mardi 22 juillet 2014

CLAUDIO MERLINI: Forever Changes (2014)

 “Claudio Merlini quits here the soft paths of a New Age and its thousand musical embraces to undertake a more audacious sonic journey with pompous Vangelis' orchestrations and strong electronic rhythms”
1 Fireworks 6:17
2 The Unknown Path 6:15
3 Chain Reaction 6:11
4 Calling Nature Part I 6:57
5 Transformation 6:11
6 Drawing the Sphere 6:58
7 Calling Nature Part II  6:42
8 The Spinning Wheel 6:01
9 Adam and Eve 7:49
AD119CD (CD 59:21) ***½

(A mix of New Age and rhythmic EM with a zest of filmic moods)
In its press guide, AD Music states that the evolution of Claudio Merlini who, since The Colours of Music in 2010, progresses at full speed to reach a surprising maturity in his music structures. I have to admit that this last album amazes. With “Forever ChangesClaudio Merlini quits the soft paths of a New Age and its thousand musical embraces in order to undertake a more audacious sonic journey with an excellent production and pompous Vangelis' orchestrations which cross strong electronic rhythms with structures which throw a sweet sensation of déjà-entendu in the ears. Certainly he always manage to leave some room to these sweet dreamy melodies, I think in particular of "Calling Nature", both parts, and "Adam and Eve" and their very seraphic airs of Fountain of Youth that we found plenty on The Colours of Music and on Enchantment. Except that the Italian composer and synthesist dares and gets out quite slowly of his cocoon to offer us a more audacious album which is undoubtedly his best to date.
And it begins with "Fireworks" and its structure of rhythm which gallops like a solitary rider on the plains of harmonies. The essence of “Forever Changes” is all over here with a superb gradation, both in the rhythm and the harmonies. Airs of legions and cavalry, whistled by a sharpened flute and/or clarions, very beautiful orchestrations, as fluid as jerky, which moan into slow waltzing strata, and percussions as symphonic as electronic are structuring a strong title which amazes due to its thick cloud of organic tones that will follow our ears all along the route of this last
Claudio Merlini's album. Let's say that it kicks things out well and that the imprints of Vangelis are lying all around. "The Unknown Path" is less on fire and pulls us towards a more melodious approach with a sneaky structure of rhythm and a dreamy melody which reminds me vaguely that of Tangerine Dream in the Tyranny of Beauty years. This resemblance with the style of Tangerine Dream, mostly the Jerome Froese years, is even more convincing with the structure of percussions which embroider the static rhythm of "Chain Reaction". Moreover the rather serene ambiences, the flute, the flock of evanescent harmonies, the breezes of synth a bit philharmonic and the dramatic effects seem to be all familiar elements to us. Beautiful and delicate with a sober pattern sound of twinkling sequences and its soft ethereal flute of which the airs whistle on the harmonies of a dreamy piano, "Calling Nature Part I", as well as its 2nd part, leads us a little closer towards the dreamy ambiences of New Age and Easy Listening which overhung the first two albums of Merlini. After a very philharmonic pompous opening, where swirls a sweet carousel submerged by organic tones, "Transformation" sneaks through thousand essences to finally set ablaze a strange and fascinating mixture of hip-hop and funk. The rhythm becomes at the same moment brusque and fluid with a wave-like bass line and good clanic percussions. Beautiful envelopes of violin enclose this splendid sonic madness, which a sweet melody, a kind of ear-worm to become, sung by a very harmonious piano, ennobles of an ethereal sweetness and forges the furrows for a bewitching tearful violin. Very good! Less hard-hitting and especially less adventurous, "Drawing the Sphere" kisses this configuration of macédoine of styles with a tribal approach which sits on a very electronic rhythm strongly encircled by good arrangements and a beautiful line of flute with songs as angelic as these choirs which hum in the circular melodies of a piano a bit more voracious. The imprint of Vangelis and of Jerome Froese's electronic percussions is rather evident. The strength of this track is necessarily its 7 minutes, because the more it plays the more we find it good. "The Spinning Wheel" offers a strong structure with arpeggios which ring with hesitance in an opening tinted of organic tones. A line of sequences shakes furiously its keys which flutter such as enraged knocks of scissors in emptiness. Alternating its sweet ethereal melody into violent movements of circular rhythms, "The Spinning Wheel" takes refuge under dense Babylonian orchestrations and a pattern of Gregorian voices. There is a great passage of electronic percussions which cut into pieces a sneaky rhythmic phase which reminds me vaguely the first albums of Yanni. Idem with "Adam and Eve" which is a beautiful melodious ballad fed by a dreamy piano and by some seraphic voices.
Forever Changes” has all what it needs to continue to charm the fans of
Claudio Merlini while seducing a lot of others. It's a rather cinematographic album with very Arabian sonic essences. Sharply more audacious than on these two first albums at AD Music, Claudio Merlini succeeds all the same to keep this touch printed by romance and reverie which had so much seduced on The Colours of Music or yet Enchantment. This is quite beautiful, very melodious and it breathes of Vangelis, a bit of Yanni, on rhythms and electronic percussions a la Tangerine Dream. A good EM cocktail but a single signature; that of Claudio Merlini!
Sylvain Lupari (July 21st, 2014)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

