lundi 24 octobre 2016

GLENN MAIN: Tribute To Jean-Michel Jarre (2016)

“To my worn-out ears this Tribute To Jean-Michel Jarre is one of the most intelligent done in these uncountable remix and tribute to Jarre that I heard”
1 Equinoxe Part 1 1:38
2 Chronology Part 6 6:42
3 Equinoxe Part 4 4:52
4 Oxygene Part 2 5:00
5 Equinoxe Part 7 3:54
6 Magnetic Fields Part 1 4:14
7 Magnetic Fields Part 2 3:58
8 Souvenir de Chine 3:58
9 Oxygene Part 4 3:28
10 Oxgene Part 11 4:31
11 Second Rendez Vous 4:18
12 Oxygene Part 7 3:47
13 Fourth Rendez Vous 6:03

AD Music| AD186CD (CD/DDL 55:23) ***½
Am I wrong or the Halloween, the night of masks, is for this October 31st? I light innocently the question because Glenn Main has already found his costume and disguises himself as Jean Michel Jarre the time of an album, “Tribute To Jean-Michel Jarre”. And let me tell you that the costume is more than successful! The influence of the French musician always guided the music of Glenn Main since he heard Oxygene and Equinoxe at the age of 9. Equinox Part 1 was his first very favorite and the title played non-stop on his tape recorder. About 20 years farther and six albums at his credit later, all influenced by the music of Jarre, Glenn Main breaks the ice and plunges into an album which redoes the biggest successes and by ricochet the music he loves the most of the famous French musician. Yes! An umpteenth album tribute to Jarre! The problem is that with all these albums, official or not, which paid tribute to Jarre or which redo his music in the form of uncountable remix, is there any more room for another album of the genre? I'm asking the question to you because I have never managed to stand none of these albums and this no matter the forms. So this “Tribute To Jean-Michel Jarre” from Glenn Main? Well...It goes down a little better. Doubtless because we have the tiny conviction that it's Jarre himself who retouches, with an extreme delicacy, this collection of 12 titles to which we listen to rather well I have to say.
Credit where credit's due, it is with this title which has so much obsessed the young
Glenn Main Henriksen that is opening “Tribute To Jean-Michel Jarre”. It's those delicate cosmic waves, rolling and rolling non-stop, which sharpen our ears with the opening track "Equinox Part 1". If the effects are almost similar, the sound of the synths remind us that we are into a tribute album here. But that remains well done. How many of remix of dance and trance were made of the music of Jarre? The version of "Chronology Part 6" belongs to this category. It's a moderated techno with a great sequencing pattern which exploits nice organic tones on a lively beat where the dance music and techno for marinated zombies are flirting marvelously. The voices are more silky and the harmonies of the synth are just a little bit different so that we appreciate Glenn Main's boldness. And the sequencer is very contagious! The version "Equinox Part 4" offers some more lively jerks. We are always in the territories of dance music where the harmonies are very close to the authentic. "Equinox Part 7" is made in the same mold but with a wilder approach. The versions of "Magnetic Fields Part 1" and "Magnetic Fields Part 2" also offer more aggressive, more energetic structures of rhythms with a very good play of percussions, especially in "Magnetic Fields Part 2". And always, the harmonies are redone with a fair precision. What amazes the most on this album, it is that we really have the impression that it is Jarre himself who reworks his music. I like the version of "Oxygene Part 2". Glenn Main manages to keep the cosmic essence while injecting a rhythm of dance on which I would not be ashamed to dance on. It's done correctly. "Souvenir de Chine" has more soul here, more melancholy than on the original version. For me, "Oxygene Part 4" is a monument. A big piece that Glenn Main dares to reinterpret and I prefer the original, although that the Norwegian synthesist stays closer there but something is missing, or something is of much. "Oxgene Part 11" is the more trance, the more trash title of this collection. I don't know if Glenn Main wants to give a wink to these DJ and these makers of hyper modulated and noisy techno, but it's very noisy and rather irritating for my ears worn out since 1958. But I imagine that the fans of the genre are going to adore. "Second Rendez Vous", as as well "Fourth Rendez Vous", propose also these structures of boosted rhythms which we recognize on the late. The harmonies and the synths always remain faithful, in particular in the festive finale of "Second Rendez Vous"."Oxygene Part 7" offers a more danceable approach here. I stayed of ice, but that was the same thing for the original. I love a lot on the other hand the version of "Fourth Rendez Vous" with a more audacious approach of the sequencer. Not bad at all!
Thus, did I enjoyed this “
Tribute To Jean-Michel Jarre” concocted by Glenn Main? I guess so, even that at some points I was pleasantly enchanted. Glenn Main brushes the dance and techno approaches but without going for any reasons into those endless bang-bang boom-boom which distort too much the essence of remix. And it's doubtless the big strength, at least to my ears, of this album the tribute from Glenn Main. One of the most intelligent albums in these uncountable remix and tribute to Jarre that I heard!

