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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BERTRAND LOREAU: Journey Through the Past (2012)

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

This is an excursion in the universe of a composer who redefines the scales of melancholy on an EM that has nothing to envy to Schulze and all

1 Le Ciel est Jaune d'un Liquide Inconnu PII 5:35

2 Le Ciel est jaune d'un Liquide Inconnu PI 14:24

3 Summer 9:16

4 DX Seven Age 18:30

5 Mickie Love Song 7:20

6 Moog on the Moog 7:16

7 Welcome to the Show 5:35

8 L'Arpège a Tord 3:23

9 Meeting You 4:55

(CD 76:32) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

Finally, the beautiful music of Bertrand Loreau crosses the France borders. Fascinated by the revival of a French EM in constant effervescence, Lambert Ringlage has decided to make his ears much more curious in order to deeply discover a musical universe which transcends the borders drawn by Jean-Michel Jarre. And the boss of Spheric Music has succumbed to the immense poetic approach of Bertrand. As its title explains it, JOURNEY TROUGH THE PAST is a brief glimpse over the career of the synthesist from Nantes. Lambert Ringlage made a judicious selection of 9 titles composed between 1982 and 1988. Nine tracks that show all of the versatility of Loreau who is very at ease in a psychedelicosmic style than into a progressive Berlin School or yet in electronic synth-pop. Presented within a new musical envelope, which respects all the poetic depth of this maker of timeless melodies, these pieces of music are more than just a journey in the heart of a music forgotten in the bend of a too fast evolution of the digital technology. It's an artistic excursion in the universe of a composer who redefines the scales of melancholy on an EM which makes the bridge between works of Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre.

Like a pianist of electronic jazz alone with his sorrow, the first chords of Le Ciel est Jaune d'un Liquide Inconnu PII float in the air, like sorrow does in vapors of alcohol. Very different from the version that we find on Réminiscences, the title offers a duel between solitude and company with joyful synth strata which twirl between passages of an electronic keyboard and its forsaken chords. An intense synth wraps the waltz of those mixed emotions, adding a perplexity to a movement of duality. This first title sets the tone to an album divinely lyrical; a musical mark innates of this French School composer with a zest of Vangelis. We have difficulty in recognizing Le Ciel est Jaune d'un Liquide Inconnu PI of which Lambert retains only its second part, versus the one that nests on Réminiscences. This pure wonder is an ode to Berlin School with a much more fluid rhythm where sequences jostle in a superb movement of a minimalist symmetry. Such as strikings of a glass xylophone, the sequences are forming a fast walking under the zigzagging streaks of a synth lost among dark voices. It's a mini festival of chiming that digs our ears before embracing a more lunar phase a little after the 5th minute The movement becomes then a deep exploration of an abstract galactic universe with synth blades which slow down their harmonies in a sidereal space where accumulate of slow fusional lavas with musical rays very near the explorer paths of Synergy's Cords. And it's supported by delicate electronic percussions that the rhythm releases itself from this intergalactic yoke, rushing headlong à la Klaus Schulze towards more celestial harmonies. It's a solid track of which we find the rhythmic vestiges on Moog on the Moog and its strong Schulzian approach which navigates beneath wild twisted solos. Summer pours into our ears with a mesmerizing harmonious approach. The hypnotic melody is weaved in a series of chords from which the shadows get juxtapose in a fascinating echo to roll in superimposed loops. And we let ourselves lull by this serial approach which allies magnetism and tenderness in a musical envelope in constant ubiquity of the airs. Jingles of percussions, which flutter like typist's strikings, come to ennoble this mnemonic rhythm whom the intra evolution doesn't stop growing rich of external elements which oversize a surprising electronic nursery rhyme rich of a powerful earworm.

DX Seven Age is the epic track of JOURNEY TROUGH THE PAST. Its intro offers layers of weeping synth in an ambience of old baroque music. These whines, which waltz with their sorrows in a starry cosmos of ocher dust, gradually fade away, revealing an approach that makes its keys waddling under a synth with ancient, twisted synth solos. The sequences jolt on a lunar rhythm before being harpooned by electronic percussions, plunging DX Seven Age towards a solid electronic rock where ballerina spirals in shapes of glasses and sharp distortions run out of steam on a rhythm which little by little is lost in vapors of cosmic nostalgia. We are at the 9th minute and fragile chords pierce crystal clouds, drawing fleeting romances in melodious wanderings à la Vangelis (Apocalypse des Animaux and Ignacio) where delicate hesitant chords bow in cosmic mists with delicate aromas cinematographic. It is very beautiful and it is a marvelous mixture of harmonic and cosmic universes which are the delight of electronic movements of analog years. Mickie Love Song is exactly a ballad to the analog scents of the Space Art years with a slow rhythm which is pulsing under a synth disguised in mellotron, its mist and its melodic rays. The drum of Welcome to the Show shapes a nervous rhythm, a kind of free jazz, which rolls under the loops of a synth with cherub tunes before espousing a heavier and livelier structure which is similar to a lively cosmic rock. Nervous, L'Arpège a Tord is another title inspired by the French School of Space Art with a rhythm rolling like an escalator under a bed of arpeggios that the idle undulations are charming a firework of analog cosmic tones. Meeting You ends this first collection of Bertrand Loreau's electronic poems outside the territories of France with a wonderful lunar ballad which gives us the taste to dig furthermore in depth these rendezvous of melancholy. The tears of keyboard float of their steps of ethereal dance, forming by moments some acrobatic tendrils which swirl like a neurasthenic ballet in a carousel of regrets. It's very beautiful, even intimate, a little as if Bertrand has this capacity to see in each of us.

Ah… Each time I forgot how beautiful the music of Bertrand Loreau is. If you do not yet know this superb universe where the music is read from the bottom of the soul, it is high time to travel aboard JOURNEY TROUGH THE PAST. This very beautiful compilation of the timeless works of the French synthesist is an open window on his magnificent world of astral poetry where the rhythms and ambiences can be as progressive as melodious, a little as if Vangelis were putting his melodies on Klaus Schulze's structures. If we can discuss the selection of titles (there are some incredibly delicious ones that have been forgotten on the counter of time) we cannot deny all the richness of an EM which has no borders but its lack of visibility. While waiting for the suite….

Sylvain Lupari (October 20th, 2012) ****½*

Available at Spheric Music

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