dimanche 20 juillet 2014

PIERRE-JEAN LIEVAUX: Perception Totémiste (2010)

“Perception Totémiste is a rather difficult musical experiment which has the half of Perception Analogique's charms”
1 Dave's Near Vana 7:40
2 Indescente au Paradis 9:36
3 Le Sombre Héros Espagnol 10:42
4 Opuys de Montreuil 8:38
5 Rue Sale Hazard 7:50
6 Un des Nababs Revends son Éléphant 9:40

PWM-Distrib (CD 54:13) *** (Experimental)
Am I dreaming or do I hear the helices of a helicopter, or an enormous ventilator, chopped the too robotics voice of Dave (2001: A Space Odyssey) which filters through ethereal synth pads and noises of a water which drips in a metallic envelope? Am I still dreaming when I hear these distant industrial sirens a la Blade Runner infected the quiet sonic hallucinations of "Dave's Near Vana"? “Perception Totémiste” is the 2nd part on the concept of perception that   has began in 2009.
Sharply less audacious, and especially less charming than Perception Analogique, set apart some minutes stolen at the meter here and there, “Perception Totémiste” is a dying electronic symphony where the synth pads and layers are flying slowly, coiling some lengthened timeless and unfinished loops, over a swarm of voices and rustles as cybernetic as ectoplasmic. Rustles and voices which irritate more that they fascinate and which had nevertheless their places in the first part of this quadrilogy. I imagine that it's all a question of perceptions and sound environments. Because what had made the charms of Perception Analogique are cruelly more difficult to assimilate on “Perception Totémiste”, so much everything seems and sounds cold. So much everything seems to be devoid of passion. The ambiences are forged in lines of synth to the shrill colours which set ablaze a multitude of radioactive cracklings of which the imprints carve a sense of perplexity in the ears. I have to admit that there are rather difficult phases such as "Un des Nababs Revends son Éléphant" that I am always incapable to describe. But there are well some fine line of bass which structure some slow, but very slow, wave-like tempos, as on "Dave's Near Vana", or the rather lascivious one of "Indescente au Paradis", where, if we listen closely, we can hear a dark melody sparkling in twilights tinted of metal silk, or yet the somber wandering nomad and enigmatic "Rue Sale Hazard" and its cracklings which glitter on a line of bass at the agony. There is nothing to say about "Le Sombre Héros Espagnol", if it's not that the somber hero looks for his shadow in a rather ethereal tumult with groans which are quavering among scattered clicks. Although quieter, it would have had its place on Perception Analogique. Crackling which drum in void, and of which the echoes pierce the skin of some long drones and hummings, are opening the first seconds of "Opuys de Montreuil" which rocks its structure between an aboriginal clanic approach and a cosmic vision. Bit by bit the tumult changes of skin while the title is switching into a rather ambient phase where faded voices and dissonant harmonies draw a sonic pattern too much abstracted in my ears to find an interest here.
You have understood that I found the experience of “Perception Totémiste” rather difficult, even indigestible, by moments. I did not find this small spark that had literally set ablaze my interest for the first part of this quadrilogy. If the structures are a lot alike, it misses this little something there which had made all the difference on
Perception Analogique. An unexpected rhythm, a sudden musicality and fragments of melodies buried here and there are totally absent in this 2nd segment which is completely dedicated to the sound experiment and the fruits of its dissonance. For lovers of totally abstracted music!