Sylvain Lupari (October 24th, 2016) &
You will find this album on the AD Music web shop here

samedi 22 octobre 2016

REMY: Fears (2016)

“Fears is a strong album loaded of dark moods and those hypnotic beats which make the charms of Remy. A solid album which exposes aptly the depths of its meaning!”
1 Fear 1: Fears 13:04
2 Fear 2: The Unknown 12:54
3 Fear 3: Reality 8:23
4 Fear 4: Terror 9:42
5 Fear 5: Extreme Weather 11:42
6 Fear 6: Death 7:52
7 Fear 7: Cataclysm 9:32

CD Bonus (Already out of stock!)
1 Fears: Prologue 23:35

Deserted Island Music | DIM-005 (D) (CD 73:09) ****½
(Dark and hypnotic New Berlin School)
The fears! How to put in music the fears in a rather realistic way and without falling in the traps of a dark music which goes in all directions without ever deepening one? That's the challenge of Remy! Of the one who since the release of the amazing Exhibition of Dreams, back in 1999, doesn't stop exploring these territories where the dreams and the nightmares are exchanging our wills. First solo album since i-Dentity in 2011, “Fears” succeeds very well to torment us. So much that the first listening throws a kind of discomfort disturbing between our ears.
The title-track leads us right away in the atmospheres of “
Fears”. A thick sonic fog widens its disturbing shroud from where inhale the groans of a strange machine which creates these vapors which slow down our steps in the paths of cemeteries. We feel the blackness invading us while the spectres hum in symbiosis with these hummings. Delicate arpeggios weave a melody of which the minimalist charms are as well intrusive as magnetic. The procession of "Fears" is quite smoothly made. Remy puts down these traps which pursue the subconscious while some pulsations liven up a rhythm which is slowly born. Strings caress these atmospheres while the procession is decorated of an uncomfortable musicality, a little as if the slow staccato of the cellos warned us that spectres are blowing in our neck. A line of sequences loosens  its keys which skip as giant steps in a forest densely smothered by mist. This lento movement increases a bit the pace, but more in the intensity than in vigor, creating an emotional dizziness which embraces at any time the progression of an insanity arisen from the fear. "Fear 2: The Unknown" adopts a little this principle of crescendo of the fear with an introduction filled of mist which resounds and which hides the incantations of a mist machine. The whole thing introduces even a slow rhythm fed by the loops of the impulses. A line of synth rises to evaporate a harmony which floats between the strata of our emotions, a little as the hymn of discomfort blown by a specter. Another line, tinted by the harmonies of a harpsichord, plunge our frenzies up to the doors of the majestic Exhibition of Dreams. More atmospheric than rhythmic, "Fear 2: The Unknown" draws his its charm from the ghostly lamentations of the synth and the impulses of a bass line which crawls in the background. The melody? As much disturbing as the memories of the movie Halloween, it insinuates itself into our senses like the fear can stick to the skin with an effect of crescendo which makes beat our temples with the same intensity as these sequences which skip with hostility while "Fear 2: The Unknown" tramples our senses with the same Machiavellian approach as these jingles of chains that we have just noticed. The more we move forward and the more this electronic symphony on fears spreads its tentacles with a surprising reality. "Fear 3: Reality" is a wonderful piece of music with a very slow tempo where are roaming the notes of a piano terrified by the singings of a Diva who has just died recently. The effect is hyper striking here. This is very good and especially very effective. I adore and I am certain to have heard this hymn to fear in some of my nightmares.
Fear 4: Terror" is a title of atmospheres with a Mephistophelian choir which hums on a bed of arpeggios as quiet as a lullaby for sleepless. "Fear 5: Extreme Weather" rolls a little on the same Machiavellian principle of dark ambient music while proposing a delicate rhythm which skips on a carpet of sulfur. Effects stain this pensive march with a concert of distant voices, such as the shouts of the afterlife that we just don't want to hear. A beautiful movement of sequences loosens a circular rhythm which is as much discreet as these chords which shape since the opening a kind of procession towards the afterlife. It's a title as troubling as "Fear 2: The Unknown" in a structure to which it's necessary to take time to listen to. Another title of horror ambiences, "Fear 6: Death" proposes a very slow tempo weaved by endless frictions of cellos which terrify our senses. Some clappings flutters all over this procession of in between-world, while that a bass line abandons gradually our footsteps. "Fear 7: Cataclysm" is the most complex title in “Fears”. The impulses of bass weave a rather slow harmonious rhythm. The strings are always so oppressive and the sound decoration always so penetrating. A line of bass sequences makes spin its keys at the same time as the jingles of cymbals get out of the darkness. Keeping its melody of submission in the background, "Fear 7: Cataclysm" is changing of skin and becomes more electronic with a multitude of effects and sequences which feed a kind of anarchy. A little as if we got rid of the influence of the fears or as if we were swallowed by it. The album also comes with a CD containing a title of 23 minutes, "Fears: Prologue". At the time of writing these lines the special edition would be out of print. But in any case... Here the atmospheres are less disturbing, except for the piano, and the approach is resolutely more electronic and especially more ventilated. We are in the territories of Klaus Schulze of the 80's with a long minimalist structure embroidered around a hopping movement of sequences which leans on the increasing pulsations of a good bass line. The synth injects pattern of a melody which we will notice especially in the 2nd and a piano scatters the crumbs of a more disturbing melody. This procession strikes a wall of tranquility at around the 11th minute, introducing a more acoustic approach with an a little more improvised piano and more ethereal atmospheres before returning to its structure of base.

