ANDREAS BAADEN: Home (2020)
“My little crush and a pleasant surprise that takes us on many styles over many years”
1 Home 9:51
2 How Life Will Be In 3723 8:15
3 Meer Des Regens 10:02
4 Water And Air 7:31
5 The Last Orbit 7:39
6 Nebular Distortions 3:17
7 Omega 3:46
8 Lorcana 7:03
9 Lonely Day 5:04
(CD-r/DDL 62:27) (V.F.)
(E-Rock, New Berlin School, EM)
You shouldn't put this HOME by Andreas Baaden in your trash bin after hearing the first 2 titles! Even less in the middle of this charming and confusing album produced by MellowJet Records and masterfully mastered, since the musical structures here are rich in multilayers of instrumentations, by Bernd Scholl. This is already an 8th album for the musician native of Bad Honnef, Germany, that I discovered with the attractive and a bit complex Aufbruch last year. Without being a carbon copy of this album, HOME offers 9 changing structures where each is playing between its moods and its rhythm phases in textures that require a lot of creativity from the synths. And the response from them is simply great. Between Mike Oldfield and Vangelis, without forgetting Tangerine Dream and Johannes Schmoelling, this latest album by Andreas Baaden gets discovered with these multiple tracks of instruments which, here at least, gives an essential essence to this album which surprised at the first listen, and that I devoured in subsequent listenings. We find here a brilliant composer, hence the link with Schmoelling, and a superb instrumentalist who has a huge potential for creativity. And this is what we discover with his latest album which is definitely a gem of creativity!
First of all, the title-track lets hear a good electronic ballad with a piano as the main attraction. A solitary e-piano weaving its melody which is embedded in a fog where we perceive its double interpreted in another way. Like Mike Oldfield, Andreas Baaden weaves his musical canvas by adding a synth and more keyboard tone as well as an acoustic guitar, while a second melody is grafted with a more animated vision. It's very beautiful in a huge scent of New Age! How Life Will Be In 3723 is a good slow-tempo with a futuristic touch which travels in a musical envelope soaked in this visual poetry of French films. This languid rhythm visits disused areas where clouds of sound effects and percussive effects languish which give it back the energy necessary to move it forward. The structure goes through more or less futuristic atmospheric phases which are filled with rattling, elastic wooshh and sound effects from a parallel universe. The orchestrations give a lyrical slowness to this structure which advances painfully in this universe of blobs and of other effects before returning to a more heavy rhythmic form. It's very rich in sound and very well structured in terms of its morphic rhythm. Meer Des Regens makes things much more interesting with a heavy and slow rhythm well in the saddle on solid percussions which bludgeon its rhythm. Thin lines of philharmonic Vangelis-style's synth are travelling between huge and dense synth layers which also make breathe its swarms of sound effects. A Tangerine Dream fragrance imposes its influences during the incubation phases of sounds and effects that are never far from disparate elements. It sounds like an EM from the future as its growth breathes through different stages. But in the end, it's synth-pop in Krautrock and in EM! The tremolo of the layers floating over a water leak in a cave becomes a nice illusion when a strong storm of whistling breezes pushes the ambient opening of Water And Air towards a spasmodic electronic rhythm. Jiggling like a zombie with a shorter leg, the rhythm is invaded by a Krautrock vision before going in a more electronic zone fills by less stormy winds which propel its troop of electronic effects as well as effects of iconoclastic voices.
The Last Orbit is a track that instantly catches our interest. Following its creativity curve, the music begins with a wave of reverberations which initiates a current of orchestral synth layers. This short opening becomes a good electronic rock in fusion with the kind of robotic synth-pop of Gary Numan. It's a very catchy rhythm with slamming percussions and harmonic layers which weave a slight earworm in a good 7 minutes of rock which needs to refresh ideas with the resources of its opening before bouncing at least twice. Nebular Distortions says it all! Omega follows this short parenthesis of distortions and sound effects with a static rhythm of which the reflection sparkles under synth layers with dark harmonious shadows. The title strikes a zone of distortions flowing by jerks before finding its original flow. We have to be open-minded for these two decidedly more cosmic and daring titles. Lorcana is another great moment of music. The movement begins with a nuptial march wrapped in a heavy coat thrown by an organ casted in progressive rock. A series of bass pulsations imposes a pulsating rhythm where the metallic squeaks of the cymbals stick together. Intensity reaches a point of no return when an arpeggiator makes a line of arpeggios oscillating keenly under gloomy layers which come and go in a post-apocalyptic vision. Good and very intense! Lonely Day ends this amazing album like the title-track had started. Either with a soft keyboard, or a guitar, attached to its bass line and its vampiric aura. An almost philharmonic synth smells this cinematographic structure and gratifies it with keyboard riffs and/or pads which leaves its elements in suspension, like a musical powder. Harmonious, the synth turns its harmonies in very musical solos over a soft rhythm that Andreas Baaden aromatizes of percussive effects resounding like clapping of wooden shoes on concrete. A ballad that is not quite one in an album that surprises by its diversity and this freshness that stimulates us for another listening. A pleasant surprise that takes us on many styles over many years. A little crush!
Sylvain Lupari (April 2nd, 20200) ****¼*
Available at MellowJet Records