Here is a link for a short video of Le Sombre Héros Espagnol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jwjOq1fv1g
Sylvain Lupari (July 19th, 2014)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

samedi 19 juillet 2014

PIERRE-JEAN LIEVAUX: Perception Analogique (2009)

“Completely remarkable in its genre; Perception Analogique is the typical example of an album that makes us tuck up the ears while we did not even cross the third part of its dial”
1 A Lucie Nogènes 8:52
2 Les Sens de la Citronnelle 5:04
3 Là, Derrière les Mûres 8:16
4 Oh, Pulsage Sage 5:10
5 Chanvrie Sunday 5:56
6 Plaztik Désoeuvré 5:58
7 Sous les Chalets, il Neige 16:20
8 Cry Babychurch 4:22

PWM-Distrib (CD 60:00) ***½ (Experimental)
I don't like to talk about something that I don't like. I find this prejudicial for the artist, the writer or the film-maker. In fact, it's not because I don't like it that it is not inevitably good! And nevertheless I am going to speak to you about Pierre-Jean Lievaux! By respect for Olivier Briand, a chap that I like, and for the Patch Work Music association, which makes enormous efforts to make the French EM known, and no matter the genres outside its borders. Therefore I am going to talk, for a few lines, about this writer, film-maker at his hours, and experimentalist musician who signed a sonic quadrilogy about the concept of the perception where the dissonance and the cacophony express themselves much better than Kate Bush in her most beautiful ethereal ballads.
Perception Analogique” is an invitation from Pierre-Jean Lievaux to take the shuttle for THE endless journey. And at times, I so wished that this end was near.
"A Lucie Nogènes" starts things up with an immersive wave filled of prismic particles and of parallel voices. We hear a strange aquatic vocabulary gurgling hoarse psalms while synth waves, with tones as supernatural as cosmic, glide over a structure which fills, as the seconds flee, its 9 minutes with scattered beatings and hollow breaths. The streaks and the cosmic dialects, as well as the lunar orchestrations, remind me a little of these moments from
Jean Michel Jarre's interstellar moods. It's not really bad, but it's really necessary to put yourself into it to appreciate the slightest bit of it. And you will have to do this all over the 60 minutes that last “Perception Analogique”. Let's take "Les Sens de la Citronnelle"! At first glimpse we don't notice this fine intrusive melody which swirls like a dream. We only hear these breaths filled of white noises, of gongs and of always scattered carillons. All this with some noises of rattlers, pantings and hollow winds. And nevertheless …"Là, Derrière les Mûres" is a blaring ambient phase where noises, drones and carillons feed the escape. I was no longer able to hear more. Even if its second half offers a purer side with breaths of flutes and Tibetan wind instruments which irritate the kicks of millipedes. It's an obligated passage if we want to discover the surprising "Oh, Pulsage Sage" which is a superb and very psychedelic down-tempo with good percussions and a throbbing line of bass which hammer a slow tempo of which the strong measures knock out an always fascinating fauna as organic as inorganic. This is a big surprise that we don't expect, that we don't even hope for. Less violent, "Chanvrie Sunday" is at the sound image of "Là, Derrière les Mûres". "Plaztik Désoeuvré" is an ambient track with blades of synth which criss-cross and weave a very tight sound mosaic, there where sings a solitary flute and crackle the thousands of insects' footsteps. This is on the verge of being bearable, while the first seconds of "Sous les Chalets, il Neige" are simply not. Still there it is necessary to persevere if we want to hear this delicious choir pierced this thick wall of shrill tones. The effect becomes then surrealist. We wonder on which album, on which music of Pierre-Jean Lievaux we have fell. Certainly the white noises persist. We even hear a strange derailment of organic tones, as well as some singings of allegorical birds. And surprise; everything is more harmonious, even the lapping of water which make us frown just at knowing that we are suppose to be in winter. The whole thing, and especially the laughter that come from all sides in a comic sheath of macaques, bring me closer to the psychedelic madness of Pink Floyd. There are always these voices which whisper the incomprehensibility, which sing the worship for the dissonance and these flutes to the singings so sibylline which transpire all the angelic cacophony of this piece of music that would have made a great hit in the psychedelic years. And following an American political speech, a totally off-the-wall rhythm leads the last minutes of "Sous les Chalets, il Neige" to the edges of a native clanic trance which amazes as much as enchants in this universe always full of surprises, of discoveries. And it's doubtless the biggest magnetism of “Perception Analogique”. From the unexpected where Aphrodite's Child, Pink Floyd and Vangelis cross their bacchanalia symphonies into a mishmash where the delight persists behind every crash, behind every incongruity. "Cry Babychurch" continues in this vein of sonic debauchery that is the second portion of "Sous les Chalets, il Neige". This is totally crazy but we end up to find that good! Even that we find a very beautiful ethereal melody there which paints a halo over this noise all the same rather lively.
I don't like to talk about something I don't like! Especially when I eventually end by liking it. “Perception Analogique” is the typical example of an album that makes us tuck up the ears while we did not even cross the third part of its dial. By respect for my friends at Patch Work Music, I had to persist and I eventually found an album as fascinating as interesting where the noises and the tumult homogenize in order to develop some charms outside conventions. We have to give credit to Pierre-Jean Lievaux who, brick by brick, manages to built a wall of abstracted that makes bloom a music which transcends the antennas of our perception into a symphony of sounds all the same rather attractive. Delirious, delicious and completely remarkable in its genre!
Sylvain Lupari (July 18th, 2014)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

