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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ANDY PICKFORD: Orgonon (2017)

Updated: Aug 5, 2019

“What can I say about Orgonon that I still have didn't say yet about the music of Andy Pickford? A bit different but still very impressive for this comeback into the lands of mid 90's”

1 Orgonon (Parts 1-5) 1:18 :18 2 Orgonon (Parts 6-10) 1:13 :54 3 Orgonon (Parts 11-15) 1:14 :41 Andy Pickford Music

(DDL 226:53) (V.F.) (Electronica, Synth-pop, Rhythm & Dance)

You are still not a member of this legion of fans, ardent supporters and eater of tones as charming as puzzling of Andy Pickford? It's a pity, because you miss downright something. This icon of the English fantastic music (yes, yes) leaves us a very premature inheritance of his immense talent with not less than a dozen sound works since his comeback in 2015. And in this lot, there is an incredible sound odyssey of 4 immense musical volumes which are divided into 3 chapters of more or less 3:30 hours. A lot of creativity with very few dead moments! ORGONON is the 3rd, and the most accessible, volume of this audacious series where Pickford travels between pompous ballad, synth-pop chewed on by superb percussive effects and an EM which is not really very far from the progressive synth-pop territories. In brief, for all and for all tastes! And a very accessible to discover an artist who seems to me wrongly snubbed. I still delay discovering the whole of his universe, but according to what Andy has written about ORGONON is that the music is situated in his Sci-Fi era, between his Terraformer and Maelstrom albums. A time that one day I’ll get in and an era which has put Andy in the checkboard of EM, of the melodious England School.

As soon as we start up our Streaming Media Player, Orgonon (Parts 1-5) throws to us a jet of hollow breezes, of organic arpeggios and of mist of suspense between the ears. A delicate melody sat on swirling arpeggios serves as bed to another more dominant one which is shaken by a very melancholic guitar. A guitar which by the way is very present all over ORGONON. It's soft and full of tenderness. Rippling effects of cymbals caress this melody while the guitar gets more honeyed, more striking. The curtain falls on this introduction of romance with a mass of sound intensity knotted around percussions and their very Jarre echoes, around a dense veil of bass and some cinematic orchestrations where throne from now on the oral instincts of a vocoder and a somber story of domination. The rhythm is slow, a good down-tempo, while the orchestrations stimulate it with growing staccato effects. Orgonon Part 1 returns to its harmonious veil in a finale as intense than moving with guitar solos which seem to metamorphose with a tone of synth. Orgonon Part 2 comes along around the 18th minute with a nebulous frame. The ringings of the cosmic effects turn slowly into a Venusian melody while the percussions, always very Jarre, roam like these giant wings of dragonflies in search of food. Brilliant and ardent of feelings, the guitar spits wonderful evasive solos which draw the path of a song delivered on a vocoder. The more approachable foundations of England School are very well displayed with a quieter, a nebulous phase before Orgonon Part 2 resuscitates again. It's through another hazy phase that Orgonon Part 3 lays down its influence around the 32 minutes spot. And it's a lively, a stroboscopic and a swirling beat, like in the good years of techno/dance, that the music invades our ears. Lively and danceable in a mixture of rock, techno and trance, this portion of Orgonon (Parts 1-5) remains all the same pleasant in its interstellar decoration and especially with an electronic melody which hangs on quite well to our eardrums. For all styles and all tastes, remember! Orgonon Part 4 arrives at the 48th minute with a good mid-tempo of the same years while that Orgonon Part 5 ends this first volume of ORGONON in intensity. The rhythm is heavy, slow and evolves in a structure of intensity supported by arrangements worthy of a grand finale.

The 2nd volume opens with a heavy and slow rhythm as well as with hyper harmonious and especially hyper poignant arrangements. The orchestrations fly more than float in a choreography filled of momentums of waltzes arising from a tornado which took root in a field of marijuana. There is always a vocoder, but I find it at its place here. At the 14th minute, Orgonon Part 7 spreads its cloud of apocalyptic mist. A fragile bed song which sings through glass arpeggios gets out from this dense cloud shaded, drawing a frivolous pace which swirls such as silk hair in a hot breeze. A structure of rhythm eventually hatched out by binding itself on the same ethereal pattern with a guitar and its gypsy solos. Orgonon Part 8 takes shape in the 29th minute with an Acid Rock filled with essences of trance music. We always stay in the very diversified universe of Andy Pickford with unpredictable forms and effects, a lot of those, even richer than the most immense of fireworks. The whole thing, including these neurotic percussions, runs out of breath near the 45 minutes point, an ideal moment to install the bases of a good down-tempo which does good between the ears and which gives, especially, a bit of respite to the feet and the floor. One would wish that Orgonon Part 9 lasts and lasts, but our senses won't be disappointed with the coming of Orgonon Part 10 which drinks of this structure and leads us to one finale softer than Orgonon Part 5 but always so effective. "Orgonon (Parts 11-15)" proposes the best moments in ORGONON with 5 soft and harmonious structures, set apart the danceable but measured Orgonon Part 12, where we also find a melodious touch of Tangerine Dream, Orgonon Part 13, I would even add Orgonon Part 14 which is breathtaking, and a cinematographic orchestral finale which we have never heard coming.

Intense, more musical as well as more accessible ORGONON took me a little by surprise with an approach which inhales that of the 90's when the styles Pet Shop Boys and Franky Goes to Hollywood were reworked by Future Sound of London, Orbital and other mercenaries of the kind who have brought back the creativity at the heart of the music. Once again, Andy Pickford delivers us a stunning musical mosaic with points of intensity which gave me the goosebumps from time to time. The guitar is striking, the percussions are incredible and the arrangements are as much spectacular as this way that has Andy Pickford to solder the whole thing into something unique. To discover, volume by volume and not all at the same time!

Sylvain Lupari (December 2nd, 2017) *****

Available on AP Bandcamp

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