears with a shower of strident Perséides, here the earphones are to be banned. A warm synth pad, always dressed in these tones of old organ, makes counterweight with a cosmic sweatiness which will awake our memories of the
Phaedra years from the Dream. This is a long ambiospherical phase which adopts a bit the one of  "On the Soul of the Universe" with a less violent movement of sequences which hiccups under the chants of morphic and enchanted flutes before offering us of beautiful variances in its oscillations. The very long "Nihil Fit Ex Nihilo" proposes a delicious introduction where synth pads, pads of voices and flutes are fleeing in the atmosphere with a lot sonic elements which remind me those of Pink Floyd of the Ummagumma and Meddle years. You will have liked to hear Tangerine Dream on Pink Floyd? The opportunity is here. A line of sequences, climbing indefatigably imaginary mountains, structures the first rhythmic portion, always rather morphic, of "Nihil Fit Ex Nihilo" with brief movements of jolts. Finally the sequences go down these imaginary tops with jerky jumps, a little as a leg which would come down by skipping aside. The imagination helping, it's a little the rundown! A brief ambiospherical phase comes to switch off this approach. The next 12 minutes of "Nihil Fit Ex Nihilo" will become the most beautiful in “Timeslip”. The rhythm is constant. Like a train it crosses plains and winds valleys under a sonic sky which is misted of silky waves perfumed of psychotronic ambient elements. We nod of the head and our fingers strum the arms of our sofa. The sequences inflate their rhythmic life by bringing nuances in their shadows and in their jumps, modifying perceptibly a pace which oscillates with brief effects of jerks under a sound sky soaked with these cabalistic perfumes which irradiated first works of Klaus Schulze. A truly superb piece of EM which concludes an album completely intended for these ears which like to travel indefatigably in time.
Sylvain Lupari (October 15th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp page here

mardi 13 octobre 2015

UWE RECKZEH: Perfection Mode (2015)

“This is without a doubt the best opus of Uwe Reckzeh who finally tamed a unique way to enrich his structures with a deep sonic texture equals to the great names in the genre”
1 Cold Mountain 14:50
2 Forbidden Thoughts 12:02
3 Perfection Mode 12:48
4 Sequence Mode 14:42
5 Transfer Mode 16:52

