ARCANE: Future Wreck (2000)
Updated: May 21
“As long as we are comfortable with constantly evolving musical structures having a strong resemblance with TD, this is an imposing work”
1 Future Wreck 21:31
2 The Plastic Eaters 12:38
3 The Visible Empty Man 18:42
4 Planet of the Blind 8:53
New Harmony NH 014
(CD/DDL 61:46) (V.F.)
This second Arcane's opus further cultivates the myth behind the story. One can see 3 visages on the back artwork, pushing even more the history ... or the legend. Was Arcane really a trio? What is its true story? Myth or reality? Would Arcane be the embodiment of this Tangerine Dream which experienced its first death following the departure of Peter Baumann in 1977? One thing is certain, in fact two things are certain. First, Paul Lawler captured the imagination of many people during this huge hoax following the launch of Gather Darkness and second, his music, like the story of Tangerine Dream, moreover, is as mythical as it's in keeping with the musical genesis of the famous Berlin trio.
Take the very long title-track! Its intro is very sulphurous with its spectral choirs humming serious and dark tunes. An atmosphere as dismal as that emanating from the very obscure Phaedra. A good bass line circulates among these obscure sound effects including mellotron flutes in different colors of the ambient darkness. Through this strange atmospheric race, the wreck strolls like a lycanthrope can wander in a dense forest. Already overloaded, the atmospheres multiply with the arrival of another synth layer which is adorned by light and very discreet percussions. The beast stops, takes its breath, and looks. In small steps she comes, eyeing her air with mischief. A flute in hand, she calls for reinforcement. The first sequences arrive and it's the explosion. On a heavy rhythm, Future Wreck comes alive with its cries of horns and its strata with cyclical heaviness on a good drum which strikes with insistence. The resemblance to the Dream is amazing, especially with the symphonic aspect of the synthesizers and the mellotron.
The Plastic Eaters offers a rather dark atmospheric start. A bass line walks among scattered sound effects, including a metallic line that spreads a strange cold tone on notes that honk their impatience. A synth line uses a few riffs and Tangram-style arpeggios set the table to a more lively line. The title thus builds varied rhythms with very melodious essences. We close our eyes and think to hear an extension of Tangram. The Visible Empty Man uses the same musical paths. Ambient intro with notes forgotten in Poland in 1983. An introduction which progresses slowly and amasses more lively atmospheric strata with the use of the mellotron in trumpet mode. Another line of sequences is added with more animated electronic percussion. And the rhythm settles down with finesse and at the different musical turns which will cross more unbridled moments, as more rested ones. Planet of the Blind is the shortest track on this album. So, it doesn't waste time. After a gentle mellotron intro, a pulsating line strolls, leaning against heavy and circular notes. The rhythm is animated gently and begins a melody with astonishing progressions that spin around imposing musical winks to the different sequences and harmonies that we find on Tangerine Dream's Tangram.
As long as we are comfortable with constantly evolving musical structures which have a strong resemblance to Tangerine Dream, FUTURE WRECK is an imposing work. It's more than 60 minutes of EM loaded of Berlin School's essences in an impeccable crossover between rhythms and ambiences on a darker vision which should appeal to aficionados who cling to the beginning of the Berlin School. It's not trivial as result, considering that Arcane is the story of a one man with an imagination as overflowing as his talents as a composer and arranger. Always keep in mind that TD was made up of 3 excellent musicians. So, hat to you Paul Lawler…
Sylvain Lupari (October 11th, 2006) ****½*
Available at Paul Lawler Bandcamp