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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BERNARD REEB: Shoot for the Moon (2019)

“A splendid album where New Age and Berlin School travel through some experimental visions which keep the music very accessible”

1 Stellar Garden 5:24 2 Towards Taurus 6:32 3 Ebenen 5:42 4 A Ray from Vega 4:17 5 Through the Milky Way 5:37 6 Far Over the Clouds 3:26 7 Le Chant du Crabe 5:13 8 Minor See 11:30 9 The Silver Dancer 4:57 10 Cygnus Lake 7:07

(CD/DDL 59:46)

(New Age, Berlin School, Ambient)

Bernard Reeb is a new name in the spheres of French EM. And like all these artists of France, his signature is melodious even in its less accessible retrenchments. SHOOT For The MOON is a first CD. His first two albums are of an ambient nature, though 7x8 is what I might call abstract music, and are available on his Bandcamp site entitled espaces sonores. Classically trained guitarist and music teacher, he fell into the EM cooking pot when he has discovered Blackdance from you know who. What surprised me the most, and also charmed by ricochet, is the sound envelope of SHOOT For The MOON. I have heard some music! And the musical signature, as well as his approach in composition, of Bernard Reeb is unique. There are scents of Daniel Berthiaume, Le Feu Sacré, in his New Age approach that can be found on 1 or 2 tracks. The intonations of the guitar and some composition structures make me think of this album. But the EM of the Berlin School style is something of totally new. As much at the rhythm structures than at the sound level! If I dared a comparison, I would think of Richard Pinhas, at least in the spectacular Le Chant du Crabe. But for the rest, we must make work his imagination ... Very light, this is the kind of title that my Lise has liked, Stellar Garden sets the tone with a structure not complicated for two cents. The rhythm is attractive with a circular approach that hops without breaking a bone. The cross between the sequencer and the electronic percussion adds a small jerky side, but not too much. At times, the sequencer is more ferocious, and the rhythm shows more appetite. As scenery, Bernard Reeb offers a load of anaesthetising mist, streaks of guitar riffs and vaporous effects that float on the nice solos of a guitar that makes me think of the best of Darshan Ambient. It's soft and melancholic. You would say it's Easy Listening and I wouldn't say that you are wrong! The guitar in Towards Taurus is of a very moving sensitivity. I like these complementary tones that flow when the French musician caresses the neck of his guitar here. The rhythm is getting heavier more and more than in the first title and if the guitar would be a synth, we would have splendid exploratory solos on a structure whose arrangements touch the limits of our sensitivity. We are in progressive New Age. Ebenen presents the Berlin School vision of Bernard Reeb. The rhythm is sustained and progresses with intensity in a series of dull pulsations that roll like ghost trains. Sequences and riffs feed this structure which becomes absolutely haunting if you start playing the head-banger. The atmospheres are cosmic with purring layers whose buzzing effects mingle with the limpid breezes of crystalline tones which illuminate the dark side of muted chords. If you think about it, it's a good Berlin School with a totally different sound vision. The beginning of A Ray from Vega can be reminiscent of Kraftwerk's percussive rattling in TEE. It's just the intro! The title develops with a hopping and fluid pattern as in Stellar Garden, but the guitar is replaced by a melodious synth which is injector of mist. The pulsations are heavy and buzzing while the arpeggio dance stimulates a good spasmodic movement that goes quite well with the evolution of the music. The more I discover this album, and the more I like it. And it's not a title like Through the Milky Way that will reverse this trend. The rhythm is magnetizing with a hypnotic tom-tom approach. After 90 seconds, everything shifts with a spheroidal vision where the bass sequences jump in oscillating loops surrounded by superb percussive effects. The synth injects layers of mists, thin lines of goddesses' seraphic chants and electronic chirpings that go along with this amazing vision at the level percussive effects. It's purely electronic and very creative. Evolution makes me think of good EM from Arc. But again, it's pretty shaky as comparison, but there is a thread. Far Over the Clouds is a pretty nice slow tempo that slowly turns in an area soaked of ether. The drum is sober, and the bass line is molded to dance very close together. The movement is soft, and the guitar illuminates it with some melodious chords. The panorama is rich of its cosmic vision fed by a synth in mode; decorator. Le Chant du Crabe is just great. The rhythm is circular and undulates on a delicious pattern of percussive sequences and sequences that bicker with delicious percussive effects. We roll of the neck, we stamp of the feet and we are absolutely stunned by this rhythm enriched with an absolute creativity. We hook on that at the first listening! Minor See is a catchy title with a structure that sways between rock and dance music. There is this complicity between the sober percussions and a bed of oscillating sequences to which Bernard Reeb has added fluttering chirpings. The synth throws very good solos and effects of sirens that ululate like a horde of spectra. The rhythm is steady with nuances in intensity that are judiciously inserted. Orchestrations in staccato complete the sound envelope of Minor See which uses brilliantly its 11 minutes to offer a rhythm that fits very well on a dance floor. The Silver Dancer makes a tasty flamenco approach on a carousel of sequences whose fluidity is stopped to make us hear a Latin guitar effect. It's awesome. If you are interested in discovering a little more about the Bernard Reeb universe, Cygnus Lake offers a very glimpse with a dark ambient approach and a more experimental vision that can be found on SynPhonia and 7x8, two opuses published in 2017. Impressive and totally recommendable, SHOOT For The MOON is a sonic jewel box full of beautiful discoveries and of bold approaches. From New Age to Berlin School and a more classical vision in the art of writing music, the 60 minutes of this album pass in a gust of wind. At ease on both his guitar and the synth, Bernard Reeb is bold and creative in many places. Blowing the hot and the cold, he enchants with his melodious vision as he fascinates with his clear penchant for a more experimental approach that remains on this album a little more accessible. Highly recommendable! Sylvain Lupari (May 17th, 2019) *****

Available at Bernard Reeb's Bandcamp

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