dimanche 15 janvier 2017

SEQUENTIAL DREAMS: The Exodus Wave (2017)

“The Exodus Wave is another very good album from the gang of Sequential Dreams in the vein of TD's Seattle years”
1 Telemetry 4:38
2 Subspace Breach 3:16
3 Pleiadian Prophecy 6:57 
4 Interstellar 5:27
5 Wavefront 4:14
6 The Arcbuilders 5:56
7 Countdown to Launch 6:24
8 Quantum Theory 4:32
9 The Exodus Wave 6:15
10 Booster Separation 7:06 
11 Mission Objectives 3:47
12 Arcflight 5:56
13 Hibernation in a Virtual World 9:18
14 Approaching Terra Nova 4:32

Sequential Dreams (CD/DDL 78:21) ****
(Electronic Rock)
2017 kicks off the year in a very rock way for Borders Edge Music and the interplanetary band Sequential Dreams which throws its 6th album “The Exodus Wave”! Flanked by his last known accomplice, Bernhard Beibl, Ron Charron also encircled himself of the Californian synthesist Chris Pearre (Synthesist) and of Arend Westra of the duet Parallaxe whose album I had appreciated well; Breaking The Laws of Physics released in December 2015. Since the very beginning of Sequential Dreams, Ron Charron tries to get his music closer to that Tangerine Dream with a good electronic rock shaped between the roots of the mythical German trio of the 80’s and those of the years of hard electronic rock of the Seattle era. If every album moved closer to its purpose, “The Exodus Wave” hits the bull's eyes!
After a short ambio-cosmic passage, "
Telemetry" sets the tone with an energetic rhythm where Bernhard Beibl shows that he is still has this 220Volts biting with his guitar. Sometimes very rock and other times rather soft or hopping like a light electronic rock, the music breathes of freshness in the permutations of its phases. If the guitar of Beibl is biting, Ron Charron's piano is very melancholic and both instruments paint mutually the phases of a structure in movement. Always influenced by stories of the cosmos, the music of this last album of Sequential Dreams is unfolding like a soundtrack of a sci-fi movie. Thus, 14 titles for 78 minutes propose so a very structured EM which leaves no room to improvisation nor to long passages of ambiences which are rather inserted in the intro, either into short phases of each title, to feed better the intensity of the structures which are always in movements, with a few exceptions. When we also find 14 titles on an album of 78 minutes, there is good chances that the structures are fed by similar approaches. But we have to approach it like a big sound mosaic where the hard rock flirts with the soft rock wrapped of good electronic effects. The music goes well between the ears and Ron Charron takes a jealous care of giving to it an amazing way of turning it into totally short unexpected phases. "Subspace Breach" is the perfect example with an intensity embroidered in the heaviness from where pops out a really nice movement of gleaming sequences. Sequences which sparkle and lap innocently before being snatched up by riffs and solos from Bernhard Beibl who sounds very David Gilmour here. The movement of the rhythm reminds me enormously those of 220Volts with phases of rock and some little quiet ones where the percussions are nervous and the sequences are crystal clear as the spatters of