jeudi 30 juin 2011

KLAUS SCHULZE: Big in Japan (2010) European Version

I hesitated for a long time before writing about Big in Japan. Those who read me know how much I can’t stand all the mercantilism that lives into the disproportionate ambitions of those who manage artists' career that fans venerate. In the field of EM, we can easily speak about Klaus Schulze and his numerous re editions, as well as the Dream and Jean Michel Jarre for their so numerous compilations and re editions. Big in Japan is among musical articles that fans of Schulze have to buy on 3 editions in order to see and hear all of these splendid concerts held in Japan on March 20th and 21st of last year. The 1st edition is the Japanese one released on 2010, September 22nd on Captain Trip Records label. Issued in 500 box-sets, it was sold at very high price and became quickly out of print. It was a wonderful box-set including a booklet of 80 pages with the following tracks on CD 1; A Crystal Poem and The Crystal Returns while CD 2 contains La Joyeuse Apocalypse, Japanese Benefit and The Deductive Approach. Moreover the CD 2 contains the same tracks for all the 3 editions. As for the DVD, it contains A Crystal Poem and Sequencers Are Beautiful. This last track isn’t on the 2 CD set.
A 2nd version came out some weeks later. The European version landed in tubs in November 26th MIG on label. This edition is the one that I will write to you about and is appreciably the same as the Japanese version except for CD 1 which doesn’t contains A Crystal Poem but rather Sequencers are Beautiful and the DVD contains A Crystal Poem and the complete version of Sequencers Are Beautiful. Everyone follow? And, finally, on April 17th, 2011 the American version invaded the North American market, still on MIG label, and included the same set-list as the European version except for the DVD which includes the whole CD 2 of all versions. So, to obtain the whole recordings (video and audio) from both concerts of Schulze in Japan we have to get your hands on the 3 versions! This won’t be easy because the Japanese version is sold out.
Big in Japan's story is fabulous. A very huge Japanese fan, Mr Gen Jujita, invited Klaus Schulze to give 2 concerts in Japan. To do so, he gathers a team that will build all the equipment and modules used by Schulze during his concerts in Europe during the majestic period of the 70’s. The legendary German synthesist had to bring only his toothbrush, so much everything was served to him on a golden bridge. And it is a strongly moved and inspired Schulze that we will hear and see on these concerts. Klaus Schulze who offered his first solo compositions since 2007, be since Kontinuum, and which had the taste to make a travel through time and so play with the fantasies of his fan host.
After a soft mist breathed in and exhaled by choirs of his synth Roland, we hear The Crystal Returns' first twinkling arpeggios skip. For this concert, Klaus Schulze agrees to retouch a jewel of his crown in the album Mirage (1977) and remodel a part of the wonderful Crystal Lake, be the divine crystalline carousel of arpeggios which espouses a perfect movement of ascension where glass chords cavort and are unfolding beneath fine synth pads and impulses of a bit dramatic bass line, while the movement is getting a bit more increasing. These first 12 minutes of The Crystal Returns are magic. We are letting ourselves float in time and taking by this minimalism flow which runs in our ears with the same bewitchment as in 1977, to sink into a soft ambient passage at around the 13th minute. Synths fly of their ambient stratas on a soft oniric movement, forgetting the synth surges and solos of the original work. The only track not represented on none of the 3 DVD, The Crystal Returns goes out of its musical torpor with good percussions around the 19th minute. Percussions which hammer a very rock progressive rhythmic, supported by a sequential movement which waves of its agitated and nervous doubloons to pound feverishly on a good line of bass. Schulze hammers these imaginary skins with ardour while he sculptures the atmosphere of soft and suave solos, getting closer so to more Crystal Lake's atmospheres. Too long? Hardly! Because there is a fine oscillation in the movement which is quieting down at around the 28th minute with a synth to solitary breezes which spread their romantic fragrances with celestial choruses that Schulze likes so much to sculpture. A brief passage before the unbridled rhythm of sequences takes back its rights and remains silent in a smashing spiral humming. With its heavy pulsating waves which run in loops, Sequencers Are Beautiful's intro can seem annoying. An intro where we see Schulze triturated a guitar to free iridescent layers and lamentations in a caustic ambiance where this minimalist movement is dying of its last humming at around the 4th minute. A point where superb percussions forge a curious rhythm of style to reggae and tribal. A rhythm that will be basis for rhythmic structure on other tracks such as La Joyeuse Apocalypse and The Deductive Approach. Silky, the synth spreads its layers and wraps this rhythm of dramatic pads with violin strings which tear up a festive atmosphere. Very musical, sequences pound a hypnotic tempo which runs out gradually to leak away in a foggy astral where Schulze let goes layers of synth over layers of synth and where celestial choirs breathe in of their synthesized voices in a very serene musical approach. They sing under strata of fanciful violins and on a structure sometimes suave, sometimes hatched and sometimes ambient on a long passage (maybe too long) of about 23 minutes before delicate sequences alternate and draw a nice melody which renews with percussions impulses of the opening. This passage is splendid in particular because of the orchestration skilfully added by a strongly inspired Schulze which frees choruses and violined salvoes on his juxtaposed rhythms. Too short rhythms which lie down in a weak finale where ambiances cross stormy passages of harpsichord, guitars and flutes. This is too many elements is so less time on a track rather long. That’s a proof that even the Master can blow the whistle and totally miss of discernment.
La Joyeuse Apocalypse is similar in many points to Sequencers Are Beautiful. If the intro is less annoying while offering fewer syncretic variations, the beat is there also nice and warm with wave-like tribal sequences. A bewitching rhythm which is more constant and slowly minimalist with some variances in sequences. It goes on until the appearance of a guitar that Schulze hands with a blade of metal to tear away a universe of tones as metallic as eclectic, slowing down the rhythm for a few moments. A short cosmic inserts is settling with nice synth layers which are disappearing above quixotic notes of an acoustic guitar played straight from the notes of the Roland. And La Joyeuse Apocalypse finds refuge in soft spheres that remind those of In Blue, while the tempo starts again. This time, it’s accompanied with nice pads of a light synth which lets float its chords as falling leaves. Synth solos fuse with dexterity. Solos which are winding to this long rhythm, semi trance and semi ambient, dressed in wonderful synth layers during the whole 2nd part. And quietly sequences of La Joyeuse Apocalypse ease down beneath the breezes of an oniric synth which frees layers astral choruses, guiding us towards a well deserved rest of senses. Monastic and angelic choirs, Nippon Benefit begins with a synthesized rippling choral. An element that Schulze exploits to profusion on Big in Japan, this time the choir is melting to heavy orchestral arrangements, witness of the still persistent craze of Schulze for fanciful operettas. The rhythm pierces with difficulty this vocal membrane to offer sequences which alternate by zigzagging and dancing crazily on a structure absent of rhythm but supported by nice synth layers. It’s a rather interesting structure due to its deflecting movement but which will miss time to be exploited deeper. After an intro with so ill-assorted and iridescent tones as we find on Sequencers Are Beautiful and La Joyeuse Apocalypse, The Deductive Approach concludes this 2 cd set concert to the antipodes of annoys and envy with a delicate rhythmic a bit chaotic where sequences skip beneath nice synth layers filled of ethereal mist. A synth which hooks its twisted and sharp solos on a captivating cadence where the rhythm seems cut in an amphibic approach. 
The DVD? Well, it’s quite well realized. We are seeing there a Schulze doing all the exhibit of his knowledge on a sober stage, in front of 3 giant screens where bluish geometrical figures are switching and melting according to his music. It’s not that daring but rather sober and the producers didn’t judge relevant to add bonus material such as interviews, a history of these concerts or a making of... Nothing! Zip! Nada! So there goes the fan respect! As for the music A Crystal Poem is very similar to The Crystal Returns and Sequencers Are Beautiful's version is stretched of 4 minutes. But beyond the music, there is a great performance of Klaus Schulze. We see a very inspired Schulze, more than on his concerts with Lisa Gerrard, who has fun with his toys and who makes a surprising demonstration of all the possibilities of these instruments to multiple tones and of which the immoderation equals the infinite absolute. DVD of the Japanese and European versions present nice shots on a sober editing whereas the American version is more nervous and I would say more audacious with close-up and beautiful fish-eyes effects and fading with more lively and pastel colors on screens that show images and drawings half psychedelic and half real. Regarding this, La Joyeuse Apocalypse version is by far superior to Sequencers Are Beautiful. And I still don’t understand why not produced a box-set of 3 CD and 2 DVD, instead of 3 versions that will cost big money if we want to see both concerts.
Lengths! There is because it’s 2 concerts with tracks that are enormously alike; The Crystal Returns and A Crystal Poem as well as Sequencers Are Beautiful and La Joyeuse Apocalypse which have the same rhythmic structures and sequential approaches. We can also put The Deductive Approach in this lot. But it’s part of Schulze’s process who enjoys dressing his minimalist symphonies with subtle ethereal synth layers, choirs and suave solos while playing on sudden rhythms. And these lengths possess this character so particular to Schulze emotions, poetic and roaming spirit. As for me, this box-set allowed me to rediscover the charms of Mirage while glancing through all the phases of Schulze with camera shots somehow very intimate. Of course I loved it! But I’m a Schulze mega fan. But I also believe that there is room for those who want to discover this enigmatic character because the music presents beautiful variations on the same themes, but with permutations quite noticeable to make a real difference and the American version is really make for a wider audience, so that everyone would fine a gain somewhere.

