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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BERTRAND LOREAU: Eternal Sorrows (2019)

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

“A symphony of vintage electronic music with a hint of psychedelism that will fill our memories of the 70's”

1 Cry on you 1:28

2 Flying Mind 8:20

3 Time of the Wind 3:00

4 Pologne 3:49

5 St-Brévin 7:45

6 Broken Tape 2:46

7 Brain Activity 3:48

8 Chemin d'Enfer (Part 2) 3:32

9 Chemin d'Enfer (Part 1) 11:32

10 And the Korg Was 4:10

11 Drunken Multiman 3:39

12 Eternal Sorrows (Part 1) 4:37

13 Flying Machine 10:29

14 Eternal Sorrows (Part 2) 2:34

(CD 71:47) (V.F.)

(Berlin School, Retro 70's)

There is something visceral that ties my emotions to the music of Bertrand Loreau! Very often, I have shivers and sighs in the soul while listening to the music of Bertrand. I guess we'd both cry while listening to old Berlin School and telling each other stories about our lives. Old Berlin School and slices of life! These are the threads of ETERNAL SORROWS. I had this unique chance to hear some of his old recordings and write chronicles over the years. I think of Reminiscences, Sequences and Journey Through the Past. Bertrand kept telling me that he had hours of recorded music on an old recorder and that the sound barrier was an obstacle. Nearly 40 years later, this friendly musician has confidence in our understanding and share to us a series of titles composed in the early 80's that it presents in a bold mosaic of 72 continual minutes with a tone that respects the era and a an almost virginal sensibility at the level of Bertrand's desire to act like his master; Klaus Schulze.

It's with electronic chirps and keyboard pads scented of Pink Floyd influences that Cry on You opens the electronic memories of ETERNAL SORROWS. The fine rain becomes denser in the opening of Flying Mind which proposes an ambient wave movement serving as bed to the beautiful melancholic dreams of the synth. This movement where two lines of rhythms rise and fall in a minimalist vision is recurrent on this album that breathes the beauties of the analog era. The synths whistle charming airs, here as in Drunken Multiman, while the rhythms slip into mists quilted as electrified. I'm thinking here of Time of the Wind sliding into the strange spectral songs of Poland. The organ layers and the pulsating rhythm flowing like a bass on the lookout bathe in a cosmic environment that is very Jean-Michel Jarre. With slow impulses of Farfisa's layers, St-Brévin is ideal to take the road of meditation, like in the time of Blackdance or Picture Music. After this ambient passage, we enter this zone a little vague of ETERNAL SORROWS with Broken Tape in head which takes again this road of the circular rhythms. The rhythm sequence winds up steep summits to descend into an environment where astral poetry and its opposite adorn a panorama that is constantly enriched by a synchronized progression in intensity. White noises, dust of ectoplasms, magnetic sound fields filled with bucolic audacity and wind whistling of arrogance; Brain Activity persists with its pulsating rhythm that advances its minimalist loading in an environment decorated with electronic tweets and scarlet crevices coming from a cracked huge wall of vintage ambient elements conform to the title.

Chemin d'Enfer (Part 2) continues with the floating movement of a slowly oscillating rhythm, like a spaceship wandering on soft astral waves well before Star Wars. Chemin d'Enfer (Part 1) goes in the opposite direction with a frame of rhythm that would make a swarm of centipedes running in all directions turn pale. The first 7 minutes roll at an infernal speed with a sequencer manipulated with unprecedented precision in its knotted movement of fluid jerks with an almost archaic tone. This rhythm fades quietly when the music strikes a knot of ether and vaporous atmospheres. The pulsating rhythm of And the Korg Was flirts between the visions of Adelbert Von Deyen and Earthstar. After the waltz of Drunken Multiman's choppy layers, Eternal Sorrows (Part 1) follows with the same dynamism, but at the level of the oscillations' pads that shiver and coo with different hues on the slow veils of the Farfisa. Quietly, the key moment of ETERNAL SORROWS reaches our ears with the sublime Flying Machine, a real machine that transports us from today to yesterday with a very vintage pulsating rhythm and some rather musical synth tears. It's very Schulze, but with more rhythm. And power in the rhythm. Eternal Sorrows (Part 2) ends this journey in the 70's with a floating cosmic approach always fed with sleepy layers lazily waving, like giant leaves falling from the tree that Jack had planted up to the Giants' attic.

ETERNAL SORROWS is a surprise at the level of the titles' cohesion that intertwine each other in a symphony of vintage electronic music with a hint of psychedelism that will require some effort from his audience to hug this music which swims in full tenderness of the pré Jean-Michel Jarre's French School era. A very nice album that shows that Bertrand was indeed of his time. Hat my friend, you gave me a needed dose of chills!

Sylvain Lupari (November 25th, 2019) *****

Available at Spheric Music and CD Baby

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