mardi 1 décembre 2015

FRYDERYK JONA: Electronic Ballad (2015)

“Electronic Ballad is an album which brings something new! Something fresh to the ears even if some perfumes of Schulze, the In Blue album, fill the air and the airs”
1 Electronic Ballad 34:53
2 Orient Voice 10:11
3 On the Run 6:04 (Bonus Track)

SYNTHMUSIK Label (CD 51:08) ****½
(Minimalist contemporary Berlin School and beats)
The sound which goes out is the one of a saxophone. The ears riveted to the headphone, we even hear the breaths of the saxophonist. When Ron Boots speaks, EM fans have generally the attentive ears. When he mentions that “Electronic Ballad” is an album to be listened to, that Fryderyk Jona is an artist to discover, the curiosity is fast spurred. And I start searching. I received the music of this Polish synthesist  who lives now in Germany and of which the style is influenced by an ambient and a melancholic Berlin School. The presentation is very well made with a beautiful artwork, the album is only offered in a CD digipack version for the moment, of an astral blue which encircles an image of the cosmos. And the first sound which goes out is the one of a saxophone. At the beginning, we are not certain. It sounds like Klaus Schulze's In Blue. Remember this synth perfumed of a saxophonist's harmonies. It's the first impression that comes to us. And afterward? We fall in the delight!
A slow and wide synth line comes to give more luster to this saxophone, plunging the long eponym track into an ambient serenade where the synth subdivides its songs with clouds of mist and layers of faded voices. Another synth line draws some electronic scrawls which make slow twists in a sound mirage which plunges us at full into the atmospheres of Into the Blue. Sequences tinkle in background. Their ringings get more and more persistent while a line of bass and fine percussions are drumming the first structure of rhythm of this long sonic river of 35 minutes. The percussions and the bass weave a kind of slow cosmic Groove where everything is soft, where everything is very ethereal. An electronic nightingale presents us funny songs which go and come in this ballet for carillons and percussions where the heat of tones, and its contrasts, guides us towards a waking dream. The synth layers perfume the background decoration of an anesthetic mist, leaving to the saxophone the care of throwing us its harmonies for weakened souls. The progression is slow. Structured always on a soft, hardly ambient rhythm, it remains a prisoner of this very beautiful carousel of carillons where the glass arpeggios are tinkling in random way and where other elements of split up rhythms feed a hardly chaotic sweetness. And always these songs of nightingales. And always these perfumes of saxophone which embalm a solitude supported by layers of astral choirs. This soft rhythm takes another tangent towards half-time with more accentuated leaping, or chirping according to our perception, which get lost in a long sizzling humming. "Electronic Ballad" dives then into a kind of down-tempo fed by bass pulsations which skip and which beat a measure without precise pattern and where are patrolling serpentines of sequences. The last eight minutes bring "Electronic Ballad" towards a very ambiospherical phase where we re-hear more clearly these undulated waves which structured its wall of atmospheres since the very beginning, while that e-tortillons and long hummings gain their rights over this wonderful duel between synth and saxophone.
"Orient Voice" is more lively and respects this pattern of duel between the synth and the saxophone, while adding to it a voice of East. The rhythm extricates itself with difficulty from the nothingness with loops of sequences which describe small repetitive circles and draw a spherical ambient rhythm with nuances in tones and in the shape. These two lines of rhythm mix their minimalist approaches in a finely jerky structure which stuffs itself with bass pulsations, with jingles of cymbals and with percussions which machine-gun after all a very good moment of cosmic Groove. There also, the tone and the ambiences are hardly inseparable from
Klaus Schulze's In Blue album with a bit of Dig it.
It's very good and there is quite a work at the level of the mixing because every element which sculpts the tempo, and there are a lot, is clearly recognizable. As well as these multi-layers of synth which bicker the atmospheres and the harmonies with this delicate oriental voice and this saxophone which we can easily confuse for a synth. Lines of synth are dancing in the firmament of atmospheres which leads "One the Run" to our ears. They draw lively undulated waves to which is grafted a line of sequences fed by rhythmic chirping. Here, as everywhere around the 50 minutes of “Electronic Ballad”, the rhythm is forged with an attention to details which is outstanding. Fryderyk Jona weaves two lines of sequences, one a very organic tone and the other one very electronic, which intertwine their jumping keys in a pattern of rhythm made by loops and fed by the skipping of a bass line and bass pulsations as well as jingles of percussions and percussions a bit hip-hop pecked by tsitt-tsitt of cymbals. The result is a kind of Funk and Groove very electronic with synth lines weavers of undulatory harmonies and of electronic dialects. That does very contemporary Schulze!Ron Boots was right! Fryderyk Jona is an artist to discover. It's difficult to classify “Electronic Ballad” so much the genre is far enough from what we are used to hear. To me it's electronic serenades! The music, the atmospheres are charming and the minimalist rhythms are constantly shaded by some very tight knitting of sequences lines. And the suppleness of the percussions as well as the bass pulsations and the bass open the doors of an Electronica rocked by raids of Jazz. There is a lot of Schulze influences here. But what holds attention is this unique signature where the universe of Fryderyk Jona will park definitively its imprints in the ears of those who want to explore a Berlin School clearly more contemporary. Great...A must have!
Sylvain Lupari (December 1st, 2015) &
You will find this album on the Fryderyk Jona web site here or via Bandcamp here

dimanche 29 novembre 2015

PETER MERGENER: Take Off (1992-2015)

“Here is another nice reedition with extra music which show another side of Peter Mergener, but Take Off? As usual this is great New Berlin School”
CD 1 (59:31)
1 Take Off 6:28
2 Icarus' Flight 8:34
3 The Eagle 5:25
4 On Wings 9:40
5 Between Worlds 2:24
6 A Moment to Look Back 2:31
7 Freedom of Space 8:49
8 Return to the Blue Planet 11:31
9 Landing 4:04
CD 2 (46:01)
1 Hawking's Universe 4:42
2 Solarsailer 7:22
3 Strange Voices 5:41
4 Nightflight 5:24
5 Sunlight 5:13
6 A Little Bit of Something 8:18
7 When the Wind Blows 5:06
8 Extreme Conditions 4:11 
Prudence | 398.6850.2 (2 CD 105:32) ****
(New Berlin School with a mix of e-rock, cosmic rock and synth-pop)
There is certain craze for Peter Mergener. For his music! Having remixed and fused the both passages of Creatures in a single album, Creatures 2020 in April 2014, the German synthesist revisits Passage in Time in October of the same year. And now it's the turn of “Take Off”, his 3rd solo opus which appeared on the German label Cue Records in 1992. Like with Passage in Time, this new version of “Take Off” includes a remastered edition of the original album as well as a bonus CD which includes music, and that's not completely clear to me, composed quite recently as well as some different versions (I find that indeed Sunlight can sound like The Eagle and that A Little Bit of Something has some similarities with On Wings) of tracks which appeared on the first edition. The whole thing is carefully presented in a 2 CD digipack which however offers almost no information. And on the album and on Peter Mergener! Amplifying so this perception that there is still a culture of secret around the mythical musician who left the Software adventure at the end of the 80's. And as it's only quite recently that I discovered this period of Mergener, I cannot pronounce on the differences, good or bad, between both works. All that I know on the other hand is that it's a very good album! We find here this magic which was behind the first 3 years of Software, from 85 to 88, with slow harmoniously jerky structures of rhythms, such as stroboscopic filets falling to pieces, which progress in a great deal of cosmic effects and in jolty orchestrations.
Outer noises, like voices or dialogues of cosmonauts or still whistlings of shuttles as well as noises of machineries, have always decorated the cosmic soundscape of
Software. And by ricochet the one of Peter Mergener. We thus find them massively on “Take Off” and this is what open the title-track. Winds of Orion and dust of cosmos are sticking to some slow intergalactic woosh while far off a staccato movement reveals orchestrations which are similar to a sequence of suspense film. Layers of voices cogitate around this orchestral swing of the pendulum where sequences are grafted and waddle with a pace of mocking goblins. Already, the Mergener (Software) magic invades our ears. Lively and harmonious sequences, percussions and electronic jingles, riffs of keyboards and jerky violins are structuring a rhythm which passes in an accelerating mode, as a ride in the cosmic plains. A rhythm pecked by diverse elements of percussions and wrapped by the beautiful harmonies of a synth among which the seraphic layers weavers of earworm add some more of depth to the soundscapes of “Take Off”. It's lively! It's a  good electronic rock of the 80's with a great sound aestheticism. "Icarus' Flight" is a very beautiful track is which uses completely all these facets, and from cosmos and from synth software. Cosmic woosh and wiish are pushing sound prisms which always sparkle in the breezes of Orion. Electronic effects are chirping and the synth layers adjust the tones with a delicate approach tinted of nostalgia while the tears of violins and the fluty caresses add to this elegiac dimension. It's delicate and rather oniric. We are near New Age! Winds become more strident, awakening a thick cloud of sequences which hesitate to structure the rhythm of "Icarus' Flight" of which the approach remains furtive and get snuggled up in these sighs of flutes. And the sequences dance. They dance, like in Electronic-Universe, with jerky orchestrations, structuring an ambient rhythm. A cosmic lullaby which little by little exchanges its passivity for a structure as much lively than morphic, rather similar to the progression of the title-track, which is so close to these progressive and rather ambiguous structures of rhythm which make the charms of the Peter Mergener's repertoire. Each track of “Take Off” is soaked of these sound subtleties rich in contrasts and in colors. "The Eagle" is a beautiful slow dance with a poignant guitar and jingles on the background which remind me the duet