mercredi 16 juillet 2014

CIRCULAR: Moon Pool (2014)

“Moon Pool is a tremendous sonic experience where morphic down-tempos and Vangelis' vibes a la Bladerunner float among a thousand eclectic sounds particles”
1 Lunokhod 13:33
2 Selenic Light 5:33
3 Theory of Tides 12:10
4 Ashlands 6:03
5 3 Moons 6:22
6 Imbrium 5:09
7 Synchronous 8:31
8 Meteorites 8:08

Ultimae Records| inre 070 (65:33) ****
(Psychedelic and industrial ambient music)
Water lapping and wave of synth tinted of blue make-up, which subdivides its linear breeze with delicate morphic voices, open the tasty floating moods of "Lunokhod". There are rustles, like there are discreet hoops and stroboscopic riffs, which hide behind these streams from where appears, and totally unexpected, a guitar which throws some pensive wandering and incomplete harmonies while always "Lunokhod" navigates on the ruptures of its moods. There are some small bits of rhythms which threaten its tranquillity. But still "Lunokhod", like an aquatic beast, is hiding in the comfort of its oceanic depth. And then there are pulsations, a little as noises of footsteps in water, which resound and some metallic arpeggios which seem completely mislaid in this pond of vibes, as well as these delicately stroboscopic filets which refuse to die and which swirl in heavenly synth lines. And the pulsations come back. This time they hang on and beat a rhythm. A kind of soft hypnotic techno which pulses among seraphic voices. The cadence increases appreciably beneath a sweet concert of synths of which the meditative lines sound like the breezes of elephants belonging to another planet. And it bangs more and more. Fast and strong with glaucous percussions which adopt closely the vertical movement of the hypnotic pulsations. And the guitar gets back to close the delicate harmonies, as incomplete as the rhythm, of "Lunokhod" which slowly returns home, under waters.
All through its 14 minutes, "Lunokhod" depicts marvellously the sound cloth of this last album from Circular. Everything is story of black, even apocalyptic ambiences a la 
Vangelis (Blade Runner
) and of outer world, where the cosmos joins the bed of the oceans, as well as pleasant down-tempos, thus sometimes unfinished, and of mislaid melodies on this 3rd album from the Norwegian duet, consisted of Bjarte Andreassen and Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik. “Moon Pool” invites us to a fascinating sound fresco where the sounds of all kinds explode on a interbreeding of ambient music and down-tempos rather lunar. Intense and very meditative, "Selenic Light" offers a curtain of synth lines which hide some felted explosions and psychotic rustles. We hear horse gallops and dogs to bark? Certainly! Because “Moon Pool” has no limit to the sound creativity of Circular who by moments fed my ears of Vangelis' memories, here as on the very quiet "Meteorites", with arpeggios of glass which ring in secret while the moods swell themselves of new vocal breezes. Everything is linked here into an intense sonic mosaic of 66 minutes, while that "Theory of Tides" infiltrates our ears with a thick cloud of interrupted melodies which float in astral ambiences swollen of white noises and of voices of human beings smothered in a helmet. Like in "Lunokhod", the pulsations are chasing away bit by bit these moods to force a morphic techno, punchier this time, where are ending to swirl some fascinating cybernetic melodies. "Ashlands" follows with a steadier shape of rhythm fed by percussions which click and flicker around bass pulsations. The ambiences are to make the ears shiver with a thick cloud of astral waves which blow as much as they roar all over a sound fauna where organic breaths and human voices dream in opposite atmospheres. The use of headphone is strongly recommended because there are always cosmonauts' rustles, cracklings, organic noises felted explosions, voices lost in synth waves and interstellar scrawls that encircle the structure of “Moon Pool” which quietly implodes with the arrival of the very beautiful "3 Moons" and its beat waving like a big snake on a line of bass and of its delicate morphic melody a la Solar Fields. We are in heaven. Implode! Even if the structures of this last album from Circular get excited in an indefinable sonic flora, its structures of rhythm never reach an explosive nirvana. They implode and stuff themselves of wealth with moods weaved in a surprising ingenious creativity, except for "Imbrium", played with Aes Dana, which presents itself to our ears with a heavy, resounding, jerky and up-beat structure where are beating some arrhythmic percussions in vibes as dark as the other side of a mirror. The melodious ghosts of "3 Moons" drag their bundles here but disappear as soon as the impulsive beatings and the echoes rodent of sounds cut out the ambiences. "Synchronous" loops the harmonious loop of "3 Moons" with a sweet suave rhythm which beats slowly in a strange fusion of electronic reggae or allegorical down-tempo which melts bit by bit and brings its vestiges until the quiet finale of "Meteorites" and its deep synth chants which remind enormously the universes of Vangelis.
What comes out of the Ultimae Records factory is good! It can have several forms and kinds, but it always remains good. And it's exactly the case with this last album of Circular. Without having the beauty or the poesy of the allegorical dreams of Solar Fields (I make it reference because the music sticks to it enormously), “Moon Pool” offers a surprising palette of sounds which color our ears of a fascinating sonic mosaic which leaves as much place to the rhythms and melodies as to the imagination can do. I like this subtle crescendo which settles down from the first notes and which implodes towards the finale ("3 Moons" and "Imbrium"), as I like this constant allusion to the metallic and cold universe of Vangelis. And I insist; the use of headphones to be immerged by this incredible sonic fauna turns out to be essential to drink of these heavenly 63 minutes of “Moon Pool”. I experienced it in 5.1 Surround....Stunning!
Here is a link for a short video trailer of this album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NrmXYXnclA
Sylvain Lupari (July 17th, 2014)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

lundi 14 juillet 2014

STEVE ROACH: Empetus (1986/2008)

“Totally blasting, even with some nice melodic pattern, Empetus is a true lesson about the art of sequencing and of building infernal rhythms”
CD1 44:51
1 Arrival 4:20
2 Seeking 5:34
3 Conquest 6:07
4 Empowerment 3:52
5 Twilight Heat 3:15
6 Merge 6:23
7 Urge 6:23
8 Distance Is Near 2:40
9 The Memory 5:51
CD2 "The Early Years" 69:00
10 Harmonia Mundi 45:00
11 Release 24:00

Projekt 218 (2 CD 113:51) ***** (Base sequenced EM)
Here is an album among the most powerful and the most hard-hitting that I heard in the spheres of EM. At that time, it was one of the most powerful. If not the most! “Empetus” is a true masterpiece in the world of sequences and sequenced rhythms. It's full of hard rhythms at full sight and ears, set apart for the very quiet "The Memory", where we can feel the basis of a certain album called Structures from Silence, with a massive use of frenzied sequenced rhythms. Spirited rhythms and sometimes very harmonious ones, caressed and charmed by synth pads often very ethereal. Roughly, it's a journey in the core of the analog beast where Steve Roach spent hours, if not days, to work movements of sequences and rhythms which transcend the universes quite Teutonic of the German movement. Each track proposes its unique rhythmic envelope, to some variances near, where are camping some beautiful electronic ballads tied up to soft harmonious nuances which are linked in rhythmic patterns finely interconnected. Such is only way of describing this jewel of contemporary EM where the analogue is a prince and the sequencers are kings. Steve Roach got back the rights on this work more than 20 years later and thus proposes us, by the help of Projekt Records, a 2 CD package, nicely done, with two long hyper syncopated tracks which shows in which point Steve Roach can easily be compare with the monarchs of modern EM.
After a short ambiospherical moment, "Arrival" spreads its string of sequences of which the doubles get follow one after another into a fast pace shape. From the outset, Roach establishes a category of rhythm rarely equalled with furious ions which pound like the heart of a sprinter on electronics steroids and out of breath with a rhythmic charge caressed by synth pads filled by a subtle scent of ethereal metal. It's a whirlwind of sequences with these famous pas-de-deux which roll and stumble like on 
Poland from Tangerine Dream. Except that here the pace is livelier and the sequences run to lose breath. If the tempo is minimalism, the synth layers which criss-cross over it weave a floating mosaic that percussions annoy with guttural bangings and plunge "Arrival" into a rhythmic tornado where every striking multiplies its echo by 2 and where the last one resounds until its morphic finale. Only the intros and finales feed of ambiences. Steve Roach had to wake up his fans after the so wonderful and so peaceful Structures from Silence. Produced by Michael Stearns, “Empetus” is a wild album where the sequences can bite as they can swirl like in "Seeking" and its lighter rhythm built on soft butterflies which flutter over an arid plain. "Conquest" is wild with a hard sequencer and solid percussions which beat with strength. The synth is merging ambiences and harmonies to this sequenced ferocity with beautiful floating pads which are full of ethereal voices. A thick cloud of choirs floating over a frivolous and nervous keys open "Empowerment". The beat is static with sequences which liven up frenetically among floating synth pads. This movement exploits both antipodes of EM, I hear Jean Michel Jarre here, and that annoys the ears so much we are on the waiting for frenzied explosions. But this kind of unfinished rhythmic intercourse possesses its unmistakable charms. "Twilight