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
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=14475

mercredi 29 juin 2011

MEMORY GEIST: Funeral Cavern (2007)

Obviously my musical tastes evolved since I began listening EM. At first, I liked sequences, rhythms and crazy synthesised impetus on complex and twisted structures. Over the years, and with the discovery of dark and ambient artists such as Ramp, Steve Roach and Ian Boddy, I ended up enjoying this musical genre a little bit difficult to tame. I recently listened to and chronicled Memory Geist’s Benthos and I noticed that my chronicle on Funeral Cavern was very thin and wasn’t very detailed. Thus, here is an improved version, further to my progress in this musical genre. Is it possible to create heavy ambient? An ambient music which goes out of the depths of a cave filled of giant stigmas, of which reverberations are smothering beneath a thick cloud of bat to floating spheres of influence, even graceful as the wings of a goose? This is the kind of sound structure that the new synthesist duet Memory Geist presents us.It’s back in 2006 that Bakis Sirros (Parallel Worlds) and Steve Law (Zen Paradox and Solitary Sound) form Memory Geist, a duet which specializes in music of atmosphere with dark and smooth layers of analog synths which floats in an oxidized ambiance. Shadowy Periphery is dragging us among its furrows to hollow atmospheres as if we fell in a bottomless pit. A descent where the dark breezes whistle in our ears at an ambient speed, as if our fall was made in slow motion. We perceive, among these heavy expirations coming from the cave’s walls, tinklings which ring in this slow downward whirlwind. Bells that are grouping together and sound a devilish Angelus in the entrails of a never ending hole which leads us to the corridors of Deepest Reaches. This is a long track in the sombre wanderings of diurnal winds that is adorned with some solitary chords of which resonances are getting astray in the curves of oscillations and thundering reverberations. Moved by the strength of its gloomy breezes, Deepest Reaches frees some filters of lightnesses which are immediately caught by the sinuosity of the slow atonal movements.
Funeral Cavern, the title track, offers an intro where bells resound in heavy sinuous corridors, sprinkled of ambient winds and black ambiances which progress as the migration of slain winds. This title track is a mix of the sanctified ambiances of Shadowy Periphery and the immense tenebrous immersion of Deepest Reaches, but with guttural ambiances where superb strata, almost astral, sway in a fauna of metallic and sucker pulsations, pushing back Funeral Cavern into its darker hidden recesses of its abyssal blackness. Heavy, ambient and very atmospheric, Funeral Cavern moves in the meanders of its underground labyrinth where some very deep cracks can filter a musical light, sieved very early by elongated reverberations and sumptuous layers from caves’ organs where reign an inexhaustible musical flora which is renewed in every descent as in every hidden recess.
Some Steve Roach, without tribal rhythms, and Brian Eno, without lightness, are the privilege of this long and slow subterranean descent that is Funeral Cavern. It’s an album of an ambient heaviness that could scare any claustrophobic. I found that length by moments, but at every time there was a mesmerizing musical iridescence that filled my ears. Certainly, fans of sequences will be taken by surprise by this calm ode, because the rhythm in there is totally absent. On the other hand, the musicale wealth coming from the circular pulsations and the crescendo of the wrapping analog synths manage to create an atmosphere of a surprising depth where we are easily taking away by breaths of den to thousand cracks but also to thousand perditions.

Musica Maxima Magnetica EEE48

Sylvain Lupari
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=10440


Here's Memory Geist website: http://www.myspace.com/memorygeist

MEMORY GEIST: Benthos (2011)

