mardi 29 novembre 2011

CAN ATILLA: Hi-Story (2011)

''Once again Can Atilla goes out from nowhere to offer us a very good unexpected album.''

1 The Kings and the Beggars (Part One) 6:31
2 Hi - Story 7:38
3 The Flashbacks 8:31
4 Sultan's Sequencer 6:03 
5 When Kafka Drink Orange Juice 6:11
6 Thives of Bagdad 4:05
7 Shadow of the Knights 5:39
8 The Kings and the Beggars (Part Two) 6:27
9 Solar - is …… 4:31
10 Nights of the Rain Prayers 7:31


GROOVE: GR-183

You don’t know Can Atilla yet? So, here’s a good way of remedying it. A great superstar in his country, Can Atilla is a solid Turkish composer and musician who is much at ease in works with symphonic character as in more accessible and electronic works. Strongly influenced by Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis, Can Atilla built himself a legion of fans that impatiently wait for his electronic works on Groove. More than 6 years distance his last album appeared on Groove (Concorde) and Hi-Story, and Can Atilla didn't change at all. Hi-Story is a solid opus of an EM strongly inspired by the 90’s with rhythms and melodies weaved in the paths of albums such as Turns of the Tides, Tyranny of Beauty or still Revolutions and Chronology, but with a delicious tribal mixture.
Sequences which pound and skip in a nest of pulsations a bit resonant, "The Kings and the Beggars (Part One)" sets the tone to this Can Atilla album with a title which seems to come straight from Turn of the Tides' sessions from the cult group of the Turkish musician. Nervous, the rhythm is covered by suave discreet choirs and keyboard riffs which succumb to a soft avalanche of percussions. "The Kings and the Beggars (Part One)" borrows then a more rock tangent with a nice mixture of sequences and percussions which bear riffs and guitar solos at once sober and incisive, overhanging a beautiful melodious approach sometimes dreamy sometimes rocky. "Hi-Story" continues this introspection of the musical universes of Tangerine Dream with a warm synth line which wraps a beautiful sequential movement skipping in a symmetric linear movement. Other sequences are grafted and shape a beautiful oscillating structure which undulates with grace under the spell of angelic choruses. Memories of Tangerine Dream poor in our ears with this title which seems to embrace periods so diverse as Falshpoint, Wavelenght, The Park or still Stratosfear 95 with a rhythmic approach which becomes more nervous. Some nice synth pads with sensual fluty tones wrap the hatched flow while "Hi-Story" hesitates between a honeyed and nervous approach to finally board a more complex one where rhythmic linking are as twisted as the enchanting melodies which surround them. It’s a very beautiful title, with good synth solos, which deserves the listening which it requires, as well as "When Kafka Drink Orange Juice" which hugs closely the same harmonious and rhythmic tangents. "The Flashbacks" is another highlight of Hi-Story which begins with a twinkling rivulet of synth pads to limpid and fluty tones. Notes of an austere piano fall. They awake sleepy choirs and a rhythm which fidgets under a very nice line of piano with a lot of wavy notes lines. A bass line spreads its notes which slightly skip, the piano becomes livelier and "The Flashbacks" imposes a rhythm as much heavy as slow, endowed with a beautiful furtive approach arched on a slow oscillatory movement. The beauty of this title is the subdivision of synth lines which throw good solos, clouds of mist as well as melodious lines with clear tones of Turkey which chords of a Turkish guitar coat with a beautiful tribal melody.
This Turkish tribal approach goes on in "Sultan's Sequencer" whose curt and jerky rhythm is wrapped by a synth filled of clan and electronic lines and a beautiful romantic guitar. "Thives of Bagdad" also plunges us into the tribal atmospheres Turks with a great title among which rhythms and atmospheres tergiversate between a music a bit technoïd; with curt and slamming percussions à la Jarre, electronic; with wavy sequences and a fluty synth, and finally ethereal; with a smooth tribe approach. These genres become entangled in a hybrid structure where melody and anarchy merge in a delicious musical cocktail. Very good! Sequences wave in a frenzied ballet of crisscrossed keys and lay the stormy bases of "Shadow of the Knights". The percussions tumble down and push the rhythm towards a stronger approach where synth pads and riffs get harmonize with eerie choirs and sinuous solos, floating on a rhythmic structure became wilder. "The Kings and the Beggars (Part Two)" has nothing to do with the stamping rhythm of "Part One". On the contrary! It’s a smooth and sensual hymn to rights and a soft warning shot to inequity. It’s a wonderful slow dance which brings us back in this nostalgic era of the Saturday nights dances where Procol Harum organs dragged their languishing tones under heavy percussions and choirs of mist. WoW! It’s splendid and we won’t understand why it’s naming isn’t For the Love of...Simply delicious! With its dramatic keys which pussyfoot in nice cosmic mists and synth winds to tones of soft murmurs and flutes with bitter sighs as in Le Parc, "Solar - is …" is a smooth electronic melody which is slowly carried away on crisscrossed sequences flittering in a soft ethereal dream. It’s kind of nice and melodious while being very melancholic. Tribal breaths and a bow striking the strings of a Turkish violin open "Nights of the Rain Prayers". Quite moving with its heart-rending violin, the intro is hiding little by little in the shapes of a delicate melody of which sequenced arpeggios alternate in fine wavy loops and skip towards pulsatory percussions. The tempo is outlined. Halfway between synth-pop and electronic music, it cavorts under strata of an imaginary violin, concluding Hi-Story by a melodious and symphonic approach which is the privilege of Can Atilla’s last opus.
Once again Can Atilla goes out from nowhere to offer us a very good unexpected album. A melodious album where tribal, synth-pop and electronic rhythms are wrapped with this delicious quintessence that are the influences of Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre. There are great tracks laying on Hi-Story. Titles which are a bit out from the main axis of a more conventional EM but which preserve this unique cachet of the good and melodious approaches that the Dream and Jarre scattered in the 90’s on well structured rhythms and sequences and where synths distance themselves by structuring beautiful melodies rather than to concentrate on virulent solos. Hi-Story is in the continuity of Live and Ave, two opuses which established the credibility of Can Atilla in this wonderful universe of sounds and give rhythms which is EM.


