“E-Scape 2017 is another great compilation of nice EM from artists performed at this mega festival of EM”
1 Man and Machine
(Glenn Main) 5:30 2 Dream Flight (David Wright & Carys) 13:02 3 Extropic Sound Conﬁgurations (Modulator ESP) 13:52 4 Spirit Escaping
(Peter Challoner) 10:06 5 Rythme de Croisière (Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder) 16:20 6 Leftie (Modal Electronics 002 Demo) (Barry Neilsen) 6:22 7 System Six (ARC) 12:21 AD Music | AD191CD
(CD/DDL 77:23) (V.F.)
(England & Berlin Schools)
For a 3rd consecutive year, the staff of the English label of EM AD Music organizes the mega festival of electronic music; E-Scape. The artists featured this year are as much prestigious as on the last two years, as shown this other great compilation album of titles unedited and/or performed in concert which are offered by these artists. The previous 2 E-Scape albums overflowed of finds and this E-SCAPE 2017 doesn't make exception with a good balance between good electronic rocks emblazoned of invigorating, heavy and minimalist rhythms as well as landscapes of lunar atmospheres and others more celestial where the harmonious side keeps its special place, as in the tradition of the England School model.
The album begins with Man and Machine from Glenn Main and his way to create some hyper contagious electronic rock anthems. The rhythm is heavy and lively. It swirls on good sequences, electronic percussions which make very Jarre as well as BOOM-BOOM pulsations which place the music between a solid techno for zombies and a very French School cosmic rock. The melody, a bit spectral, is superb and flows with a tone very near the Martenot waves. It's very good and we would all love that Jean-Michel Jarre goes to this style which is between Daft Punk and the Chronology album. This is candy to my ears! Perfumed a lot from Carys' sighs, the introduction of Dream Flight puts down a very ethereal soundscape. The arpeggios fly lightly from almost everywhere and their unpredictable races crate delicate loops of rhythms which roll in circles through more bright and more harmonious arpeggios, as well as sequences which crawl sneakily. The first 4 minutes are flowing very quickly, so much that we are surprised by the downfall of the percussions which sets in motion at around 4:40 minutes. The rhythm is bumpy and a flute joins its charm to the delights of Carys whose moans reveal a veil of murmurs which play with our sense of hearing since a couple of minutes already. The rhythm will remain always delicate, even after a short ambiospherical phase towards the finale where the Carys/Wright tandem adds a little more techno vigor without really being swallow by this style. It's not at the height of the splendid Prophecy album, but we are not that far! During the 2 first editions of E-Scape, I had caught myself discovering the charms of the music of big names in the domain, Stephan Whitlan and Paul Ward, who had always escaped to my attention in the course of my discoveries in the wonderful universe of EM. This time, the superb attack of the energetic oscillations of Modulator ESP (Jez Creek) in Extropic Sound Conﬁgurations brought me back to the first foundations of the electronic music with a structure of minimalist rhythm which is use as base to Jez Creek's numerous acrobatic solos. These oscillations beat a pace which makes drum our fingers after a good 2 minutes of an ambiospherical landscape, rich in organic chirpings, which drift like the current of a sonic river. The synth adds sibylline ornaments with spectral lamentations stretched at the maximum. Oscillating loops are going mad after the point of 2 minutes by jostling in order to structure a pure electronic rhythm which rolls like a train through mountainous landscapes, altering its race and multiplying its charms. The perfumes of good old Tangerine Dream, in particular this undulatory rhythm, bursts from everywhere after the bar of 9 minutes. Very good!
I knew Peter Challoner of name but I had never heard his music which was described to me as mainly ambient and improvised. Thus what wasn't my surprise to hear the very cheerful and contagious rhythm of Spirit Escaping! Agile electronic percussions, and their glints slamming like some elytron of metal, as well as crisscrossed movements of jumping sequences are structuring a dynamic rhythmic pace with oscillations which jump in all directions. Very harmonious, the synth throws its effects without forgetting to whistle harmonies which stay stick to our eardrums. Another strong title! Broekhuis, Keller and Schönwälder continues to amaze us by bonding here the longest title of this compilation which is literally worth its purchase price. Rythme de Croisière shows with color the spirit of its title with a long structure which keeps its calm with layers of voices which caress us like rays of sunshine among solos and harmonies from synths which exchange their sedative perfumes for an appearance of electronic guitar of which the solos are the equal of a cosmic blues. The layers of voices and these keyboard keys which ring like those of Rick Wright from Pink Floyd give a seraphic depth, so much that it's clearly in the continuity of the last opuses of the German trio. Barry Neilsen, whom I discovered in previous E-Scape 2016, returns back to us with another landscape of meditative atmospheres. Leftie is of a cosmic tenderness very difficult to describe so much the multiplication of the waves and of their impacts which are drawing a cosmic current in movement. It's very englobing and it's ideal to glide slowly in our inner mind away from others. I was looking forward to hear System Six from Mark Shreeve, interpreted by Arc during the Netherlands E-Live Festival, back in 2007. And no, I was not disappointed. Good old Shreeve played with the taste of today! I have nothing to add, except that it’s as good, very heavy even, than the version of 1983 from the Assassin album. Arc moreover will present a whole new set for this festival. Like me, I suspect that many of you wouldn’t go to this 2017 E-Scape Festival which is held at Suffolk, situated on the east coast of England. Know that the organizers offer the possibility of hearing all the played music, in very good audio quality, by the purchase of a virtual ticket. A very good initiative for all the fans of EM from all over the world which should be followed by other organizers of festivals. One finds all the info on the web site of AD Music. In the meantime, there is always this superb compilation of the artists who will perform on Saturday May 13th. And no, I am not a sponsor of the event, but I like EM and there is some very beautiful on this E-SCAPE 2017. Just imagine this festival!
Sylvain Lupari (May 10th, 2017) *****
Available at AD Music Shop