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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