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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BINAR: Solipsism (2004)

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

It's an album to get if you like things that are a bit different and still in a pattern that is easily recognized

1 L'infernal (12:50)

2 The Return of The Kirg (9:15)

3 Picochet (9:11)

4 Rumours from The Evacuole (10:11)

5 Not As It Seems (6:34)

6 Doctor Weed (8:23)

7 The Haunted Doobie (14:03)

Paul Nagle Music (DDL 70:31)

(Berlin & England Schools) (V.F.)

(This is one of my very first reviews)

Solipsism means, on the one hand, the attitude of the thinking subject for whom his own consciousness is the only reality. Binar is without a doubt one of the bands (duo in this case) of England EM that displays so much its social colors. Andy Pickford and Paul Nagle don't do things in half. They are whole and displease both for their political positions than for socio-cultural events. As much as their personalities have a depth, so much does their music resemble their personalities. You guessed it; I like Binar a lot. For both music and personality. SOLIPSISM is the first part, at least for titles 1 to 6, of their performance on September 27, 2003 at the National Space Center in Leicester, England. And it rocks! In fact, for an EM it rocks a lot. Pickford and Nagle like to surround their music with a cosmic and/or psychedelic aura with multiple samplings, combining various sound effects with misshapen voices and sustained rhythms that sometimes border Techno.

The intro of L'infernal describes very well the creative cycle of Binar. It starts with sound effects where the cosmos borders the confines of Hell. A part of Tony Blair's phrase about the Iraqi intelligence, is heard muted and then deformed on a good line of bass sequences whose end of tones has an organic polish. Solid, this sequence is crossed by a cosmic atmosphere and a silky synth that becomes more nervous while throwing loops of rhythms. And the beat breaks! The vise on the synth tightens with effects of cosmic loops that lead to a superb solo looking like a six-string. The riffs are heavy and sharp on a sustained beat. On two crisscrossed lines of sequencer, L'infernal subsides and gently introduces us on The Return of The Kirg. A fascinating universe awaits us there. The sequencer rolls a confusing tempo, a bit like a guy who has drunk too much, on Tablas percussions from an underwater world. The bass, the rhythm and the sound effects are united to give a tempo that sticks to the hearing. I like the movie horror effect that animates this title on its length. Picochet or Ricochet? It's so obvious. But beware! Behind the Ricochet rhythmic line is a nightmarish atmosphere and a still lower and more dramatic line that explodes on juicy synth solos and a good use of chthonic voice pads. A real big electronic rock that is diabolically tasty. And I like the illusion! This is well revisited Tangerine Dream.

Rumors from The Evacuole lets filter a very atmospheric intro where the flutes reign on a pulsation which increases. Synth keys come to dance discreetly and a good looped sequence wraps with big bass and juicy chords, in a Tangerine Dream style. An excellent track that turns on a beat brushing the paranoia of techno, without really getting into it. The chords that come and go come down like ax blows over synth solos turning into guitar tunes, reminding us even more of the world of Tangerine Dream in the 70's. Not As It Seems offers us a light piano as introduction. A pulsating sequence revolves around, without really elaborating. The tempo gets hard with a short stir to return to its initial flow. This finale brings us to Doctor Weed; a deeply religious man who moves on a loopy rhythm from very dense synth pads. An atmospheric track interspersed with good synthesizer exchanges that ends this first part of Leicester concert. The 2nd part being Binary Motion! A track made in studio, The Haunted Doobie is a long musical corridor that winds on a very bass minimalistic pulsating line where strange voices lament, giving a heavy worrying atmosphere. Overlooked by a spectral synth, the title relaxes its moods with a light and dreamy piano which exchanges its chords with another breath of the synth. At the end, it's a very good nebulous melody that ends in the shadows of a six-string and a heavy atmospheric wind, carrying the vocal remains of a dark civilization gone.

I liked this SOLIPSISM! A superb album that lives up to expectations for Andy Pickford and Paul Nagle. These two extremely ambivalent artists have managed to make an avant-garde EM that respects the visions of the Berlin School while developing a more contemporary approach and is at the limits of Techno or a vague psychedelic moderate Trance. In my opinion, it's an album to get if you like things that are a bit different and still in a pattern that is easily recognized. Like the vast majority of works by Binar and Spank the Dark Monkey. Although this last project is more in the field of experimental improvisations.

Sylvain Lupari (01/06/06) *****

Available on Paul Nagle Bandcamp

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