lundi 30 janvier 2017

WALTER CHRISTIAN ROTHE: Let The Night Last Forever (2016)

“A masterpiece! Period!”
1 Intro + Dawnfall 5:54
2 The Next Leaf 5:04
3 Tea-Dance 3:09
4 Sahara 3:28
5 Death 8:52
6 Radio 3:01
7 Verena 5:48
8 Hymne 9:17
9 Let The Night Last Forever 7:01
10 Music for KLEM 10:03
11 El Tiempo 5:57

Groove Unlimited ‎ GR-229 (CD/DDL 67:33) *****
(Theatrical, slightly sequenced, somber and melodious EM)
When we speak about timeless classic in EM, we have to slide this album at the top of the list. I was lucky to put my hand on it when it was released back in 1985. EM knew then a major bend. Its craftsmen tried to influence the kind towards a more accessible approach, abandoning the long pieces of music for more melodious structures with the use of the digital synths and\or a wide range of samplings. This period of transition left us all the same in inheritance some very good albums. “Let The Night Last Forever” from Walter Christian Rothe is one of them. Some people will say, and I am one of them, that this 2nd album of the Belgian musician is the precursor of this dark and poetic EM where reign a sordid atmosphere of horror. There were well some albums of Mark Shreeve, but none had this very theatrical touch, and nevertheless very melodic, but “Let The Night Last Forever”. This album of which the time has never succeed to buried in the oblivion (I transferred the album onto a mini--disc and then the mini--disc on CD-r) sees finally the day, thanks to the Groove NL label, in a beautiful reedition which includes 2 titles in bonus and a lot of infos.
Angels' horns announcing the end of time knock out our senses at the opening of "
Intro + Dawnfall". On a fascinating aria of funeral procession, the solemn walking of “Let The Night Last Forever” overture hammers as much our curiosity as our interrogation. What kind of music is it? Lugubrious and nevertheless melodic, this introduction hears out these horns get out of breath while percussions, sequences and a pulsating line of bass establish a slow rhythm but a surprising lively one. We put back our senses in place that this luxurious melody, which will haunt you from the first listening, plunges the listener into a charming musical universe with an assortment of sound effects and unusual noises which add a dimension of bewilderment and of surprise and to "Intro + Dawnfall" and to all this 2nd album of Walter Christian Rothe. "The Next Leaf" follows with a delicate lullaby, I would even say a bed song settled on the harmonies of a small carousel where shiver musical chords in the coldness of the void. These keyboard chords roam with their tones as dark as polyhedral, like a fight of stars where the winner remains the emptiness. The influences of Vangelis turn up here with effects of voices and whispers which redirect "The Next Leaf" towards the nocturnal cradle of “Let The Night Last Forever”. The sumptuous dance of tea is another small jewel which coils up so easily to the bottom of our eardrums. Imagine an old baroque dance where the dancers make some low bows face-to-face on Latin harmonies, and you have the very beautiful atmospheres of "Tea-Dance". A pure delight! "Sahara" carries its title marvellously. It’s an arid music full of sound mirages with a synth, once again soaked with a Latin perfume, which spreads its melody like we throw a veil in the wind. We can’t get out of it! The charms of this album are just eating us piece by piece. We stay in the field of music for ambiences with the fine jerks of "Death". Synth layers are caressing this spasmodic orchestral procession whereas sound effects and metallic percussions tickle a fascinating melody whistled by a synth in mode charm. It’s very good. Too good!
And it’s the drama of “
Let The Night Last Forever”. We got up in order to turn the vinyl for  Face B, that we changed idea and  we replay instead Face A. Nevertheless, the Face B is not that bad and re edited in a CD format here, we have now the opportunity to listen to it and to reveal thus the behinds the scene of Face A, because everything turns around that. With its rhythm of electronic rock arisen from the MIDI sound, "Radio" reveals another likely facet of Dawnfall, but in a more pop envelope of the New wave years. "Verena"? One would say a roommate of "The Next Leaf" in less melodious and much darker. If we perceive some influences of Vangelis, they are clearly more omnipresent on "Hymn", a title of intense ambiences with beautiful lento movements of orchestrations. There is a little of "Death" here as also a lot of perfumes of Blade Runner. The title-track loops the loop of an intense album with a kind of sound mosaic which drinks mainly from the first 45 minutes of “Let The Night Last Forever”. The rhythm is soft. Filled of percussive effects, it walks slowly with a dense sonic coat of very lugubrious orchestrations and ends with these clarions of angels which had made us shiver at the opening. Like if Walter Christian Rothe wanted to give us a simple reminder of a grand work which gave to EM a new sphere to explore. This new version comes with 2 bonus tracks among which "Music for KLEM" recorded at the same time. The tone is very old with gargantuan organs, the source comes from the 1986 KLEM Jubilee MC, but the very theatrical ambiences of the album; the slow rhythm, the explosions and the effects, are well represented here. "El Tiempo" is a small rather symphonic sweetness with a clearly more advantageous tone. It’s a kind of ode for Elfs, which appeared on the KLEM Jubilee CD of 1989, with moments that make you raise the hairs of the back. Orchestrations, as much the softs as the explosives, are in the heart of a music which drew its roots from the very magnificent “Let The Night Last Forever”. An inescapable in this astonishing universe of EM!

