Phaedra from above

off topicOprettet af Jacob Pertou fre, juni 21, 2019 23:58

Tonight, the sky over my house looked like the Phaedra album cover. It was as if Edgar was sending a telegram from his cosmic address.

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Perge: Mythos Part One (2014).

off topicOprettet af Jacob Pertou tor, juni 05, 2014 09:09

The programme from the latest Tangerine Dream tour claims that all attempts to recreate the TD sound have been in vain, and without any success whatsoever. Whoever wrote that has turned his or her deaf ear to the duo Perge. With a discography of now five albums, they've received a lot of praise and recognition for their works. Testimonials like: ”If you like TD's eighties era with Schmoelling, Froese and Franke, you will love Perge” seem appropriate, when a recommendation is passed on.

The cover artwork for for Mythos Part One is a stark reference to the iconic Poland album from 1984. Musically, the allusion re-appars in ”Poloart”, the first composition on the album, spanning an impressive twenty-six minutes. Another live album, Logos, is reflected in the thirty-six minute long epos ”Mythos Rouge”.

The common thing for the two mastodons are the reflections of themes and structures from the respective sources, but not in the logical order. ”Poloart” spreads across the four sides of Poland, while ”Mythos Rouge” relates to the audience recordings from 1982, and not the just the Logos LP.

It works the best, when the music flies off on a tangent (sorry for the pun), and it almost sounds improvised. Unfortunately ”Mythos Rouge” sometimes sounds a bit stiff around the edges, when familiar riffs and themes are coming into a new context. Perhaps 36 minutes is a bit too much? It takes half an hour for the highligt to surface; the flickering sequencer pattern with sparse bass drum, majestic synthpads and a longing melody line. This final section tones out quite sudden, probably because idees are kept for Mythos Part Two.

”Poloart” is more flexible and listenable than the ”title track”, as its progression is completely unburdened. The enterprise is in particular carried by the fantastic Schmoelling-like solos, that without us noticing it, takes us from one section to the next.

Attalus from 2013 offered that year's ultimate best composition within electronic music, ”Tempestas Fronte” to be precise. Unfortunately that level is not reached this time, but it is worth your time.

Tangerine Dream are very productive today, and gets the fullest out the sound they have created since they presented The Five Atomic Seasons-series in 2007. The mid-seventies have been re-interpreted by new generations of Berlin School acts a million times. So it is good we have Perge to recreate a sound that was never fully explored untill now. I, for one, look forward to Mythos Part Two.


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Perge: Attalus Sessions (2013).

off topicOprettet af Jacob Pertou fre, oktober 25, 2013 16:21

Perge, the duo, has won a lot of recognition for their triad of albums, Dyad, Dyad Sessions and Attalus. On these discs, the sound from the Chris Franke era is recreated. Converted from the trio format, Matthew Stringer and Graham Getty fills the shoes of Schmoelling and Franke, while Edgar Froese's metamusical fingerprint is hidden in the wings. Thus is the focus on complex rhythms and beautiful melodies, and the result is often dynamic, crystal clear and inspiring. They create new music from the melodic voids of tonal displacements, transpositions and what have we not, Tangerine Dream themselves, never got around to investigate.

Attalus Sessions is naturally attached to Attalus, which furthermore is a reference to the Tangerine Dream album Pergamon. Perge is undoubtedly also slang for that album. The cover plagiarizes the bootleg Antarktis. There are a lot of references.

The album opens with a reference in the track ”Romance 13” that takes us back to Peter Baumann's solo debut from 1976. But with a step forward in the chronology, and off at another tangent. Even though the instrumentation has its take-off at Peter Baumann, the complex melodiousity, chord shift and pulsating bass drum, reminds of something Michael Garrison committed on his first two, excellent records. So there is thinking outside the box. Something Perge didn't really allow themselves on the tightly concept defined Dyad and Attalus. The result wins by the initiative.

Voice samples from NASA's control room are used in the introduction, where the word ”sequencer” reappears. A funny gimmick, but not when used in the 17 minute long track ”Out on a LM”. Because on top of the smouldering music - berlin school updated to mid-eighties soundtrack timbres - there is something that sounds like a police scanner running adlib. It borders on the unbearable. In these download times, one could hope for a removal of those voices, as it is hard to find any benign things about this overuse of samples. The beautiful outro, fortunately, stands alone.

Curiously betitled ”Protonenzerfall” has an intuitive solo voice on top of glass clear sequences, and a rocking rhythm foundation. It is rather restrained, compared to Perge's often in-your-face sound. At least for the first three minutes. After that, it's all guns blazing. ”Vanishing Blue” and ”Valley of the Sun” are nearby comparisons, if you can think Schmoelling into that context. When material of that calibre is scrapped off an album, you have too much talent as a musician.

”Lorem Ipsum” is soundtrack music saturated with atmosphere, sourced in Near Dark and Wavelength and contemporary scores like Drive. The complex programmed rocking solos aren't lacking. Whether or not Perge like it, it is only a stone's throw away from what Picture Palace Music do. Voice samples are used here, too, but in a suitable measurement, and enough to underline the moods.

”Taking Le Parc (Early Sessions Mix)” takes an 11 minutes long final heat. First with references to the sticky Heartbreakers soundtrack, then a frenzy of Polandish dimensions, with a bassline a la ”Cool Breeze of Brighton” and accompanying, panned drum machine volleys.

Now anything can happen. And it does.

The only thing, not working impeccably are the voice samples. Ignoring that, Perge are insanely clever. Even their ”second grade” material is brilliant. It is refreshing to hear new perspectives on an era that constitutes an increasingly smaller percentage of Tangerine Dream's career. I dare not think about the reactions, had this been a Tangerine Dream album.