MellowJet Records | CD-r ur1501 (CD-r/DDL 71:14) ****
(Mix of New and Retro Berlin School on soft ambient beats)
Here is an album which has the ambition of its artwork. Of its presentation! The ochre color, the rusty red of an earth which is granulated of radioactive dust can be heard quite everywhere in the rich sound atmospheres which wrap the 71 minutes of “Perfection Mode”. Always influenced by the essences of the Dream, mainly of the Hyperborea period, Uwe Reckzeh shows on this last album an impressive assurance by flooding his rhythms, always braided in parallel sequenced movements, with an atmosphere as much puzzling as the colors which instigate the imagination. The German synthesist shows so much resourcefulness by sculpting ambiences that the link to make between his last work and those of Bernd Kistenmacher is more than omnipresent. “Perfection Mode”, it's 5 sonic corridors well settled over minimalist structures where the main rhythmic plans are delicately hijacked from their axes by movements of adjacent rhythms which divide their skeletons in rather harmonious approaches. These contrasts are objects of seduction for the ears which also stuff themselves with these completely unexpected duels between guitar and keyboards in an environment which is in continual movement.
Reference points to more contemporary works are also present in this album which throws off balance by the complex evolutionary phases of its 5 long structures. Take the introduction of "Cold Mountain" where the hummings of insects are switching for those of giants chainsaws, reminding the opening of famous
Paradise from Bernd Kistenmacher. A delicate morphic melody, played on a very nostalgic piano, extricates itself from those sound effects of a forest which enchants of its thousand noises of life, ending the first 3 minutes of a soft introduction fed by its artistic contrasts. A line of bass sequences emerges from a fog filled by crystalline tones, structuring a quiet rhythm which fattens constantly its vigor. The rhythm is soft and steady. It gives the impression of climbing imaginary tops along with solos silkily made by a synth which sing through this choir of prisms. Accelerating little by little the pace with abrupt movements of sequences, it hiccups in jerks. And the shadows of the hopping keys are swirling all around this upward structure. It's a very good New Berlin School (the structure of "Sequence Mode" is forged in the same rhythmic interlude) where the contrasts in the rhythm softens, while "Cold Mountain" reaches a more ambiospherical point, well filled of electronic effects, at around the 10th minute. This pattern of rhythms versus ambiences will be recurrent for the four other tracks. Filamentous noises are winding heavens, like big sonic worms, establishing the bases of a new approach where a heavy effect of snores re-orientates the structure of "Cold Mountain" towards more agile sequences which flicker and jump on a silky ambient structure of rhythm where sing synth solos and of which the harmonies seem out of place in these iconoclastic hummings which feed the superb ambiguity of "Cold Mountain" finale. The introduction of "Forbidden Thoughts" is also knotted in the weird. We hear chords of electric guitar there strolling in atmospheres which reflect marvelously a spirit been tormented by its forbidden thoughts. I don't know if it's me, but I find that it does so very Bernd Kistenmacher (the research and the structuring of the compositions). And it's very well done. These evasive ambiences don't go further the threshold of 3 minutes while "Forbidden Thoughts" goes alive by a spasmodic rhythm. An upright rhythm which is pecked by nervous percussions and by boiling sequences as well as by riffs of a ghost guitar which go and come to scatter fragments of harmonies. Riffs and keyboard pads remind the universe of the Dream of the Schmoelling's years; the usual signature of Uwe Reckzeh. And these influences of Tangerine Dream come to cover the more moderate atmospheres of the sound bridge of "Forbidden Thoughts" at around its 7 minutes. That really sounds like the Dream here. And it's even more evident with the title-track and its beginning of an ambient rhythm where sequences skip on the spot in a stealthy envelope. It's a delicious little 6 minutes before that "Perfection Mode" offers a structure of circular minimalist rhythm built on good bass sequenced pulsations, with an a little variable flow, of which the lively and the sharp knocks draw a slightly zigzagging pace. The atmospheres throughout “Perfection Mode” are the cornerstone of this last Uwe Reckzeh's album. Very tinged, sometimes same subdued like here, they embalm the various structures of rhythms of a backdrop misted by mysticism. "Sequence Mode" offer the most steady structure of rhythm here with line of sequences which crisscross in a sound atmosphere peppered by the influences of Tangerine Dream, in particular these ethereal solos which float like sighs. The guitar is very beautiful and its duel with the flickering sequences is a moment of charm which embellishes a finale which spreads its shadows up until the delicious "Transfer Mode" and its oscillating sequences which kick such as a sequenced ride worthy of the good ambient rhythms of Berlin School. Metallic elytrons peck at this structure which ennobles its beauty with veils of prisms, very musical synth solos as well as riffs and pads very well inserted. Another line of sequences breaks up its keys which wind with jerky spasms, ending an album on the same principle as its opening by deepening its field of ambient sounds, as mystical as lyrical, which binds both poles of the Berlin School. Yeah .... A very beautiful album charmingly different from Uwe Reckzeh.
Sylvain Lupari (October 13th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the MellowJet Records web shop here

dimanche 11 octobre 2015

PAUL ELLIS: Moth in Flames (2015)

“Moth in Flames is yet a nice album with a beautiful sound aestheticism from Paul Ellis where the ambient and the cosmic moods are adequately teasing magnetising slow beats, if not good sequencing of Berliner style”
1 In Flagrante Delicto 8:05
2 Moth in Flames 7:18
3 Birds Migrating over the Prison 8:47
4 Oh Well, Dear Silence 5:08
5 She Walks in Beauty 6:07
6 Lights of a Departing Train 7:41
7 Coeur De Lion 3:53
8 Waves for Durga 6:17
9 The Stained Glass Observatory 5:09
10 Between the Trees; Mount Hood 14:47