water on a mirror. Ron Charron inserts effects of drama and intensity here and there, adding some more of weight to his story of global disaster. As in "Pleiadian Prophecy" who proposes a slower rhythm with good effects of synth. The percussions are very good and the sonic envelope which surrounds this title is equal to all which surrounds the 78 minutes of “The Exodus Wave”. Still here, Bernhard Beibl's guitar is very furious and gives a very TD depth to "Pleiadian Prophecy" which splits rather well its charms between its soft and rock phases.
"
Interstellar" is more in the ambient and intense kind with very good synth solos. It’s the most quite title of “The Exodus Wave” and it’s also the title which exploits the most the charms of the synth. "Wavefront" proposes a long ambio-spherical introduction a la Rubycon before taking a rather rock tangent with a rhythm which flounders and spits effects of jerks under the bites of nervous percussions. While a line of sequences adopts an oscillating structure, Beibl’s electric six-strings spits riffs and solos which get embraced by nice layers of voices. More elements which fill the electronic rock anthems of each track here. "The Arcbuilders" takes also some time to take off. And when it's done, we are entitled to a good movement of sequences a la Franke. The rhythm is lively with a Floyd guitar. The introduction is knotted in suspense while the rhythm which follows is a pale imitation of a good e-rock. With "Countdown to Launch" we are in the lands of Mars Polaris, to say the least of the introduction with its loops of guitars which remind of U2. The structure of rhythm is as light as that of "The Arcbuilders", but with more electronic effects and this even if the guitar dominates the ambiences and of "Countdown to Launch" and of “The Exodus Wave”. With its sibylline envelope and its rhythm which goes up and down, such as TD in its Flashpoint years, "Quantum Theory" unites the many phases of the long Tangerine Dream odyssey for a so short title. The title-track allies romance and lively rhythm with biting guitar riffs and unbridled percussions of which the crazy race is subjected to beautiful affectionate layers. Between a heavy rhythm and moments of ambience, "The Exodus Wave" is a very good indication of what we will found in this last album from Sequential Dreams. The same goes for the blazing "Booster Separation" which still proposes some Bernhard Beibl's good solos. "Mission Objective" and "Arcflight" propose good electronic rock which go very easily between the ears while "Hibernation in a Virtual World" is the most progressive title here. This is a very good one with good atmospheres! "Approaching Terra Nova" ends this last opus of Sequential Dreams with a lively and jerky rhythm which rocks between its liveliness and its heaviness. A title which reflects the whole dimension of “The Exodus Wave” which addresses to a public already conquered beforehand with a beautiful brochette of lively and mordant titles and always well structured to which one listens without too much difficulty. As in the time of Rockoon, the time of Jerome Froese, the time of Bernhard Beibl and of the TDI years from Edgar Froese's sound and music vessel.