Here’s the 2nd opus of the so heterogeneous as dark duet; Memory Geist. An album produces over a period of 4 years, where Steve Law and Bakis Sirros sculptured their musical structures on sound textures, Benthos distances from its predecessor, Funeral Cavern, by exploring various facets of music to infinite possibilities. From heavy and syncretic ambient to a music just as much sombre but cheerful and livened up, Benthos is a superb journey in the heart of the modular and analog synths, there where noises are transformed into music. And there where the music can become source of harmonies.Metaphore opens this 2nd musical journey of this duet filled of many heterogeneous tendencies with an ambivalent rhythmic structure which lulls between uncertain rhythms, drive by astounding percussions and gaily-coloured pulsations which beat in Memory Geist’s strange and sinister atmospheres. Delicate felted pulsations resound on a fine linear wave which spreads its sonority up to a nest of pulses to varied circles of influence and metallic sonorities. Some deaf beatings which resound as bangings on a door, mixing fragmented pulsations to in search of momentums and keyboard chords which are hanging around as guitar notes. The rhythm in waiting, it’s lulling on its chords and deploying with a strong uncertainty on a glaucous structure which is pressed by arrhythmic percussions and iridescent pulsations, forging an ambivalent rhythmic the beat crosses sound effects, ambiances and atmospheres interrupted by soft melodious fragments. Mysticeti is by far the most accessible and track offered by the Law / Sirros duet. It’s a superb melody which takes its source from a beautiful synth line which undulates beneath spectral breaths, nervous percussions with an unexpected flow and nice pads of an orchestral synth. Hatched pads which violined among fine glasses’ twinklings and a suave and sinuous synth solo. Oniric and romantic, Mysticeti is a surprising melody forged in a musical universe still unknown of Memory Geist, but the sound imprints which lie there is unmistakably indelible, in particular with its deaf and twisted reverberations which wrap the innocence of a bed song played near hells. Ocean Memory transports us in the soft tranquilities of an oceanographic universe where arpeggios sparkle and dance like jellyfishes in a seabed papered with sombre musical waves to slow oniric oscillations and twisted reverberations. It’s a long ambient and atonal track where the surrounding noises captivate us so much the depth and the sculptural precision depicts the location of its track.
Dark undulatory pulsations coming of a curious industrial music universe animate Photophore’s intro. Percussions to short tumbling down flow are joining this curt and fragmented rhythm, awaiting the arrival of drum strikes which hammer a tempo dishevelled of down-tempo style. Photophore bends on this cadence filled of subdivided, but steady, elements which evolve on an electronic structure where the down-tempo merges with a slow hip-hop fed by a beautiful bass line, lamentations of wandering souls and a fanciful drummers’ duel which hammer furious strikes in a musical universe imprinted by pulsations and always papered of surrealist sound elements. Carcharhinus cuts the rhythm and puts Benthos in an ambient and atmospheric phase with noises of intergalactic transmissions of which cracklings float around dark reverberations and deaf pulsations. The track offers a slow intro filled from tones of an amphibian world which sticks to a structure of which the atonality is growing in an increasing rhythmic approach fed by fine percussions and great glaucous pulsations which beat in a psychedelico-ambient universe where sinuosities and rangy synthesized strands darken a musical universe feed of white noises. Bathosphere concludes Benthos with a long and wonderful ambient track of which the reminiscences with Michael Stearns' Chronos filled our ears, but with a darker approach where synth cosmic layers marinade with sombre choirs which try to avoid the entrails of their caves. It’s a very good ambient track with great atmospheres which allies darkness and brightness in a bordering world of angels of darkness.
That would be a lie to say that the music of Memory Geist is easy of approach. Steve Law and Bakis Sirros have been masters in the art of building an abstract music where fine harmonious fragments are hiding in heavy black and caustic atmospheres. On the other hand Benthos demonstrates a new facet of Memory Geist by offering more places to rhythms and melodies without leaving aside the sculptural and abstract approach. There are superb passages on Benthos which are worth discovering this very eclectic duet who always privileges an analog electronic musical approach, giving so a heat and a depth to a complex and dark music. A music that will charm fans of Redshift, Ramp and Ian Boddy for sure and gives me a taste to re discover their first album.


DiNDDL09

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
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=14472

jeudi 23 juin 2011

STEVE ROACH & ERIK WOLLO: The Road Eternal (2011)

The Road Eternal is a musical experience which rides long silent and nightly surges of synths and guitars as ambient as spectral on rhythms absent of sequences


1 The Road Eternal 21:21
2 Depart at Sunrise 9:16
3 The Next Place 12:15
4 First Twilight 4:35
5 Travel by Moonlight 10:06
6 Night Strands 5:16
PROJEKT| PRO00259 (CD 63:30) ****½


The Road Eternal's beauty is its evolution and all the ramifications that its title track spreads throughout this Roach/Wollo's 2nd collaboration. If Steam of Thought was an album where the ambient reigned over some electronic structures, The Road Eternal is all the opposite. It’s a lively opus where both masters of sound illusions mould rhythms and ambiences as spellbinding as perplexes on hypnotic minimalist structures where sequences are skilfully forged into wonderful layers of a fusion synths and guitars. It results into surprising rhythms where hooting melodies coming from guitars and synths laments are floating and swimming in cosmos, like celestial harmonies in contradiction with increasing rhythms. And when we pay attention and take a deeper listening we have the vague impression to hear a fusion of Structures from Silence and @shra from Manuel Göttsching's band. So be ready for something unexpected cause it's as much difficult to enter The Road Eternal's ambiences as to get out of it. Chronicle of a surprising album and another small master piece from our frien Roach who, undoubtedly, continues to amaze and to charm.
The whole thing starts as if we were in the cosmos, sat by the edge of a river which sparkles of gleaming arpeggios. Slender musical layers, from what seems to be a fusion synths and guitars, drive slow lamentations which are criss-crossing and floating lazily in a fanciful firmament where tranquility filled the space. The heavy, ambient and dramatic effect is not without recalling the analog years of Ashra Temple. A rhythm is drawing in the background, but it’s without sequences. There are nervous synth pads of which hatched chords collide, forming a chaotic rhythmic movement which skips nervously. This linear rhythmic line dined by jolts is simply brilliant. It pounds with a soft frenzy and rolls in loop as wavelets on a sea which wakes up. And the sea will wake up! Little by little this rhythm livens up with the adding of fine and subtle pulsations/percussions, while the sky becomes strewed by fine musical shooting stars which sparkle and fly like in the analog years of Klaus Schulze and that some slow astral layers fly over "The Road Eternal" with delicate movements of wandering. It’s an idyllic fusion that leads us halfway, there where guitars laments pierce this hatched rhythmic and the tempo becomes livelier. We are in deep in Steve Roach musical labyrinths with a suave and enchanting evolution which is finely wriggling with the addition of heterogeneous percussions and pulsations unique to his universe, whereas delicate morphic layers coming out of a synth /guitar fusion are suspended and undulate in contrast with this progressive cadence. The minimalist loops of the fragile rhythm of "The Road Eternal" hiccup on a quavering progression. Always so vaporous this rhythm breaks itself with a nervously syncopated approach which pounds fervently beneath bewitching guitar layers and howling. A solitary guitar that let goes superb morphic solos. Isolated solos on a tempo without sequences but which quavers over an outfit of tones and heterogeneous percussions of tribal structures that make the charm of Steve Roach. And "The Road Eternal" goes out as it had start, leaving its musical imprints on 5 other following tracks. "Depart at Sunrise" spreads out its rangy and gloomy musical waves as slow flights of an eagle on hunting. It’s an ambient intro assorted of soft ethereal layers and sweet laments coming from a hypersensitive guitar which are finally pulled by a delicate rhythmic which skips finely on the tips of its chords. A cadence with charmingly harmonious jolts, a bit weaved as those on the title-track, flooded by very nice synth layers and supported by stunning glaucous ball bearings which are dazzling strangeness from a percussion universe unique to Steve Roach's overflowing imagination. And, lasciviously, synths layers and guitars laments float over this rhythmic warmly mesmerizing and strangely morphic for a track which offers quite a lively beat. "The Next Place" is a long track which swarms of a life liven up by a mixture of pulsations and heterogeneous percussions. A world of percussions which pound and run at nice flow on light guitar riffs and slinky as well as moving synth layers. It’s a track which is highly similar to "Travel by Moonlight" which on the other hand is more sinuous, ambiguous and hypnotic. Delicate, "First Twilight" floats above our thoughts as an angel above our dreams. The fusion of synths and guitars layers shape a universe of extreme solitude on this ambient track, quite as on Night Strands which on the other hand is more syncretic and soaks in an eclectic sound fauna on a guitar substructure equal to Michael Rother's sounds.
I just loved The Road Eternal” which is a musical experience which rides long silent and nightly surges of synths and guitars as ambient as spectral on rhythms absent of sequences. Unusual and uncommon rhythms, witnesses of a sound research that establishes Roach and Wollo in a league of their own  in this constantly evolving musical world. This 2nd collaboration is a brilliant stroke of genius and a meticulous work which brings to a simply brilliant result. It’s poetry without words, a bedside book makes of sounds and an inescapable companion for empty nights when we try to understand what we are doing on this road which, by moments, seems to us so eternal.