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=14755

CAN ATILLA: Live (2003)

'' Can Atilla's Live is an album where the influences of Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis merge marvellously...''

1 Torchlight 5:55
2 Arpeggiator 5:24
3 Underwater Moonlight 2:37
4 Dark Velvet 4:15
5 Whiteout 14:53
6 Marco Polo 6:00
7 Winterland 5:36
8 Dream Recorder 6:26
9 Abyss 4:08
10 Leonardo 8:43


GROOVE: GR-083

Can Atilla’s Live is among the first CD’s of EM whom I chronicled. It was in 2003 and back then I took the decision to help at my best in the discovering the fascinating musical world of EM to my circle of acquaintances. This album had attracted me a lot, both by the great versatility of rhythms and by its furious structures where beautiful and enchanting melodies irradiated our ears on compositions which were similar to those of Tangerine DreamJean Michel Jarre and Vangelis; artists who are in the heart of the Turkish multi-instrumentalist influences. Thus here is one of my first chronicles rewrite and adapted to my current writing.
"Torchlight" opens with great pomp this Live from Can Atilla. A synth wave is rising and borrows a slightly dramatic tangent while percussions to tones of mist fall down to raise an introductory approach similar to the album Docklands from Jean Michel Jarre. Stimulated by these drum bombardments and by heavy synth riffs which are twinning their strikes, the intro progresses towards a beautiful fluid sequence which waves finely under floating mellotron layers, strange tribal lamentations, sighs murmuring Enter (Oldfield’s The Songs of Distant World) and hybrids synth breaths. In brief, it’s quite a whole sound cocktail before the rhythm becomes demonic with furious sequences skipping of a dislocated rhythmic which cross a spatial battle line to meet solos of a wild guitar à la Zlatko Perica and bind itself to pulsatory percussions, forging a rhythm which explodes between techno and synth-pop with loud boom-boom and circling tssit-tssit. Synth waves à la Jarre still scrutinize the horizon, making the bridge between "Torchlight" and "Arpeggiator" which is sculptured in the undulations of a sequential line and beat up by percussions strikings which forge a bouncy tempo. Other incisive strikings and sequences are grafted in this rhythmic skeleton, pounding a curt and nervous rhythm with a fine ascending tangent on keyboards riffs and chords which are not without recalling the universe of the Dream. It’s violent, hard and melodious. The celestial waves of "Underwater Moonlight" are crisscrossing beneath thunderous sound head lights to run aground in the explosive rhythm of "Dark Velvet" of which the stroboscopic rhythmic approach, which is a little similar to "Arpeggiator", sounds so much as the musical universe of Jarre. Especially with the solos and those now famous hand banging pulled out of The Magnetic Fields era. The soft intro of "Whiteout" calms things down a bit. This long title of 15 minutes is the highlight of Live. But the rhythm starts up again with solid pulsatory percussions which set an energetic and lively structure among which hyperactive and crisscrossed sequences as well as keyboard chords are extirpated out of reminiscences of Tangerine Dream’s 220 Volts, with incursions into more distant spheres of the Dream, in particular with a very nice fluty synth from the Stratosfear years. Unbridled rhythms and ethereal atmospheres are sharing the indecision and paradoxes of "Whiteout" in a magnificent musical canvas where sequences are moulded in the knowledge of Franke and meditative harmonies wake the ashes of Underwater Sunlight. It is very good and beautiful, in the point where we wonder if it’s not a title forgotten in the Dream Roots Collection.
"Marco Polo" presents us the hyper melodious and orchestral approach of Can Atilla. It’s a wonderful melody which flows in a delicious electronic bolero which has nothing to envy to the most beautiful symphonic serenades of Vangelis with Gregorian choruses, drum rolling and heavier percussions which roll under dusts of stars set up by a flowing bed of sequences. Delicate violins surges caress the soft crescendo which guzzles these fine crystal arpeggios, over sizing the very moving aspect of "Marco Polo" which sinks even more into its burning electronic bolero. "Winterland" sticks to "Marco Polo"s romance and melancholy with a soft piano which makes ring its notes in sighs of souls. A delicate guitar is moulding at these notes which are also embraced by a nice and soft synth among which fine solos and symphonic breaths stigmatize the delicacy of this other ballad from Live. "Dream Recorder" is powerful and leans on a heavy but slow rhythm with good percussions of which the strikings couple in the riffs heavy of keyboard which fall with crash. A beautiful melody is outlined with a piano à la Yanni. Its cheerful notes cavort on a structure weighed down by the addition of guitars riffs and tempestuous synth solo with curves and sinuous momentums. Floating in a hybrid atmosphere where seabed entangle to space borders, "Abyss" is an ambient title that wandering choruses and igneous synth layers dress up of an intriguing chthonian aura. One would believe to be in an apocalyptic one Black Mass, except that the sordid atmosphere diminishes to introduce "Leonardo" whose intro plunges us downright into the 220 Volt atmospheres. Sequences wave and merge in a fine rivulet of crystalline arpeggios, tumbling towards a heavy and curt rhythm. A rhythm which is carried away and fidgets nervously under an amalgamate of synth pads and layers as melodious as lively and of which tones awake souvenirs of Tangerine Dream and its multiple musical facets.
It is evident that I liked this Live from Can Atilla, I liked it at its release and even today. It’s an album where percussions, sequences and heavy riffs, as well as from keyboards than guitars, spit powerful and nervous rhythms on structures where inspiring melodies abound. Live is an album where the influences of Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis mix and merge marvellously without wearing shade to the musical signature of the Turkish synthesist who is very comfortable in forging even heavier and more furious rhythms while bewaring a door open for two wonderful ballads and good orchestral arrangements. In brief, it’s a powerful album without smudges which deserve amply a place in your record collection.


