ARCANE: Aphelion (E.P. / 2015)
“All the charm of Aphelion lies in this continual growth which obsesses a listening all the time dumbfounded by the art of Paul Lawler”
1 Aphelion 1 5:24 2 Aphelion 2 5:19 3 Aphelion 3 6:43 4 Aphelion 4 10:13 Paul Lawler Bandcamp
(DDL 27:42) (V.F.) (E-rock for picture-minded)
Those, and there are several, who want and/or think that Tangerine Dream doesn't have completely explore all the veins of its sound experiments; Arcane is the answer to your expectations, to your recriminations. Since Gather Darkness, in 1999, that the music of Arcane follows the shades of that of Tangerine Dream. In fact, the music, the myths and the legends of the Berlin trio versus those of Arcane are so much near one of the other that we have to investigate the fascinating birth of the English trio who saw, little by little, two of his members leaving the ship in rather misty circumstances, leaving the rudder to none other than Paul Lawler. But let's get back to the music. To APHELION! Contrary to Revenants, the music is less heavy, more melodious. Paul Lawler brings us in the paths of the mysticism here with delicate aromas of Legend which float here and there.
And that begins with some soft murmur of synths which float and fall from an ambient sky, such as leaves falling of a sonic tree. The waves of their reverberations awaken a fine line of sequence which shapes a rhythm as much agile as fragile with keys skipping like the delicate clogs of Bambi on a land of fire. From this indecision, Aphelion 1 falls in our ears with sounds of flutes and voices of clouded choirs. The movement of the keys increase the pace, widening a delicate rhythmic empire which catches the weight of the mute pulsations while the melody which pierces little by little the core, the center of APHELION awakens in us the memories of Legend, as also of Underwater Sunlight. Aphelion 1 establishes the pattern of APHELION which will roam all around its 4 structures. If the approach remains melodiously ambient and delights our ears of fluty harmonies and foggy choruses, Aphelion 2 offers a structure of rhythm always so mysterious but slightly more livened up where is sparkling a glittering chain of sequences. There is as a scent of mystery which revolves around the music as its structure shells its minutes. Always hesitating, waddling almost like a virgin in front of a carnal buffet, the rhythm rocks and stays hooked on the melody. It develops itself stage by stage, always increasing a strength and a swiftness which will harmonize constantly in these melodies so similar which roam as spectres of Legend. Aphelion 3 remains just as much delicate, but we observe all the same a swiftness in the tone, so much in the melody as in the rhythm, which announces a probable explosion somewhere. The sequences are more nervous. They divide the rhythm between an approach delicately pulsating and one which is made up of ambient drummings of which the origins become get entangled and tickle in the strikes of good e-percussions.
Bit by bit APHELION grasps a kind of electronic rock which is very near of Underwater Sunlight. And it's even more true with Aphelion 4 and its sequenced keys to tones of harpsichord which little by little sink into a kind of gallop, well detailed by riffs and percussions. The orchestrations give a more film structure while the riffs of guitar cannot ignore the influences that Underwater Sunlight, and even Tyger for the sequences, have over the destinies of this E.P. which would doubtless have exploded violently if a Aphelion 5 would have been. But would it really have been necessary? Because all the charm of APHELION lies in this continual growth which obsesses a listening all the time dumbfounded by this art that possesses Paul Lawler to extract all this water from a source that several people considered once dried up of imagination.
Sylvain Lupari (January 20th, 2015) ***½**
Available at Paul Lawler Music Bandcamp