mardi 29 novembre 2016

OWANN: Eternal Return (2016)

“Between rhythms and ambiences, the music of Eternal Return travels with the elegance of the most beautiful sonic poems”
1 Return to Sils-Maria 9:40
2 Frozen 5:56
3 White Forest 6:48
4 Silvaplana 15:40
5 Muottas Muragl 5:25
6 Eternal Return 8:00
7 Walking in Surlei 20:12
8 Memories 4:24

Wool-E Discs | WED006 (Digipak 76:05) ****½
(Mix of ambient moods and Berlin School)
Like winds coming from icy summits, a distant humming sweeps the horizons of "Return to Sils-Maria". We hear waves there to roll in the air, as these snowbanks which tumble down from the mountains. And then, the noise of the void which widens its veil of the sadness. And behind these 90 seconds, a superb movement of crystal clear sequences pierces the mystery and draws spheroidal circles of which the graceful movements of the fairy ballerinas swirl on the slow amplitudes of a completely delicious bass line. We dance and dance in our head with these fairies, like we waltz on the theatrical ice where are tipping over the fogs and the frosts of the cold. We are not alone. No! Layers of synth with perfumes as much heavy as black wrap these embraces of an unreal touch, so giving more tonus to the circular rhythm of "Return to Sils-Maria" which is a splendid opening to this 2nd long-awaited album from Owann. Inspired by the several stays of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in Sils-Maria between 1881 and 1883, Johan De Paepe undertook a kind of musical pilgrimage in the winter of 2016. Blown by the beauty of the landscapes, his trip inspired him the title of “Eternal Return” following a concept, a contents of thoughts, wrote by Friedrich Nietzsche during a stay in the enchanting décor of this small village of Switzerland. This sound collection of Owann is so traced on the model of his very beautiful Particles; an album intensely poetic. And between rhythms and ambiences, his music travels with the elegance of the most beautiful sonic poems. After this small jewel which is "Return to Sils-Maria", "Frozen" throws us in a state of hibernation with slow synth layers filled of sizzling and grave tones which infuse a delicate sibylline perfume. The undulation of the layers makes sing the cold in a universe of deep ambient moods as penetrating as that of the Steve Roach. The opening of "White Forest" is like a fine drizzle which crystallizes its embrace. If the movement is slow, it's still melodious with a piano which tosses its notes as thousands of branches which burst under the torture of the cold. We even hear the ghosts of the forest here to snivel of solitude. We can even imagine their breaths get congeal in the cold while the echo of the keyboard chords gets lost among these heavy effects of reverberations which hide the lunar decoration of “Eternal Return”. After an introduction of ambiences where our ears get beatified in front of a concert of drones which accumulate its iridescent lamentations in a symphony for cold hummings, "Silvaplana" glitters between our ears as these Michael Stearns' mirages in M'Ocean! Fluid but relatively quiet, the sequenced waves stack static loops of rhythm which let fall some repetitive harmonious filets where hide murmurs and humming of an astral choir. This is a splendid title which little by little takes the shape a very good morphic slow dance.
"Muottas Muragl" is a crossing between the ambient moods of "
Frozen" and "White Forest" with pinched keyboard chords which reveal a perfume of Steve Howe. Intense and dramatic, like the title-track which also proposes a wall of breaths and hummings in a warmer and also more sibylline envelope. The same recipe is kept for the opening of the sublime "Walking in Surlei" which will climb all the roads of the Berlin School EM style with its delicately jerky structure of rhythm where the sequences possess this breath of glass flute while keeping a percussive approach. A wide carpet of mist unties some strands which roam like starving spectres. Simply joyous. The music dives into an ambiosonic void after the point of 8:30 minutes. Then a sweet movement of sequences so close to those of Klaus Schulze’s contemporary years emerges. The beat gets on its feet again some 90 seconds farther. As much beautiful and magnetic as its first phase, it adopts an approach closer to Electronica with a nice morphic down-tempo. The bangings, the mute choir and the effects of resounding drones lead this wonderful title in a completely unexpected territory. Brilliant! Hat to Owann for it. "Memories" concludes this superb album of Johan De Paepe with a piano which throws its notes as we filter our souvenirs. The melody which results from it is like a shower of tears over the most beautiful moments of a life passage already too far. Yes, a very beautiful album my friends.Sylvain Lupari (November 29th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

