lundi 5 octobre 2015

FABER: Dark Sun (2015)

“Dark Sun is a stunning album with very intelligent structures of rhythms which pound and beat in a splendid eerie sonic tapestry worthy of the best episodes of Tangerine Dream's Near Dark”
1 Dark Sun Theme 2:02
2 Dream X 6:18
3 Lost in Space 6:04
4 Ghost Trains 4:50
5 Snow Cold 5:23
6 Alien Chants 10:16
7 Atomic Particles 5:18
8 Thunder in my Heart 6:41
9 Cathedral 4:34
10 Voices from Outer Space 6:54
11 Canadian Woods 6:26
12 Dark Sun Reprise 1:53

MellowJet Records | cdr-fa1501 (DDL/CD-r 66:41) *****
(Sci-fi and horror pictured mind EM)
A shade with dark resonances snore between our ears, releasing a thin strip of sibylline lines where roam sinister rustles. Our ears get fill then of a disturbing mist filled with the perfumes of darkness as well as of electronic tones which bring us back to this wonderful time of Schmoelling, Froese and Franke. So goes "Dark Sun Theme", so will go “Dark Sun”! The only album that I had heard from Faber was his last year's Stories. I had found that well, just like many others tracks than I heard and that you will find on YouTube, thanks to videos splendidly created by Rob Hartemink who is second to none to make us discover beautiful electronic ballads. It was an honest album with beautiful melodies and not too much complicated rhythms. Then you imagine my head after the first 10 minutes of “Dark Sun”! From the first lines of "Dark Sun Theme", we enter into a mesmerizing universe, that I compare to that of Tangerine Dream's Near Dark, with a superb diversity in the programming of the percussions and in rich sound effects where our senses are divided between hearing sonic horror scenes, abstruse moods and sometimes cosmic ambiences, which quarrel the borders between the darkness and the brightness.
A sonic door opens on "Dream X", letting pass a bouquet of sibylline waves which sneak between the links of the sound chains. Discreet singings and noises coming from these corridors which divide our parallel universes are coming from all sides. A signature which will be present everywhere around the multiple sinister shadows of “Dark Sun”. Percussions fall and their bounces draw a soft rhythm which limps in dense ochred vapors where the murmurs and the resonant shadows can be confused easily in our ears. The rhythm is soft, as most of the rhythms in this last album from Faber. It's a kind of down-tempo, which is not totally one, that the ambiences are walking with the quintessence of their sound effects. A voice rises and recite the famous words of I Have a Dream while the percussions mislead a little the stability of the rhythm, giving to "Dream X" the necessary elements to seduce even more. "Lost in Space" follows with an intro as much disturbing where the synth lines float weakly in a sonic horizon painted of intriguing whispers. The rhythm which runs away is slower. Like a slow spiral, it swirls with a mixture of lines to the colors of Mars of which the old analog tones and others more contemporary are intertwining to amplify its rotary axis. Percussions click here and there, always amazing the ear by the correctness of their insertions, while subtly "Lost in Space" breathes of an intensity renewed in our ears. This is a great ambient beat, like in the wonderful "Voices from Outer Space" and its choir which gets lost in harmonies of synth filled by airs of Latin trumpets. "Ghost Trains" carries admirably well its naming with a lively rhythm, knotted in good electronic percussions and fluid sequences which sharply flicker. Sound effects accentuate the race of a train while others bring us back to the Exit period from Tangerine Dream. This is a great fast pace track. A solid heavy and powerful e-rock which is also tempered by the spectral approach of a feminine voice with oriental flavor while being amply fed by a rich sound tapestry and by guitar effects. "Snow Cold" is troubling melody, a kind of Halloween one, which makes its effect. A dense coat of synth, perfumed of ochred colors and of dissolved voices encircle the swarm of the crystal clear sequences which weave this melody forging of earworm. We just can't resist here...
Like in every track in “Dark Sun” the ambiences are developing delicately in order to give a more intense and sometimes a little more livened up sound pallet. Take "Atomic Particles" for instance which offers another introduction rich in sound effects. Pulsations, which hiccup like in a sort of Amerindian tribal percussions, pound with shadows of resonances whereas synth lines release perfumes of ether. The eerie melody which haunts the spiral corridors of "Alien Chants" is as much attractive as in "Snow Cold". The structure gets rid of its ambient introduction to offer a good chaotic down-tempo where cavort intersidereal whales and synth solos perfumed in the harmonies of a nasal six-strings. That reminds me enormously the music of Software. "Thunder in my Heart" is another very livened up track where the thunders spit a surprising structure of rhythm fed by a meshing of bass pulsations and sequenced percussions which are in search of a rhythmic skeleton. And it comes in the shape of a sort of dark Hip-Hop very well fed by this frame of sequences and percussions where a synth weaves this kind of melody which catches immediately the attention. It's very well crafted and the play of percussions, pulsations and sequences, and their shadows which trample in last echo of the previous one, is a monument of pleasure. "Cathedral" is a vampiric ode a la Phantom of the Opera. It's captivating and its presence here is as this unexpected thing which brings us towards the sublime "Voices from Outer Space". The pinnacle of “Dark Sun”! And I would have concluded this album with this track because "Canadian Woods", which stays a little in the same roots of the soft rhythms, dismantles a little this ball of feelings forged by "Voices from Outer Space". Except that its last minutes, more aggressive, make us regret this first impression. And the synths! Their harmonies so much spectral, their singings so much sibylline and their divine ambiences too dark to be celestial which feed these last minutes, as well as "Dark Sun Reprise", return us constantly to the charms of “Dark Sun” which is quite a whole  treasure. A brilliant move by Faber who mixes here his always very melodious approach and his electronic rhythms always covered of an intelligent game of sequences and percussions in dark atmospheres which call out those of Tangerine Dream in Near Dark. A very beautiful album Mister Ronald Schmidt!
Sylvain Lupari (October 5th, 2015) &
You will find this album on the MellowJet website here

