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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

AXESS: Time Traveller (2005)

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

Despite its clear tendency for techno rhythms, I enjoyed this Axess' Time Traveller

1 Time Traveller 5:56

2 The Uncertainty Principle 6:11

3 Cuba Libre 5:48

4 Fly Away 6:29

5 Mirror of Illusions 6:17

6 Pharao 7:49

7 Bombay Fruit Market 6:26

8 Lost in Space 5:26

9 The Voyage 8:06

10 World of Secrets 14:50

(CD-R / DDL 73:41) (V.F.)

(EDM, New Berlin School)

I like the music of Axess! With the return of Pyramid Peak and the album Caveland, the German synthesist detaches himself from the sound of the Peak and of Berlin School to continue to deepen a more striking style, more techno. But not the cold techno that does Boom Boom, Tchak-Tchak and Tchik a Boom. No! It's more in the style of his debut album First Light. There is a clever fusion of genres here where the exploratory side of his complex harmonies remains the premise of his compositions.

A sound shadow passes quickly, the time to be dragged by a fast and powerful circular rhythm. Time Traveller is a furious track with solid percussions and a bass pulsing sequencer line that beats a rippling and resonant rhythm. Some very robotic synth lines embellish this driving rhythm evolving on a nervous and syncopated movement of the sequencer that is linked to more sustained percussions. A good massive techno, like the corrosive Bombay Fruit Market which we find later on this album. The first jolts of The Uncertainty Principle feature a nonchalant approach with a good, haunting groovy bass and slamming percussions a la Jean-Michel Jarre. A good momentum is subdividing, creating two movements that play on the shadow of each other, around beautiful long sinuous solos, orchestral and enveloping misty layers and a fluid synthetic chorus that catches. A very good track that catches on the first listen and hides something vicious and sensual. Cuba Libre is more nervous. Hesitant, the rhythm clings to driving percussions and a synth with syncopated lines that swirl over eager percussions. In all this ball of energy the layers float as if unconscious, creating an ambiguous rhythm that a long synth wail triturates to the length of Cuba Libre. Fly Away is a juicy circular techno with a sequencer's jerky riffs and bass resonant pulsations as well as pounding percussions. The rhythm is hyper syncopated on heavy and hypnotic beats that let filter nice melodious segments.

Mirror of Illusions is a great track! Strange percussions stimulate a slow rhythm on sound effects that amplify even more the fascination we have of the percussions. The rhythm spins a little more, with a contrary effect from the sequencer, under nice synth solos. A track with dramatic effects and country-rock riffs that gives a clandestine charm to the music. Tribal voices push Pharao towards a floating ambience. Tense movement pours over a lopsided gait that throbbing percussions command with a sensual rhythm. The sensuality takes all its dimension with a groovy bass, the ethereal voices hidden in the synth layers and subtle laments of desire. Lost in Space is a good electronic melody that strangely reminds me of Alan Parsons' soft cosmic melody on I Robot. The percussions that flutter and shake the tranquility of The Voyage are timed just right. A good pulsing bass line adds to the movement that gains weight, until it intersects with the beautiful melodic line that falls. Unsuspected, The Voyage takes on the shape of a grand departure on superb synth melodies charming over a syncopated rhythm with prompt percussions that change its course without ever disorienting the melodies. With World of Secrets, we go back to a more Berlin School template with a dark intro that floats over space sounds and humming aerospace's shuffles. Strange sound effects wriggle through the ambience, much like a deregulated percussions set, before taking shape over the jerky rhythm of its hesitant sequencer. A good circular track with jerky effects that slowly spins over some looped synth lines and ends in atmospherical splendor.

Despite its clear tendency for techno rhythms, I enjoyed this Axess' TIME TRAVELLER. For me, it's a good way to discover his universe of rhythms lead by a very good play of the sequencers and of the electronic percussions. Between EDM and the Friday techno nights, he manages to infiltrate the melodious culture and the warmth of his synth solos which are missing on this kind of music. If some tracks smash the eardrums, others invigorate and recover them, creating the perfect union between styles, because there is Berlin School and ambient passages too, at the extremes that few artists manage to temper. Axel Stupplich is one of them.

Sylvain Lupari (December 19th, 2006) *****

Available at Axess-Music

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