You will find this album on the Owann Bandcamp page here

dimanche 27 novembre 2016

ANDY PICKFORD: Adagiometry Vol. 3 (2016)

“It's maybe the least convincing to me but still it remains a very good composition work and music”
1 Adagiometry No. 3 3:50
2 Velcronomics 5:36
3 In Silent Vigil 4:40
4 Could You Cry (Speechless Mix) 5:15

AD Music ‎– AD183 (DDL 19:22) ***
(Orchestral et cinematographic EM)

If the first 2 volumes of the Adagiometry series began with slow orchestral approaches, Andy Pickford changes a little the order with “Adagiometry Vol. 3” by caressing an approach which aims to be more Electronica. Indeed, "Adagiometry No. 3" offers a good down-tempo a bit nonchalant, like approach of a cowboy who arrives at Daisy Town, in a good Lounge mood. The rhythm is delicate and the play of the percussions is rather catchy. "Adagiometry No 3" wraps itself afterward with a very spheroidal orchestral approach with its thick cloud of philharmonic strings which wind around a structure of rhythm which gives us some little ants in our legs. "Velcronomics" is more convincing with a structure still sat on a good percussions pattern and on chords which stretch their charms in lines a bit stroboscopic. I like the effects of percussions and I have this vague feeling here to hear some Peter Murphy in The Answer is Clear from the album Should the World Fail to Fall Apart. This adds all the charms to another title which plays in the area of nightclub music. Mr. Pickford returns to his symphonic serenades with the lento of "In Silent Vigil". This time, horns hide a very slow walking which is knocked by heavy percussions. The violins make very solemn! Intense and dramatic, one would imagine to be at the movie. "Could You Cry (Speechless Mix)" is halfway between synth-pop and the cinematic music of Andy Pickford. It’s a soft ballad sat on a delicate up-tempo sculptured by some sober percussions a bit Electronica. The layers of violin fight to restore a cinematic mood which leaks out little by little in an envelope of Japanese melody.
Does the
Adagiometry series get out of breath? We shall judge after the 4th volume. In the meantime, “Adagiometry Vol. 3” is the least convincing E.P. of this series. If the music always remains quite good, its flight towards other kinds mixed in orchestrations as celestial as filmic, such as heard during the first 2 first volumes, leaves us a little on our appetite. A little something is missing there. We shall see in Adagiometry Vol. 4

Sylvain Lupari (November 26th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

You will find this album on the AD Music web shop here

vendredi 25 novembre 2016

ANDY PICKFORD: Adagiometry Vol. 2 (2016)

“Music to make shivers your soul? You can't have any better than this!”
1 Adagiometry No. 2 3:14
2 Asgard 6:44
3 Celandine 5:28
4 Time Enough 4:15

AD Music ‎– AD182 (DDL 19:44) ***½
(Orchestral et cinematographic EM)
I know! I made the promise to get back to you sooner about this fascinating series of 5 E.P. by Andy Pickford. The time missing and the numerous download albums which have arrived got me away from that goal. So here it is, I will offer you 2 criticisms from this Adagiometry series. When I write fascinating, I don’t want to mean about the dark or experimental character of the music, but rather about its very romantic aspect. So, following the precepts of the first volume, “Adagiometry Vol. 2” proposes about 20 minutes of a music with soft perfume of romance. The approach remains always very cinematographic with points of emotionalism which make us raise the hairs of our soul.
"
Adagiometry No 2" follows the orchestral bend of its young brother with a slow movement where the strings of violins and of cellos tear an apathetic heaviness with flutes and clarinets which caress the movement of a delicate aerial envelope. It’s kind of impossible to not like it, even if we are far from the phases of EM as such. And I don’t believe that it’s the purpose aimed by Andy Pickford anyway. In the Scandinavian mythology, "Asgard" is a domain situated in the center of the Earth. And it’s exactly there that Mister Pickford guides us with a wonderful serenade where a voice splendidly morphic and celestial as well as a nomadic guitar entail us in a beautiful harmonious duel. The piano is so delicate that its notes tremble like sheets falling from a frail oak. Kind of castanets decorate this wedding march with a scent of mystery. The slow march of "Asgard" follows its arch of emotionalism to dive into an intense poignant broth around at about the 5th minute, nailing even more our backbone to our armchair. There also our soul shivers. Things get to normal a bit with "Celandine" which is a good down-tempo flooded in luxurious arrangements of which the purpose is to make shiver our feelings again. The finale is a little bit abrupt, it looks like seconds are missing, but that remains a damned good little very pleasant title to hear. "Time Enough" concludes this 2nd part on the tales and mysteries of Andy Pickford with a darker approach which is as slow as "Adagiometry No 2", except that orchestrations are less intense (although…) and except that the minimalist suite of the piano is adding a suspicion of mystery. A little 20 minutes of EM of this style? I take that anytime! Not complicated but very beautiful, “Adagiometry Vol. 2” shows all the murderer power of Andy Pickford s music.

Sylvain Lupari (November 25th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the AD Music web shop here

jeudi 24 novembre 2016

OPERA'S SPACE: Aus-Flug (2016)

“A plethora of heterogeneous tones and sounds in a good diversity of EM genders, Aus-Flug will please for sure those who are fond of experimental music”
1 Bauchlandung 2:13
2 Spacecamp 6:05
3 Passage 6:15
4 Kurskorrektur 5:26
5 Plasmaspur 5:20
6 Interferenzflug 5:34
7 Weltraumbahnhof 7:14
8 Mutantenjazz 6:36
9 Wurmlochkoller 6:43
10 Teilchenentschleuniger 7:12
11 Gravitation 4:32
12 Treibkraft 6:31

SynGate-Luna | CD-r pf15 (CD-R/DDL 69:44) ***½
(Neo Psychedelic Cosmic Rock)
Ringings of mini gong and bells are running after the shadows of a bass line of which the fluidity has an equal only its threatening air. And then there are noises! A lot of them. Cybernetic dialogues mixed with creakings of metal in pain and fuzz-wah-wah of guitars a bit psychedelic decorate a soundscape where a Tibetan tranquility fights with its devils. If I tell you PeteFarn, will it ring a bell? Well it’s the man behind this strange group Opera's Space. “Aus-Flug” is a first album which transcends his solo works by injecting colors into his universe a lot already not too easy to seize.
After the short introduction of "Bauchlandung", "Spacecamp" plunges us into a cosmos where noises of video game find refuge in a surprising morphic mid-tempo fed by a bass line which spits its poison in the evasive harmonies of a guitar in search of its soul. Voices? Yes there is, but not everywhere! Here and there, like here. They decorate a universe of sound psychosis where every instrument possesses its dialogue, creating a huge sound tectonic plate which doesn't have to be shy in front of the din of the Tower of Babel. This refuge for tones in extinction is all over the 70 minutes of this surprising album which is “Aus-Flug”. Surprising because of its pallet of sounds and tones, but also by its big diversity at the level of the rhythms, placing the album between Cosmic Rock, Krautrock and ambient music quite psychedelic. Like "Passage" and its soft flute which seems unreal in this sound universe in decomposition. "Kurskorrektur" offers a structure of rhythm sometimes bouncing and sometimes quieter in an envelope a bit tribal. The noises? Always and they oversize a harmonious approach which is rather seductive here. And so parades the very particular universe of “Aus-Flug”. We are entitled to some fascinating acid jazz-rock a la King Crimson on titles such as "Interferenzflug", the percussions are very good here, "Plasmaspur", which flirts with a touch of Electronica, and "Gravitation". We also have some ambient music on a background of Jazz with "Mutantenjazz" and the very musical "Teilchenentschleuniger" which is a very good track. Soft and relaxing music which is on the verge of the experimentation of sounds with "Weltraumbahnhof", another very good piece of music here, "Wurmlochkoller" and finally the kind of a bit Funk "Treibkraft".
A mosaic of rhythms and of kinds on the background of neo-psychedelic music, “Aus-Flug” is an album which addresses above all to a public fond of experimental music. But a wider audience will find some benefit here, so much the borders between the abstract and the musicality get entangled charmingly on certain titles. Making of this album, as disturbing as surprising, a pleasant surprise which we tame rather easily. I really enjoyed it. And the sound fauna is immensely enveloping with loudspeakers. So it's an album which draws all its wealth without earphones, although it’s completely charming with them.

