mardi 10 décembre 2013
1 The Four Elements (Odyssey) 32:32
2 Environmental Energy (We are the Hunters) 28:29
Generator PL | GEN CD 030 (CD 61:01) ****
(Cosmic base sequenced Berlin School)
There is a few, almost not at all to tell the truth, information on this last find from the Polish label Generator.pl “Odyssey & We are the Hunters” is an eponym album which contains two long musical pieces with very Berlin School aromas, composed by Odyssey (The Four Elements) and We are the Hunters (Environmental Energy) and produced by Tomasz Pauszek, the man behind Odyssey. We know Odyssey to have been charmed by his fascinating electronic symphony; Music for Subway in 2012. We know on the other hand a little less We are the Hunters, a very discreet, subdued band which does into big ambient vintage Berlin School. The collaboration between both electronic entities could not thus give something uninteresting. And it's exactly what waits for us with this delicious album full of memories of the analog years.
It's in the ambiospherical precepts dear to the psychedelicosmic structures of the analog years that begins "The Four Elements". The water oozes from the walls of a cosmic volcano, where the layers of a morphic synth are floating and boiling in organic tones. Fine sequences dance in their spheroidal shadows, shaping a static dance which spins in these lunar synth layers which make all the beauty of an introduction closer to sound experiments than well ordered structures. Then the silence widens its veil of mystery from the 7th minute, except for silvery gurglings which sparkle such as the lapping of a brook of prisms. This is there that is hatching a fascinating lunar ballad which swirls like an allegorical carousel under solos and cosmic sound effects. The ambience is fascinating and our eardrums are gobbling up this fusion of sounds which give a strange sonic show, whereas the synth is whistling some soft solos which adopt the airs of this melodic ritornello. The ambiences change of skin at around the 16th minute while that "The Four Elements" starts a beautiful structure of rhythm which undulates passively on good bass pulsations, sober electronic percussions and sequences which flicker in structures of criss-crossed underlying rhythms. Odyssey offers us a strange colorful synth-pop where Jean Michel Jarre's tribal, cosmic and rhythmic influences get mix in the robotics melodies of Kraftwerk. This phase of rhythm amplifies its velocity with a funk approach where the undulations gurgle of organic tones in some ethereal voices and these deep shouts which exhilarate the eardrums since the opening of this strange space-funk. We have already crossed the bar of 23 minutes when the heavy and vibrating pulsations stop and that "The Four Elements" kisses a phase more melodious, even melancholic, with a soft electric piano which scatters its pensive notes in the discreet chirping of a synth. It's a brief rest of 3 minutes before that some sequences begin to be champing at the bit and before that "The Four Elements" turns on itself in search of a rhythmic direction. The arpeggios swirl intensely under the cooings of a dreamy synth whereas that a sneaky whirlwind of sequences makes spin the last minutes of "The Four Elements". Some bass and crystal clear sequences which get mix and whirl in a superb rhythmic chassé-croisé, laying the lines of a very good circular rhythm à la Jarre that rattling percussions and motionless twistings are surrounding in a cosmic mood from where filter soft solos full of analog fragrances. The first 13 minutes of "Environmental Energy" are a symphony of organic noises which gurgle in a dense ambiosonic broth where sing twisted lamentations from a synth tinted with the psychedelic perfume of Klaus Schulze's vintage years. Pulsations beat the languor around 13 minutes, bringing "Environmental Energy" towards a bubbling static movement where the bass sequences pulse and oscillate heavily on a linear movement decorated by sparkling arpeggios among which the ringings, as well as the chthonian airs, will be the only harmonies of this cosmic sound whirlwind which is reminiscent of the late Michael Garrison. Candy for old ears!
“Odyssey & We are the Hunters” is a real musical journey in the time of the analog rhythms. It's a more experimental side of the Berlin School style with a subtle zest of French School such as developed by Jean Michel Jarre. If we like these ambient rhythms which hypnotize and seduce due to their sonic pallets, we shall be more than delighted by this surprising album that made me dusted my old albums from Klaus Schulze and Michael Garrison. To be tamed for the greater pleasure of our ears.
Sylvain Lupari (December 9th, 2013)
samedi 7 décembre 2013
1 Supernova (Real Star Sounds) 10:40 2 Last Horizon 5:57
3 Marmontel Riding on a Clef 8:13 4 Trauma 9:31 5 Nothing and All 2:12
6 Nutshell Awakening 7:19 7 Shining Ray 5:35
1 Calymba Caly 3:43 2 Omniscience 5:32 3 Janus Parade 8:05
4 Loved by the Sun 3:28 5 Fire on the Mountain 7:33
11 Tenderness (Russian Song) 3:54 12 Mr. Alexey Leonov's Speech 2:56
“Starmus-Sonic Universe” is a fair live album from Tangerine Dream which remains faithful to itself; sober, without surprises and especially very professional. The whole thing comes with a nice booklet; the price of disillusion.
1 Voyages to Vinland 6:30
2 Moonshadow 10:47
3 Mount Roraima 7:25
4 Stanley Meets Livingstone 8:11
5 Terra Incognita 6:56
6 Bathyscaph Trieste 6:11
7 Nie Zurueck 5:20
8 Three Ships on the Horizon 10:30
9 Point of no Return 4:17
10 Blues for Robert Falcon Scott 3:16
SynGate | CD-R RH01 (CD-r 69:23) ****
(Base sequenced and melodic New Berlin School)
It is with resonant sequences which pulsate with a catchy rhythmic arrhythmia that "Journeys to Vinland" introduces us into Rudolf Heimann's
latest sonic expedition. The German synthman breaks another silence, which is only 3 years long this time, by offering an album of EM where the synth-pop hangs on to Teutonic rhythms. The movement of sequences on "Journeys to Vinland" takes the shape of a minimalist approach, as mostly of the structures on “Into the Unknown”, that some electronic percussions harpoon with delicacy. If we ask me to make a point of comparison for regarding the kind of EM we find on “Into the Unknown” I'll point out the melodious approaches, as well as the delicate rhythms, of Johannes Schmoelling. It's exactly what awakes the hearing on "Journeys to Vinland" with its melody forged in the breaths of synth to the colors of panpipes. Hummings of a power plant in a state of emergency start the slow, almost ambient, rhythm of the splendid "Moonshadow". The rhythm develops slowly. It skips delicately under iridescent mists, ethereal pads and cosmic winds and borrows finally the pattern of a delicious intersidereal gallop. The synth blows pleasant solos which coo in some night mists filled by chthonian voices. And the rhythm is teaming up with sober electronic percussions, shaping a great pattern of rhythm which reminds me a solitary rider who gallops of a peaceful trot by whistling melancholic airs on the cosmic dunes. This is great New Berlin School and it goes straight in my IPod. What had so much seduced with Tide is back on this last effort of Rudolf Heimann. “Into the Unknown” is a very versatile album where the rhythms take all the forms of modern EM without ever altering a melodious approach which reflects quite well the association I made with Johannes Schmoelling. These very fluty songs of "Moonshadow" are the heart of the harmonies you will find on “Into the Unknown”. They adorn the rhythm of free rock that we find on "Mount Roraima" and of its progressive tribal structure which quietly deviates towards a more dishevelled rhythm. The hopping rhythm of "Stanley Meets Livingstone" drinks of the light trots which skip under the forms of sequenced riffs and which magnetized us in "Journeys to Vinland". The rhythm is ambient, limping with sober percussions under strange musical samplings and the wrapping strata of a very soft synth. "Terra incognita" offers a little bit funky/cosmic genre where the synth weaves pleasant fluty harmonies on a rhythm scattered between its percussions, its sequences in tones of xylophones and its subtle breaths of trombone, played by Constantin Paroth. This is a track where the rhythms are as much cheerful as the melodies are and which reminds unmistakably the structures of Johannes Schmoelling.
"Bathyscaph Trieste" is the kind of track where we hook easily. Is it the resemblance with Tangerine Dream? Because the bed of sequences which makes skip its keys of a delicate rhythmic arrhythmia is also catchy as the sequencing pattern of Chris Franke. And there is also this melody which makes whistle indefatigably its lassoes in a dense cloud of mystic mist. This is very catchy and the head follow our feet stamping. If we like, "Nie Zurueck", which is a little more cheerful, more ethereal with these wandering voices which accompany the discreet chords of an e-guitar, is quite similar. Fluttering from a style to another one, Rudolf Heimann entails us towards a very good New Berlin School with "Three Ships on the Horizon" and its line of static rhythm which fidgets restlessly with jumping keys pounding as cardiac chirping under an avalanche of synth solos and of its twisted singings. The rhythm sinks into our ears with strong percussions and a good line of bass pulsations which make heavier these keys skipping like a galloping ride and of which the swiftness is slows down briefly by a more ambiocosmic passage while the synths weave harmonies and ambiences which numb a bit its heaviness. There is a lot ambience and sadness around "Point of no Return", an ambient track where the synths which turn down the corner of the winds with breaths of trumpets which float over some funeral notes of a pensive piano. Less sad but more heart-rending, "Blues for Robert Falcon Scott" is what it sounds; a good cosmic blues where a very acid guitar is tearing down the ambiences on a heavy rhythm well hammered by good percussions. The synths and the keyboards remind me of Pink Floyd and their post Roger Waters years.
Is it necessary to pass by Tide to appreciate “Into the Unknown”? That can help to understand the huge diversity of Rudolf Heimann who this time offers more accessible structures. But this impression can be fooled by my ears that are used in so much music in the course of the years. But they are rather reliable to guarantee you that you are going to have a great time discovering the music of Rudolf Heimann in “Into the Unknown”; one of the beautiful surprises in the shelf of rhythmical and melodious EM in 2013.
Sylvain Lupari (December 6th, 2013)
jeudi 5 décembre 2013
1 Up & Down the Waves 6:23
2 Driftwood 8:10
3 Staring at the Sea 8:42
4 Absorbed in Thought 9:58
5 Awaiting the Tide 5:07
6 Offshore 10:36
7 Stranded on your Shore 8:02
8 Morphologic Resonance 6:35
Spheric Music | SMCD 8304 (CD 64:00) ***½
(Energic drive sequenced and melodious New Berlin School)
Sound chameleon or multiple personality disorder? It's rather difficult to encircle Rudolf Heimann's musical universe. Although he is a veteran of the Berlin electronic scene for more than 20 years, it's the very first time that my ears meet the criss-crossed and chaotic rhythms of the German synthesist who nests now at Spheric Music label. Rudolf Heimann, who tempts a comeback after more than 13 years of absence and silence, offers in “Tide” an album with ambivalent rhythms and really catchy tunes. The rhythmic structures veer between hard and soft techno, maybe e-rock, while brushing a relative cosmic sweetness, with a great sequencing pattern, chaotic percussions and very nice which are not without reminding Geoff Downes' complex universe and maybe Johannes Schmoelling for the harmonic touch. All in all, this is an interesting album which will please undoubtedly TD's fans of the 90's!
A steady rhythm, such as a good loud rock with strong percussions, a keyboard which frees heavy riffs and a sequencer with its echoing loops, "Up and Down the Waves" opens “Tide” with a forceful rhythmic approach. It's an infernal beat, besieged by a hybrid synth of which the solos multiplication are entangling into synth verses where the poetic approach of the German synthesist is more than a simple combination of sounds. This is a kicker which starts very well a mosaic of rhythms and melodies. "Driftwood" propels us in the dance floors of the 80's with a heavy synth-pop which pounds under good pulsations and slamming percussions. An acoustic guitar sees to the melodious aspect, as well as a keyboard and its slightly vocal samplings while that some heavy strata of a metallic and syncopated synth bring a melodious dimension to this very heavy bouncy techno synth-pop which slowly deviates towards a more cosmic finale while maintaining its feverish tempo. We clearly feel an influence of Tangerine Dream, the Private Music years, on "Staring at the Sea" which is lighter and sharply more electronic than "Driftwood". While keeping the same musical contents, Heimann offers a soft tempo more daydreamer and closer to his electronic roots with his languishing synth solos which slip in between good percussions strikings and catchy arrangements where chords and sound effects are well inserted, showing Rudolf Heimann's knowledge into the EM spheres. "Absorbed in Thought" is a beautiful track where some hopping sequences are slamming in a delicious elixir of languishing, waltzing and morphic synth strata on a tempo which crosses the space rock and floating EM. This is a very beautiful track endowed by a beautiful musical poetry where solos merge with dense Mellotron waves on a finely chaotic structure and melodiously rhythmic.
With its western flavors guitar riffs, "Awaiting the Tide" oscillates between a cosmic country rock and a soft techno with twisted synth solos which espouse marvellously the guitar arpeggios. A sweet track, very cute, that sounds like TD on the Melrose years. "Offshore" is built around hybrid musical structures which go in a total frenzy rhythmic duality. The beauty of this longest track in “Tide” lies in the complexity of its structure which is subdivided into several rhythmic approaches, embracing just as much the dance-floor style, the soft and broken techno as well as sequenced EM with crisscrossed sequences. So the rhythm abounds on various cadenced spheres with DJ modern tones mixed with an analog/digital fusion. A strange and intriguing track which requires a good open-mind, so much the duality of the tempos can be incoherent with the multiplicity of tones and sound effects. More restful, "Stranded on your Shore" is a true electronic ballad which unifies a nice kind of cosmic ballet and a nursery rhyme of which the prisms of glasses are waving with a delicate lyricism. It's simply beautiful and a stunning meshing of TD's Le Parc and Legend. "Morphologic Resonance" concludes “Tide” with heavy resonances which grope stealthily. The rhythm develops slowly with hatched chords which flutter in an environment which hesitates between a cosmic and a tangible rhythm. Guitar chords form a soft melodious rosary which stagnates to dash in the paths of a soft techno, confirming of the ambivalence in the rhythmic structures which cross “Tide” from beginning to end.
I got to admit that the listening of “Tide” made me perplex, so much the sound variety is at least surprising. Except that when we stop more closely and we listen more attentively to all the subtleties and the arrangements that fill (its very big strength according to me) this Rudolf Heimann comeback album, we succeed to tame very well this constant coexistence between the soft and the hard techno, as well as these strange structures difficulty recognizable which sometimes recall us either Tangerine Dream or Geoff Downes and even Depeche Mode, to appreciate all the accuracy which hides behind this fascinating feast of rhythms and tones that is “Tide”.
Sylvain Lupari (Written on July 10th, 2010 and translated on December 5th, 2013)
mardi 3 décembre 2013
1 Again and Again 17:23
2 The Lost District 9:47
3 Forwards to the Past 10:32
4 Streaming Stars 14:46
5 No More Frontiers 12:06
SynGate | CD-R SS16 (CD-r 64:34) ****
(Driven sequences and progressive Berlin School retro)
Wow that is heavy. Heavy and dark. After an ambiosphericosmic intro fed by rustles of metal in dissolution, "Again and Again" offers its strange paranormal ambiences to a heavy rhythm. A rhythm which implodes with an incredible strength where the sequences are zigzaging and skipping such as steps lost in a mist of which the mysticism is adorned of spectral voices. Heavy and black, like that time of Tangerine Dream and the explorations of the electronic rhythms introduced by Chris Franke. "Again and Again" push our eardrums to the limit with muffled pulsations and resonant sequences, amplifying the race of a heavy black rhythm which spreads its paradoxical lines where the harmonies, twittered by a nasal synth, sing on a structure of creative rhythm sometimes wave-like and sometimes hopping. The chthonian choirs set ablaze the reminiscences of the Mephistophelian universes of the Dream while the rhythm, always black, amazes with its spasms of hesitation which skip on the spot, coating it of a static envelope where the pulsatory shadows nibble at our eardrums. Danny Budts, the man behind Syndromeda, likes to experiment his sounds. Moreover, his musical signature is unique in the field of dark and base sequenced EM with old scents of retro and experimental Berlin School. “No More Frontiers”, his what? 25th or 26th solo album (the counting is quite complicated) shows a judicious title where Danny Budts decompartmentalizes as much the cosmic myths as the possibilities of his synths and accessories in order to offer rhythms and atmospheres which go out of our borders. Where the imagination is more a king than a king. And as much say it straightaway; even if his universe is unique, Syndromeda likes to play with the roots of his influences.
And this is what we hear with the organic rhythm of "The Lost District", which has to chase away a very much sci-fi intro as "Again and Again". The structure of the hopping rhythm, as well as the glaucous pulsations which squeak, remind me the batrachian rhythm of Jean Michel Jarre in Zoolook (Ethnicolor). The synth roars furious harmonies while the rhythm approaches a kind of techno with a meshing of pulsations and sequences which skip on the same pace. Divided between its very harmonious ethereal envelope and its heavy vertical rhythm, "The Lost District" borrows a little the same rhythmic currents as "Again and Again", but less heavy and dark, although rather intriguing with its treacherous breezes, and with more harmonies. It's a good track to be initiated to the universe Syndromeda. If “No More Frontiers” has fun with our ears by presenting ambiospherical, cosmic and morphic introductions and finales, it also has all the elements to kick down our ears with continual chassé-croisé rhythmic fed by pulsating and resonant sequences. The rhythmic skeleton of "Forwards to the Past" is too much near Tangerine Dream's to avoid underlining it. A thick cloud of organic cracklings, rippling waves and jingle ringing like a typist in madness encircle this rhythm of which the ample undulations coo under the groans of a synth which abandons its vampiric solos in order to kiss a more sci-fi phase with cosmic tones, evasive solos and a more ambient rhythm which lead "Forwards to the Past" towards its lunar finale. The tones of Syndromeda's synths are rather unique. That makes the charms of his music. The harmonious lines are weaved in extremely sharped nasal singings while the ambiences are multiplied by ambiguous layers where fragrances of a black world marinate with cosmic lamentations, and vice versa. This is the background that we find on "Streaming Stars"; a track where the synths collect the atmospheres and the opposite singings on an ambient rhythm which quietly amazes with an approach of a very morphic down-tempo which pulses lazily around a string of sequences of which the tones of blows on an anvil are sparkling of a crystalline harmony and wag on a still circular rhythm. We swim the ears full in a very good ambiosphericosmic Syndromeda. The title-track ends “No More Frontiers” with a structure of music typical to Danny Budts' universe made of complexities. We hear a thick cloud of lines of sequences there fluttering here and there in a static broth while other sequences form a movement of minimalist rhythm which rolls in loops. The ambience is embroidered by mist and dissolved voices which hum and float in the schizophrenic singings of the synths on a cold.
In a universe where retro Berlin School feeds on its memories, it makes well to hear an artist as Syndromeda to bring a clearly more personal touch. The big sparkling sequences which mutter by the strength of their parallel and secant rhythms, the chthonian atmospheres which hum as a corrupted innocence and the multiple lines of synth which unite both poles of a universe which caresses the turbulences of the other one make of “No More Frontiers” a strong album of EM which distances itself, both by its wealth and its depth and its boldness. This is great progressive e-rock music.
Sylvain Lupari (December 3rd, 2013)