Sylvain Lupari (January 30th, 2017) &

You will find this album on the Groove Web shop here

samedi 28 janvier 2017

ROMERIUM: Nebula Sequences (2016)

“Nebula Sequences is a nice surprise which worth the download and which will please for sure to the fans of Roach, Schulze and Indra”
1 Nebula Sequences 1 15:32
2 Nebula Sequences 2 16:50
3 Nebula Sequences 3 15:26
4 Nebula Sequences 4 14:48

Romerium Music (DDL 62:36)
(Berlin School)
Romerium is the project of Rene Montfoort, a Dutch musician who goes around in the circles of EM since 2002 when he formed White along with Michel Bekkering. After 5 albums, which caressed the diverse poles of modern EM such as Ambient, Berlin School and even New Age, the duet added 2 other musicians in 2005 to form ModularWhite. And still there, the band interpreted an EM which gathered nectar between the ambient and Berlin School styles as well as replace the New Age approach by a sort of electro-pop. And since 2009, Rene Montfoort is all alone in his new musical venture with the name of Romerium. His experience here is undeniable, him who is already at his 15th album since 2002, and can be feel in a beautiful control of his ambiences on minimalist rhythms where the impression to hear Steve Roach, Neuronium and even Indra is not completely false. “Nebula Sequences” is the 6th album of Romerium, and I have to admit that I was pleasantly charmed by these old aromas of the vintage years that Rene Montfoort has restored admirably in tones with his virtual range of instruments.
Nebula Sequences 1" invites us in this very beautiful discovery with an introduction loaded of hollow winds and sound effects borrowed from an organic fauna of another world. The impression to hear a light fluty breeze remains as likely as a mirage. A movement of sequences loosens its keys which parade with a light effect of jerk, braiding a delicate stroboscopic movement which derives like a snake sleeping on the webs of cosmos. Minimalist, the structure of rhythm derives between beautiful layers of a synth filled of ether and behind a melody which hums with gleaming arpeggios. We have the feeling to be on familiar ground, but without being able of pointing the finger at which. This impression of having already heard without being capable of specifying neither who nor what is all at the honor of Romerium who possesses thus his own style. I dreamed of having heard Adelbert Von Deyen lost in mists full of astral voices of Software. The influence which has guided the evolutionary structure of "Nebula Sequences 2" is very clear! Steve Roach is his deep immersive atmospheres of the series Immersion and the furious rhythm of the Stormwarning period which quietly diverts towards Schulze and his samplings era. That remains very good, even with these strong fragrances of influences. "Nebula Sequences 3" takes out its roots from the Roumanian School with a lively structure decorated with sequences which sparkle and jump in all senses on a fiery ballet of fireflies starving for light. The arrangements are very well made with flavors of East and with Arabian synth layers which float and wave on a structure always so rebel, even with some short phases a little bit quieter at the level of the moods but not in the rhythm which has constantly the jitters. Hummings, mooing, metallic breezes and layers of voices furnish the opening of "Nebula Sequences 4", by far the most fascinating title of “Nebula Sequences”. The sequencing pattern is hopping with keyboard riffs perfumed of sibylline charms. A double gets loose from the movement, creating a rhythmic figure which jumps alternately under the tears of synth filled of those always esoteric flavors. Like a long skeleton of snake which hiccups and grabs back its bones, the charmingly chaotic rhythm takes root in its minimalist membrane whereas that good synth solos wind and overfly this strange limping pattern of which the effect of hypnosis is fainting in one finale as much intensely noisy than the introduction.
For an EM offered according to the generosity of the buyer, “
Nebula Sequences” is an album which is worth to download! The minimalist structures of Romerium don’t have to be ashamed of the Rumanian movement. And the Berlin School approach is a good mixture between the vintages years and the rather contemporary approach of Klaus Schulze. There are some very good moments on this album which will to seduce more than one, among which the fans of Steve Roach, Indra and Klaus Schulze. Romerium! To discover because it’s good and because it’s still not expensive.

