BROEKHUIS, KELLER & SCHONWALDER: Red Live @ USA (2017)
“Red Live @ USA is yet another great opus of digital minimalist Berlin School of an exceptional sound design quality from the magical Berlin trio”
1 St. Mary's, Philadelphia 19:53 2 Music with Space, Princeton 41:40 3 Star's End FM 1:04:30 Manikin | MRCD 7103
(2CD/DDL 207:33) (V.F.) (Berlin School)
Released in March 2012, the album Red propelled the music of the series about colors from the Berlin trio and has also propelled it with a music that allied soundscapes, morphic rhythms and more developed minimalist beats in an electronic mixture which transcends that of the first albums of this series begun in 2003 with Noir. Some 2 months later, Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder undertook a series of concerts on the American East coast. Series of concerts which was going to bring the famous German trio to the mythical Star's End on May 13th, 2012. RED LIVE @ USA is the audio document which presents the main lines of these concerts which began with a stop at the Music With Space on May 5th 2012 at WPRB 103,3 FM in Princeton.
Recorded in the church of St. Mary's Hamilton Village in Philadelphie, St. Mary's, Philadelphia begins this double CD, carefully mixed and presented in the customary Manikin's digipack artwork with an opening as much multicolored as fireworks of sounds. All sort of layers, lot of ululates, organic effects and spectral voices adorn an introduction where the cymbals and percussions of Bas Broekhuis are rushing out such as waves of noises over a storm which seeks nevertheless for the calmness. The samplings of voices are rather disconcerting with an approach as attractive as sibylline whereas quite slowly gets silent the clamor of fires with an enchanting line of flute which floats and sings with delicacy over the ashes of this sounds battlefield. Of an incredible elegance, this song meets another shower of heterogeneous effects which is less violent than the first 2 minutes of St. Mary's, Philadelphia. The percussions wake up in the door of 6 minutes. If their presences are timid, except for these delicious effects of manual percussions, the sequence which follows sets the parameters of a floating beat which is then shaken the vibes by knocks of sober but effective percussions. And opens then in our ears a sonic adventure deserving of the great moments of Klaus Schulze, periods Balckdance to Mirage, with a good line of steady bass which goes up and goes down in loops among layers of ethereal voices as well as jingles which decorate a landscapes where gambol diverse synth solos underneath the percussions very in the note of B.B. A magical moment which increases with the seconds! You should not look here for titles or material from the Red album played here. There are few links to be made! And it's doubtless on Music with Space, Princeton that we can find a kind of main thread here, in particular with the title Red One. Its introduction is weaved by wide synth layers which float among electronic and percussive effects. This panorama of cosmic moods is lulled by layers of which the slow tones of old organ are transformed into a dense orchestral veil where always cogitate these noises which lace this link of charm between our earphones and our eardrums. While the percussions are waiting in patience, the gliding movement of Music with Space, Princeton gets darker with layers of violins and voices which unify a nightmarish presence. It goes farther than Schulze! That breathes the slow movements of night-paranoia from Remy in his astounding Exhibitions of Dreams. The rhythm begins to hobble after the point of 17 minutes with a movement of the sequencer which makes limp slightly its keys like a guru walking on burning brands. The cosmic effects adhere to this metronomic movement whereas the jingles of the percussions go of a hesitating dance here. The solos are flying out of the chinks of synths, drawing circles which get form and re-form with a digital presence which remains as much attractive as these good solos of the analog years. Slower but comfortably comparable to Red One, Music with Space, Princeton ends its hypnotic rhythmic march some 25 minutes later where is taking shape a new landscape of ambient elements.
For a little that we like the long minimalist structures, which are at the edge of the doors of Morpheus, but which are also in mode smooth and convertible rhythms, Star's End FM is the highlight of RED LIVE @ USA. And when we know how much St. Mary's, Philadelphia has charmed us just as much as Music with Space, Princeton, that gives an overview of the depth from this last album of Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder! This long sound river of more than one hour begins with synth waves which float in the oblivion. Already solos are in a mode of charming with some astral singings And already Bas Broekhuis sends salvos of cymbals which give a more dramatic dimension to this introduction sewn of silk and which is already livened up by a slightly hopping structure of rhythm near the 8th minute gates. The layers of voices and the very colorful electronic effects add this unspeakable electronic dimension which encircles these remarkable works. This 1st phase of rhythm is invigorating like a cosmic Cha-Cha. The meshing between the percussions and the multiple crossings of sequences is as well attractive as the solos, very aerial, are bewitching. This phase faints 14 minutes farther, dragging Star's End FM in a short phase of meditation which will evaporate to its turn with a second steadier rhythmic phase. The play of the percussions is deliciously magnetizing and gives all the necessary freedom to numerous synth solos which coo in a silky shower of foggy voices. And even if this movement shows a certain intensity, it will fade out with good percussive effects and a bass line which tries to resuscitate the whole thing. Without having acquainted of the time which have pass, we are already at the point of 40 minutes and some, Star's End FM ends with an ultimate phase of rhythm which is pushed by a splendid movement of the sequencer and of its hypnotic keys which jump in loops. The last 25 minutes of this long river of sounds are the most striking of RED LIVE @ USA with this musical signature very motorik of Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder and of whom we never grow tired of hearing and/or of discovering under another shape, like here. Another very beautiful album of an exceptional sound quality of the Berlin trio! Hat to you boys!
Sylvain Lupari (June 8th, 2017) *****
Available on Manikin Bandcamp