• Sylvain Lupari

BRENDAN POLLARD: Phrases and Protocols (2021)

Once again, Brendan Pollard manages to charm by dressing the present of the past!

1 Flowpoint 33:35

2 Azimuth 7:27

3 Viaduc 22:27

Acoustic Wave Records ‎– AW020

(Available on August 15th)

(DDL/CD 63:29) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

When it comes to discussing vintage Berlin School, Brendan Pollard's name inevitably comes to mind. Whether solo, in duo or in trio, the English musician has no equal when it comes to immersing the listener in the musical perfumes of Tangerine Dream's most beautiful years, with an incomparable flair for playing the mellotron. Like Edgar Froese! PHRASES AND PROTOCOLS is his latest album conceived as always in the grooves of la belle époque. And when I say latest, it's not entirely untrue as the friendly Hertfordshire synthesist feels the need to refresh his studio and his instruments, even considering the possibility of using new technology, which he must first start to learn, to create his EM. PHRASES AND PROTOCOLS is in the same vein as the Isolated Passages saga, especially Isolated Passages Three, with a division between rhythms and ambient phases dominated by the mellotron and psychedelic effects that we found in the first albums of the Dream on Virgin. If you like the genre, this is an excellent album! An album that will be available in manufactured CD and DDL on Brendan Pollard's Bandcamp page from August 15th.

It's with a wave of reverberations that Flowpoint begins. Electronic effects, as well as a line of steam, are immediately grafted to its ascent. Early on, the mellotron installs its mythical fluty mist and further on, a layer of chthonian voices. It's in this phase, which stretches until the edge of the 5 minutes, that I thought I heard a ghost of Ricochet. Crystalline tinkling sounds are the source of the slowly emerging rhythm. Each tinkling leads to two bass-pulses. And some 50 seconds later, the sequencer releases a line of jumping marbles in a minimalist spasmodic dance that rolls on itself. A short line of evanescent and very TD melody is forged within the loops as reverbs and obscure voices come and go, like those resonant keyboard riffs. These heavy riffs versus the tonal lightness of the tinkles add a dichotomous depth that makes our ears significantly more interested in Flowpoint's evolution. A first transitional bridge comes after the 11th minute. BP then plunges us into spheres of psybient with that ever-persistent bed of reverberations and a storm of woosshh that makes the waves roll between our ears. This storm of sounds brings us back to the psychedelic creations of the Dream from the Peter Baumann years. A new rhythm structure is positioned not far from the 13 minutes. Circular, it's however livelier and catchy with the right amount of nuances to keep our interest captive. More active in terms of creativity than the synth, the mellotron releases its layers of voices and multi-sound mists on a structure that is not far from Rubycon, even in its sound effects. This structure and its richness are also extinguished in a long gust of winds, woosshh, wiisshh and dark winds. Brendan Pollard does everything to make us feel in the territory of the Dream by adding the sound eff