Sylvain Lupari (November 24th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp page here

mercredi 23 novembre 2016

BERTRAND LOREAU: In Search Of Silence (2016)

“Few artists can really do retro Berlin School as Bertrand Loreau does and this In Search Of Silence proves it. A wonderful team effort with Lambert Ringlage”
1 In Search Of Silence Part 1 (41:03)
a) Engines of Search 6:25  b) Rain of Stars 5:55
c) Orbital Journey 10:34   d) Space Flight 4:14
e) Arise in the Desert 5:57
f) A World Apart 7:58
2 In Search Of Silence Part 2 (13:30)
a) Walking on Dunes of Time 13:30
3 In Search Of Silence Part 3 (16:55)
a) Meeting One Self 4:22
b) Introspection 5:52
c) To the Center of the Earth 6:41

Spheric Music | SMCD 6304 (CD 71:28) ****½
(Vintage Berlin School)
EM of the vintage Berlin School style still exists. You know this old model with atmospheres as cosmic as Mephistophelian and rhythms as soft as fuzzy which take strength and shape through a high wall of sounds with constants evolutions? Eh well…if a lot artists succeed to reach these levels, few can make it as Bertrand Loreau. In fact, since his very first album made on the Spheric Music label, Journey Through the Past in 2012, the brilliant synthesist from Nantes spreads his dominance on the genre with such an ease that each album manages to surpass the precedent and to surprise his public. “In Search Of Silence” won’t be apart!
This 2nd collaboration with 
Lambert Ringlage begins with astral waves which propel electronic chirpings. "In Search Of Silence Part 1" opens in a symphony of ambient noises where roams a good synth with the harmonies as so worn-out as the anarchy of the sounds which dominate the territory of Engines of Search. The stars whistle and crumble off while the sequences pound aimlessly nor precise rhythms and the synth sculptures solos which stretch out in the comatose hummings. We are in a sphere of experiment of sounds and of the reheating of the machines when Rain of Stars moves on with a movement of sequences which makes its keys cavort innocently under a sonic density which cools the ashes of Armageddon. And always, the synth waves are concentric in their cosmic envelopes. In voices and dust of mists is born the superb movement of Orbital Journey. The rhythmic skeleton of Rain of Stars widens its minimalist approach which metamorphoses in capers hardly faster but definitively more cheerful. The ambiences are weaved in cosmic mists and in dusts of stars while the synth multiplies the solos which sound as the laments of a happy but always nostalgic saxophonist. And the more we move forward in "In Search Of Silence Part 1" and the more the structure of rhythm metamorphoses according to the fluidity of the agile fingers which torture the sequencer. Thus, Space Flight reveals a wild rhythm where the sequenced keys are jumping in the reflections of bass of their main chords. The synth injects solos which are more musical and less solitary with a sibylline approach which defies the melodious side of these synthesized songs. We are in the heart of vintage EM with Tangerine Dream's shadows, period Phaedra to Sorcerer, which glide over structures of rhythm tinted of nebulosity. Arise in the Desert follows with a softer rhythmic structure. Here, the movement of sequences lays wide loops with 5 keys which roll and play with their shadows whereas the synths adjust their charms with celestial harmonies. And the solos are devastating for those who are crazy, like me, of artists who did not forget the principles of EM. They float like splendid songs of nightingales in a lunar decoration. It's somehow as if Jarre has infiltrated the atmospheres of TD. The residual hummings of Arise in the Desert throw themselves into A World Apart. The synth dresses again the skin of a saxophone with an approach of Blues while the sequences skin their membranes with organic tones to limp in a decoration which sets ablaze their velocity for a brief moment, before that the cosmic ambiences wrap the whole thing. The rhythm is reborn! Softer it skips with difficulty whereas the synth solos always remain so attractive, so catchy with their tints of saddened saxophonist who mixes tears and grudge with an infinite tenderness.
"
In Search Of Silence Part 2" takes back all the attributes of Part 1 with a beautiful progression in the minimalist walking of the sequences. The only difference is in the spheroidal approach of the movement which gives a more contemporary approach to a title which breathes Klaus Schulze at full nose, period Body Love, except for the synth solos which are more electronic, less nostalgic and airy here. The effects, the atmospheres and the decoration, although I like this subtle flavor of Jarre, are so near Schulze … We just cannot not like it! And it’s also true for the trilogy of "In Search Of Silence Part 3" which confronts the structure of rhythm between lively and\or ambient movements, on the same bases as "In Search Of Silence Part 1". Except that here, the structure is more condensed and varies with more speed its approaches. For one, Meeting One Self begins heavily, like an interbreeding of Ramp and Redshift, before quietening down with a more ambient phase. The synths are always of delicious decorative objects with very beautiful solos and effects to be made buzz our ears. Introspection offers a lively structure with a fight between crystal clear and bass sequences, the heavier ones get the win, in a shower of very Schulze solos. Isolated in its corner, To the Center of the Earth is Dantesque, both in its rhythm and its ambiences, and ends a very strong opus where the fans of retro Berlin School will have ears full. Very strong and very beautiful! The effect is even more devastating with a listening divided in 2. One listens to "In Search Of Silence Part 1" one evening and to its 2 younger brothers of sounds the other evening. So all the strength of this album strikes us quite harder. To recommend strongly! It snakes through a place in my Top 10 list of 2016.

