mardi 31 juillet 2012

PERGE: Dyad (2012)

"Beyond the compositions which seem stunningly getting out of studios that Tangerine Dream has hid in a parallel universe, Dyad remains a superb album"

1 Temple of Trajan 6:47
2 Drusenfluh 2:41
3 Schesaplana 7:45
4 Zimbaspitze 9:21
5 Vorder Grauspitz 8:00
6 Naafkopf 10:49
7 Sulzfluh 1:38
8 Falknis 5:23
9 Dyad 12:18
10 Sassauna 12:31

PERGE MUSIC (CD 77:18) ****½

There was a time when the legend spoke about it. With years this legend, as the souvenirs, faded to fall into oblivion until finally the first notes are brought to our ears with the introduction of "Temple of Trajan". The legend in question is this famous concert that Tangerine Dream would have given on the night of January 31st, 1981 during the eclipse of the sun and the moon of the “Dyad” planet under the big tent of the Dröing stadium. A concert in another space-time where each note seems to be moved in time and where every melody walks beside the one written for our time-space. Delicate, "Temple of Trajan" walks in the furrows of Quichotte Part I opening, better known under the title of Palace of Dreams. We feel a more melancholic Schmoelling who brings nuances in his notes, reflecting marvellously the fragility of the parallel universes that Tangerine Dream rode without scruples. By the way, you believe in this story?
Perge is the new idol of social networks which flirt with EM, more specially the music of Tangerine Dream. Except that you should not be carried away by this wave of fanaticism and think that Perge is only a carbon copy of Tangerine Dream. It’s far beyond a simple imitation. Consisted of Matthew Stringer on synths, piano and guitars as well as Graham Getty on sequences, Perge is simply paying tribute to the mythical Berlin trio in the most electronic and most melodic skin that is, the one of Franke, Froese and Schmoelling. And “Dyad” is a concert imagined and played live in studio in the full respect for the electric concerts of Tangerine Dream during the 80-81 years. And throughout this imaginary concert, the listener is downright plunged into the universe of the Dream with 10 compositions which are the mirrors of titles as electrics as Undulation, Force Majeure or still Silver Scale. Mirror because the compositions of “Dyad” are molded in known and especially unknown territories of the mythical German trio, a little as if the Stringer/Getty duet had drunk in secret in a horn of plenty forgotten during this famous concert at the Palace of Trajan before to land on the other side of the mirror of our space time in a splendid bootleg which has nothing to envy to those that we already known.
After a bridge forged in a very musical synth in "Drusenfluh", the stormy sequences of "Schesaplana" entail us in an undulatory rhythmic whirlwind forged in sequences of which the curt flow draws a convulsive rhythm which gallops with a contagious frenzy beside percussions with minimalist jingles. This rhythm which is astride of the metallic plains of the Dream on Force Majeure is carefully coated by a synth with the fragrances as much orchestral than melodious, bringing the best of both worlds known of Tangerine Dream for this era. Respectful of the structures for the rhythms and ambiences which furnished these legendary concerts, Perge alternate the hard rhythms and melodies with "Zimbaspitze" which starts with an atmospheric intro before embracing a melodic rhythm and ends by a heavy rhythm bathed of luxurious synth solos. Molded in the ashes of Calymba Caly, "Vorder Grauspitz" flows with more fluidity without for much denying its origin. After an intro charmed by the fluty breezes of Tangram, "Naafkopf" is sinking in a heavy and circular rhythm which swirls all around the melodic skeleton of Tangram with thundering sequences and synths intensely lyrical and heartrending. One would believe to hear a first sketch from a key title of Tangerine Dream and his new musical orientation back then. "Sulzfluh" and "Falknis" offer us some unreleased work with a slow rhythmic evolution which starts from the twisted and reverberating breaths of "Sulzfluh" to land in the heavy undulatory rhythms of "Falknis". Rhythms which are sit on sequences with arrhythmic palpitations encircled by percussions slamming in the harmonious and metallic breezes of silvery synths. "Dyad" is a résumé of every rhythmic and harmonious approaches of the Dream of the years 80-81 with agile flittered sequences and heavy synths to iridescent membranes from which the apocalyptic breaths die in a finale filled by Tangram / Quichotte fragrances. This title which merges harmonies cooing on marbles of lead crowns an enchanting concert that the magic of today restores for us with a striking encore coming from the emblazons of Silver Scale in "Sassauna", where Matthew Stringer pleases the absent crowd by a guitar solo with mordant riffs.
No Perge is not Tangerine Dream, even if we believe in it firmly so much the fiction catches up the reality. And that the purists as well as the die-hard fans are in agreement or in disagreement, Tangerine Dream will continue to live through the cult that his fans dedicates him. Whether it is through works filled by absent subtleties or others downright more direct, the magic of Tangerine Dream will always be of use as rampart to artists who judge that his phases were abandoned without everything was exploited at most. That’s the reason for being of Arc, Free System Projekt, Arcane, René Splinter, Redshift, ['ramp] and how so many others. The difference with Perge is that core attacked is the one of transformation between two periods where the musical signature of the Dream radiated of a wind of revival in a style which wallowed on one's laurels. And only at this level, “Dyad” is a success. Beyond the compositions which seem stunningly getting out of studios that Tangerine Dream has hid in a parallel universe, “Dyad” abounds in a music which misses cruelly to the fans of a period that we would have wanted timeless. It’s a superb album inspired with the biggest of the respects for a cult trio who gave us so much in so little time, that it’s just normal to think that there are leftovers somewhere in another galaxy. I invite you to read Matthew Stringer's reflection about “Dyad” on the Perge Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pergemusic
Sylvain Lupari (July 31, 2012)
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=15377

samedi 28 juillet 2012

VOLT: Circuits (2012)

"Volt is part of EM big names in the same way as Ramp, Redshift, Arc or Arcane are and Circuits confirms the importance of the English duet in the chessboard of contemporary EM"


1 Circuits 20:24
2 Ohms Law 19:22
3 Firewire 21:38

GROOVE: GR-192 (61:24) ****1/4

It has been a long time since we heard some new music of Volt. And a little more, we would have even waited for a long time. Possibly forever! Nevertheless the “Circuits” project was on rails shortly after the superb HjVi, except that some internal problems (in what I believed to understand) as well as Steve Smith's solo project (Phoenix Arizona) and Michael Shipway's (Journey to Venus and The Three Towers) delayed the finalization of “Circuits” which was conclude by distance with Ron Boots' support who did an amazing job on mixing a whimsical album based on electronic tones of all stripes, depicting the microscopic universe of the electronic chips and circuits. “Circuits” lives by 3 long titles which renew with the long deployments of the minimalist rhythms of Volt, with sequences sometimes docile and sometimes crazy and synths sometimes musical and sometimes aggressive which depict the turbulent universe of Michael Shipway and Steve Smith.
Short waves' cracklings and noises, causing interferences in the absolute oblivion, open the labyrinthic meanders of white noises which compose the title-track's slow introductory path. Some discreet and misty synth waves with a scent of a vague archaic organ float behind these electric phonemes, guiding the abstract ambiences of "Circuits" towards a cosmic passage to finally bind themselves to keys dancing in opposite sense. These sequences which play cat and mouse with an embryonic rhythmic draw a virginal approach with ions cavorting under ghostly waves. And abruptly this innocent rhythm collides the barriers of the impassiveness at 12:13 with muffled knockings which hammer a static and heavy rhythm, keeping beneath its resonances these sequences which flutter with innocence on a structure become of lead. This heavy and melodic rhythm raises allegorical clouds in the presence of synths exchanging solos which are courting mists of ether, releasing a soft perfume of madness with these Arabic airs which decorate a structure already rich in rhythm and harmonies. A rhythmic structure which goes alone to offer to our ears a stunning dialogue of sequences and crackling waves which dies in heavy artificial beatings. "Ohms Law" presents a more musical intro with lines of synth which cross their spectral wanderings above a magnetic storm, while a more premature rhythm settles down with metallic keys which drum a vaporous march under a sky tinted by threatening mists and eclectic tones. A hesitating pulsation emerges from this mini industrial din, modifying a rhythm which becomes more rhythmic with a mixture of pulsations, sequences and percussions sounding as wings of ice-cold locusts. Like a one-legged man, this rhythm skips awkwardly. Staggering, it gains a second leg to roll in undulatory circles under solos of two synths which don’t sing the same melody but which harmonize themselves to flood the ambience of a delicate oniric mist and some great fluty breezes while the rhythm, which wins in heaviness and velocity, is always decorated by these superb wings of electronic locusts.
The rhythmic evolution of "Firewire" is latent. Circulating between wild winds of which the extremities suddenly appear both from heavens and from hell, some fine echoing hoops pop out a little after the 3rd minute to jump in the arc of their resonances under the dark eye of a synth with breaths aired by colorful electronic elements. This short-lived rhythm is gobbled up by a deluge of twisted solos which roll its lamentations in clouds of mist slain by darkness. And it’s in these lost breaths that the rhythm gets back to life beneath another shape, demonstrating all the capacity of Volt to amaze again and again. It’s a splendid rhythmic structure built around fine rebounds stick one after the other, moulding a stunning glaucous ride through the somber tunnels of lines of fire of which the resonances throb such as the black breaths of ['ramp] or Redshift. Fine fluty laments sound the end of this apocalyptic ride which takes more vigour with electronic percussions which hammer a rhythm more lively than curt under wonderful solos to tones as alive as musical, entailing "Firewire" towards a finale which seethes of caresses coming from a musical purgatory as much musical as anarchy.
Volt is part of EM big names in the same way as ['ramp] , Redshift, Arc or Arcane are. And “Circuits” confirms the importance of the English duet in the chessboard of contemporary EM with a powerful album which allies the rhythms and ambiences to the diapason of their paradoxes with a skillful dexterity, witness that the universe of EM is not only between good hands but is also blooming more than ever beyond the unlimited imaginations of its designers.

Sylvain Lupari (July 28th, 2012)
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=15372

vendredi 27 juillet 2012

VOLT: HiJi (2008)

"HjVi is unarguably a major work which will please to fans of heavy and dark sequencing à la Tangerine Dream of the 70's, Ramp and Redshift"