Heat" distinguishes itself by its delicate and morphic melodious approach. The movement of sequences shakes a line which goes and comes and turns into circle in the caresses of a synth always so near of Steve Roach's ambient territories. This is a very melodious piece of music which would have find its place on Now & Traveller, quite as "Merge" and its shimmering movement of keys which dance and dance and where the same striking of key finds its echoes in a long minimalist serpentine interrupted by whistles and choirs which seem in lack of oxygen. The sound is really vintage but that remains still very good. We are in a phase where the sequences are dressing of airs as angelic as harmonious. "Urge" brings a sequencing pattern a la "Merge" in a kind of upward rhythm which climbs and climbs with a very good play of percussions which amaze, as much for the effect as for the idea, and of which the strikings resound like weighty footsteps. Short but devastating, the sequencing of "Distance is Near" gathers all that drags (percussions, carillons, strata and choirs) to offer a whirlwind of a violence that Roach has not yet reached on “Empetus”. This is a totally insane track. "The Memory" leads us softly somewhere else. It's an ambient piece of music which floats of its nice ethereal layers and subtle floating modulations. A prelude to Quiet Music, published some months later.
This new edition from of the label Projekt comes with a second CD which contains two very long tracks of which the furious and very hypnotic "Harmonia Mundi" where we would swear that our mind follows the circles of an immense kaleidoscope and its traces of fire. The rhythm, if we can say so, remains static and linear throughout its 45 minutes. It's like a big snake running after a prey in steep mountains with fine modulations in its oscillations and where some delicate synth layers refuse any harmonious approaches even if sometimes they weave tribal rustles or breathless fluty breezes. The sequence keys jump with violence, sometimes pulling their shadows in a static tumult which is by moments whipped by well scattered knocks of percussions. These 45 minutes of a syncopated rhythm pass rather fast (yes yes), because if
Roach has the gift to measure well its subtle modulations  he also has this unique way of throwing here and there strange sonic allegories which soften the hard parts of this rhythmic ferocity. To date, I have never heard an electronic rhythm as violent as that of "Harmonia Mundi". After this violent storm of jumping ions, "Release" calms down a little the moods with a delicate rhythm which jolts harmoniously in a structure as harmonic as rhythmic. A line of bass sequences pulses laconically while that another makes flicker its timid ions and that another one makes wander its ions which burst of their twinkling harmonies in the winds of delicious synth solos. We are in territories of Berlin School while that quite slowly "Release" adopts the insane curves of the indomitable sequenced rhythms of “Empetus”. I hear Klaus Schulze in his Totem era.
Empetus” is a true lesson about the art of sequencing and of building infernal rhythms.
Steve Roach multiplies the proof by 10 that EM is not only a story of ambient music or floating rhythms. Set apart some quiet, necessary passages I imagine to give a little moment of respite to our ears and to those of our neighbors, “Empetus” peels the art of sequenced movements in its most inmost shape. The sequences dance, rather fiercely by places, in solitary as in crowds, furious of being so numerous. From where the rhythmic thunderstorms which dominate some so superb melodies unique to Steve Roach's universe. Remarkable, recommendable and necessary!
Sylvain Lupari (July 13th, 2014)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca