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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ARCANE: Conduit (2018)

“Conduit is a work conceived and designated for fans of Berlin School that Arcane liked to write in the early 2000's”

1 Conduit 1 5:42 2 Conduit 2 13:20 3 Conduit 3 6:36 4 Conduit 4 7:32 5 Conduit 5 5:56 Paul Lawler Music

(DDL 39:10) (V.F.) (Berlin School)

A series of dark, fat and juicy chords begins a vampiric march while spreading out a thin veil of reverberations. The song of a synth espouses this sinister step which increases its pace with the arrival of castanets. Not yet a Luciferian electronic rock, Conduit 1 evolves yet of another step with the arrival of percussion more in mode rock and with a line of bass sequences which gurgle in a strange batrachian language. Supported, the rhythm hosts good synth solos on a bed of percussion and sequences. After this brief, more ambient passage, the rhythm is reborn with an electronic fauna rich of its effects and of its nebulous layers. CONDUIT is the last E.P./L.P., since it's around 40 minutes, from Arcane. Always very prolific since the beginning of 2010, Paul Lawler delivers here an opus in mode Berlin School. A first since Landers, except for Live @ E-Day 2017, and it feels good!

But Arcane doesn't give up the chthonic atmospheres, like the one which feeds the first 180 seconds of Conduit 2. An ideal staging, because the atmospheres remain in all that is more Tangerine Dream of the 70's, for a sequencer to weave these fluid and ambient rhythms of the Berlin School. Paranormal electronic ornaments accompany the gentle oscillation of this ambient rhythm where a synth, and percussive elements, goes into mode mystery and harmony after the mark of 4 minutes. Effects which sweep the horizons and add a little mystery to this structure which seems to race continuously and becomes as fluid as its many very musical solos. Using his fantasies for the 13 minutes of Conduit 2, Paul Lawler structures a very good Berlin School by playing on the fluidity of rhythm and the richness of synth solos which spin like acrobatic fires in the dark sky of the more ethereal phases. Shorter, Conduit 3 is molded a bit in the same musical pattern. Except that here the race is more furious and jerky, it looks like a train, and the effects are eviller. A good theme for a horror movie. We are entering a phase of CONDUIT where creativity, linked to the exploration of Paul Lawler's new equipment, brings the listener into territories where the imagination reaches our fibers of extreme tension. Like this fascinating rhythm in Conduit 4, it looks like a race of suction cups on a wet window, which brings us into gloomy territories. A Mellotron throws airs of flutes on a bed of scrambled waves. Always curt and hatched, the rhythm sculpts semi-rotary phases where end up clinging percussion elements. The synth pitches harmonies which adopt the flute songs, while fall down grave chords which deepen even more the field of dramatic intensity of the title. Conduit 5 is pure Arcane with a very lively electronic rock which bathes in mephistophelic elements. Did I hear a guitar there?

CONDUIT is a work conceived and designated for fans of Berlin School that Arcane liked to write in the early 2000's. The sound and equipment are more contemporary, but the signature remains the same. Some very solid Arcane which renews, for my greatest pleasure, with its Berlin School style caramelized in the best of Tangerine Dream, in terms of soundtracks and their passages guided by sequencer and electronic percussion. Go treat yourself! It's with this genre of EM that I fell in it some 40 years ago …

Sylvain Lupari (July 30th, 2018) *****

Available on Paul Lawler Bandcamp

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