ALPHA LYRA & MOONSATELLITE: Live in Nancy 2013 (2014)
Updated: Jun 5
“Two styles in one 2 CD boxset; Live in Nancy 2013 is a great album of EM French School with 2 artists at their zeniths”
CD 1 (ALPHA LYRA) 69:36
1 From Berlin to Nancy 69:36
CD 2 (MOONSATELLITE) 76:36
1 Emergence Part I 14:58
2 Sequenzer Part I 19:16
3 Patched People 8:42
4 Sequenzer Part IV 5:00
5 Low Life Part II 8:08
6 Missing Time Part I 20:34
(2 CD 146:12) (V.F.)
(Cosmic E-rock & French School)
The French movement of EM continues to go out quite softly out of its borders. And this is a great news for the lovers of EM because the modern French School is as striking as the movement of the Dutch School. Alpha Lyra and MoonSatellite were invited to perform on the very famous E-Day Festival, held justly in the Netherlands on May 10th, 2014. It's during this event that both rising stars of EM from France launched a double album, soberly entitled LIVE IN NANCY 2013, which is an audio witness of two concerts given in Nancy on March 9th and 10th 2013. For those who are familiar with the music of Christian Piednoir, the man behind Alpha Lyra, the latter presented the first sketches of his very good From Berlin to Paris, while MoonSatellite took his music from his magnificent sound saga which is Sequenzer as well as Missing Time and his brand new album Low Life which had just hardly landed in the stores.
It's with the bells of the Saint-Epvre Basilica that From Berlin to Nancy rings between our four walls. The intro is as much intense as noisy and gradually gives way to an astral choir which sings the peaceful harmonies of Midnight in Paris from the album From Berlin to Paris. In fact, From Berlin to Nancy draws the main part of his 70 minutes from the bases of Alpha Lyra's last album. The rhythms are less heavy, less incisive and stay in a very ethereal approach of a concert where the influences of Bernd Kistenmacher, for the orchestrations, and Vangelis, for the very celestial approaches of synth movements filled of paradoxes, highlights marvellously the seraphic sweetnesses of From Berlin to Paris. The first minutes are more floating with a concerto for celestial choruses of which the singings become more emphasized or a bit eased at the wills of splendid orchestrations or some more cosmic movements. We hear the arpeggios of Beaubourg 16 pm sparkling with more vigour, while the choir pads are clearly more heavenly and more surrounding. Alpha Lyra multiplies the synth lines which move and float slowly like some shoals of clouds pushed by hot winds. The cosmic approach remains so very present, especially at the 25th minute where a delicate morphic melody invades our senses with a movement of sequences which shapes a mesmerizing ritornello in the shape of an astral cannon. A movement which is very typical to Christian Piednoir, although Michael Stearns' influences are very detectable here. It's from then that Alpha Lyra plays with the moods of From Berlin to Nancy by permuting its celestial ambiences and its delicate cosmic rhythms. After a rather static cosmic storm, pierced by some howling and superb twisted solos, we reach the nirvana of From Berlin to Nancy at around the 37th minute with a superb, but a superb, a sequenced melody even more poignant than the previous one. Constantly split between delicate rhythms and rich moods, From Berlin to Nancy continues to charm on the genesis of From Berlin to Paris but with many nuances, so much in the rhythms, harmonies and atmospheres. If the beginning of the show is rather slow, when Alpha Lyra borrows the paths of the rhythms he constantly returns to drink of it after brief ambiospherical passages, making of From Berlin to Nancy an unexpected complementary work to From Berlin to Paris. And the finale is grand. This is some great Alpha Lyra we have here!
The concert of MoonSatellite is clearly more livened up. The French synthesist, of which the influences go from Jean-Michel Jarre to Klaus Schulze, is unfolding a delicious cosmic setting with astral synth waves which will roll in the narrow corridors of a cosmos multicolored of thousand intersidereal tones. A very French School pattern that will bind the 6 tracks and the 77 minutes of this concert which begins with a track until then unknown to my ears, Emergence Part I. The music is no surprise and still magically great. The intro is luxuriant with a dense cosmic fauna which carries the weight of sinuous synth waves which stroll while humming cosmic airs to the delicate lyrical distortions. This is a very rich ambient cosmic mood which quietly takes life with resounding pulsations; the birth of cosmic and loud rhythm. A movement of sequences gets loose. It makes scintillate its keys which dance with a subtle movement of harmonious undulation in the shadows of some other jumping sequencer keys. The movement accelerates. Tsitt-tsitt and bass sequences stir up a rhythm which widens its dimension with pulsations of bass sequences and Teutonic percussions, while the melody is dispersing its airs with a delicate subtlety in its detachment. This is huge cosmic rock at its best and MoonSatellite dazzled even more our ears with synth solos which always inhale this influence of Klaus Schulze. And these influences of Schulze will come to caress our ears throughout the splendid Sequenzer Part I; one of the great retro Berlin School music piece signed by Lone Wolf. The music may have come from different eras or from different themes that it pours harmoniously throughout this concert. Patched People inhales the rhythms and ambiences of Emergence Part I but with more relief and dynamism. After the very ambiospherical Sequenzer Part IV, MoonSatellite offers us the very dynamic Low Life Part II, as well as Missing Time Part I where the duels rhythms and ambiences are of pure magic and amongst the best of an electronic cosmic rock filled by a lot of soft interstellar madnesses. Sweetnesses which make me dream and which are the privilege of this very good double album; LIVE IN NANCY 2013.
Sylvain Lupari (September 16th, 2014) *****
Available at Patch Work Music