ARCANE: A Tale of Unease (2012)
Updated: Aug 1, 2019
“A Tale of Unease is a pure masterpiece which travels cheerfully between these two universes that we can't see but hear since the beginning of the Teutonic invasion”
1 Darkened Mirrors 21:06 2 House on the Barren Hill 5:26 3 Sunrise 1877 6:58 4 The Portrait 9:14 5 A Tale of Unease 8:28 6 Stone Tapes 6:30 Paul Lawler Music (DDL 57:43
(Vintage Berlin School) (V.F.)
You believe in this? In these corridors, these breaches in time which open in the moment present and result in a parallel universe? Myth, legend or scientist artefact? The fact remains that in the 70's, a door has opened and an artist got lost there. His music, always of actuality, charms the nomads who cross astonishing counties and, from time to time, we can hear pieces of it if we stick our ears attentively near our dreams. A brilliant sounds sculptor is among of the few who has access to this other side. And in the hidden recesses of his studios he reworks these pieces of music in order to remind to nostalgic that the time has no influence on the art. Arcane is one of the numerous artistic projects from the mythical Paul Lawler: a highly qualified EM musician endowed by an incredible sense for stories, myths and mysteries and who is strongly inspired by Tangerine Dream of the Encore years and by the music of Edgar Froese at the top of his creativity. Oh...That I see you frowning and hear you sighing; another pretender to the throne left vacant by Baumann, Franke & Froese! Another artist who lives in the past and who passes warmed over! No! Not at all! The originality of the Arcane project is that we have the real impression that he is this artist lost between these parallel universes, where the creativity has no time. A TALE OF UNEASE is already Arcane's 7th album. And, as you are going to hear it, it's an album brought out straight ahead of a period when vintage EM had still to offer so much. Darkened Mirrors brings us back into time with an epic track fills by the aromas of psychedelicosmic vintages years. The intro is all of ambience with carillons and bells which ring and tint in electronic eddies, in hissing winds to ill-assorted tones and heavy reverberations which leave thundering sound imprints, setting ablaze the industrial and electro-organic faunas which crawls in the slow dying intro of Darkened Mirrors. A first line of flute rises above this din a little before the 5th minute, clearing off the glaucous ambience to leave place to a superb line of sequences which makes dance its ions in a zigzagging undulation. Synth solos to nasal tones and to undulatory forms embrace this rhythm which climbs an invisible spiral stairway. Percussions sounding like typewriter jingles are seasoning the rhythmic diversity while that the electronic is going more musical. And there we can say that Darkened Mirrors takes its real flight; twisted solos with loops cooing in darkness and a rhythmic trajectory slightly zigzagging of which the spasmodic kicks refuse the embraces a sinister mood. The rhythm is dying out at around the 9th minute and the sordid electro-organic ambience crystallizes Darkened Mirrors in an apocalyptic vision where the winds are caressing of their jerky breezes a battlefield where deprived souls are hanging onto spectral horses of which the trampling of clogs roam in the hoops of a synth with Floydian scents and to black roarings. The rhythm gets back to life a little before the 15th minute. A rhythm which scampers of its fine kicks suspended between two paces under the bites of synth riffs, which is the first real raid in the universe of the Dream. Oh...does the synth is magical? It braids some plaintive solos which snivel and cuddle the delicacy of a rhythm and of its ions which pound and flicker in parallel in an electro-organic dryad which lulls us up until the reflections of our opposition to phases. House on the Barren Hill bursts in our ears with a heavy and threatening approach, like the slow hammerings of slave traders castigating the rowers that were propelling the galleys. The pulsations resound in the jingles of the silvery cymbals, while that some dark layers of organ weave the sides of a sinister melody that fluty winds are moderating of their angelic singings which get lost in superb Babylonian orchestrations. This is a great theatrical track endowed with a fascinating progression. These electronic eddies which float such as gelatinous hoops mould the deathly atmospheres of A TALE OF UNEASE. Like rustles of electro-plasmic jellyfishes, they open the very ambient Sunrise 1877 whose organic fauna spits drizzle of melodies roaming in so much Dreamian Mellotron sadnesses. If so far our ears are extremely enchanted by A TALE OF UNEASE, The Portrait will blow you away. Always weaved in the meanders of anxiety, the intro abounds in its soft tones which coo in muddy muds. With these helixes of helicopters which turn in slow motion, the departure of The Portrait is as well sinister as it is floating. It's a sound decorative sylvan with quirky sound bits which wander in the corridors of a latent madness. But there is something magical here. These guttural rustles are getting away little by little from the nightmarish fog to form a strange rhythmic approach that sequences catch and grab in the passage, building the surprising structure of a rhythm which flickers of its ions jumping on the spot. This rhythm is as well mesmerizing as it is hallucinating. Strummed by a rhythmic stubbornness which has an equal only its hypnotic magnetism, it dives into the mixed moods of the vintage years where the Mellotron flutes overhang the knockings of metals and the harmonious riffs of keyboard which harmonize in the growls of pulsations to the echoes eroded. And out from nowhere pops a guitar and its evasive solos which call back so much Edgar Froese's universe. This is so great! The Portrait is the kind of track that leaves indelible tracks and which is worth to it alone the price of its work. Wonderful! After a slow intro which shines of all the ambiospherical artifices of A TALE OF UNEASE, the title-track widens its furtive rhythm which moves forward under the mysticism of an intense bluish fog. Sequences and percussions crackle all around this hypnotic minimalist ascension which spits its captivating poison by means of a suave Mellotron and of its morphic breaths. If we think that Arcane is only plagiarizing Tangerine Dream, Paul Lawler shows all the opposite with Stone Tapes which is an authentic raid in the universe of the Dream. Everything is there; mystic ambience weaved in fluty Mellotron, rivulet of arpeggios sparkling on a bed of sand and a rhythmic structure fed by fine kicks which oscillate under the charms of keyboard riffs and chthonian choirs, embracing at full musicality Edgar Froese's recollections on Stuntman and Pinnacles. Stone Tapes is really sculptured in the furrows of Tangerine Dream, while that the 50 other minutes of A TALE OF UNEASE are Arcane music that Tangerine Dream would have doubtless loved to do. Magnificent, musical and mesmerizing A TALE OF UNEASE is a pure masterpiece which travels cheerfully between these two universes that we can't see but hear since the beginning of the Teutonic invasion. This is intense 60 minutes where the magic and the music commune in the most beautiful tradition of the Berlin School's vintage years. To get absolutely!
Sylvain Lupari (March 5th, 2013) *****
Available at Paul Lawler Music Bandcamp