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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


Either it's perfumes of Repelen or perfumes of the colors, Green is the perfect blend of what BK&S does in its modern phase

1 Green One 25:01 2 Green Two 18:16 3 Green Three 10:38 4 Green Four 16:37 5 Yellow is not Green 4:56 Manikin Records | MRCD7102 (CD/DDL 73:51) (V.F.) (Minimalist New Berlin School)

Since the very first electronic symphony on colors, either Noir released in 2003, Detlef Keller and Mario Schönwälder, always assisted by their faithful percussionist accomplice Bas Broekhuis, carry their equipments between churches of Repelen and Betzdorfr, recording studios and on the sites of various festivals. So many places, so many genres! But every time, Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder manage to maintain the standards of their excellence by merging their styles to the various visions of their companions of scene, I think of Repelen, while keeping on developing this ambitious project to put in sound their visions of the primary colors. And for the first time this serenade without words on colors brings the exotic perfumes of Raughi Ebert and Thomas Kagerman, deviating GREEN out of the axes of the superb Direction Green without ever going away too much from the fragrances of Church of Betzdorf.

An oniric synth wave pierces a metallic wall of rustlings and undulates delicately over an industrial din which let falls larvas of synth a la Vangelis. And if we push our imagination to the limit of its creativity; it looks like a thick cloud of insects which runs away from this noisy fauna, where reign the perfumes of apocalypse, and that the sound of their wings introduces literally the first rhythmic stammerings of Green One. We talk here about an ambient rhythm, hardly formed, of which the shadows go and come like stroboscopic lassoes in the folds of a bass line and of its dramatic effects. A thin line of sequences, which chirps like loose electrons, is escaping and is snaking all around this allegory. The movement oscillates and its ample loops shape a play of shadows with a delicate line of piano which undulates in parallel in some really nice orchestral arrangements, forging little by little this structure of harmonious and minimalist rhythm so unique to the universe of Keller and Schönwälder. A resonant bass line is crawling alongside. Percussions, kind of Tablas, are drumming finely here, while a synth spreads its delicate singings which joins a choir of spectres. And little by little, the pace is accelerating whereas our ears are trying to get the most of all the sonic arsenal from the Berlin trio. The boom-boom of pulsations, a kind of Groovy bass, electric mist, dreamy piano, stroboscopic thin lines and nasal synth lines decorate the slow evolution of Green One which embraces a phase of ambiospherical turbulence at around the 14th minute before exploding finally with a clearly more lively approach, which looks like the tribal rhythms of Repelen, 5 minutes farther. Simple but so effective, the recipe of Broekhuis, Keller and Schönwälder continues to charm without ignoring the uncountable possibilities which structure the needs for modernity. The trio installs its minimalist structure with an earworm, as rhythmic as harmonic, which bewitch the listening, and which magnetize the senses.

Each structure of GREEN answers our desire to hear some good Broekhuis, Keller and Schönwälder. And this is what we have here. A pulsation of a bass line breathes heavily in the opening of Green Two. Hopping arpeggios dance with some metallic jingles whereas a layer of mist introduces a sinister climate that a caress of violin propels even farther in these glaucous ambiences. And like Green One, the envelope of evolves by gathering together its vital elements. The percussions disperse their tom-tom into the acrobatic figures of the sequenced keys among which the kicks and the spasms are tempered by a cloud of mist to the colors of the cataclysm and are drenched by spectral voices. A quite solitary keyboard scatters its chords in this structure of rhythm a bit chaotic while the synth loosens its electronic effects, the mists are bewitching, and exchange its perfumes of violin for very some airy solos. It's smooth and quite soothing, even if the pace tries to change subtly the course in the last minutes. Composed with Raughi Ebert and Thomas Kagerman, Green Three guides us in the moods of Repelen, but with a delicious ambient structure which ride on a sneaky introductory structure. The rhythm is delicate and exploits this meshing of chords and sequences which dance slightly all over the album. But here it's the synths which are magical. They throw some nice electronic effects (I hear camels to grunt) and effects of drama, while blowing beautiful melancholic harmonies in tints of jazz. Green Four is the track that has the more Berlin School spirit in GREEN. The intro is sculpted in synthesized mists where are dripping some tears of violin and faded voices. This is very enveloping, mostly even dramatic. A beautiful line of sequences pierces this dense meditative cloud in order to make undulate its keys in beautiful upward kick loops. The minimalist art of Keller and Schönwälder spreads all of its charm on this track which is the strongest here. Supported by muffled pulsations and by another line of sequences adjacent, the structure of rhythm of Green Four reached such a swiftness that a tremulous shadow gets loose from it. Two lines of rhythm in parallel, but slightly inverted, whip then the pace of Green Four which becomes lively, even if it stays heavily pulsating. Our ears have difficulty in gulping down the interlacing of this intense and rich phase of rhythm. Broekhuis, Keller and Schönwälder distribute also nice electronic effects which are deserving of a trio of DJ who tries to make even more danceable this structure which has already magnetized its wildlife of technoïd zombies. This is some great Broekhuis, Keller and Schönwälder and it's what is the closer to the brilliant Direction Green. And as all these sonic chapters on colors from Broekhuis, Keller and Schönwälder, Yellow is not Green reveals a little the secrets of what comes after GREEN. It's soft, dreamy with a background full of stars which sparkle and are dragging their dusts on the soft beating and, especially, on the soft harmonious breezes of a synth perfumed of Jazz and Lounge moods. That's promising! But when have we be disappointed by the sonic explorations of Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder who, once again, always find ways to seduce us?

Sylvain Lupari (August 11th, 2015) *****

Available at Manikin's Bandcamp

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