Monday, January 18, 2021

Music Reviews

Signal~Bruit: Hyperborée

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Artist: Signal~Bruit
Title: Hyperborée
Format: CD
Label: productionB
Rated: * * * * *
"Hyperborée" is the second album by Signal-Bruit, the second solo project of Celluloide's keyboardist Member U-0176.
"Hyperborée" is also the second release of productionB, sub-label of BOREDOMproduct which is dedicated to the release of projects sounding a bit more experimental compared to what BOREDOMproduct is releasing usually.
This album contains nine new tracks which are chapters of a story based on the journey of Pytheas, a Greek sailor lived in the 4th century BC who embarked toward the northern seas, aiming to prove that the Earth is a sphere and that if someone was standing on the top of it, he should be able to see the sun all day.
Each track is a soundtrack to a different moment of the travel: if "Lacydon" shows the start of the trip, on "Pentécontère I" he's heading to the pillars of Herakles just to pass to the open Atlantic on "Atlantique".
At every stop, he's meeting new people or strange creatures until on "Baltique" he's facing the cold and the ice.
His travel ends with "Nuit Blanche" where the sunset and the sunrise melt in only one moment.
Musically the tracks ideally melt the '70s Berlin/French school of electronic music.
Most of the rhythms are produced by sequencers (if you have in mind the early Klaus Schulze albums, you know what I mean) while melodically I hear echoes of early Jarre and I'm not saying this because Member U-0176 is French.
Think about that mixture of styles and add also a modern production that gives a fresh approach to classic sounds.
Nice release!

Isolated Material: Aliased

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Artist: Isolated Material
Title: Aliased
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Ukonx Recordings
Rated: * * * * *

Isolated Material is the project of a mysterious 25 years old French producer who now lives in Berlin and "Aliased" is his first release.
The EP released by Ukonx Recordings contains six tracks that you can file under the electro genre.
The titles "Control Your Mind", "Programmatic", "Dotted", "Ritual", "Root Cause" and "Spinning" give to the idea of a dystopian society and the anxious atmosphere of the tracks are the right soundtrack of such theme.
Musically we have a rich rhythmical sound palette which usually is distorted, where fragmented patterns are joined by warm pads and an upfront bass line which on most of the tracks follows the drum pattern creating a hypnotic dangerous feeling.
The tracks create the effect of being in the middle of a thunderstorm: do you remember the weather in a "Blade Runner" typical day? Ok, something like that, but worse.
Electro, a bit of acid and a pinch of glitch sounds, stir and "Aliased" is ready for you to taste!

DVS MNE: Dunklewissenschaft

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Artist: DVS MNE
Title: Dunklewissenschaft
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: * * * * *

"Dunklewissenschaft" is the new album by DVS Enemy which is coming less than a year after "Trans Asia Express".
While the latter was a tribute to Kraftwerk passing through all the musical passions and influences of Johan Sebastian Bot, "Dunklewissenschaft" is a sort of tribute to Gerald Donald's projects and in particular to Doppleffekt.
Johan created the graphics for this release having in mind "Gesamtkunstwerk", the collection of the first three Dopplereffekt's releases.
Also, the title "Dunklewissenschaft" ("Dark Science"), born from that tribute idea.
What about the music?
First of all, "Dunklewissenschaft" is massive as it contains thirty new tracks recorded between 2018 and 2020 and if you think about that, if it would be a vinyl release, it would be a triple album!
The sound of the album relies on classic synths that made the history of electro music.
Mono/Poly, MS-20, SH-101, Jupiter-8, Juno-106, JX-3P, TB-303, Polysix, TR-606, OB-8, TR-808, ARP Odyssey, and TR-909, basically almost all of them are machines made by Roland, helped to create tracks in balance from cold robotic mid-tempo electro (check "Dimensionality Reduction", "Thought Crimes", "Marimé", "Emission Spectrum", "Accomplices", "Singularity", "Pathosis" or "Nicht Kampfbereit"), acid inspired ones ("Ghosts Of Detroit", "The Synergist", "Means Of Production" or "Death Ray"), electro-funk ones (like "Shallow Sea Dweller", "Skip Distance", "Hydrographic Design", "Means Of Production") or cinematic melancholic synth-wave ones ("Scientific Process", "Analog Tsunami" or "Together Alone").
The thirty instrumental tracks will keep you busy for 138' and Johan will lead you on an inspired tour through his many moods.
He also did the same during the past ten years, with his radio show/daily blog called "Dark Science Electro".
Nice work for a dude who picked up "Devious Enemy" as his monicker!

Deemphasis: Searching

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Artist: Deemphasis
Title: Searching
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Ukonx Recordings
Rated: * * * * *
Almost one year and a half after the release of the "Organic" EP, Stéphane Bastien a.k.a. Deemphasis is back with a new four-track EP titled "Searching", released on digital format on his own label Ukonx Recordings. All the tracks are developed to give the listener the time to get acquainted with them, as their length is about six minutes each. The idea that I have from the atmosphere, the titles and the graphics of the cover, which has an astronaut wearing his suit and rounded by symbols, is that his on a trip, "Searching" for answers when something happened in "Sector Seven". Something went wrong with the "Harmonic Synchronization". No one is left and he's now alone with the only company of his "Pain". Musically, whatever the trip you'll imagine listening to the EP, Stéphane is mixing electro, a bit of i.d.m. and acid. The track I preferred is the first one as is the one with more variations but all of them have great rhythms/sounds and have a good cinematic feeling.

Celluloide: Futur Antérieur

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Artist: Celluloide
Title: Futur Antérieur
Format: CD
Label: Boredom product
Rated: * * * * *
Six years after their previous album "Art Plastique" and twenty years since they began their adventure, Celluloide are back with a new album titled "Futur Anterieur". The ten new tracks see the trio formed by Darkleti, Member U-0176 and Patryck Holdwem dealing with synthpop with a minimal approach to sounds and a bit of e.b.m. into the rhythmic section (mainly due to the heavy bass drum and snare sounds). On their presentation, they underlined the pop side of the new tracks which to my ears, compared to the previous album, is meaning that there's major attention to the catchy parts: Darkleti vocal style is halfway from detached to passionate and the sound is widening during the refrains, thanks to use of pads that enrich the rhythmic parts made with synth sounds as well as drum machine beats, which are building the core of the tracks. Listen to the album carefully and you'll realize that and you'll appreciate it fully: for example check the nice upbeat instrumental track titled "Modulation De Fréquence" and you'll realize the kind of work made by Member U-0176 and Patryck Holdwem. "Futur Anterieur" is a really good "pop" album, if we want to use this term, but it's a multifaceted one made of melancholic atmospheres, nice melodies and strong rhythms. It contains also the single "Quelque Chose S'Efface" but, as they used to say in the 60s: it has all killers and no fillers.