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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

AD MUSIC: E-Scape 2018 (2018)

“This is another solid compilation from AD Music that will certainly please to the fans of melodious rhythmic music easy to tame”

1 Redemption (Code Indigo) 12:38 2 Cries in the Mist (Ron Boots) 8:40 3 Deepdream (FD Project) 6:30 4 Circadian Cycle (Volt) 7:16 5 Orcadian (Concept Devices) 11:28 6 Industrial Sunset (Gazzcollins) 4:58 7 Thunderroad (Ron Boots) 14:12 8 Krystal Halls Highway (Code Indigo) 7:57 AD198CD

(CD/DDL 73:55) (V.F.) (Sequencer-based melodious EM)

For the fourth year in a row, the leaders of the English label AD Music set up the popular E-Scape festival, which was held in Halesworth on June 2, 2018. And there were some very good guests. First, the comeback of Code Indigo with David Wright, Robert Fox and Andy Lobban who were backed-up by Carys and Stephan Whitlan. FD Project was in for a second participation, as was Ron Boots' Band with Frank Dorittke, Harold van der Heiden and Stephan Whitlan. Volt was in its first participation, as was Gazz Collins, an artist who has been in the EM business since the early 2010, and Concept Devices, a project by Martyn Greenwood. This festival was dedicated to Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock whose title Krystal Halls Highway, performed by Code Indigo, was composed with David Wright a few years ago. Big names for a big festival, that I listened with my virtual ticket and frankly it was very good, that we found in this E-SCAPE 2018; a solid compilation of unreleased tracks that has everything to please the fans of the guest artists ... and even more!

A very fat wave lights the rather cosmic introduction of Redemption. The piano notes which come add a melody well suspended in this lunar decor. Warmth, softness and musicality emanate from this very thoughtful piano which finally let frees a nocturnal ballad, embellished by layers of Elvish voices. In accordance with Code Indigo's progressive electronic approach, this piano brings the music to a crescendo which is as harmonic as rhythmic and which unleashes a good mid-tempo around the 4th minute. Structured around a nice research on the level of the sound effects, the approach is as silent as these percussions which seem drenched of morphic gas. If the flickering sequences give to Redemption an electronic hue, the silk violins which caress the movement, as well as its angelic bells, add a strong color of cinematic romance to a music that will test other levels of rhythms, more electronic, and romantic moods always in accordance with the good times of this mythical English group whose return is warmly applauded. I can't wait to hear the fruits of this comeback! Cries in the Mist is one of the two tracks from the prolific Ron Boots whose music is still of a very high level. And when the planets are aligned, everything seems possible because this title espouses perfectly the paths of Redemption, at least for its crescendo approach. Misty waves and a meditative keyboard adorn an introduction which falls into a rhythmic trance after 60 seconds. The rhythm is spasmodic and stationary, a little like a long thrill running through our body. But this time, the shudder lasts nearly 9 minutes with a tapestry of riffs which structure a hatched flow. Cared by layers of cottony voices, the sequences twinkle nervously following the loop of Frank Dorittke's guitar riffs. The intensity core remains stuck in a sedentary level, creating the ideal structure for the short throws of a guitar which remains, like the other instruments by the way, set back from this strange title that stigmatizes our senses with its pretty ethereal electronic decor. Deepdream features a bouncy, an up-tempo structure, forged by sequences which flicker on the spot and another line of bass sequences which flow more fluidly in backstage. This very minimalist structure serves the cause of good solos from both synth and guitar. A good, vigorous title from FD Project.

Big names follow each other and it's Volt's turn! Circadian Cycle is also a rather quiet title which sways between its ethereal phases and a little rockier and melodious moments. If the sequences are very Tangerine Dream of the Jive years, the synth solos bear the mark of Volt. This is the first time that I hear of Concept Devices and the music seems very close to experimental atmospheres with this Orcadian. The depth of the atmospheres makes me think a little of Jean-Michel Jarre's En Attendant Cousteau, while the sonorous textures that furnish its main panorama range from very intense, like Jean-Pierre Thanès in Occitania, as downright musical in the 2nd part. It's a music that requires some listening while it's quite the opposite with the very harmonic electronic rock, still like TD of the Jive years, of Gazzcollins in Industrial Sunset. Ron Boots returns for a 2nd lap with the fiery Thunderroad. After an introduction scented of chthonic atmospheres, the music espouses a solid electronic rock with a Harold van der Heiden in great shape on drums who still has energy for a 2nd part which is more in mode electronic progressive Jazz. It's very good and again our friend Ron takes us out of his comfort zone, as well as of our comfort zone, with his unique fingering for composition. Composed with Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, Krystal Halls Highway completes E-SCAPE 2018 with an evolutionary structure. The introduction is nursed by pieces of evasive solos, giving Carys the latitude to whisper Elvish hum. Gradually the tempo increases the pace to adopt a lively rhythm where the loops of guitars flirt with esotericism and the percussions with electronic. Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock's guitar hums as much as Carys' voice on this structure, whose catchy gallop goes off quietly in Hindu perfumes and an ambiospheric finale, testifying to the musical personality of another musician who left us too soon. Rest in peace, my dear friend Klaus.

E-SCAPE 2018 is another solid compilation from AD Music label. Everything is nicely good and well made! And there is no filling, as the creativity of the guests is at the rendezvous. A beautiful EM that will certainly please to the fans of melodious music, easy to ingest and animated by a beautiful fusion of sequences and percussions, including those of Harold van der Heiden. To discover on Apple Music or Spotify (click on the artwork) to convince you even better… just before buying it.

Sylvain Lupari (July 21st, 2018) ****½*

Available at AD Music store

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