ANSGAR STOCK: Episode 1-A New Generation (2019)
“This young kid arouses us with big heavy electronic rock, like he makes us travel throughout dreamlike galaxies with floating rhythms”
1 Countdown 5:37
2 51L mission 6:30
3 Jedi Cruiser 188 10:30
4 Nature Storm 9:15
5 Floating Minds
(featuring Tommy Betzler) 18:08
6 Porsche Drive 911 6:58
7 Deep Space Alien Encounter 7:32
8 Christmas Melody 4:26
9 Springtime Memories
(featuring Claus Jahn) 6:04
(CD/DDL 74:35) (V.F.)
A 10-year-old kid doing EM! You believe in it!? Well, that's what's happening with this new Groove adventure; EPISODE 1-A NEW GENERATION from a young German synthesist who enjoys a very good technical support, making this first album less childish than one might think. After all, isn't not this same label that has launched Synthex's career? A career quickly became silent, however. And what can we expect from a kid still far from his puberty? At a simplistic level of composition based on the minimum of chords in a setting that we are all familiar with. And that said without any malice, because I heard an EM filled with very catchy rhythms and melodies. And I don't know to what extent Matthias Stock, who mixed the titles, Tommy Betzler, who plays drums on the amazing Floating Minds, and Ron Boots, who did the mastering, were able to collaborate to make EPISODE 1 -A NEW GENERATION an album where the young Ansgar Stock doesn't have to blush any complex on his style of composition. On the contrary! In an impressive palette of 75 minutes, he arouses us with big heavy electronic rock well directed to a techno and/or EDM vision, like he makes us travel throughout dreamlike galaxies with floating rhythms. In short, a nice surprise!
It's therefore with two very heavy and consistent titles that starts EPISODE 1-A NEW GENERATION. I disregard that voice counting on the cosmic mist bed in Countdown. This is something overused over the last few years and nestling on almost the entire title. Too bad, because the static rhythm is powerful and pounded of many strikes, and by percussions and by the sequencer, while being scanned by intense circular sound beams. I propose the idea, during a remix version or a compilation, to remove these voices that divert our attention from a heavy rhythm contagious for our feet. There is a better balance in 51L mission that offers another heavy and powerful rhythm, hammered by a sequencer without breaths of life and good electronic percussions. And if you like pure and curt rhythms, such as Moonbooter breaking the dancefloor of a rave party, Ansgar Stock fills our ears with some others, like Porsche Drive 911 which would go very well in the repertoire of a Kraftwerk on ecstasy! Deep Space Alien Encounter joins this series of explosive titles with a dose of metal in this thundering Techno. These rhythms have more electronic effects than melodious chords, the young German musician preferring to focus on the pure and simple destruction of my eardrums. Simple and effective, and Deep Space Alien Encounter is quite catchy by dividing well the poles ambiances and rhythms.
Jedi Cruiser 188 is the first title to propose a progressive evolutionary approach. The first layer of rhythm is floating with jets of mist that expire an ocher color. Arpeggios are grafted quietly. Shimmering like the reflection of clear water in the sun, they invite a line of sequences to forge again this approach became spheroidal. We find these sound lights that sweep the horizons with a dark vision, while the clarity of the rhythm continues to flow on a road already borrowed by dozens of other synthesists after the Software era. The rhythm remains circular with a minimalist ritornello of sequences where hasty pulsations are grafted, and where the arpeggios become jerkier. Discreet harmonious solos float on this rhythm which pulse now on a big carpet of cosmic mist. Harmonies and rhythm cohabit with a good symbiosis on this title that clearly shows the skill of the young musician. I like it, like I absolutely love Floating Minds. This long title of 18 minutes is built a little on the same principle but with a vision more electronic rock implanted by the impressive strikes of Tommy Betzler. The layers of rhythm progress with intensity, like a bolero divided between its hypnotic charm and the increased ferocity of TB whose imposing presence adds a very professional dimension to this title that will make grow even more the young talent of Ansgar Stock. A really big title! And there are other surprises ... Like Nature Storm which uses the same pattern but with different degrees of emotion that come and go in its 9 minutes that fray between rhythm and ambience. Christmas Melody says it all! It's a beautiful cosmic ballad with perfumes of poetry that make me think of the first reflections for sequencer from Richard Pinhas. Springtime Memories ends a very promising first album for Ansgar Stock with an ambient ballad that draws a bit on New Age.
I took some time before writing this column to be sure of what I was going to write. After all, what can a 10-year-old boy have to offer? Good music very catchy with a level of complexity quite surprising for his young age. So, I understand this craze around his early career, which I hope will last more than one album.
Sylvain Lupari (November 26th, 2019) ***½**
Available at Groove NL