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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


Updated: Mar 13, 2021

Repelen 3 gives us the best of both worlds, in concert and studio, of this very interesting quintet

1 Storm Chaser 12:29

2 Sunset Café 13:23

3 Sunrise 11:53

4 Madrigal 5:26

5 Old Kids on the Stick 6:36

6 Babylon Road 13:50

7 Skinner's Run 7:56

(CD/DDL 145:11) (V.F.)

(Tribal New Berlin School)

Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder's music was given a new lease of life with the addition of Raughi Ebert, on guitars, and Thomas Kagermann, on violins and vocals, on the very first Live @ Dorfkirche Repelen 2006. In doing so, the Berlin trio's minimalism approach has been enriched with other music layers, adding a harmonious and tribal depth to an already inspiring and very hypnotic music. Recorded in Detlef Keller's studios, REPELEN 3 is the German quintet's first studio album. Album played in concert at the Dorfkirche Repelen on February 7, 2010. Unsurprisingly, REPELEN 3 follows in the footsteps of the first 2 volumes…

Delicate chords evolve stealthily at the opening of Storm Chaser. A soft opening with slightly hopping sequences which are imprisoned by a discreet mellotron and which cross other sequences as clear as nervous. A light violin soothes the awakening of this crisscrossing movement of the sequencer which grows on a more sustained cadence and where acoustic guitar and piano chords perfume the melody with a misty tenderness. Languid and stunning, Sunset Café is the cornerstone of REPELEN 3 and one of the beautiful modern Berlin School-style pieces of music to charm my ears in these later years. Pure BKS! A gentle minimalism progression that hypnotizes and captivates with a delicate rhythm tinted with a slightly melodramatic approach starting with a misty mellotron. Slowly it emerges from its ocean spray, releasing a fine bass line and a bass-drum pulsation which introduce a hypnotizing cadence beneath the hesitant layers of a deliciously dreamy synth. This harmonious procession is dressed in beautiful chords of a solitary piano, notes of an unexpected xylophone and chords of a romantic guitar which drags around everywhere in this hazy course that is this superb enchanting title. These minimalism jolts that create this hypnotic cadence continue on Sunrise. A title teeming with a livelier rhythmic activity and which unfolds under throbbing bows stretching its tearfulness under the choirs of an absent mellotron and a good pulsating bass line. It is another good Berlin School track which finds its bases on the croaking of organic percussions, hybrid sequences and a violin with eroded lamentations.

Madrigal is a nice lullaby that the Berlin trio like to throw at us once in a while. There is a romantic piano and a mellotron, whose breaths of a flute from an imaginary country are flirting with an angelic choir. As well as there are sober percussions, a soft violin and a guitar with suave solos to rock our sleep until the edge of our dreams. A great track indeed! More lively, Old Kids on the Stick gets lively on a nervous pace. The odd spectral tones of the synth add a prismatic touch to a structure that waddles on the jolts of the sequencer and a warm bass line. In a jazzy-style percussions opening with floating keyboard keys and a heart-wrenching guitar, Babylon Road plunges us into a world of minimalism Berlin School. The sober beat subtly develops its pace, escaping soft passages of Mellotron mist but prioritizing an exchange between a chiseled violin and a guitar with short biting solos. Skinner's Run concluded with a very rock approach, in the genre of Rock This! that we find on Live @ Dorfkirche Repelen 2. It's new for BKS that will always amaze me in this style where the steady rhythm of Bas Broekhuis hammers a frenzied pace. Raughi Ebert eats his excess with the fiery solos of his guitar, the synth also spewing twisted and ghostly solos that hide the light mist of an ethereal mellotron. Electronic dynamite compressed in 8 minutes!

You can only have the best of both worlds of this Repelen series here! With this REPELEN 3 which is a solid New Berlin School-style EM album. Better since done in studio, so without improvisations. With a music thus more structured, and always prioritizing the playing of Raughi Ebert and Thomas Kagermann, Detlef Keller and Mario Schonwalder tend to forget their approaches. But they always remain focused on their increasingly daring rhythmic visions which complement quite well those of Bas Broekhuis who is a real machine on drums and electronic percussions. In short, a nice union between the musical perfumes of the Middle East and the increasingly peculiar style of Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder.

Sylvain Lupari (June 24th , 2010) *****

Available at Manikin Music Bandcamp

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