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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BATTERYDEAD: Sands of Deception (2011)

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

“For the slightest bit that we are attracted by rhythms more danceable than cosmic, Sands of Deception of Batterydead will know how to charm you”

1 Escape the Mist 8:36 2 Sands of Deception Part I 12:00 3 Spice 8:48 4 Electron Orbit 5:31 5 Amazonas 8:08 6 Evidence of Life 6:11 7 Starlight 4:58 8 Sands of Deception Part II 5:08 9 Dried Out 9:18 10 Arctic Winter 5:54 SyntGate | CDR BD02

(CD-r/DDL 74:38) (V.F.)

(EDM Ambient, e-rock)

Here's a work which goes away a bit from the usual structures of Berlin School and New Berlin School that we usually find on Syngate. Batterydead is Christian Ahler's musical project and those who like an EM centred on dance music will be charmed by this work which draws its delight from sequences and arpeggios with crystal clear tones which dance and sing on rhythmic structures in constant indecision flooded by an attractive and rich electronic fauna. SANDS OF DECEPTION is built on structures which begin in some dreamlike cosmic veils and evolve towards mid-tempos and soft techno where the mists of Orion and the violins of Mare Tranquillitatis caress sub-styles which bind themselves to Element 4 and Robert Schroeder.

Escape the Mist begins softly. Fine arpeggios swirl in shields of mist which drop filet of absent voices, forging a hesitating and undulatory rhythm which exudes the limpid harmonies of Eddie Jobson and his wonderful Theme of Secrets. Swiftness is settling down behind this oneiric fog, while that slamming and slightly felted percussions mould a fine cosmic break-dance à la Jean-Michel Jarre. Like many other titles on this album, Escape the Mist is jumping from rhythm to rhythm and float from ambience to another, fleeing each new step that it has just forged to fly towards others purer or evasive and where glass arpeggios and celestial breaths draw some sweet lunar harmonies. These arpeggios with tones of Arctic xylophone are the cornerstone of SANDS OF DECEPTION. They design beautiful melodious approaches which sing and dance on rhythms in perpetual mutation. Mutations which embrace mid-tempo or lounge tangents and caress by moments cosmic and contemplative spaces, debauching the best of these two worlds to rhythmic paradox. Like in Sands of Deception Part I which espouses the precepts of Escape the Mist with a fusion of lounge and mid-tempo styles. Slamming percussions, ambivalent rhythms and crystal arpeggios are wandering on rhythmic approaches which converge towards a soft lunar techno where the synths loosen beautiful layers of mist which throw an orchestral aura to rhythms more cosmic than earthly. Spice is a delicious slow cosmic dance which takes marvellously advantage of its heavy percussions and its bass line to sinuous sensual notes which waltz in a dense screen of outer space mist. Electron Orbit is a superb meshing of genres where we have the impression to hear Tangerine Dream at the crossroads of its styles with great heavy sequences and inspired solos which get juxtapose in good orchestral arrangements.

After a honeyed intro proper to the evolutionary structures of Batterydead's 2nd opus, Amazonas dives towards a soft mid-tempo stuffed with floating pads and arpeggios blown in the melodic glass. It’s quite dancing and there is a beautiful solo of crystalline arpeggios which propels us towards the dreams of being into the Caribbean islands. Evidence of Life follows with a pulsating approach and nervous cymbals slowed down by a dense cosmic cloud. The synth is contemplative and decorates this latent rhythm which bubbles with its sequences and cymbals full of restraints. Starlight offers a sharply more disco structure. A structure which influences Sands of Deception Part II and its charming solos whereas that Dried Out moderates the ambiences with a more supple approach. The tempo evolves between two approaches, a more lunar one and a more edgy one with curt percussions / frictions which hatches a rhythm flooded in its cosmic elements. Arctic Winter closes with a good electronic ballad. A beautiful down-tempo which teems with arpeggios to sequential essences o f which the melodic plan can only lead us to hem with our shadow.

For the slightest bit that we are attracted by rhythms more danceable than cosmic, SANDS OF DECEPTION of Batterydead will know how to charm you. I kind of like this festival of crystal tones arpeggios and sequences which float, roam and spin in structures which walk along constantly between two approaches often at opposites. Those who loved Dreams of my SPACE Vol.I: Thanx for the add will have something to put in their ears, because this album offers a multitude of approaches of which the same genre touches lightly the various spheres of EM; a little as if Batterydead would be the mirror of all which revolves in the wonderful world of EM. Different certainly but good and especially done well!

Sylvain Lupari (August 29th, 2012) ***½**

Available at SynGate

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