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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BERND KISTENMACHER: Antimatter (2012)

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

“Antimatter is a masterpiece that we listen to like we read a tale or a book of poetry!”

1 Preparations 1:38

2 Rising 2:20

3 Caverns of Knowledge 8:00

4 Injection 2:04

5 Acceleration 10:05

6 Filling the Emptiness 5:02

7 They Call it Soup! 9:48

8 On The Shoulders of ATLAS 9:30

9 What's the Matter? 7:00

10 It Doesn't Matter 4:29

11 Large Hadron Collider 7:21

12 Where Is Higgs? 5:59

(CD/DDL 75:16) (V.F.)

(Symphonic EM)

When Bernd Kistenmacher has reconnected with his synths in 2009, he undertook a trilogy cycle that he called the Trilogy of the Universe. Celestial Movements being an ode to the stars and Beyond The Deep a reflection on Genesis, ANTIMATTER comes full circle with the reproduction of the Big Bang in the laboratory as a musical theme and therefore the foundations of our existence. These 3 albums are linked by a symphonic and electronic fusion where the German synthesist redefines his EM borders by composing a superb electronic symphony. There where the Berlin School has no roots but its minimalism approach and its creative synth solos, while the melody and its ethereal layers of mist that cover its beginnings nourish the gluttony of monstruous orchestrations and its perpetual crescendos. Composed in 1 long piece of music segmented into 12 parts, ANTIMATTER begins like it ends; with a fine source of musical energy that will captivate our interest for the next 75 delicious minutes.

Alternating waves, a bit like oblong electronic beeps, roll like waves on the back of nothingness. They collect dust of antimatter and sculpt the orchestral premises of Rising from which is born the emptiness of Preparations to waltz softly in the abyss of the cosmos. Where glaucous reverberations court sumptuous violin flights whose sharp bows introduce Caverns of Knowledge. Gently ANTIMATTER confronts its melodies with the torments of its structures. If the riffs of the cellos are hard and jerky, the melodic breaths of the synths, the fragile chords with the tones of guitars and the string of silky violins which sings under the repetitive blows of the stubborn cellos testify to this nuance and this balance between the fragility of the two extremes. After a small injection of colorful electronic sounds and mixed orchestrations, Acceleration begins the first sequenced rhythms of the album. Scintillating and hopping sequences cling to the muted pulses that amplify their tones under the cover of menacing synth layers. The rhythm is anchored to cello strings plowed with strength, increasing tenfold the rage of Acceleration which becomes pierced by layers of violin orchestrations while the sequences strum discreetly a rhythm which decreases its intensity to let piano notes wander in a short meditative passage. But the violin-bows watch over their rhythmic structure. Tearing up the oneiric approach, they hammer the chimerical strings with passion scampering the plains of the imaginary in an astonishing crescendo of passion and emotion where the breaths of horns oversize the melodious philharmonic structure of Acceleration which ends its orchestral ride in a sumptuous cinematic finale. Great musical art! Bernd Kistenmacher's romantic piano comes back to haunt our emotions with the great Filling the Emptiness and its hesitant notes which stroll in a melancholic ethereal mist. A sweet melody emerges, cradling both our dreams and transporting our emotions but also drawing up a guiding harmonic line which spills over into the second part of ANTIMATTER.

With its muffled pulsations which resonate around the chime sequences and the harmonic vestiges of Filling the Emptiness, They Call it Soup! follows the same introductory line that of Acceleration. The sleepy rhythm awakens little by little to burst with violent orchestral jolts, releasing superb synth solos which fly over an obstinate rhythmic. Piano notes surge over this jerky minimalism approach, pounded by a set of sequenced keys which stagnate while magnificent synth solos with more philharmonic tones surround this rhythm which gradually fades into oblivion for get lost in the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) laboratories. On the Shoulders of ATLAS is the jewel of this album. Hesitant melancholy piano notes draw the introduction. They draw a beautiful melody which resonates in our ears and which makes its way to the soul as the violins and cellos support its fragility. The bows that follow and this kind of tremolo that emerges crush the listening and paralyze our judgment so beautiful it is. And suddenly, we switch to the depths of our emotions with this propensity that Kistenmacher has to juxtapose his orchestral ornaments and his discreet vocalizations in an immense emotional canvas where everything merges, and nothing affects reason. And On The Shoulders of ATLAS to progress in a magnificent crescendo, combining this fine cinematographic approach and this influence of Vangelis on the German synthesist who encircles ANTIMATTER and which cements all his beauty. What's the Matter? takes us into the maze of antimatter with synth layers that intertwine and merge in a slow waltz without movement. A fine pulse pierces the silence of the stillness. Its flow adds a whole new dimension to What's the Matter? which becomes as musical as mysterious with its synth waves cooing with a tone as spectral as strident to get lost in the curt and violent riffs of the chimerical cellos of It Doesn't Matter, whose increasing rhythm is lulled by suave synth solos. And it's from this evolutionary rhythm that Large Hadron Collider is born. A rhythm shaped in curt and brief orchestrations, accompanied by piano keys and overhung by synth solos and where the sequences alternate their strikes subtly and trace a nervous rhythm which gets lost in ethereal mists and romantic piano notes, displaying the perpetual duality of rhythms, moods and melodies that surround the album. Where Is Higgs? ends ANTIMATTER with a solitary melody played on an electric piano sounding like a kind of harpsichord. Bernd Kistenmacher reigns as a lonely master on his trilogy finale where nothing is lost or created but where everything is good and everything ends like that started.

Superb! ANTIMATTER is a splendid album which can be listened to as one reads a tale or a book of poetry. Throughout its discovery, we embark on the imagination of Bernd Kistenmacher and his emotions. It's a powerful album that marvelously fuses electronic and philharmonic approaches as well as poetic and harmonic aspects. If it was Vangelis who would have composed ANTIMATTER, we would cry genius and the album would be the coronation of spring. So, let's do it like this. It is a masterpiece of contemporary music and it is time we recognized the genius of Kistenmacher who has no equal in writing music.

Sylvain Lupari (November 30th, 2010) ****½*

Available at Mirecords Bandcamp

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