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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALIEN NATURE: The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius (2013)

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

“The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius is at the grandeur of Alien Nature who was never afraid of going out of his comfort zone”

1 Things to Come 6:56 2 Star Billard 5:26 3 The Motionless Bird 6:54 4 Malvina 5:59 5 Arm Jourth 5:46 6 The Archer 2:31 7 The Tall Building 5:18 8 Room No 6 7:36 9 The Intermediate Zone 8:02 10 Megalithic City 11:28 11 Altered Reality 6:53 12 Room No 9 6:58 SynGate | CD-r AN07

(CD-r/DDL 79:47) (V.F.)

(Hard and Heavy e-rock)

Agile sequences are having some sudden starts and shape deep oscillations in a sonic corridor stuffed of creaking doors and by tremulous rustles of fears. And bang! Shy percussions gather up the intro of Things to Come to propel it in a universe of electronic hard rock where the heavy lines of bass are teaming up with hatched guitar riffs and sequences which roll at full speed. While the synth throws its harmonies, which are transformed into very musical solos, the rhythm breathes more freely and allies its fury to some quieter passages which float on the foggy wings of a very inspiring Mellotron. It's a whole shock wave that invades our ears with this new musical madness of Alien Nature. THE AIRTIGHTGARAGE OF JERRY CORNELIUS is an album of pure electronic rock, nibbled by brief ambiospherical interludes, built around a sci-fi novel written by Jean Giraud (Moebius) in the late 70's for the French-Belgian magazine; Metal Hurlant. And as much tell it to you straightaway; the music is as so totally mad as Jerry Cornelius' improbable weird stories.

Everything is well tied up around this sonic novel. The ambiences are rich, and Wolfgang Barkowski succeeds to put in music Jean Giraud's very adventurous visions through a symphony of synth solos which sing the adventures of the dark hero on musical themes which stick marvellously with the unrealities of this cult BD. So Star Billard unfolds its intense black intro with strata of violin which notch the drama. If the movement is slow, it's also very heavy. Drafts of a viral Mellotron transports it in a sublime lento that riffs and percussions are splitting up by lively and subtle attacks. Soft on heavy which ends by hurtle down the slopes of a rhythm now galloping at a brisk pace on the sinuous vapors of the solos from a synth and its very harmonious cooings. Riffs! Always these riffs out of Thomas Droste's guitar which feed a fury sustained by unbridled percussions of which the discretion of the rollings condenses the rhythm in a morphic envelope too heavy to make us sleep. The Motionless Bird offers the first real ambient moments of THE AIRTIGHTGARAGE OF JERRY CORNELIUS with Martin Rohleder's dreamy guitar which makes his solos stroll on a structure which is developing quietly in order to dive insidiously into a kind of mid-tempo flooded by an electronic aura of mystery and anxiety. It's like hearing Jean-Michel Jarre on Manfred Mann's Earth Band's structures of Solar Fire. This is very good and rather contagious. And it's at the image of THE AIRTIGHTGARAGE OF JERRY CORNELIUS which makes parade its 12 tracks into a long sonic fresco of 80 minutes.

Whether it is with Malvina and its rhythm skipping like an intersidereal gallop, the heavy and Babylonian Arm Jourth with its powerful percussions, the black and Dantesque The Archer or still the dynamic and lively rhythms like on The Tall Building and The Intermediate Zone, this last work of Alien Nature combines marvellously its sonic arrangements in a story embellished by images on fragile melodies and steady rhythms, sometimes to the limits of the fury. There are also a couple of tracks which breathe of this complexity very inherent to the EM of Wolfgang Barkowski. I think among others of Room No 6 and its fusional rhythm where the loud stabbing heavy rock is flooded in ethereal mists and riffs of a guitar which shares its tearings between its solos and those of a very vindictive synth. I hear Tool, just as much in the very curt and sharp edged Altered Reality, orchestrations less, fed in riffs like a way of fattening a turkey for the Christmas Eve. Megalithic City presents also a more complex structure where the rhythm, sometimes organic, evolves in structures as so unpredictable as the ghostly solos which overfly it, while Room No 9 concludes this Jerry Cornelius' great sonic adventure on an evolutionary structure of rhythm where the ambient is slyly captured by a galloping melodic rhythm.

With its intersidereal ambiences so disturbing as imaginative, THE AIRTIGHTGARAGE OF JERRY CORNELIUS is to EM what Music for Jilted Generation from The Prodigy was to electro-punk. It's a strong album to the dimension of Alien Nature who was never afraid of going out of his comfort zone with the aim of offering works as attractive as unexpected (remember Anna?) and where the soundscapes of EM play effectively the card of ambiences, letting Wolfgang Barkowski's imagination building pure and hard rhythms with synths which braid solos and very catchy harmonies in envelopes of rhythms sometimes explosive and sometimes melodious. In brief, what you have here is a powerful, striking album where the rock and EM merges in a perfect harmony.

Sylvain Lupari (December 30th, 2013) *****

Available at Syngate Bandcamp

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