dimanche 4 octobre 2015

TANGERINE DREAM: Rockoon (1992)

“Was it here that, us insistent fans, gave up?”
1 Big City Dwarves 6:00
2 Red Roadster 8:30
3 Touchwood 4:34
4 Graffiti Street 5:04
5 Funky Atlanta 4:00
6 Spanish Love 5:40
7 Lifted Veil 3:30
8 Penguin Reference 4:45
9 Body Corporate 3:40
10 Rockoon 7:21
11 Girls On Broadway 4:44

Miramar MPCD2802 (CD 57:48) **
(E-rock and whatever you want)
Because it's necessary to talk about it. Because Eastgate managed to find a new German label which will re edit a lot of albums from the Dream in nice digipak formats with an inner booklet, but without bonus tracks. And because the story continues to get write with various chapters, let's approach completely the 90's years of Tangerine Dream. After the disappointing Melrose, which coincides with Paul Haslinger's departure, the mythical Berlin trio became officially a father/son duet for the next 13 years, making of this combination the 2nd the longest artistic collaboration of Tangerine Dream, after that of Franke/Froese. To change Franke for Jerome Froese, it's like replacing John Bonham by Simon Kirke; we know that the rhythmic depth can be, but the soul and the subtlety in the bends, in the depths and the basses of the rhythmic structures could cruelly be lacking. After all Jerome is still very young and has big shoes to fill. In fact the epic of Edgar and son will suffer a great deal of the lack of rhythmic subtleties and of Franke's sequencing patterns, as he has suffered also a lot of the lack of the subtle nuances in the harmonies further to the departures of Schmoelling and Haslinger. More than Melrose, which has some nice tracks on it, I found that “Rockoon” was cold, linear and had totally lacked of depth even if both Froese took a very long time (the longest period of studio maturation of TD that I heard) to realize this album. But in the end, it's a true energetic album (Rock... oon) with a lot of wild rhythms and layers of a hyper heavy bass pattern. But that remains cold. Why? Don't know! And yet, I just love 220 Volts which came right from that album. There are things like that we just can't explain. So that's why I won't say that it's a bad album. I'll only say that I just didn't like it at all. Because this “Rockoon”  literally seduced a new generation of Dream's fans and propelled Edgar's project towards new territories which introduce a new movement of electronic rock in Europe, especially in England. Except that I, I did not like this “Rockoon”!
This being written, what is to say about “Rockoon”? Bah … It was nominated in the category of the best New Age album of the year in the land of New Age but didn't get a Grammy. That quite means a lot about the artistic understanding that the duet drew. On the other hand it also confirms that “Rockoon” was an album well done with melodies which hang onto the ears of the novices in EM, beats which set fire to the feet of those who taught that they were entering into a psychedelic universe (remember, we are in the other side of the Earth here) where everything was splendidly innovated!!! Because “Rockoon” was full of catchy rhythms and melodies deserving of American FM radios. Tracks like "Big City Dwarves", "Red Roaster", "Touchwood", "Graffiti Street" and "Rockoon" are good electronic rocks. Big beats (I still think they are cold as ice), huge guitars tinted with beautiful and sober melodious approaches, a saxophone which replaces (with horror) synth strata and some rare good sound effects. You have the canvas of “Rockoon” here. But tracks such as "Funky Atlanta", "Spanish Love", "Lifted Veil", "Penguin Reference", "Body Corporate" and "Girls On Broadway" are kind of sacrilege in a
TD repertoire. I know that I'm hard but I told you that I didn't enjoyed at all this album. And believe me, I tried! As much as I tried, and ended by like other albums from that era. As you will read further on my Blog. But this “Rockoon”? Nah...
Personally, I have nothing  much positive to write about this album. And about other albums signed by
Edgar and Jerome Froese. Certainly, there were some very good of made, but there are also some very bad. But if you like easy rhythms, striking guitar solos and riffs without soul (Jerome will be much better as the years will pass by), cold electronic percussions which roll on very aseptic synths; “Rockoon” might appeal you. And I know it could because it pleased to a lot of people. It could be an entrance door to some of you, as I know it was an exit door to some of us. But I did stayed and I have discovered some nice music, not as nice as in the golden days but still nice, some years later. Ah this TD! It's like an old flame who never stops to entice you! With or without this “Rockoon” and, yes, lot of those which will sound just as bad to my ears.
Sylvain Lupari (September 30th, 2015) &

vendredi 2 octobre 2015

BEKKI WILLIAMS: Elysian Fields (Remastered) (1996/2015)

“This is a solid album with a great orchestral EM filled of catchy melodies which always tickle the limits of New Age”
1 Megaera 3:39
2 Elysian Fields (Part 1) 6:01
3 Charon 4:57
4 Moons of Artemis 4:24
5 Hera 3:05
6 Aphrodites's Lament 6:49
7 Secrets of the Labyrinth 6:58
8 Icarus 4:57
9 In the Arms of Morpheus 6:08
10 A Glance from Medusa 7:09
11 Elysian Fields (Part 2) 10:12