Seiler/Lorenz in the Passage album. Wonderful, "On Wings" is literally sculpted in the sequenced harmonies, you know all these glass ringings which sing and shape an ambient rhythm, of the Electronic-Universe saga. And always there is this fine gradation in the envelope, as rhythmic as orchestral, which gives so much depth to the structures of Mergener. "Between Worlds" is a little moment very ambiospherical which is tied to the rather melancholic piano of "A Moment to Look Back"."Freedom of Space" proposes an ambiospherical structure fed by carillons lost in suave lunar orchestrations. Electronic effects, cosmic voices and hollow breezes weave an astral shroud where jingles of percussions and cymbals get carried away. Voices of NASA and murmurs of cosmic Elves are borrowed from the decoration of Software whereas that the soft drumming of the sequences shape an anesthetic lunar march. It's rather morphic and the sequences hammered on a musical anvil forge a kind of lunar ballet which loses its hypnotic charms in an electronic language filled up of organic tones. "Return to the Blue Planet" is more or less modeled on the same principle with a slow ambiospheric and ambiosonic intro which turns its gradation of the ambiences for a structure of ambient rhythm fed by balls of sequences which wind in spirals. These balls swirl into minimalist loops in a structure of rhythm which grows with jingles of metallic percussions, a little as in Cosmic-Excursion from the Electronic Universe II album but with a more fluid tempo. Layers of violin and cello harpoon this rhythm skipping with the orchestral jerks which cut out the ritornellos of sequences and direct the second portion of "Return to the Blue Planet" towards these structures of rhythms all contrasts, between the ambient and the lively, of both Software and Peter Mergener universes. "Landing" ends “Take Off” with a good very lively electronic rock where the sequences reveal all the wealth, as rhythmic as harmonic, of Peter Mergener. We love at the first listening!
CD 2 proposes us structures which are far enough from what we are used to hear from
Peter Mergener. And that begins with an all ambiospherical piece of music decorated by its lot of sound effects as well as synth layers and guitar laments which remind of the universe of Pink Floyd in Wish You Were Here. The voice of Stephen Hawking is dawdling around in the background and remains less attractive than that of a virtual woman. If we like the hollow atmospheres where we feel at light years from home, "Strange Voices" and "Extreme Conditions" with its huge waves of old church organ will know how to fill your expectations. We stay in the very Pink Floyd domain with "Solarsailer" which is a good electronic progressive rock with lively percussions, loops of guitar and nice orchestrations. It's rather different of the Mergener/Software universe but we roll on the neck and we slightly tap the thigh. And the guitar of Achim Elsen, who is very good by the way, does very David Gilmour. We are more into ballad style? The slow and very poignant "Sunlight" and its heavy resounding guitar, one would say a hard rock ballad, is going to eat your soul. "When the Wind Blows" is also a beautiful ballad but in a more New Age style. "Nightflight" is a more electronic track, well at least for its intro, with a circular movement of very crystalline sequences which clink in a spectral shroud. Impetus of a line of bass and wrapping synth layers, perfumed by the shadows of an old organ, give a night-depth to a music, which does very Mark Shreeve by the way, which takes back the guides of another electronic rock filled of pastiches and of sound glitter of the 80's. "A Little Bit of Something" will keep its electronic identity throughout its 8 minutes, it's quite a piece of EM my friends, with an approach which is a little similar to "On Wings" but with a clearly more lively rhythm where the perfumes of Mergener/Software  exhilarate our senses with a touch very TD from the Underwater Sunlight years.
Is the second CD necessary? I read negative comments that I do not share. If we are a little far from the
Peter Mergener's usual repertoire, the music remains very nice. And I always like that when an artist goes out of his comfort zone. And it's obviously the case here where Peter Mergener touches a lot of styles; New Berlin School, E-Rock, ambiocosmic soundscapes, New Age and Synth Pop. There is for all tastes and I believe that it's the purpose of a bonus CD offered in a special remixed edition. Regarding “Take Off”? Well...It's another fine jewel of New Berlin School which is very near of what Software had given to us during the Mergener/Weisser years. Isn't  what we wanted?
Sylvain Lupari (November 29th, 2015) &

You will find this album here

vendredi 27 novembre 2015

GERT EMMENS: Triza (2015)

“Soft, ambient, motionless and slightly lively rhythms, Triza is without any doubts in my mind Gert Emmens' best album since a very long time”
1 The Shelter in Sector 5 13:31
2 When Twilight Announces the Night to Come 10:52
3 Where is Triza? 12:41
4 Nightlife 10:37
5 Wanderers of the Streets 25:36

Groove | GR-218 (CD 73:17) ****½
(Ambient beats and Netherlands School)
Electronic effects and slow synth layers which float in a seraphic sky are opening the soundscape of “Triza”. Already, Gert Emmens' sound envelope infiltrates, and our ears and our senses. A delicate movement of sequences makes clink its keys in hollow winds. The first rhythmic figure of "The Shelter in Sector 5" is weakened by these keys which skip in a slow undulatory movement where the nuances of tones are outdone by a wall of electronic fog and these solos so dreamy and so near those fragrances of a saxophonist solitary. Our friend Gert's trademark. And we swim at full in his signature, with this floating structure rich in effects and  so well fed. Along with a movement of hypnotic sequences and with these solos which go straight to our soul. And suddenly, like a threat, these elements fade at the edge of 6 minutes. Only some slow ochred layers are floating and travelling for 90 seconds between two horizons. And it's there that pulsating sequences play the tom-toms before developing a splendid pattern of floating rhythm where the keys will inter change the beat over a structure built on two elements of sequences which skip and wave in seraphic winds and in these beautiful nostalgic solos. That my friends is real great Gert Emmens! When I begin the analysis of an album I always do it while reading. When my ears pull me of the book, I understand that there is something very interesting that is going on. Gert's last albums had left me on my appetite. I found that it missed that this little something which had seduced me so much in his earlier opuses. Well... I was delighted by “Triza”!
Soft, ambient, motionless and slightly lively rhythms. Atmospheres rich in tones and high in colors of sounds. A very elevated sound aestheticism. And these solos always so exhilarating as penetrating! “Triza” is without any doubts in my mind Gert Emmens' best album since a very long time. And it's also a return to basics for the Dutch musician/synthesist. Abandoning his approach of electronic progressive rock and of ambient music to return to the style of Netherlands School, which opened him the ears of so many fans of EM around the world, Gert Emmens signs here his best album since 
A Boy's World in 2007. And to my tastes, since his wonderful Waves of Dreams in 2004. Faithful to his artistic values, the friendly Gert always stays in the approach of concept album and in this framework “Triza” reflects the various aspects of suffering. We hear it and we feel it throughout the 5 tracks and the 73 minutes of the album. And it's also very visible in the opening of "When Twilight Announces the Night to Come" where nasal breezes, metallic woosh and wiish as well as hollow winds are whipping a very melancholic piano. A fine movement of sequences makes its keys waddle. Keys which skip with so much pimpernel in the rhythm that the tears of synth which squeak in the background seems to us joyful while we guess them derisive, otherwise venomous. The notes of piano get back haunting these roarings while the rhythm, always so calm, seems to win swiftness. Especially when it feeds its strength with some good bass pulsations and with the addition of another line of sequences which sculpts another of these ambient rhythms so dear to the Emmens' signature. And this synth so gloomy which sings! The symbiosis of all these elements is fascinating while that "When Twilight Announces the Night to Come" will remain threatening and floating without ever exploding. This explosion will come with "Where is Triza?" But not really as we imagined it! Its opening structure is cut in the silk with two lines of riffs of guitar, one minimalist and the other one more harmonious, which float slightly in winds of Orion. A line of sequences makes its keys gallop which stir nervously and eventually undulate in a motionless ambient movement. Percussions pecked by effects of rattlers are added, as well as layers of synth fed by caresses of ether. That becomes very seraphic, even if our hand taps slightly the thigh by following the curve of a rhythm which we guess wilder. Nasal solos offer themselves in the harmonies, drawing a contrasting parallel with all these elements which make of this introduction a kind of musical sexual intercourse which will reach its nirvana with a wonderful Stratosfear movement at around the 7th minute. WoW! Awesome! The flutes, the electronic effects and this pulsating structure slightly zigzagging are jewels which will get lost in an ambiospherical finale eaten away by insanity. What a track my friends! "Nightlife" is as much appealing as "The Shelter in Sector 5" whereas "Wanderers of the Streets" is an epic track which offers a more worked structure which binds itself in all the vessels of an EM of the 80's. After a very ambiospherical intro where the woosh are pushing sound particles which chirp with an informatics language, a pulsatory line of sequences made skip its keys and their copies which are tinted with a more metallic tones. Afterward the rhythm deploys itself more into a long undulatory skeleton which winds electronic atmospheres perfumed of cosmic effects and electronic effects of the Hyperborea years. I like this fusion of Jarre and Tangerine Dream so discreet it is, where solos and Gert Emmens' harmonies maintain his sonic identity with solos which are so much soft and which follow the curve of this rhythm a little bit soft which pushes its momentums of swiftness temporary. Faithful to these long structures of EM, "Wanderers of the Streets" approaches a more ambient phase at around the 11th minute. This passage is strongly supported by very enveloping synth layers and by distant hummings, setting the tone to a second part which will display a more fed structure of rhythm with a circular movement of sequences where the keys skip with their shadows. The ambiospherical envelope is denser and is fed by a thick cosmic fog where wander layers of voices and effects which are as much richer as in the first moments of "Wanderers of the Streets". A piano emerges from this fog, bringing a dose of melancholy which will be accentuated by good solos as much nasal than a saxophonist having a cold and which are also perfumed of astral trumpets. It's some very good Gert Emmens. And this “Triza” is one of the completely unexpected pleasant surprises in this end of year. To buy without hesitation!
Sylvain Lupari (November 26th, 2015) &
You will find this album on the Groove Web shop here

mardi 24 novembre 2015

PERGE: Scattered Thoughts (2015)

“The big strength of Perge is to make something new out of something old which sound like something that we recognize vaguely between the meanders of time...just like this Scattered Thoughts”
1 Deja Entendu 15:11
2 Hyperbole 8:05
3 Troposfear 12:52
4 Horizane 22:44

Perge Music (CD/DDL 58:52) ****½
(Mix of Retro and New Berlin School)
Perge assumes completely the powers of its influences. Since the first album Dyad, released in 2012, the English duet gave itself as mission to remodel in studio version the great live performances of Tangerine Dream, periods Baumann to Schmoelling. And Matthew Stringer and Graham Getty  feel very at ease with this mission which raises not a controversy in the fans' circle which tear away nevertheless the hair of the eyes at the slightest spark. That my friends, it's the sign of an immense respect towards both musicians. It's also the sign that Perge does things very well. Inserted in a LP laminated sleeve style which looks so much like White Eagle, “Scattered Thoughts” is offered in manufactured CD, the album is also available in download, in the shape of a mini LP. Like in the old time of vinyl album. The packaging is very professional. And the contents?
Lamentations of metal in pain open "Deja Entendu". There is not 10 seconds to the meter that already a movement of sequences made skip and gallop its keys which adorn themselves with tones infected by resonances. Another line of sequences emerges one minute farther. Its movement in zigzag brings a fluty chant and removes for a moment the first line of rhythm. We seek in our head, and our memories, from where this music can be so extracted. Of what period! The answer can be somewhere between
Phaedra and Stratosfear, because in spite of all the subtleties brought, the essences of this era perfume our ears even if "Deja Entendu" is more based on the concept of the originality. The Mellotron is fabulous and its fluty solos, as well as its airs, take the center stage over this chthonian choir, which is more seraphic than threatening, and this movement of rhythm of which the intonation goes up and comes down such as a replete snake. The keyboard layers and effects are flavoring the atmospheres which bronze themselves of the 80's. It's like to unite White Eagle with Phaedra. From a flute, the Mellotron is transformed into synth and throws twisted solos while the rhythm becomes more electronic and that keyboard/synth pads are invading our ears. "Deja Entendu" enters in another phase with the same structure of circular rhythm where the keys skip in a tonal plain filled by some drizzly layers and where the synths replace these singings of flutes with piercing and harmonious solos inside a sound envelope enriched by the perfumes of White Eagle. The ending is leading us towards a more pensive moment with an acoustic guitar which lays down its notes and sculpts a delicate lullaby in the gardens of Eden. You suspect although "Hyperbole" is modeled on the invaluable ballad Hyperborea? And it's very nice. More a remix than a revision of a live performance, I don't think that Hyperborea was played in concert in that era aimed by Perge, "Hyperbole" is magnificently well improved here.
The same goes for "Troposfear" where the contemporary nuances will make of it one of our favorite piece of music in
Perge repertoire. "Horizane" is a fascinating fusion between these two cult tracks from the famous Poland album. The floating sound perfumes are there. These metallic breezes which come from industrial deserts... they fill the air! There is a skillful mixture of fluty and anguished layers which float in an intro filled of the sonic winks from Horizon. The synth which is whistling here with so much sharpness takes the shape of these famous airs with a breeze of novelty in the approach and the first minutes are in accordance with the vision of the atmospheres which are redrawn. The structure of rhythm is slightly more floating with loops which sparkle like springs in the furrows of metallic jingles. The bass pulsations and the apocalyptic lines of synth! We are so near and so far at the same time, from where the seduction. We wouldn't know the name of the track that only few of us would have make the link. The rhythm develops with perpendicular pulsations, a little as a morphic techno which is set ablaze by good solos of a twisted synth with harmonies a bit of nasal . The music dives into an ambiosonic oblivion at around the 13th minute spot. There where the electronic and sequenced percussions of Barbakane, as well as these sound effects in White Eagle, have hammered our loudspeakers in 1984. Still there, everything is nuanced. We wouldn't know the genesis that we would think of hearing an excellent piece of EM. And it's unarguably the big strength of Perge. Make something new out of something old which sound like something that we recognize vaguely between the meanders of time. The music? Oh yes, “Scattered Thoughts” is very strong. The best of Perge? We say that every time. I don't know if there are still manufactured CD available, but I recommend it strongly. It's more than a new way of hearing Tangerine Dream. Perge is like this spiritual son of the Dream who still plays somewhere in the corridors of time.
Sylvain Lupari (November 24th, 2015) &
You will find this album on the Perge Bandcamp page here

lundi 23 novembre 2015

SKOULAMAN: Andros Awakenings (2015)

“If you are among those who loved Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past, this Andros Awakenings is simply built around the same paths”
1 Andros 12:24
2 Between Pulsating Machines 14:40
3 Chinese Lakes 11:52
4 Horizons 11:16

Skoulaman Music (DDL 50:12) ***½
(Cosmic EM of the analog years)
Skoulaman had raised a lot of passion in the universe of EM with his excellent Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past in 2014. The movements of sequences and the electronic envelope were so soft and so poetic, even when the movement of sequences was shaken for more accentuated rhythms, even when our spirit was adrift with serenity among the numerous corridors of EM. The impact was such that the album got out of the borders of his Holland. And it's in ashes of this album that the Dutch synth-man presented some new material within the framework of the EM festival, Awakenings which was held in England in October2015. Offered in a download format, “Andros Awakenings” is a logical result to a very nice album which had seduced more than one. This time, Skoulaman was surrounded by Rik van Kroonenburg on guitar who is presents on two tracks, so widening the frame of its structures which are always so delicately seraphic, but with a touch of meditative blues.
"Andros" extricates itself from the silence with lamentations of a synth which float in kind of ballet with resounding shadows. A delicate movement of sequences gets out of it. The keys skip and cavort in a minimalist envelope pierced by gaps between two lines of ambient rhythm which criss-cross their delicate upward walking under the multiple breezes of a synth in the nasal harmonies. This is magic! The envelope of Mellotron mist which surrounds this very meditative rhythm brings us back to the title-track of
Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past, but in a more nebulous shroud with synths which throw more crystalline and more tearful harmonies as well as more crackling banks of mist. In a more or less similar seraphic envelope, to some nuances near and coated with flavors of Asia, "Chinese Lakes" sparkles in our ears, and in beautiful elegiac orchestrations, as an artifact of Mirage; this famous album soaked with a fascinating lyricism by Klaus Schulze. This is a nice piece of music! Some crystalline electric piano chords come to charm, and to hunt by the fact, the crackling banks of mist which have developed the soft decorative arabesques of "Between Pulsating Machines". That does like a pianist alone in a club filled of its electric smoke. Two lines of sequences in parallel forge a movement of rhythm skipping in an upward way as in "Andros". It's a delicate movement where one would say that the sequences are afraid of touching the atmospheres, so much the steps are furtive and so much the weight aims to be so light. These sequences dance with the fluid notes of the piano, modifying a little their courses by skipping now under the bites of the electronic chirpings which flutter with the same speed as these keys tamed for alternate paces. That gives the effect of a kind of cosmic jazz which eventually is wrapped up by a thick wall of mist. The structure remains very delicate and the piano chords add a touch of harmony which are separated in this vast ambient mosaic of which the rhythm takes a much more jerky form at around the 7th minute. The echo of the first movement of sequences reverberates in a long minimalist skeleton. Rik van Kroonenburg's guitar emerges and supports these jerky loops with riffs in loops which parade on a structure of rhythm always rather ambient and where the iridescent mist are caressing now a guitar among which the notes, riffs and solos lead "Between Pulsating Machines" towards a kind of ambient cosmic blues. This guitar is more ethereal, more aerial I would insist, in the opening of "Horizons" where its layers, such as big slow wings, are melting with those of the synth. This six-strings knits floating solos, between F.D.Project and Klaus Hoffman-Hoock
and buries especially a rather discreet structure of rhythm which beats in the background, while bringing also an approach of meditative blues. A structure which little by little shows its colors with more crystalline sequences. These sequences clink in this minimalist movement braided by two lines which are always so delicate as these structures which have so much charmed us in Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past , making of “Andros Awakenings” the ideal complement to this last album from Skoulaman.
Sylvain Lupari (November 22nd, 2015) &
You will find this album on the Skoulaman Bandcamp page here