Sylvain Lupari (January 28th, 2017) &
You will find this album on the Romerium Bandcamp page here

samedi 21 janvier 2017

PIOTR CIESLIK: Journey into the Unknown (2016)

“Mixing striking melodies to solid e-rock fed of misty moods is not at the reach of anyone and Piotr Cieślik has succeeded admirably in his first album Journey into the Unknown”
1 Ocean's Loneliness 9:56
2 Journey into the Unknown 6:49
3 Power Crystal 8:38
4 Call of the Ancestors 5:23
5 Comet's Fate 7:28
6 Roaming Soul 7:38
7 Reminiscence of the Journey 9:26 | GEN CD 040 (CD 55:18) ****½
(E-Rock mixed in Berlin and French Schools)
Definitely, Poland has become the land of asylum of the Berlin School style. I shall go even farther; the Polish artists realized what those of France achieved in the middle of the 70's, that is to annex the roots of the Berlin movement in a cosmic vision and especially poetic which made it warmer. So was born the French Cosmic School and so was born the Poland School with the coming of the very serious label Generator PL. Piotr Cieślik is the last find of the Polish label which seduced the sphere of EM recently with the very beautiful Anunnaki from Piotr Gepert and quite recently the fantastic Let Them Float from Przemyslaw Rudz. If I make a reference to these 2 albums it's because “Journey into the Unknown” which is the very first album of Piotr Cieślik, drinks of these 2 wonderful albums while bringing a delicate sonic French-style prose.
The waves of a distant intergalactic shore get lost in silky layers perfumed of ether which derive in the cosmos. Some rather discreet arpeggios skip in the background, shaking the first vestiges of rhythms and of "
Ocean's Loneliness", and of “Journey into the Unknown” while the synth is stammering some of its nostalgic dreams. And bang! There is not 3 minutes at the meter that Piotr Cieślik shows us of what he is capable. The rhythm is as much fluid as heavy with a continue movement of the sequencer which frees another line in parallel where the keys skip as the snips of scissors of a barber mythomaniac. And always these soft laments of a synth which plunges the atmospheres of "Ocean's Loneliness" into a kind of Jazz Lounge which the harmonies of a delicate piano do not deny. In a structure in perpetual movement, Piotr Cieślik enjoys to confuse our expectations by mixing the aromas of a good cosmic electronic rock with more musical phases that our ears recognize without identifying clearly. And that's the way it is all throughout “Journey into the Unknown”. After a short ambiosonic introduction, the title-track spits a heavy and slow rhythm which skips in a linear movement where dance other sequences and whistle diverse cosmic elements. A fluty synth hums discreetly whereas the rhythm crashes into a beautiful melodious phase in middle-route. This is the moment chosen by Piotr Cieślik to loosens his graceful fingers on a piano which hums a melody as pleasant as jazzy on a rhythmic always so heavy but which fades in the background in front of this very stylized melodic decoration. The arrangements are very good and we cannot refrain from making a link with Vangelis in the rather melancholic approach of melodies, as strummed as laid down by a synth. "Power Crystal" exchanges its rhythmic structure, a mixture of Berlin School and ['ramp], for two atmospheric phases fed by a thick cloud of hollow winds. "Call of the Ancestors" is rather theatrical, kind of Let the Night Last Forever from Walter Christian Rothe, with a rhythmic approach which oscillates in a sneaky way. These last two titles plunge the listener into a mixture of rhythms and ambiences where the harmonious signature is not that much present and is assumed by the movement of sequences. But it's the very opposite with "Comet's Fate" which is a superb electronic rock. The sequences get in the dance while the synth blows cosmic harmonies worthy of the best moments of Jean Michel Jarre. This is a great track which dips us back into these atmospheres of very French dramatic sound theater with "Soul Roaming", the finale is going to amaze more than one, before that "Reminiscence of the Journey" nails us on the spot with another great cosmic rock which hides a melody eater of ears and which gives us no other choice that to listen again to “Journey into the Unknown”; a splendid album where the sound aestheticism, the production and the just balance between the rhythms, the melodies and ambiences make of it my firm favorite and my discovery of 2016. A must because Piotr Cieślik shows that EM is more than a story of knobs, of threads and of preprogrammed recordings.

Sylvain Lupari (January 21st, 2017) &

You will find this album on the shop here
A video trailer is available here

mardi 17 janvier 2017

STEVE ROACH: Spiral Revelation (2016)

“Spiral Revelation is a truly masterpiece which guides us among the many paths of EM; ambient, tribal ambient, Trance and Berlin School”
1 We Continue 11:07
2 Unseen Hand 6:05
3 Finger on the Pulse 9:42
4 A Righteous Thing 6:33
5 Primary Phase 9:41
6 Spiral Revelation 19:49

Projekt ‎– PRO336 (CD/DDL 63:01) *****
(Splendid bridge between ambient beats and pure Berlin School)
Ah that the music of Steve Roach is unique! The Master of introspective music ends the year in strength with 3 albums which will caress the senses of his legion of fans, besides attracting to it numerous new followers. If Fade to Grey and Painting in the Dark are purely works of drones and of dark ambiences, this “Spiral Revelation” overwhelms our emotions with a work which makes the just partition between mesmerizing structures of rhythms and of ambient textures which draw their charms in Steve Roach's old tones.
And the charm operates from these first loops of rhythm which emerge from the slow winged caresses of a synth in mode
Structures from Silence. The rhythm is delicate with sequences which scamper towards heavens. Roach adds percussive tones which breathe like an old rattler which has difficulty in making its tinkles shinning. This mixture of electronic and organic tones is more than seducing and diverts us from this ascent of a structure as delicious as Reflections in Suspension with sequences which skip now between the fascinating embraces of the dying rattler. The decoration and the rather ill-assorted tones, both at the level of the color as at the level of the entanglement of the loops of rhythm, are simply hallucinating. Our friend Steve uses brightly the analog modular system by weaving many lines of rhythms which criss-cross in some delicious and magnetizing chassé-croisé. "Unseen Hand" infiltrates the finale of "We Continue" with a brook of shinning arpeggios which spreads a fascinating structure in suspension. The motionless movement of the multiple ticklings of sequences is invaded by the numerous bites of metallic elytron and by the caresses of a synth in mode Quiet Music. "Finger on the Pulses" proposes a figure of spasmodic rhythm. Lines of panting and nervous sequences skip and embrace themselves in a surprising movement of trance spiritual of which the liveliness is restrained by another line of a more nuanced and in a harmonic mode rhythm.
A Righteous Thing" walks us in the Now and Traveller era with a crawling structure of rhythm which is shaped in the shade of "We Continue". It’s a semi quiet phase which precedes the very good "Primary Phase" and its hypnotic loops which glitter on a rather lively structure of rhythm. We roll of the neck, we tap our thighs and we swing our feet on a rhythmic a little bit Groovy. A structure very near of an ethereal electronic rock (is it possible?) which is livened up by repetitive loops in tones full of contrasts and of others with an organic tint. And always these winged and seraphic momentums of a synth full of perfumes of sleep which wrap up the whole music of “Spiral Revelation”. The title-track is simply phenomenal! In a long minimalist structure where floats no hole, the rhythm of "Spiral Revelation" goes up and down in an envelope of tones which reminds the good moments of Robert Schroeder in the years 80-85. The slow and hypnotic progression of the 20 minutes of "Spiral Revelation" accentuates intensity and passion as the minutes pass, making of this title one of the best movements of retro Berlin School to have fired my ears since moons. This is a wonderful title which concludes another masterpiece of the illusionist of sounds and ambiences that is Steve Roach. “Spiral Revelation” is a must have without faults and without wait!

Sylvain Lupari (January 17th, 2017) &

You will find this album on the Projekt Bandcamp page here

dimanche 15 janvier 2017

SEQUENTIAL DREAMS: The Exodus Wave (2017)

“The Exodus Wave is another very good album from the gang of Sequential Dreams in the vein of TD's Seattle years”
1 Telemetry 4:38
2 Subspace Breach 3:16
3 Pleiadian Prophecy 6:57 
4 Interstellar 5:27
5 Wavefront 4:14
6 The Arcbuilders 5:56
7 Countdown to Launch 6:24
8 Quantum Theory 4:32
9 The Exodus Wave 6:15
10 Booster Separation 7:06 
11 Mission Objectives 3:47
12 Arcflight 5:56
13 Hibernation in a Virtual World 9:18
14 Approaching Terra Nova 4:32

Sequential Dreams (CD/DDL 78:21) ****
(Electronic Rock)
2017 kicks off the year in a very rock way for Borders Edge Music and the interplanetary band Sequential Dreams which throws its 6th album “The Exodus Wave”! Flanked by his last known accomplice, Bernhard Beibl, Ron Charron also encircled himself of the Californian synthesist Chris Pearre (Synthesist) and of Arend Westra of the duet Parallaxe whose album I had appreciated well; Breaking The Laws of Physics released in December 2015. Since the very beginning of Sequential Dreams, Ron Charron tries to get his music closer to that Tangerine Dream with a good electronic rock shaped between the roots of the mythical German trio of the 80’s and those of the years of hard electronic rock of the Seattle era. If every album moved closer to its purpose, “The Exodus Wave” hits the bull's eyes!
After a short ambio-cosmic passage, "
Telemetry" sets the tone with an energetic rhythm where Bernhard Beibl shows that he is still has this 220Volts biting with his guitar. Sometimes very rock and other times rather soft or hopping like a light electronic rock, the music breathes of freshness in the permutations of its phases. If the guitar of Beibl is biting, Ron Charron's piano is very melancholic and both instruments paint mutually the phases of a structure in movement. Always influenced by stories of the cosmos, the music of this last album of Sequential Dreams is unfolding like a soundtrack of a sci-fi movie. Thus, 14 titles for 78 minutes propose so a very structured EM which leaves no room to improvisation nor to long passages of ambiences which are rather inserted in the intro, either into short phases of each title, to feed better the intensity of the structures which are always in movements, with a few exceptions. When we also find 14 titles on an album of 78 minutes, there is good chances that the structures are fed by similar approaches. But we have to approach it like a big sound mosaic where the hard rock flirts with the soft rock wrapped of good electronic effects. The music goes well between the ears and Ron Charron takes a jealous care of giving to it an amazing way of turning it into totally short unexpected phases. "Subspace Breach" is the perfect example with an intensity embroidered in the heaviness from where pops out a really nice movement of gleaming sequences. Sequences which sparkle and lap innocently before being snatched up by riffs and solos from Bernhard Beibl who sounds very David Gilmour here. The movement of the rhythm reminds me enormously those of 220Volts with phases of rock and some little quiet ones where the percussions are nervous and the sequences are crystal clear as the spatters of water on a mirror. Ron Charron inserts effects of drama and intensity here and there, adding some more of weight to his story of global disaster. As in "Pleiadian Prophecy" who proposes a slower rhythm with good effects of synth. The percussions are very good and the sonic envelope which surrounds this title is equal to all which surrounds the 78 minutes of “The Exodus Wave”. Still here, Bernhard Beibl's guitar is very furious and gives a very TD depth to "Pleiadian Prophecy" which splits rather well its charms between its soft and rock phases.
Interstellar" is more in the ambient and intense kind with very good synth solos. It’s the most quite title of “The Exodus Wave” and it’s also the title which exploits the most the charms of the synth. "Wavefront" proposes a long ambio-spherical introduction a la Rubycon before taking a rather rock tangent with a rhythm which flounders and spits effects of jerks under the bites of nervous percussions. While a line of sequences adopts an oscillating structure, Beibl’s electric six-strings spits riffs and solos which get embraced by nice layers of voices. More elements which fill the electronic rock anthems of each track here. "The Arcbuilders" takes also some time to take off. And when it's done, we are entitled to a good movement of sequences a la Franke. The rhythm is lively with a Floyd guitar. The introduction is knotted in suspense while the rhythm which follows is a pale imitation of a good e-rock. With "Countdown to Launch" we are in the lands of Mars Polaris, to say the least of the introduction with its loops of guitars which remind of U2. The structure of rhythm is as light as that of "The Arcbuilders", but with more electronic effects and this even if the guitar dominates the ambiences and of "Countdown to Launch" and of “The Exodus Wave”. With its sibylline envelope and its rhythm which goes up and down, such as TD in its Flashpoint years, "Quantum Theory" unites the many phases of the long Tangerine Dream odyssey for a so short title. The title-track allies romance and lively rhythm with biting guitar riffs and unbridled percussions of which the crazy race is subjected to beautiful affectionate layers. Between a heavy rhythm and moments of ambience, "The Exodus Wave" is a very good indication of what we will found in this last album from Sequential Dreams. The same goes for the blazing "Booster Separation" which still proposes some Bernhard Beibl's good solos. "Mission Objective" and "Arcflight" propose good electronic rock which go very easily between the ears while "Hibernation in a Virtual World" is the most progressive title here. This is a very good one with good atmospheres! "Approaching Terra Nova" ends this last opus of Sequential Dreams with a lively and jerky rhythm which rocks between its liveliness and its heaviness. A title which reflects the whole dimension of “The Exodus Wave” which addresses to a public already conquered beforehand with a beautiful brochette of lively and mordant titles and always well structured to which one listens without too much difficulty. As in the time of Rockoon, the time of Jerome Froese, the time of Bernhard Beibl and of the TDI years from Edgar Froese's sound and music vessel.

Sylvain Lupari (January 14th, 2017) &

You will find this album on the Sequential Dreams Bandcamp page here