jeudi 29 septembre 2016

DREAMERPROJECT: Horizons - Remixes (2016)

“This is the perfect complement to Visions with approaches which are more rock,  more electronic and more Trance & Dance styles”
1 Horizons (TigerForest Remix) 5:10
2 Horizons (Glenn Main Remix) 5:00
3 Horizons (Noise Zoo Remix) 3:26
4 Horizons (Spektralized Remix) 3:56
5 Horizons 5:26

AD - 179CDEP (E.P. 23:03) ***¾
(Mix of E-Rock, Trance&Dance and New Age)
Against all odds, the album Visions from Dreamerproject has knew a very good success, in particular because of the track "Horizons" and of its evasive melody which still shines more here in the remixed version of Glenn Main. And it's with all the honors that the AD Music label gave to 4 artists to the visions fiendishly opposed a mandate to compose their remixed version for the purpose of this E.P. which appears in the stride of a vast marketing operation of the English label. The version of TigerForest accentuates even more the very Tangerine Dream approach of the Miramar years whom the German musician Gunnar Spardel presented us in 2014 with his album The Tides of Day and Night. The rhythm is heavier and more lively with violins which fly and swirl under a powerful hyper bludgeoning of percussions. The melody borrows here a veiled texture, roaming like a very harmonious specter on a structure of rhythm as powerful as lively. Gunnar Spardel respects the posology of Kjetil Ingebrigtsen, Glenn Main too, with a brief moment of respite before taking back the bombardment of the percussions. I like! It's more rock electronic than the original version which is very New Age. Glenn Main's version is clearly more musical and more electronic with a pace as curt as that of TigerForest, but lighter. The piano spreads also some beautiful harmonies, as on the original version, and the more rock approach which follows this short moment of atmospheres is fed by this piano, but also by beautiful synth solos as well as a kind of electronic guitar. I would say that it's even more poignant than the original version. More shortened, the versions of Noise Zoo and of Spektralized prohibits the moment of ambiences in order to throw more weight to the music of Dreamerproject. The version of Noise Zoo brushes lightly an approach very trance dance for Zombies drugged up on Ecstasy while that of Spektralized is jerked by percussions as well as very fat and juicy sequences which is going to cure, or aggravate a stiff neck within 2 minutes. But it's ok because the original version is there to rest these muscles which were snatched by Noise Zoo and Spektralized, showing before all the very melodic and dreamy approach of "Horizons" and of Dreamerproject.
Sylvain Lupari (September 29th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the AD Music web shop here

mercredi 28 septembre 2016

DREAMERPROJECT: Visions (2016)

“What can I say if it's not good EM a la sauce Yanni which borders much more the New Age style. But should we be ashamed to like it?”
1 Horizons 5:27
2 Sunrise 4:59
3 Visions 5:37
4 Glorious 5:26
5 Drifting 5:25

