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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


Updated: Feb 5, 2021

Orange is an album filled by rhythms evolving within hypnotic structures tinged of a harmonious sweetness

1 Orange One 21:05

2 Orange Two 40:19

3 Orange & Blue 10:23

(DDL 71:45) (V.F.)

(New Berlin School, Ambient Music)

Minimalistic, languid, hypnotic, and ambivalent rhythms seasoned with plaintive synths and of fluty Memotron's airs that stick to both musical structures and our ears; this is the menu for ORANGE, the latest opus from Keller & Schönwälder, the masters of the current Berlin School. Composed and performed in a concert-homage to Dutch EM's aficionados, ORANGE continues on the evolutionary approach of colors' theory such as initiated by Noir. A series that brings together recordings in concert and works in studio that the duo has stored over the last few years. Bas B. Broekhuis brings a new dimension to the music of Detlev Keller and Mario Schönwälder by infusing rhythms that are very similar to the soaring ambiences of the Berlin duo who follow in the footsteps of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze for the greatest pleasure of EM fans. If the minimalism rhythms that evolve in structures varying between a soft groove and soft techno appeal you, you should easily appreciate the music of this German trio whose poetic soul is perhaps as energetic as enigmatic.

Performed in Culemborg on November 5, 2005, Orange One presents a very atmospherical and deliciously electronic intro. A psychedelic cosmic approach, a bit like in the days of Body Love and of Klaus Schulze's electronic bats. Strident sound effects pierce a nebulous cosmic aura. They are accompanied by hesitant manual percussions effect which gain confidence with the arrival of heavier pulsations. Staggering violins crisscross this hazy ambience before marrying a sonority of languid cellos which is cradling the meanders of an arid nothingness. Subtly this movement gets into a minimalism pattern which progresses on a bewitching rhythm, hopping with a firm cadence and flooded with superb violin synth solos. A track for fans of Klaus Schulze! Recorded at the 2002 E-Live festival, still in the Netherlands, Orange Two opens with a hesitant intro by tracing a skipping rhythm that a good Memotron dresses of a cosmic splendor. Percussions and plaintive synths eye a structure which draws a minimalism rhythm adorned of mellotron violins. The rhythm is at the gates of a techno groove, between crossed and uncrossed paths, to embrace an atmospherical passage where a cello cries in a floating and uncertain ambience because of the percussive pulsations and the solos looped with spectral breaths. An enveloping crescendo takes again the road of a progressive rhythm, always supported by layers of minimalism violins and the breaths of ghostly synths, before failing in a contemplative nothingness. This is Berlin School at its best! Orange & Blue is a rehearsal of Orange Two in studio. We can appreciate the modulations and changes, as well as the long progress of its improvisation.

The new German trio surprises us again by delivering an album with rhythms evolving in hypnotic structures tinted of a harmonious sweetness. With its progressive and hypnotic rhythms molded in synth layers with multiple melodious flavors, ORANGE is a very good opus quite representative of the current Berlin School. A Berlin School which adapts with the renewed warmth of new instruments and new technologies developed by Keller & Schönwälder. Accompanied by Bas B. Broekhuis, they fulfill their task of watchdog very well with an enchanting style and nuances between soft techno and harmonious minimalism patterns.

Sylvain Lupari (June 29th, 2007) ***½**

Available on Manikin Bandcamp

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