Sylvain Lupari (November 22nd, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album at PWM and CD Baby or else on this web site of Spheric Music

lundi 21 novembre 2016

IAN BODDY: As Above So Below (2016)

“A masterpiece! Period!”
1 As Above So Below 6:00
2 Quantum of Memory 6:53
3 Time Lapse 6:21
4 Shrine 8:16
5 The Thaumaturge 6:12
6 One Day 5:15

Din Records | Din 51 (CD/DDL 39:08) *****
(Vintage EM with this scent of contemporaneity)
You remember this period when the albums of EM golden of a very Cartesian approach had an average of 40 minutes to the meter? A vinyl with about 20 minutes on both sides? There was no place to improvisation nor to lengthes! Like on this last Ian Boddy's album which we would nevertheless have wished longer. Splendid from the first second to the last, “As Above So Below” is as a jewel which is brought out of this nice time where the delight of our ears was never quenched. The album is offered in vinyl with a number of pressings limited to 250, as well as in CD with a number limited to 500 copies and finally in download. And I would tell you that if you have one album to buy this year, that should be “As Above So Below”.
The adventure begins with slow and quiet synth wave of which the cosmic appearance of is betrayed by an oceanic melody where the astral murmurs are like seraphic chants. So beautiful as poignant, the slow morphic march of "
As Above So Below" is like a synthesized adagio or else a symphony of whimperings of which the contrasts feed Isaac Newton's vision when he wrote in 1860 that which is below is like that which is above and that which is above is like that which is below. The very orchestral approach of this title places the ambient music style at another level so much it can be filmic or cosmic. We believe then that this last Ian's opus is as his last odes of atmospheres? Make no mistake! After a short ambiosonic introduction, quite as beautiful as the one of "As Above So Below", "Quantum of Memory" offers a superb structure of ambient rhythm with crystal clear sequences which are slightly knocked down by the delicate roundness of the beatings from a bass line. Another line of sequences stirs in background. The sharp keys draw a spheroidal ballet, like these snips of scissors in the Barber of Seville. These two lines of sequences complete marvellously this duel of rhythm versus harmony which fades in the tranquillity. "Time Lapse" pursues the phase of delight which began with the first breaths of "As Above So Below" with a very melancholic approach where a keyboard shells its chords in the mist before spreading a very nice and touching melody which swirls like a lullaby for those tormented nights. This is a great track! What knocks then in this last Ian Boddy's opus is this constant duel between its ambiences. And it is at this moment when the title of its last album takes all its sense. The melody tapped on a veil of shadows glitters of freshness while its carpet of cloudiness sends its contrast with a fascinating opposition of the charms. That sounds like some very good Philip Glass in a macabre movie.
"
Shrine" falls between our ears with a steady pulsation which pounds in a cloud of shadows. The Moog makes vibrate the floor with a line of resounding bass which feeds a structure among which the furtive approach and the synth layers are reminiscences of Redshift. Slamming percussions are inviting themselves in this dance which refuses to be born. We have 2 sonic paintings here; the one which aims to be a good Berlin School and the other one which is a beginning of an Electronica too frail to pierce the wall of the first one. Shadows get there under the appearance of synth layers whose curvatures are floating like the hypnotic chants of vampires. And while we believe that the misty moods will be on top of everything, the rhythm devotes itself to the pleasure with a kind of stubborn ride which is rose on very good percussions and which remains coated by superb orchestrations. "The Thaumaturge" rectifies the vision of Jean Michel Jarre concerning the fusion Electronica and EM of a Berliner style or of cosmic moods. Ian Boddy offers here a phase of increasing and hypnotic rhythm without glitter nor superfluous with an approach of very intelligent techno where the metallic rhythm, the gloomy ambiences and the melody coexist without difficulties in a very creative envelope. "One Day" ends this Ian Boddy's brilliant opus like "Time Lapse" has closed the face A of the LP. That is to say with an approach of nostalgia which hides from a melodious upward walking of a piano through a carpet of buzzing mist and of delicious orchestrations. This walking ends in a symphony of hollow winds which keeps prisoner the last beatings of "One Day". Splendid! There is nothing more to add!