AD Music ‎– AD142CDr (E.P. 26:53) ***½
(New Age, Electronic Synth-Pop and E-Rock)
There is a lot of things going on at the AD Music's offices. The English label is more prolific than ever with some new releases, reedition, remixes and E.P. (a lot of those) in order to promote its catalog and its artists among streaming platforms  such as ITunes and Spotify. "Horizons", a remix of a very popular title from the album “Visions”, has landed in my DropBox and I was very curious to hear again the music of Dreamerproject because Kjetil Ingebrigtsen had fairly seduced my ears, and those of my Lise, with the very beautiful and musical (some people will say New Age) The Road to Your Heart which was released in 2012. And since then, I haven't heard anything more from Dreamerproject, excepted for the peaceful Hymne which appeared on the very good collection E-Scape 2015. But before, I wanted to hear “Visions”. The genesis of "Horizons" ...
The introduction of "
Horizons" plunges us a little into the universe of the New Age with sounds of flute which caress the waves of an ocean that one sculpts in our imagination. These elements, as well as electronic effects, increase as a keyboard draws an embryonic melody and as the rhythm settles down. The approach becomes rather intense with the arrival of electronic percussions skillfully steady and with nervous riffs which flicker around this melody which will take literally its surge while taking care of leaving its traces at the bottom of our eardrums. The rhythm is curt, a little bit abrupt and the harmonious twigs spin all around. If the 1st part is more ethereal, the 2nd proposes a solid electronic rock with good arrangements which seduce after 2 or 3 listening. It's at the same time light and heavy and it stays in the borders of the New Age and of the Synth-Pop of the 90's. "Sunrise" suggests a delicately jerky rhythm, like a disjointed down-tempo, with a keyboard and with some nice arrangements which extract from us deep sighs of our soul. The melody, torn away from a nevertheless sober synth, waltzes between our two ear with all the intensity of its sigh and its tears which win in emotional intensity. This is the very beautiful electronic ballad, with a zest of Vangelis (yes yes), which seduces me much more than "Horizons". The title-track also offers a slightly jerky structure, but more electronic than melodic, which is weaved by riffs of a nervous keyboard. The arrangements are always so intense with an electronic envelope, the synths moan even more than in "Sunrise", which adopts the velocity of the beat. That passes well, it's not complicated and it's going to please to a wider audience. It's accessible but not inevitably commercial. "Glorious" also presents a rather intense structure which is knotted cloud around emotionalism, a little as in "Horizons". But the approach is more lively with a beautiful electronic structure of which the debit sounds as the pouring of a water of sounds in cosmos. Here as on 4 other titles of this E.P. the music exploits well its 5 minutes between a rhythm, more lively and more jerky here, and a short moment of atmospheres which brings the listener in a very New Age cosmos, so much the emotivity and the musicality are there. At this level, the 2nd part is unarguably the most powerful of “Visions” with a very clanic finale. "Drifting" ends this small harmonious collection of Dreamerproject with a beautiful cosmic slow dance loaded of a multitude of star's sparklings which swirl as in a whirlwind of crystal particles. Little by little the title drifts towards an approach more in the kind of astral ballad with a greater intensity which seeks with a clear intention to extract other sighs from our soul. But "Sunrise" is by far more beautiful!
Must we be shy to say that “
Visions” is a beautiful small E.P. full of tenderness and melodies which hook the sense of hearing on rhythms which are vaguely alike at times? I let you the care of finding the answer. One likes Yanni? Then you will for sure like the music of Dreamerproject which is so near. Me, and especially my Lise, I found it as beautiful as good. Even if we are more in the territories of the New Age and the Synth-Pop without words (the music can be easily hummed or whistled) than in the fathomless labyrinths of EM of the Berlin School style and of its derived. Beautiful, good and not complicated!

Sylvain Lupari (September 28th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the AD Music web shop here

mardi 27 septembre 2016

COSMIC GROUND: Cosmic Ground 3 (2016)

“Cosmic Ground 3 is in the lineage of the 2 first ones, but with a clearly more incisive approach at the level of sequences and, by ricochet, the structures of rhythm which are wilder than wild”
1 Ground Control 16:05
2 Crumbling Darkness 16:41
3 Keep us in Space 18:46
4 Monochrome Ritual 19:26

Cosmic Ground Music (CD/DDL 70:56) ****½
(Classical Berlin School)

If EM of the vintage Berlin School style molded in the warmth of the analog is exercising on you an inexplicable attraction, the music of Cosmic Ground is a must! What! You still don't know Cosmic Ground? Unforgivable! And here is why... But before, attach your ears because they are going to run away!
After the dissipation of a veil of chthonian voices, a line of bass sequences makes beat 2 measures which throne on a filet of more discreet sequences and of which the movement becomes that of a train which wants to roll at a brisk pace through the clouds of dark voices which he meets. What strikes immediately the sense of hearing is the sound of the sequences. Even at a brisk pace and in their clothes of one-legged monks, they wind with a so different, a so warm tone, as their jingles get entangle like a thin line of rubber balls which jump up as a starving play of percussions. Fiery, the first 6 minutes of "
Ground Control" offer a simply infernal structure of rhythm which leaves no chance to a few steps of dance to follow the fury of hundreds of sequences which jump, roll and tumble down through those many clouds of mists. If the movement gets quieter, it remains all the same rather lively with this meshing of sequences and percussions which sets in fire the 2nd part with sequences which overflow now by the lobes of our ears. Without nuances, set apart for the tones, and frankly, "Ground Control" presents a powerful pouring of sequences which wears out just a bit after having clocking the 12 minutes point, entailing the title towards one finale which refuses to let leave its hyper convulsive structure of rhythm. The dense ambiospherical effects will finally have reason of the crazy rhythm about of "Ground Control" near the 15th minute. This is a very sharp opening of Dirk Jan Müller! And if the very lively and abrupt movement of sequences have seduced you, wait to hear the one in "Crumbling Darkness". But it will not be before a good 6 minutes of an introduction densely ambiospherical where intersidereal gongs crumble their rumblings in a sound paradise tinted of wet voices and afterward in the violence of the winds which sing with their particles of sandy dusts. "Crumbling Darkness" gets away of this cocoon of atmospheres in order to offer a stunning movement of rhythm well sat on the spasmodic jolts of many sequences. Riffs and synth chords, which sound like those of the Green Desert years, wrap this structure of rhythm of which the main attraction is a series of dislocated and out of tune jumps which spring from a skeleton of a big snake which gets back its bones after each spasm. Imagine the image; it's a movement of rhythm without stops which quietly crumbles its last knockings in a thick wall of mists and luciferian voices. The combination of atmospheres and rhythms is perfect for the fans of the genre. You want more?
After noises, rumblings and cosmic winds, "Keep us in Space" gets rid of its short passage of ambiences to offer a structure of rhythm as edgy as the one in "Ground Control". If the movement is less fluid, it remains just as much violent with a line of bass sequences which undulates under the oscillatory snips of scissors  movement of the main rhythm. Still here the structure of rhythm, as well as the percussions, brings us back to the
Green Desert era. It's a furious rhythm which will run wild beneath a flight of sequences and electronic percussions for a big 16 minutes. The analog Modular overheats! After this fiesta of sequences and wild rhythms, "Monochrome Ritual" calms down the moods with a beautiful ambient rhythm, like those which have fed the beautiful analog years, with a Dirk Jan Müller in great shape who abandons a little bit the Modular in order to draw beautiful effects and elements of charms and atmospheres which were in the heart of the golden years of the psychedelic cosmic rock. The fans of Phaedra are going to ask for more of it! And that's why it's essential to discover the universe of Cosmic Ground!
Cosmic Ground 3” is in the lineage of the 2 first ones, but with a clearly more incisive approach at the level of sequences and, by ricochet, the structures of rhythm. I'm telling you straightaway, a repetitive listening risks to make you deaf, so much the power of the sequences attacks our indefatigable hunger for the analog rhythms of the 70's. Is it too much? Would need to ask your neighbors. I would say not at all, but I like that! The slow introduction of "Crumbling Darkness" moderates a little the violence of the rhythmic acts. And when we reach "Monochrome Ritual", we are like these crazy dogs who need to rest after having hunt 2 trains which rolled in parallel. It's a wonderful album for the fans of sequences and of hard and pure electronic rhythms, although the moments of atmospheres are not anemic.

Sylvain Lupari (September 26th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find info on how to get this album on the Cosmic Ground Bandcamp page here

dimanche 25 septembre 2016

NORD: Hydra (2016)

“Hydra is the perfect album for those fans of retro Berlin School who like long sonic vessels which lead them to a passive listening”
1 Hydra Part 1-5 28:06
2 Hydra Part 6-10 30:50

Nord Music (DDL 58:56) ***½
(Berlin School)
It's with a delicate sound wave which makes the synth lines to float in a kind of astral ballet that is opening the 1st part of “Hydra”, the very first album of Nord to start the year 2016. Built around 2 long music pieces which evolve with slowness, this 16th album of Sztakics István Attila possesses all the attributes which will please the fans of retro Berlin School who desire a passive listening. Because everything of “Hydra” evolves in passive mode.
"
Hydra Part 1-5" begins with these floating lines where bind electronic noises, as well as languishing solos which bury some fine low pulsations. These pulsations set up the rhythmic perimeters, whereas the noises become more cosmic and the juicy solos more ethereal. Moreover, these synth solos shine all over the first 10 minutes of "Hydra Part 1-5". The title dives into a mini amorphous phase before resuscitating with sequences which wave in fine harmonious thin lines in a cosmic envelope. That sounds like some good old Software. Like those long titles of the vintage years, the two long chapters of “Hydra” evolve between phases of rhythms and intersidereal atmospheres where the electronic and cosmic effects are used as decoration to exchanges more or less intensified. Without finding really an explosive outcome, the rhythmic phases of "Hydra Part 1-5" are more in ambient modes with momentums of sequences which advocate more the flickering phases with beginnings of cosmic rock and of morphic techno which bring constantly the listener on an excitement which will not know any nirvana. Like a coitus interruptus ceaselessly! "Hydra Part 6-10" is also constructed on these waverer phases. The difference lives in the tones. The first 18 minutes are delicious with movements of sequences which make a kind of bridge between those of Tangerine Dream, period Hyperborea, and Mergener/Weisser, period Beam-Scape. The remaining 12 minutes disperse a long horizon of atmospheres with beautiful cosmic arrangements from where arise rests of rhythms buried in this dense wall of sonic contemplativity. Except for the finale, which is a little as that of "Hydra Part 1-5", where pulsations try to wake these atmospheres in an approach of techno for Zombies marinated in ether. And as I wrote it before, “Hydra” is the perfect match to those fans of retro Berlin School who wish a passive listening. Because everything of “Hydra” evolves in apathetic mode. This is good floating EM to discover again.

