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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BLINDMACHINE & FRIENDS: Sequential Friends (2018)

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

“Allow yourself some listenings before judging and taming this fascinating album where the old Berlin School meets the sound intelligentzia of today”

1 Do you remember Berlin? 20:44

(Blindmachine) 2 3ITI 10:52

3 Floating Space 13:43

(Blindmachine, Drom66 & JDan) 4 Remembering Klaus 9:14 (Blindmachine & JDan Project & featuring Asuntar 5 Sorcerers DB.AK 11:02

(Blindmachine & Drom66 & featuring Asuntar & Katod)

GEN CD 046 (CD 65:40)

(Berlin School VS today's sounds)

The main title says it all! Blindmachine invited some friends to make a real Berlin School album on a background of more crazy ambiences where electronic effects flirt with a psychedelic vision. Drom66, JDan Project, Asuntar and Katod join the greedy visions of Blindmachine. And together, with their synths, sequencers, drum machines and computer programming, they take the listener on a musical journey in the heart of the Berlin School of the 70's and early 80's. I advise however a listening with our ears free of headphones. The production and mastering are superb. And if we really dive into the beautiful years of EM, there is a strong contemporary accent with a multitude of explosive and very colorful effects that can sometimes scratch the membrane of our eardrums. If the names of Blindmachine and Asuntar sound a little familiar, this is the Polish duo which gave us the very surprising Cosmos in your Mind last year. Presented in another beautiful digipack with a 3 side-panels load of information, SEQUENTIAL FRIENDS is another gem of the Polish Generator pl which is molded as in the time of the great and beautiful EM. And it starts strong with Do you remember Berlin?.

Composed by Blindmachine, this long sound journey through the ages is a tribute to the pioneers of the Berlin School. And it's with a vocoder effect that a line of bass sequences emerges and runs under thunders and ectoplasmic synth Spirograph shapes soaked of vampiric tone. Fluid and continuous, the movement of the sequencer structures a rebellious rhythm that zigzags, furrows and stagnates in a sound fauna where the distortions end by infiltrating its cadence which becomes a little more voracious. To date, it's a good Berlin School with a slightly psychotronic approach where the synth seems more comfortable in its organic texture than throwing solos. Although a solo made of twists and of organic reverbs circle around this structure before molting into a real electronic singing around the 10th minute. The rhythm is still steady and increases even the pressure with lost sequences that are grafted to it, altering and / or enhancing a frantic race that gradually loses its drive, like a train entering the station after defying a firework from a synth always thirsty for sequences with living tones. Composed by Blindmachine, Drom66 & JDan Project, 3ITI begins its drift towards our ears with a string ensemble that fills its lamentations in a sound mass as compact than highly variegated. A sequencer movement sculpts a zigzagging rhythm, I hear some Edgar Froese and the scents of Stuntman here, in a soundscape where psychedelic cosmic rock spreads a heavy, anachronistic texture that could easily seduce fans of the Cosmic Jokers genre.

Composed by the same trio, Floating Space offers an introduction all in cosmic ambiences with synth pads and arrangements which float lazily before striking a line of sequences around the 3rd minute. The movement of the sequencer shoots 3 contiguous lines, with their tonal differences, which jump in the resonances of grave chords and the lyricism of the synth solos. A bit like in 3ITI, the sound ceiling is low-lying and dense with beautiful synth solos and with more musical synth effects. We are far from an ambient title, even that the short ambiospherical moment is quickly harpooned by percussions that lead the music into a big electronic rock of the years 60-70. We understand the meaning of Remembering Klaus! A seductive Arabian approach lights up a sustained and quite lively cadence with organic sequences and manual percussion effects which beat and sparkle beneath another motley sky of heterogeneous and very aggressive tones by moments. Explosions of wrinkled metals, muffled roars and ectoplasmic lamentations follow a minimalist approach which brings nuances and snags to seduce the ears of those who love these kind of structures. The percussion play is literally in the spirit of Klaus Schulze. Composed by Blindmachine & Drom66 and also featuring Asuntar as well as Katod, Sorcerers DB.AK is a tribute to who you know. Its nebulous introduction gives way to a slow rhythm erected by a sequencer movement in mode Tangerine Dream's film music by, notably the album Sorcerer. Here again, the atmospheres are bursting with colorful effects, shrill synth sounds and rumblings of machinery. The title deviates quietly towards a cosmic phase, with these effects of voice as jumbled as the communications of astronauts, before concluding with a good electronic rock spiced up by a guitar, its riffs and solos.

It's essential to listen to SEQUENTIAL FRIENDS through our loudspeakers in order to fall in love with this album. And like with Cosmos in your Mind, you must also give yourself time to tame the vibes of an album whose sound is unique and clearly aggressive when our ears are trapped in a headset. As good as it is! But the rhythm structures save the day, since we are actually diving into the golden years of EM. And all in all, SEQUENTIAL FRIENDS turns out to be a great album where the Berlin School of the analog years meets the instruments of tomorrow. I would say that boys have smoked some good grass when they met to compose and record this album!

Sylvain Lupari (August 9th, 2018) *****

Available on Generator pl

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