ALLUSTE: † Electric Star (2022)
Updated: May 17
“A very nice compilation to discover a wonderful universe of EM”
1 To Deep Dreams 5:44 (Alludra)
2 Electric Star 9:36
3 Boards of Stringana 6:27
4 Broken Multisphere 7:45
5 Little Bridge 11:40
6 Mountain Dew 11:38
7 Runny 6:34
(Audio Tape/DDL 59:25) (V.F.)
(New Berlin School)
In addition to an increasingly polarizing craze for vinyl releases, the good old audio tape also seems to be getting a new lease on life for those who have always sworn by this form of music and those who have never known it. Go figure! An obscure Italian label, Heimat Der Katastrophe, is bringing this format back to life by offering a compilation of an emerging artist from the ambient punk, minimal-synth, dungeon-drone, wartime music and post-nuclear wave scene. A great diversity that rakes in the less accessible and/or little commercial music where we find a compilation of our friend Alluste that should fit in the minimal-synth genre. † ELECTRIC STAR offers a nice collection of 7 tracks that accurately depict the universe of the Italian musician-synthesist. Only 7 titles among a range of more or less 20 albums, all offered in downloadable format, is a small sample of this universe. But I must admit that it is a very nice selection that is unfortunately no longer available on audio tape. Everything has been sold! But this compilation is still available for download. The most beautiful way to discover a side of the Berlin School universe to the Italian romance from Piero Monachello.
Coming from the Aludra album, To Deep Dream offers an ambient rhythm although structured by a core of jumping arpeggios that frolic innocently in a sunny envelope from the synth and its electronic nightingale harmonies. Arpeggios and sequences harmonize their visions in a structure that accelerates the pace with a line of bass sequences flickering in a fluty mist. The movement goes faster without ever overflowing in order to return to its original core. Those who like Chris Franke's style will not be disoriented here! Black winds blow and whisper on the desert intro of the title-track. An obligatory preamble to awaken the first chords of a heavy sequencer that wobbles the harmonic axis of Electric Star, which comes from the album Stelliferous Era (2014), with strength in a rhythmic pattern zigzagging in a heavy way. A soft thread of a harmonic synth extends a spectral melody that floats like digital incense over a rhythm that stores another line of sequences whose circular motion is drowned out by the arrival of resonant keyboard riffs. Heavy and undulatory, the rhythm of Boards of Stringana offers two contradictory themes with a finely chopped line that rubs shoulders with a furtive movement where each step seems precarious, thus espousing a melodious approach whose evasive reflections are the mirror of it while the ambiences always remain of an astral nebulosity. And if you appreciate the style, this is the great strength of the album Boards of Stringana which was made in 2013.
Broken Multisphere, from 2020's Beyond the Infinity, begins with a veil of chthonian mist enveloping keyboard riffs which are blossoming with a more musical vision. This keyboard weaves a tick-tock approach as the riffs bloom ever so slightly in a context where the rhythm makes gamboling its jumping chords. The arpeggios imitate the move in a latent evolution of ambient rhythm that will remain more hypnotic than explosive. It's with sequences leaping like goats wanting to play the dominant male that begins The Little Bridge, also from Beyond the Infinity download-album. The movement is serene, even if limpid percussive effects tumbling like cascades and another rhythm line interspersed in several harmonic segments remind us that Alluste has become a master at the sequencer. Not complicated for two cents, The Little Bridge evolves with this tone of Tangerine Dream of the Johannes Schmoelling years and its delicate morphic melody whistled by a synth in the tints of flute. Our ears adjust quite well to these intertwined rhythm lines, like in Mountain Dew from the album-download In the Deep Blue. The best is for last with Runny, from the same album by the way, which will freeze an earworm in your soul. Its structure is stationary with sequences that flutter in a progressive cosmic ballet. Two lines of harmonies, one of which will remain etched on your eardrums for hours to come, rub against each other between muffled percussion claps built in cotton fibers. As I wrote above; a very nice compilation to discover a wonderful universe of EM propelled by good sequenced rhythm lines.
Sylvain Lupari (May 16th, 2022) *****
Available at Heimat Der Katastrophe Bandcamp