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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BERND KISTENMACHER: Welcome To The Circus (2016)

Music from Paradise and Head-Visions! What can you ask for more? More live EM from Bernd Kistenmacher!

1 Welcome to the Circus Pt. I 35:56 2 Welcome to the Circus Pt. II 33:42 MIR Records

(DDL/CD 69:38) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

Paradise had been one of the big albums of EM in 2014. We found there a Bernd Kistenmacher at the top of his art. A Kistenmacher who pushed even more his music in orchestrations which transcended enormously the genre, because of the intensity and of the emotion. The album was still piping hot in the ferries that our friend Bernd performed its powerful introduction within the framework of the Electronic-Circus festival which was held in Germany on October 4th 2014. WELCOME TO THE CIRCUS is the audio witness of this show which is offered at the moment in a download format, MIR will release the manufactured-pressed CD on June 1st, with nearly 70 minutes of music divided on 2 tracks soberly entitled Welcome to the Circus Pt. I and Welcome to the Circus Pt. II. The concert is mainly fed by the music of Paradise and makes a very beautiful raid in the time of Head-Visions with the solid Rücksturz, a track which had put Bernd Kistenmacher in the front of EM spheres back then.

After 41 seconds of introduction talks, the first rustles of Ghost go to our ears. Then follow Born from Innocence and Raindance. The interpretation is in the tone and, oh surprise, we feel that it is really live. That Bernd Kistenmacher delivers the jewels of this album with as much accuracy as possible, adding elements of charms which are unique to a live performance. If the envelope of intensity (arrangements and percussions) remain just as much powerful, the outburst of the nature in Born from Innocence is simply incredible, the harmonies and the effects differ in particular with a synth clearly more in active mode which forges the harmonies and the effects. Let's say that we do not miss the original version... It's just as much intense and I would add that it's more electronic, less orchestral even. Welcome to the Circus Pt. II begins with a big chatter of 3 minutes. In fact, there is nearly 6 minutes of chit chat in this 2nd set of Electronic-Circus.

Thus after 3 minutes of Bernd talking with the spectators, the first measures of atmospheres of Rücksturz nibble at our memories. It takes some time before we recall of the music. But from the first balance of the brook of floating arpeggios, we slide in our memories. Everything is there! Metronomic percussions, those swingings streaming of the crystal clear sequences, the deep and vicious undulations of the bass line, the subtle rises of the minimalist rhythm pattern, layers of voices and finally these spectral harmonies which here are coated by the imposing presence of the Paradise's arrangements. In fact, it's somewhat as if Bernd Kistenmacher has remixed Rücksturz in the upheavals of this sublime album. This is very beautiful upgrade of a music which marked up a whole generation. Another extract of Paradise which was performed is the huge Everlasting Magic and its gargantuan layers of orchestrations which deaden the biggest ambitions of cathedrals. I imagine that it has to be a track rather difficult to play in concert so much the heaviness is oppressive. But it's quite well performed. And even if I prefer it the version studio, it shows that Bernd Kistenmacher is authentic. That shows that WELCOME TO THE CIRCUS is an authentic concert where Kistenmacher, alone on stage with his toys like the Roland GAIA, the Roland Jupiter 80, the Roland VP770 Vocoder and the Moog Voyager XL managed to maximize all the charms of his music in a brilliant performance that I would have liked to witness. But at least I hear it and there is a promotional video available on You Tube.

Sylvain Lupari (April 6th, 2016) ****½*

Available at Mir Records Bandcamp

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