Sylvain Lupari (June 23rd 2011)
Cette chronique 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=14461

lundi 20 juin 2011

STEVE ROACH: Live at SoundQuest Fest (2011)

Recorded during the SoundQuest Fest in Tucson, Arizona, Live at SoundQuest Fest is the 2nd album in concert realized by Steve Roach in these last 2 years. After the very quiet and serene Live at Grace Cathedral, Live at SoundQuest Fest shakes a bit the apple tree of sequences and trance rhythms that Roach approached Destination Beyond and investigated deeper with Byron Metcalf and Dashmesh Khalsa on Dream Tracker. We add the meditative boiling elements of Immersion 5 and we get a delicious cocktail where trances and tribal rhythms of Roach marinade marvellously with his synth surges and shaman prayers of Dashmesh Khalsa and Brian Parnham.
Singings of locusts and swaying synth waves, with a fine metallic textures, open the intro of Momentum of Desire. Oblong synth layers are entwining and float in a slow maelstrom where more piercing layers scratch halcyon structures of its soft and warm intro. This juxtaposition of synth stratums shape an ambiance at once celestial and dramatic with its tender élans which end into divine embraces. Quietly life takes rhythm beneath this sky to thousand charming layers of a hybrid synth. Percussions and pulsations fragments can be heard in distance. They break through this dense synthesized opaqueness and pulse with more vigour, bringing to this intro a pleasant tribal savour. A savour that will accompany us throughout these20 minutes, because the rhythm is drawing and becomes more precise with heavier pulsations and cymbals which roll as rattlers tails. Heavy, the tempo continues its expansion with the addition of diverse percussions and pulsations that shape a more accentuated debit which enrich a musical direction where the multiplicity of synth layers amaze and captivate. Towards the 12:30 spot the tempo modifies subtly its axis. It becomes more fluid and flows on percussions/pulsations with nervous jolts and a sequential line with chords which skip nervously in a percussion fauna unique to Roach tribal fantasies. This sequence is delicious and frees chords shaped in a structure of bass with glaucous hiccups which pound under a sky always multicoloured of synth layers to varied breezes. We can even hear some roaring. Like we can also hear astral choruses criss-crossing the valley of rhythms abstruse by an intense synthesized opaqueness which floats on more and more shady sequences and percussions/pulsations as heavy as resonant. The synth/keyboard drops chords and nervous riffs which quaver in an immense flora of percussions, pulsations and bass sequences. That is so much that our ears have difficulties to catch all those vibrations and pulsations which shape an upside down rhythmic covered by weak breaths of apocalyptic mermaids. Simply superb, Momentum of Desire continues its rhythmic migration and can’t dye away underneath the weight of angelic voices which finally oppress the ardour of this superb movement which still haunts our ears during the transition of the desert plains tribal singings which is Medicine of the Moment. Synth layers undulate and float in a sombre ambiance where synth implosions flow in oblivion. Tribal percussions roll like balls of branches in desert, introducing Didgeridoo enchanting breaths. Medicine of the Moment is a strange phonic dialogue between Didgeridoo and sound elements such as whistles, Indian cymbals and other heterogeneous tones of an unknown tribal world which drive us towards the mostly dynamic Thunderwalkers and its tom-toms of a lost world (or a Jurassic one) which resound among Didgeridoos’ hoarse breezes.
If the introductory rhythm is slow and mesmerizing with the hypnotic beatings of its tribal drums it gains in intensity with its strikes that are closer in a whimsical jungle filled by thousand of heterogeneous tones. Thunderwalkers becomes a superb shaman dance with choirs in trances which chant curtly among a sublime thunder coming from the clan gods. Heady and hypnotic, Thunderwalkers is a powerful track as much by its rhythm that grows subtly than its tom-toms which are sticking to the beatings of a madden heart and feed a unrelenting cadence, confronting Didgeridoo lugubrious breezes in a strange phonic ambiance. Morphic is an odd result coming from an exchange of Didgeridoos’ breathes from Dashmesh Khalsa and Brian Parnham in an atmosphere without rhythms but livened up by a cloistered life. Dialogues deflect quietly and fill Off Planet Passage's intro of these strange guttural dialects that are sticking to a more serene environment, but always so nuanced and ambiguous, where delicate layers of a solitary synth glance through a sound fauna always so eclectic and mysterious. And it’s in a musical landscape to multiple heterogeneous variances that unfolds Off Planet Passage where isolated flutes meet serpentines to movements crushed by bells and percussions which growl with the subtlety of metal sheets underneath slow synth oscillations. It’s a tribal and heterogeneous world unique to Steve Roach that we taste ears wide open and senses in alert.
Presented in a superb digipak with nice photos, Steve Roach's Live at SoundQuest Fest is another pleasant surprise coming from the American synthesist. I know that Steve Roach produces albums in industrial quantity and that each of them can’t be splendid, brilliant or better than its precedent. But in spite of all these years and his impressive collection of works stigmatized on CD, Steve Roach succeeds to amazed and produced albums of impact that mark down in his gargantuan discography. Live at SoundQuest Fest is one of those!


TIMEROOM EDITIONS: TM 25

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
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=14460


There are 2 nice videos of this concert on You Tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74n35HUijNw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkAgsCXdgTY

mardi 14 juin 2011

STEVE ROACH: Destination Beyond (2009)

The synth wind of a musical Western territory sweeps dry dunes and criss-crosses, like shadows of American eagles, the vestiges of a world where the musical poetry is the meeting point between the breathes of an ethereal daydreaming to flexible and slinky rhythms of a spiritual trance. With Destination Beyond Steve Roach pursues his quest for a transcendental music which mixes the Zen thought to hypnotico-trances rhythms with crafty clothing cogitate in an elixir of serenity. It’s skillful mixture of the sweet and dark tranquility of Dynamic Stillness to the stormy, but well controlled, agitation of Arc of Passion. Simply divine!
A dark and slightly fleeing sound wave opens Destination Beyond’ first measures which is extending in a long epic track of 72 minutes. The synth is making of crystalline breezes which hoot with elegance through stigmas of a quixotic desert. Quite soon we sense its captivating and rippling sublime layers which characterized the superb and out of print Western Spaces released on Innovative Communication in 1986. The sonority is so close that we can’t ignore the resemblance and we are letting ourselves taking away by this soft musical influx which broods of increasing pulsations with rattlesnake sounds which are entangling with a balanced loudness with layers of angelic sonorities.
Steve Roach's world evolves with its musical convictions. Here, there is no salute to musical atomism. Destination Beyond teems of a life full of powerful oscillations which are gobbled up by slinky and crystalline layers with morphic roundnesses. But the intensity of its ethereal musical layers don’t deaden nor keep silent the resonances and those rattlesnakes pulsations which abound in this acoustic fauna to resonant diversity so complex to these musical kermises from the American synthesist. Of course, everything is not similar, nor linear. Steve Roach brings subtle variances where the rhythm isolates itself, bringing a movement of sweet hypnotic trance and sometimes disappears to leave the entire place to superb and smooth layers which wind around in a cerebral cortex high in phonic forms. By moments, this poetic tenderness is going violent and making justice with a so elongated linearity that we getting near Morpheus arms.
In short, it’s another stroke of genius by Steve Roach who years after years continue to amaze on the same sound themes, but with so tempestuous approaches that the sweetness can allow it. Destination Beyond is a splendid introspective journey which flows with all the poetry and the wisdom from the master of thought and conceived music to be heard with the tranquility of its movements.

 
PROJEKT: PRO235

Sylvain Lupari (2009)
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=12648

lundi 13 juin 2011

STEVE ROACH: Dynamic Stillness (2009)

The dynamic stillness! It's quite a tour de force to create such a sound illusion that flows as weighty reverie. Steve Roach cogitated and matured for a long time on Dynamic Stillness during his last 3 years. A period where he also realized some more powerful albums, on rhythms and sequences level. But above all Dynamic Stillness is a quest for silence passes by atonal sound waves which are slightly in movement, personifying the spirit’s quiet strength and its invisible, but perceptible, movements. We are on the grounds of Structures from Silence and A Deeper Silence but with more heaviness, sorrow and nostalgia.
A dense musical cloudburst increases a somber movement on the opening of Birth of Still Places. It’s a world of sonorous reverberations which coos slowly but with a musical strength which drives us to a cerebral hypnosis. Powerful, but languishingly slow, the musical structure spreads as a big charmer snake ready to grab you toward your sleep with a slender musical piece of nearly 61 minutes divided into 2 soporific, but slowly ethereal, acts; Birth of Still Places and Long Tide. From powerful, the movement eases slowly as if the sleep seized us. To Darker Light opens with a less intense structure, as a soft warm wind which caresses our hearing leading us and making us float all along Opening Sky.
CD2 opens with the same chloroformed effect which ended CD1. Nature of Things is a long passage with finely oscillating waves which revolve in a somber cosmos that lets filtering wandering choirs. A cosmic journey as if we were there. Always in the cozy comfort of immobilism, Further Inside slowly flows like enchanting loops that would form an invisible cadence. It’s a long piece of music where the rhythm tries to gush out, held it is by an internal strength that Roach controls by his synths. That’s a melodramatic quest which pushes more towards the nostalgic reverie than the meditation and which is tie to Slowly Revealed, a softer and more romantic track with its delicious fragrances of tranquility which sails on a harmonious sea with its fine charming undulations. We don’t get tired of it so much the movement flows with a strange melody blown by an obscure romanticism, from where leak out subtle fluty essences of a spectral ambiance. Canyon Stillness depicts the creative strength of Steve Roach. Here, as throughout Dynamic Stillness, Roach forges his music with an incredible dexterity for its nominative structures. Throughout this23 minutes music piece, we feel winds whistled towards the imperfect furrows of Roachian desert canyons. A desert to thousand utopian facets that lull Steve Roach's creative illusions.
Dynamic Stillness is a powerful floating album which is filled by emotions and sensitivity from an artist in constant quest of a spiritual ideal. It’s quite beautiful and mostly very sincere; this is ambient and atonal Steve Roach at his best.


PROJEKT: PRO228

Sylvain Lupari (2009)
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=12290

 

mercredi 8 juin 2011

RAMSAYGEE: Ways (2011)

With Exotic, released in 2010, RamsayGee offered us a musical bouquet of freshness with tribal rhythms characteristic of the African cultures. In Ways, the South Africa synthesist does it again by offering a very clannish album with a more world approach. On rhythms always so suave and ebullient we can hear a lot of diversified world flavours as Oriental, Mexican, Latin and African. A little as in Exotic, Gareth Ramsay plays enormously on variety to offer 11 tracks of which tribal savours often border a soft techno synth-pop filled with strong multicoloured samplings. I feel there a curious and attractive scent of Software, Digital Dance era and post Chip Meditation II, and even Jean Michel Jarre on percussions and sequences structures, with brief intrusions toward the musical approach of DJ and their nasal and synthetic vocalises that tilt a bit on the easiness of Teen-pop. But be reassured, RamsayGee has known how to keep intact his sounder spirit.
Heavy resonant chords which slide on mix tones open noisily Vortex Ethnicana. There are a lot of things that happen on this 3:33 length track! And this is the way that Ways goes; a lot of sounds and tones on short periods of time. The fervent rhythm is moulded in heavy syncopated sequences which quiver among heavy and curt riffs of synth and metallic percussions à la Jarre. A tempo which is relenting by brief inserts of Latin guitar and a very nice passage of Arabian kind tribal percussions. That’s a hell of a start. More exotic and strongly tinted with oriental vocal samplings, Universal Nomad turns on a circular tempo with ascending sequences rhythmic structure. We have beautiful orchestrations, stunning nomad peoples’ vocal samplings and beautiful mellotron layers which are winding around this syncopated rhythm to maintain a pace accompanied by a soft melancholic violin. The multiplicity of sounds on very commercial phases finds all its sense on Island Flowers which begins with chimpanzees’ shrieks. Shouts which cross a heavy sequence and percussions pounding a steady beat, the whole thing is wrapped by a subtle mellotron synth. A felted, nasal and very synthetic voice (a bit in the mould of Lady Gaga, Cher and Britney Spears) is showing with shouts of whale and Island Flowers stumbles over an abundance of sounds on a very catchy rhythm. The kind we hear everywhere on commercial radios these days. It’s not that bad but it sounds very Teen-pop mixed in a fauna of very fluid and tribal sound samplings. Love Mirage is in the same vein but a bit more unctuous, languishing and exotic with its heavy sequence which pulses among synthesized voices and gypsy violins. Homelands pursues the African world quest with a nice electronic ballad where sequences and percussions shape a slow hypnotic tempo that a fluty synth accompanies towards more fluid rhythms. That’s a nice track which changes from ballad to in sweet synth-pop on a circular and finely hatched tempo. The flute here is particularly superb, especially in duel with the acoustic guitar. That track would fit very well in a soundtrack for a documentary about the African savanna. Always in the same register, Loona Faze flows slowly on a fluid rhythm with strong African tendencies.
Tennis is a very good track which brings us back in the Software era with an intro furnished of volatile sequences which flutter in a gyrating movement when percussions fall with Arabic flutes. A nice intro where the acoustic guitar is grafting to this musicality which deviates to borrow a chaotic rhythm à la Kraftwerk with a use of vocoder. The nasal and robotics voice talks on a nervous structure fed by hopping sequences and banging which are colliding as balls on a tennis court. And the suave musicality of the intro re-appears to sink again towards an even more hard-hitting and robotically technoïd tempo. It’s one of Ways’ best tracks, quite as Zeros and Ones and its heavy rhythm eroded by a hatched structure and this great diversified musicality that we find on Ways. Vocuitar is a sweet ballad with a languishing and oscillating rhythm on warm suggestive vocalizes. After a soft oniric intro where a synth hems above bells and a smooth synth/ sax spreads its melancholy, Ways the title track, borrows soft Arabic tribal paths with fine percussions which drum with pulsations while the cadence is accentuating to pours into a tribal techno worth’s of great word music. The Path to You concludes with a heavy rhythm which turns in a quite robust ballad sung in a man / woman vocal duel on a tempo à la Mike Oldfield. It’s quite out of key when we listen all around Ways, with its pop approach.
I quite enjoyed Ways, as much as I appreciated Exotique. Gareth Ramsay is forging himself a style that it strands him out from this very fluctuating universe that became EM. It’s not Berlin School style. I would say that it’s a delicious blend of Software, Kraftwerk, Jarre and Oldfield styles. Surely there are tracks that left me of ice (Island Flowers and Love Mirage), but it’s quite little if we compared to those 11 very diversified tracks that weave the musical canvas of this RamsayGee’ 2nd opus.