Sylvain Lupari (November 20th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find how to order this album on the DiN web shop here

jeudi 17 novembre 2016

LOREN NERELL: The Venerable Dark Cloud (1998/2016)

“The Venerable Dark Cloud isa nice album of ambient ethnic music build upon a great  ensemble of clanic percussions”
1 Dark Horizon 6:15
2 Eclipse 8:53
3 Liquid Metal Stasis 7:42
4 Another Cloud 9:08
5 Tenganan Grove 6:36
6 Within the Cloud 3:49
7 Ablution 2:23
9 Lambat Lane 24:24

Projekt ‎– PRO330 (CD/DDL 69:11) ***½
(Ambient ethnic music)
A distant breath takes its hold on our senses by accentuating its presence with a glaucous humming from where escape a drizzle of prisms and some secret voices. Tom-toms blacken this sibylline atmosphere with scattered knockings while the muffling of drones becomes comatose with the presence of contrasting synth lines and songs of flute. Meditating on the direction of its approach, "Dark Horizon" continues its linear obituary walking which will really take off with the very good "Eclipse". Recorded for the needs of the Italian label of ambient music Amplexus at the dawn of year 2000, “The Venerable Dark Cloud” sees again the day in an edition lengthened of some 47 minutes on the American label Projekt Records. At that time, this 5th work of Loren Nerell was published in format mini CD and had known quite a success among the music lovers of atmospheres which came from an unsung universe, that of the Balinese tribal ambient music. If the fans of the kind are beforehand conquered, those who grope the genre from the tip of their timid ears will also find some benefit there.
After the slow introduction of "
Dark Horizon", "Eclipse" dives into our ears with an uncommon intensity. The Balinese percussions sculpture a slow ritual rhythm of trance with winds which caress the senses and the small bells, as well as their shadows, which draw a minimalist melody by two opposite phases. The strength of the buzzing breezes weakened a little the charms of the percussions, but the bells which always remain so hypnotic. "Liquid Metal Stasis" is a new track on this reedited version of “The Venerable Dark Cloud”. The movement is as linear as these musical winds which sweep endless horizons where are shinning two ringings and their distant echoes. This 2nd phase of this new edition is almost similar as the original version, as the first two following titles are traced on the same roles as the two first ones. After its rhythm of a ritual trance as "Eclipse", "Another Cloud" slides towards the quieter abyss of "Tenganan Grove" and its strange noises which sound like murmurs of an open-air cave. "Within the Cloud" and "Ablution" were a part of the original opus and are 2 titles of glaucous atmospheres that a flute decorates slightly towards the finale of "Ablution". "Lambat Lane" is a segment of more or less 25 minutes which is added to this 2nd sonic skin of “The Venerable Dark Cloud”. It's a long wall of atmospheres weaved between the black charms of a synth guided by its Mephistophelian needs and of percussions which add a veil of intensity as so black and wrapping as the music of Steve Roach in his moments of introspection. I think in particular of his Immersion series.
The Venerable Dark Cloud” is an album in 2 tints where the lascivious rhythms amaze and seduce in this immense envelope of glaucous breezes of which the very nuanced contrast navigates on surprising ensemble of clanic percussions. It’s a nice album of ambient ethnic music that is going to please undoubtedly to the aficionados of the genre who have missed this episode in 1998.

Sylvain Lupari (November 16th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Projekt Bandcamp page here

mardi 15 novembre 2016

LUNA FIRMA: New Horizons (2016)

“New Horizons is above all for the music lovers of deep cosmic atmospheres where the frontiers of Brian Eno and Vangelis go pretty well together”
1 Angular Distance 7:16
2 Chandra X 4:14
3 New Horizons 3:36
4 Albedo 0.6 5:40
5 The Frozen Fields of Hydra 4:40
6 Charon 4:12
7 Snowcaps on the Edge of Darkness 7:12
8 Sputnik Planum 7:44
9 The Drifting Hills of Pluto 5:09
10 LORRI 5:02
11 Krun Macula 7:40

Borders Edge Music (DDL 62:25) ***½
(Deep ambient cosmic EM)
New Horizons” is the 2nd album of Luna Firma, a Canadian-American duet made up of Kuutana (Ron Charron) and of the New York guitarist Eric Taylor. Inspired by the spatial mission of the same name which explored the planet Pluto in the summer of 2015, “New Horizons” surfs on the influences of Vangelis. Master on board of his sonic shuttle, Ron Charron who multiplies the big diversity of his label Borders Edge Music, puts in synthesis the collection of field recordings amassed by Eric Taylor, plunging “New Horizons” in a universe of meditative music which fits to its heterogeneous source of sounds, so giving this impression to feel Brian Eno's atmospheres. Except that the very Vangelis approach of the duet Luna Firma creates this necessary balance between the abstract music and the music as such. In this respect "Albedo 0.6" is simply wonderful. But before...
"
Angular Distance" binds itself in our ears with dark and frail breezes of which the delicate indecision is gobbled up by good impulses of cosmic drones. Crystal clear chords get scatter through the chants of astral flute, drawing an inevitable parallel with the universe of Vangelis. Oblong sighs of synth amplify this hold of Vangelis on the influences of Luna Firma, whereas our ears perceive a carpet of metallic murmurs which whisper in the background. These slow morphic embraces are transformed little by little into momentum of ambient rhythm which implode in the majority of the phases of “New Horizons”. Yet the influences of Vangelis enclose the slow movement of "Chandra X" with synth layers to the perfumes of the apocalypse which progress like inked hands over knockings of which the brightness become lackluster as the intensity rises. The title-track breathes on the atmospheres of "Chandra X" and runs away with a nice oriental lullaby to set ablaze a nervous and spasmodic structure of rhythm which sweeps the sweetness of “New Horizons”, up to here very peaceful, for a good small minute which even brushes the borders of Electronica. After the slow and intense orchestrations of "Albedo 0.6" which reveals a wonderful lunar melody to makes cry a solitary synth, "The Frozen Fields of Hydra" borrows the paths of "New Horizon" with an opening misted by synth superimposed in different colors in order to take the shape of an increasing rhythm which drives again towards another kind of Electronica. As improbable as unexpected, this structure of rhythm melts in a paradisiac environment haloed by beautiful astral voices and by chirping of birds still unlisted. "Charon" is a very aerial, very celestial, title with a guitar more than Floydienne which sheds its tears over a bed of buzzing drones. "Snowcaps on the Edge of Darkness" is the most beautiful example of the delicate balance between the universe of the metallic murmurs of Eno and the soft morphic embraces of the oxygenate cotton hands of Vangelis. It is as much beautiful as the face of the unknown can be misleading. The dark breezes and the jingles which surround the atmospheres of "Sputnik Planum" is worth of a Robert Rich and Steve Roach collaboration. The same goes for "The Drifting Hills of Pluto" and the very intense "LORRI" with its guitar which makes a too short appearance at the very end. We definitively reached the threshold of the intensity of “New Horizons” with this title and the oriental moods of "Krun Macula" which explodes of a stunning tribal rhythm at about the 4th minute before the sedative atmospheres try to calm the sleeper awakened suddenly by this temporary rage.
In the end, “
New Horizons” is above all for the music lovers of deep cosmic atmospheres, rather intense at times, with beautiful implosions in the impulses of intensities which perturb the soft orchestrations and the delicate reverie of the synth layers to the fragrances of Vangelis. Some fragments of rhythm can disturb the musing of the night nomads, but there is enough sedative space to reroute them near Morpheus’ doors. The crossing between the antipodes (yes, yes) Eno/Vangelis is more attractive than disturbing because of the processing of synthesis made by Kuutana. Thus, an album which has the qualities of its defects, is to make too much place to the influences of Vangelis and of his various visions. But when it’s just that, it’s not so bad after all!

