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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ART OF INFINITY: Raumwerk (2012)

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

Raumwerk is a strong album which again merges skillfully a diversity of styles with a surprising cohesion in a long finely segmented musical journey

1 Raum und Zeit 3:58

2 Weltraum 1:46

3 Die Zeit 4:04

4 Das Tor 4:16

5 Glasufo 5:04

6 Zur zweiten Welt 12:57

7 Traumraum 2:20

8 Tunnellichter 4:37

9 Elektrischer Mann 4:08

10 Arena 6:49

11 Sternenhalle 5:34

(CD 55:33) (V.F.)

(Progressive EM)

To my big surprise, I liked a lot this last opus of Art Of Infinity. I'm not such a fan of robot voices à la Kraftwerk. And nevertheless, I did like RAUMWERK. I'm also the kind of guy who learns to distrust the beautiful melodies which surround pink-candies rhythms of synth-pop. And still there, I loved RAUMWERK. On the other hand, I adore synth-rock, electronic prog and the cataclysmic ambiences of an EM which bubbles within its psychedelicosmic effervescence. And that, there are full on the 55 minutes that last RAUMWERK. Then, you understand that I liked a lot this last album of Art Of Infinity. The duet Thorsten Sudler-Mainz and Thorsten Rentsch still surpasses itself by offering a rich musical production without smudges…or almost. Here is a great opus where the band isn't afraid of approaching musical tangents that little dare to do, so much the line between a more accessible music and a more exploratory and audacious musical form is difficult to do funambulist.

Raum und Zeit is a good starter with a heavy rhythm of which the ample oscillations are wrapped by a smooth coat of mist. The voices are robot-likes and their detached syllables remind me the cybernetic ramblings of Kraftwerk. This is good synth-pop which gets detached from the progressive approaches of the band. Weltraum is a short title of atmosphere with an astral melody which is trapped in a cosmic corridor. We are still under its charms when the edgy rhythm of Die Zeit digs into our ears with a line of bass from which the heavy resonances undulate in another universe of synth-pop where Gary Numan's recollections cannot escape our ears. It's alive and very lively, sometimes very rock, and it especially has nothing to do with AOI's usual repertoire that surprises pleasantly in this register. Das Tor brings us back to the ambiospheric landscapes of the German duo with a title without rhythm but filled with synth breaths which roar in loops in an intense filmic mood à la Vangelis. It's a good moment of philharmonic and futuristic ambience, quite as Glasufo from whom the ambiospheric depths release a great duality between a dreamy soft piano and a weeping violin. Flirting with its13 minutes Zur zweiten Welt is the jewel of the album. Noises of a plane engines are furnishing the intro which slowly collapses under the incisive bites of a superb electric guitar. One would believe to be in full Pink Floyd mood with this portion of psychedelicosmic blues. The languishing rhythm is changing of skin at around the 4th minute, embracing a more ethereal phase with a soft piano which misleads its fragile notes into heavy and intense aboriginal musical landscapes, paving the way to a great prog synth-rock which gets consumed in a powerful final where the tribal percussions of Byron Metcalf burst out under the rips of a vampiric guitar. Incredibly good!

While the lost notes of Traumraum's meditative piano are continuing to roam on the vestiges of Zur zweiten Welt, Tunnellichter climbs the slopes of a slow and uncertain rhythm which drags an imploring heaviness in a very electronic static broth. We detect a fine melody, a kind of astral divination there, murmured among these rhythmic clogs which forge an ascending rhythm but of which the structure drowns itself in vapors and cosmic breezes. The piano is also one of the harmonious key elements of this 4th opus of Sudler-Mainz and Rentsch. On Elektrischer Mann it forges a fascinating funeral march. A sober procession with a finely jerked gait where crumbled harmonies throw a balm of astral incense around a paranormal voice which recites a robotic psalm. Simplistic you will say? Yes but also extremely catchy! Arena offers a more progressive structure of the kind of Zur zweiten Welt with a synth of which the breaths to the smells of saxophone are roaming in an intro which tumbles in a furious cosmic gallop. The rhythm is heavy, curt and jerked. Bitten by the soloing riffs of a gourmand electric guitar and knocked down by percussions to metallic clogs, it runs after its breath that it finds in a long ambiospheric and psychedelicosmic passage where the synth and the guitar are exchanging cooing and lamentations on an absent rhythm which skips as much slightly than the sounds of the voices with faded rustles. Sternenhalle closes this last musical odyssey of Art Of Infinity with a structure totally ambiospheric where the musical abstract art lives in a luxuriant sound fauna of which the limits are pushed away until infinity. And the guitar? Gosh that I have the impression to hear David Gilmour!

RAUMWERK is a strong album which merges skillfully a diversity of styles which become entangled with a surprising cohesion in a long finely segmented musical journey. The ambiences are rich and the rhythms, sometimes heavy and curt, are catchy. These elements, added to the wonderful guitars, weave a charming album that has no dead moment. An album that I adored and this from the first rhythms of Raum und Zeit.

Sylvain Lupari (December 19th, 2012) *****

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