dimanche 12 février 2017

ROBERT SCHROEDER: SphereWare (2007)

“SphereWare might be the true comeback album from Robert”
1 Access to Dream 7:35
2 A Quarter of an Hour 15:00
3 Data Stream 6:27
4 Solar Panels 8:24
5 Illuminated Signs 5:35
6 100% Synthetic 9:24
7 Dancing Clouds 6:27
8 Flying Saucers 6:31
9 Sphereware 10:44

Spheric Music SMCD2016 (CD 76:00) ***½
(Upbeat, ambient & Électronica with a zest of vintage)
This Robert Schroeder's new CD risks to please much more than his mellifluous comeback album Brainchips which was released 2 years ago. “SphereWare” is forged with the new synth/sequencer Synthis which reflects the moods of the analog tones even if it’s a digital instrument. And from the first breaths of "Access to Dream", we notice the efficiency of this new software for synths. A floating intro with resounding pulsations propel sound arches, a little like a finger multiplies the waves of a quiet water, at the borders of nice cosmic ambiences. Having skillfully learnt from Klaus Schulze, our friend Robert amplifies his tones on a cozy spatial passage where the pulsations turn into random dance steps over some soft perfumes of Mellotron violins. The fans from the very beginning will appreciate this passage and will for sure make a link between the misty atmospheres of Galaxy Cygnus-A and this intro to “SphereWare” as well as on "Illuminated Signs".
A Quarter of an Hour" offers an approach which is very close to the one we find in the music of Double Fantasy with a groovy movement and its floating tone of guitar. This is a very nice track which has plunged me in the reminiscences of albums such as Computer Voice and Brain Voyager, just like the honeyed "Dancing Clouds". It seems to me that Robert Schroeder wants to go back to his roots of the 80’s with flexible and great melodious electronic rhythms which have followed his ambient era and his Berlin School moods with 9 compositions sat on heterogeneous tempos but all the same rather steady like "Data Stream", one of the good tracks on this cd, and "Solar Panels". Two very contemporary tracks of which the sound effects go quite along with electronic and metallic pulsations of rhythmic structures while sneaking through the soft fluty airs of the Mellotron. Regarding this, "100% Synthetic" is rather delicious with a floating intro which goes adrift on a calm rhythm in order to plunge into a soft techno sat on languishing movements. Stuffed of sound effects, it’s an irresistible title which sticks to our ears from its first vapors. "Flying Saucers" proposes a spatial approach with a choir coming from a Mellotron in mode charmer of senses and from a synth fill of fluid and juicy cosmic solos. The percussions resound with a structured shower and shape a very effective antithesis. The title-track goes for a rather similar structure, but the rhythm is more convincing with cadenced percussions which drum in a moderate techno mode. Once again, the sound effects are multiple and joyous to hear while bringing this need of sound curiosity to our ears willing to hear more of that. One of the most beautiful aspects of EM!
Those who thought that
Brainchips would have be Robert Schroeder's swan song will have to eat their heart on! “SphereWare” is a very interesting and a gigantic work compared to his comeback album in 2005. It’s an album filled of rich atmospheres where the rhythms abound with rather different approaches but not too much so to not break this homogeneity which reigns all the same in this mishmash of the genres. The sound effects? Delicious and have become a godsend for a researcher in sounds who will fill our ears to the top during his long career. But as usual, the music of Schroeder has to be tamed in order to lick the senses…and the genres. It’s an EM updated where each listening is a token of new hearing surprises to be assimilated, testifying of an impressive work which increases its charms as we discover them.

Sylvain Lupari (September 2nd, 2007. Translated and updated on February 12th, 2017)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Spheric Webshop here

samedi 11 février 2017

ROBERT RICH: Vestiges (2016)

“A lot quieter, Vestiges follows the path of WWLB in moods and visions which reflect this battle of human being against forgotten”
1 The Fading Shore of Memory 6:20
2 Night Seas Luminesce 6:59
3 Spectre of Lost Light 15:16
4 Obscured by Leaf Shadows 5:27
5 Equipoise and Dissolution 8:49
6 Reborn in Brackish Pools 3:40
7 Anchorless on Quiet Tide 16:00