Sylvain Lupari (January 14th, 2017)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

You will find this album on the Sequential Dreams Bandcamp page here

jeudi 12 janvier 2017

FRYDERYK JONA: Outer Lands (2016)

“Always great EM with a different direction, Other Lands will took you by surprise but is worth the efforts which we shall put discovering it”
1 Music for your Eyes 23:25
2 Drift away with Love in the Galaxies 21:25
3 Outer Lands 20:04

SynthMusik (CD Digipack 64:54) ****½
(Vintage Berlin School)
Other Lands” for other territories. Among these there is a territory that we already know well because Klaus Schulze has already united his music and his instruments to the very beautiful voice of Lisa Gerrard at the very end of 2000’s. Here it’s the female singer Alina Godunov who lends her voice of astral priestess to the very animated music of Fryderyk Jona. Another territory explored as well by the Polish musician is the one to twin his music, always so lively, to Ralf Hübner's incisive guitar, so giving a brief overview of what would have give an union FD Project and Klaus Schulze. And in spite of this incursion in another zone, this 6th opus of Fryderyk Jona is a safe bet for his fans and a warning shot to a sound universe of master Schulze that many fans and criticisms seem to have forgot a little bit too quickly.
A nebulous opening perfumed of cosmic effects, "
Music for your Eyes" contradicts a little the press information by coiling up in our ears with a structure which reminds of Under the Dome in The Aeon's Day from the outstanding album The Demon Haunted World. Except of this small walk in the lands of atmospheric effects, "Music for your Eyes" shakes our body with its rhythmic spasms which are accompanied by some great percussive treasures. The rhythm emerges in the edge of 5 minutes with stars which sparkle on the soft beatings of a line of bass sequences. The architect of sounds and percussions whom is Fryderyk Jona add chirpings which suit the oscillating curve of this line, pulsations which stretch as rubber kisses and jingles which remind us that percussions are also shaking the rhythmic structure of "Music for your Eyes" which struggles like the skeleton of a snake being reborn. And the voice of Alina Godunov! At the beginning, I was bored, even annoyed, by this elvish voice which made shade to a wonderful music. Rarely we have heard a Fryderyk Jona as aggressive as here. But after some listening, I jumped downright on this union which forces our eardrums to analyse a powerful music where the influences of Schulze are clearly more present in a 2nd part livened up by good percussions and chords of Groove under the very charming voice of Alina Godunov. It’s very good and the 3rd part, although short, is even more explosive. Under the Dome marinated to some Klaus Schulze in a Fryderyk Jona sauce, that is quite a big number. Let’s add the voice of Alina Godunov and we tell to ourselves that the stormy paths of the paradise, because there is nothing very of ethereal here, are not that far.
"
Drift away with Love in the Galaxies" is the little chef-d'oeuvre of “Other Lands”. There, the flavors of Schulze are omnipresent in an introduction as nebulous as textured with wide sound waves which kiss a cosmic shore. Staggering of its uncertain sequences, the structure of rhythm emerges after the point of the 3 minutes. We denote two different movements which sparkle in symbiosis of a fluty line. A shroud of fog which loses drizzle of voice makes this zigzagging structure amorphous on which are grafted other elements of rhythms, of which a heavy and roaring bass line, which accentuate the heaviness and finally the pulsatory velocity of "Drift away with Love in the Galaxies". We are in the lost paradises of The Dark Side of the Moog with this Groove rhythmic and its cosmic effects which get undone in stroboscopic strands. This superb title evolves slowly, a little as if Jona fed our ears with a little spoon. Ralf Hübner attacks our ears after we reach the 10 minutes. His solos are devastating and tear up the paint of the walls like a certain Frank Dorittke. It’s these solos which give a unique dimension to "Drift away with Love in the Galaxies" which amplifies its intensity while the minutes consume the pond of our emotions. If the slow evolution is smoothly made, the finale is explosive of intensity and emotion with a guitar and its soloes which flood us of its tears. This finale throws itself into the title-track and its structure as well bouncy, to some nuances near, as that of "Music for your Eyes", sonic artifices in less. Fryderyk Jona leaves more room to the voice of Alina Godunov, who is more passionate in his approach based on improvisation, being more discreet in the development of his structure. A structure which will flirt for a short time with the calm of an ambient passage, so giving a second breath to "Outer Lands" whose finale is to Klaus Schulze's excessiveness.
Difficult to tame, because quite far from the other works of
Fryderyk Jona, “Other Lands” is worth the efforts which we shall put discovering it. For that purpose, the approach of the Berliner by adoption deserves to be underlined because he makes a very beautiful transition between the voices and his music, as well as Ralf Hübner's incisive guitar and his synths throughout the 65 minutes of “Other Lands” which at the end is another very beautiful album of Fryderyk Jona... even if composed and offered outside our zone of comfort.

Sylvain Lupari (January 12th, 2017)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Fryderyk Jona web site here or via Bandcamp here

mercredi 11 janvier 2017

ALLUSTE: The Silence of Time (2016)

“The Silence of Time is a strong album where the sequencing patterns tame the silence, even with an array of soft rhythms and of their constant evolutions”
1 Fallen Angel from Heaven 11:45
2 Time of Silence 9:22
3 The Silence of Time 11:08
4 Into Infinity 10:01
5 SpaceTime Energy 7:02
6 From Turin to Bruxelles (Extended) 7:12
7 The Indifference of Time 8:15

Alluste Music (DDL 64:48) ****½
(Berlin School with soft sequenced harmonic beats)
Alluste is part of this artists' generation who grew up with the new technologies of the music softwares. Little by little, he climbed up the ladder of respectability by producing a series of albums where revolved a lot of catchy titles which found their way to our eardrums. And as most of these artists, Alluste became a machine to produce music, laying on virtual keyboards thoughts, dreams and visions. “The Silence of Time” crowns a very prolific year where Piero Monachello presented not less than 3 albums to his fans. An album more than interesting with a Alluste who confirms his place in the circle of the big names of EM.
A line of bass sequences skips delicately. Galloping silently on the sonic plains, it scatters sizzling and crackling shadows which find echoes in the wave-like movement of "
Fallen Angel from Heaven". Although the main structure spreads a minimalist approach, a series of lines which escape from it form some small rhythmic strands of which the random dances always maintain the rhythm in a vegetative state. Feeling more at ease with the synths, Alluste wraps his structure of very good solos while the movement of sequences frees other keys which skip with more velocity, like bees in search of nectar. With a music which depicts marvellously the sense of its title, "Fallen Angel from Heaven" sets the tone to a fascinating album from Alluste. Even with structures of sequences in perpetual movements or constantly evolving, “The Silence of Time” proposes a rather mild EM. So much that one would say that the sequences skip and cavort in a sort of absorbent cotton! As in "Time of Silence" where Alluste reties with his former spheroidal structures a la Software. The synth spreads its effects of mists which are humming among the multitude of undisciplined jingles and of which the entwinings are forging a ball of rhythm which rolls on itself. The title-track moves on with sequences perfumed of fluty tones and of which the delicate jerky jets form a harmonious phase where are cooing the charms of a twangy synth. Another line of sequences, as so shaded as that of "Fallen Angel from Heaven", skips in the background. It will become the main structure of a heavy and slow title with a light stroboscopic tangent which magnetize a harmonious line of which the charms will melt in layers of silvery mists.
"
Into Infinity" is a wonderful title with a slow and hypnotic structure which gets out from a nebulous opening. A line of sequences emerges from an ectoplasmic entity in order to skip as much slightly as a prisoner noticing that his gaoler has felt asleep. Striding across dark corridors, he hears the winds hooted and feels a metallic drizzle pecking him at his face. We are floating the senses on the watch! A synth unfolds its apathetic layer which doesn’t however put to sleep a firmer and more lively rhythmic approach which moves at the point of 6 minutes. This rhythm wins in intensity in a short phase where the synths are more colored with a swarm of melodious chords. It’s a very good title from Piero Monachello's repertoire, but the best remains without a doubt From Turin to Brussels, a single released in August 2016 and which is always available for free on the Bandcamp site of Alluste. But before going to its extended version, "SpaceTime Energy" has everything of Software of the 85 to 88 years with its morphic spirals but with the imprint of Alluste and of his melodies anchored in melancholy. "From Turin to Brussels (Extended)" is a great title well fed with juicy sequences and with a cosmic mist which get allied in a ballet in two tints and in two phases. The structure of rhythm offers keys which skip such as the feet of a young deer on a pond of fire. And, as it’s often the case with Alluste, the sequencer throws two other structures of rhythms which skip and oscillate in alternation, selling the first structure of rhythm in a momentary oversight. Over the years, the sequencer and its art of building rhythms have become the big strength of the Italian musician who succeeds constantly to thwart our waits with forms as unforeseen as unpredictable. The harmonies and the effects are fineries, well in symbiosis, which are often cherries on a sundae. "The Indifference of Time" shows how much Alluste has evolve since Constellation in 2008. The approach is a good mixture of old Neuronium's morphic beats and Michel Huygen's meditative ambiences in a good evolutionary structure of rhythm with sequences in continual movement and which adapts rather easily to the approach sometimes rock and sometimes fragile of a harmonious envelope which we notice hardly, so much the sequencer is dominant.
Dominant! Such is the qualifier that we can affix without mistake in those movements of sequences which surround an album where the silence runs away from everywhere. Without artifices, nor too many allegorical effects, “The Silence of Time” is a very good album where the sequencing patterns tame the silence, even with an array of soft rhythms, of soporific rhythms among which the ritornellos and the reversals are very good elements of charms. We have to listen to it loudly however because the production and the mastering are really cut from the guidelines of the silence.

Sylvain Lupari (January 10th, 2017)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Alluste Bandcamp page here

lundi 9 janvier 2017

Silver 25th Anniversary-Selection of Electronic Rarities

“Here is another very fine compilation out of Spheric vaults with an outstanding bunch of new music from artists who guided this precious label out of the unknown”
1 Late Evening (Joel Fajerman) 3:28
2 AtmoSPHERIC (Robert Schroeder) 6:30
3 Starlight (Klangwelt) 7:52
4 Edison’s Legacy (Axess) 9:57
5 Ambient Garden (Vanderson) 5:25
6 In hellem Blau (Rudolf Heimann) 5:26
7 Room Caught in a State of Longing (Mesmerised) 4:12
8 Art of the Sound Part 3 (Bertrand Loreau) 6:48
9 The Breeze (Klaus Schulze) 5:30
10 Silver (Lambert) 4:20

Spheric Music | SMCD 9025 (CD 59:09) ****¼
(Berlin School, EDM, Modern beats)
Compilations! I was always wary of it because it really brought nothing new … or so little. But if there is one which has particularly seduced me, that has to be one from the Spheric Music label back in 2008; Dreams of MySpace Vol. 1: Thanx for the add!. We found an EM refreshed with a bunch of little known artists or then that the time has erased of our memories. Well, Spheric Music does it again with another surprising compilation which underlines the 25 years of this label which acts as the Gallic village in this industrial jungle that became the EM of the Berlin School style over the years. As indicates its title, “Silver 25th Anniversary-Selection of Electronic Rarities” is a collection of sound treasures from artists who appeared on the German label over its 25 years or artists who will emerge or will emerge again soon on Spheric Music.
The adventure begins with a soft morphic ballad composed by the one who gave us the music of L'aventure des Plantes in the middle of the 80’s. "Late Evening" would had pop out moreover from those recording sessions. The style of Joel Fajerman is very French School with an approach as melancholic than romantic which allies the style of Vangelis from the 70’s and a slightly cosmic music with a touch of Berlin School of the time. I read somewhere that an album of Joel Fajerman was planned for this year on Spheric Music. I really look forward to hearing that! Those who appreciate the very contemporary EDM approach of Robert Schröeder will be delighted by "AtmoSPHERIC" which is a very good title from the dominant figure of Lambert Ringlage's label. It’s been a while that we had not heard any new music from Klangwelt. Well it’s now done with the very dance and catchy "Starlight". The tempo is kind of Groovy with a Teutonic approach and a vocoder which will remind memories of Kraftwerk among several of us. But what a synth solo my friends! Pure candy and I want more! Axess shows us why the music of Pyramid Peak is always so pleasant as melodious with "Edison’s Legacy" which is a beautiful slow ballad with good effects of a synth and of its vaporous jets which wrap a play of percussive sequences whose beatings draws the pieces of an attractive harmonious rhythmic. Percussions get in this motorik morphic dance in order to wake up these appealing moods which get boosted by an approach of tribal dance from another planet. Simply great! And I told myself; when the next album of Axess or the Peak is due? Vanderson still stays in his Electronica phase with the pulsatory, resounding slow and heavy rhythm of "Ambient Garden". A delicate line of sequence makes flutter its frail keys in the background, stimulating a distant Berliner approach. It’s a good Lounge mixed to a bit of Groove, nothing more.
"In hellem Blau" proposes us a Rudolf Heimann always so melodious with a beautiful ballad which sounds a bit like some good Mike Oldfield. The rhythm is hopping, like an astral ride, with good violins, voices of fairies and chords which look so much like a guitar. We may don’t know Mesmerised, but Palentir yes! It’s Christian Schimmöller's new nom de plume who presents us a music as so filmic than that of Palentir. "Room Caught in a State of Longing" is the most ambient track of this collection. And its evolution knotted around intensity does very cinematographic. We are not far from a Halloween theme both for the atmosphere and the melody and the effects. Bertrand Loreau remains faithful to his signature of the new iconic character of pure retro Berlin School with a good sequenced movement which progresses beneath the caresses of the songs and solos from a synth in seduction mode. This is great and I can’t wait to hear rest of it. "The Breeze" is not a new track from Klaus Schulze. It’s a music piece which appears on the CD Adds and Edicts from the Contemporary Works 1 boxset. Written with Thomas Kagermann, the music stages a lively rhythmic pattern which zigzags under the charms of a flute. It sounds quite like a World Music with the unique touch of Klaus Schulze on sequencer and percussions. "Silver" from Lambert ends this other very fine compilation with a good electronic rock of the 90’s. The rhythm is lively and very infectious with a sound of the MIDI era whereas the melodious structures of the synths reminds me of Mark Shreeve in his Legion period.
Here is the rundown of this “Silver 25th Anniversary-Selection of Electronic Rarities”! An essential compilation for the fanatics of EM of Berliner style and for the beginners, because the music here is more than very approachable. Like that of Dreams of MySpace Vol. 1: Thanx for the add!, another great compilation of Spheric Music which I also recommend strongly.
Sylvain Lupari (January 8th, 2017)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

You can find this album on CD Baby and on the label of Spheric Music here
A video trailer is available here

samedi 7 janvier 2017

SVERRE KNUT JOHANSEN: Antartica (2016)

“Full of Erik Woolo's perfumes and rocking between ambient, trabal ambient and fine structures of New Berlin School and Modern New Age, Antartica is something very good to hear”
1 Antarctica Theme 4:22
2 United 5:35
3 Ice Ballet 4:26
4 Whales in Paradise 6:39
5 Melting Ice 5:43
6 Adélie Penguins 3:59
7 Penguins on Ice 3:46
8 Solar Halos 4:31
9 Nature of Antarctica 2:51

Origin Music (CD/DDL 41:52) ****
(Ambient tribal with a mix of New B.S. and Modern New Age)
Sverre Knut Johansen ends the year 2016 with an album as good as Earth From Above, released at the beginning of the year. In an atmosphere which feels hardly the ices of Antarctica but where chime chords wrapped of ice, “Antartica” rocks between tribal ambient, ambient and rhythms of the world, otherwise very electronic rock, which are caramelized by a good synth-pop. In spite of this pallet of the styles, Sverre Knut Johansen adores laying down his influences here which we guess easily of Michael Stearns and Erik Wollo, in particular with a very spectral guitar, with a thought for Vangelis and Eddie Jobson. Let’s add to this a production and a gorgeous sonic aestheticism, and we have here another album that we taste with the ears wide open.
After a more or less fathomless opening, "
Antarctica Theme" puts the fans of electronic melodies sculptured in the uncountable possibilities of the synths in appetite. A suite of chords sounding as a duel of acoustic guitar is parading in a spheroidal minimalist pattern or like in a carousel which rises slightly before taking back its circular lineal figure. A line of sequences emerges towards the end, making its arpeggios glitter and oscillate as a shoal of fish which is running away from a predator. The approach reminds me of Michael Stearns. In particular, the M'Ocean album. "United" is a title which seduces straightaway because of its heavy rhythm which is mortgaged by good sequences to which are added the weight of the percussions. The music is alive and the rhythm, as fluid as jerky, is as animated as melodic. The sound effects and the spectral lamentations are at the heart of a solid electronic rock of the England style. It’s very good! These strange melodies which seem to result from a throat of an aquatic animal of the Antarctica obsess the heavy, slow and always finely jerky rhythm of "Ice Ballet" with a double movement of sequencer and with judiciously inserted electronic percussions. If I have a small memory which goes back up, that would be the tone and Eddie Jobson's harmonious rhythms in Theme of Secrets. A must have like one says! "Whales in Paradise" is charmingly melodious. The rhythm, familiarly heavy and slow, swirls lightly even if the structure and the sound envelope can seem heavy. The percussions structure a kind of rhythm of the world with a skillful game of the sequencer which frees its keys like a jet of crossbow. The harmonies, which are very catchy, are whistled by a synth which sings with its shadow. Another very good title and there seem to be more and more, as we listen to “Antartica”. "Melting Ice" does more into an ambient tribal form, while "Adélie Penguins" is literally ambient, with a structure which grows in emotionalism and in intensity. The effects of harmonies on synth/guitar remind me the Scandinavian universe of Erik Wollo. "Penguins on Ice" is also fascinating, otherwise very near in rhythm and in harmonies, as "United". The rhythm dives into the very ethereal and very Vangelis ambiences of "Solar Halos". A wonderful title that will raise your arm's hairs. And "Nature of Antarctica" ends this last Sverre Knut Johansen's opus with an approach ambient New Age music.
I did enjoy this new contact with the music of the Norwegian multi-instrumentalist. “
Antartica” possesses a crystalline tone appropriate to the works which depict so much the oceans as its banks of ice and Sverre Knut Johansen transposes it aptly into an electronic environment which can please so much the music lovers of the New Berlin School kind (there is some good filaments of sequences here and there) and of contemporary New Age because of a rhythmic approach as melodious as lively. It does good to the senses and the ears, especially by a beautiful icy Sunday.

Sylvain Lupari (January 6th, 2017)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You can find this album on CD Baby, Spotify and I-Tunes