1 Primaeval 21:09
2 Atavistic 20:16
3 Signals 20:45
4 Extinction 14:17

GROOVE: GR-152 (CD 76:29) ***1/2

Recorded live at the famous Hampshire Jam festival in 2007 “HjVi” kicks off on hubcaps. After a sound-check intro, where a heavy siren switches into a THX sound effect, "Primaeval" tumbles on heavy and hopping sequencers into an infernal pace captured by a dense mellotron nebulosity gashed of floating pads and watered of juicy synth solos. The intro of "Primaeval" bursts in the ears with a sequential intensity which is so much at the image of the English duet which is strongly inspired by Tangerine Dream of the 70’s. It's a heavy opening which quietly quietens down on a more crystal clear sequence which coos in cascade under a more serene synth and a mellotron as denser as wrapping, creating the rhythmic paradox on which Volt feeds of. Ensues a strange fight of unreal percussions which splits up the tempo under synths to apocalyptic sirens, guiding us towards a finale where the heavy solos get lost in a soft minimalism melody which binds itself to the intro of "Atavistic". A somber morphic sweetness curls up in the cosmos whereas the synth blows some heavy humming flooded in a mellotron which waltzes lonely. Soft piano notes pop out from this astral nebulosity, prelude to a light and minimalist sequential movement which is encircled by a charming synth from which the enchanting lines are multiplying in its echo. This movement hiccups on percussions that have a kind of double echoing impact, while a synth guitar complains in an ambient structure which is not without recalling the world of Robert Rich. "Signals" starts also tepidly. This is dark ambient which waltzes on soft mellotrons before that some beep-beep tones awaken the movement with a heavy sequencer spiting a nervous tempo. A resonant tempo, always coated with beautiful mellotron pads, which will embrace a frolic loudness beneath some vicious synths of which the reverberations borrow textures of guitars. This is pure and loud TD. Simply divine! "Extinction" is the encore and starts with soft floating mellotrons. A little before the 4th minute the movement becomes more accentuated with good sequencing and a soft synth à la Wavelenght. The rhythm becomes more limpid with mixed sequences, creating a rhythm moulded into abstruse hoppings which explodes on strong e-percussions and barrel beneath a rain of solos in a heavy and explosive finale, commanding for another listening of this 5th opus from Volt.
For several “HjVi” is the most complete and accomplished work from Volt. Without claiming to know by heart all of Shipway/Smith catalog (I quite loved Nucleosynthesis), “HjVi” is unarguably a major work. I would even say an inescapable which will delight the fans of heavy and powerful sequences, borrowed to the Berlin School of Tangerine Dream of the 70’s, and more contemporary the pride and loudness of ['ramp] and Redshift, with an audacious ingenuity which suits perfectly in a more modern era. To be listening with all the intensity that it commands.
Sylvain Lupari (December 12th, 2008 and translated on July 26th, 2012)
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=11552

mercredi 25 juillet 2012

LAMP: The Three Towers (2012)

"The Three Towers is a wonderful album where the retro Berlin School bathes in progressive ambiences with just it takes to make us topple over the other side of the mirror of the minimalist rhythms' comfort"


1 The Tower of Breganze 20:19
2 The Tower of Aurumshade 17:51
3 The Tower of Diameter 19:28

GROOVE NL: GR-191 (CD 58:38)  ****1/2

Based on the tales weaved by Bernodine, a scientist as unknown as his fame, “The Three Towers” by Lamp is the answer to the striking “Phoenix Arizing” from Steve Smith and the Tylas Cyndrome which surprised the world of progressive EM and England School in 2011. Lamp, which comes also out of Volt thigh, is consist of Michael Shipway (the other half of Volt) on synths and sequences and Garth Jones, an old friend, on guitars. And “The Three Towers” is a very beautiful album which takes on a particular cachet with its artwork that looks like the legend of Tolkien; The Lord of the Rings. Except that far from being in the lands of an EM to the fragrances of the Middle earth, “The Three Towers” unlocks on 3 long musical chapters where misty mellotron and synths with solos from the past caress some sweet solos and harmonies of a very romantic guitar on evolutionary rhythms, arched on good sequences and programmed percussions. It’s a superb album which transcends the music of the Middle, let us stay in the thematic, in order to offer a musical journey as epic as the tales of Bernodine (The Universe as seen by Bernodine), which we can read extracts on Michael Shipway's site.
"The Tower of Breganze" introduces us into this dazzling world of a hybrid EM with iridescent strata coming from a metallic guitar which float in the soft comfort of a smooth one mellotron mist. This heady mist, which transports us far beyond our dreams and waltzes between our two hemispheres, is also of use as rampart to Michael Shipway's synth who shapes some sweet twisted solos. These solos of an EM with the fragrances of the vintage years coo in our ears, such as mermaids in distress on dried up ice floes, when the more harmonious chords of Garth Jones hum a fine threatening pulsation. Quietly the rhythm settles down with a line of sequences among which the keys which pound randomly are preliminary drafting a nervous rhythmic approach and espouse the spiral movement of a ghostly bass line. This swirling rhythm is harpooned by programmed percussions, propelling "The Tower of Breganze" in the crossbred universe of a progressive electronic rock which swirls in a heavy minimalist twirl. Displaying a disarming contrast, between its rotary heaviness and its surprising rhythmic velocity, this loud tempo rolls like a powerful circular race with a guitar which is more than poetics with its solos and tunes filled of a Latin flavor which dance on bludgeoning percussions and sing beneath these clouds of mellotron which lulled the genesis of "The Tower of Breganze". This mist of mellotron throws a veil of mysticism on the introduction of "The Tower of Aurumshade" with hummed layers which float in a cosmos enchanted by Garth Jones' romantic guitar. Fine synth solos cross this Eden of wadding, rooting this intro in its envelope of mist up until the first pulsations which put up a rhythmic pattern similar to "The Tower of Breganze". Slowly, and by means of sequences which flutter such as will-o'-the-wisp, the rhythm wakes up stealthily with beautiful tears of violin which cry on chords of a dreamlike guitar until the insistency of the pulsations stumbles on an amalgam of sequences with a divided debit. And, like a long hearing orgasm which remains stuck on its climax of enjoyment to extirpate all its pleasure, the rhythm takes off a bit after the 13th minute, espousing the torrent of Breganze's percussions while the guitar, more incisive, bites the pace with furious solos.
Strangely and contrary to the press guide, "The Tower of Diameter" is my preferred title on “The Three Towers” and here is why! First of all the intro whips our senses with its strong cosmic breezes which molds iridescent winds on a ghostly plain grazed by a wandering guitar. We are in full heart of an obscure imagination where the winds whistle with a noisy intensity on a rhythm which blooms after the 3rd minute with glaucous resounding pulsations. A beautiful line of limpid and fluid sequences swirls with a celestial grace around this single-phased rhythm which skips weakly, like being put to sleep by harmonious chords of a keyboard courting the bites of an oniric guitar. Sequences and pulsations are merging in a single rhythmic zone when some lines filled by Hindu psychedelic tones throw a clanic progressive aura on a passage which quietly rushes towards the forgetting before being reborn with curt riffs. And the superb and stunning rhythmic structure of "The Tower of Diameter" displays all of its splendour with riffs which sound strangely as The Police (Every breath you take) wrapped of a serene cosmic mist. The next 10 minutes which flows into our ears are simply charming. Solos of guitars and synths are exchanging their musical poetries on an oblong hypnotic rhythm that big celestial clouds caress of a dreamlike veil, coating the rhythms and ambiences of a thematic pattern that forge the most beautiful ear worms.
You will have guessed it; “The Three Towers” is a wonderful album where the retro Berlin School bathes in progressive ambiences with just it takes to make us topple over the other side of the mirror of the comfort of minimalist rhythms. We may anticipate the rhythmic rides that we hear coming from miles around that we always stay open-mouthed in front of their attacks as much vicious as predictable, sign of an opus splendidly well done which is completely to the diapason of these tales of which we don’t know the origin. And what is to say about these mellotrons? Hum... completely delightful. My very favorite so far in 2012!
Sylvain Lupari (July 25th, 2012)
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=15368

* If you want to know more about Lamp and the tales of Bernodine, visit Michael Shipway's web site here: http://www.mslmusic.co.uk/
** Also, here are 2 links to view Lamp live at the Awakenings:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp_xjo0GQRY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_reB2ZBuUY

mardi 24 juillet 2012

GLENN MAIN: Ripples (2012)

"Ripples is a book of 12 nice melodious chapters where reminiscences of Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis feed gentle rhythms and ambiences which flow in our ears like dreams of feathers"

1 Echoes from the Past 5:22
2 Remembrance 4:10
3 Moving On 5:26
4 Heart and Soul 4:56
5 Castles in the Air 4:48
6 Dream Catcher 5:46
7 Memory Shift 5:30
8 Ripples 3:58
9 A Drop in the Ocean 5:18
10 Sea and Stars 3:56
11 Floating 4:48
12 Outward Bound 4:44

AD MUSIC: AD107CD (58:44) ***1/2

The music of Glenn Main is a crossing between the one of Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis with an umbilical cord which dragged in the reminiscences of New Berlin School. “Ripples” is the first album of the Norwegian synthesist on AD MusicDavid Wright's label which since a few years has the art for finding some beautiful sculptors of a soft and quiet EM whose melodious basis are inspired by electro cosmic ambiences of a progressive New Age. This etiquette sticks marvellously to “Ripples” which is a suite of 12 beautiful titles, among which a superb second half, which interlace in a very long ballad carried away by the echoes of Glenn Main's past.
A synth with line of words introduces the melodious approach of "Echoes from the Past" which sways on a bass line to undulatory forms. This fine cosmic tango twirls with delicacy on percussions to tones of glasses, caressing some pads of mist which hatch the rhythm of a light stroboscopic flow. Afterward Glenn Main lugs us towards a more romantic approach with some notes of piano which float with fragrances of a jazz before making whistle his synth with beautiful lines of a flute which takes on the airs of a panpipes. "Echoes from the Past" kicks off a very melodic album where the influences of Jarre and Vangelis throne on 12 titles which are exchanging the rhythms and ambiences on nearly 60 minutes of continuing music. "Remembrance" is a slow romantic ballad built on the vestiges of “Chariots of Fire” with limpid piano notes which cry in the echo of metallic percussions a bit felted. The synth forges beautiful melodious lines with choirs in sorrow which blow on a beautiful cinematic approach from which the crescendo is dress of a dramatic veil. "Moving On" cuts in the taciturn ambiences of "Remembrance" to offer a jerky rhythm which hiccups in an inverted spiral. It's a rather lively tempo, a kind of electronic funk, stuffed of sizzling fuzz wah-wah and melodious synth pads which releases some nice soloing verses. This lively rhythm gets lost in the gloom of "Heart and Soul" which beats slowly around a synth which subdivides its lines into breaths of saxophones and sung mists, as on Jean Michel Jarre's posthumous title for Ron McLain; Last Rendez-vous. The first chords of "Castles in the Air" remind me of Popcorn. But the rhythm becomes more melodic and less robotics to bloom into a beautiful ballad of an Easy-Listening kind.
Navigating between all kinds that EM can offer, Glenn Main shows his much diversified creativity by offering a title with ambiences as melodic as atmospheric in "Dream Catcher" which is a pure New Berlin School with musical fragrances of Software. That’s very good! "Memory Shift" possesses all the attributes of a remix of Oxygene IV. If the tempo differs slightly with an approach more melodic than cosmic, the galactic and electronic elements which surround "Memory Shift" leave no doubt regarding the influences of the Norwegian synthesist which sometimes sounds like Baffo Banfi. Afterward we are entitled to the parade of the jewels of “Ripples” with the title-track and "A Drop in the Ocean" which are two beautiful electronic ballads molded in the lost breaths of "Echoes from the Past" and among which the fine sequences which swirl in some delicate harmonious spirals, the synths of Orion and the breezes of the enchanted flutes are caressing the universe of Tangerine Dream on “Legend”. "Sea and Stars", which reminds me enormously the poetic and somber universe of Remy, is another beautiful ballad of which the indecisive rhythm carries the tears of a plaintive synth which transposes its sadness and its melancholy far beyond the borders of the tearful and atmospheric "Floating", another small jewel of tenderness on this Glenn Main's last opus who concludes with the slightly stroboscopic rhythm of "Outward Bound" which, in spite of its heavier and more electronic approach, preserves all the melodic cachet of “Ripples”.
In a musical universe where we are constantly looking for some long evolutionary, experimental and progressive corridors of a EM which doesn’t stop any more of conquering unexplored phases of our cerebral cortex, “Ripples” falls as a fine refreshing rain. I devoured this Glenn Main's hyper melodious and dreamy album which seduces so much by its naive approach and its quiet structures which also hide the echoes of our past.

Sylvain Lupari (July 24th, 2012)

lundi 23 juillet 2012

STEVE ROACH: Day out of Time (2012)

"Day out of Time is a superb compilation of titles scattered in the meanders of time that we can see, but especially hear, with the incredible depth of a film which offers us the Dolby Digital"
1 Underground Clouds 5:04
2 Begins Looking Skyward 6:20
3 Walking Upright 6:49
4 This Life 4:35
5 The Dreamer Descends 11:40
6 True West 3:05
7 The Holy Dirt 7:29
8 Merciful Eyes 4:54
9 Two Rivers Dreaming 4:48
10 The Eternal Expanse 10:10
11 The Return 8:22
DVD Time of the Earth The Movie 77:00
1 Underground Clouds 0:49
2 Begins Looking Skyward 4:16
3 Walking Upright 6:30
4 Sound Of Stone 5:20
5 This Life 1:08
6 The Dreamer Descends and True West 4:46
7 The Holy Dir 14:42
8 Merciful Eyes 7:38
9 The Eternal Expanse 9:41
10 The Return 9:53
11 The Return 7:37
12 The Dream Circle 4:35

Audio Track 2
Time of the Earth avec The Dream Circle 73:57
PROJEKT: PRO 272 (CD/DVD 149:27) ****

The adventure of “Day out of Time” and “Time of the Earth” began at the end of the 90's. The film maker and documentary maker Steve Lazur patrolled the immense American western deserts to satisfy his16mm camera of films radiating of striking images. This filmographic route through time lasted over a period of 3 years. Afterward the American cineaste proposed his images to the music of Steve Roach, a pioneer of soundscapes who depicts with a profound poetic glance these immense areas of solitude which cover the Western United States. This unexpected union was going to give “Time of the Earth” (the movie released on September 21st, 2001) and “Day out of Time”, a Steve Roach compilation album (released November, 2002) among which the titles selected from epic albums such as “Early Man”, “Atmospheric Conditions” and “Dreamtime Return”, as well as varied compilations with hard to find material), would dance with Lazur's images of clay. These separate works got scattered in time until they ended out of print and untraceable. Ten years later Sam Rosenthal gathers both works, restored and remasterised them to offer the whole conceptual work in a nice eco-cardboard artwork with a wonderful picture took by Steve Roach as the main theme, where the beauty of Lazur’s images can be now transported wherever we are; in thoughts or in journeys through the ages of the deserts of the mythical American West.
The desert is an arid land whipped by dry winds and it’s in this way that "Underground Clouds" begins this odyssey through the American ergs. Winds as much hot as this cooked ground criss-cross the plains that get lost in the horizon. They blow with variable speeds, penetrating into the big stigmas of the huge rocks which change the hearing current into some subtle wind flutes, while Roach whitewashes his worship for zephyrs with fine organic elements which marinade slowly under the slow guttural drones and the scattered percussions/pulsations which breathe an invisible life to Californian deserts. Less dark "Begins Looking Skyward" and "Walking Upright" (both out of “Early Man”) are floating with a satisfied glance on an earth of which we can only seize the beauty as the crow flies. The synth layers which are floating there free a celestial strength are on a par with the sublimity of the landscapes of clays. The first rhythms of “Day out of Time” make themselves heard at halfway of "Walking Upright". It’s a rhythm usual to those of Steve Roach with fine Amerindian percussions which draw a slow spiritual trance through rangy synth lines which slam like a stroboscopic whip. And the more we move forward in this compilation, as well as in the DVD, the more we feel the affection of the video director and the musician for these lands of desolation. The music of Roach is equal to what the American synthesist wrote at that time; that is long and sinuous of synth line from which the breezes to the colors of rainbow are intertwined in an ultimate magma with rich opaline tones on fine and delicate rhythms which embrace the lunar trances of the peoples of the first nations. These musical landscapes, like in "This Life" throw mixed glances on lands which withdraw towards their earthly sacrifices. These ambient phases are shaken by rhythms sometimes weighed down by deep pulsations while the clanic percussions are sometimes seasoned by more electronic elements, as in "This Life" and the powerful "True West", a rare title that we could found on a mini LP “The Dreamer Descends” among whom the title-track and its paranoiac whispers, its enchanted flutes and its heavy tribal percussions, is also restored on this surprising compilation. "The Holy Dirt" proposes a more fluid rhythm where the trance aboriginal incantations glide on percussions and bass line as round as heavy. "Merciful Eyes" (another rare title from a compilation called “A Storm of Drones”) is a splendid contemplative ode propelled by some quiet and serene winds that some transitory sonic elements disrupt with the aridity of carillons from the deserts. Afterward, "Two Rivers Dreaming", "The Eternal Expanse" (other rarity which nests on an out of print compilation) and "The Return" (from the mythical “Dreamtime Return”) conclude “Day out of Time” with a surprising angelic serenity for an album which depicts the arid lands of the western America.
In spite that the images of the DVD suffer from the wear of time and from the possible points of comparison with the filmic technologies of today, “Time of the Earth” draws its beauty and its power through the rhythms and ambiances of Steve Roach music which, mixed in Dolby Digital Stereo, takes an incredible ambiophonic depth. It’s like listening to another version of “Day out of Time” so much the musical reliefs are incredibly defined. The restoration of the images is precise, so much and so well that we have the vague impression to view the plans of a scale-model of an extraterrestrial world. The colors are of fire and the filming is breathtaking, testifying of the film-maker’s audacity to make us travel through these immense rocks hand-crafted which give a striking lunar approach to these lands of aridity. The music adopts well enough the plans of view and the scrolling of the images which flow like aerial currents, except for those trances moments which are too often move on static shooting. But the contrasting effect is always within the reach of a strange poetry which scatters its stanzas in the winds. And, like on most of the works remixed on the Projekt label contain surprises, this DVD edition offers another audio track which parades on the same images; “The Dream Circle”. It’s another opus from Steve Roach's catalog (Soundquest Recordings - LTD 1, 1994) which is out of print and fits stunningly very well to the images of “Time of the Earth”.
Day out of Time” is a superb combo CD/DVD which is a real incursion in Steve Roach's ancestral musical territories. If the images of Lazur suffer from time and its technologies, the music of Roach stays of a contemporary depth. Navigating between 1995 and 2000, this music by-passes the ages as it criss-crosses the landscapes of clay of which the shooting draws much more pride of the music than the opposite. But no matter, the result is a superb compilation of titles scattered in the meanders of time that we can see, but especially hear with the incredible film depth that offers us the Dolby Digital. A delight, so much for eyes and especially ears!

Sylvain Lupari (July 23rd, 2012)
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=15366

vendredi 20 juillet 2012

FORREST FANG: Animism (2012)

"Animism is a folk ambient musical journey which floats between its fragrances of a melancholy divided between tribal souvenirs and ancestral regrets"

1 Tailing Wind 6:49  
2 The Chameleon's Paintbox 6:20  
3 Islands in the Sky 8:55  
4 Evening Chorus 5:21  
5 Passing Suns 7:40  
6 A Tributary Unwinds 8:15  
7 Sleeping Snakes 7:12  
8 Resting Point 9:40

PROJEKT: PRO274 (CD 60:52) ***

Somber resonant chords fall with a dramatic heaviness, raising a delicate whirlwind of tinkled chords which makes "Tailing Wind" to spin between the ambiences of a pastoral ode and a an oniric tribal rhythm. This heavy and slow clanic rhythm turns in some fine musical corridors where hypnotic tom-toms, diverse ringings and absent choirs lose their musicality in a dense thick cloud of chords from string instruments, shaping this fascinating spiritual trance which quivers to the measure of our obedience. Lugging around its 8 titles which compose “Animism” between delicate tribal rhythms inspired by the Middle East and ambiences both spectral and angelic, Forrest Fang invites his listener in a fascinating musical journey built around a surprising panoply of acoustic instruments.
"The Chameleon's Paintbox" is a good example of this duality between the mysticism of the tribal trances and the passion of the spiritual hymns with its violent notes of guitar which bite a contemplative structure from which the musicality is filled by an avalanche of strings’ notes which dance on the winds of fine and discreet lines of a synth which, between its harmonies, frees a seraphic choir. The intro of "Islands in the Sky" tears the sky with its breaths of emerald which activate some Tibetan bells. One would believe to be straight into the relaxation exercises ordered by Ray Lynch and his soft “Deep Breakfast”. A fine rhythm is outlined, making move the percussions which whisper on the waves of synth fading away wave by wave to embrace a more lively rhythm. The rhythm is livened up by manual percussions which beat under the shrill tears of a violin before merging into an attractive clanic folk song, hugged by layers of a more redeeming synth. It’s a very beautiful title. "Evening Chorus", which nicely wears its naming, brings us towards the ambient borders of Forrest Fang's 13th album with synth strata chanting with fine bells. Although ambient, "Evening Chorus" is eaten away by a surprising passion and an intense emotionalism; two keywords that encircle pretty well the universe of “Animism”.
Afterward the multi-instrumentalist American of a Chinese origin moves its intra-personal vibrations with a stunning worship for Eolus and its whims. “Animism” deflects towards a torrent of winds which will blow with strength and/or passion until the dawns of "Resting Point"."Passing Suns" begins with a slow waltz of drones. These drones are warm and suave. They moderate little by little, letting filter more bright lines under the shape of fine striation of synth which cry and glide over an earth of sorrow. But the anger of these synth winds, as well as violins’, is not satisfied yet. These winds of silver are blowing with such a fury on "A Tributary Unwinds" that they mask the tranquility of the aboriginal tom-toms which try to delude the ferocity with it. The percussions bursts which are scattered by the winds bring us in the feudal universe of Steve Roach. Dense gusts of deserts pursue their merciless road of natural predators on "Sleeping Snakes" and its bells which ring blindly in this ambient universe sat on storms of clays. These ringing resist to the strength of winds to trumpet a soft tinkled serenade which spreads its charm until the finale of "Sleeping Snakes", before that dark and floating winds win back their rights on "Resting Point" to conclude an album to the colors of a melancholy divided between its tribal souvenirs and its ancestral regrets.

Sylvain Lupari (July 20h, 2012)
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=15362

jeudi 19 juillet 2012

TANGERINE DREAM: White Eagle (1982)

"White Eagle is an outstanding opus where Tangerine Dream digs in all the facets of its new technologies to offer an album as eclectic as melodic"

1 Mojave Plan 19:55
2 Midnight in Tula 3:52
3 Convention of the 24 9:27
4 White Eagle 4:30

VIRGIN: CD 839 444-2 (CD 37:44) *****

With this album we are entering into my favorite TD phase. In fact, “White Eagle” is the album which really hooked me on Tangerine Dream. Of course I knew the oniric “Phaedra”, the sumptuous “Ricochet” and the electric “Encore”, but “White Eagle” popped out in my hard rock era and we have to admit that this new orientation of Tangerine Dream has jostled the structures of EM from then on.
A blow of clog bursts out and scatters its echoes which disrupt the tranquility of a strange synthesized bird that makes hear his shouts in a metallic ambience more than unreal. Sequencer keys fall and try to pierce an atmospheric wall where absent tom-toms, eclectic lamentations and sound effects float adrift. This intro of "Mojave Plan" is at both times oniric and of a coldness to make freeze an Eskimo. Metallic, the tones float in an insane electronic universe. And on a big burst the rhythm livens up with a powerful sequencer, evasive choirs and strata of a silvery synth which multiply its tones on stunning controlled echoes. Irregular, "Mojave Plan" is a pure jewel of imagination. The rhythm changes constantly on an ingenious sequencer from which the slamming keys turn the tempo upside down. A tempo which turns on itself with its oblong rotary lanes, while being wrapped by captivating layers of synths of which the screams are the equivalence of birds of prey in a desert of blue metal. The rhythm which enters in our ears is hyper harmonious and winds the unlimited imagination of Franke on percussions. The synth is juicy and offers some beautiful solos which amplify a boosted ambience and blow a contrasting melodious approach in a universe as much abstract. The rhythm is supported by a superb bass line and an incredible sequencer. At about the 10th minute we seize the greatness of the brilliant Franke. Between 2 movements, the sequencer slams its metallic percussions which accelerate the pace on an untidy and echoic movement to end in a harmoniously hard-hitting cacophony. The movement becomes unbridled, like a big symphonic rock with an energetic rhythmic which burst on synths filled by melodious lines and solos. And while we think that "Mojave Plan" is ending, it bounces back with great sound effects, an aggressive sequencer which always slams its keys with an ambiophonic violence and wrapping synths which smother a staggering finale with some completely sublime orchestral strata. It’s a highly progressive and artistic title, which made the delights of the Berlin symphonic orchestra. It’s a pure classic of
Tangerine Dream!
As the Dream does since “
Exit” (or with its soundtrack), the 2nd part of “White Eagle” lies on shorter tracks that have a more accessible approach like "Midnight in Thula" which offers a wild rhythmic race where percussions, sequences, echoing effects, a bass line and synths with metallic hooting are trading a structure that makes us stamp one's feet. Still there, the sequencing is surprisingly hard-hitting. "Convention of the 24" offers a more complex structure. It's a title which floats between 2 movements. Not too ambient nor too much rhythmic, it progresses on an ambivalent structure where the tempo stumbles and hiccups beneath other superb echoing percussions and brilliant sequences of which the strikings follow one another at the speed of an imagination without weaknesses from the German trio. The ambiences which encircle these mixed rhythms are as much ethereal as metallic, witnesses of the change of orientation of the Dream, while the synth, always so filled with harmonies in blue, displays all its phases of a territory as improbable as "Mojave Plan". It’s a great electronic-progressive track that seems to have been forgotten between "Midnight in Thula" and the title-track which is a superb electronic ballad like only Tangerine Dream was capable to compose. Nostalgic, magic and intensely melancholic, "White Eagle" forges an ear worm which sticks again and again, even after more than 25 years.
White Eagle” is some condensed genius. An excellent opus where
Tangerine Dream digs in all the facets of its new technologies to offer an album as eclectic as melodic. It’s a tour de force where the unreal joins the romance and the poetry of the silvery tones of the new synths and sequencers. It’s also a too short opus, considering the amount of new music played during this 82 tour and a stroke of genius that nobody has still equaled, so much the melodious structures hesitate harmoniously in a simply brilliant progressive EM universe. Totally brilliant! Hat to all of you; Franke, Froese and Schmoelling for this album that I place as high as the Sgt Peppers of contemporary EM.

Sylvain Lupari (September 16th, 2007 and translated on July 18th, 2012)
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=8781

mardi 17 juillet 2012

SYNC24: Comfortable Void (2012)

"Comfortable Void is a real journey into the soils of oblivion, there where the mists of Blade Runner float around morphic down-tempos rhythms"
1 Comfortable Void 7:08
2 Inadvertent 7:00
3 Dance of the Droids 6:38
4 1N50MN14 7:05
5 Nanites 7:58
6 Sequor 8:48
7 Something Something 7:26
8 Oomph 10:58
9 Wake (live edit) 9:48
10 There Is No Spoon 8:56

ULTIMAE RECORDS: INRE052 (CD 77:23)

A rippling synth line comes to wrap the radioactive cloud of tones which introduces the title-track of Daniel Segerstad's 2nd solo album, the man behind SYNC24 and also Carbon Based Lifeforms. This wave which purifies the sizzling dusts of the intro embraces some delicate pulsations, guiding "Comfortable Void" towards a soporific down-tempo daubed of a fascinating line of percussions to tones of locusts which hiccup on the same lunar spindle as the melodious synth lines turning in loops in an enchanting psychedelico- morphic cover. Built around 10 titles with rhythms and ambiences wrapped by intros and outros as much ambient as ethereal, “Comfortable Void” is a real musical journey in the country of oblivion and of its artificial breaths which are connecting to slow and semi-slow rhythms that an armada of electronic tones dresses of an aura of a moderated psy-trance. Those who know the works of Ultimae Records know also in which artistic artwork are wrapped the albums of the Lyon label. And “Comfortable Void” is carefully wrapped in a slim case art which includes an illustrated notebook where Daniel Segerstad explains the ins and outs of his 10 titles which run on the contemplative feelings of an oblivion flavored of a lunar poetry.
Caressing the final cosmic phase of "Comfortable Void", "Inadvertent" espouses the introductory tranquility to quietly gallop towards a more sustained rhythm. A rhythm which quivers lazily into the vapors of a metallic ether to undulate with a retained velocity on a spasmodic line filled by hatched hoops. These hoops are turning like a slow lunar stroboscope on cosmic and angelic synth lines which are crisscrossing on a rhythm filled by good percussions and an avalanche of tsitt-tsitt cymbals, sealing the fate of "Inadvertent" which, without exploding, revives the glimmers of hope of a rhythmic approach which is drinking by both hemispheres of SYNC24. Moreover the oscillating lines which throw the oblong murky pulsations of "Dance of the Droids", which seem to beat in the helmet of a psy-cosmic diver, brings us towards these borders of more fluid rhythms. Except that the rhythmic fluidity flows into resounding electronic bends, so slowing down a rhythm which floats around arpeggios with ringings of anvils and residues of organic dusts from a cosmos in fusion, from where one cannot ignored the discreet singings of drunk Droids which slam of their metallic hands a cadence as robotics than hypnotic. Emerging out of the howling synth fluids and dogmatic cosmic drones of a galaxy without romance, "1N50MN14" clickety-clack of its metallic wings towards a slow tempo plugged on a pulmonary ventilator of which the melodious approach is closer to the sighs of an intergalactic fuck than robotics romance. "Nanites" is a smooth title which floats in a cosmos of ether of which the acid winds are moving some carillons which ring near dark voices. The 2nd part embraces an unreal rhythm of Caribbean Islands which quietly submits itself to the influences of a good morphic down-tempo wandering in the lanes of a cosmos adrift.
A melancholic acoustic guitar pierces the ethereal clouds of "Sequor" which is a soft cosmic ballad for cowboys with lost illusions. "Something Something" shakes the membrane of the slowness which wraps “Comfortable Void” since "1N50MN14", with a good bass line to threatening pulsations. The tempo is soft and elastic with strata of a synth which coo in a lunar setting, floating with the tunes of a beautiful melody to hybrid arpeggios which dream in a sphere of slamming percussions. It's undoubtedly the most beautiful title of “Comfortable Void” with "Oomph" whose intro slumbers in a dense cloud of ochred mist, where whispers and sinuous synth line are trailing behind a rhythm which delays to hatch. And it's around the 4th minute that it pops out. Firmly stood on percussions of which the successive strikings are holed of wooden resonances, this long minimalist rhythm unfolds its 7 minutes adorned of fine twinkling arpeggios which glitter of an allegorical chant on a structure oscillating of its stroboscopic spasms. "Wake" matches to the shape of the same structural tangent with a morphic intro which loosens a nice melodious synth line of which the hoops rock the oblivion and these fine and brilliant pulsations/percussions which secrete an evasive rhythm. One waltzes in space when a hatched line delivers some spasmodic riffs which encircle stroboscopic pulsations and tsitt-tsitt cymbals, molding imperfect rotations which saturate in a shape of techno intended for space clones. This rhythmic incursion of “Comfortable Void” runs out in the multi-plasmic layers of "There Is No Spoon", a splendid ambient title which seems to be taken out of the melancholic ambiences of Blade Runner, an album which was undoubtedly of use as basis of this mesmerizing ode to the void and of its undisclosable instincts of seduction.

Sylvain Lupari (July 17h, 2012)
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=15360

* If you want to know more about SYNC24 and hear as well as see a promo video trailer of Comfortable Void, you may visit his website: http://sync24.se/
or follow this You Tube link: http://www.youtube.com/v/pFB7VZs1yuk