Soundscape | SP029 (CD&DDL 62:31) ***¾
(Dark and meditative ambient music)
Metallic jingles, buzzing shadows and hits of hammers! Then an appearance of peaceful life with songs of birds and children's shouts which get lost in these floating strata of a lap-steel guitar which stole to the synth all of its spectral airs. "The Fading Shore of Memory" sets the tone to a suite (awaited?) to What We Left Behind. The atmospheres are gloomy with a dive in the effects of fiercely enveloping drones, effects of rustles that we hear in the form of a metallic rain as well as these lengthened lamentations skillfully structured with in the union of the lap-steel and the synth. Certainly, there are some movements of rhythms, as in the opening of "Night Seas Luminesce". But that remains very shy and a piano absorbs these scattered knockings with an incredible delicacy for moods so black. In fact, everything is very ambient in “Vestiges”. Except that Robert Rich handles pretty good the art to seize our attention by plunging us literally into his very post-apocalyptic territories of “Vestiges” with skeletons of melodies modulated by a piano which mislaid fragments almost everywhere around "Night Seas Luminesce" in order to drive us to the pinnacle of the 1st part of this last Robert Rich's album with the fall of the angels which rages around the first minutes of the very intense "Spectre of Lost Light". The atmospheres are deeply hollows with a heavy nimbus of drones and of celestial voices. Voices which little by little reduce the scale of these buzzing drones raging since the transfer for a form of sibylline layers which made obstacle to the memories in "The Fading Shore of Memory". These voices are like a sound mirage after a tormented night in the labyrinths of hell. They bewitch us and calm these obituary atmospheres which passed by surrounding walls of its introduction. The last minutes of "Spectre of Lost Light" transports us towards a fascinating duel between these voices and these drones which bicker in an ambience to make raise our goose bump up until the oblivion absorbs them. Very intense for a finale!
The second part of “Vestiges” begins with a symphony of hollow winds and of sibylline voices of "Obscured by Leaf Shadows". Like the bass line, the piano crumbles a repressed thought while some effects add to the Mephistophelian dimension which takes "Obscured by Leaf Shadows" in order to bind itself to the dark "Equipoise and Dissolution". In a void, the carillons ring in the breaths of a bass, which little by little wakes up as a threatening volcano, and in some beautiful fluty layers. "Reborn in Brackish Pools" sounds and looks so out of place in the very dark universe of “Vestiges” with a leak of more translucent layers which overfly and watch a rower who escapes towards "Anchorless on Quiet Tide" and of its very sad piano which extricates itself from the depths of an introduction sewn of black silk. These notes shine as fruits of a carillon in a very meditative structure and forge a melody which frees its vapors in this shroud of smothered voices and of ethereal layers of which the peace of mind suits so well to this nostalgic piano. And quietly the slow ballet of drones resurfaces, as well as these chirping which fed a part of the misty memories of "The Fading Shore of Memory". The loop is thus looped!
Between the fear of forgetting and the torture of remember, “
Vestiges” is a purely meditative journey in the fertile imaginative soundlands of Robert Rich who succeeds very well to put in music the reliefs of his post-apocalyptic vision of a universe on the edge of recreate itself out of its memories. It’s a fight between the end of a man whose life is torn between the oblivion and its memoirs. And if we approach it in this way, in fact it’s the only one, we understand quite the dimension of this uneven fight. For fans of dark atmospheres!

Sylvain Lupari (February 11th, 2017)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find a way to get this album on Robert Rich's web shop here

jeudi 9 février 2017

INDRA: Archives-Gold Two (2015)

“Maybe a little less solid than Gold One, but by not much,Gold Two has of everything for all the tastes for the fans of the style of Indra, of Remy, of Klaus Schulze and the others”
1 Hypnodance 24:53
2 Sacred Hall 11:10
3 The Wingmakers 17:50
4 Celestes 22:07

Indra Music (CD&DDL 76:01) ***½
(Minimalist Roumanian School)
With such a massive amount of music, it’s almost impossible to not meet structures which are alike as much that we can confuse a title with another one, a rhythmic approach with another one. The important, and this Indra seems to have seized it, it’s to know how to decorate the whole thing with adjacent movements of sequences that melt down again the bases and lead the listener towards another level. It's exactly the principle of this gigantic series of Indra. Written in 2007, the music of “Gold Two” is like a farewell to the minimalist rhythmic approach of the Rumanian musician by proposing more evolutionary structures and in the end more ethereal, with the exception of "Hypnodance" which again starts the Indra magical sound world in beauty!
Bass sequences pound nervously in a phase of rhythm deliciously disassembled.
Winds of ether and electronic allegories blow on this movement of sequences of which the rotation of the keys make our fingers drumming. Felted bangings and a pulsing bass line get in this spasmodic ballet which moves forward with more swiftness. These bangings, which resound like clacking from cyborg’s hands, decorate the minimalist phase of "
Hypnodance" which quietly goes to a good morphic techno. The signature of Indra shines in his convoluted patterns of rhythm from where get form generally rhythmic skeletons in parallel otherwise which change downright shape and/or orientation. And it’s the case here! While an immense wall of amber layers smothers a possible overflowing of rhythm, "Hypnodance" takes refuge in an isolated structure with keys which skip on the spot around the 10th minute. A more inviting structure to a dance of feet, our ears comfortably riveted to our earphones, extricates itself from this pond of gas iodized with a convulsive dance of sequences which skip awkwardly under the arcs of good synth solos. A synth moreover rich in effects which blow on the finale of "Hypnodance" and its structure which navigates between phases of solid rhythms and others more ambient. The introduction of "Sacred Hall" will plunge you into a state of meditation. A delicate structure of rhythm evaporates this effect with a strain of sequences which skip while climbing a long slope of which the upward curve seems so linear. Effects of gaseous percussions fool the ear, like a change of scene fools the eye, while "Sacred Hall" ends its rhythmic crusade in a luxurious astral finale. Star-spangled of multiple cosmic effects, the rhythm of "The Wingmakers" pounds weakly between these effects and synth layers which float like gases of ether. We dive literally in the good years of Klaus Schulze who was second to none to put to sleep our senses with a rhythmic melodic encircled by an immense veil of anesthetic mist. Everything is honeyed, everything is purely electronic of the vintage years. The 2nd part leads us towards these heavy and stroboscopic rhythms that Schulze used to sculpt in the TDSOTM years. But that always remains very deliciously electronics ambient with these layers of voices and these clouds of drizzle which surround the soft swiftness of "The Wingmakers" which is the big title of this "Gold Two". "Celestial" wears well its title! It’s a symphony for interstellar travelers which unifies to the movements of weightlessness of its travelers. It’s slow and morphic while being filled with sound effects worthy of EM and the eternal sound fountain of youth for ill-assorted tones. The slow orchestral sighs make of this title a magnetizing movement which brings us to the arms of Morpheus, even if sequences ring and inhale a movement pulsatory which will give the necessary momentum so that "Celestial" reaches its finale.
Always intrigued by so many charms in so much music, I always wait to hear the first faux pas of
Indra’s Archives Series. Except that it is the opposite which seems to occur. The more we move forward and the more we discover beautiful pearls, as here. Maybe a little less solid than “Gold One”, but by not much, “Gold Two” has of everything for all the tastes for the fans of the style of Indra, of Remy, of Klaus Schulze and the others.

Sylvain Lupari (February 9th, 2017)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

You will find this album on the Eagle Music web shop here

mardi 7 février 2017

INDRA: Archives-Gold One (2015)

“Yet, Gold One is another solid remnant of Indra who is serving us some of the best minimalist patterns nowadays”
1 Hypnodance 24:53
2 Sacred Hall 11:10
3 The Wingmakers 17:50
4 Celestes 22:07

Indra Music (CD&DDL 73:19) ****
(Minimalist Roumanian School)

