BERLIN HERITAGE: Land of the Rising Sun (2012)
Updated: May 12
“Land of the Rising Sun is a wonderful album which will please fans of mid-70's analog EM”
1 Long Journey to Different Temples 34:50
2 Spectral Enso 10:00
3 Zen 16:20
4 Flying Cranes in Slow Motion 8:27
(CD 64:10) (V.F.)
What a nice surprise! With a name like Berlin Heritage we can easily imagine where Robert Sigmuntowski wants to direct our listening. Molded in the reminiscences of a Berlin School that we thought dried up of its inspirations so much it was plundered to justify all the reasons, LAND OF THE RISING SUN is this kind of album that we didn't expect. An album which arrives and which surprises, like Free System Project with Impulse in 1996 or Danger in Dream and Entrance in 2001. An album that reminds us how beautiful EM can be.
Warm winds from Orion caress the disbelief of our ears. They cuddle of their silvery airs some galactic psalms which undulate in vaporous spheres, hitting an invisibility wall where hoops collide and cut this peace of cosmic delusions. And slowly, the sequences of Long Journey to Different Temples emerge from the interstellar fog and activate its intuitive beats from the languid sequenced frolicking that Klaus Schulze wove on Body Love. The hearing illusion is almost perfect. Agile sequences that frolic and hop in a musical canvas set with dust of iridescent stars that synth solos embrace with their sharp chants. An oscillating shape winds through a cosmic wall irradiated with a dense undulating mist. In this tapestry of layers, waves and analog sounds, the tempo gradually fades and the first rhythmic phase of Long Journey to Different Temples is lost in superb synth layers which caress a black cosmos à la Jean-Michel Jarre. They float and sigh in a cosmic waltz, carried away by a fascinating astral poetry with fine modulations in the movement. Modulations that embrace a delicate line of bass sequences of which the keys undulate with a virginal finesse under the hybrid breaths of a synth which disperses its astral poetry through its choruses, its cosmic waves, its horns and trumpets as well as its delicate solos with ether fragrances. Caressed by subjugated choirs which chant above a synth with delicate twisted solos, the movement takes the shape a slow astral procession where the sequences finely strum a contemplative minimalist passage. Riveted in our memories and anchored in a meditation, we hardly notice that the music heads towards another destination. Crossing the menacing half-light of a cerebral cortex in fusion, the last phase of emerges from a thick tetanized fog with fine limpid sequences which pulsate and trample, seeking any rhythmic direction. Another line of the sequencer is added. She dances in parallel and clumsily follows the pattern of her twin, casting a chaotic ballet which swirls in a thick cloud of iridescent mist. Like an eternal dance in a mist of silk, this last portion still takes us on the paths of illusion. Where everything was a source of renewal and beauty. Where everything was intriguing and immensely beautiful. And like a carousel rolling in a bubble enveloped in chimerical violins, morphic choirs and crystal clear sequences, Long Journey to Different Temples ends its superb journey in the lands of Berlin School with all the romance and delicacy of the great works that have marked that era. Our era, fans of a musical world full of dreams and poetry where only the imagination of masters such as Schulze, Froese, Franke, Gottsching, Jarre, Vangelis and many others drew and wrote books, paintings and scenarios without words or colors and which transcended the threshold of borderless creativity.
Spectral Enso takes us into territories where rhythm, like ambiances, takes contradictory forms. It's a surprisingly captivating long track where a pool of scintillating sequences bubbles from the interior under a sky obscured by heavy and sinuous reverberations. The rhythm, so to speak, is static and is molded from soft pulses which beat under these limpid sequences which lapping on the spot while the ambiences are forged in the darkness of synth breaths where choirs and reverberations weave a spectral approach. Zen opens with an enchanted flute which carries its melody under a carpet of undulating layers. As beautiful as it is, the flute awakens chthonian choirs and raises a cloud of iridescent mist, throwing a halo of mystery on this superb intro which reminds us of the morphic wanderings of Tangerine Dream. A sequenced movement arises from this contemplative serenity. Like a magical ride, its chords undulate gracefully while others resound under the high vocals of a synth that divides its harmonies with malicious waves. Zen then becomes an astonishing source of rhythmic agitation with sequences whose alternating strikes, and others which fall in parallel, draw a frenzied oscillatory rhythm. A rhythm ennobled of a dreamlike sweetness but still powerful, where superb strident solos overhang this sequenced ride which rolls at full speed before dying out in the ethereal breaths of an intro that we had lost in this furious sequenced maze. Flying Cranes in Slow Motion ends this surprising medieval odyssey in the lands of vintage Berlin School with an ode to transcendental placidity where prism wavelets shimmer in a huge monastery filled with waves and synth layers in tones as hybrid as their choirs inspired by it chant secretly in the shade of scattered tingling.
Can we revisit the past without repeating itself? Can we pay homage to our influences without falling into redundancy? Well yes! LAND OF THE RISING SUN is proof of this, like is Impulse and Entrance. It's a remarkable album. Without ever falling into plagiarism, but by touching on the main lines of EM influences from vintage years, Berlin Heritage weaves the main lines of an album where the rhythms and atmospheres of this generation are skillfully intertwined in a wonderful musical canvas. And like the press guide puts it so well; Listen and get carried away!
Sylvain Lupari (March 12th, 2012) *****
Available at Spheric Music