AD Music: AD89CD-R

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
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=14436

You can watch videos of RamsayGee here on You Tube:
Universal Nomad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KYXh7rXLR8&feature=related 

If you want to know more on Divine Matrix, visit his web page on the AD Music web site:
http://www.admusiconline.com/main/ramsaygee.php


DIVINE MATRIX: Invisible Landscapes (2011)

Divine Matrix is Steve Barnes, the man who gave us New Day in 2009. But contrary to New Day, Invisible Landscapes is a beautiful intrusion in a rich and varied musical world where Steve Barnes always so melodious approach is freezing into music at once complex, dark, electronic, electro-acoustic and esoteric. As describes so well in his guide of press, Steve Barnes exploits to the hilt the immense possibilities nowadays of equipments and technologies to weave a highly diversified album. An album which at first hearing could sounds simplistic or very New Age, but which in the course of listening spread an astonishing originality that doesn’t alter all of its musicality. Chronicle of an album divided between harmonies and artistic quests.
Faith in Chaos begins like a musical poetry with delicate and light arpeggios which twirls around as in Snowflakes are Dancing. It’s a nice oniric sequence which spins in spiral and stumbles on a pleasant piano of which notes are hanging on to a soft and silky electronic ballad filled of fine crystalline arpeggios. In fineness and subtlety, Faith in Chaos’ rhythm evolves on a more lively structure where the musicality of its introduction goes into more slamming percussions, very romantic piano spirals as well as synths with layers and solos which are entwining in a soft harmonious echo. This musical limpidity pours towards the title track, Invisible Landscapes, which shows a bit more dramatic intro with its layers of synth sounding like quavering flutes which breeze on a hesitating piano. Notes of acoustic guitar float in a cosmic drizzle, giving the necessary respite so that the piano resumes its rhythmic impetus and mould a melody that we seem to already hear on Faith in Chaos. Fractured Sound pursues this enchanting introductory quest to Steve Barnes 2nd work with static voices that seem to wander between two worlds. It’s quite a creepy intro which finds basis on stabling dark synth layers which criss-cross a fine pulsating line. Melancholic notes from a delicate piano emerge out of this ambiance to waltz around these long oscillatory curves, crawling as glaucous spectres on a rhythmic which becomes heavier. We would believe being in the darker universe of Memory Geist. Always, piano notes gush and are isolating to draw up a nice melody which is stretching on The Crystal Womb where piano notes get tangled in a childish nursery rhyme forged in chords of glasses. It’s a beautiful melodious and melancholic fusion which results in a slightly lively rhythmic and a soft passage with violin of China. And so will unroll Invisible Landscapes. Every track seems to be moulded in its precedent or following one, in a point such as we have the vague impression to hear the same melody on subtle variations structures. So Orna’s Prayer, Stargazer, The Fade and Space Walk have all this delicate approach where the piano prevails lazily on structures which slowly liven up of fluid rhythms but not really strong. Terraforming respects this path but without passing by a melodious piano approach.
Arpeggios which are succeeding nervously and jolting on Occam’s Razor intro make of this track one of the highlights of Invisible Landscapes. We are in Low’s Bowie era with a nervous minimalist structure which tinkles on an abstract tempo. Synth layers are superbly suave and the hypnotic rotary circle of Occam’s Razor is absolutely fascinating beneath its sky of gaily-coloured eclectic sound effects. It’s a very good musical piece, quite as Whistle the Moon which goes into an electro-acoustic kind that could have been some of the best moments of Fax label and Skyrapper which offers some Memory Geist reminiscences. Song for Vega is a heavy meditative circular movement where chords turn around synth layers filled by spirits of old and dark organs’ tones. It’s a track as much sombre and effective as Fractured Sound but more melodious and which flows on a ceaseless stream of gleaming synth.
It took me some listening but I eventually learn to appreciated this style so unique to Steve Barnes where New Age is so near while being so far with these soft melodies which flow on structures at once harmonious and electronic but sometimes complex and occasionally dark. With its13 tracks which cross the road of an enormous musical variety, Invisible Landscapes is a surprising collection where variables styles overlap in a delicate harmonious freedom. Even if we always have this vague impression of hearing the same melodious structures, they always end by getting lost and sink at the whim of ambiances and atmospheres just as much diversified. Beautiful, sometimes poetic but constantly harmonious, Invisible Landscapes is the ideal opus to furnish the ambiances when we are in agreeable company.

AD Music: AD 87CD

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
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=14437


You can watch videos of Divine Matrix on You Tube:
Faith in Chaos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg5mUGl_YOw 
The Crystal Womb: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGspeIg3aoU

If you want to know more on Divine Matrix, visit his web page on the AD Music web site:http://www.admusiconline.com/main/divine-matrix.php

lundi 6 juin 2011

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Paradise (1983/2008)

Robert Schroeder is re editing his catalogue for the biggest pleasure of his fans from the very beginning, but also for those who discovered the music of Robert Schroeder with his come-back in 2005 with Brainchips. Fifth and last album of Schroeder on Innovative Communication label, Paradise follows the disconcerting tangent that the German synthesist has establishes with the publication of Harmonic Ascendant, which was followed by a semi conceptual album in Floating Music. Thus after magnificent cosmic and poetic Galaxy Cygnus-A, Robert Schroeder goes with another semi conceptual album in Paradise. The side A of Paradise is simply superb and is in the same lineage as Galaxy Cygnus-A and side A of Harmonic Ascendant with an extremely poetic and musical approach, followed by side B which presents a diverse variety, as well as the very first commercial success of Schroeder with synth-pop Skywalker. Initially released on IC label in 1983, Paradise was produce as a CD on Racket Records in 1984 and in 2008 Robert Schroeder launched a version with an amplified sound quality which includes a bonus track on his own label News-Music.
The conceptual part of Paradise begins with the stunning In Memory of Paradise and ends with Future Memories. It’s with the word, quite hardly audible, Paradise that begins the introduction of In Memory of Paradise. This word rolls in loops, an audacious sampling mode for this era, reproducing an effect of breathlessness on soft synth riffs and layers with noises of an analog fauna unique to Schroeder’s works. Riffs of synth follow to shape a soft ascending cadence with a sequence to slightly metallic resonances and a play of keyboard from which keys grope around as cat steps. The juxtaposition of these chords to the resonant sequential movement results in a delicate melody which follows a tangent at once innocent and dramatic with graver synth impetus, while an acoustic guitar exhilarates the tempo of its weakened notes. In Memory of Paradise pursues its hypnotic and minimalism evolution through noises of a slightly stocked highway. Even if the beat is not quite similar, it’s hard avoiding any paradox with the Autobahn de Kraftwerk, but with the more dreamlike approach even if always so hypnotic. Subtly we fall on Moments and its suave acoustic guitar which ties its notes to glass chords and a synth with delicate shooting solos. Solos which abound and encircle Moments of superb twisted momentums whereas the tempo increases its pace by more jerky riffs. Riffs that are stowing to glasses tinkling whereas Moments is flooded of a feverish synth approach with solos and mellotron breezes on the hypnotic and hopping rhythm which seduces since the first steps of In Memory of Paradise. Deep Dream moderates emotions with a rhythmic as much hesitating which serves as beginnings since the opening of Paradise with a widely staggering tempo which zigzags in an irizated sound fauna where soft synth layers lull to sleep a movement clutched by notes of a wandering acoustic guitar and so short-lived as Balance, before that Future Memories redirects the rhythm towards its introductory minimalist shape and these words of its intro which are repeating in loops.
A vacillating synth wave opens the door to SkyWalker fluid and steady tempo. Percussions and repetitive sequences hammer a flexible, minimalist and catchy tempo which is encircled by curt synth pads of which the riffs effect is mixing skilfully to light resonant oscillations frontlines to an amazing electronic guitar. Very synth-pop, SkyWalker is the first commercial success of Schroeder and sounds very much as Beverly Hills Cop or Miami Vice soundtracks. Well, it was the 80’s! Time Machine takes us back into the suave and slow rhythms of side A with a soft minimalist and hypnotic tempo. A tempo which pulses under the weight of the heavy and resonant sequences while the synth frees brief chords before shaping wave-like solos, which sing like guitar solos, on a fine metallic mist and a tempo which goes by growing slightly the pace. With its plaintive and caustic synth layers, Timeless soaks into a strange universe where time is frozen. Fine notes of acoustic guitars roam into corridors filled of embittered mermaids’ singings of which hootings float as metallic threats in a wood eroded and devastated by rains and winds. A dark and iridescent track, Timeless will remain quite representative of the very particular character whom is Robert Schroeder. This new edition of Paradise offers a bonus track and it’s a SkyWalker revamped by of furious riffs and solos of guitars which leads to Paradise’ conclusion. Wilder, more musical and just as much rhythmic, this version exploits a little more the Berlin School approach than synth-pop. Although the line remains very thin between both. I like, I prefer!
Paradise shows Robert Schroeder's great versatility, both at the level of styles and the mastery of equipments that he conceives. His synths and keyboards let hear a mixture of very eclectic tones with a strange passion for guitars of which the fusion with those of Guenther Beckers is superbly surprising. Paradise is a nice incursion in an ambivalent musical universe where emotions sail on the back of rhythms and atmospheres as honeyed as bewitching. To me, it’s an album as much beautiful as Harmonic Ascendant and almost perfect as Galaxy Cygnus-A. As for SkyWalker, which is not that bad far from it, it’s synth-pop as in the 80’s and a continuation of rhythms already touch on Floating Music. It’s also a proof that Schroeder has always kept some room a more techno, synth-pop EM. A kind that he will explore deeper in years to come. In the meantime, those who are still suspended to the musical of Harmonic Ascendant and Galaxy A Cygnus-A, you shouldn’t let Paradise passed by.


NEWS-MUSIC: CDR-12.005

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
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=14432


You can also watch videos on You Tube:
Moments; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDECr2d_NtU
SkyWalker; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4yI8ziaaiM&feature=related


vendredi 3 juin 2011

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Cygnus-A (1982/2010)

If Harmonic Ascendant put Robert Schroeder's name on the map, Galaxy Cygnus-A concretized the immense talent and creativity of the Aachen synthesist. Initially conceived for a science fiction project, Galaxy Cygnus-A consisted in getting sound waves coming from galaxies with the help radio telescope placed in high altitude. Robert Schroeder edited and sampled these galactic tones on a music that he performed during a big event in sounds and images, because that a big screen broadcasted images of cosmos during this concert presented within the framework of the prestigious ARS-Electronica in Linz, Austria in 1982. Released on Klaus Schulze label (Innovative Communication), Galaxy Cygnus-A got lost in CD reeditions and was never released on this format. We had to wait until last December when Spheric Label presented a reworked version of this small masterpiece of ingenuity. Straight off, I have to admit that I was a little disconcerted by this new renamed version; Cygnus-A which puts down lot of emphasis on sound effects and the strength of sound, abandoning a bit the warmer approach and the subtleties of the vinyl sound curves. But if the purpose of Schroeder was to let us hear all that we missed due to limitations of the vinyl, I may say mission accomplished. Because in spite of the difference between both productions, Galaxy Cygnus-A remains a pure masterwork where the melodious approach of synths espouse marvellously tones got beyond our terrestrial frontiers. And this new version includes even a bonus track left aside for lack of space at the vinyl time.
An immense resonant thump falls and scatters static sonorous strands. And so, fall knocks of mace whereas the statism and astral choirs float in a sublime cosmic immersion. Sounds which stretch such as slender serpentines to deformed metallic resonances give to Search Direction a strange static immobility stuffed with tones of arcade games. Already the differences between both works are tangible; everything is more detailed and more limpid. Schroeder voice floats among superb synth layers which fluctuate over a mellotron choir. Sounds, sounds and sounds which sway and roam in a cosmos that we could touch on the tips of our fingers. And there appears this small cosmic duck that spreads his "Wah''-"Wah" which are following in series of two. Receiving Signals is by far one of the most beautiful pieces of music produces by Robert Schroeder. Everything is perfect on this track which increases in intensity and drama. Cosmic "Wah''-"Wah" which set a first schema of the minimalism tempo, in addition of galactic sound effects, a synth with fluid spectral and astral layers, a line of bass which supports this delicate rhythm and percussions which fall in a asymmetric way make a wonderful jewel of tranquillity and serenity which gets dressed constantly of new assets and galactic sound effects on a delicate serial rhythm which is gradually growing. But intensity held by all this sonorous radiant which ensues from it. The key point is this synth which is coming apart at around the 5th minute to offer the most beautiful cosmic melody that my ears heard to this day. To me, Receiving Signals (or Teil 2) is one of cosmic EM highlight and as much as on this new edition as on the original the impact is the same; it’s a track simply splendid. Lift off to the Galaxy imbibes us with cosmic tones. Here no rhythm but all sound effects! Tones all so strange than others which could effectively come from galaxies situated at light years from earth and which surround fine notes of a kind of electronic harp with a zest of Chinese fragrance and suave layers of misty mellotron. We perceive there all those subtle fluid moves of a synth which frees celestial choruses. That’s a prelude to the undulating and hopping rhythm which livens up1050 Mill. Light Years where extraterritorial sonorities invade a suave rippling sequence to uncertain tempo and a synth filled by a lunar saxophone tone. It’s a soft rhythm which is breaking through blackness of space and concluded the whole first side of Galaxy Cygnus-A’s album.
Following huge reflecting and resonant sparkles, Galaxy Cygnus-A widens its galactic sonorities whereas a superb sequential minimalist movement settles a tempo to delicate alternating strikes. If Receiving Signals is a jewel, Galaxy Cygnus-A is a pure diamond of cosmic tenderness where the fine hypnotic tempo pulses beneath suave astral choruses, sonorities of misty flutes and cosmic signals which accompany a sulphurous synth with piercing sonority. It’s a very beautiful music piece where the meshing of various synth tones to the hypnotic rhythm brings us near an imagination without borders. Constellation Swan ended the original work with a long ambient track to cosmic fragrances. On this version, cosmic noises, interferences and astral choirs are amplified so that nothing escapes the attentive and fond of sounds ear. The synth is fluid and melodious freeing brief twisted solos among an array of analog tones, among which these singings of whales that are so associated with the extraterrestrial communications. Interstellar Quasars is the bonus track from this new edition of Galaxy Cygnus-A. It’s a long track which is really in the spirit of this conceptual work with its heavy reverberating tones which float in a mellotron fog. We feel synth momentums, as on Lift off to the Galaxy, which are snapped by extraterrestrials conversations on an absent rhythm, an abstract structure. Choirs roam here and there with erratic synth pads and cosmic sounds which yell among stars. A slow ambient structure is floating there before a circular tempo makes a brief appearance. A tempo quick absorbed by meanders of cosmos and which will return later in the form of hopping and crystal clear sequences dancing beneath the breezes of a poetic synth.
Cygnus-A, or Galaxy Cygnus-A, is a pure masterpiece of cosmic EM. Even if the difference between the two editions can disconcerted ears moulded in the furrows of the first edition, we are fast absorbed by all the beauty of this cosmic work. And when we listen to those two works in parallel, we eventually find a justification in this reworked version which displays all the power limited by the recordings of this period. As for me it’s a major work which has its place in any EM record collection, whether it’s Berlin School or cosmic music, so much the magic which comes out of it hasn’t finds an equal yet regarding that kind.


Spheric Music: SMCD 2022

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
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=14428

You can watch a video from Galaxy Cygnus-A on You Tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU9jBwj8n2U

jeudi 2 juin 2011

MATZUMI: Ad Infinitum (2010)

Matzumi is a German artist who mixes her vocals to synth layers. It’s a mixture that can annoy some because in EM voices are supposed to be in opposition with sounds. Nevertheless, the fluidity of Matzumi’s voice is merging very well to her music which is a kind of with an orchestral approach that we can compare as well to Vangelis’ and Bernd Kistenmacher’s but with an intimist, emotional and especially delicately feminine touch. Ad Infinitum is her2nd E.P. in2010, after a first album in 2009. It is a rather surprising E.P. where obscure emotions fight against words and where the ethereal approach goes alongside a minimalist sequenced phase.
The Lonely Path - Prologue begins like a Berber ode. A Tuareg chant à la Enigma beneath low reverberations, nice iridescent pads of a discreet synth and ringing. Powerful, the voice of Matzumi is melting in this eclectic sound adornment of which dense mellotron layers wrap with their orchestrated fragrances. This bewitching Arabic haze continues on the intro of The Sense of Life where soft celestial layers bring us to fine sequences which drum in a minimalist echo. Twisted waves derive there. Espousing the arc of their resonances, they get muddling to ore limpid breezes and delicate ringing whereas the cadence of pulsations / percussions / sequences hasten the pace but shape however a slow minimalism rhythm. Suave vocalizes are floating as a smell of ether and wrap these beatings which pulse with insistence while synth pads smother gradually this hypnotic rhythm which goes out in of beautiful and poignant orchestral layers. We are One bathes in a dense synthesized orchestration with layers which float and waltz as leaves falling from trees and get trapped in the wind, before ending on a less intense moment that Matzumi voice flavours the movement of an exalting sensualism. It’s in a sound universe always so tinted by influences of Arabic and exotic world that we move within Ad Infinitum. Dreamtraveller is a heavy and striking track with heavy percussions which fall and collide languishingly on a rhythm as much ambiguous as its percussions. A little as in the same mould as The Sense of Life but less minimalism in its sequences hopping, Dreamtraveller is soaked with vocalises that are leaking away in this sometimes warm and sometimes metallic rhythm until he is engulfed in of dense orchestrations. Epilogue begins with oscillatory pulsations, wrapped with synth layers to iridescent mists and by Matzumi’s vocal effects. A movement between two rhythms, Epilogue embraces a soft tangent of Arabic deserts before taking back its rhythmic crusade on its pulsations and silvered synth layers which garnished the whimsical rhythm of its introduction.
Oscillating between the soft vapours of a tender EM and the oniric universe of the Arabic world, Ad Infinitum is a pleasant surprise. It’s certainly isn’t the kind of opus that will smash eardrums but it is an album made all in softness and subtlety where nuances go up to the roots of sequences. I quite enjoyed this fusion voice / synth which floats as a perfume of tranquillity on always ambivalent but strongly present rhythms. In brief, those who like the symphonic universe of Vangelis and Kistenmacher and Enigma’s suave vocalises will be delighted by this discovery whom is Matzumi.


CandyRush-Music: KAT 09056

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
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=14425


You can watch videos of Matzumi on You Tube: Here's a link to the Matzumi live @ Schwingungen Party 2010. Other related videos can be find there as well;  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMNLpkQbCjs