mercredi 31 août 2011

DAVID WRIGHT: Sines of Light Vol. 1 (2009)

I always had a soft spot for David Wright music. Whether it is solo, either with Indigo Code and Callisto or with Ian Boddy or Robert Fox, David Wright always came to look for this sensitive rope which livens up my feelings. His music reflects this so particular character of emotional paradoxes which is hidden inside each human being; either it’s serenely melodious or strangely disturbing. But whatever facets, it’s mostly moving. Sines of Live Vo. I marks the end of an era. After this album, and as stated in a 20 pages inside booklet, David Wright will turn a page and try something different like a more filmic music. Thus, Sines of Live Vo. I and Vol.II, are gifts to his fans. It’s a synopsis of his last years in the course of live performances with 3 new studio tracks.
A gentle wind filled of cosmic dust, where crystal brushes spatial sediments, opens "September Dawn"’s intro, one of Sines of Live Vo. I unreleased track. From austere to melodious, the galactic wind turns into a warm terrestrial ballad where it whistles among light percussions and a fluty synth. Melodious and tender, "September Dawn" rides the cosmic plains of a light lascivious tempo. It’s a silky prelude to the colossal "Cassini", from the Continuum album. Truncated of several minutes, "Cassini" preserves its entire sequential eagerness encircled by tribal percussions, Gregorian chants, a wrapping mellotron and a synth filled by burning winds and solos. A synth bearer of a superb melody which spawns among this attractive sound constellation, while throwing bases for a warm tribal and monasterial music. The 2nd part is simply bursting with emotions. Besides, emotion is the keyword of David Wright's works. After the stunning 2nd part of "Cassini", "Walking with Ghosts" follows. Doubtless the most significant album of his career, the title track takes a completely different turn with Ian Boddy's addition in synths and Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock on Memotron. Idem for the splendid and hyper melodious "Beyond Paradise" from the same album which takes a quite new shape with Klaus Hoffmann-Hook on electronic sitar, accompanying languishingly Wright’s spectral synth. Simply delicious! "Just an Illusion", from his latest studio album Dreams and Distant Moonlight, is played here with a very rock intensity due to Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock’s guitar performance. We close our eyes and we would believe to hear the rebirth of Mind Over Matter. Absolutely divine! Only Wright tinny synth brings us back to his musical spheres with his personal touch as melodious as ingenious. It’s a nice version with Hindu’s fragrance and which is melting subtly into the introductory hazes of "Sines of Live". This delicate eponym track moves gently on a warm bass structure which modulates a supple pace, such a walk of a lonesome spatial cowboy who wanders in the shade of dreamy piano chords. Slowly "Sines of Live" becomes more harmonious with a synth mellotron which frees its orchestral arrangements in the gloom of this piano full of melancholy. A track imprints by this magnetic sweetness of David Wright and which ends in "State of Bliss" gloominess introductory (again from Dreams and Distant Moonlight) where Wright/Hoffmann-Hoock duet transposes aptly the paradoxes, as rhythmic as emotional, of this very track. Sines of Live Vol.I ends with 2 new tracks. Written during Code Indigo’s Chill session, "3a.m." is a dark and melancholic track where the grayness transposes on a piano from which sad notes soak into the hazes of a foggy synth and a guitar with reverberating loops effect. It’s a short track which leads to "All Good Things" livened up and frenzied rhythms. A track which shows the fickleness of David Wright, as well as rhythmic and melodic who displays solid arrangements on a heavy structure which roams between the rhythmic corridors of"Cassini" and the progressive rides of Code Indigo.
Sines of Live Vol. I is a splendid musical collection that David Wright offers to his fans. Some classic tracks of his latest years that he rearranges with the help of Ian Boddy and Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock and that he presents with the entire emotionalism that characterized his 20 years of career. A must for fans and a great way to become one…


A.D. MUSIC: AD69CD

Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:
http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=12883


mardi 30 août 2011

DAVID WRIGHT: The Spirit of Light (2011)

The idea to make a companion to his first compilation, Returning Tides 1991-2004, grew in David Wright's head for already quite a while, when one suggested him to make a New Age album. He took the opportunity then to dive into his old musical souvenirs to see if there was enough potential and material to make this New Age album from old recordings or unpublished works.
New Age? Don’t run away that fast! Because if you know the romantic, as sometimes very aggressive and electronic, David Wright's musical universe, you would find nothing very pejorative in the genre of New Age coming from the English synthesist. The Spirit of Light isn’t what we can call a real incursion of David Wright in New Age musical kind and this even if it’s a very soft album. We find on it a mixture of delicate rhythms resting on sober sequences and percussions which give soft rhythms to long paradisiacal tracks and all the same rather spatial which demonstrate that David Wright possesses a whole musical inheritance.
Fine arpeggios sparkle with hesitation on a bed of stars and sink into a rhythm which spins slightly. Written during the 2007 American tour and part of Sines of Live Vol. 2, "A Night in September" hatches out of a new tone on The Spirit of Light with a softer and warmer rhythm which leans on delicate percussions and a structure of bass with chords skipping slightly, while a delicious solo of organ comes to embellish the finale of a track all indicated to open an album of a more serene EM. "Forbidden City" is a reworked passage of the long track China that we also find on Sines of Live Vol. 2. David Wright deprived it of its jerky rhythm to shape an obscure melancholy with a nice violin which caresses its lamentations in a dark and romantic world. Fine piano notes roam among sorrows of a violin filled of Chinese fragrances and strata of a synth suspended in a meditative blackness. That’s a very nice track which quietly deviates towards the very long "Lazy Heaven". Written with Neil Fellowes, "Lazy Heaven" possesses all the musical ingredients to please fans of Vangelis and his futuristic vision in Blade Runner, with its sax tones synth which stroll among twinkling arpeggios of a lonely piano which throw its notes on twilight of ethereal voices and celestial synth waves beneath Mellotron waves. The movement is of an astral tranquility with its feminine vocalizes darted by sensual emotion which become entangled with the lamentations of a saxophone forgotten in the crossroads of lonesome souls. A delicate pulsation is outline under heavy strata mellotronnées and "Lazy Heaven" embraces literally stars under a fine pulsating rhythm where more cheerful piano notes compete against the gloom the saxophone gentle winds, while guitar notes paint even more the very beautiful musicality of "Lazy Heaven" which continues to pulse under violins, guitars and other instruments of romantic nature. It’s a very beautiful track which evolves quietly and with serenity, encircled by all beauties of electronic instruments. "Romance ' 89" is a re-recording of a track which comes from David Wright's first CD, Reflections in 1989. A little as in the same lineage the "A Night in September" it offers a delicate rhythm which beats on delicate arpeggios, a heavenly choral and an oniric scrolling of a whimsical harp. But the beauty of "Romance ' 89" is its punctual crescendo which shows up here and there with beautiful dark choirs and notes of an acoustic guitar which create a whole emotion.
With its pulsating sequences and its synth layers floating with a spectral influence, "Ocean Watch" is the most electronic and darkest track on The Spirit of Light. With a little of imagination, we feel the sea shimmering with subtle choirs which fade in very beautiful breaths of fluty synth and sparkling arpeggios which glitter such as brightness of sun on the surface of the ocean. "Ocean Watch" is another very nice track a profound musicality which demonstrates David Wright's skill to juxtapose an amalgam of tones melting in an approach as melodious as tenebrous. "Crystal Rain" is a brief melody where the melancholy flirts with the meditative poetry of a nice and warm piano of which notes circulate as innocent romantic ritornello. Pulled from 92’s Between Realities album, which is out of printed since a very long time but still available in download format, "Illusions" does in new tones on The Spirit of Light.  It is a long and very enchanting track where the serenity and idleness of synth layers serenade on a slow and fine hypnotic sequential movement. Those who like the shivers of emotion on hairs of their souls will be delighted a lot by this slow morphic movement with captivating synth waves which float on fine sequences to delicate hesitating pulsations. Layers which become entangled to curious violin strata and fine fluty breezes on a long and delicate movement embracing the waves of a mythical ocean. Very beautiful, it is the kind of track that we hear and which brings to reverie.
Those who know and like David Wright will be enchanted with the delicate musicality of this 23rd opus which unfolds as a long mesmerizing musical ode of 80 minutes. The Spirit of Light is before everything a present that David offers to his fans who like a little more his romantic and melodious side than its electronic approach, two styles that the synthesist marvellously merges on each of his albums. As for me, and to have heard enough New Age in my life, The Spirit of Light is much more an album with soft cosmic atmospheres which transcend a bit the spatial universe with a more harmonious, celestial and romantic approach. It’s a nice melancholic, sad and dreamy album where poignant and emotive synth layers teem among wonderful melodies which go out of EM England or Berlin School frames. That’s an album which addresses to David Wright and Vangelis fans, as well as to those who want to redo the history of their life through reveries.


 A.D.MUSIC: AD97CD

Sylvain Lupari (2011)Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:
http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14568

lundi 29 août 2011

TIME BEING: A Dimension Reflected (2011)

“Time Being's A Dimension Reflected is a very nice ambient bedside album filled of surprising morphic layers with hybrid musical tints”

Everending 10:44
2 Dust Of Sorts 9:11
3 Future Forming 7:46
4 In The Care Of Knowing 3:41
5 Present Bending 9:47
6 Static Flow 9:52
7 As You Pass This Way 10:36
8 Time Being 11:29

Spotted Peccary | LSM 020 (CD 73:11) ***½
(Ambien New Age)
Being present all the time and to value the timelessness of every second is the maxim which has inspired the new duet of ambient EM; Time Being. Photographers and musicians influenced by works of Brian Eno, Steve Roach, Robert Rich and other pioneers of ambient EM, Jourdan Laik and Phillip Wilkerson are very appealed by the static and floating tones of the Landscapes style, promulgated by American artists in the 80's; the cradle of the New Age style. Completely ambient, without percussions nor sequences, A Dimension Reflected is constituted of 8 tracks which intertwine in a same musical dimension. A dimension which respects the nuanced colors of the artwork which seems to be the link of a musical pact for those who like to transposed colors into ambiances.
"Everending" hatches with fine ethereal lines where astral choirs criss-cross green fanciful meadows full of subtle birds chirping. Delicate, "Everending" evolves in ambient and atmospheric mode with a skilful mixture of timid drones and smooth angelic synth layers which float as the big winged impulsions of American eagles. More serene, "Dust of Sorts" fits to "Everending" same lines but with a more melodious approach where celestial voices penetrate even deeper the gleaming synth lines. "Future Forming" presents the dark side of Time Being with long reverberant drones which float heavily among twinkling scattered arpeggios and more limpid synth gentle winds. It’s a very good track which plays on nuances of darkness and luminosity, quite as powerful "Present Bending" which is, on the other hand, more introspective and quite nearer Steve Roach ambient structures, "Future Forming" melts in contrast with the twinkling "In The Care Of Knowing" which demonstrates a clear influence for Michael Streans’ complex harmonies. The more we move in A Dimension Reflected, the more we fall under the spell of music without borders of which the only beatings are the implosions of its movements. Morphic movements to hybrid layers which juggle through latent reverberations and astral winds swollen by abstract choruses as in "Present Bending" and the intense "Static Flow" which seizes by the duality of its harmonies buried in a long linear movement. After 2 intense tracks, "As You Pass This Way" emerges as morning dew with its glittering harmonious structure which sparkles of a thousand melodious prisms. A track which, isolated, can seem banal and quite very New Age with its David Lanz approach, but inserted between "Present Bending" and "Static Flow" displays all its musicality with a structure in suspension where float nice lines bursting of limpidity and scattered chords which concoct a very nice cocktail of subdivided harmonies on a long movement always on horseback between the gloom of afternoon rains and the sun which dry its traces. "Time Being" concludes this gamut of musical assortments all the same rather paradoxical with a track as harmonious as "As You Pass This Way" but with a more electronic approach where synth layers float, as celestial as in "Everending", and whose long musical flights remain suspended in moment, giving the necessary time to sinuous melodies buried in the astral depths to join for a tasty one-dimensional whirlwind where harmonies and stillness get united in a last temporal flight.
I quite enjoyed my first experience with Jourdan Laik and Phillip Wilkerson tandem. With A Dimension Reflected the duet of photographers / musicians unveils an American musical analogy which joins so much the fragrances of a discreet New Age, with influences as much diversified as David Lanz and other artists of the Narada label, to a stronger EM in the field of Steve Roach, Robert Rich and Michael Stearns. A Dimension Reflected pleasantly surprised me. It's a nice bedside album filled with surprising morphic layers with hybrid musical tints. A beautiful find which enlarges Spotted Peccary Music's catalogue. Ben Cox's label shows one more time its commitment to pick up and promote an EM which presents its musicality between the spheres of a complex EM and another more crystal clear and harmonious in a mainly ambient sphere. There is nothing bad in it, as long as it remains beautiful as A Dimension Reflected from Time Being.
Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Le site de Guts of Darkness n'étant pas destiné à la musique du genre New Age, voici une traduction française de A TIME REFLECTED
Être présent à chaque instant et valoriser l'intemporalité de chaque seconde est la maxime que s’est octroyé le nouveau duo de MÉ ambiante; Time Being. Photographes et musiciens inspirés par les œuvres de Brian Eno, Steve Roach, Robert Rich et autres pionniers de MÉ ambiante, Jourdan Laik et Phillip Wilkerson sont très attiré par les sonorités statiques et flottantes de style ‘‘Landscapes’’, promulguées par des artistes américains dans les années 80, le berceau du New-Age. Entièrement ambiant, sans percussions ni séquences, A Dimension Reflected est constitué de 8 titres qui s’enchevêtrent dans une même dimension musicale. Une dimension qui respecte les couleurs nuancées d’une jaquette qui semble être le promontoire d’un pacte musical pour ceux qui aiment transposer les couleurs en ambiance.
"Everending" éclot avec de fines lignes éthérées où chœurs astraux sillonnent de verdoyants prés chimériques imprégnés de subtils chants d’oiseaux. Délicat, " Everending " évolue en mode ambiant et atmosphérique avec un habile mélange de drones timorés et d’onctueuses couches de synthé angélique qui flottent comme les grandes impulsions ailées des aigles d’Amérique. Plus serein, " Dust Of Sorts" épouse les mêmes lignes que "Everending" mais avec une approche plus mélodieuse où les chœurs astraux pénètrent encore plus les chatoyantes lignes de synthé. "Future Forming" présente le côté sombre de Time Being avec de longs drones réverbérants qui flottent lourdement parmi de scintillants arpèges épars et des souffles de synthé plus limpides. Un très bon titre qui joue sur les nuances de l’obscurité et de la luminosité, tout comme le puissant "Present Bending" qui est par contre plus introspectif et assez près des structures ambiantes de Steve Roach, "Future Forming" se fond en contraste avec le scintillant "In The Care Of Knowing" qui démontre une nette influence pour les harmonies complexes de Michael Streans. Plus on avance dans A Dimension Reflected, plus on tombe sous le charme d’une musique sans frontières dont les seuls battements sont les implosions de ses mouvements. Des mouvements morphiques aux couches hybrides qui jonglent à travers les latentes réverbérations et les vents astraux gonflés de chœurs abstraits, comme dans "Present Bending" et l’intense "Static Flow" qui saisit par la dualité de ses harmonies enfouies dans un long mouvement linéaire. Après deux titres aussi intenses, "As You Pass This Way" émerge comme une rosée matinale avec son étincelante structure harmonieuse qui scintille de mille prismes mélodieux. Un titre qui, isolé, peut paraître banal et assez New-Age avec son approche à la  David Lanz, mais inséré entre "Present Bending" et "Static Flow" étale toute sa musicalité avec une structure en suspension où flotte de superbes lignes éclatantes de limpidité et des accords épars qui concoctent un très beau cocktail d’harmonies subdivisées sur un long mouvement toujours à cheval entre la morosité des pluies d’après-midi et du soleil qui y sèchent ses traces. "Time Being" conclût cette palette aux assortiments musicaux tout de même assez paradoxaux avec un titre aussi harmonieux que "As You Pass This Way" mais avec une approche plus électronique où les couches de synthé flottent, aussi célestes que dans "Everending", et dont les longues envolées musicales restent suspendues dans le moment, donnant le temps nécessaire aux sinueuses mélodies enfouies dans les profondeurs astrales de s’y joindrent pour un savoureux tourbillon unidimensionnel où harmonies et atonies s’unissent dans une dernière envolée temporelle.
J’ai bien aimé ma première expérience avec le tandem Jourdan Laik et Phillip Wilkerson. Avec A Dimension Reflected le duo photographes/ musiciens étale une analogie musicale Américaine qui rejoint autant les fragrances d’un discret New-Age, avec des influences aussi diversifiées que David Lanz et autres artistes de cette époque du label Narada, à une MÉ plus corsée du genre de Steve Roach, Robert Rich et Michael Stearns. A Dimension Reflected m’a agréablement surpris. C’est un bel album de chevet, bourré d’étonnantes couches morphiques aux teintes musicales hybrides. Une belle trouvaille qui grossit les coffres de Spotted Peccary Music. Le label de Ben Cox démontre une fois de plus son engagement à dénicher et promouvoir une MÉ qui déploie sa musicalité entre les sphères d’une MÉ complexe et une plus limpide et harmonieuse dans une sphère majoritairement ambiante. Il n’y a rien de mal, tant que c’est beau comme A Dimension Reflected de Time Being.

