jeudi 2 juillet 2015

MOONBOOTER: Cosmoromantics (2014)

“The main strength of Cosmoromantics is the way Moonbooter handles his sequencing patterns, giving to his beats some slightly changeable moods which fit perfectly to a more romantic, than frantic, approach”
1 Edge of Sanity 8:57
2 Spirit of Time 7:50
3 Flashback 7:39
4 Let Freedom Ring 6:28
5 Elnath 6:47
6 Cosmonaut Leonow 7:20
7 Endogenious 7:26
8 Dancing in Ocean 7:52
9 Broken Silence 7:19
10 Fly with Me 9:08

MellowJet Records | CD-r MB1402 (CD-r/DDL 76:45) ****
(EDM with a good zest of Berlin School)
Cosmoromantics” is the 4th opus of the Cosmo series that Moonbooter has begun in 2009 with Cosmoclimax. The basic idea is to always unite approaches of more or less wild Electronica, which is filled up of cosmic elements, to the genesis of the Berlin School style. Being an off-side project, “Cosmoromantics” is the 2nd album of Moonbooter to appear in 2014. I underline the fact because some beautiful fragrances of the very seducing and also quite romantic Still Alive are perfuming this cosmic bet of Bernd Scholl where tones and sound effects of the Russian spatial program are roaming among soft melodies which moderate the atmospheres sometimes boosted by elements of trance music. But the fans of Berlin School are not left lost in the woods, as prove it certain tracks very tempting for those who like the genre.
And it begins with "Edge of Sanity" and its skeleton of sequences which waves and winds all along the slender and sinuous synth line, rather cosmic, of its intro. The structure inhales a phase of ambient rhythm and this even with the wet pulsations which liven up constantly the dance a bit dislocated of this long carcass of invertebrate. Some ambient techno? Possible while the rhythm shows its nuances with good variants in the knocks of the pulsations and of their echoes which make boom-boom in the rays of the long sonic beams of the synth. That starts things rather well and it's softer than savage while the movement and the tone of the sequencing pattern which is very good by the way all over “Cosmoromantics”, reminds me of 
Tangerine Dream. And it is even more true with "Spirit of Time" and of its White Eagle kind of melody which hangs onto a soft pulsatory and ambient rhythm. We stay in the field of lunar rhythm with "Flashback" and its fascinating melody played on a piano which turns into a kind of guitar and of which the shadows sing with a fluty breath. The fineries of this minimalist melody forge an attractive earworm whereas that Moonbooter guides the destinies of “Cosmoromantics” towards a clearly wilder tendency. The pulsations, a bit organic here, are more accentuated and the sequences flicker the cosmic atmospheres with more nervousness. Let's say that things really start to heat up with "Let Freedom Ring" and its approach of dance-floor on which the words of Martin Luther King are recited with a voice-over which awaken in me this passion of David Byrne from the Talking Heads. The rhythm is heavy and incisive with a meshing of sequences cut in stroboscopic lines which go and come to peck at percussions and at pulsations which are avid to break up our eardrums. "Elnath" is a beautiful ballad which seems to be taken out from the shadows of "Flashback". Here as everywhere in “Cosmoromantics”, the assortment and the play Bernd Scholl's sequencing is simply gorgeous. The lively and solid "Cosmonaut Leonow", adorned of its techno armor and of its cosmic voices, is a good example of the Berlin School movements of sequences which circulate well in an approach of techno. The fusion of the antipodes is less aggressive than we could think. On "Endogenious", the sequences fall like snowflakes. Maltreated by the weight of the percussions and their pulsatory shadows, they are frivolous and flutter with beautiful and deep oscillations. The movement is so attractive for the ear that we forget this melody a bit Arabian which floats in the background to move in a cosmic cacophony. The strength of this sound saga that is the Cosmo series from Moonbooter, and I would say it for his music generally, is this wealth in nuances which decorate his rhythms and his atmospheres. Melodies such as "Flashback", "Elnath" and "Endogenious" while the heavy and striking rhythms like "Dancing in Ocean", which spin like a cerebral exhilaration, are simply bewitching as well as catchy. Techno or dance music like this; I could take it anytime! "Broken Silence" is a good down-tempo rather ethereal where the perfumes of Tangerine Dream roam but in another approach than "Spirit of Time". It is more lively, kind of TDI years which merge with the Atomic Seasons saga, but that remains rather cerebral. And what a nice fluty melody which nests here. It's rather surprising all the same how this style of Tangerine Dream which was thoroughly criticized passes admirably well here. And Moonbooter is going to conclude “Cosmoromantics” with a furious rhythm. "Fly with Me" is a hymn to Rave with a music piece as lively as heavy which beats and swirls at the speed of those stroboscopic flashes which flood a huge dance-floor. You're gonna sweat here!
The music of
Moonbooter is the proof that the Berlin School style fits very well within  Electronica. Although “Cosmoromantics” is more airy than cruelly dance, the fusion between the soft and ambient rhythms to elements of stroboscopic dances and Rave is very attractive and passes very well in the ears for the lovers of both styles. And I insist about this vision of Bernd Scholl in his sequencing patterns. It's undoubtedly the strength of “Cosmoromantics” and of its slightly changeable moods in his beats. I quite liked that and I have caught myself turning the volume loud for a track as crazy as "Fly with Me", as much as "Spirit of Time" which is going to please for sure those who devoured the Dream Mixes saga from Jerome Froese . To discover...
Sylvain Lupari (July 1st, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the MellowJet Records shop here