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=14754

samedi 26 novembre 2011

JEAN MICHEL JARRE: Rendez-Vous (1986)

''Jarre's Rendez-Vous is just victim of bad timing!''



1 First Rendez-Vous 2:54
2 Second Rendez-Vous 10:55
3 Third Rendez-Vous 3:31
4 Fourth Rendez-Vous 3:57
5 Fifth Rendez-Vous 7:41
6 Last Rendez-Vous 6:04



After the incredible Zoolook, Jean Michel Jarre makes a step behind to return to his analog style recorded and played on digital equipment. If at that time the effect was of ox, the fact remains that Rendez-Vous didn’t aged that well. A little bit as we can cheat with the analog sound! Rendez-Vous is a very short album, hardly 35 minutes, where ambient atmospheres circulate on rhythms animated by evocative and historic voices samplings and orchestral arrangements which confused more than one.
Vaporous pulsations initiate the breaths of the "First Rendez-Vous". Notes float with a discreet harmony on an atonic movement. Synth strata crisscross mellotron pads, oscillating and rocking in an icy oblivion with all the placid serenity of a somber cosmos. This "First Rendez-Vous" is a setup to introduce the epic title of Rendez-Vous, "Second Rendez-Vous" where synths with acute and rotary sirens shake this cold sea of spatial tranquillity. A 2nd identical line takes shape and competes to this rich bicephalous movement which progresses with heaviness on good orchestral arrangements and intense juvenile choirs, adding an austere dimension to a nevertheless explosive music. At the antipodes of his art, Jarre makes spin his synths among analog sound effects which decorated the cosmic atmospheres of his 3 first albums and through furious solos, musical corridors to odd-numbered identities and his famous harp laser which confronts the outdated of violins’ strings. This is quite a moment that marks the story of contemporary and classical EM and this under the plume of Jarre. At about the 8th minute the movement pulsates with buzzing reverberations, nodding on the sequence which initiated the fury of this "Second Rendez-Vous". This title is pure dynamite and another classic to be added into JMJ musical box.
"Third Rendez-Vous" marks the isolation of the laser harp of which the slow keys sigh beside cosmic choirs and percussions to metallic rustles which get lost in the resonances of a deep dark sea. Short and floating it precedes the electronic anthem of this summer, "Fourth Rendez-Vous". Distant sound effects with tones of belching locusts get closer on percussions to fine tones of rattlers. Their bangings of steel support a rhythm slightly pulsating, guiding this catchy rhythmic structure of "Fourth Rendez-Vous" through a swarm of synths of which the candid refrain rolls in loops in our souvenirs. It’s good. Oh yes it’s good and lively! Like it or not, "Fourth Rendez-Vous" marked the world market with this incestuous mixture of candy pink rhythms and tunes, tinted by a surprising percussions play and by superb sound effects. It’s a title which we don’t count anymore the remixes, mixes and reprises and which is among Jarre’s biggest classics, in the same way as Oxygene IV is. "Fifth Rendez-Vous" is a strange carousel of eclectic tones where neurotic choirs and half complete hymns swirl in a beautiful collage and sampling coming from one of the first works of Jarre, Music for Supermarket. It’s as much attractive as beautiful and it shows all of the ingenuity of the French synthesist to shape split up melodies and rhythms in structures which seem a bit improvised. "Last Rendez-Vous" is a title which had to mark the history and which marked it but of a quite other way. Dedicated to the astronaut Ronald McNair, it had to be the first musical piece to be recorded between space and earth. Inconveniently the Challenger shuttle exploded soon after its launch, postponing indefinitely this ambition musical and artistic project. It’s a nice and touching track, filled by a soft and bitter melancholy of which the soft rhythm pulsates on the beatings of life and a pleasant saxophone blowing a beautiful melody enfolded by a synth to introverted layers.
The problem of Rendez-Vous is that it was realized after Zoolook. The contrast is striking and the regression evident. It’s not bad as such; it’s just a question of timing. Cause after Zoolook, Rendez-Vous seems anaemic and atonal while it’s quite not the case. It’s a good album which wasn’t able, unfortunately, to resist against the weight of ages. And it’s a pity because it’s the big forgotten of Jean Michel Jarre's career!


Sylvain Lupari (2006)
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=9095


vendredi 25 novembre 2011

SYNTH.NL: Apollo (2011)

''Apollo is doubtless the most complete work of Synth NL.''


1 LaunchPad (6:46)  2 Apollo 7 (4:23)
3 Staging (5:23)  4 Apollo 8 (6:56)
5 Orbit (8:23)   6 Apollo 9 (6:16)
7 Docking (6:56)  8 Apollo 11 (5:46)
9 EarthRise (4:33)  10 Apollo 13 (5:19)
11 ReEntry (5:00)   12 SplashDown (4:57)


GROOVE: GR-181

It’s on a musical canvas strongly inspired Jean Michel JarreRendez-Vous era, that bathe the rhythms and atmospheres of Synth NL 4th opus solo, exactly like Jarre’s Rendez-Vous. But the legendary synthesist from France isn’t the only source of inspiration which guided Michel van Osenbruggen in the making of Apollo. Born in 1969, or the same year that Neil Armstrong became the first human being to walk on the lunar soil, the Dutch synthesist always maintained robust connections and deep feelings towards Apollo missions and other spatial expeditions. It’s in this context that Synth. NL proposes us Apollo, a solid opus where historic narrator voices and spatial sound effects invade the rhythms and atmospheres which surround 12 titles to strong reminiscences of the cosmic and rhythmic universe of Rendez-Vous.
Cracklings and cosmic noises open the ambient introduction of "LaunchPad". A somber synth wave pulses and lays its tones up to the undulating pulsations of a bass line, leading to vocals samplings which describe a spatial tragedy. Synth waves sweep the atmosphere, such as gyrating head lamps enlightening the debris which are bursting of an igneous color, under the weight of pulsations became more threatening and more insistent. And it’s under the historic speech of Kennedy that "LaunchPad" takes off slowly of an uncertain rhythm, perched on its heavy pulsations and wrapped by beautiful twisted solos which tear the circular veils of a synth to cosmic musical movements. This rhythmic tendency a bit ambivalent fed the large majority Apollo’s titles. So "Apollo 7" has difficulty to lift off from its intro filled of round pulsations which mark time on nice synth pads. Once again vocal samplings of what seems to be the writing desks of the NASA invade a beautiful rhythmic structure which hatch out more clearly with very good percussions flittering in wrong sense on a floating tempo. And I quite like the stereo effect which they throw in our ears on a mid-tempo slightly groovy which demand for other listenings. A beautiful sequenced line draws the spherical course of "Staging". The rhythm settles down. It’s frank and curt, bombarded by pulsations which pound frenziedly on good synth layers before being moulded in the introductory sequences and dancing on a synth of which the melodious keys escape from stormy solos and cosmic waves. "Apollo 8" looks like to be mistaken à Jarre!  The rhythm is discreet and languishing, a little as the intersidereal waltzes of Oxygene, and leans on a delicate percussions play of which the wooden echoes are buried by layers of a cosmic synth stuffed with soft floating and spectral solos. A synth with tones of guitar draws a fine approach tinted by melancholy floating among winds and cosmic sound effects, while a fine stroboscopic sequential line encircles of a hatched approach this mesmerizing cosmic and sensual duality which submerges "Apollo 8". It’s a very good title, quite as "Orbit" which presents a whole musical cocktail to the antipodes of an ambivalent emotionalism with an intense apocalyptic intro. Metallic percussions collide heavily, sequences flutter frenziedly and synth hoops crisscross in an infernal din, driving to a heavy spatial implosion. There where celestial choirs hum liberators harmonies and chords of a synth guitar float and structure a suave ode to serenity. The rhythm gets arouse towards the 4th minute spot. Keeping its melodious cachet it will go increasing, by waddling slowly on nice echoing percussions, good heavy pulsations and synth riffs of which light keys float among fine hatched circles and superb synth waves to tones of old organs. It’s very beautiful and rather moving.
A bit as a fragmented down-tempo, "Apollo 9" is fed by round and pulsating sequences as well as by hands banging and echoing percussions which lose their tempo in beautiful ambient and lunar phases. The synth is lyrical and draws some nice structures as much melodious as floating and approaches as celestial as melodramatic. "Docking" is a black cosmic lament where the solitude perspires the discomfort on a soft rhythm a bit jazzy which undulates slowly in a beautiful pond of galactic sound effects. Sharply more rhythmic "Apollo 11" bursts out in a rather synth-pop rhythmic approach, to the limit technoïd. The tempo is encircled by a stroboscopic line and fed by vocal samplings while the synth launches melodious morphic layers on rhythms which are between the energetic titles of Jarre and Element 4. It’s lively, as "ReEntry" which is on the other hand heavier and curter and which also offers good synth solo. With its light and melancholic approach, "EarthRise" reminds me of Tomita’s interpretation of Snowflakes are Dancing. Synth layers float, flutter and crisscross in a symmetric wind while fine pulsations feed a slow rhythm and that delicate isolated arpeggios draw a somber melody. Solos are the cornerstone of the heavy and languishing "Apollo 13", by far the most accessible title on Apollo. The synth forges there some pretty good melodies which escape from these tortuous solos while the rhythmic approach is structured by the warning shots of frank and curt percussions. There is something of intensely poetic and dramatic in the musical approach of "SplashDown" which encloses in beauty this 4th opus of Synth NL. It’s another great electronic ballad which sounds strangely like an intersidereal ride. Between the universe of Jarre and Thierry Fervant, sequences undulate in a static sphere filled with resonances, while the tempo runs away as a cowboy fleeing a mythical troop of dust. I find this terrific and I like this slow crescendo which increases appreciably the pace under solos to caustic reverberations, espousing marvellously the resonances which eat the harmonies of sequences.
Apollo is doubtless the most complete work of Synth NL. Always by leaning on structures at once complex and melodious, lying among indecisive rhythms and atmospheres, Synth NL manages to weave a musical universe where the paradoxes are in harmony with the concept of Apollo. If I have a flat it’s at the level of the vocal samplings which take too much place and annoy in the course of time. That would be better in small dose and on 2 or 3 titles, not that much. With such on use Synth NL floods a little the envy that we have to listen certain tracks over and over, I think in particular of the very beautiful "Apollo 8" and "Apollo 9". But anyway Apollo hides very beautiful pearls which will become classics of Synth NL. repertoire. Him who begins to collect them since 2008 Atmosphere.


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=14751

*If you want to know more about Synth NL and hear some MP3 samplings, one visits his Website here: http://www.synth.nl/
* Here is also a nice promotional video of Apollo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwRZhMlLf_s

mercredi 23 novembre 2011

DAVID WRIGHT: Dreams and Distant Moonlight (2008)

''Dreams and Distant Moonlight is a great blend of progressive rhythms to atmospheres as much cosmic as ethereal..''

1 Procession under Moonlight (1:47)
2 Dreams (2:53)   3 Velvetude (3:07)
4 Just an Illusion-Part I (6:49)
5 Just an Illusion-Part II (4:45)
6 State of Peace (1:14 )
7 Cry to the Moon-Part I (4:31)
8 State of Confusion (4:27)
9 Cry to the Moon-Part II (3:37)
10 Heatwave in Blue (8:02)
11 Amorphous (7:58) 
12 State of Bliss-Part I (4:53)
13 State of Bliss-Part II (6:43 )
14 Sun Dust (7:28)  15 The Canyon (8:44)               
AD MUSIC: AD64CD
For his 19th opus David Wright surrounds himself with 2 long time friends from Code Indigo; Andy Lobbam, whose guitar floats above Pink Floyd musical fragrances and Nigel Turner on bass. The result is a superbly harmonious album, as David Wright knows how to build them, with an audacious zest of a progressive music captured into beautiful orchestral arrangements and intense wrapping mellotrons which come to take the last ounce of repressed emotion. Composed of 15 titles linked in 2 musical acts Dreams and Distant Moonlight is a great musical rendezvous of which the rhythmic and atmospheric premices are between major works such as Walking with Ghosts and Momentum as well as more progressive works of Code Indigo.
"Dreams" emerges out of the celestial introduction that is "Procession under Moonlight". The atmosphere is romantic with a splendid piano of which notes espouse the beauty of a sunset. A composer who can be complex, David Wright is above all a poet of a music without words where chords and arrangements are the equivalence of musical odes. We can feel it! The English synthesist is imprinted by a melancholy which will be reflected throughout this 1st phase of Dreams and Distant Moonlight. "Velvetude" pursues on the sweetnesses of "Dreams" with suave orchestrations and a mellotron which frees feminine lamentations on a tempo which goes increasing on sounds of fine percussions, just before pouring into "Just an Illusion" and its synth to spectral breaths. It’s at this stage that Lobbam and Turner make their appearances. The beat is curt and jerky by riffs of a sober guitar, but what amazes the most is the play of synths and keyboards. Through the solos which come from everywhere, Wright shapes composite tones which draw an effective sound paranoia on a title which could very well make Pink Floyd repertoire in particular because of the guitar of Lobbam and his juicy solos. "State of Peace" brings back the rhythm to it start with a short atmospheric passage as on "Procession under Moonlight". "Cry to the Moon-Part I" follows the musical tangent of "Just an Illusion". Orchestrations are great and are tie to a synth as honeyed as ghostly as well as felted electronic percussions flitting around a superb mellotron which waltzes with softness on its hybrid tones. "State of Confusion" is stronger with a synth of which metallic serpentines awake the riffs of a heavy guitar. It’s a strange title which crosses oriental tones on a big progressive rock. Still there, David Wright fills our ears to the rims with superb arrangements and sound effects which strike hard through a synth with twisted solos which lead with heaviness in "Cry to the Moon-Part II" which is sharply heavier and this even with a synth of which the minimalism melody goes alongside in a heavy musical explosion with Andy Lobbam's wonderful guitar.
"Heatwave in Blue" goes out of the progressive melodious context to lead towards a more atmospheric territory. David Wright is one of the rare artists able to create rich and tangible ambient music. David Wright is one of the rare artists able to create rich and tangible ambient music. One would believe being in a desert of space-cowboy with a lonely rider who ride on a fuzzy rhythm to pulsations from a bass line filled of increasing curves sound effects of light clogs. We are floating in a beautiful atmosphere filled of cosmic sounds effects à la Schulze, a synth line with chords of a country guitar and dark breaths of an austere mellotron. A light piano lights the flames of "Amorphous" with dark and nostalgic notes. A zigzagging rhythm imprisons this piano which will travel in a nervous and jerky rhythmic progression, wrapped by feminine choirs, synth loops and waltzing mellotron layers. "States of Bliss" offers a gloomy intro with a piano and a forsaken guitar which complains in oblivion before gliding towards a 2nd more rhythmic part with a very nice percussions play and a synth full of Middle East waves. This is another great title. We can establish a parallel between these 2 last titles and "Sun Dust" as well as "The Canyon", except that "The Canyon" is as heavier as melodious with a sensual approach built on great orchestral arrangements and a superb guitar which winds around a striking mellotron.
It’s a strong title which concludes an album splendidly well produced where David Wright left nothing at random. On the contrary, Dreams and Distant Moonlight is a superb production with a great blend of progressive rhythms to atmospheres as much cosmic than ethereal which bring us undeniably at the doors of his sublime masterpiece; Walking with Ghosts. It’s completely indicated for those who seek in music an antidote to coolness wintry... There again, I exceeded my 30 lines!


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=11608
*If you want to know more about David Wright, you can visit his Website here:
http://www.admusiconline.com/


mardi 22 novembre 2011

STEVE ORCHARD: Riverboat (2011)

''If you like New Age and meditative music you will like Riverboat''

1 Kingfisher Falls 3:39
2 Poachers Dawn 5:23
3 Ducks and Drakes 4:18
4 Night Moorings 5:47
5 Buttercup Necklace 4:43
6 Summer Storm 5:24
7 Priddy Fair 5:21
8 Abbey Fountain 5:18
9 Downstream 4:30
10 River Lullaby 6:33

AD MUSIC: AD98CD

Steve Orchad is a newcomer on AD Music label and its New Age division. If he is new on David Wright's label he is on the other hand very active as shows his 8 albums realized since 2006. Prolific musician who is inspired by medieval and folk atmospheres as well as by Mike Oldfield minimalist structures and recording techniques, Steve Orchard composes a soft meditative music from a minimalist embryo to which he adds a multitude of adjacent acoustic layers which crisscross into beautiful structures as melancholic as melodious. Riverboat is his 9th album. An album fed by a soundscapes sound fauna with samplings of birds chirpings, delicate currents of brooks and a pleiad of sounds coming from a nature buried in our child's dreams which flows with the same peace of mind as a book of poetry on torments of everyday’s life.
Winds shake the soft rustle of leaves and make shiver the wavelets of a narrow brook, guiding the first hesitating notes of a fine acoustic guitar. Meditative and dreamy, "Kingfisher Falls" floods our ears with a 2nd line of more melodious guitar. A melancholic guitar which draws a beautiful tune fed by regrets and which looks for refuge in the fluty breaths of a soft mellotron kind synth. Delicate and meditative, "Kingfisher Falls" is also the soft reflection of inner feelings which surround the delicate music of Steve Orchard. It’s a music which leans on a lead guitar line to which other guitar recordings stream to forge beautiful melodies of which the background is filled by samplings of England countryside. This way we have the feeling to hear a trio of guitarists whose agile fingers knit beautiful acoustic melodies. And this is the core and premises of Riverboat which flows in our ears like a collection of 9 beautiful and easy listening melodic structures. If "Poachers Dawn", "Ducks and Drakes" and "Night Moorings" are similar to "Kingfisher Falls", "Buttercup Necklace" offers a more cheerful and lively canvas where harmonies dance and cavort innocently on a fluty synth and nice orchestral arrangements. Besides, this title opens a new chapter in Riverboat with a series of more cheerful titles of which melancholy is split among more lively rhythms. A multitude of guitar strings are giving rendezvous to feed the very beautiful "Summer Storm". Notes which structure crisscrossed melodies, tumbling down and singing with innocence under rumbling thunders. And the more we go deeper into Riverboat and the more we let ourselves invaded by this oniric meditative sweetness. "Priddy Fair" is a marvel which capsizes us unmistakably with an approach as melancholic as melodious. By far my preferred title with the very beautiful "River Lullaby" which is stunningly enchanting with this skilful mixture of harmonies floating on the back of a nostalgia fed by ethereal vocals which are melting to nice fanciful violins. "Abbey Fountain" is not outdone with its scattered notes which shape suspended harmonies and revolve around a fluty approach worthily the Knights of the Round Table eras while "Downstream" flows with an avalanche of notes pinching a solitary melody.
If you like New Age and meditative music, you will like Steve Orchad’s Riverboat. New Age not being my favorite musical tendancy I had to wait the ideal occasion before letting Steve Orchad's last feed my ears. And I was agreeably surprised by so much fluidity and harmonies on musical structures as much contemplative as melodic. I found on it this soft acoustic essence that had charmed me with Checkfield and their Water, Wilnd and Stone released in 1987 on the Mannheim Steamroller’s American Gramaphone label. There are very poignant titles there such as "Buttercup Necklace", "Priddy Fair" and "River Lullaby" which deserve to be heard. I agree that this is not EM but it’s a nice relaxing and meditative music which will please certainly the American market. The reason to be of this New Age division of David Wright label which, as usual, produced high quality music and this whatever the kinds.


Sylvain Lupari (2011)
*If you want to know more about Steve Orchard and hear some MP3 files, you can visit his Website here: http://www.steveorchardmusic.co.uk/index.html

samedi 19 novembre 2011

DAVID WRIGHT: In Search of Silence (2011)

''In Search of Silence is another masterpiece from David Wright!''

1 Sanctuary-Prologue 4:40
2 Transylvanian Lullaby 8:51
3 Shine On Cassini, Shine On 2:38
4 Echoes of Air 5:15
5 Sanctuary-Reprise 1:52
6 In Search of Silence 13:52
7 Debussy in the Mist 7:12
8 Alchemy| 10:36
9 Calmer Waters 6:21
10 Sea and Sand 3:23
11 Worlds Beneath 11:36
12 Sanctuary-Epilogue 2:42


AD MUSIC: AD94CD

David Wright is an emblematic figure of the melodious and progressive EM style. His recent compilation album, The Spirit Of Light, maybe left his fans wondering if he was approaching more the New Age style than electronic. For those who were afraid of this, like I was, he has just answered emphatically with a masterpiece to rival anything he has done before! Composed in 2 chapters, In Search of Silence is a reflection of the ebb and flow of life. But above all, it’s a wonderful and very musical album where rhythms and atmospheres encapsulate superb melodious approaches. David Wright surpasses himself with a stunning layout of sounds and a wonderful artistic tapestry, where every title fits into sublime musical collage, filled with an intense and bubbling musical fauna. This is David Wright's 23rd solo opus and it joins his colossal works and widens his discography with another musical diamond that will charm his fans and clearly shows beyond any doubts that EM is much more than a simple story of sounds.
The 1st part of In Search of Silence was first presented within the framework of the Schallwelle Music Awards, held in March 2011 at the Bochum Planetarium in Germany. And so as life begins, "Sanctuary-Prologue" extricates itself from silence by means of distant waves emerging from within lovely synth blows and star dusts. A musical fauna as much terrestrial than celestial welcomes this introductory title which glides in upon a universe of distant sounds and synth breaths, while a delicate and half hinted melody is heard. Forged within arpeggios of glass, the melody floats with a spiritual oriental approach and progresses to a dramatic crescendo among sinuous synth lines and discreet astral choirs to finally introduce the pulsating rhythm of "Transylvanian Lullaby". A pounding rhythm teams up with a bass line from which wide loops lead to a slow gallop, driving "Transylvanian Lullaby" towards In Search of Silence melodious plains with a rhythm that explodes with a universe of heterogeneous percussion. These percussions are both soft and metallic and explode dramatically while their echoes present a delicious mixture, structuring a rhythm that increases its dynamism by forging forward on superb, wavy-like crisscrossed sequences. This frenzied ride propels a powerful melodic structure fed by a fleeting piano and a synth sounds among somber, apocalyptic streaks immersed by furious solos. It’s very beautiful and very intense and has nothing to do with a lullaby, whereas "Shine On Cassini, Shine On" and its delicate piano notes roam in an ochre mist and is the prelude to the superb "Echoes of Air". You remember Beyond Paradise? For a long time I considered this wonderful melody from the excellent Walking with Ghosts as being the melodious highlight of EM. Well David Wright has just surpassed himself. Feeding on the oniric finale of "Shine On Cassini, Shine On", "Echoes of Air" caresses our ears like a delicious whisper of silk. It's a great melody moulded on a beautiful mixture of percussions and pulsations as well as in the breaths of a stunningly superb synth theme with silky lamentations of a solitary and extremely melancholic Vox and synth sound. Quietly, and by borrowing the brief piano notes of "Shine On Cassini, Shine On", "Echoes of Air" ends its spiritual crusade among metallic hoops which evolve into a heterogeneous finale before disappearing in the cinematic approach of "Sanctuary-Reprise".
Written after his Schallwelle Music Awards performance, the 2nd part of In Search of Silence begins with the title track. It’s an enchanting melody of Arabian nights’ style from which the synth refrain turns in hypnotic loops that begin with metallic sounding refrains and continues to clash under sweet ochred lamentations of a lonely synth. Fine arpeggios emerge like star dust from the mellotron induced mist. Carried along atop the waves of mist they sparkle and dance, embracing the rising tide with philharmonic winds and celestial choirs. Slowly, the title track "In Search of Silence" ebbs and flows with 13 minutes of shifting tempos, where Tablas, Taiko drums and percussion ride with a warm bass line and remain suspended in a dreamlike atmosphere. The rhythm is soft, suave and tinted with a romanticism worthy of the warm Middle Eastern nights. This epic title track supports an enthralling melodious structure that embraces several phases but remains fluid with a dramatic and symphonic synth theme which frees its versatile harmonious breaths, weaving a melodious structure to a thousand ethereal winds in a very beautiful mixture of fluty and nasal harmonies. A combination of sounds and harmonies that sing, dance and weave their way through an oniric sphere filled with melancholic mist. "Debussy in the Mist" emerges from the title track with water lapping and the choirs of forgotten mermaids overflowing from the somber circular winds of a powerful lugubrious synth. A rhythm settles down on the slow pulsations of a sequenced bass line. It pounds with a furtive and delicate pace, crossing the voice, full of the emotions of a mysterious mermaid as the slow progression of "Debussy in the Mist" is slowly propelled by fanciful mellotron strings. The mellotron violins underpin an oniric lullaby caressing us with the addition of fluty breaths which progress into the secret implosions of the dynamic synth theme of "Alchemy". With its dynamic and symphonic intro, "Alchemy" whips In Search of Silence into a powerful, unchained rhythm excursion. Sequences rise and expand the music into a heavy, pulsating movement under which sweet mellotron layers sing and dance. They grow in intensity, forging a bubbling rhythm which explodes on strong percussions. But even though the pace is on fire, David Wright succeeds in integrating a wonderful Arabian melody which is grafted to furious keyboards themes and scorching mini-moog solos. The rhythm forges a powerful, lively structure, and "Alchemy" pounds towards its conclusion with dynamic sequencing that crisscrosses with ethereal choirs into its soft, angelic finale. Ethereal mellotron flutes and glissading harp alongside solitary breaths feed the multiplicity of the gentle harmonies that surrounds "Calmer Waters", yet another great piece of electronic music serenading, equal in beauty to the earlier "Echoes of Air" or Beyond Paradise. The music rises from an oceanic bed with electric piano notes shining at the full moon and becoming entangled with the lapping waves. They flow into our ears beneath the comfort of a lazy, chilled bass line and delicate percussions before merging with "Sea and Sand'', an ethereal track that brings a meditative approach with a beautiful but lonely mellotron flute asking questions of the emptiness. The gentle track builds delicately and finds its answer before disappearing into the intro of "Worlds Beneath" which continues the pensive exploration of "Sea and Sand", but with fine pulsations and orchestration that skips delicately on one of the most beautiful synth line and themes you have heard. This epic space music track breaths beautiful and harmonious chords like the epic Cosmos theme to make even Vangelis envious.
In Search of Silence is another masterpiece from David Wright. If we thought that this brilliant composer would never surpass his colossal works like Walking with Ghosts or award winning Dreams and Distant Moonlight, we were wrong! In Search of Silence is 79 minutes of extremely creative and melodic EM, rich in sounds and superb arrangement all combined in themes and melodies that express themselves with stunning clarity within a wonderful and superbly produced electronic music structure. There are no timeouts, the titles link up and merge in a creative manner which is breathtaking. Every title brings its own signature, whether it’s cosmic, dramatic, rhythmic or cinematic - every title on In Search of Silence is forged in emotive harmony and melody which works due to the extraordinary vision and poetic approach of the composer. I loved it, I adored every minute of it! As I walk on the thread of my life, I am thankful that of all those who have healed me and take good care of me, that David Wright is among them.

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=14740
*If you want to know more about David Wright, you can visit his Website here:
http://www.admusiconline.com/

DAVID WRIGHT: Reflections (1989)

''Reflections shows the great versatility of David Wright...''


1 Don't Look Back 4:18
2 Romance 10:14
3 January '89 5:13
4 Song for 'Tricia 5:12
5 Abintra (A love Song) 4:53
6 Seashores 17:48
7 Reflections 2:33


A.D. MUSIC: AD1CD

David Wright is the man behind AD Music, groups such as Indigo Code and Callisto as well as collaborator to well-known EM artists such as Robert Fox, Ian Boddy and Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock. Synonymous names of high quality EM where melodies prevail on structures as progressive as cosmic and on orchestral arrangements worthy of Vangelis’ great works. It’s to Klaus D. Mueller, current manager of Klaus Schulze and former of Manuel Gottsching, that we owe the discovery and David Wright's hatching. In 1989 the England composer and synthesist produced his first cassette, Reflections whom he sent to Mueller. Impressed, Mueller undertakes to distribute it via the new label POEM. He said this about Reflections: Of all the many demos I have received, this was the only one I liked and still like. It has soul and emotion of the same kind as most of Klaus Schulze's work . POEM will distribute the works of Wright until 1994. In 2001 AD Music gave a second breath to Reflections with a digitally remastered edition from first generation cassette. Reflections is available now on downloadable format on AD Music site.
A good bass line espouses a jerky rhythm and "Don’t Look Back" opens Reflections with strength, accompanied by a good drum which hammers a powerful tempo. The atmosphere is boosted and skimmed through by a synth which whistles an intense melodious line. It’s a dynamic title which certainly influenced Christian Richet on his opus Overture. After this heavy sequenced ride, "Romance" transports us towards David Wright's romantic territories. It’s a long atmospheric title slightly tinted with a New Age approach where hesitating arpeggios float in a wrapping mellotron mist. After an intro marked by uncertainty, the notes flow with the fine musical imprint of a fanciful harp among the soft breaths of a harmonica and angelic choirs lost in desertic mists. It’s very beautiful and very moving and that can only inspire dreams. After a misty intro "January ' 89" leads in a static rhythm built on jerky hammerings. All in contrast, the rhythm pounded by sequences and percussions impromptu is besieged by fragments of melodies to Asian tendencies. Puzzling and powerful, it’s like hearing Phil Collins burst out on opposite atmospheres. "Song for 'Tricia" is a nice electronic ballad with a zest of synth pop. The synth is in panpipes mode and is walking with harmony on good strikings of percussions, structuring a lively tempo, and good synth pads which exploits stringed instruments. "Abintra (A love Song)" is another beautiful ballad, less livened up than "Song for 'Tricia" with tones of guitar in the limits of a Mexican gallantry which serenade under a synth to breaths of fluty mists. "Seashores" is another long atmospheric river with notes of guitars that have aromas of a harp floating in an ambient universe fill by tones of waves and foam of the sea. The synth is soft and orchestral with its celestial choruses which doubtless inspired Raphael on the attractive Music to Disappear in. "Reflections" encloses this first effort of David Wright with a lullaby that has the same atmospheric softness as we find on "Seashores".
It’s interesting to hear this David Wright's first work. It shows the great versatility of David Wright who seem to be seeking for his musical identity among those different orientations that we found on Reflections. An opus which contains some jewels of ingenuity and tenderness and which is completely just like David Wright's impressive career; melodious, romantic, dreamy and aggressive by moments, but above all it’s an album finely composed and transposed into the art of EM with a great deal of tenderness, passion and sensitivity.


Sylvain Lupari (2006)
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=8492
*If you want to know more about David Wright, you can visit their Website here:
http://www.admusiconline.com/

jeudi 17 novembre 2011

CARBON BASED LIFEFORMS: Twentythree (2011)

''Sharply more ambient Twentythree remains not less sharply remarkable''
1 Arecibo 9:20
2 System 7:31
3 Somewhere in Russia 8:36
4 Terpene 5:56
5 Inertia 10:33
6 VLA (edit) 10:01
7 Kensington Gardens 6:24
8 Held Together by Gravity 8:05


ULTIMAE RECORDS: INRE-047

I read on Internet that Carbon Based Lifeforms was unpredictable. That the Swedish duet liked the diversity and that his first 3 opuses puzzled a public always subjected by the tetanised approach of Johannes Hedberg and Daniel Segerstad. And Twentythree strengthens these comments collected on the Web. After a colliding album (Interloper) where lascivious rhythms went alongside to cerebral atmospheres, this Carbon Based Lifeforms' 4th opus is a delicious ambient ode. An intersidereal journey among which 8 titles, independent one of the other, are filled up with latent rhythms, scattered voices and composite tones trapped and floating in dense and luxurious layers of multi-sonic synths. It’s a tale for cosmonauts, a breath of life for forsaken and, especially, a monument of floating music.
"Arecibo" initiates this stunning cosmic odyssey with a heavy black breath which drifts quietly towards spatial gaps. Such as flows of cosmic lava, synth layers to hybrid tones accumulate and invade the progression of this somber intro. These heavy and slow layers embrace in an oblong cerebral ballet where angelic breaths caress an implosive sound fauna and smother lost riffs which modulate a delicate latent rhythm. We would believe being in the heights of SteveRoach's astral territories with this multiplicity of synth layers to varied tones which sing and flow such as cosmic tributaries towards a powerful atonic crescendo to crash on the shores of an intersidereal beach. The cosmic waves of "System" are more crystal clear, more fluid and more acuteness. They flow and float such as morphic winds and arouse carillons, rattler tones pulsations and this amazing tonal flora which slumbers behind these synth curtains. This abundance of colourful tones, implosive rhythms, cosmic noises and poltergeists voices is one of Twentythree big wealth and provides a hearing curiosity which goes by increasing. "Somewhere in Russia" is an ode to contemplative solitude. Very moving with these poignant synth layers which juxtapose in a superb and slow oniric ballet, "Somewhere in Russia" draws emotions which pierce us with great mellotron strata revolving such as a merger of laments under a collection of unfinished rhythms. You got to hear these synth strata cry. They tear the soul! Floating synth pads rush and bump into each other to introduce "Terpene". Such as fluty loops they roll and wave, while reminding us how much beautiful is Steve Roach's Structure from Silence. Still there, one has to hear this sound fauna which tick-tocks under melancholic synth loops to appreciate the multi - dimensionality of Twentythree with this title which oscillates enter cosmic and oceanic serenity.
And so goes the erosion of Twentythree! Continuing between the ambivalence of the spatial seas and spaces, "Inertia" envelopes us with an immense coat of placidity with its multitude of intersidereal winds which wraps a stunning sound fauna filled of abstract tones. Voices of cosmic mermaids blow over synth chants, creating a delicious mixture of litanies as angelic as morphic which easily bring us close to a lethal sleep. And the more it goes and the more it’s beautiful! "VLA" is the most serene and warmest title on Twentythree. It’s a slow catatonic immersion of which heavy breaths display an aura of serenity over some fragmented spheres of influence and sound snippets which find refuge under the slow morphic oscillations. "Kensington Gardens" is at the doors of a promiscuite reality with a hectic neighbourhood life which has difficulty to make hear its tinkled uses behind a heavy background with syncretic tones. "Held Together by Gravity" encloses Twentythree with an approach tinted of a latent paranoia. We are hearing there whispers, carillons and curious sighs fomented, while synth layers become entangled to get unify in a very soft morphic ballet, chasing away quietly this smell of insidious madness which metamorphoses into an ode to the serenity of souls.
Sharply more ambient Twentythree remains not less sharply remarkable. The phenomenon Carbon Based Lifeforms transcends the universe of down tempo and ambient calcified by a radioactive sound fauna to shine with an incredible approach as meditative as cosmic. Twentythree is superb. Different from Interloper certainly, but as much delicious. It’s a long cosmic and oniric ballet, full of emotionalism and oblong synth layers to hybrid tones which retreat with surges of tenderness and tearing. It’s an incursion in the universe of poetic ambient, where alone Steve Roach throned with his titanic works. Recommended, and in full term!

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=14738
*If you want to know more about Carbon Based Lifeforms, you can visit their Website here:
http://www.carbonbasedlifeforms.net/
* You can also watch the whole album on You Tube: