top of page
  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ARCANE: Perihelion E.P. (2015)

Perihelion has to be among the best music of this Berlin School analog vibe that has seduced me so much over the years

1 Perihelion-1 14:26 2 Perihelion-2 5:08 3 Perihelion-3 3:26 4 Perihelion-4 5:05 Paul Lawler Music

(DDL/E.P. 28:05) (V.F.) (Classical Berlin School)

Absolutely! To use the words of one of his fans; Paul Lawler doesn't stop to amaze. And this even in a crenel that several have snubbed because they believe that the genre is cleaned since moons. A magnificent composer and musician/synthesist who invests time and money to acquire the best of these equipments sculptors of sound magic, Paul Lawler shapes sounds, rhythms, atmospheres and harmonies which are at the pinnacle of our most extravagant visions. PERIHELION is the 2nd E.P. that Arcane whispers in our ears since the beginning of 2015. Both are not far from being one full length album. I guess we could say an album in two parts, because if Aphelion surfed clearly on the moods of the said Blue Years period of Tangerine Dream, the music sets fire in our ears with a hotter, a warmer music where the magic of the analog transports us in the heart of the dark years of EM, such as imagined by albums as solid as Stratosfear, Sorcerer and the Encore tour. And honestly!? This PERIHELION has to be among the best album or E.P. of this Berlin School analog vibe that has seduced me so much over the years.

The strength of Arcane, set apart the forging of its sequenced keys, is to know how to graft melodies to ambiences which are sometimes totally supernatural. Let's analyze Perihelion-1! Noises, lapping, hooting of owl, faded voices and pulsations; the intro plunges us into a swamp where reigns an atmosphere of zone misted of radioactive dusts. A superb Mellotron line tears away from these atmospheres and let float a melodic embryo, like a cloud weakened by winds, that the strings of a cello are scraping of a slow movement of perversion. What jumps to ears it's the ambiences. We put aside the last 40 years and we would swear that the planet Music didn't change. We really are in the edges of the 77 year but with a touch of modernity which is very perceptible to the ear. The sound decoration is extremely rich. That would take a full page to describe it. There is nothing of excess and each detail seems well calculated. A pulsing line makes skip a chord whereas a Mellotron releases a heady perfume of flute. Quietly, Perihelion-1 takes shape. A nasal wave accompanies this kind of funeral march from which the melody seems bound to a folk litany. Bangings, some people will say felted gases, escape and divert our ear from a line of sequences which makes its keys zigzagging in the background. Chthonian choruses embrace the procession and other percussions resound in the absolute discretion while the rhythm escapes with more swiftness. We are not in any Tangerine Dream era, we are in Arcane's. Pads of organ crunch the rhythm which undulates in the violence of the flutterings of the keys and the pattern of sequences of which the chords roll and castigate the rhythm like bursts of machine-gun fire. Perihelion-1 does not explode. It takes refuge into an ambient phase where a synth cries in banks of iridescent mist which smell so much Rick Wright's perfumes. Far off, we hear this pond of prism sparkling like the mirages of the floating sequences of the 76/77 years. A big black and resonant line falls then between our ears, extirpating the best of our souvenirs of the Dream, while Perihelion-1 flies away with long strides in good oscillating loops as much heavy as lively. Loops which rise and fall in the violence of the pulsations of a line of bass percussion among which the bangings and the hammerings have difficulty in resisting to this wild approach of dance floors.

The heavy, lively and aggressive rhythm of Perihelion-2 owes to be considered as the next hymn of electronic rock. The rhythm is cut in the mess of sequences which wave such as starving butterflies, a bass line as stoic and devastating as well as solid percussions. The melodic portion is assumed by another disordered decoration where sirens, vampiric waves and guitar solos filled of spectral harmonies go and come without ever taming the wild approach of Perihelion-2. It's my favorite track, while several swear only by Perihelion-1. But both are very different, and any comparison of favoritism seems to me inequitable. Perihelion-3 offers an undecided approach, a bit sneaky should I add. It's the closest music to Tangerine Dream here. The rhythm pounds with furtive beatings. They stop and restart as so curtly in the ashes of mocking melodies while another line of sequences plays the castanet with its keys which zigzag constantly in a sound setting that we can easily identified as a hot desert where the scorpions make the dance of seduction. Perihelion-4 is as virulent as 2, but also more fluid with a structure of rhythm knotted in deep oscillations which wave in a soundscape where the ambiences and the melodies look at each other and merge in perfumes which have already adorned the sonic settings of Phaedra. This is also very good. In fact, PERIHELION is more than very good. It's a superb E.P. which proves that Arcane, due to Paul Lawler's magic, will not stop to amaze and this even in a crenel from which several stay away or still look of scornfully because they believe, wrongly, that the pond is dried up. Me!? I challenge you to try PERIHELION and to still bear the same call...

Sylvain Lupari (June 25th, 2015) *****

Available at Paul Lawler Music Bandcamp

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page