ALIEN NATURE: Heisenberg 2 (2015-2017)
“More dominant in wild rhythms than on the 1st volume, this Heisenberg 2 shows that a thin line between E-rock, ambient and Dance styles is as relevant than very diversifying”
1 Part 1 8:39 2 Part 2 7:11 3 Part 3 13:21 4 Part 4 10:21 5 Part 5 13:33 6 Part 6 19:28 Alien Nature Music (DDL 72:35) (E-Rock, ambient & dance)
Other title from the Alien Nature catalog that Wolfgang Barkowski has put on his Bandcamp page recently, either in June 2017, HEISENBERG 2 was made in 2015, either two years after Heisenberg 1. And this time there is no confusion as it's written clearly; the music of both albums is dedicated to the work of the German scientist, Werner Heisenberg. I don't really know what quantum mechanics is made of. But if we trust these 2 albums of Alien Nature, it must be rocking hard and loud over there!
Each title of both volumes is laconically entitled Part. So, Part 1 opens the album with cracklings as much percussive as radioactive. A line of bass pulsations draws then a hesitating approach, a stealthily approach. Oscillations arrive by sequences and create a jumping rhythm which hangs onto a deficient cohesion. A melodic figure in a tint half fluty and semi organic gets free from this introduction. It describes wide oscillating circles which go and come, forming a structure of harmonious rhythm a bit spheroidal. This minimalism and rather hypnotic movement serves the sonic cause of Part 1 to which another line of sequences with sizzling roundness gets grafted, while the melody becomes more and more domineering of our state of hypnosis. A thick cloud of sequences comes then and flickers like a troop of fireflies of which the aerial leaps get more and more intense. And gradually, this first music piece of HEISENBERG 2 adorns itself with the most beautiful electronic assets. Like these synth solos which pop out near the 4th minute gate and draw spins with nonchalant amplitudes. And then the percussions get in. Knocking over the race of the static rhythm, they knock with fury and heaviness. They even raise a radioactive anger which make scold these horizontal lines and give on the other hand more vigor to the synth which distributes its numerous solos with a beautiful roundness in its electronic songs. This melody, eater of addicting neurons, derives towards a phase of rhythm clearly more committed with Part 2. The approach of Wolfgang Barkowski is concentrated on a Techno tinted with a vision of synth-pop a la Ultravox at the level of the arrangements. There may have a short ambiosonic phase there, that it doesn't take anything out of the ardor of Part 2 which dresses of more rock electronic outfit thereafter.
Part 3 follows with a delicious electronic introduction and with arpeggios which slightly fly such as flakes of prisms in circular winds. Very well plump and very juicy sequences invite each other at this tonal choreography, bringing a soupçon of Jarre which immediately is ejected by a flight of percussions as wild than unexpected. A bass line espouses the bludgeoning of the percussions, structuring a rhythm which lulls between the rock and the progressive and of which the electronic envelope remains from by the very good synth solos, those lines of decorative mists and a little ambiospherical passage soft and ethereal which gives so a little of respite to the beatbox. Because it is going to serve in Part 4, a furious Dance and Trance track stocked of percussive and sonic elements. Alien Nature gets back to the lands of an EM closer of the Berliner model with Part 5 which is born in meditative vibes with two crisscrossed lines and of which the sound contrasts weave a large iridescent layer. This beautiful small sibylline landscape is disturbed by kicks and rodeos of sequences and by rebel arpeggios. The percussions redirect this motionless rhythm towards another solid rock lively, loaded of good solos and of layers of voices which hum beyond the borders of Part 6. This last title of HEISENBERG 2 is also the longest. Divided in 3 movements, it begins with a jerky rhythmic prose which dissolves a rather New Age meditative opening. This rhythm starts with a horde of sequences which skip in a harmonious way with a percussive décor which is of the most seducing. Orchestral layers draw a sonic ceiling which makes spattering a very Jean-Michel Jarre approach. This approach remains anchored even in this more ambiospherical passage which separates the cosmic rock style of the first movement from the last one which is more in a style of Dance & Trance, but less savage than on Part 2. A style that Alien Nature likes to bite from time to time always while keeping the main attributes of a progressive EM of the Berlin School.
HEISENBERG 2 is another solid opus from Alien Nature whose music holds us constantly on our toes. Clearly more energetic, because of the Dance & Trance segments, than Heisenberg 1, the music breathes again and again of this avant-gardist vision of the German musician who always tries to join his phases of harmonies to a creative and charming tonal dialect. Puzzling at moments but very good in the end!
Sylvain Lupari (February 2nd, 2018) *****
Available on Alien Nature Bandcamp