With or without CDR, Attalus Sessions is available tomorrow from perge.bandcamp.com.

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RECOMMENDATION: Erez Yaary - Moab.

off topicOprettet af Jacob Pertou fre, september 13, 2013 01:02

For a while, I received download promos, from the German, melodic electronic label, Mellow Jet. I did not review all of them. But one of the albums that has recently left an everlasting impression is Moab by Erez Yaary.

When I choose to include this album on this Tangerine Dream blog, the reason is a longer cover version, as well as inspirations and themes, originally created by the Berlin ensemble, repeatedly popping up.

The main part of the album is ”Moab” in its two parts. Already from the beginning, with its slurry, phased drone, and touches of mellotron, we are in antique dreamland. A chord change later, we are suddenly back in 1982 on the Logos tour, where authentic paraphrases on a fracture from ”One Night In Romania” (The Keep) are quite significant. Grand piano a la Force Majeure doubles the TD effect with a certain strength and emotion. Five minutes in, ”Moab Part 1” has really set the pace. With a synthetic cello riff, and all sorts of recognizable sounds and harmonisations, more and more layers are gradually added to the cake, a lot of TD connaisseurs have acquired a taste for. It is, however, not a shameless copy, but a passionate versioning, that also has a character of the more orchestral side to Vangelis. Anyone can program a sequencer today, but to piece long suites together, after the right ideal, still requires extraordinary skills. What makes ”Moab Part 1” sublime, are the additions and subtractions, that creates the dynamics such a sixteen minute long track should contain. In the best spirit from the vinyl age, there is a great emphasis on progression, and a proper amount of moods are met, before the groove is locked.

”Moab Part 2” begins on a sinister note, with synthetic brass overload and fake strings. A setup which electronic enthusiasts probably prefer, instead of the real deal. A ”triangle” marks the pulse, and a more serious sounding, but bell-like electronics find its place. The serious and static tone is more Picture Music era Klaus Schulze than Tangerine Dream. But it is awesome that Erez Yaary also show the other side of the story. It gives the album, as a whole, a larger dynamic range. The bassonish lead instrument, which is particularly well chosen, takes the Schulze-like atmosphere into ”Betrayal”, which we know as the theme from Sorcerer. Three minutes before collapse, the track gets a steady structure with a programmed drum track. A guiding melody leads us into a particularly well constructed amalgamation of Italo Disco and Berlin School. In this case, I dare to use the term genius.

Track three, ”Desert” is very serious. Candidating horror movie material. A violent note regular strikes down. What we need, is only the whistling mono noise, we know from the heyday of VHS tapes, in order to make it really creepy. It can be compared to Tangerine Dream soundtracks like Strange Behavior or The Keep. A little melody is introduced in the last third, but it doesn't outweigh one iota of the sinister atmosphere.

”Red Logos” is the cover version. With a hazy, psychedelic build-up to the section with the sampled - and here stolen at broad daylight - ”Wake up!” (alternatively transcribed as ”Wanker!”), is created a personal rendition of a work many electronic performers have scratched their heads in awe to. How it is possible to create such amazing synthesizer music, like TD could in 1982, one can only find out, by trying to recreae it oneself. Conclusively, there might be used an overload of minor chords, but nevertheless, it is a fine, fine cover version. In the jpeg of my promo copy, the decency to have credited Franke, Froese and Schmoelling should have been showed. No damn way, Erez Yaary has composed all the music himself.

Well then. Fifth track "11 11 11" has a measured Dream Mixes identity before it is replaced by Exit-like melancholy and Vangelis-ish mawkishness. Quite good, too.

Final track is high octane midi electro and totally misplaced. Nevertheless, the majority of the music on Moab is really excellent. So, after all, it is not impossible to recreate the sound Tangerine Dream that invented, and make great art out of it. Moab is a magnificent example thereof.

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Perge: Attalus (2013)

off topicOprettet af Jacob Pertou fre, maj 17, 2013 23:00

Yesteryear, Perge laid down many a Tangerine Dream afficionado in horizontal, immaculate excitement, when they chose a vaguely documented chapter in the history of Tangerine Dream, to microscopic scrutiny, and released the album Dyad.

Perge triumphed, as they created new music from the melodic voids of tonal displacements, transpositions and what have we not, Tangerine Dream themselves, never got around to investigate.

Dyad had a peculiar quality in its tight focus. The proper follow-up, Attalus, is much more far-reaching, but not less interesting.

In the two-piece ”Attalus I” we get TD references en masse, build around Pergamon, and ultimately Encore. It is raw sequencer with creative figment of imagination, and fabulating, epic roads to destinations unknown.

It gets really interesting in ”Attalus II”, which in four parts sucks out the final powers of Chris Franke's last days in Tangerine Dream, and put them in a thorough perspective. Good thing that it never becomes a far-fetched, nostalgic retrospective on old times.

After a quick soundbite, resembling a fraction of ”Network 23”, we get a capsule summary of the revival in the soundtrack business, in recent years, where everyone besides Tangerine Dream was asked to do the music. (Best result was was the soundtrack to dreadful Refn film Drive.)

In admirable fashion Perge combines this cinematographic angle with Poland's icecold, militant prototechno.

Track five extinguishes itself from its use of discreet electric piano, after a Vangelisish template.

Conclusively, this logic successor to Dyad develops into an independent microcoms, to use a very Edgaresque term. Ultimately, Attalus finds its own world, as the creative powers behind the work has created an unruly monster, far beyond the control of mr. Froese.

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