AD Music | AD150CD (CD/DDL 59:12) ****
(Synth-Pop, England School, orchestral EM and New Age)
At its release in 1996, “Elysian Fields” had really hit the jackpot! Let's see the contexts. EM of the Berlin School style had lost its points of references in an EM oriented, with the possibilities ceaselessly renewed by the new digital/digital equipments, towards an approach resolutely more pop rock. Beatboxes, riffs of false guitars and fast flow of electronic percussions deviated the formerly floating atmospheres and the rhythms of ether of EM on ashes of a new EM taken away by the waves of the Synth-Pop and of the New Wave music. Tangerine Dream had also laid the foundations for a new EM which quietly found its followers in the emerging movement from the England School. Ian Boddy, Mark ShreeveJohn Dyson and highly esteemed Andy Pickford were the standard bearers of a style that the critics have always confused with the New Age and even of the ambient style (Sic!). It's in this stride that Bekki Williams proposes a first album which will seduce everybody with its rhythms as lively as the melodies tinted with a very feminine poetry which are wrapped up in beautiful orchestrations to be made capsize the souls of the most romantic. Between New Age and Synth-Pop sieved of a delicate ambient perfume, “Elysian Fields” deserved certainly the media attention of this time. Out of print since 2 years, the album finds its way again in a new remastered version which includes a bonus track while keeping those charms of the 90's tones. Tones which aged, but of which the beauty of its envelope is still very charming.
Let's forget the very pink-candy intro of "Megaera", and its fluty spasmodic voices, in order to concentrate us on the rhythm of lead which is transported by good electronic percussions and by a synth with very shrill solos. We are definitely in the good lands of EM here. "Megaera" is a solid e-rock which had made the lovers of the genre salivate during its first appearance on a compilation from the
AD Music label back in 1995. The rhythm is heavy and alive, in the pure spirit of Tangerine Dream of the dad and son Froese's years, but with more passion. More melody in the soul. "Icarus" is as much wild and lively with some very retro electronic percussions and a synth with very aggressive melody. "Elysian Fields (Part 1)" was also part of this 95 compilation. It's Ying and the Yang. If "Megaera" ploughs us the senses. "Elysian Fields (Part 1)" softens them with a sweet opening where fanciful violins caress the ascents of chords forged in glass. The rhythm which follows is in the kind of pure ambient ballad with breezes of voice which lead us to a silky orchestration of which the harmonies overfly a slow, almost lascivious, rhythm  ploughed by heavy percussions where a kind of guitar does into romance. Melodious and very beautiful and above all filled with orchestrations which are giving goose bumps. It didn't quite worked on me, but my love Lise adored it. "Charon" is a good track knotted in the darkness with lines of sequences which flicker in the torments of percussions which roll like a trolls' walking. The effects and the orchestrations set up a structure rather near of a good Synth-Pop. "Moons of Artemis" is livelier with a pattern of great sequences and good percussions. The rhythm is fluid and becomes more spasmodic while the harmonies blow against current. The orchestrations, quite in a Oriental mood, remind me of Yanni, while one of my friends finds a resemblance with the structures of Andy Pickford here. The same goes for "A Glance from Medusa" and its very Arabic orchestrations which encircle a heavy structure which is getting jerky. That does very cavalcade in movies.
"Hera" is a beautiful moment of tenderness rendered by a delicate piano. The orchestrations are hugely wrapping and encircle marvelously the very melancholic side of the music. Impossible not to like it! "Aphrodites's Lament" is the bonus track. And it's newly written by
Bekki Williams with the help of David Barker. Nasal singings are covering a very ambient intro while that quite slowly the rhythm beats more and more with a meshing of sequences and percussions which skip with liveliness in ambiences haloed by voices of nymphs, by beautiful orchestrations and, always, by this nasal synth. The finale makes very pastiche with these surges of synths which call back why Bekki Williams was retained by the BBC Radio in the adventure Shadow of the Wind. "Secrets of the Labyrinth" propose a rather ambient intro with dark lines of synth which release hybrid sound particles. We do not know if it is some water or dusts from cosmos. A line of sequences forges an interesting structure of delicately jerky rhythm where effects of guitar meditate beneath effects of synth washes. The rhythm is circular with a more or less dark approach and the jumping keys become more insistent as "Secrets of the Labyrinth" progresses and goes down into a heavy symphonic coat. After a furious "Icarus", In the Arms of Morpheus" calms down things with a rather vaporous intro where percussions drum a pensive rhythm. A rhythm all the same rather heavy which will remain stillness and which can make us lulled languishingly of the trunk, because of the orchestrations, under the sweet caresses of the singings of flutes and the harmonies of a synthesized sax. "Elysian Fields Part 2" is a very intense track, the best here imho, with beautiful orchestral caresses from the harmonies which are really going to weave to you an earworm. The music loses of its intensity a little after the 7th minute when a very beautiful piano scatters the harmonious beginnings of this delicious saga which is “Elysian Fields”. This is very nice, it's soft and very oniric. And it concludes an album which leaves me perplexed! Because when I listen to it I feel like this unfaithful soul who deceives his beloved one, because the other one is more attractive, is more charming. While one perfectly knows that it does not have the ounce of the depth of this first one who guides our senses since for so long. If you like a  good, a very alive and a well orchestrated EM with outbursts that will give you goosebumps to the soul with its strong flavor of New Age which gets lost in very lively structures of rhythms, this “Elysian Fields” from Bekki Williams is going to seduce you to the bone!
Sylvain Lupari (October 2nd, 2015) &
You will find this album on the AD Music web shop here

mercredi 30 septembre 2015

WELLENVORM: Toene des Nebels (2014)

“This is a stunning album of....I just don't know. But it's utterly great”
1 Toene des Nebels 9:46
2 Fliegende Sequenzen 6:45
3 Weinender Mond 7:49
4 Der Singende Sinus 8:13
5 Sequenzerliebe 5:43
6 Sonnenstahl 7:04
7 Herbststurm 6:35

MellowJet Records | CD-r wv1401 (CD-r/DDL 51:57) ****
(Dark ambient beats a la Düsseldorf School, New Berlin School) 
What a pleasure it is to discover something totally new. Something that we can't tie to anything we know. And it starts with a a kind of hollow breeze which is blowing its lugubrious perfumes whereas that hoarse pulsations widen its metallic brilliances by outstripped knocks. "Toene des Nebels" unfolds its dense mystic mist where our ears perceive with difficulty skeletons of sequences fraying and distorted clamors, while jingles resound like deformed synth lines which float while dropping the beginnings of a flabby structure of rhythm. It's a kind of Chill, maybe even a Groove, mixed in vapors of Hip-hop which little by little takes shape with a delicious bass line, beatings of more accentuated bass sequences and some vaporous gases which act like unfinished percussions. There you go! This is the main pattern of the rhythms which battle the cemetery fogs of “Toene des Nebels”. Some rich synth lines weave the canvas of a glaucous ambiance with ghost shadows and effects of echo which float with a subtle orchestral perfume. Down from its 10 minutes, the title-track orchestrates its vaguely progressive structure of rhythm with sequences which oscillate slowly, as in a waltz for coma patients, allying their tones of metallic gurglings to percussions always so indistinct and sometimes gaseous while the synths decorate the atmospheres of a mist filled with industrial drizzle and with reverberations which wave with piercing shouts in their tones. "Toene des Nebels" sets the tone to an album as much appealing as unexpected. The noise of mists, the sound of fogs and the chants of the iridescent drizzle which lose their brightness in the glaucous atmospheres of cemeteries; here's of what is made this fascinating album where the structures of rhythms are totally dominated by the mortuary atmospheres of “Toene des Nebels”. Our spirit and our senses navigate in a hallucinating sound decoration where everything seems to us unreal, so much everything is blurred, as in our most famous nightmares, where we are plunged in the core of horror B-movies' ambiences .
It' quite a whole surprise that this album of WellenVorm, a project of Uwe Rottluff who is a musician synthésiste and especially a sculptor of sounds and atmospheres from Chemnitz, Germany, and who offers here an album which seems to be taken out of the fires of hell. “Toene des Nebels” is going to turn you upside down  at several levels. If it's not by the brilliant sequencing patterns, it will be by some incredible psychotronic outer-world moods. Like a real sound film-maker, WellenVorm proposes 8 stories in constantly evolving sounds, rhythms and ambiences which are small pearls of fear. We could so entitled this album; music for donjons. Both poles of EM, analog and digital, are in confrontation here with a rich sound texture where sequences and their wild capers are completely tamed by a wall of ambiences where the chants of the mists are accompanied by pleasant and very relevant orchestrations to make shiver those who listen to this “Toene des Nebels” in the most opaque blackness. The psychedelic effects of the synths abound with imperfect hoops which make their echoes shining in mists and choirs as well psychotroniques than very sinister. They open "Fliegende Sequenzen" and gild its intro of a dense morphic veil. A thin line of sequences makes roll its keys in background, weaving a kind of rivulet which sparkles as the strings of a harp behind a heavy curtain of unstable sound shadows. Enormous vampiric waves spread their orchestral wings in a pattern of deep black ambiences where the rhythm reveals a structure in constant procrastination with sequences which sparkle in orgiastic black shadows and sudden orchestral jerks. "Weinender Mond" is more lively and more livened up than the title-track but offers a sound decoration just as much typical of the fright moods which fill the ambiences of this first album of WellenVorm on the
MellowJet Records label. The sequences are fat, juicy and unfold waves of white noises in steady knockings. And the fog! Always so intense and apocalyptic as its curtains of worries which separate the living flesh from the zombies' appetite. We always stay in the theater of horror with "Der Singende Sinus" and its introduction to be made go pale Peter Vincent in Fright Night. One fluid line of sequences extricates itself from these atmospheres, making unwind its keys which dance as skeletons of invertebrates of which the somber osseous spasms wind some clouds of mist which cover the gutters of cemeteries. A macabre melody comes then in order to make roll its notes towards half-time, increasing even more the dark atmospheres of "Der Singende Sinus". Some heavy sequences undo the metallic fogs of "Sequenzerliebe" to swirl heavily with residues of percussions in another pattern of sinister fog. The rhythm is ambient, even if the jumps of the keys are lively, while the moods are always tetanizing and iced of dread. I have the impression to dive back in my memory and downright into the subterranean graves of Phantasm. "Sonnenstahl" proposes a slow introduction filled by chants of Trolls in agony which start to run by following the paces of heavy resonant sequences. It's a good track where the rhythm makes itself shyer while "Herbststurm", by far the most powerful track of  “Toene des Nebels”, concludes this album with a steady, heavy and very kind of movie action rhythm of the medieval times when the Trolls were running away from the rebellion of huge archers. It's a whole sound pattern where the horror is in reach, so much in the ears as the imagination that they feed.
Very surprising for a first album, this “Toene des Nebels” from WellenVorm is a rendezvous for those who want to exploit at deep the infinite songs of mists which escape from ectoplasms. And there everything becomes possible, according to the limits of your imagination. One thing's for sure, if mists sang really in this way, I shall make picnics late in the evening near cemeteries. A very beautiful album. Audacious and creative, it's modeled on the infinite possibilities of EM toys and instruments, as analog as digital. I guess that's what people call a must! Well...I do.
Sylvain Lupari (September 30th, 2015) &
You will find this album on the MellowJet Records shop here

lundi 28 septembre 2015

ASHRA: Blackouts (1978)

“Blackouts is just as good as New Age of Earth and it's a timeless masterpiece of the vintage minimalist Berlin School movement”
1 77 Slightly Delayed 6:39
2 Midnight on Mars 6:51
3 Don't Trust the Kids 3:14
4 Blackouts 4:36
5 Shuttle Cock 8:29
6 Lotus Part I-IV 16:54

Virgin-CDV 2091 (CD 46:43) *****
(Vintage Berlin School)
New Age of Earth had struck a big blow! An EM without sequencer, just with effects of guitars and synths where the rhythms were finely sewn in a highly esthetic work of Manuel Gottsching. That was just before that Manuel acquires a sequencer. And this is why the first chords of "77 Slightly Delayed" outdistance us so much from New Age of Earth. Although both opuses, three in fact it if we count Inventions For Electric Guitar, are confidentially connected by Gottsching's identity search, “Blackouts” and its structures of syncopated rhythms, will reorientate the music of Manuel Gottsching who will find the dens of Ashra in the following album; Correlations. Because don't be distract by a chronological history, this “Blackouts” is well and truly Manuel Gottsching's 3rd solo album. And if we dig farther, we could also add Dream and Desire, but this is another story....
"77 Slightly Delayed" starts the adventure with a plethora of bangings and pulsations with strange tones soaked of an industrial liquid, a little as if somebody is running in a tunnel with wet running shoes. A line of bass sequences pops out from there and waves frantically with keys which dance along the riffs in loops from a guitar which harmonizes its texture of rhythm with a synth and its hurdy-gurdies analog tones. Faithful to his vision, Gottsching multiplies the loops of his guitar, as much in the riffs as in the harmonies, on a lively tempo on which he also throws superb surgical solos. Precise solos which sing more than they improvise in textures as much ethereal, sometimes even esoteric, than these synth layers which add to "77 Slightly Delayed" an interstellar depth. It's somewhat as if Manuel absolutely wanted to bring the rests of Nightdust here. And that will be even more edifying in "Lotus". The chirpings and the cybernetic noises which open "Midnight on Mars" are a superficial finery of an era in what had to become a classic in Manuel Gottsching's repertoire. These fascinating noises (we are in 78) uncork towards a shape of rhythm that a bass line catches at fly by accentuating a delicious movement of sensualism. The tsitt-tsitt of the cymbals shivers on a superb line of bass sequences as much mesmerizing as a wave-like, lascivious and sybarite cosmic groove. Manuel is watering this structure of rhythm, which is as well very melodic as cosmic, with solos of a guitar bluesy and inspired. The delicacy of Gottsching in his solos is simply enthralling, otherwise voracious. "Don't Trust the Kids" brings us to another level with sequences which skip in a kind of a robot-like cha-cha. One would say robot wolves dancing a chaotic cha-cha. A synth whistles a peaceful melody which is pecked by riffs swirling in loops from a six-strings. The movement is delicately curt and hatched while the synth widens a balm of serenity. A fusion between the tones of the synth and the guitar bursts a little after the point of 3 minutes, watering this intergalactic cha-cha of copious solos floating of their ambiguous perfumes. The title-track binds itself to "Don't Trust the Kids" by pouring more ethereal guitar solos and by accelerating a pattern of rhythm become clearly more electronic.
"Shuttle Cock" proposes a more nervous structure with a meshing of sequences and percussions of which the flow is structuring an approach of broken dance. To me, it sounds like the ancestor of what was going to become Twelve Samplers. It's lively and Manuel affixes his riffs which nibble at the nervousness of the rhythm while spreading beautiful solos which become more aggressive as "Shuttle Cock" progresses. There is a beautiful permutation of the guitar and the synth roles around the 5th minute when the synth mists and the guitar, more silky here, brings a more astral, a more floating cosmic touch to the music. Even if the rhythm of "Shuttle Cock" tries to knock down the vapor. I always liked the long structures. In the hands of creative artists, they explode of ingenuity with splendid progressions and with surprising turnovers in their evolutions. It's exactly the grandiloquence of "Lotus Part I-IV". After a short intro, which lights in me this desire to re-hear Ocean of Tenderness, some bass sequences pound nervously while the synth still spits its perfume of esotericism. The guitar! It overflies the whole thing with of majestic solos, calming a little the convulsionary movement, by joining to a synth which, skillfully, borrows the same harmonious delicacy. This is big analog EM my friends. Maybe some of you will find annoying this hyper spasmodic and very noisy phase which terrorizes the atmospheres with an uncommon aggressiveness at the 6:40 point. But it's a passage obliged in the transformation of "Lotus Part I-IV" which afterward coos with so much serenity as in Ocean, but with more swiftness in the rhythm. Pure candy to my ears!"
Blackouts” is a real treat for the ears which, more than 35 years farther, preserves this unique cachet from Manuel Gottsching who had unify his minimalist structures, his spasmodic rhythms and his ethereal atmospheres in a sonic chassé-croisé that only few artists have reached. We often speak about
Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream and we tend to forget the impact of Gottsching in the chessboard of EM. His music was and still is always a front door for structures which become updated according to eras and modes. Magnificent! And when you will be bitten by the bug of “Blackouts”, it will go in your head and roll in loops, in loops, in loops....
Sylvain Lupari (September 24th, 2015) &