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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Brainwork 2020 The Synthfonie (2020)

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

In a completely exceptional production, the German musician offers his visions of philharmonic music woven into the interstices of his synths

1 The Serious Part 24:56

2 The Epic Part 25:21

3 Da Capo 10:06

(CD 60:23) (V.F.)

(Symphonic Berlin School)

Brainwork goes classic! And it's not bad. You just have to give the music a chance and let yourself be enveloped by the multiple philharmonic strata that float and swirl while embracing the emotions of the moment. It won't be the first time that Uwe Saher destabilizes his fans with an album they are impatiently waiting for without really knowing what awaits them. Sometimes it's good Berlin School, other times it's hellish dance rhythms while other times it's the fusion of both styles! This time, Brainwork goes classic! In a completely exceptional production, the German musician offers 3 visions of philharmonic music woven into the interstices of his synths. And this creative power merged with good minimalist Berlin School gives results far beyond expectations after an uncertain first listening. 2020 THE SYNTHFONIE joins visionaries such as Synergy, Tomita and Vangelis in a melodically musical envelope.

The kind of thing you hear in a romantic film, horns and violins entwine in a very harmonious serenade. A stream of limpid sequences sparkles just below these bursts of cinematic romance that infiltrate our ears without any problem. Uwe Saher puts The Serious Part in mode charm with arpeggios clanging like xylophone's hits which climbs these immense orchestral layers, like a metronome setting the tone at a linear rhythm. Between lightness and more austere moments, the music of this long symphonic saga travels with its subtleties and its diversities in a musical vision where it's difficult to separate acoustics from electronics. There are nice falls of arpeggios which are lost in the ambient rhythm of The Serious Part's minimalist sequencing patterns, like there are falls of violin which gives a darker vision without being lost in an abyss without musicality. There are very slow phases where the violin strings moan in a very electronic ambience. Other times, slow staccatos caress our ears in this long title, always sweet and very musical, except for the finale which pushes its velocity in the cables of ferocity with bursts of violins. Viral shocks, I hear Tomita here, which fades and comes back for some less violent tears in a fight of 3 to 4 minutes, affecting the serenity of The Serious Part but which won't wake the one who dozed heavily in the first 20 minutes of a track that you find more and more beautiful with each new listening.

Between Synergy's Metropiltain Suite and Audion, and the orchestral-theatrical vision of Walter C. Rothe in Let the Night Last Forever, The Epic Part offers a very good start. The gentle orchestral caresses, in the same tones of The Serious Part, are composed of two underlying lines which are grafted to a soft bass line with a morphic purring. Quietly, the music weaves its embellishments that come together end to end, piece by piece in what becomes a long river of minimalist orchestrations. Shimmering sequences and melodious arpeggios weave their powers of attraction on this bass line as sensual as divinely astral which brings us to a galaxy where oases of serenity follow one another endlessly. Garlands of sequences regularly illuminate the slow movements of astral choreographies which make us float with a musicality so harmonious that earworms form in an entrenched vision. Between seraphic beauty and its few phases of torment, The Epic Part is a splendid title, more electronic I would say than The Serious Part, that we want to hear again after each listening. Everything is sweet here. From violin eruptions with peaks of torment to transformations of dreamy and floating strata, the phases of this title are exchanged in a flawless harmonic vision to let a shocking intonation pass. Both for the ears and the senses. A little gem signed Uwe Saher! On the other hand, I would have stopped the symphonic adventure after this title! Not that Da Capo is useless. This is a very Philip Glass vision, notably the album The Photographer, which is so out of tune in the serene and enchanting decor of 2020 THE SYNTHFONIE with voices structures are paired with keen staccato violins.

I love Brainwork music. And above all, I love the audacity of Uwe Saher who always manages to breathe this little something that makes his music an adventure always captivating. 2020 THE SYNTHFONIE is not perfect! It almost is ...

Sylvain Lupari (April 7th, 2020) ****½*

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