Sylvain Lupari (September 25th, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on Nord Bandcamp page here

vendredi 23 septembre 2016

TONBIEGER: Strandgut (2016)

“Syngate has developed this art to discover new talents which make EM flourishes towards new dimensions. Tonbieger is the last in line!”
1 Stadtgeflüster 22:55
2 Gezeitenreiten 19:45
3 Flächenflug 20:16
4 Wolkenweit 16:18

SynGate ‎| CD-R JP01 (CD-r/DDL 79:14) ***¾
(New and retro Berlin School loaded of analog tones)
A line of sequences in the very cheerful tones is piercing the small wall of murmurs of unclear voices which wrap the introduction of "Stadtgeflüster". These sequences are crystal clear and so very harmonious. Gamboling of a rather lively circular flow, they scatter shadows filled of organic tones on layers of bass which float with a vampiric approach. Then it's the electronic noises which are added to this din all the same rather lively, bringing this first sonic proposal of Tonbieger towards a strong electronic rock soaked of Geoff Downes' perfumes. Apparently inspired by the post Berlin School era and of an electronic rock disinfected in a New Wave envelope of the 80's, this first album of Tonbieger needs to be tame quite smoothly. Consisted of 4 long structures which are divided into modifying phases, “Strandgut”, for wrecks, is far from being a jetsam for the German label SynGate which does not stop participating in the blooming of EM with interesting new artists. The last one in the running is Tonbieger, a project of German musician and synthesis Jakob Paulussen, who is also known on the Web under the pen name of jakobsweb, is an enthusiast of the synthesizers who amassed an impressive collection of music and instruments, as analog and digital, during the last 25 years. And the result is an album which fascinates with an impressive sound fauna in perpetual movement.
If the first 6 minutes of "
Stadtgeflüster" offer a good electronic rock, the movement becomes then more motionless with a line of sequences which makes a series of keys waddle on a carpet of effects and electronic twists. It's like to see a fireworks beneath the ground! The movement of sequences draws another approach of more fluid and more circular rhythm under scattered metallic bangings. This 2nd phase of rather ambient rhythm dissipates with good cosmic effects of analog tones before returning in its initial phase of rhythm, but with more heaviness. Four structures of an average duration of 20 minutes which change of sonic skins between 3 or 4 times, “Strandgut” disconcerts more than it enchants in the first listenings. It's a skillful mixture of ambiences and of rhythms to which we have to listen to with care to notice the small jewels of tones which hide between those phases of rhythms. As in "Gezeitenreiten" where the meshing of the hesitating sequences with fluid bass pulsations and percussions sculpture a good electronic rock as lively as the very simplistic melody. Little by little the rhythm preserves only its line of bass pulsations which oscillate under the caresses of a synth and its melody rather catchy. The 1st ambiospherical phase, which shows around the 6th minute, gives an indication that Tonbieger is also soaked with Jean Michel Jarre's influences, especially with the lively rhythm which moves those ambiences some 60 seconds farther. Our feet burn the ground here. The very harmonious sequences on this rhythm of fire make very New Berlin School while the synth layers with tones of organ are sounding like a mix of Geoff Downes and Jarre. Especially the effects which enrich a finale rather of ambiences. "Gezeitenreiten", like "Stadtgeflüster", proposes beautiful phases of rhythm which would have a better sonic image in shorter envelopes of time. But stuck in ambiosonic and ambiospheric phases give a more progressive reflection to those who like convoluted structures. "Flächenflug" is a long title of vintage Berlin School moods with a wall of sound effects which perturb the meditative approach of the floating synth lines. It's for those who like seeing (to hear) a tapestry of noises. The very ambient and orchestral approach of "Wolkenweit" is some candy for the ears. The line of sequences which gets free of there is making beat a key which waddles in symbiosis with the seraphic caresses of the fake violins. The beating gets lost of its road while the percussions and other noises of percussions shake these cosmic atmospheres a la Software, plunging "Wolkenweit" into a kind of cosmic rock built around nice vintage tones. The synth spits some sonic serpentines which wriggle under shape of these beautiful solos of the psychedelic years while the structure of rhythm defines a little better its approach which takes the shape of a slow cosmic rodeo. The meshing of sequences and percussions is also magic as the atmospheres, allowing at "Wolkenweit" to support its approach which little by little gets erode around the 8 minutes point. A long ambiosonic phase invades then our earphones, showing still the influences of Jarre from his sonic corridor of Magnetic Fields.
For a first album, Tonbieger shows his savoir faire by structuring 3 long phases which have the fidgets. The weak point of “Strandgut” is the order of its 4 titles. I would have inverted the roles, so putting the listener in appetite because if "Stadtgeflüster" and "Gezeitenreiten" are forged to tie up well our ears to our loudspeakers, "Flächenflug" and "Wolkenweit" are rather the kind to put them (the ears) in appetite. But when that is just the weak point of an album, it's like to try to find fleas on a bald head well round! To discover...

Sylvain Lupari (September 23rd, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the SynGate web shop here