"Regulus" explains all alone why I adore so much the music of Indra! A note crashes and throws a beam of sound elements from where emerges a structure of frenzied rhythm. The sequences quick and nervous jump up in succession, trampling a line of bass sequences as stoical and giving a more colored relief to the convulsive hyper rhythm of "Regulus". When these sequences wear out their charms, muffled pulsations and armada of sequences in tones of hollow wood and\or of empty bottles flutter with the metallic jingles of the recently arrived percussions. Layers of celestial voices hum in the background while the synth multiplies lines which chat as birds taken out of an enchanted forest. By parts of time brilliantly studied, Indra decorates and improves his structure of rhythm such as a druid of sounds and tones who uses his magic recipe. This is the way our ears never see the seconds pass by, too much occupied with revealing all this fauna of effects, as sonic as percussive, which lift this passion of penetrate into the universe very articulated of the Rumanian magician of sounds. "Regulus" is a monument of minimalist rhythm with wild and at times cosmic phases which converge towards one heavy finale just before a delicious more ethereal phase where our senses roam with the cosmos. So, this is why I love so much the music of Indra! Here is the 3rd part of this gigantic collection of music buried in Indra's vast vaults. And this “Gold One” starts things with strength. "Regulus" is a strong title which feeds the directions of "Central Cosmic Time" and of its structure which oscillates like a big eagle letting himself guides by the winds. The main movement remains floating while the sequences which glitter all around enliven the pace, giving so the impression that the eagle takes a nosedive. The lively movement gets loose from its first membrane, creating a rhythmic as crystalline, spasmodic and convulsive as in "Regulus". Yep…this is why!
And it’s a little the same thing with the initial skeleton of "
The Muse from Eridani". The lively rhythm shudders of its organic keys in a universe of spiritual trance where are splitting up some nebulas metallic lines into multiple tinkling keys. The approach swings towards a kind of Disco for hyperactives with waves of mists which cover the areas of dance. Master of his movements and of the sequences which decorate them, Indra nuances his approach with a sonic density where are humming choruses on the ice floes of celestial mists. The rhythm dives into an ethereal phase around the 11 minutes, developing a long phase of atmospheres where circulate the undulatory caresses of the sequenced ringings which are on the lookout for a next rhythmic breeze. "While in Oz..." goes away from the minimalist patterns here with 3 different structures of rhythm which diminish in the course of its ambiences. Its first 5 minutes are kind of Techno trance which dynamite our eardrums while burning the feet due to the hard jumping on the floor. After a short 90 seconds of interstellar atmospheres, the rhythm is reborn in a pattern as frenzied as a mixture of "Regulus" and "Central Cosmic Time" before proposing a phase of cosmic atmospheres a la Schulze and then bouncing softly with a last phase of rhythm where the sequences jump up and collide in a foggy mood. It’s this kind of title that asks more than a listening and which gains to be to tame.
As I adored the last miles of the Emerald series, as I savored this “
Gold One” of which the similarities are as well numerous as delicious. "Regulus" is a bomb as I like them with a subtle crescendo unique to the music of Indra. The rest follows as if by magic because the timbre Indra is unique. And once at the bottom of the ear, it’s difficult of getting rid of it.

Sylvain Lupari (February 6th, 2017)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the Eagle Music web shop here

samedi 4 février 2017

DAVID WRIGHT & CARYS: Prophecy (2017)

“This is a wonderful album which will lead you there where the horizons of oceans and cosmos meet...where the magical world of David Wright shines of its thousand wonders”
1 Watching for Nephele 3:55
2 Serinus Rising 5:07
3 Night Tide 6:29
4 Diving Skywards 3:44
5 Ocean to Stars, Pt. I 5:47

6 Ocean to Stars, Pt. II 6:59
7 Ocean to Stars, Pt. III 9:36
8 Absolute Zero 2:08
9 Whales Weep Not 4:43
10 Absolute Zero (reprise) 2:37
11 Cosmic Dancer 6:45
12 Quarter to Yesterday 3:31
13 Song of Orcinius 1:25
14 Beyond the Veil 7:25
15 Where the Whales Still Sing 8:03

AD175CD (CD &DDL 78:10) *****
(Highly melodious EM sets on nice sequencer based e-rock)
Muffled sonic waves put our senses in appetite. Without knowing really if we float between the drifts of the cosmos or the depths of the oceans, the tranquility of "Watching for Nephele" shines with azure lines which are illuminated by sibylline harmonies and by panting breaths from a flute of which the origin remains to determine. With felted knockings and even more accentuated misty mood, the abstruse ambiences of "Watching for Nephele" slide towards "Serinus Rising" and its songs of sirens as well as its chirpings of a kind of aquatic animal always to identify which enchant our ears always in appetite. David Wright is unarguably one of the most beautiful composers of contemporary EM. A little snubbed by the hard-liners who worship only the Berlin School style, or the heavy English e-rock, this brilliant English musician signs and persists with an EM always very sophisticated and his English style which flirts profoundly with the New Age. The result turns into some very musical albums where his melodious perfumes surf with the vestiges of his magnificent Walking with Ghosts released in 2002 and of which we still look forward to its re-issue. In fact, this David Wright's key album knew always how to illuminate the harmonious ambiences of his up-coming albums and “Prophecy” is not different except that it’s the album which gets the most closer to it. Composed with the collaboration of the English singer Carys, “Prophecy” is a wonderful journey towards this unknown meeting point where the oceans pour towards the cosmos. An intense album and, in my humble opinion, David Wright's most beautiful album since 2002. And, considering the quality of his albums since then, it means that it’s an album without flaws where the balance between the moments of ambiences and the big explosive electronic rock of the English style is completely exceptional.
Each title, like most of David Wright's albums by the way, is solidly imbricated one to another, giving a superb musical story which is just impossible to interrupt. "Night Tide" gets loose from the morphic chants of "Serinus Rising" with a delicate movement of sequences which winds up the unknown of its continual comings and goings. The uncountable vocal breezes of Carys are like some kind of anesthetizing perfumes and float behind this hypnotic movement which reveals a splendid approach of a violin for which we have never expected to tears up the moods. Idyllic, this orchestral harmony transports us until the heavy and threatening "Diving Skywards" among whom the effects of staccato of the violin and the atmospheres energised by a storm to come exercise a rise of adrenalin. And it takes off! It explodes with the astonishing saga of Ocean to Stars. "Ocean to Stars, Pt. I" starts things up with a heavy rhythm which unifies techno and the England School. We tap of both feet and we roll of the neck on this very inviting rhythm where David Wright forges some very harmonious synth layers which he harmonizes with synth solos as much catchy. And as usual, the founder of the AD Music label has this gift to throw into his structures strands of melodies which will remain anchored in our ears a very long time after the first listening. And that’s the case with the one which unifies the 2 first parts of Ocean to Stars. And if you don’t whistle on this melody that David Wright transforms at the whim of his synth, I don’t know what to say! Ocean to Stars pours on its 3rd part with a rhythmic always so lively and where the voice of Carys and the synth violin effects sing this melody eater of eardrums in a delicious soundscape of the East. These 22 minutes of “Prophecy” are going to haunt you my friends, and this for a long time. "Absolute Zero" calms things down a little bit with a delicate lunar lullaby which flows towards the morphic atmospheres of "Whales Weep Not" with the voice of Carys which dominates the very melancholic harmonies of the violin in an environment of tranquillity where we find there a little Mind Over Matter's perfumes from Music for Paradise. And if we believed to have reached the nirvana with the trilogy of Ocean to Stars, "Cosmic Dancer" redefines these parameters with a rhythm as lively which swirls with a seraphic slowness in a superb duel between solos and orchestrations of a synth in mode Walking with Ghosts. Impossible here to not draw this parallel because the harmonious approach of "Cosmic Dancer" seems to be weaved in the cave of this epic title of David Wright's catalog. "Quarter to Yesterday" is another delicate lunar cradle song which knots the orchestrations and the murmurs of Carys around a spiral harped by a delicate keyboard. A very beautiful synth solo leads us to "Song of Orcinius" where the celestial voice of Carys takes also the shape of those aerial torsade up until the very lively rhythm of "Beyond the Veil". What else to add? David Wright puts everything on it here with his morphic techno filled of those charms and those harmonies which eat our eardrums. The play of the percussions is as well rich as solid and the synth, always very just, throws harmonies under forms of solo besides weaving orchestrations which fill the airs while the voice of Carys adds even more to a charm as medieval as contemporary. And as all good things must come to an end, "Where the Whales Still Sing" ends “Prophecy” with a very intense and orchestral approach which reminds to us how the music of Vangelis has influenced David Wright's visions.
Prophecy” is an intense work! From the first second to the last one, David Wright captivates us and enjoys firing us the hairs of the backspine and the sighs of beatitude with an album rich in lively rhythms and in melodies eaters of ears. While adding an element of charm, the voice of Carys doesn't hinder at no moment David Wright's highly melodious signature which is more intense than ever here with rich orchestrations, solos which nail us to our earphones and sound effects which ally the oceans to the cosmos. In brief an album without smudges that I have savoured my ears full to the top and where I was telling myself how beautiful music is. How EM can be wonderful! And if Walking with Ghosts was the reference album when we spoke about David Wright, this “Prophecy” follows it from now on for years to come.
Sylvain Lupari (February 3rd, 2017)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca
You will find this album on the AD Music web shop here