1 Redshift 18:43
2 Spin 8:26
3 Shine 4:02
4 Blueshift 33:05
Redshift (DDL 64:16) *****
(Vintage dark Berlin School)
For those who missed it, the music of Redshift is now available on Bandcamp. Redshift is a surprising extension of the universe of Mark Shreeve whose last solo album was the excellent audio recording (the album Collide) of his concert given the 12 Mars 1994 at the Derby Assembly Rooms; a real EM temple for a new generation of English musicians. Less harmonious, clearly heavier and especially more black than his solo works, this new musical adventure of the famous and taciturn English musician turns around a greater use of the big Moog which seems to have no secret for the dexterity and especially the imagination of Mark Shreeve who wrote all the music of Redshift. Flanked by the musicians who appeared on Collide (James Goddard and Julian Shreeve) Mark Shreeve also got the help of the guitarist Rob Jenkins whose solos and mordant riffs add a more progressive dimension to the music of Mark Shreeve. The entity Redshift was so born. Only the identity is missing! And it is through a heavy and dark ambience as well as rhythms which buzz so much that they tremble that the Redshift seal marks our ears. And the first album is simply surprising.
It is through a heavy and dark atmosphere that the English quartet throws at us an EM which transcends the limits of the imagination of the sequenced rhythms and the chthonian vibe. Everything turns around the monstrous Moog. This big wall of threads, knobs and switches which made the delights of Chris Franke and Klaus Schulze fans finds itself in Mark Shreeve's musical laboratory who is one of the few to know its secrets and dexterities. The sequencer is nervous, stormy and imaginative. It roars and beats with a huge Mellotron mist and synth moans to the greatness of the colossal works by Tangerine Dream, style Rubycon and Phaedra. It's a whole musical journey which crossed timeless barriers while keeping the freshness of the 2000's. Here the rhythm has no measure. It is puzzling, even abstract, so much the music flies at the wills of amorphous choruses and heavy sequencers. Noises of machines open the dine valves of the eponym track. From then on, we understand of what the universe of Redshift will be made of. Long laments of war sirens are sweeping a black horizon where rot souls and their deformed lamentations. A wave of choruses armed with celestial trumpets rises to take out a little black of "Redshift" which, nevertheless, always remains soaked of ashes of hell. We believe of being in time of war. A war between gaps and light. There are groans, arduous breaths and synth lines to sibylline colors which float such as spirits in search of a body. This is there a black movement of sequences, like in Rubycon, emerges and makes dance its riffs which little by little get loose to take a shape of a more defined rhythm. A heavy, undulatory rhythm, which runs on a tide of absent choruses to support the meditative singings of a superb flute. The mellotron makes roll its orchestral waves on a structure of rhythm which soaks in an alienating madness. We hear flashes of the solo works from Shreeve on a structure which cavorts freely of its indomitable sequences and where drag a beautiful Mellotron flute, black and floating synth pads, unreal orchestrations, waves of reverberations, riffs of vaporous guitar and choirs matched for masses of zombies on modular rhythms. All elements which forge an effect of hell. This introduction is strongly a successful. One would believe to hear an evolution of Tangerine Dream of the Peter Baumann era.
Compared to that, "Spin" wears a more poetic approach. Always dressed of black, the music swirls delicately on a structure of sequences of which the fine stroboscopic ions hiccup in sibylline ambiences. And as nothing is made of ease in the universe Redshift, "Spin" offers its delicate rhythmic skeleton to the storms of the synths of which the striking winds disrupt a little the order of things. This is a dark e-rock which would suit the universe of the solo works from Mark Shreeve. Same as "Shine" which offers a slower and blacker structure with dark pulsations which accelerate a metronomic rhythm which falls under the charms of a flute whose charming breezes are clashing in this chthonian universe. The movement of sequences is hallucinating. One would believe to hear Chris Franke making tumble down and stumble his marbles of rhythm over a malfunctioning conveyor. The atmospheres are breathtaking with synths which draw fragments of luciferian harmonies a la Shreeve among some groans and breaths lost in the hooks of Mephistopheles. This is a 4 minutes intense and too short! For several fans of Redshift, "Blueshift" is the cornerstone on this very first album of Redshift. I think it's the track which depicts the most exactly the universe of Redshift. But on the other hand, this is a track to which we have to sit comfortably, listen deeply and with an open mind in order to miss nothing of it and seize all the nuances. After an ambient intro, sprinkled with a light mellotron flute, metallic noises take shape and are transformed into a caustic sequential line. Although black, the movement is serene and accompanied of mocking riffs which come out downright from the universe of Legion. Always made up by magnificence, the mellotron flute spreads clouds of mysteries on a rhythm which little by little gets loose from its hypnotic structure to crawl like an intellectual threat. Quietly, the skipping ions fade out and let drop "Blueshift" in a multicolored sonic universe filled by a thousand heterogeneous noises with tints and forms as much varied as a frozen magma. A long very striking ambient passage follows where all the elements form a tempered dark symphony of a chthonian choir which is going to make you roll the hairs of our back spine, driving "Blueshift" in a suite of cardiac beatings (there I really try to understand the meaning) that will last more than 10 minutes. Ending so, in a rather enigmatic way I have to admit, a wonderful album fills of promises which will satisfy all the fans of the 70's Berlin School style EM. If you love Tangerine Dream, mainly the Baumann era, you will adore this first album of Redshift, as well as all the others. This I'm absolutely certain of!
Sylvain Lupari (June 15th, 2014)
Cette chronique est également 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=8777