mardi 22 avril 2014

FRANK KLARE: Soundtrack for Dreams (1998-2010)

“Frank Klare is an amazing artist who can goes between the Teutonic rhythms as well as deep minimalist Berlin School but Soundtrack for Dreams is mainly a deep and great incursion in the filmic moods of TD. Awesome!”
1 Labyrinth 2:56  2 Unknown Excursion 3:11 
3 Orientalic Excursion 6:34
4 Through the Spheric Timegate 6:51  5 Stratospheric Impression 4:47
6 Living Illusion 1:50  7 Twilight Situation 4:45
8 Timegate through Underwater Worlds 3:42  9 Cosmic Lovescene 3:55
10 Confrontation 5:29
11 Dream-Surrender 1:06
12 Running Away 2:52
13 Vision of a Timebridge 4:57
14 Garden of Wonders 1:40
15 Awakening out of Dreams 6:51 16 Rising Back to the Dreamlands 4:29
17
Dreamgirl on the Broadway
- Dream or Reality? 3:42
SynGate | CD-r FK09 (CD-r 69:37) **** (E-rock à la TD)
Dark riffs of keyboard dances on heavy percussions. Lighter chords float at the same time as some very ethereal choirs. We frown and we wonder if we are not listen to a piece of music forgotten in the vaults of Tangerine Dream, periods Thief or still Flashpoint. With its rhythm hammered in a relative nightmarish sweetness "Labyrinth" spreads all the weight of its paradox between the naming of its album and the sudden way of finding the heavy electronic rock of Tangerine Dream very inviting. Playing on the various creative stages of the famous Berlin trio, “Soundtrack for Dreams” has nothing of a soft invitation to reverie. It's an album of pure and hard electronic rock which drinks of the influences of Tangerine Dream and of its more cinematographic approach with short tracks, filled of beautiful moments of ambiences, where one hears with pleasure reminiscences of the Thief to Poland while passing by Le Parc. But let's start of its genesis …“Soundtrack for Dreams” was initially realized in 1999 on Frank Klare's personal label (Traumklang Self-Released TK-CDR-9). This first version offered 11 tracks named Dream 1 to Dream 11. A first remixed and remastered version saw the light of day in 2006 on the German label SynGate with 6 new pieces of music. Rapidly sold out, “Soundtrack for Dreams” saw a 3rd edition, always on the SynGate label and on the same format as in 2006, on October 2010. Although written between 1998 and 2006, the music of “Soundtrack for Dreams” is a mosaic of heavy and lively e-rock which doesn't suffer at all from the artistic gap between its 8 years of writing, thanks to a very good mixing of sequences (made by Valleyforge's Thomas Bechholds) and a very beautiful remasterisation made by Bernd Moonbooter Scholl, such as we can discover when listening to "Labyrinth" and "Unknown Excursion".
The first sequence of rhythm of "Unknown Excursion" is directly attached to the last beating of "Labyrinth" and the track offers a strong electronic rock à la Bondy Parade or still Dr Destructo. "Orientalic Excursion" presents a superb melody imprinted by perfumes of East on a bed of twinkling sequences. The rhythm takes time to take shape. Floating between harmonies and ambiences, he flogs the time with powerful electronic percussions which pave the way to a great silky melody and therefore a catchy musical itch. Lively and harmonious, we shake of the head and we stamp of the feet such as in the summer of my 14 years with a soft perfume of Patchouly. The symphonic synths of "Through the Spheric Timegate" caress a structure of circular rhythm where spheroidal sequences are harpooned by percussions of which the hammered knocks melt down again the rhythm in a more linear approach. Still there; Bondy Parade or Dr Destructo, but in more ethereal mood. "Stratospheric Impression" offers a more evasive structure where the rhythm is slow and pounds with a certain heaviness, a little as in "Twilight Situation" and its filmic approach which reminds me of
Near Dark. Jingles and percussions hit a hypnotic rhythm that the voice of Sabine Klare overhangs of esoteric singings. "Living Illusion" falls in our ears with a wave of sequences of which the undulations flutter nervously before tumbling in the filets of percussions and their electronic military rollings. Simple but efficiently catchy! And as we go on into our discovery of “Soundtrack for Dreams” we find that the rhythms and the moods which are hiding there are all of known territories. And the music is heavy. If we hear with obvious fact the influences of Tangerine Dream, we also hear the very personal approach of Frank Klare whose creativity has nothing to envy to the multiple faces of Edgar's bands. When our ears uncork "Timegate through Underwater Worlds", we perceive a subtle different between the eight new tracks which separate both releases. Here, the recollections of the Dream are closer to the Le Parc years with a movement of sequences of which the vaporous tones remind me of Poland. The rhythm is more clear, less heavy, and remains very lively with this structure which flutters like the wings of a butterfly prisoner of his vertical tube. After a quite cute and lively "Cosmic Lovescene", "Confrontation" dips us back into the moods of a Thief perfumed of the powerful blackness of Near Dark. It's a great track with a brilliant game of electronic percussions which ends in the bouncy Teutonic sequences of "Dream-Surrender" which leads us towards something like ambiences of The Keep with "Running Away". And if we miss the moods of Optical Race, we listen to the very melodious hypnotic tick-tock of "Vision of a Timebridge" which, at times, adopts a little the harmonies of Underwater Sunlight, especially with a very dreamy guitar. The harmonies are melting in the very ambient "Garden of Wonders" which brings us up to the heavy and powerful "Awakening out of Dreams" and the very incisive guitar solos, as well as mordant riffs, of Max Schiefele which float and gallop such as of melodious threats. Very good. "Rising Back to the Dreamlands" and "Dreamgirl on the Broadway - Dream or Reality?" end a surprising album among which the essences and the spirit embrace the cradle of the influences of an artist who got himself literally the sound of TD from the 80's, as much by means of the equipments as by an obvious passion for the film music from Franke, Froese  and Schmoelling. And I, I hear souvenirs of Le Parc floating in my ears after that the last notes of "Dreamgirl on the Broadway - Dream or Reality?" have fallen.
Sylvain Lupari (April 22nd, 2014)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

lundi 21 avril 2014

ERIC G.: Visions (2012)

“Visions is a great incursion in the whims of analog equipments which have weaved uncountable waking dreams”
1 Moonmusic 2 13:03
2 Mind Windings 11:46
3 Hallucinogenic 13:42
4 Discovery and Loss of Crystal Vision
23:51

ELMUCED MUSIC | (CD-R 62:22) ****½ (Vintage Berlin School EM)

It's always a pleasure to have news of Eric G, even if they are old news. Like in Illusions, “Visions” comprise some old musical pieces written in the 80's. Musical structures improvised and immortalized on cassettes that the Swedish synthman has reworked and remixed in 2011 in the respect of his inspirations. Inspirations pulled of the vintages years of an EM sculptured by the analog equipments of key names such as Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre. These three names decorate the firmament of "Visions" which is a wonderful temporal footbridge between two universes separated by a digital vision.
Breezes of Orion blowing of a vertiginous swiftness open "Moonmusic II". Lines of synth are floating around like ectoplasmic spectres roaming in search of a rhythm, of a melody. We are floating in a full weightlessness state à la Jean Michel Jarre before that this morphic movement embraces a furious dance of oscillatory lines. A dance where the lines crisscross with increasing and decreasing cosmic movements that superb plaintive solos surround of a stunning perfume of the beautiful years of analog EM. With its muffled pulsations which shape a linear hypnotic movement, "Moonmusic II" embraces the reminiscences of Oxygene and Equinoxe with a clinch for the lost rhythms, as these trains which come to tickle the hearing towards 5:20, of Magnetic Fields. The title evolves by interphases which follow a tangent going to more ambient-cosmic moods with soloing breaths glancing through pulsations and drummed sequences of which the irregular beatings end a rhythmic structure fill of an intergalactic evolution convoluted. "Mind Windings" attacks straight away our ears with a bass line which forge fat quivering chords bouncing on the backs of percussions with heavy symmetric drums. The movement is of a hypnotic heaviness with these heavy pulsations which resound in our eardrums while that fine solos chiselled by some kind of theremin aromas surround the minimalist hypnotic knocks. This fusion of bass/percussion transports synth solos and isolated pads in a cosmic broth which insufflates to “Visions” its very beautiful electronic ambience with mixed fragrances of Jarre, Schulze and Tangerine Dream (and even Michael Garrison), in particular with this combination of solos, cosmic effects and mellotron fog which coat a 2nd quieter portion of "Mind Windings".
After these two very livened up cosmic incursions, “Visions” undertakes an ambient-spherical change of direction with "Hallucinogenic" and its heavy psychedelicosmic sound mass which widens a profound ectoplasmic ambience. Floating waves of a black organ are shaping a parapsychological intro where other waves more elusive are amplifying this dark approach which flirts with the fragrances of Schulze on Blackdance. And from everywhere are fleeing these astral serpentines which float on a structure in perdition and filled of melancholy. A somber nostalgia fed by floating and wandering synth pads and all of those analog cosmic effects that cemented our perception of a parallel universe when listening classical EM such as Blackdance, Body Love, Encore and Green Desert (or was it Atem?). The intro of "Discovery and Loss of Crystal Vision" breathes of these musical fragrances with long spectral veils which free slow vampiric waves. Segmented in several parts that eventually establish a coherent collage, this Eric G's epic track spreads out its mesmerizing musicality from a bass line which weaves its oblong rhythmic pulsating structure in the den of an organic cosmos where jingle of rattlers, rains of sound stars and foggy choruses are caressed by tortuous synth lines and dark organ layers. Quietly we pass in a more livened up stage with colorful pulsations which pound in the shade of more philharmonic synth layers. Always soaked in a strong cosmic broth, "Discovery and Loss of Crystal Vision" elaborates the main lines of a pulsatory rhythm which resounds beneath wonderful twisted solos which are spinning in mists of ether. Synths and a guitar are exchanging great solos with this musical scent of Ricochet and Encore under a brook of sequenced ions pounding in all directions. Indomitable, the rhythm feeds of lost sequences and steady percussions which sparkle and strike beneath a superb duel synth/guitar of which the solos accompany a cosmic ride decorated by rains of sound stars. It's very good, as the entire whole of “Visions”.
Visions” continuous exactly where Illusions had stopped. It's a great incursion in the whims of analog equipments and sounds which have weaved uncountable waking dreams. It's a declaration of love for an art which scatters its classics on timeless roads. I, I would like to have news more often from Eric G. Because every time he throws me an invitation, my ears find the pleasures of a period that I would like to see frozen in time. You can find this album by contacting Eric G via his website:
http://hem.bredband.net/elmuced/music.htm

Sylvain Lupari (November 27th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=15713

samedi 19 avril 2014

JOHN LYELL: Reflection of Time (2014)

“Reflection of Time is a very beautiful album of ambient, cosmic or esoteric music which crosses new borders”
1 The Deep Unknown 6:06
2 Above the Stratos 9:21
3 Dreaming in Sine Waves 6:31
4 A Far Away Place 7:09
5 Space Ethereal 6:46
6 Dreaming in Sine Waves II 8:16
7 Reflection of Time 6:55
8 Crossing the Barrier 7:50

Independent (CD 58:58) ****
(Ambient and cosmic EM)
John Lyell is an American musician who began his career by playing guitar, at the dawn of the 80's, within diverse rock and hard rock bands. His career took a tangent closer to the electronic art at the beginning of the 90's when he discovered the ambient and cosmic music by listening to the famous radio show Hearts of Space. Since then this musician native of Minneapolis built quietly his own studio. He became with the years a very active personality in the up universe of the cosmic digital art, we can view his numerous paintings on his web site, and the ambiospherical American music by becoming a composer, a producer and a sound engineer for various projects which were inspired by the horizons of this American cult radio show. “Reflection of Time” is his 5th album and presents a very beautiful collection electronic music pieces where the mysticism and the esotericism mix up on structures of ambient, as dark as romantic in the soft fragrances of Vangelis, where the stars and celestial bodies sing the divinities of a cosmos to the unsuspected horizons such as put in music by a passionate of astronomy.
And we enter the universe of John Lyell's intergalactic atmospheres by the main entrance with steps of a sequencer to staggering organic chords which open the fragile ambient pace of "The Deep Unknown". Our ears discover, or imagine, a fascinating intergalactic dialect with tones which adopt a delicate structure of rhythms of which the little deformed echoes resound under morphic synth pads. "Above the Stratos" roots the perception that we are almost in the psybient world by spreading its translucent seraphic pads, where fine voice filets from the oracles of snows are escaping, which cover some electronic chirpings frozen between two ambiospherical layers. This is soft and floating, just like the title-track which takes the air of an ambient funeral walking and the next 40 minutes of “Reflection of Time”. Closer to the melancholic spaces of
Vangelis, "Dreaming in Sine Waves" spreads some delicate arpeggios which sing their fragilities in breezes of Orion. It's a very beautiful piece of music soaked of an attractive ethereal approach, just like the very beautiful "Space Ethereal"; the most beautiful track, imho, of “Reflection of Time” with this superb voice of cosmic Efle which hums with a symphony of stars. "A Far Away Place" is not outdone with its heavy and slow cosmic waves which roll over the singings of forgotten celestial bodies. Soft, dark and very melancholic. "Dreaming in Sine Waves II" presents the little darker side of its first part. But if the arpeggios are ringing with so much brightness here, the ambient structure is clearly gloomier. And we cannot be immersed farther in the cosmos than with the very black "Crossing the Barrier". This long ambient track sounds like a slow journey inside a space shuttle, needs to listen to it with headphones, where, fascinated, we watch the blackness becoming blacker. Even the seraphic voices, very discreet y the way, cannot manage to uproot this perception to sink into even more dark.
I have to admit that I was a little bit sceptical at the idea of discovering a new artist who does in ambient and cosmic EM. There is so many out there that we have the impression to always listen to the same thing. Except that the music of John Lyell really has its seal. If we can make a bit of comparison, that would be with the romantic approaches of
Vangelis. As for the rest, we are in originality or something that I still don't know. We can make links with Michael Stearns, for the ambient cosmic approach, but they are very fragile. Making of John Lyell an extremely rare artist who arrives to found his place in a musical crenel aired from everywhere. “Reflection of Time” is a very beautiful album of ambient, cosmic or esoteric music which crosses new borders. To discover …
Sylvain Lupari (April 19th, 2014)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
Website: http://www.johnlyell.com/

jeudi 17 avril 2014

CODE INDIGO: The MELTdown Concert (2014)

“The MELTdown Concert is a superb mix of a great music from Code Indigo and the images which were floating with creativity in the head of Nigel Turner-Heffer”


AD Music| AD 140DVD (DVD 86:00) ****

We see the quartet which fades out behind a valence of ice which drops its gouts as it melts. A room in a somber building. Garbage scattered everywhere. Waste, excesses of the humanity. And behind these images floats the idle introduction of "Welcome to the Asylum". “The MELTdown Concert” is a very audacious project which rests essentially on the quality of the visual effects and graphics, which are interlace and melt themselves on a big screen behind Code Indigo, when the famous English progressive EM group has played the unique performance of MELTdown at the E-Day Festival in Oirschot, Netherlands, on April 6th 2013. The music is essentially the same. Intros and outros vary. Shortening or lengthening some tracks without modifying really the spirit of the album. Except that “The MELTdown Concert” is not essentially a video of Code Indigo in concert, although we rather see quite often the group in action. It's a DVD which groups all the stories, imagined and set in graphics by Nigel Turner-Heffer, which hide behind every piece of music of the MELTdown album. And these graphics are amazingly beautiful. The space, the real world, the money, stock exchange, big computers and health business. Everything is magnificently well designed and inter-connected with sharpness in the main lines of this concept album from Code Indigo which denounced mainly the financial greediness of a society which eats itself from the inside. And these images, these Nigel Turner-Heffer's visions melt themselves, coming from the ice or from the fire, marvellously with the shots of the quartet, dressed very soberly, which reconstituted splendidly this very beautiful album which is MELTdown.
I really enjoyed watching “The MELTdown Concert” and I really think that it should serve as reference in what concerns the future productions of this kind. It's a very beautiful DVD where the music serves the cause of Nigel Turner-Heffer's intuitivity. And the fusion between graphics, visual effects, short films and the images of the group in concert is just in time. There are no lengths. We see just enough of
Code Indigo and the music is the real star and not the contrary. And above everything, we can now see this very beautiful album with a dimension that we did not even dare to image in our head. Very well made and it goes great on my big HD TV screen... a little as if I was there.
Sylvain Lupari (April 17th, 2014)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

lundi 14 avril 2014

VANGELIS: Ignacio (1975)

“Ignacio is a work in two times where, sublime, the Face A receives too easily the shadow of the noises from its Face B. You have to discover this...”

Entends-tu les Chiens Aboyer 39:04
(Face A  21:25)
(Face B 18 :25)
Barclay 813 042-2  (CD 39:04) ****¼

(Melodic, symphonic and experimental EM)
The first notes of piano which fall remain congealed in the time. One would say tears of cosmos which sparkle in the curvatures of intergalactic breezes. This wonderful, and much romanced, introduction of “Ignacio” has rocked my dreams since years. So beautiful, so moving that I would have liked that its small duet so innocent with a synth and its sonic pearls and sad violin lasts beyond its graceful 4 minutes. But nothing is lost because in the world of Vangelis the melodies or reveries like hare are often recurring. Here is an album which is really past under the radar of time, but which has all the same aroused many controversies. “Ignacio” or Entends-tu les Chiens Aboyer (Can You Hear the Dogs Barking?), is a soundtrack which went out in the stride of Heaven and Hell in 1975. A mythical album because he exists under several naming, of which a Mexican version, and on which an error (volunteer?) during the mixing, while being digitalized into the CD format, made of it an album which engendered so many passions as dissatisfactions among the fans of the Greek musician and this imbroglio have many a time mixed fans, columnists and historians of Vangelis. If at Barclay we find the original work, at CAM Record the Face A of La Fête Sauvage found its place on Face B. A choice which has pleased to the fans of a more musical Vangelis, because we have to admit that the face B of “Ignacio” is rather difficult to tame.
While the dusts of the first melody are fading away, a sharply more monasterial approach floods our loudspeakers with these soft pastoral voices so unique to
Vangelis who hum through bells, carillons and synth chirpings. This is more than beautiful and the very melodious wind of violins transport us literally in the core of Heaven and Hell with this rather dramatic symphonic and cinematic structure which quietly will go lulling in the soft and romantic artificial violins of which the harmonies are as much lunar than seraphic. And this melody, so haunting, comes back disturbing our emotions with a big organ which spits its fury. But still, this remains very musical. A fury which melt and scatters its ashes in this too beautiful introductory melody of the Face A. This piece of music is a pure beauty underestimated in the career of Vangelis. But as much Vangelis can be melodious, he can also offer some very stormy dishevelled structures. This is straight what is happening with the opening of the Face B and its first 7 minutes which offer a kind of free-jazz and improvised rock with superb solos from a synth which draw braids on a devilish rhythm of which the introduction sounds strangely like what's going to become the frame of Pulsar. Afterward we fall in a more peaceful structure with electronic effects, which we also will recognize on Pulsar, which perturb the temporary quietude of this atypical structure. Follows then a stream of electronic noises and percussions of any kinds which model an always invisible rhythm (Invisible Connections?). And quietly this ambient and noisy sonic skeleton gets lost to go towards a very cosmic passage before being charmed by a delicate tribal melody à la sauce Greek. A very beautiful melody lost in the tumult. It's the kind of finale that seems to have inspired the electronic rumbas of Jean Michel Jarre.
“Ignacio” is a work in two times where, sublime, the Face A receives too easily the shadow of the noises from its Face B. A Face B which, imho, does not also receive all the attention, nor the credit, which she deserves because after having listened to it we notice that she draws the path of the next more electronic albums of 
Vangelis who, by the way, has passed to another step by leaving his Parisian studio to become established in a new studio, Nemo, in London and compose Heaven and Hell. The history begins...

Sylvain Lupari (April 14th, 2014)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca