vendredi 30 décembre 2011

VARIOUS DiN: Index 02 (2005)

''Index 02 is a great compilation which airs all the available styles on DiN''


As its title let it guesses, Index 02 is the 2nd compilation of the DiN label. Following the same rule as Index 01, Ian Boddy carefully chose, mixed and edited 2 titles from the 9 albums released on DiN after Index 01 (DiN10).  It results from it a superb blend of styles which floods our ears with18 titles all so different which become entangled in an impressive musical canvas of 77 minutes.  Making of Index 02 an edifying witness of what brews in the corridors of DiN!
Subsonic Experience and Präposition’s "Regained Paradise" opens the ball. The rhythm is heavy, fluid and incisive. It runs with fury on an intense and wild mixture of percussions and beneath a sky gaily-coloured by streaks and strata coming from guitars and/or synths which tear the musicality with powerful hootings. Markus Reuter and Ian Boddy’s "History" calms things down with an odd bed song of which arpeggios of glasses swirl besides fluttered percussions to a surprising spiral as colourful as melodious. Dbkaos’ "Hydrosphere" brings us within floating corridors where chthonian breaths roam among glaucous and supernatural ambiances. Following are Ian Boddy's cosmic waves of  "Ecliptic" from the Chiasmata album. The rhythm is soft, to the limit very hypnotic, and is finely drummed inside a circle of crystalline arpeggios. A short introduction into the morphic spheres of "The Mystic" from Boddy’s Aurora album leads us to the tribal and intriguing rhythms of "Edge of Nowhere" from the duet Boddy / Rich. It’s very good title which mixes the subtlety of the soft clanic rhythms and the ethereal atmospheres of the Steve Roach's glaucous musical world. In the same stride, but with more vigour, dbkaos proposes a title as cheerful as experimental in "After the Migration". It’s the kind of track which asks that we investigate a little more this duet to very heterogeneous tones. "Arcturus" from Arc really doesn’t need presentation. But just in case, this is heavy and somber Berlin School in which Ian Boddy made a good editing with 2 tracks to antipodes of rhythms and ambiances.
The title track "Aurora" continues its astral surge with a wonderful divinatory melody, while the title track of Chiasmata shows a more aggressive Ian Boddy with good percussions which hammer a heavy and slow rhythm. A rhythm encircled by fine sequences which flutter in a beautiful harmonious pattern. Ian Boddy marinades skilfully the genres on Index 02, so the rhythm a bit funky and groovy of "This Life" from Reuter / Boddy’s Pure clashes from the morphic moods of "Tuning Out" from Boddy / Rich’s Outpost which really gets out of the clanic and floating territories of Steve Roach. The musical universe of Ian Boddy and Bernd Wöstheinrich is very coloured and set by spontaneous rhythms which skip and teem in beautiful synth layers. Stemming out of the Moiré album, "Moiré" and "Smash and Grab" are 2 titles for ears found of a parallel musicality and of which the attentive listening allows us to discern a stunning sound fauna. "Treasures of the World" makes us discover the other face of Präposition with an enchanting ambient rhythm where percussions prevail beneath superb synth layers filled by tones of old organs. It is simply delicious! It’s in the twilights of Blaze, the 2nd opus of Arc on DiN, which ends Index 02 with 2 titles to diapasons of their antipodes. If "Silent White Light" is dreamy and ambient, "Corrosion" drags its heaviness and its slow rhythm in the ashes of some good Redshift.
From glaucous to ethereal ambient while passing by heavy Berlin School and a more creative and a more progressive EM. Index 02 is a great compilation which airs all the available styles on DiN. There is for all tastes and styles which beneficiate of a good mixing and editing from Ian Boddy who which tangles all its rhythms and atmospheres with a master’s hand. A little as if Index 02 would have been the fruit of a single artist. And don’t forget; it’s free on Bandcamp
(
http://dinrecords.bandcamp.com/album/index02-din20
) until 01/01/2012.  After that, you will have to pay and still, it will be a good investment!
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=14809
* Here is the link to download it completely free: http://dinrecords.bandcamp.com/album/index02-din20
* You can find more info, and the complete track listing, here:
http://www.din.org.uk/din/node/421

jeudi 29 décembre 2011

MAZMONETH: Music by Mirrors (2011)

''Music by Mirrors is another nice find from DiN label''

1 The Vital Spark 2:53 
2 Oil on Water 5:36 
3 Diablo 7:44
4 Spooks 6:02
5 Smoke and Mirrors 5:20
6 De Molay 5:46
7 Kali's Day Off 6:49
8 Perfect Absolution 7:07
9 In Vitro 5:10
10 End Game 6:31

DiN 38

What a very nice surprise from DiN label! Mazmoneth is formed by Nigel Mullaney, whom we know for his collaboration with Ian Boddy in Dub Atomica, and Ray Sherwin, an accomplish musician who has played with Hawkwind and Ultravox’s Billy Curie. This duet to very eclectic musical tendencies concocted us another small musical marvel where ambient musical landscapes pour out their emotive amplitudes towards rhythms in constants evolutions. Delicious and decorated with a sound fauna as much hallucinating as diversified, Music by Mirrors navigates on suave and lascivious down-tempos which shift appearances with free jazz and groovy styles within moods as supernatural as ethereal.
"The Vital Spark" debauches Music by Mirrors with a heavy ambient approach. Strata of synth and guitars wind and float in long iridescent curls, diluting their heavinesses in the crystal clear sequential movement which opens "Oil on Water". Such as a Goblins’ dance, crystalline arpeggios are skipping and sparkle in a delicious ethereal spiral, waiting for the fine bites of a delicate bass line and caressing at passage some soft flute layers. Percussions fall at mid-point. They shape a smooth down-tempo where the whole thing flows as in a lascivious dance of time. These short structures in stunning permutation abound in Music by Mirrors. And "Diablo" is a perfect example. After a short intro with sonorities as intriguing as mesmerizing other limpid chords flutter underneath the echoes of abstruse percussions. The ambiance is splendid. Between ambient and down-tempo, the rhythm scrolls against the stream in an odd metallic approach where the percussions prevail of their scathing strikings and the chthonian winds blow on gleaming mirror keys which tergiversate between the strikings and the ambiances. It’s very good and it hooks your hearing for sure. There is a link to watch a video at the end of this review. Be sure to watch it. It's awesome! "Spooks" continues the stunning musical journey of Music by Mirrors with an intro which embraces the Amerindian tribal breaths before bifurcate towards a suave jazzy down-tempo. The flute of the First Nations weaves a surreal cerebral approach on a divided tempo of which groovy and free jazz aromas are quarrelling the scattered ethereal moods. The waltz of the split melodies continues with "Smoke and Mirrors" which offers a superb cinematographic ambiance.
"De Molay" is another powerful title. After a superb atmospheric intro, where synth and guitar strata ululate on the pulsations of a bass line, the heavy and iridescent rhythm of "De Molay" shakes its threatening ambiance to embrace a soft phase imprinted by melancholy. Rhythms and atmospheres are trading the lead, plunging "De Molay" (as many other titles as well) in a bipolar musical phase where glaucous atmospheres flirt with lascivious rhythms. Stick on the finale of "De Molay" finale, "Kali’s Day Off" flirts with the metallic guitars strata to take shelter in a strange and soft melodious approach where silvery tones cogitate on rhythms in progression. Rhythms which become blurred little by little, getting astray in the multi dimensionality of the wandering ambiances and its vaporous strata to reborn in a fusion of metal on harmonies. "Perfect Absolution" offers a beautiful rhythmic duality with an uncertain and quivering approach where riffs of guitar ride percussions a bit jazzy and encircle fine melodious sequences. Rhythms imprecise and in constant movements charm our ears, here and in "In Vitro" which sways between its flexible tempo and its crossbreed ambiance in a universe stuffed of synthetic cracklings with percussions to tones of an anvil coated in a cotton wool of free jazz style which tear away the skins of drums. "End Game" concludes Music by Mirrors with a more accessible melodious envelope and rhythmic structure where a lively beat, somehow jerky, pounds in an erratic way on a long silky structure. Some fine glass arpeggios float and sparkle in a soft ambiance of free jazz, ending "End Game" and Music by Mirrors with this audacious mixture of the genres and rhythms which made the delights of this great find which is this first opus offers to us by Nigel Mullaney and Ray Sherwin.

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=14806

* If you want to know more about Mazmoneth  and hear music snippets, there is this link from DiN:http://www.din.org.uk/din/node/409
* Here is Mazmoneth website, where you can also watch a video of Perfect Absolution:
http://www.mazmoneth.com/
* You can also watch a video of Diablo here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu9W0FQ5dAw

mardi 27 décembre 2011

KLAUS SCHULZE: Timewind (1975)

''Timewind shows a more mature Schulze on rhythms and sequences''
CD 1 (59:13)
1 Bayreuth Return 30:25  
2 Wahnfried 1883 28:37
CD 2 (56:14)
1 Echoes of Time 38:42 (Bonus Track)
2 Solar Wind 12:35 (Bonus Track)
3 Windy Times 4:57 (Bonus Track)



We are in 1975; Pink Floyd pushes the delusions of progressive music by using a synthesized, atmospheric and floating approach with Wish you Were Here. Progressive rock gets more nobility and the electronic rock continues on its cosmic élan. While Tangerine Dream releases the somber Rubycon, Klaus Schulze shapes its spectral waves to offer us an outstanding work without smudges. Behind a stunning artwork, Klaus proposes us a galactic journey on the wings of time. Timewind, dedicated to Richard Wagner, is a long cosmic journey as much enchanting as its artwork.
A metallic wind blows on a dusty dune, pushing a multitude of sound plots which spin in the ambient air. Cold winds freeze the time on a bass line of which minimalist pulsations roll in loops while the cosmic touch of Klaus Sculze is unfolding with his Farfisa and synth waves which undulate on a sequential movement increasing with a heavier amplitude. Everything is with softness and fineness. On a heavy bass which tacks with darkness, "Bayreuth Return" drags its harmonies on tenebrous synth strata which leave their imprints for the passages to come. And the return of Bayreuth is doing with a cyclic whirlwind of synth layers which roll with subtle deviances, keeping the same delicacy of its movement until it stops to contemplate the extent of the road to be followed. Far off, the horizon is flat and desertic. It’s constituted by the same hypnotic sound abundance which attracts "Bayreuth Return" towards its endless walking. A walking in solitary where synth lizards push hoarse breaths, raising cosmic dusts which evaporate on sequential rhythms. Rhythms dancing in loops in a swirling abyss. And so Bayreuth ends abruptly its sound odyssey.
If you liked this galactic journey "Wahnfried 1883", inspired from the works of Wagner, continues in the same wake. Floating the intro is soaked with a heavy synth which moves hardly. In a latent state of suspension the intro is soaked by a heavy synth of which the waves float with passion but move hardly. Fixed in time the movement is surrounded with dusts of synth angels fluttering on subtle sequences which move with the delicacy of a spiral in weightlessness. Slow, supple and superbly intense "Wahnfried 1883" is an intense musical journey in the heart of analog years and its floating structures. A voyage in the borders of a cosmos that we still didn’t get all of its seducing beauty.
Timewind is the cd which had reveals Klaus Schulze to the American audience. And it’s understandable. Schulze plays with heavy rhythms and sequences with more maturity and depth. If "Bayreuth Return" kicks down the basses of our loud speakers with its undulating and rebel bass line, the synth strata which decorate the sidereal beauty of "Wahnfried 1883" get full of all the beauty that Schulze puts in them. Timwind is the fusion of anterior works from Schulze with the increasing maturity that he imposes to his style in order to prepare us very well to other great works. For that time it’s a colossal work which was going to free the inspiration and the boldness of several newcomers.
A re edition of Timewind! Was it worth it? Absolutely! Was it worthily of a 2 CD set? Of course…Although these are nice variations on the same theme since that ''Echoes of Times'' and ''Solar Wind'' are two variations of "Bayreuth Return" played in concert. Klaus Schulze played his classic on 3 occasions, in nearly 2 hours with different outtakes. After a stop he got back to play it in a different way. Only sequences are identical and the variations showed in intros. ''Solar Wind'' is being simply divine with its fluidity, while ''Windy Times'', writes in 2000, is a kind of mix of Timewind. It’s shorter and faster, while rolling on the same sequential pattern. It’s very good! Good as all of this double re edition of Timewind which is presented with a nice booklet which shows lot of inner notes and all the great artworks where Timewind was carefully wrapped. It’s a wonderful journey in time with the man to timeless music.

Sylvain Lupari (2007)
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=9400

*If you care to watch a complete and full-length time video of Bayreuth Return, you can click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wVp3entqjQ&feature=share

dimanche 25 décembre 2011

REMEMBER GREEN: Electro Shock (2011)

''Electro Shock goes beyond the stereotypes of the Bang Bang and Tsitt Tsitt''

1 Can you feel it/Electro Love 4:28
2 Electric Feeling 3:04
3 Electric Smile 4:10
4 Electricity through the Heart (With Nattefrost) 4:44
5 Electricity in your Eyes 4:26
6 Electro Dreams 4:39
7 Electro Shock (With Nattefrost) 5:08
8 Electro Technology 4:23
9 Get Electrified Now 4:20
10 Robot Song 4:19
Remember Green is the musical project of Danish musician and artist Steen Chorchendorff Jorgensen. Launched during the last Electronic Circus Festival on October 31st, 2011, Electro Shock is his first album. An album which benefits from the presence of Nattefrost on 2 titles and which offers 10 titles strongly soaked by a Kraftwerk approach, with robotics voices introducing most of the tracks and good Teutonic rhythms pulsating in the atmospheres slightly morphic of an eroded Berlin School. It’s a good hybrid album which will seduce both fans of synth pop and Berlin School.
It’s in a nice confusion of rhythms and atmospheres that opens Electro Shock. The sound is high and a hatched stroboscopic line encircles an ambience in fomenting which hang back between its rhythmic envelope and its floating elements. If the first tones of
"Can you feel it-Electro Love" let augur a feverish rhythm, its progression is something else. It’s rather an atmosphere full of restraint that is getting in our ears with circular percussions and pulsations which bombard broken rhythms around tones of industrial and electronic machines, robotic voices à la Kraftwerk and good melodious elements such as a piano line and cosmic mist. Moreover the piano offers beautiful melodious samplings which criss-cross all along Electro Shock. The tempo comes and goes, dancing on a plump bed of uncertain sequences, jerky pulsations and tsitt-tsitt cymbals. "Electric Feeling" plunges us into the lunar rhythms of Electro Shock with percussions / pulsations, rolls and jingles of percussions which run on a delicate rhythm trapped in a nice floating envelope and weaved by a synth filled by mellotron mist. The cosmic sound effects abound and enrich this dividing musical structure, quite as the 9 others tracks on Electro Shock. "Electric Smile" offers a more flamboyant, a more rhythmical and also heavier down tempo. The fusion of ambient and rhythm is charmingly provided by a beautiful sequence line which moulds a good hatched flow while the melodious approach is decorated by a piano whose notes get lost in a strong electro-cosmic atmosphere. A little as on some titles on Electro Shock, it’s with a vocoder that opens "Electricity through the Heart". And even with a nice circular and stroboscopic sequenced approach and percussions rolling like an odd spatial military march, the rhythm of "Electricity through the Heart" is hyper soft and to the limit very smoothing. And Nattefrost brings a bigger lunar depth with intense layers of mist which coat a waltzing rhythm. Working on a similar pattern, "Electricity in your Eyes" offers the first synth solos which sing on ashes of another beautiful down-tempo.Curt percussions and hatched sequences bear the slow and jerky rhythm of "Electro Dreams". The title soaks into a beautiful cosmic mood where the latent tempo inhales the rhythmic approaches of "Can you feel it-Electro Love". The more we move forward into Electro Shock and the more we dive into rhythmic structures which are alike but whose fine variances attract the hearing. And so we shall fall under the spell of the title track "Electro Shock" whose approach is very Kraftwerk. A very musical synth covers a bed of sequences and percussions which throb of arrhythmic palpitations. Still there the tempo is slow and flows like a zombie duping the bone, while lines of stroboscopic sequences shape an approach filled by rhythmic confusion. "Electro Technology" is a good cosmic ballad with slamming percussions and a superb spiral sequence which winds a lascivious title to nice reminiscences of Tangerine Dream. "Get Electrified Now" is another beautiful ballad filled with mist. A mist sometimes stroboscopic which encircles rolling percussions, jerky sequences and scattered notes of a piano which looks for itself in this lunar setting. "Robot Song" concludes Electro Shock with a strong technoïd approach of the synth-pop years. The rhythm is lively with its huge synth pads which embrace a waltzing rhythmic of the 80’s. Jerky pads curved on a beautiful sequences and percussions fusion which pound around piano samplings and galactic tones.
Variations and subtleties on the same theme! However this first album of
Remember Green offers about ten titles which are strangely alike with some fine variances mainly on rhythms. Except that Remember Green’s Electro Shock goes beyond the stereotypes of the Bang Bang Bang Bang Tsitt Tsitt with an interesting dosage of sometimes slow, sometimes heavy and sometimes more feverish rhythms which roam in morphic envelopes. If that destabilizes at the beginning, we let ourselves be charmed quite fast by this album coming out of nowhere and which deserves to go out of the anonymity.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=14796

* If you want to know more about Remember Green  you can visit his website here: http://www.remembergreen.dk/

vendredi 23 décembre 2011

ALLUSTE: Digital Age (2011)

''Digital Age is the meeting point between Baffo Banfi, Software, Klangwelt and Tangerine Dream''

Digital I 5:32
Digital II 7:26
Digital III 8:12
Digital IV 8:31
Digital V 6:55
Digital VI 8:44
Digital VII 5:37
Digital VIII 9:50
Digital XI 7:59
Digital X 8:16


Here is the 2nd opus from the Italian synth man Alluste. After an absence of more than 3 years Alluste presents us an album entirely made from synth softwares and plug-ins. The result is an album which embraces the cosmic rhythms of Software on sequenced élans that will make the fans of Tangerine Dream smile. A little as its title indicates, Digital Age is a beautiful incursion in the digital world where melodies can sometimes be dressed into warm appearances.
A synth pushes charming cooings on the opening of "Digital I", introducing fine acuteness melodies which contort in the nest of delicate crystalline arpeggios. These sequenced arpeggios spin of an uncertain approach, floating inside a mixture of twisted waves and metallic mist to lean on a heavy sequence which gallops towards a vertical movement. Between the synthetic and cosmic universe of Software and Tangerine Dream's heavy rhythms and sequences, Digital Age proposes a series of 10 titles where ambiences and tempos merge in beautiful morphic phases. I think in particular of "Digital III" and its rhythm which hiccups sneakily, increasing a bit a pace hushed by a smooth lunar synth, to "Digital IV", "Digital VI" and "Digital IX" which are rocking slowly in the shade of a threatening sequenced progression. "Digital II" is a small pearl which reminds me the oniric universe of Spheric Music’s
Dreams of My Space. It’s soft, a bit sad and very romantic with the sustained synth breaths which drag in a cosmic mist and its delicate glass arpeggios which increase slowly on a vertical structure. This carousel of sequences might spin all around this static movement that it doesn’t mask at any moments its poetic depth. It’s very good and it’s heading straight away to my IPod to adorn my night of sleeps.
"Digital V" is doubtless the most musical and most poetic piece on this Alluste 2nd work. The whole thing starts with threatening hoops which float in a cosmos from where are escaping brief fragments of an unfinished melody. Carillons sparkle. Pushed by absent winds they go towards a solitary piano which accompanies the contemplative breaths of a poetic synth, creating a superb lunar melody which swells out harmonies with a great gradation orchestrated by a powerful bass line and a progressive sequential movement. And "Digital V" overturns into a heavy and circular rhythm with good nervous sequences which crisscross its lines in a curious rhythmic ballet. It’s very good and quite impressive for an album made from a PC. After a slow morphic intro "Digital VII" is rising itself by a great sequenced approach which pounds in the shade of nice lunar pads. The movement is displaying with a powerful loudness to end in a finale which is not without recalling Tangerine Dream and its brilliant Silver Scale. The same pattern is outlined on "Digital VIII", by far the best title on Digital Age, with a more mordant sequential movement. A movement which pulses heavily and whose hypnotic strikings beat over an iridescent cloud to face another movement built on a circular gallop and sharpness solos. It’s very good and especially very heavy. "Digital X" offers a variation on the same theme with a sequential approach which appears out of a dense cosmic cloud to offer one bewitching movement of chisel. Sequences which are crisscrossing in a beautiful melodious approach and which are going to feed themselves in the nest of heavier and more incisive sequences which lead this hypnotic circular movement towards the borders of the space.
A little as 
Gustavo Jobim, Alluste makes his compositions at home with his digital equipments. And as Gustavo Jobim, the synthesist demonstrates an excellent potential at the level of the writing and the melodious approaches. Digital Age is the meeting point between Baffo Banfi and his jerky rhythmic approaches, Software and their cosmic atmosphere which wraps rhythms and sequences, Tangerine Dream and its powerful sequence rides as well as Klangwelt for the melodious approaches. All in all, we have to admit that’s an interesting musical cocktail where only misses a zest of experiment at the level of mastering with the fine touch of a Ron Boots or Robert Schroeder to give nobility to a very beautiful effort which shows very good perspective.

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=14795

*If you want to know more about Alluste you can visit his BandCamp page here: 

mercredi 21 décembre 2011

ROBERT RICH: Medecine Box (2011)

''Robert Rich just made a beautiful poetic album''
1 Alba 4:16
2 Kaaruwana 6:18
3 Macula 6:27
4 Cornea 5:24
5 Crepescule 6:39
6 Pollen 7:33
7 Callyx 5:58
8 Salamander Quay 7:37
9 Helios 10:42

SOUNDSCPAPE: SP022

Robert Rich always succeeds in creating a musical world where emotions and spirituality feed beautiful contemplative structures. Following the precepts established on Ylang, the American synthesist offers in Medecine Box a meditative album where ancestral rhythms beat on a skilful fusion of more contemporary instruments and sound samplings. Making so, he offers 9 very beautiful titles with stunning tribal atmospheres which are rocking between the ambient and soft rhythms, at once hypnotic and progressive. Here is a journey in the heart of countries without borders, there where reign a bewitching shamanic karma.
A rich mixture of wave-like pulsations, smooth bass notes and hand percussions open the very fluid rhythm of "Alba". Guitar riffs get stick to this quiet structure, throwing a soft jazzy veil and opening the way to superb floating solos which whisper, such as spectral laments, over these captivating tom-toms. With its peaceful rhythm, which hooks from the first listening, "Alba" introduces us into a musical universe rich in subtlety, both in kinds and tones. The rhythm of "Kaaruwana" is more ambivalent. Between the élans of pulsations/percussions which tumble into felted lanes and a certain restraint in a tremulous approach imposed by the soft angelic voice of Cheri Chuang, "Kaaruwana" displays a more ethereal mood, even supranatural, which is bitten all the same by a beautiful bass filled of juicy notes. This ghostly mood overhangs all over the album and this no matter the rhythmic approaches. "Macula" presents a very beautiful musical pattern with lascivious percussions of which the strikings seem frozen in time and resound among layers and ethereal voices, drawing an at once spectral and intriguing atmosphere. The piano in it is as much discreet as magical, displaying a nice meditative melody and re-covering of its melancholic notes a structure which is near an astral trance. It’s a very good title on this Robert Rich's last opus which weaves a beautiful musical painting where bird singings, xylophones of glasses and weakened cymbals decorate a world without borders. "Crepescule" is about in the same register, except the flutes bring a more poetic and clanic key touch. "Cornea" transports us in the mysteries of New Orleans’ bayous with a nebulous rhythmic approach. The bass is slow and coos beneath strikings of percussions to abstruse tones while the harmonica blows a black melody quite as much vague there. As a kind of Western with dark jazz tendencies.
Soft blows of a pensive flute open "Pollen". Aboriginal tom-toms offer a soft unstable rhythm that the pleasant meditative voice of Cheri Chuang wraps of a mesmerizing spiritual aura. The bass is delicious and bites delicately into this bewitching rhythmic which gradually wriggles on good riffs, more and more anxious pulsations / palpitations and solid knocks of hands percussions, guiding "Pollen" towards another intense spiritual trance. That’s a very good passage on Medecine Box where the bass resuscitates old souvenirs of certain Patrick O' Hearn. A small jewel! Fitting to this model of crescendo "Callyx" is also delicious with its percussions which espouse the knells of carillons and its layers of spectral guitars. Moulded in the paths of "Pollen", voice in less, "Salamander Quay" remains dark and very ambient. The ambience is heavy and enthralling, a little as an intense Amerindian incantation, where circulate nice fragments of melodies wrapped in the silks of flutes or pianos. Melodies lost inside a structure soaked of a shamanic magnetism aura. "Helios" closes this Robert Rich's last opus in a magnificent musical pattern which depicts all the facets of Medecine Box. Breaths of flutes float over a mixture of percussions and pulsations. This shamanic intro is getting alive bits by bits on the strikings more and more fed by the percussions / pulsations which drum to the rhythms of fine tribal trances. Carried away by the breaths of flute and the languishing élans of cello, the rhythm of "Helios" progresses in a beautiful crescendo of emotions and hypnotic rhythms before falling on meditative and ambient ice floes. The angelic voice Cheri Chuang resurfaces. Her breaths are mixing to celestial voices and layers, sweeping the sinuous reverberations and quieting down the tribal ardours with a soft paradisiacal incantation.
Medecine Box is a beautiful poetic album. On ambivalent rhythms and misty atmospheres, where the mythical American folklore is soaked by a fascinating shamanic aura, Robert Rich weaves a mesmerizing and fascinating musical universe. Like on Ylang, Medecine Box is at the antipodes of cerebral beauties with its intriguing atmospheres as much spectral as supranaturals and its breaths of ancestral spirits which sing beneath the cover of a contemporary music technology. The result is surprising of beauty. A beauty of which the essence increases as we are letting ourselves subject by the lyrical charm of Robert Rich.

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=14790
* If you want to know more about the exotic world of Robert Rich and hear some MP3 snippets, you can visit his website here: http://robertrich.com/
* You can also watch promotional videos of Medecine Box on YouTube:
Salamander Quay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mP_E9gFwDAU
Helios: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8G6fZkGmoM

mardi 20 décembre 2011

ROBERT RICH: Ylang (2010)

''Ylang is as much beautiful as the unknown can be attractive''

1 Ambergris 4:14
2 Translucent 4:59
3 Attar 6:38
4 Verbena 5:03
5 Kalyani 8:09
6 Vetiver 6:25
7 Tamarack 5:38
8 Charukesi 7:11
9 First Rain 4:59


SOUNDSCPAPE: SP021

A tree from the Philippines, the Ylang-Ylang produces an essential oil for the uses of perfumes. And it’s also the title of Robert Rich's 1st solo album since 2007 Illumination. This last opus of the American multi-instrumentalism is also perfumed of an equatorial and tropical scent with a multiclanic approach where fragrances of a world as Amerindian as Asian border on an oniric one which is very near the Buddhisms and Tibetans spiritualities. With Ylang Robert Rich proposes a cerebral journey in the heart of South-East Asia forests on tribal structures of an underestimated and charming world, where aboriginal percussions mould enigmatic lascivious and latent rhythms on breaths of an omnipresent flute and angelic vocals.
A fine rain, delicate arpeggios forgotten on a piano and a solitary flute introduce the first chords of "Ambergris". The tempo falls. Weary it bends in front of strata from a spectral guitar and a tearful synth which encircle this musical firmament from where escapes multitude of chords on lascivious percussions. Percussions which mould a rhythm mi sensual and mi ghostly quite as on "Tamarack" although it’s more accessible and more enchanting with the Lap Steel Guitar whose waves float such as wandering specters. The rhythms on Ylang are very subtle. Ultimately we could think that the album is more atonal than rhythmic except that tempos are always present and draw a very ambivalent rhythmic architecture. "Translucent" and "Verbena" are perfect examples. The tempos are looming from strange Amerindian tribal incantations and are always latent. Without ever exploding or progressing excessively, they soak in a rich sound atmosphere and are of use as assizes to very poetic and oniric musical structures where hand percussions, flutes, ethereal voices and synth with slightly nervous dress a heterogeneous and spiritual musical world. On Ylang Robert Rich renew with the fragrances of his musical world. The flute is the key element of "Attar" and "Kalyani" where slamming percussions and a jazzy bass sculpt a slow morphic tempo. These are two beautiful enigmatic titles because of their crossings between a Tibetan mystic world which goes alongside with slow and sensual jazz structures to waddle languishingly on great aboriginal percussions and a sound flora very rich in clanic variations.
"Vetiver" is what is the closest to Robert Rich's desertic universe (as well as Tamarack). With its rich percussions to hybrid strikes on drifting structures, "Vetiver" revolves in an atonal world where the breaths of flutes become intermingled with synth snippets and angelic vocalizes, structuring a somber arid world. It’s a very good track where we can get its entire dimension through headphones. With its progressive tempo which wriggles beneath the steams of Amerindian flutes, "Charukesi" is unfolding like a slow Indian procession. It’s a title without precise rhythms but which gets its energy through Robert Rich's furious flute. Languishing, plaintive and melancholic, "First Rain" ends this soft tribal musical epic with violin orchestrations to make the indifference melt. Still there the rhythm is uncertain, navigating on a sea of xylophone keys and rich violin strata which encircles a discreet plaintive synth and the notes of a forsaken piano.
Ylang is as much beautiful as the unknown can be attractive. Through its 9 titles, Robert Rich succeeds in weaving a musical structure of a stunning beauty. But like a beauty unsung in jungle Ylang has to be to tame. Because if titles like "Ambergris", "Vetiver" and "Tamarack" will be a delight for the fans of Robert Rich, the other titles will need a rediscovery of his stunning and always so rich musical universe. As for me I enjoyed so much discovering these strange and enchanting rhythms which don’t know if they dance or if they sink in an eclectic, poetic and often oniric musical world which is the fruit of Robert Rich's fertile imagination.

 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=13
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* If you want to know more about the exotic world of Robert Rich and hear some MP3 snippets, you can visit his website here: http://robertrich.com/