Spotted Peccary | SPM-2901 (CD/DDL 73:17) ****
(Mix of ambient, cosmic and sequenced EM)
We don't approach a Paul Ellis' opus like we look at a flashy object! If his artworks are always magnificent to the eye, his music is it just as much for ears. It's just that we have to take time to hear it. To listen to his subtleties, his finenesses and his sonic arguments which confront in one outstanding artistic aestheticism, as would say my accomplice Robert Hamel. The music of Paul Ellis is fed by a sound texture which goes beyond fantasy and his selection of album titles in his repertoire sounds just like a painting embellished in the complexity of the imagination. And “Moth in Flames” doesn't break away from this signature of the American master of musical abstracted paints. Embroidered around 10 tracks with, yet, finely chosen titles and slow evolutions, except for the sequenced driven "Waves for Durga" and "The Stained Glass Observatory", this last album from Paul Ellis is a whole sonic journey in the heart of his ever minimalist structures which develop in cosmic and ambient textures, sometimes even with a zest of Berlin School, ideal to expose the thousand colors of a sound pallet that Paul Ellis never stops renewing.
"In Flagrante Delicto" reminds me of 
Vangelis with its ethereal structure where stroll a series of chords lost in some very melancholic synth lines. Synth lines which draw arcs of musing and of which the floating strands resist to these delicate explosions of bass which dig up those of the famous Greek musician in Blade Runner. Moreover, the sound texture of "In Flagrante Delicto" crosses deliciously these futuristic zones, as well as those of video games, with an armada of chirping and electronic effects. A skeleton of rhythm cogitates a very long time before taking shape with a series of delicately jerky chords which drive in a loops before rolling for a more steady structure. Some people will hear TangerineDream's kinds of sound effects. They are not wrong, because no matter where goes “Moth in Flames” we cannot ignore these elements which give a fascinating depth to its structures in perpetual evolutions. The title-track offers a delicate structure of ambient rhythm with keyboard's keys which dance like in a very slow cosmic cha-cha where bass pulsations increase their delight like in the soft rhythms of Patrick O'Hearn (at this level, I have tasted with delight the short "Coeur De Lion"). And slowly "Moth in Flames" re orientates its movement, like these caterpillars which go out of their cocoon in order to dance with the caresses of the winds. It's very poetic, just like "Birds Migrating over the Prison" which continues on these structures of ambient rhythms where the chords, and their spectres a bit sizzling, remain finely jerky. The rhythm is slightly hopping and is limping into rich ethereal atmospheres thanks to the warm intensity of the orchestral arrangements. Some dramatic electronic effects are blowing a second part where the tones have an organic nature which goes hand in hand with these charming singings of birds which amaze our ears since the opening of "Birds Migrating over the Prison"."Oh Well, Dear Silence" stays anchored at these rhythms strangely indistinct of “Moth in Flames” with chords which move forward and move back in good electronic effects, among which these knocks of ethereal gas which escape at each knock of pulsations. A thin line of sequences emerges out there and swirls delicately into these rich textures decorated with sound graffiti and with discreet solos always very airy from Paul Ellis. After the very ambiospherical "She Walks in Beauty", the reference with the first works of TangerineDream cannot be ignored here, "Lights of a Departing Train" offers the first structure of electronic rhythm in “Moth in Flames”, to say the least for the introduction. Afterward, the track evaporates the heavinesses of its first minutes to offer these chords which dance on the spot with the reflections lost of its introduction. That does very Paul Ellis with a zest of a Jazz deconstructed a la Philip Glass. "Waves for Durga" is going to seduce for sure those who worship again and again this good old Tangerine Dream with a rhythm which waves delicately in the perfumes of flute and among good hallucinogenic electronic effects. Let's say that our hearing is sharpened right on the spot by this track! "The Stained Glass Observatory" is a dark track with huge vampiric waves which are waving over a thick cloud of small steps lost in a marble labyrinth. These steps dance like in a tap-dance for insane persons in a sonic decoration deserving of those dark horror movies. With flabby, even ambient, parts of rhythm which wind such as skeletons in search of bones in atmospheres decorated with sound graffiti and  hallucinogenic electronic effects, "Between the Trees; Mount Hood" concludes this last Paul Ellis' sonic ode with the same mysticism as his musical signature which continues to charm and amaze since The Sacred Ordinary. This is a long track built around the same sonic schemas which prevail all around this album with different chapters all interlinked by slow beats lost or wrap in deep ambiosonic moods where this mosaic of soundscapes never seems to find its way.
And yes, this “Moth in Flames” is a nice album built  around complexities. As much as in its sonic envelope as in its structures of beats, ambient as driven, with a beautiful sound aestheticism to be discovered. Just like
Paul Ellis' universe if it's not already done!
Sylvain Lupari (October 10th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Spotted Peccary web shop here