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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

AWENSON: Hope (2019)

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

“Hope is in a pure Berlin School style with some genius rhythmic frameworks and a vintage tone in the synths, sequencers and keyboards...A really good return for Awenson!”

1 Us and You 11:23 2 Galactic Humanity 9:10 3 In the Heart of Love 20:00 4 Fly High 15:10 5 Orpheus 11:18

Groove GR-262 (CD 67:01)

(Berlin School) (V.F.)

Electronic phweuz open the territories of Us and You. Their resonances crumble small synthesized pads, creating an interstellar void where the echoes remain masters of the opening of this first title offered by Awenson since the end of Wizard. A sinister wave spreads its reverberations from which emerges a heavy sequencer and beating a measure of electronic rock under slow subversive waves of the synth and its lugubrious effects. Everything turns upside down in this opening until the rhythm of the sequencer draws up a fluid structure which runs with delicate shades in its rotary axis. The structure goes up and down, remaining faithful to these innumerable synth solos which are the base of an EM of the analog years. Chirps of electronic birds and discrete layers surround these solos whose harmonies remain the subjects of our imagination. It's pure old Berlin School that Awenson offers to our ears with its comeback album HOPE. Absent from the music scene for the past 9 years, the French musician Jöel Bernard had to fight his demons before finding his necessary balance to continue the conquest of our ears undertook in 2005 with Shadows. And Us and You picks up where the French musician has left off. This time, it's with the Dutch Groove label that Awenson weaves its return (I even let myself say that a new album was already in preparation) with an album where the Berlin School cohabit with the perfumes of the French School, either romance and cosmos in the harmonies, which cover this first title introducing us to a very good album (I was very surprised I must say) that Ron Boots has been able to seize all the nuances and dimensions in an excellent mastering. And if there is a title that could show Awenson's moods in recent years, I would opt for the static and yet tumultuous structure of Galactic Humanity. Ambient, the rhythm is structured by underground waves whose eddies expel dark effects. The emotivity, blown by innumerable and hovering drifting synth solos, is omnipresent with a vision as abysmal as theatrical. Intense emotionally!

Western breezes spread a warm climate in the opening of In the Heart of Love which is a long hypnotic title where none of the 20 minutes presented seems too long. The frame of the rhythm is built on 3 movements of the sequencer which add in turn, each filling the imperfection of the previous one. The effect is very attractive and hangs instantly our attention. This unexpected symbiosis gives a rhythm faithful to the tradition of the Berlin School. Orchestral pads and splashes of white noises control the ambiances which are embellished by an organic tone of a line of rhythm and of this 3rd with its arpeggios vibrating whitish tones. This setting also benefits the synth which throws these good solos which are found throughout HOPE. The cosmic mist pads are very Klaus Schulze, Irrlicht era. The rhythm evaporates in an ambiospherical passage, a little after the 8 minutes. The arpeggios continue to glow like tonal fireflies in a choreography whose repetitive movements roll rhythmically in the banks of the metallic haze from these orchestrations of ether. And it's the 2nd movement of the sequencer which comes back to activate the rhythm of In the Heart of Love. Rhythm which is joined soon enough by these two sequencing stooges, while the synth solos flock with the same passion and energy that Awenson shows since the opening of HOPE. The sound is very vintage in Fly High which starts with organ pads slightly resounding in an opening where the cosmos flirts with the abyss of the Earth. Chthonian perfumes reign there with wave of voices bordering on these atmospheres. Pulsations bite our ears after 4 minutes, creating an indecisive rhythm whose resonances evaporate with the shadows of the voices. A sequencer emerges and its upward movement, in the Berlin School genre, is quickly harpooned by a barrage of percussions. These drums beat a measure that is very Jean-Michel Jarre, period Revolutions, which flirts between rock and trance where lays down a delicious organ layer and synth solos carved in nostalgia. From what I understand, Orpheus is the symphonic part of an album project called Orpheus that should have appeared in 2018. So, it's very orchestral and quite ambient. The sound and slow winged movement of the orchestrations remind me of Synergy, Games and even Sequencer. It's a solid contrast with the moods of HOPE which is in a pure Berlin School style with some genius rhythmic frameworks and a vintage tone in the synths, the sequencers and keyboards. In short, a superb album that continues where Wizard had brought us ... and even further. A very good return for Awenson!

Sylvain Lupari (April 22nd, 2019) ****¼*

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