Divided into two tomes, one touches “Fears” with delicacy. If the first 30 minutes are convincing, the following ones ask for a more intuitive listening so much the atmospheres are in the heart of a romance between fear and madness. But the musicality, which is the big strength of this album of ambiences, and the effects which surround it chase away rather fast this shyness to live for a few minutes in the mouth of all fears. A solid album which exposes aptly the depths of its meaning. Hat to you Remy!
Sylvain Lupari (October 22th, 2016) &
You will find a way to order this album on the Deserted Island Music web shop here

mercredi 19 octobre 2016

COSMIC HOFFMANN: Best of (2012-2016)

“Best Of is indeed the best way to discover the great world of Cosmic Hoffmann, an iconic figure in EM and in the Krautrock Kosmik Musik style”
1 Howling Wolves 8:08
2 Shiva Connection 10:39
3 Hypnotic 5:08
4 Opera Mellotronique 7:51
5 The Call of Gullu 10:41
6 The Gate of Bihar 6:03
7 Sehr Mystisch 5:53
8 Spacewards 12:37
9 Crab Nebula 7:39

AD Music ‎– AD165CD (CD-r/DDL74:43) ****½
(Mix of vintage Berlin School and Krautrock Kosmik Musik)
That feels great to hear again the very beautiful music of Cosmic Hoffmann, of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock. Although this brilliant guitarist and synthesist founder of Mind Over Matter is a little more discreet since the making of Hypernova, his last album including a collection of unpublished titles released in 2009, he remains an always symbolic character of EM as prove his multiple collaborations and his participation in the creation of digital Mellotron, the Memotron of the Manikin label. The AD Music label re-releases the albums of Cosmic Hoffmann (7 all in all) for the needs of the streaming platforms. “Best Of” is a re-release, without new mixing nor mastering, of the compilation album entitled Best of Cosmic Hoffmann which saw the light of day in 2012 on Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock's label, Heart and Mind.
Composed in 1997, "Howling Wolves" sets the tone with a slightly jerky but rather fluid movement with a line of bass sequences which waves peacefully under layers of synth in the colors of Tangerine Dream in Desert Green and under the howlings of cosmic wolves. The approach is rather vintage with very warm tones which and with beautiful synth solos which coo in a mass of cosmicolectronic tones. The atmospheres are soft and the effects are near the psychotronic universe the 70's. It's a very good title stemming from the first album of Cosmic Hoffmann, Beyond the Galaxy. "Shiva Connection" presents us the very energetic side of Cosmic Hoffmann with a hyper jerky structure which parades as a train at a brisk pace in the interstellar landscapes. Other title and other structure of rhythm, "Hypnotic" changes of tone with a rhythm livened up by some motorik percussions which shake a nest of sequences skipping with fright. The synth spreads a mixture of charms as much of a flute and saxophone with beautiful harmonies, so giving an approach of hypnotic tribal trance to a title which reaches the aimed purpose. "Opera Mellotronique" doesn't really need presentation! It's exactly what we wish to hear of this master of Mellotron. Beautiful and ambient, one listens to it the eyes in the stars. The finale is magnificently captivating. Fine minimalist pulsations draw the rhythm slightly pulsatory but resolutely ambient of "The Call of Gullu". An avalanche of synth lines get entwine and unroll in a thick cloud of sound hoops from where escape solos and harmonies all carriers of the Krautrock Kosmik Musik seal. Always very comfortable with a Mellotron, Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock brings us in the dark spheres of la belle époque with a beautiful floating structure where voices and effects of enveloping layers remind us the sublime period of
Tangerine Dream's Phaedra. If we like those cosmic ambient phases, "Spacewards" will know how to fill our waits with a beautiful structure which too is not far from the Phaedra period but in a more cosmic envelope. "Sehr Mystisch" flirts a little with the structure of "Howling Wolves" with a wave-like movement and some rather piercing songs of synth. The effect of cosmos is always very present. "Crab Nebula" concludes this very representative collection of Cosmic Hoffmann with a structure which drifts as so comfortably than "Spacewards" and where the sweetness of the Mellotron and the beauty of the cosmicolectronic effects are as much inviting as the sweetness of Morpheus. There is a bit of Vangelis in this title for the effects of intensity which make rise a little the adrenalin of an eater of cosmic tones on the edge to fall asleep.
We had lost Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock a little in the fog since a couple of years. And this initiative to put back on the map a piece of his immense career with his Cosmic Hoffmann project is completely justified. It's the best way to discover this brilliant artist and this “Best Of” describes aptly the styles and the approaches of this iconic figure of the Krautrock Kosmik Musik style.

Sylvain Lupari (October 19th, 2016) &
You will find this album on the AD Music web shop here

lundi 17 octobre 2016

SYNDROMEDA: When IN-Side becomes OUT-Side (2016)

“If we look for something different in EM, this new When IN-Side becomes OUT-Side from Syndromeda will answer to your needs”
1 Native Alien Meeting 27:10
2 Upside Down 15:13
3 Reproduction NOT Allowed 10:35
4 Back to Sub-Reality 16:02

SynGate ‎| CD-R SS23 (CD-r/DDL 69`02) ***½
(Dark ambient and progressive vintage EM)
A distant shadow settles a sound texture of ambiences. Dark ambiences which swap their hollow breezes for layers haloed of astral voices. Slow! It's with an epidemic slowness that develops the long introduction of this last opus of Syndromeda. Near celestial bodies, the sounds and tones take the appearances of the dreamer. On "Native Alien Meeting" Danny Budts has braided an alloy of industrial mechanism, hollow breezes and distant voices which float like a wreck across the intersidereal space. And not, Syndromeda did not change at all his sound signature. Dark ambiences, piercing shards of synth and radioactive sequences mixed with Tangerine Dream vintage sother equencing patterns liven up the 70 minutes of his last opus on the label SynGate. Flirting with the blackness of gaps, the synth lines roam like spectres come from far away. Set apart some pulsations and movements of layers which weave intense moments, the first 19 minutes of "Native Alien Meeting" are purely of ambiences and of dusts of noises. Percussions begin hammering discreetly under a mass of cosmic voices while the sequences sparkle of these organic tones that Syndromeda likes to give to his ambiences. In fact, all of the action for the senses takes place in the last 6 minutes of "Native Alien Meeting". The rhythm there is ambient with a mixture of sequences to tones as much diversified as the bases of the rhythm. I like Syndromeda but I found the introduction of this meeting of the extraterrestrials' first nations much too long. But Danny Budts knows how to straighten his sound ship. The structure of sequences, which we listen to like a concert of chirping of birds which stammer, of "Upside Down" emerges after a short ambiospherical moment  from where emerges a language of extraterrestrial shape. The rhythm is forged by sequences which limp and of another line of pulsations, before becoming more fluid with a movement waving as an endless ascent. A very beautiful line of flute throws a surprising musicality to this rhythm of which the wall of astral voices always surrounds with an envelope of mystery. It's some good Syndromeda who fills our ears of a rhythm unique to his signature for the next 8 minutes, before that a duel between this concert of apathetic voices and of those beautiful songs of flute is wrapping "Upside Down" in a morphic cocoon. I really loved that one. "Reproduction NOT Allowed" proposes an introduction loaded of mechanical groans that more musical layers are cradling of tenderness. This sound of Syndromeda is unique and fascinates with an almost vampiric approach. Sequences bang as a metallic ball attached to a thread and which returns to bang continually on a pallet of metal. Another crawling line accompanies this static rhythm which is suddenly flooded of absent voices. Another line of sequence livens up even more the rhythm with lively and mixed jumps, giving an artificial rhythmic life to "Reproduction NOT Allowed" which will preserves its stationary approach. The same goes for the rhythmic structure of "Back to Sub-Reality"! Although more steady and presenting two lines, one rather conservative and the other one very nervous, of rhythm which is molded in the pattern of "Upside Down", except that the shrill solos replace the harmonies of the flutes. This is some pure Syndromeda and it needs more than one listening before really hooked on it. But this is the whole story for the great majority of the albums from the Belgian synthesist. If we look for something different in EM, because the sound here is completely unique, and a progressive cosmic music, “When IN-Side becomes OUT-Side” will answer to your needs. It's another beautiful sonic adventure of Syndromeda that his fans are going to savour neurons in the cosmos!
Sylvain Lupari (October 17th, 2016) &

You will find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp page here

dimanche 16 octobre 2016

JAMES MURRAY: Ghostwalk E.P. (2016)

“To be honest?! I already heard a ghost's walk a little more discreet than this Ghostwalk”
1 Ghostwalk 6:58
2 Ghostwalk (Kinosura remix) 7:08
3 Ghostwalk (Martin Nonstatic remix) 7:27

inre088 (DDL 20:39) ***
(Psybeats, Groove & Electronica)
I already heard a ghost's walk a little more discreet than that proposed by James Murray! The title-track of this foretaste of the comeback of the British composer  on the Ultimae Records label opens with bass pulsations which skip under the delicate bites of cymbals. Layers which buzz like wings of big bumblebees intimidate this opening with a surprising effect of humming, defining the barriers of "Ghostwalk" which will balance between a rhythm slightly bouncing and some brief passages of atmospheres which are quite near a surrealist decoration peculiar to the night-ballads of these dear spectres which feed our most serene insanities. The sequences flow with fluidity and with a beautiful effect of gap in the pace, offering a structure which gets loose from the minimalism mood and which hooks the captivity of the listening. But the effects, and this spectral melody which mystifies with its misleading appearances, are at the heart of "Ghostwalk" with an approach more ghostly than organic. It's a premiere for me from this always very creative label. This E.P. offers remixed 2 versions of “Ghostwalk”. The first one comes from a new artist Kinosura. Here, the lines of basses are more captivating and the rhythm is more linear with laconic pulsations and with effects of percussions which click and fly away like a thick cloud of noises. The synth layers get melting in a sonic decoration which is closer to the roots of Ultimae Records with nice effects of hoops and with dark breezes always as much spectral as James Murray's vision. I liked this approach a bit more dance and groove than the original version. Martin Nonstatic's remix is more lively with sequenced pulsations which are more accentuated, some good effects (I particularly like the noise of these metallic doors which make creak the hinges) and a delicate melody which is more hummed in this ambience of spectres and their hypnotic charms. It bears the seal of Martin Nonstatic and it's the most electronic version of “Ghostwalk”. The album is expected later this year and I expect something rather unusual. But isn't it always the case with Ultimae Records!
Sylvain Lupari (October 14th, 2016) &
You will find this album on the Ultimae Records Bandcamp page here