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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


Updated: May 12, 2022

“If you are a fan of Tangerine Dream, era Peter Baumann, or of Redshift, Arc, Ramp and RMI, this album becomes an indispensable part of your collection”

1 Trick or Treat? (59:30)

(DDL 59:30) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

It is very difficult to avoid any kind of parallel between the Baumann years of Tangerine Dream when we describe the music of Air Sculpture. The British trio, which is strongly inspired by the rich atmospheres of the chthonic mellotron of the Dream, has built an enviable reputation in the circles of the contemporary EM by creating an improvised music that is strongly inspired by the ambiances and sequences of the era Baumann, Franke and Froese. And especially with their performances in concert. Recorded at Hampshire Jam 8 on October 31, 2009, TRICK Or TREAT? is a long title that borders the hour and which is segmented into 4 phases with furious rhythms that follow each other and sometimes expire the ashes of the very delusional Doom Bar, while maintaining an atmosphere where the ghosts of Halloween arise here and there on surprising structures of sequenced rhythms.

Dark cavernous breaths open the abyss of TRICK Or TREAT?. A cloud of eclectic electronic sounds emerges from the outer world and float with a heavy resonance among furious circles that get reverberate in a stationary state. Gradually, this armada of sonorities as disparate as it is noisy dissipates giving way to a movement sequenced to the flow of a military march that crosses another line of the sequencer whose more uncluttered chords undulate under a suave mellotron. A soft synth with mephistophelic choruses and resonant layers surrounds this staggering march, while another more symphonic line envelops Trick or Treat? which suddenly takes a slight rhythmic flight with a staggering gait. Beautiful morphic flutes surround the movement and intermingle with these soft symphonic breaths. And it's the dance of synths whose hybrid breaths are wrapped in this minimal cadence striped by good metallic layers. Towards the 14th minute, the movement calms down and drops a few notes of a stray piano that strikes a delicate melody whose chords resound under a nocturnal mist. From this diurnal quietness comes another movement of the sequencer. Heavier and more insistent, it pounds an undulating beat under wavy layers of a synth with ocher fragrances. Scarlet-toned layers hover over a rhythm subdivided by another hatch of the sequencer, bringing Trick or Treat? to another rhythmic dimension that is reminiscent of the dark, feverish steps of Redshift.

TRICK Or TREAT? continues its improvised evolution under torrid and powerful synth solos which fly over sequences with curt alternating keys and circular oscillations, forging a tempo in constant permutation. A sometimes abrupt tempo, sometimes soft and sometimes absent, whereas the synths scream or purr depending on the pace of the beat. Around the 29th minute it becomes a little chaotic, mixing the irregular strikes of the sequencer with the frivolous notes of the piano. A mixture that creates an opposition of both harmonious and rhythmic phases and that plunges Trick or Treat? in an eclectic and psychedelic electronic sphere in order to prepare the third part of this long title with surprising musical dénouements. It's around the 34th minute that phase III of TRICK Or TREAT? takes off. The rhythm is light but complex with sequences and their nervous doubles that intertwine with frenzy and bite into a superb quite unexpected structure of free jazz. Unceasing, they alternate their strikes in a harmonious frenzy while the keyboards harmonize to draw different melodious approaches in a surreal electronic jazz ballet. The last phase takes off around the 42nd minute with a furious movement of the sequencer. A furious structure of rhythm built on the intertwining of independent lines spreads its ferocity under twisted synths solos. These lines of rhythm and these solos merge in a furious electronic movement where the rhythm swirls violently under heavy layers of opaque synth from which emanate dark choruses as the rhythmic movement continues its furious ride. The apotheosis reached, this unbridled rhythm embraces the ochred artifices of synths which are released from all coordination in the movements, plunging Trick or Treat? in the crazy madness of improvisations on crisscrossing hyper-nervous rhythms and animated by the desire to beat the notes the time they come out of their lairs.

Available in downloadable format on the AirSculpture website, maybe even in manufactured CD, TRICK Or TREAT? continues the explorations of the English trio of the territories of Tangerine Dream, period 73-77. Behind all these influences of Rubycon, Phaedra and Encore, this album is an astonishing surprise that easily fits a place of choice among the best opus of 2010. An album boiling and bubbling of wild rhythms that now seem to be part of the musical heritage of AirSculpture. If you are a fan of Tangerine Dream, era Peter Baumann, or of Redshift, Arc, ['ramp] and RMI, TRICK or TREAT? becomes an indispensable part of your collection.

Sylvain Lupari (April 24th, 2009) *****

Available on AirSculpture Bandcamp

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