samedi 27 août 2011

GUSTAVO JOBIM: Trapped in a Day Job (2011)

Trapped in a Day Job was literally conceived during Gustavo Jobim’s working hours by means of a small (only 250 kilobytes) software synthesizer, TS-404 V1.05 Beta. This software is built around four layered independent sequencers, each assigned to a small, also independent, synthesizer. So the TS-404 is aimed at creating short rhythmic loops or fat synth lead lines, which the musician can use for other arrangements. After some experimentation on this software, the Brazilian tones sculptor discovered its full potential within long minimalist musical pieces. And so Trapped in a Day Job got out of its embryonic state. Using the four sequencers ensemble for both rhythmic and melodic patterns, in a continuous, repetitive play, Gustavo Jobim concocted quite a syncretic album where the music leaves the way to a palette of videogames tones which roll in circle through a pleiad of metallic pulsations.
"Let’s Fly" opens this eclectic album of Gustavo Jobim with heavy and resonant pulsations which evolve on a long minimalist structure liven up by chords which turn in loops. Chords which subtly stretch their harmonies on a hard, stroboscopic and robotic tempo where heavy metallic pulsations sound as extraterrestrials' suction cups in a kind of techno that Kraftwerk would deliver on vitamins boosted with LSD. And if there is a key point in this extreme pandemonium is this subtle permutation in harmonies which untie us from a redundant geometrically musical figure. Longer, "Moebius Tape" is also much harmonious. The musical skeleton always rests on metallic beatings which resound to forever and a day, but the limpid sequences pour with a more beautiful fluidity and form a strange paradoxical harmony with its multiplied doubloons which shape a curious automated ode, making forgot its pulsating metallic skeleton. Afterward we fall in a series of short tracks where are hiding beautiful jewels, as "Cat in the Blender" of which the naming says everything. We really have the impression of hearing a cat mew of pain on a heavy, metallic and pulsating rhythm. The harmonious and rhythmic structures are in constants permutations, giving thus more wealth to Trapped in a Day Job. "Nightlife in Mars" goes a bit out of the pulsating structure to offer an odd musical structure, taken directly out of video games, as on "Arcade Times" and its frantically loops, which recall me Plastikman’s musical automate and minimalist world.
After the brief interlude of "Arcade Times" we dive into "Mindbender" and its semi spectral and semi alien structure where chords spin of a symmetric way in a minimalism universe of discord. If I ventured, I would dare a comparison between Mike Oldfield and Conrad Schnitzer. "Icecream Waves" is the softest track of Trapped in a Day Job where chords swirl without constraints on a delicate structure reminding Richard Pinhas' universe on East-West. Beautiful and melodious, but always minimalist and robotic, less violent than "Let’s Fly" and less harmonious than "Moebius Tape", "Inside the Machine" ends this musical essay with a long track with loops and chords as well pulsating as repetitive on a structure to subtle unexpected developments. Permutations strongly nuanced which amaze because of their spontaneity and unpredictability. If it can seem long at the beginning, it subtly changes and evolves for its entire duration. And these fine changes that we didn’t expected make the charms of Trapped in a Day Job.
I read on Gustavo's site that this album would have been a continuity of Cluster works, which incidentally I don’t really know to do such a comparison. But I find many others references which have jumped to my ears, such Daft Punk, Con Man (Conrad Schnitzer), Plastikman and Kraftwerk. Trapped in a Day Job is certainly a strange opus where the musicality can seem doubtful, even if unmistakably present, which demonstrates that from a simple thingy we can manage to create great things. For Kraftwerk fans, it’s a must. And for those who are of curious nature, it’s an album which is amply worth the time we take to listen it especially when it’s free and available on this site:
http://www.gustavojobim.com/en/music.php

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream
:
http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14560

You can learn much more about G.J. and download free music on Gustavo's website:   http://www.gustavojobim.com/en/index.php

jeudi 25 août 2011

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Computer Voice (1984)

Computer Voice was conceived in the same stride as the digitalisation and remasterings of albums to Compact Disc in the beginning of the 80’s, to optimize the sound power of albums’ transfers on CD and so justify the end of LP’s. It’s also a short retrospective of Robert Schroeder's works where the synth man from Aachen selected 4 tracks from the following albums; Galaxy Cygnus-A (Galaxy Cygnus-A Parts II and V), Floating Music (Rotary Motion) and Mosaique (Computer Voice) to digitized and mixed them with 4 other unreleased tracks from that same era. It results from it in a surprising fusion of old and new music, which is shaping superbly well in a long track of 37 minutes, where more fluid rhythms and more powerful tones embrace the more ethereal and cosmic approaches of these new tracks; In Space , In Orbit, Back to Earth and Liberty Island. In 2009, Computer Voice is redoing its tone and sounds with new computer technology from the Aachen studios which aims to increase the quality and sound precision without remixed the original work, as done on Paradise. This new sound updated version also includes a bonus track in "Eclipse".As an extraterrestrial dialect, heavy and short droning winds open "In Space". These metallic, cosmic or computing raucous breezes fade away in the ethereal sweetnesses of Schroeder synths which trace some fine, sinuous, lascivious and delicate oniric solos which melt in a superb cosmic decoration where fine arpeggios emerge from it to dance awkwardly towards the opening of the title track; "Computer Voice". Here, this key track of Mosaique album takes on quite another dimension with its digital tone. Amputated of around 8 minutes, Computer Voice has only the original rhythm of its version. A gradual rhythm that begins with these hesitating chords of "In Strange" finale which  waddle and become entangled on a structure bitten by a good hiccupping bass, harpooned by avalanches of electronic Tablas kind percussions and pricked by deaf pulsations which draw a rhythmic slightly jerky, as minimalist as hypnotic. Synth solos are mordant and shrill. They surround "Computer Voice" of their long twisted winds, until a delicate permutation toggles the movement on much more delicate approach where fine sparkling arpeggios find their harmonious rights on hypnotic pulsations. And bang! We fall in the static oblivion of "In Orbit" where cymbals and silvered synth winds float in a magma atmosphere which begins with a long caustic and resonant breeze. Cymbals click in an atmospheric structure full of guitar notes and keyboard riffs which intertwine among synth layers as melodious as threatening which, by moments, sound as metallic choirs. "In Orbit" strolls around its musical axes to uncertain movements before landing in the cosmic ducks’ "Wah''-"Wah" from "Galaxy Cygnus-A ( Part II )", one of the most beautiful music piece of Robert Schroeder. Here, the melodious structure trembles in front of heavy percussions, but the main part of this melodious spatial and musical incursion remains and rests of a wonderful musicality, even if strongly digitized.
"Back to the Earth" starts with anvils blows knocking with the regularity of a hypnotic pendulum. A sequence rests on this tick-tack while another sequential movement, more vicious and undulating, draws a heavy circular rhythm. Under the knock of a curt and edgy rhythm, "Back to the Earth" is invaded by dark and threatening momentums of a symphonic synth, whereas powerful beatings of metallic anvils redirect a rhythm which becomes unpredictable and forks beneath stunning synth solos. It’s quite a superb piece of music that Schroeder puts in our ears (don’t forget that we are in 1984). A powerful track which falls in the whirlwind of "Rotary Motion" and its chaotic rhythm, of which jumping structures wriggle beneath good striking of electronic percussions and hard-hitting synth fury where solos roar in a surprising cohesion. "Liberty Island" is a short ambient track where uncertain chords move and resound in a sidereal magnetism imprinted of an appealing electronic fauna. This is a superb intro that gives quite a whole superb dimension to the wonderful "Galaxy Cygnus-A (Part V)" which, although amputated of around half of its time, stays sublime with its minimalist sequential approach from which striking alternate beneath splendid twisted solos which rain in an atmosphere stuffed of galactic tones. "Eclipse" concludes this re release of Computer Voice with a soft voluptuous approach where the rhythm is sitting on a nice bass line with  round curves, discreet piano notes and fine percussions which shape a tempo always cosmic but filled of a more lounge or jazzy ambiance, instead of groovy. The synth is rather melancholic and frees great solos à la Vangelis, while the sound effects are always legions in this track that is really filled of Paradise and Floating Music atmospheres.
Computer Voice is more than a retrospective. It’s the ideal album to discover Robert Schroeder first era and a brilliant mixture of known tracks, just transformed enough to make them a stalk unrecognizable, in a new environment made of tracks that are splendidly closer to the originals. A kind of musical puzzle where rhythms, harmonies and atmospheres become muddled in a perfect harmony that gives us the vague impression of hearing or discovering a new version of Galaxy Cygnus-A or an unreleased album from Floating Music and Paradise eras. An indispensable!


News-Music: CDR-12.006

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14558
You can also watch a video of Computer Voice here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULzu-eVnUUY
Here's also Robert Schroeder websitehttp://www.news-music.de/home_e.html

mercredi 24 août 2011

OZONE PLAYER: Long-Range Influence (2011)

Delicate arpeggios waddle innocently beneath breaths of varied flutes and swirl as a carousel on "Sapphire 12" opening. The rhythm is curt and drummed by fine percussions which support its keys which sound like a xylophone of carnival; whereas "Sapphire 12" continues its spiral to sound as a strange minimalist bed song being situated between the borders of the twilight zone and a children's story. Quixotic violins surround these naughty ritornellos to fly up in the air with sulphurous and fluid violin momentums. Horns come and "Sapphire 12" loses its innocence while percussions fall along with guitar notes to mould a curious western ride. Between the minimalist and melodious structures of Mike Oldfield and the orchestral and progressive rock of King Crimson, Alan Parsons and Mike Batt, Long-Range Influence presents 13 disconcerting tracks which amaze as much that they bewitch.
Long-Range Influence is this new musical adventure of Ozone Player, the musical project of the audacious and talented Otso Pakarinen, a Finland musician who likes to create a music which escapes any styles and musical tag. It’s also the fruit of collaboration between the American science fiction writer and comic book artist Matt Howarth and the Finnish multi-instrumentalist. Matt created a graphic story picturing a future space mission investigating a distant planet that turns out to be inhabited by sentient life forms. Following this thematic, Otso weaved a musical soundtrack with incredibly syncretic arrangements where merge space music, eclectic progressive and experimental rock, world and classical music, synth-pop as well as movie music. Moreover, there is a strong influence of themes music from television series of the 60’s and 70’s throughout Long-Range Influence and there is a PDF guide (on the CD) that will guide you better and located sources and avenues.
The music? It’s as simply brilliant as delirious with all those styles which become entangled on percussions, curt and jerky keyboard keys ringing as crystalline xylophone hits and "Sapphire 12" starts quite well the party. Between synth-pop and classical eclectic rock, "The Jolly Rolly" offers a beautiful fluid structure where the rhythms vary on great arrangements and rich tones, as a podgy toad which caw above accordion layers on a lively and fluid tempo where Tablas percussions look a bit lost. "Sentient Slimemolds" is a soft ballad without musical genre where spectral waves roam and float over fine percussions and pulsations as hypnotic as arrhythmic. It’s a very beautiful track to which we become attached more and more at each listening and which fractions Steve Roach's tribal rhythms. Crazy and explosive, "Scaling the Sky Root" offers a more alive and unbridled structure with a superb bass line wriggling of its nervous chords and with furious percussions which shape a frenzied and distressing rhythm, ending in an unknown linguistic cacophony. A little in Philip Glass way, "Getting Past the Jelly Globules" swirls of its wind instruments group before being harpooned by a big intimidating bass. Torn between orchestral arrangements and an uncertain rhythm, "Getting Past the Jelly Globules" moves stealthily with a nice synth line which makes wave a rhythm surrounded by heterogeneous musical elements. One would believe to hear a new version of Twilight Zone. "The Enemy Nest" dives us into a full intersidereal mystery with an ambient structure from where filter some dark and isolated chords, surrounded of synth layers a bit ghostly. And the rhythm falls. Like strummed beatings, "The Enemy Nest" tempo begins skipping of a little bit candid approach with chords to tones at once limpid and of glasses which strum on a minimalist movement. "Robot Probe" presents interesting approach of old black and white movies with its piano notes which jump on violin layers with zigzagged momentums. The movement goes brilliantly on a more lively structure with this blend of chords which dance on tap-dancing percussions.
And so goes Long-Range Influence. On rhythms and melodies which overlap in heterogeneous and plentiful musical structures of a sound fauna as rich as fascinating, "Attack of the Sentry Mites" follows with a structure just as much jerky where chords quiver and jump up in a tribal ambiance. It’s a very powerful where Kimmo Pörsti delivers a powerful fight of percussions against nervous and impulsive synths/keyboards chords of Otso Pakarinen who dusts the whole thing of suave light winds to tones of Arabic and indigenous flutes. Very ambient, "Diabolical Ohkar" deviates towards an obscure tribal world where clan vocalizes get lost in a tetanised ambiance. "Plans to Catalyze the Atmosphere" offers a fluid rhythm which is very near the sound tracks of French movies with this smooth voice that is walking on a structure supported by fine percussions and keyboard keys. Whistles whistle here and there, bringing an odd spectral touch which is usually approached by a synth. "Attacked by Grooming Slugs" is extremely bipolar with its subdivided rhythm, supported by good percussions while the mellotron draws superb musical arcs. It goes from heavy metal, with riffs of a corrosive guitar, to melancholic harmonies, with its whimsical violins and twinkling arpeggios which, misled, flow on the back of a round bass. "Accidental Terrestrial Intervention" pursues this crazy musical getaway with a bass which runs after its rhythm on old airs of espionage TV series. "The Great Anthem" ends Long-Range Influence with a good synth-pop which transcends towards a little more cherub world with wavy chords which melt to a structure with subdivided melodies but all the same rather minimalist.
One has to be honest here. Even if Long-Range Influence isn’t conventional EM, Berlin or Netherlands School, it’s an incredibly diversified album which allies a stunning palette of genres and styles in accordance with Ozone Player’s works. An album which amazes and makes the ear jumps in every new listening so much the sound variety abounds in an incredible hybridity where everything becomes entangled in a perfect synchronicity. Otso Pakarinen looks like Mike Batt, Mike Oldfield, Philip Glass, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Frank Zappa and others of the same lineage. Rarely did I hear a so striking and surprising album, outside traditional EM spheres, except Brian Eno and Nerve Net as well as Stewart Copeland and his staggering Equalizer and Other Cliffhangers. This is a strong opus which is highly recommendable and finds its entire dimension at high volume or with headphones.


VISUAL POWER: VP008

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream
: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14557


You can visit Ozone Player website here: http://www.ozoneplayer.com/index.html

OZONE PLAYER: Orange Apples (2008)

Ouf! It’s not easy to tame Otso Pakarinen’s music, the man behind Ozone Player. We are dealing here with raw industrial electronic, without compromises or borders and especially without niceties. That’s a kind of electronic prog which tastes like King Crimson and has a musical fragrance which is bordering the madness of Frank Zappa, with touches of an outlaw jazz in a strange anti musical context. And yet we finish by humming some pieces here and there and appreciate the ingeniousness of the Finnish musician as we go along this astonishing album.
Metallic minimalisms waves, where shouts mould to a corrosive synth, open "Extrasensory Deprivation". Drums and cymbals activate in a noisy universe before melting in a furious rhythm. It’s a dance of hyperactive zombies in a cacophony which is honeyed attractive. And that’s the keyword for Orange Apples. In spite of the intense sound abstraction, filled of superb arrangements which surround Ozone Player’s 5th opus, we are marvel to be charmed by such a heterogeneous musical melodious mosaic as we find on the title track and its unbridled jazzy atmosphere from dark clubs. Moreover the approach of a jazz intermingling to electro prog is omnipresent on Orange Apples. In addition to "Orange Apples", "Book of Worms" and "Dog-Matic" pull the strings of an audacious jazz where keys and heavy bass converge towards the harmonies of the 30’s. "Animal Pharm" is soft track which borrows the Middle East tribal rhythms with a Tibetan approach on a smoothing background which is a delicious paradox adorned by a nice sax. Fans of Universe Zero and Art Zoyd will be in known ground, especially with "Infer No 21" which is embellishing by a great guitar solo.
Random rhythms in a wooden loudness, "Lemons and Lizards" pursues this very Tibetan tribal quest in a King Crimson approach. It’s as much provocative as curiously charming, just like "Apocalypso Yo-Yo", though more funky with its vocoder. Another track with great progressive savour which crosses Genesis’ harmonies on Zappa deviances is "Escape Goat" which soaks in a progressive funk initiates by a heavy hemming bass. Spasmodic lullaby where the piano is muffled in the scrapers of aggressive riffs that should make Jimmy Page goes pale; "Two Completely Unprepared Pianos under Attack" represents the melodious paradox which surrounds Orange Apples. If the guitar bites the superb softness of the piano, it also lays down superb melodious bits in a musical jumble to perverse arrangements before concluding with a subtle harmonious blend of piano/guitar. "A Turtle's Diary Turtle" twirls the universe of Mike Oldfield by its minimalist piano and soft arrangements. It’s a very beautiful musical piece, quite as "Helsinki" which ends this daring opus with an intro built by a nice piano and acoustic guitar as serene as romantic. A nice track which progresses with harmony on a charmer synth that breaks his melody on good percussions and wavy synth. The intensity gains with beautiful vocalizes which intermingle with an electric six-strings in a noisy moment of madness before regaining the melodious minimalism movement of its intro. A pearl among so many in an audacious musical world which is absolutely worth the try, that’s Orange Apples’ story.


VISUAL POWER: VP007

Sylvain Lupari (2008)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream
: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=11585


You can visit Ozone Player website here: http://www.ozoneplayer.com/index.html

mardi 23 août 2011

ROACH/PARNHAM: The Desert Inbetween (2011)

The Desert Inbetween is Parnham/Roach 2nd collaboration. After Mantle, released in 2007, the two American artists continued their quests for spiritual and tribal works until they meet again to produce a surprising mystic album where their inspirations float as eagle’s eye view above a tribal world, spectral as arid. The music of The Desert Inbetween wriggles on outstanding rhythms, led by superb Amerindian tribal percussions and a stunning organic sound fauna as sidewinders, swarming of centipedes’ metallic legs as well as shouts of Aeolus to thousand dimensions, coming from a Didgeridoo sometimes sober, sometimes furious. A rhythmic world which is next to more ambient and atmospheric tangents, shaping a perfect dosage of both genres in a tribal musical envelope that is only in Steve Roach states of mind and his music community.
A heavy and sinuous reverberation opens "Opening Sky". Slow morphic layers join this twisted and floating line where guttural winds cross a movement which borrows an ascending and poignant tangent, both in feelings and rhythms, with Amerindian percussions styles which pierce hardly a heavy thick cloud of synth winds to shape this mystic musical incantation. The movement reaches its emotional peak with a curt movement, and layers of ethereal guitars become detached from it to float above a rhythm which pulses strangely. An increasing tempo, at once sensual and bewitching, fed by tribal percussions, rattlers tones and breezes of an enchanting Didgeridoo which accompany the dreamy floating waves of Steve Roach’s six-strings in a clannish universe which goes in fading away. "Ancestral Passage" follows a little in the line traced by "Opening Sky" with fine percussions, raucous reverberations and spectral murmurs which accompany ethereal layers of a solitary guitar. In half-way, this delicate rhythm stops to embrace an atonic phase where thunders, hollow breaths and a multitude of rattlesnake tones entwine in a morphic peace, perturbed by elements of a hybrid nature. "Serpent Gulch" begins with elongated dark winds which wind around an imaginary line whereas frenzied percussions re-introduce a semi-trance rhythm constantly flew over by sinuous reverberations of a stunning Didgeridoo whose breathes are soaked with stunning tones of sirens. The strange musical universe of Roach spreads out and invades the waves and rhythms of "Serpent Gulch" which gradually rushes into raucous winds of an arid land, pierced of mystic caves.
Winds that also find refuge in the introduction of "Somewhere Between" which takes on a rather particular character with its bells and rattlers resounding from everywhere, while percussions shape a lifeless rhythm imprinted by a spiritual tribal approach. That’s a bewitching track, both by its slow tempo and by the strange tones which ensue from it, quite as "Spirit Passage" and its spectral voices murmuring beneath layers of a guitar which abandons its lamentations in the furrows of a desert filled by ancestral souvenirs. "Return to the Underground" is a long ambient track with atmospheres that are between the Immersion series, Quiet Music and Structure from Silence. Morphic synth layers embrace the heavy reverberations of Didgeridoo, creating a strange fusion of an abstract rhythm but living of its slow impulsions which evolve in a sepulchral and profoundly dark ambiance. "When the Raven Flies" concludes The Desert Inbetween with the same soft caresses of suave electronic winds. Slow, the movement floats of its guitars’ layers which become entangled to those synth and Didgeridoo winds, while fine percussions continue to lull to sleep the rhythm in order to leave the spectres of desert in peace.
Filled by a splendid sound fauna where the spirits of desert roam in a stunning musicality, The Desert Inbetween is at the dimension of Steve Roach's works. It’s an album tortured between rhythms and ambiances, quite as the emotions living in us and which are also the prerogative of the Californian synthesist’s spiritualities who is very well supported by Brian Parnham, more mature and confident since his very first work, Between Here and There in 2005.This is a major work of art from which the musical cornerstones and spiritual progress will lead us to the wonderful feelings and musicality that we shall find on the excellent The Road Eternal
 and Live at Soundquest Fest.

PROJEKT: PRO253

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream
: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14553


Here's Steve Roach website: http://www.steveroach.com/
You can also view a static video of Ancestral Passage on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qBe29mU_bk
       

lundi 22 août 2011

FORREST FANG: Unbound (2011)

Forrest Fang is an American musician, of Chinese descent, who specializes in the ambient music tinted with ethnicity and minimalism. Inspired by Steve Roach, Robert Rich and other pioneers of ambient American EM, Forrest Fang navigates in the musical ocean that is EM since 1981 with his first opus; Music From the Blackboard Jungle. Unbound is his 12th work and his 3rd on Sam Rosenthal’s label; Projekt. Mastered by Robert Rich, Unbound is a long musical odyssey impregnated of long linear movements which are criss-crossing in a curious interbreeding of harmonies where the blackness of the morphic movements embraces strange iridescent odes.
"Henon’s Aurora" opens this ambient odyssey with a fine synth line which clears itself a path among some discreet ringing. A fine movement of a surprising tranquillity is deploying around this delicate introductory line which sways of a harmonious acuteness and frees astral choirs which are moulding along those long and sinuous shimmering curves.Between abysses of Steve Roach's Immersion Series and Michael Stearns's angelic musicality, "Henon’s Aurora" progresses with a stunning astral impact where the multiplicity of its waves creates a superb cosmic Angelus which brings us straight ahead in Morpheus’ arms. An excellent track for sleepless quite as the final track "Tone in Alium". Between them, the musical voyage of Unbound falls over to a sombre nightmarish atmosphere which starts with "Chant Of Urm" of which sinister lines and waves wind roguishly in a more metallic musical universe. Synth wanderings floating such as powerful sonorous rustlings which are entwining to hardly audible murmurs from a chorus of which breathes have difficulty to pierce a dense opaqueness, from where filter some more crystal clear synth winds. The more we move in Unbound and the more the musical blackness seizes our ears, as well as our reveries. "Lost Oracle" follows these long morphic curves which criss-cross throughout Unbound, with a dark mortuary approach where lugubrious iridescent waves undulate and waltz unexpectedly in a morbid static ballet. We have this strange feeling of hearing there some curious lethal chants from souls to shrill tears. "To Silver Season" continues this lugubrious impassiveness evolution of Unbound with ethereal waves which float and interlace in an inertia where long breezes of synth go alongside as much in musicality as in metallicity.
Morphic and atonic, but also harmonious than platonic, Forrest Fang’s Unbound is an ambient album which we tame from the tips of our ears. The musical universe is fed of long and slow layers of a morphic synth which waltz sinuously into implosive movements. It’s an extremely floating music which gets out of Steve Roach's Immersion limbs, but with a subtle harmonious touch that we hear if we consent to travel along these ethereal waves that surround Unbound. This is for fans of deep ambient music.


PROJEKT: PRO257

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream
: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14550


Here's Forrest Fang website: http://users.value.net/ffcal/

samedi 6 août 2011

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Bochum Live 2011

It is within the framework of ceremonies surrounding the prestigious ceremony for EM industry, the "Schallwelle Award", that this last opus of Robert Schroeder was recorded. An intimist concert where only 250 spectators were invited to this offering of the musician and electronic music equipments creator/designer who revealed a new equipment of its already very well furnished arsenal. For the occasion, Robert Schroeder was seconded by Gigi Frieg on drums and Bernd Kistenmacher for the Dreamland parts. An offering? Absolutely! Together, this evening trio makes us travel in Robert Schroeder's musical universe where the first impulses Berlin School EM style were there, accompanied with more contemporary and groovy approaches of the famous synthesist of Aachen.
The first stammerings introducing "The Way to Cygnus A" are making heard in a silence as opaque as oblivion from where only some weak coughs can be hear. With a title as that seductive we guess of what it will turn into, with reason and especially without deception. A dark wave emerges, tracing the sober floating linear movement of the legendary Galaxy Cygnus-A to which will hang fine synth lines which undulate and vacillate among an astral choir and superb fluty breezes. Resonant serpentines turn around choirs in suspension, giving the start to this wonderful sequence that has so much put to sleep our dreams and "The Way to Cygnus A" takes off of a rhythm actualised by good percussions which roll and strike a tempo became groovy. A tempo skipping slightly and supported of a nice and suave bass line which wraps this minimalist sequence to duped the hearing, as the softest of ear worms, where laments and shrill twisted solo bring us back to the first cosmic beginnings of Galaxy A Cygnus-A which undergoes here quite a whole musical restructuring. A temporal rendezvous where synth solos are more caustic and the rhythm more lively, in particular with this solo of glockenspiel which has strengthened the charm of this surprising musical sculpture that neither the time, nor the modifications, won’t wear it out. It’s simply wonderful! "Oscillation" presents us the best of Robert Schroeder’s musical worlds and skips quite slowly among ashes of "The Way to Cygnus A" with an intro with very analog tones. The rhythm is drawing on fine pulsations which beat a good pace while being girdled by fine synth laments, unique to Schroeder’s metallic cosmic universe. The rhythm accelerates with the arrival of keyboard riffs and more steady percussions which are supported by a kind of techno (tschitt tschitt) cymbals, embracing a fine atmosphere of soft techno. The synth goes with nice ethereal solos there, while the drum is pounding a rhythm which borrows a minimalist tangent and that keyboard keys which dance here add a melodious approach. Still, Robert Schroeder's universe is multicoloured of silvered streaks criss-crossing in a musical firmament which gradually takes refuge in the vapours of a cosmic world where everything turn in slow motion, subjected by Schroeder voices who whisper among sound effects of a track which becomes the meeting point between the very Californian tones of Double Fantasy and the cosmic and poetics universe of Robert Schroeder. And slowly, "Oscillation" gets out of its cosmic limbos to re embraced its enchanting tempo of its opening, guiding the listener in the minimalist plains fed of delicate synth riffs.
"Dreamland Prologue" transports us in the universe of Klaus Schulze and his sulphurous PTO from Body Love. It’s a super track built on a vacillating synth wave, where delicate piano notes and synth solos are entwining among shooting stars and a pure moment of magical philharmonic cosmic that goes intensifying in "Dreamland" crosshatched riffs. Riffs that shape a sequential movement supported by fine percussions which permute into hard drum beatings whereas that heavy synths shout melodies to airs of trumpets, unifying the worlds of Schroeder and Double Fantasy on an odd rhythm to Hawaiian fragrances. Superb and quite original, "Dreamland" evolves on a rhythm weakened by the appearance of a piano which throws its melodious notes on a rhythm which quivers and skips according to the strikes of a wild drum."Dreamland Epilogue" closes this short concert where the time has stopped with the morphic delicacy of its prologue where the peace of mind of heavenly bodies seems to have reached its paroxysm on this evening of March 12, 2011.
As had Robert Schroeder so well said to me; I am going to love Bochum Live on 2011 because it’s a very beautiful temporal musical journey. And I more than loved it, I adored it. Too bad there are these coughs which appear in moments of tranquility, bringing us fast to reality. It’s too bad also that there are these too long and numerous interventions of Stefan Erbe who seems to enjoy more his talking than the music itself, because Bochum Live 2011 would have been a pure masterwork. But if it’s isn't at the level of recording, it’s surely is at the musical level. We have here a poetic, cosmic and very fluid Robert Schroeder who spreads all his talent over a music which wears its unique signature. If it’s true that dreams may come true, mine would be to see this excellent album redone in studio, with the same musicians, bringing a jewel furthermore in the treasure and Robert Schroeder's musical inheritance.


NEWS MUSIC: NEWS-CD-12.024

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream
: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14527


Here's Robert Schroeder website: http://www.news-music.de/home_e.html

To starwalker464, it worths every penny. Don't let Erbe talking and coughing discourage you tu buy it. The music is awesome, believe me :-)

vendredi 5 août 2011

PAUL NAGLE: Beyond E-Ville (2011)

Paul Nagle is among this category of artists which create an EM with alternate and evolutionary rhythms, where soft techno is crossing harmoniously the England School (which is more hard than Berlin School) style, covered by a rich sound fauna as much diversified as incredible. Beyond E-Ville is a pleasant surprise, it’s been a long time since we heard Paul Nagle in a solo project. We have to go back until the days of Red Book / Blue Book (2000) to heard an original solo work from this chameleon of the English EM scene which embraced several styles with so many groups or duets (Joint Intelligence Committee, CosmicSmokers, Headshock, Binar, Spank the Dark Monkey and more recently Ideation in 2009). It’s within the framework of the annual English festival of EM, Awakenings presented on March 19th, 2011, that this very avant-gardist musician and superb composer got out of his den to use his new machine, the sequencer Sequentix Cirklon, which controls several synths while freeing an audacious sound flora on multiple sequences to very rich and diversified paces. Beyond E-Ville is a long improvisation of 56 minutes, divided into 5 parts, based on short pattern in which Paul Nagle worked for some time. And the result is surprising of vivacity and cohesion with rhythms in constant evolutions and subtle permutations to which are tied, as usual, wonderful melodies. It’s an album difficult to describe so much it is rich in musicality and rhythms but which is amply worth the price of its download.
"E-Ville" begins with long caustic winds to hybrid tones and imprint of twisted reverberations. Already we are in the Paul Nagle's sound jungle. A little as in an abandoned city where reign vestiges and desolations with an ambient intro fed by a heterogeneous musical fauna; heavy metallic knockings, shrill synthesized impulses, analog sound effects, howling, crystalline serpentines, apocalyptic wails and reverberations of all kinds become entangled among a light carillon to crystal clear chimes which clash of this glaucous universe. A deaf rhythm emerges to pound and wave nervously of a syncopated line which crosses the doors of an industrial zone beneath synth striations, dement yelling and shimmering tinkles which draw a curious musical paradox. The rhythm increases its pace with jerky oscillations which pulse under intense mellotron layers to hatch of a brief melodious limpidity fed by criss-crossed sequences, hypnotic pulsation and keyboard keys which revolve with uncertainty on a rhythmic structure always in formation. A great sequence breaks away and pounds a persevering rhythm, supported by percussions / pulsations and tschitt tschitt cymbals which are leaking away on unctuous mellotron waves. Navigating between England School and soft techno, "E-Ville" flies of its agile sequences, drawing a superb melodious line among deaf oscillations of a minimalist sequence to ascendant and circular movement which swirls in a strongly melodious and lively whirlwind, breathing an odd cheerfulness in a slightly crazy dark universe. "MoogyLan BogeyMan" gets free from the silvered dust of "E-Ville" finale with a slightly jerky tempo which pulses below metallic thunders and orderly cymbals. A strange sequence offering curious hybrid and multi-form chords spreads an inbreeding rhythm where everything looks alike without really creating uniformity. It’s a rhythm peppered of sequences bursting constantly, as popcorns, of which the harmony is drawn with piano notes strolling on booming thunders. Little by little this tempo finds a kind of cohesion to slide straightaway in a complete disharmony where scattered and solitary piano notes try to create a harmony to get stubborn at the end in a galloping sprint on a minimalist axis. "Spybot" is Beyond E-Ville jewel and, as "E-Ville", it tarts in an atmosphere in fusion with a multitude of composite tones from where escape strange mutterings among synth shrill blows. Piano notes swirl nervously to awaken a feverish sequence which waves with weightiness before stumbling over giant hands clapping and heavy sequenced pulsation which mould a bit soft techno pace. "Spybot" undulates in a great crumbled rhythm where hybrid sequences dance and spin in an incohesion of a progressive jazz, surrounded by nice twisted solos, to end its dislocated race in notes of a piano free of any constraints which dances and sings underneath the rubbles of an electronic city.
"Erksome" brings us in another level with a very nice melodious intro à la David Wright where sparkle fine arpeggios among dark choruses. At once soft and jerky the rhythm of "Erksome" evolves snidely on a strummed and ascendant structure. This piano line winds "Erksome" progression of which the approach permutes subtly with percussions tracing a steady rhythm where the piano dances in circle in the middle of a structure which changes again of a more resounding approach to be metamorphosed into tom-toms under great mellotron layers. And so goes Paul Nagle's musical universe; cohesion in incoherence where melodies are the cradle of a strange madness without limits. At once perceptible and imperceptible, the music of Nagle evolves in a context quite often harmonious but in a paradoxical universe in the sensibility of his harmonies. Here, the piano is sublime and uncovers a wonderful melody with crystal clear notes which melt in the ears while being surrounded of sumptuous mellotron pads whereas percussions hammer against the stream under these pads and that a hatched and syncopated line takes away the melody from it, deviating "Erksome" towards a static techno. It’s a great track which grows on a bipolar structure, as each of Beyond E-Ville’s tracks. The metallic vapours which plough "Dirkness" introduction are flying away on an almighty technoïd rhythm waving wildly nearby a brilliant sequential line fed by jingles and arrhythmic strikes to hammer and strum a frenzied tempo which sticks to a heavy syncopated line spinning at high speed. Curt and jerky rhythms girdle a static movement that undisciplined percussions harpoon from everywhere, getting "Dirkness" out of its technoïd statism but feeding it of an intense musical schizophrenia that only Paul Nagle possesses the unique touch because we are in full land of Binar, Spank the Dark Monkey and Joint Intelligence Committee but with much more fury and mordant.
Strange because of its curious schizoid fauna and as much unexpected with its strength and constant rhythms evolutions, Beyond E-Ville is as much melodious as enchanting with its sequences and minimalist pulsations. It’s a powerful, imaginative and magnetic opus filled of torn, unbridled and unchained rhythms which evolve on unstable structures but where melodies always find their ways in the direction of our feelings. No, Paul Nagle didn’t lose his touch and concocted us a powerful album in the height of his skill and the immoderation of his imagination. This is an album that I strongly recommend and which is getting away from the alternative paths of the England School style nevertheless recognized for its audacity. Beyond E-Ville is available via the BandCamp download website at this address:
http://paulnagle.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-e-ville

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream
:
http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14525

mercredi 3 août 2011

['RAMP] : steel and steam (2011)

Stephen Parsick's universe is as much unusual as the originality of the personage; dark artworks and sometimes without images, inflammatory and provocative album titles, papers to strange calligraphy and a music built from the entrails and fission of earth's core are the attribute of the man as much black as ashes of volcanoes that he wakes up since he crosses the paths of contemporary EM in 1991. But an extremely brilliant being who years after years don’t cease to amaze with works at diapasons of a nightmarish vision and duped by paradoxes as harmonious as mysterious. Sometimes ambient and sometimes cadenced, the music of Stephen Parsick resounds with howling sequences and pulsations in a musical world stunningly powerful. It’s with an old accomplice, Mark  Shreeve, that Stephen Parsick awakens the volcano ['ramp] put in night light by very sombre and ambient Caverna Larvarum of the Doombient series. Eleventh opus of ['ramp], steel and steam is exactly as high as the expectations of a union Parsick / Shreeve. An album, according to the German synthesist and musician, which should be the most accessible of the ['ramp]’s collection and he is not completely wrong. Beyond those powerful sequences and throbbing pulsations on unbridled percussions are hiding some wonderful synthesized melodies which dupe the ear such as the most docile earworms. But steel and steam is also extremely powerful, even violent, and transcends the traces of debris. And this, in the universe of ['ramp], is the equivalent of a bomb!
A strange movement of iron ball, ringing as a sordid and metallic pan flute opens "Zeppelin" which is filling of a strange industrial color. Already Stephen Parsick shows the tones of steal and stream with a sequence emerging out of nowhere and which pulses of its chords fluttering nervously on a furious sequential line which waves with strength among lugubrious breezes with slamming, flickered and echoing percussions and lamentations of twisted metal which are melting to subdued choirs. Drawn in steel "Zeppelin" moves against current, following a powerful crescendo which implodes of an uncommon heaviness on a boiling structure fed by a multitude of heavy resonant sequences which pulse and gallop through a mellotron to silvered tones, of which wandering choirs peer at a superb synth to slow celestial movements waltzing as waves slightly tinted of an Arabian approach. Some oniric synth layers float and sing their melodies on a heavy and languid structure, striking a brief movement of tranquillity before taking back its infernal heavy and oscillating march with its flickered sequences which are busting in our ears before fading in a powerful ethereal final. Very good! Fine arpeggios sparkle at the opening of "node i" which dawn among dark steel breezes zigzagging through boilers and foundries. A rhythm is drawing with fine little bells and exuberant percussions from which the scattered beatings deviate towards a heavy sequential movement with increasing pulsations. "node i" is soaked with a stagnant ambiance before that powerful and heavy sequences, to make winced loudspeakers, transport the track towards a hard-hitting sequential rhythm which pulses among shouts of subterranean sirens. A crazy and energetic rhythm seizes "node i" which is submerged of an incredible sound fauna issued from a metallic fission where percussions and sequences merge in an ascension movement ascent which guides us to the jingling beatings of "node ii" and its powerful circular rhythm which beats its heavy, bass, resonant and flickering sequences. "solenoid" intro throws a bit of tranquillity in this orgy of infernal decibels that is steel and steam with soft breezes imprinted from an iridescent and threatening mist. Gradually the rhythm gets out of depths of twisted metals and waves of oscillating tetanised pulsations which slam and slam in a silvered echo. Fine notes of an electric piano emerge of its violent jingles and are escaping with a splendid melody which is out of tune in this din of goblins busied to mutilate the earth’s crust to bring us Arc territories, but with a more silvered velocity. "[led]" resumes where "Zeppelin" had closed but with a nice electric piano from which notes move with hesitation in the abyssal heaviness which we find on "Zeppelin", as well as these wonderful mellotron synth layers.
"Puppets" introduces us into Mark Shreeve segment and his big Moog IIIc Modular. It’s a great bed song which follows an intro where heterogeneous tones hoot among caustic breezes and twisted reverberations. Fine sequences appear and waddle casually on ashes of a foundry. It’s a long nursery rhyme with delicate arpeggios which spin such as a carousel where crystalline chords bead in an enchanting ritornello filled of long and bit apocalyptic synth breaths. It’s a pure wonder which evolves with a light threatening crescendo to end its imps’ dance in the hostile winds of its intro. "steel and steam part i" begins with a delicate electric piano which spreads its notes among a soft mellotron mist which waltzes against the stream. A nice melody which keeps this so particular mark of ['ramp] works and which is awaken towards its end with small jingles and a heavy pulsation which bombards and resounds as an immense tom-tom hammered directly from hells. We are falling in "steel and steam part ii" where the amalgam of piano notes and heavy pulsations pursue their crusade on a heavy and chaotic tempo. The electric piano adds a progressive rock touch to a tempo become jerkier which is throwing, opened melody, into the abysses of "steel and steam part iii". If, so far, your loudspeakers hung on it might be ending here, on extremes weighty pulsations which throb buzz among metallic percussions which slam without reserves. We are in an infernal cacophony which gradually becomes blurred to dive "steel and steam part iii" in a rhythmic indecision fed by resonant pulsations and great sequencing art which shape a powerful circular tempo to criss-cross steel rhythms where chthonian choirs are lulling in the hits of the Grim Reaper sabres who takes a look at a horizon forged by sequential whims of 2 heavyweights of contemporary EM. The rhythm always following an ascending tangent, we penetrate into the blasting spheres of "steel and steam part iv" where the undulating sequential movement skips around an intensive sequential and pulsating pounding, hyper-resonant infernal pulsations, explosions of metallurgical boilers and strident synth roarings. Some powerful colourful tones are bickering a thin line of a gyrating rhythm and explode as in an immense video game to finally catch up a kind of appeasement, even if fed by a string of alternating sequences which quiver nervously around this soft melody which opened "steel and steam part i". Wow! I’m still totally dumbfounded and amazed that my ears, as well as my loudspeakers, hung out in front of this powerful explosion coming out from this fusion of those infernal Moogs of Parsick and Shreeve.
steel and steam is a pure wonder that will stun you as much that it will charm you. It’s an album of a rare violence and unrivalled intensity where bubble rhythms, sequences and resonant pulsations to draw rhythms difficulty surrounded but from where are escaping very beautiful melodious structures. It’s an amalgam of Redshift, Arc and ['ramp]
styles in a universe as black as dense where work Parsick’s goblins to weaken the structures of the universe. Simply astonishing, steel and steam is doubtless the most powerful album of these last years and one of the most beautiful this year. Get it quick as there are only 300 numbered cd available...and after that; ZiP! Nothing!