dimanche 28 juin 2015

OTARION: Monument (2015)

“Melodious, intense and rather pompous; Monument surfs on the deep emotions of Genius and goes in a solid Electronica phases then returns to the essences of Otarion's music”
1 Movement 8:37
2 Touch the Sky (Pt.1) 5:18
3 Stardriver 7:24
4 Hidden Place 5:07
5 The Prophecy 7:35
6 The Discovery 6:49
7 Touch The Sky (Pt.2) 3:53
8 The Monument 14:45
9 Lost Past 4:17
10 Upstairs 8:31

MellowJet Records |CD-r OT1501 (CD-r/DDL 72:14) ***½
(Cinematographic, New Berlin School and Electronica)
I quite fell under the charms of Otarion with the music of Genius. I know! We are far, even very far, from the long sound rivers of Berlin School where eclectic ambiences are linked to rhythms in constants fusion and division. But we are always in the realm of EM with a Rainer Klein very philosopher who looks for all the recipes in order to give us goose bumps. Melodious, intense and rather pompous; “Monument” surfs on the deep emotions of Genius, then goes in a phase of Electronica where the Enigma and Era genre is pumping oil on furious rhythms to finally end in structures a little bit closer of progressive music with, and always, a very strong attraction for the Vangelis arrangements. Chronicle of an album that we taste phase by phase.
Some very melancholic notes of piano pierce an iridescent veil and walk shyly in the echoes of clogs' bangings. The movement is soft. Clouds mutter in background, giving to "Movement" this dramatic film style so much desired by Rainer Klein. We surf on the ashes of Genius. Clouds tremble in the 2nd minute, igniting the fire of "Movement". The rhythm then is heavy. A good nervous mid-tempo, it quavers in perfumes of Électronica with brief technoïd lassoes which go and come in the shivers of a good structure of bass among which the palpitations which get tangling in an interesting game of percussions a la
Jarre are weavers of a creative and alive rhythm of which we forget that it carries good nasal harmonies blown by a synth a bit Arabian. The rhythm loses a little of its eagerness and binds its finale to the intro of "Touch the Sky (Pt.1)" which is a more ethereal piece of music with metallic elytrons which spin into the tears of synth/guitar and in the breezes of angelic voices. Pulsations make vibrate, and the ears, the walls and the souls, letting to a wonderful and soft piano to lay down a too beautiful melody that would make cry the most sensitive of the nostalgic. "Touch the Sky ( Pt.2)" is even more poignant, but not as much than the beginning of "Stardriver" and its superb voice of an Elf woman that could make the trees to cry. The piano which scrolls its agile note afterward guides us towards an intense phase where a strange and very foggy melody floats in the echoes of percussions which flutter as in Chariots of Fire. "Stardriver" tumbles afterward into a structure animated by elements of dance and Électronica where this voice of a semi-god roams as the vestiges of Enigma on a rhythm which ends to be eventually pompous. "Hidden Place" is a pretty nice melody, kind of very ethereal ballad, which uses the perfume of Vangelis with a superb intro strummed in tenderness where sing some beautiful synth solos which sail on a soft rhythm.
Afterward, we enter in the Electronica phase of “Monument”. Boom-boom, tsitt-tsitt, thin lines of stroboscopic sequences, palpitations and structures of nervous percussions as well as wrapping floating and dancing violins; "The Prophecy" and "The Discovery" remind me of The Bronski Beat or still Frankie Goes to Hollywood but with an even more energetic tempo and some even more pompous arrangements. The voice has no words, but breaths of oracles which can tickle as much the senses as much as it can annoy them. It's according to tastes. It's lively. The arrangements are very good, even creative, but it's not really my cup of tea. After the very beautiful "Touch the Sky ( Pt.2)", I know I am a romantic, "The Monument" brings us to another level in the repertoire of
Otarion. A delicate melody, hammered in a carillon, opens the path. A threatening fog rises above this ritornello a bit devilish, bringing a dramatic phase where very beautiful solos whistle around the sequences which flicker on a kind of funeral march. And like a cocoon which would have several metamorphoses before hatching, "The Monument" will change structures as well as roles passing from good electronic rock to some good progressive themes while sniffing at more furious rhythms of Electronica. It's a good, a solid track filled with deep ambiospherical passages where the guitar spit dreamy solos, where the choirs murmur morphic melodies and the synth embalm the ambiences of dreamlike solos floating in beautiful arrangements. "Lost Past" is as much poignant as the Touch the Sky saga with a piano which loses its very melancholic notes in cosmic mists. That reminds me of Rick Wright's evasive sweetnesses. The guitar makes nothing to decrease this sensation that we are hearing a bit of Pink Floyd here with delicate floating layers which are perfumed by David Gilmour's delicacies. This is a good ambiospherical track. "Upstairs" ends my second rendezvous with the music of Otarion by a muddled approach. The melody is ambient and very ethereal with fluty voices which murmur in the reverberant rays from some sonic hoops. Layers of sequences glitter there without really structuring a rhythmic approach which hatches more from the echoes of hoops to adopt a delicate mid-tempo perfumed of very airy pads from a synth or/and a guitar.
I quite liked “Monument”. They are great moments here. Rainer Klein shows that he is not afraid of going out of his comfort zone by bringing other kind of wealth to his structures which always remain soaked of dramatic elements always within the reach of these shivers which tickle us the thorn in strong cinematographic moments. It's a very nice mosaic of styles where we find a little of everything, but especially this touch of
Otarion who always manages to shake our inside.
Sylvain Lupari (June 28th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the MellowJet Records shop here

vendredi 26 juin 2015

ARCANE: Perihelion E.P. (2015)

“Perihelion has to be among the best music of this Berlin School analog vibe that has seduced me so much over the years”
Perihelion-1 14:26
Perihelion-2 5:08
Perihelion-3 3:26
Perihelion-4 5:05

Paul Lawler Music (DDL/E.P. 28:05) *****
(Classic Berlin School)
Absolutely! To use the words of one of his fans; Paul Lawler doesn't stop to amaze. And this even in a crenel that several have snubbed because they believe that the genre is cleaned since moons. A magnificent composer and musician/synthesist who invests time and money to acquire the best of these equipments sculptors of sound magic, Paul Lawler shapes sounds, rhythms, atmospheres and harmonies which are at the pinnacle of our most extravagant visions. “Perihelion” is the 2nd E.P. that Arcane whispers in our ears since the beginning of 2015. Both are not far from being one full length album. I guess we could say an album in two parts, because if Aphelion surfed clearly on the moods of the said  Blue Years period of Tangerine Dream, “Perihelion” sets fire in our ears with a hotter, a warmer music where the magic of the analog transports us in the heart of the dark years of EM, such as imagined by albums as solid as Stratosfear, Sorcerer and the Encore tour. And honestly!? This “Perihelion” has to be among  the best album or E.P. of this Berlin School analog vibe that has seduced me so much over the years.
The strength of
Arcane, set apart the forging of its sequenced keys, is to know how to graft melodies to ambiences which are sometimes totally supernatural. Let's analyze "Perihelion-1"! Noises, lapping, hooting of owl, faded voices and pulsations; the intro of "Perihelion-1" plunges us into a swamp where reigns an atmosphere of zone misted of radioactive dusts. A superb Mellotron line tears away from these atmospheres and lets float a melodic embryo, like a cloud weakened by winds, that the strings of a cello are scraping of a slow movement of perversion. What jumps to ears it's the ambiences. We leaving aside the last 40 years and we would swear that the planet Music didn't change. We really are in the edges of the 77 year but with a touch of modernity which is very perceptible to the ear. The sound decoration is extremely rich. That would take a full page to describe it. There is nothing of excess and each detail seems well calculated. A pulsing line makes skip a chord whereas a Mellotron releases a heady perfume of flute. Quietly, "Perihelion-1" takes shape. A nasal wave accompanies this kind of funeral march from which the melody seems bound to a folk litany. Bangings, some people will say felted gases, escape and divert our ear from a line of sequences which makes its keys zigzagging in the background. Chthonian choruses embrace the procession and other percussions resound in the absolute discretion while the rhythm escapes with more swiftness. We are not in any TD era, we are in Arcane's. Pads of organ crunch the rhythm which undulates in the violence of the flutterings of the keys and the pattern of sequences of which the chords roll and castigate the rhythm like bursts of machine-gun fire. "Perihelion-1" does not explode. It takes refuge into an ambient phase where a synth cries in banks of iridescent mist which smell so much Rick Wright's perfumes. Far off, we hear this pond of prism sparkling like the mirages of the floating sequences of the 76/77 years. A big black and resonant line falls then between our ears, extirpating the best of our souvenirs of the Dream, while "Perihelion-1" flies away with long strides in good oscillating loops as much heavy as lively. Loops which rise and fall in the violence of the pulsations of a line of bass percussion among which the bangings and the hammerings have difficulty in resisting to this wild approach of dance floors.
The heavy, lively and aggressive rhythm of "Perihelion-2" owes to be considered as the next hymn of electronic rock. The rhythm is cut in the mess of sequences which wave such as starving butterflies, a bass line as stoic and devastating as well as solid percussions. The melodic portion is assumed by another disordered decoration where sirens, vampiric waves and guitar solos filled of spectral harmonies go and come without ever taming the wild approach of "Perihelion-2". It's my favorite track, while several swear only by "Perihelion-1". But both are very different and any comparison of favoritism seems to me inequitable. "Perihelion-3" offer an undecided approach, a bit sneaky should I add. It's the closest music to
Tangerine Dream here. The rhythm pounds with furtive beatings. They stop and restart as so curtly in the ashes of mocking melodies while another line of sequences plays the castanet with its keys which zigzag constantly in a sound setting that we can easily identified as a hot desert where the scorpions make the dance of seduction. "Perihelion-4" is as virulent as 2, but also more fluid with a structure of rhythm knotted in deep oscillations which wave in a soundscape where the ambiences and the melodies look at each other and merge in perfumes which have already adorned the sonic settings of Phaedra. This is also very good. In fact, “Perihelion” is more than very good. It's a superb E.P. which proves that Arcane, due to Paul Lawler's magic, will not stop to amaze and this even in a crenel from which several stay away or still look of scornfully because they believe, wrongly, that the pond is dried up. Me!? I challenge you to try “Perihelion” and to still bear the same call...
Sylvain Lupari (June 25th, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Paul Lawler Bandcamp page here

mardi 23 juin 2015

REALTIME: Magnificent Imaginations (2015)

“Floating rhythms and wrapping cosmic moods; Magnificent Imaginations puts down the roots that we have about Real Time as being the worthy successor of this 85/86 era of Software”
1 Dancing Electrons 8:02
2 Explorations on Strange Planets 12:02
3 Magical Moments Around 11:12
4 Ode to Space 17:26
5 Ethnic Moods 7:07
6 Magnificent Imaginations 13:48

SynGate | CD-r RT05 (CD-r/DDL 69:37) ****
(Ambient and cosmic EM)
In the course of the last years, Realtime has built an enviable place and a solid reputation in the kingdom of an EM perfumed of a strong zest of cosmic moods. The fans of the genre, quite particularly those who are fond of the Software's Electronic Universe I and Chip Meditation year (1985), have fell pretty quick in love for the multiple charms of Thomas Bock and Norbert Hensellek. Just like his project, Thomas Bock is very present on the social networks and on the Berlin scene of EM, pricking the curiosity of new fans and stabilizing his current troop with extracts of concerts or still with some sketches of his music to come. And it's without his usual accomplice that he presents here a new studio album which walks literally on the paths of Solar Walk; the album which put Realtime on the chessboard of EM in 2013. “Magnificent Imaginations” offers 6 structures of mild rhythms, sometimes floppy, which come out from very intersidereal electronic panoramas where astral voices, interstellar breezes, sound effects and dusts of stars float in the eternal caresses and the slow sighs of arrangements coming from tears of violins which sometimes are transformed into ethereal murmurs. It's that path that Software should have taken after Syn-Code.
Woosh of meteorites and hisses of intergalactic snakes decorates the disorder and the heavy dark winds of Orion. The cosmic universe of "Dancing Electrons" hatches out in synth pads a la Rick Wright which flood the cosmos while establishing a climate of peace of mind. We go adrift between two universes. Only the flutes are missing and we would be in Fluting Electronic Universe's embryo. A rhythm, always so very delicate, extricates itself from the winds of Orion. It swirls in its morphic envelope by spreading keys which skip finely and try to climb the imaginary mounts of a universe where the voices and the murmurs turn into winds and into harmonies murmured by a synth full of metallic fog. The keys untie their shadows which chirp of metallic tones, forging an ambient stroboscopic filet which parades very slowly in a dense intergalactic setting. "Dancing Electrons" is the matrix of “Magnificent Imaginations”. The 5 next  structures will be all soaked, in few nuances near, of its fragrances and of its very hypnotic spherical rhythms. After a slow ambiospherical intro, "Explorations on Strange Planets" offers a smothered rhythm with very discreet pulsations and of which the beatings allied to the jingles of the metallic elytrons, forge a sneaky but fluid rhythm. A rhythm which is also deafens by a great lunar soundscape, as dense as intense for a structure so sluggish, well adorned by hissing stars, astral voices and tears of synth which float in mists and breezes of Orion. "Magical Moments Around" is the track to which we stick right away in “Magnificent Imaginations”. The structure of the rhythm is more energetic with a series of pulsations and sequences which skip and chatter in the shadows of their forerunners. It's at both heavy, for the resonances of the pulsing line, and soft, for the spherical approach a bit stroboscopic. The rhythm skips of its fine vibrations and echoes in a minimalist pattern which bumps below a thick cloud of sound serpentines. The latter unwind some nice psychedelic horizons which are very convenient to the dialogues of synths, but also to the solos as so discreet as strangely very harmonious. That reminds me some times of
Klaus Schulze.
Cosmic dipped into ether, "Ode to Space" is a long ambient track with a first phase, the first 8 minutes, very ambiospherical. We could almost say that we go adrift in a cosmic storm with its effects of weightlessness. A delicate, I would say even morphic, line of bass extricates itself from the mooing of the sands from the interstellar dunes in order to offer a soft rhythm which invades and calms our two hemispheres. It 's a very ambient rhythm which pounds weakly in the sweetnesses of good orchestral arrangements, a little as if a concert of violin is calming the apprehensions of the unknown. This is very
Software and very relaxing. And as every detail counts in the universe of Realtime, Thomas Bock adds beatings and organic sequences among which the pulsations and the chirping add another layer of seduction to a good cosmic morphic track. We let oneself be seduced rather easily. "Ethnic Moods" starts rather fast with beautiful floating pads filled of cosmic tones. Voices of Elf whisper a kind of poem written in the ink of mist while quite slowly tribal percussions liven up the slow but deliciously lively rhythm of "Ethnic Moods". If the percussions seduce, the luxuriant synth pads are not outdone by this infusion of voice which hum in the brief fluty harmonies and sonic parchments steamed up by dusts of stars. That does very Software, Digital Dance, but in a more electronic cosmic pattern. The title-track is a big shambles of synth pads filled of hollow breaths which moo with black's tints. We hear sequences emerging from this opacity to waddle soberly with organic fineries. The rhythm remains very ambient. A soft rhythm, which shows a little more vitality toward the end, smothered by a thick layer of magma from where shine some hummings, a choir with a timbre as hollow as the winds as well as a shower of electronic Perséides which whistles in a cosmic panorama where the esthetics for stifling atmospheres dominates over the swiftness of the sequences. Let's say that it's a finale a bit pale for an album which finds the way to seduce in a crenel that we imagine constantly dried up.
Sylvain Lupari (June 22nd, 2015)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp page here