Sylvain Lupari (November 14th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Borders Edge Music Bandcamp page here

dimanche 13 novembre 2016

MICHAEL BRÜCKNER: 3 Briques (2016)

“Unusual but fascinating, 3 Briques is a good and very versatile album which shows before all Michael Brückner's talent to create things out of nothing!”
1 La Brique Bleue 32:19
2 La Brique Verte 8:44
3 La Brique Noire 36:14

SynGate CD-R MB04 (CD-r/DDL) ***½
(Electronica, ambient and experimental)
Unusual! And it’s not because that it’s not fascinating. We have to think of the music of Tangerine Dream, period Zeit, or still Conrad Schnitzler and the experimental passages of Ian Boddy to notice that this kind of music always attracts the curiosity of those who likes hearing something else. If for some of you Michael Bruckner seems to be a new name in the field of EM, it’s quite the opposite because this talented synthesist produces EM since moons. In fact, well before his 100 Million Miles Under the Stars, which was released in 2012, the German musician had dozens of music chapters which often exploited the abstruse character of the music and its forms. “3 Briques” is an unusual album where the music and its experiments overshadow the harmonies and those short structures of rhythm which rock between cosmic music and Electronica. The genesis of this album goes back to last March while Michael Brückner had an idea more technical than musical that he created with a series of small musical segments among which each was a mutation of the present one. Little by little "La Brique Bleue" took shape. By gathering all these bits and pieces Michael Brückner noticed that a certain musicality was perceptible. He thus added fragments of melodies and rhythms as well as effects and another parallel line to the rhythm. He posted this experimental project on the Mixcloud platform. Kilian Schloemp, the big boss of SynGate, found the whole thing very interesting and asked Michael Brückner if he could make an album out of it.
"
La Brique Bleue" is the most musical part of “3 Briques”. Its first 15 minutes exploit a very good mixture between its spheroidal phases and some fragments of down-tempo and of Chill moods with effects which feed from the glaucous and futuristic synth layers of Vangelis and with sequences haloed of organic tones which are very close of Michael Brückner's repertoire. The effects come from a cosmic vision that we all know and the voices seem to go out of a television screen. The structure of rhythm seems to shade its momentum with softer or ethereal passages, sometimes times more lively, while the sequences of rhythms always feed these stroboscopic lines where there are missing mordant fangs. Charmingly ambient, almost celestial, passages give munitions to a structure which exploits marvellously the charms of the minimalist art and the synth scatters to satiety some smooth cosmic waves as well as good solos. The 15th minute brings an ambiospheric passage of 4 minutes before the rhythm returns in a more eager envelope which reminds me of Steve Roach when he decides to drive madly his sequencer. It’s very good and that sounds as a very well tied up title.
During an exchange of texts with
Michael, he explained that "La Brique Verte" is an ambient passage between both monuments of sounds, and rhythms and melodies of “3 Briques”. It’s very ambiospherical with a thick cloud of synth lines which agglutinate in an immense wall of sounds. With "La Brique Noire" we enter into the pure unusual. When Kilian Schloemp asked Michael Brückner if it was possible to make an album from the elements of "La Brique Bleue", the German synth magus had only 30 minutes of music written. He remembered then that he had several music bits and pieces which were dragging somewhere and which were dated of the early 2000. It’s from these bases that "La Brique Noire" was composed. The beginning is charming with this line of sequences which returns constantly and whose recollections go as far as the Wuivend Riet album from Johannes Schmoelling. Three minutes farther, the movement of sequences and the whistling synth are fading out in the first moments of deep atmospheres which dominate the 37 minutes of "La Brique Noire". Between these 2 phases which are exchanging these 37 minutes on 5 occasions, Michael Brückner adds a veil of intensity which is more steady on the rhythms of which the presences don’t even reach a total of 10 minutes in all. The remainder is an immense mosaic of atmospheres, voices and effects which reaches its peak towards the border of the 25 minutes and up until the finale.
Unusual but fascinating!
Michael Brückner is quite a phenomenon who likes going out of this commercial zone to experiment a music where hides constantly some moments of pure delight. If we hook rather easily on "La Brique Bleue", "La Brique Verte" is a good moment of intense elements of ambient music, "La Brique Noire" tests our capacity to get out of our comfort zone. It’s these passages of sequences of rhythm that will get us hooked. And in all and all, “3 Briques” is a good and very versatile album which demonstrates before all Michael Brückner's talent to create things out of nothing!

Sylvain Lupari (November 12th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp page here