DOOMBIENT MUSIC: ramp007

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream
: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14520


As the Doombient Music website is no longer open you can order this CD directly from Stephen Parsick: stephen@parsick.com

['RAMP] : Doombient 4: Caverna Larvarum (2009)

Ramp or Stephen Parsick, Stephen Parsick or Ramp? A questioning that has all its sense and reason so much the musical hemispheres of the two entities are nearly identical. Recorded after the very dark and ambient concert of Kunstfeld-Feldkunst Visual Art Performance (Doombient: Verbrannte Erde 2002), Caverna Larvarum is a prolongation of those heavy, complexes, dark and ambient territories of Verbrannte Erde but with a strange zest of claustrophobia. And that’s explaining! It is in the cave of Dechenhohle, lit by 1,001 candles, that Caverna Larvarum was recorded. Bah…! There maybe are some minor sound problems but I insist to tell you that this album confirms the status of Stephen Parsick as an absolute master of heavy, dark and poetic ambient, with industrial textures.
A synth breathes a heavy wave tinted of a mephistophelic opacity, of which delicate oscillations float among heavy resonances, initiates the first musical emanations of the strange and distant crypts of "Caverna Larvarum". Superb fluty layers which subdivide their tender harmonies wander in these heaviness’s cenotaphs to deviate in the purest occultism of the Chtonian choral of "Summoning". Slow and very enchanting this longest Caverna Larvarum track transports us at the doors of darkness with an oblong atonal structure tinted of strange shivering or murmurs which are escaping with a variable intensity such a satanic mass which survives in the center of the Earth. Though length, "Summoning" is superbly charming with its satanic incantations of which the power of octaves is winning over the heavy and dark layers of a synth stigmatized by a fright hidden in the abyssal territories of a world in perdition. A world slipping even lower with"In Dead Cold" and its industrial hubbubs which are wriggling beneath the howling an apocalyptic rotating light.
We are in the heart of a chaos that "Ektoplasma" revives by strident whistles, like an immense howling kettle, in a parallel universe whereas the softer and warmer "Bioluminiscence" installs the basis of an ambient musical world which quietly seeks the oxygenated air in a nice stride to powerful synth waves which drive back in the undertow of its incantation. The life is settling softly, embracing the musical canvas of ambient great names such as Stearns and Roach with soft and tender vocal which embrace once more the underground heaviness with"Spectral Moths" and its guitar striations howling to abandon. A short track that leads us to doors of madness with "A Long Descent", there where Marcus Reuter’s guitar always flirts with darkness shaping its hooting with the paranoia of a forced solitude whereas the first sequential strikes of Mark Shreeve’s big Moog resound with strength at the deepest of our tympanums. "A Long Descent" is transforming into a strange hypnotic trance with a deep and slow rhythm which pulsates with rattling of a bashed up cymbal and loops of a guitar to infernal solos, spreading out all the paradox rhythm and stillness in a splendid hypnotic bosom which gradually becomes weaker in order to embrace the abyssal blackness of "The Deep Well".
Doombient 4: Caverna Larvarum is the sum of an imagination without ending that a musical designer transcends to his listener. A pure wonder of a dark and ambient musical but enchanting world where Stephen Parsick draws at the deepest of his resources to offer a concert very representative of its environment. We can hear the walls of the cave live and groan on a music at once caustic and warm. We can feel all the paranoia that watches those who are trapped or hidden away in the shades of these caves to 1,001 passages by strata and choirs as intense as black. This is an intense album which is at the height of this sensitivity that guides works of Stephen Parsick and an excellent album that I strongly recommend to fans of dark and heavy ambient music. And "A Long Descent"....Wow!

Sylvain Lupari (2010)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream
: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=13704


As the Doombient Music website is no longer open you can order this CD directly from Stephen Parsick: stephen@parsick.com

lundi 1 août 2011

FRED YARGUI: Time to Dream (Best Of 2008-2011)

Time to Dream is a foretaste of what comes and what there was for Frédéric Yargui. It’s a flyby of a very promising career already furnished by3 albums which are available as digital download on MusicZeit. Time to Dream is a kind of compilation pulled out of Unsorted Pictures and Berlin Experiment albums with 2 new tracks of which 1 (Time to Dream) appear on the next French synthesist opus; Underground Scapes. Once again we find this touch of inspiration here resulting from the Berlin School style but with a more ambient direction with the epic track "Time to Dream".
"Virgin Sand Fool (Remaster Edit Version)" begins with percussions of which steady beatings mould a curt and languishing rhythm. Keyboard riffs pulses towards these drum strikes whereas a superb mellotron calms down the ardour of a rhythm at first wild with a slow waltzing fall. Symmetric guitar riffs add a bigger rhythmic depth while synth layers as much blazing as violin run-ups increase the oniric portion of "Virgin Sand Fool (Remaster Edit Version)" among which fine sequences which wave in background inspire us a very TD ambiance of the 86’s years or Franke first solo works. It’s a very nice track and a pure wonder that was composed in the same stride of Berlin Experiment. As much melodious as delicate, "Unsorted Pictures" opens with twinkling arpeggios of which the echo floats with fine reverberating circles. The innate sense of rhythm is very well sharpened on Yargui who skilfully measures this soft electronic melody with sober percussions and suave synth solos which wind harmoniously to a soft slightly groovy rhythm. "After A Day’s Work ", as well as "Clayton’s Serenity ", are 2 excellent tracks of Berlin Experiment that we find on Time to Dream. Remixes give more relief while updating a musical structure that was already well done and don’t modify at all the wonderful harmonious structures of these 2 tracks. Another track from Unsorted Pictures, "Mad Bird" is an exploding track where the rhythm swirls on sequences with nervous criss-crossed lines. Hybrid, multiple and undisciplined, sequences abound on a rhythm which espouse a kind of soft techno with a slightly syncopated structure where a very lyrical synth frees a sweet melody strewed with short enchanting cosmic winds. "Time to Dream" is a long ambient track which begins with a superb introduction with oblongs synth white winds as orchestral as spectral. Some sinuous waves float in a slow twisted ballet where resonant implosions remind Tangerine Dream's Silver Scale run-ups. But there are no rhythms. Synth lines undulate in a morphic, embracing the soft cosmic breezes of Jarre to deviate towards more caustic paths à la Schulze and his sidereal storm of Irrlicht and finally flirting with several variations in atonal sphere. Fred Yargui shows all of his potential by attacking a very long track by which the evolution follows a logical tangent. "Time to Dream" is a long exercise in style where ambient and experimental converge towards deaf implosions but always by following a constancy in emotion the aimed target with superb synth layers at once ethereal, classical (Tomita) and morphic to effectively bring us near the dream.
Time to Dream is between Berlin Experiment and the French synthesist next album, which will clearly be more ambient. Those who liked Berlin Experiment will be enchanted by the rhythmic tracks which accompany those already present on Berlin Experiment. For those who like ambient, the title track is a delight which is drinking in all ponds known of ambient EM. A kind of anthological track in some way! This album is available directly from the artist’s email:
fredyargui@gmail

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream
: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14515