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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

AKIKAZE: Disorders (2021)

Disorders offers 3 long structures that are in harmony with the title; mess and jumbles

1 Echolalia 16:43

2 Bipolar Distrotion 31:58

3 Mood Swings 30:15

(CD/DDL 78:58) (V.F.)

(Progressive Berlin School)

Distorted voice effects are at the origin of Echolalia. It lasts only 15 seconds, and the Teutonic harmony of a keyboard lulls our ears with a simplistic and catchy melody. The percussion only reinforces this perception as bells tinkle in harmony with this minimalist rhythm that sounds like a childish ritornello. The final resonance is lost around the 110 second mark. A brisk movement of the sequencer structures another musical panorama with a zigzagging rhythm of its not always well-tuned keys. Percussive effects of empty cane torment with imprecise strikes this circular race that takes another shape 3 minutes later. The sequencer takes another form with an ascending approach whose scenery is fed by clattering and imprecise layers of mist. A melody intrudes, creating two rhythmic spindles that flow harmoniously under the caresses of a false mellotron. Clattering sounds come in and a bass line adds a rhythmic momentum that changes skin after the 9th minute. This time, the rhythm follows the same tangent to play with its shapes and velocity, always very melodic, until the 14-minute point. At this point, Echolalia takes on a solemn air with a singing synth over a layer of organ and its fine ambient modulations.

So, Deadlock was not a miss shape! It was the beginning of a new phase for Akikaze. A phase where samplings added a more realistic dimension to his music. DISORDERS goes a lot in the same direction. If there are less samplings, the sound effects live on musical mosaics in constant change of appearances. Personally, I found that Echolalia flowed very well with its vintage tone patched to the taste of the current modernity. Although Peipijn Courant insists that this track, inspired by the reading of Stephen Fry's book Mythos, was the last track composed for this album. The sounds and visions seem to come from years away. But anyway, DISORDERS offers 3 long structures that are in harmony with the title; from the mess and musical jumbles, Akikaze pulls out some very good moments, as well as those moments that make us appreciate the best. Difficult to understand? So, I am in symbiosis with his new album!

Bipolar Distrotion falls in our ears with a crashing guitar chord. It's a guitar that makes flowing its resonant riffs into a rippling bank of mist. It sounds like old Pink Floyd! And it takes another turn with a synthesized chant that rises and falls, like a rhythmic structure, while the background offers an evasive harmonic vision. This first chant is sequenced and serves as the primary rhythm for a structure that has become minimalist and hypnotic, that a bass line infiltrates for its modulations and momentums needs. A synth weaves an evasive melody with a Middle Eastern flavor. Its voices are nasal and mate with another bass line with a more suggestive tendency. This Ashra Tempel-like cosmic slow title ends around the 12-minute mark. Sound effects of an industrialized Cosmos rise to our ears for a big 3 minutes. It's from the 15th minute that a slow procession on a bed of organ agitates the senses of Bipolar Distrotion. It's vintage psychedelic rock until the more electronic aspect comes in with a static flickering movement. We're still hovering over that organ layer until a sequenced, Echolalia-like ritornello comes in. Its childish air awakens the zany laughter of a handful of onlookers. And just like that, the flickering staccato movement of the sequencer comes back to life and even gets a cosmic rock boost to conclude this longest DISORDERS track. And if, like with Bipolar Distrotion, you like music, mindless structures that change ideas often, Mood Swings, with its bucolic opening, is a sure bet to charm you. Less acidic, it has better moments as well as filters of chamber orchestras performing in the forest. It's disjointed with a very old-fashioned vision of the tonalities and sentimentality of the 80's Belgian EM.

Sylvain Lupari (May 31st, 2021) *****

Available at Groove. nl

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