BROEKUIS, KELLER & SCHONWALDER: Purple (2019)
“Sober and beautiful, Purple remains focused on this capricious color with slight gradations in the rhythmic essences”
1 Purple Chapter One 14:55
2 Purple Chapter Two 16:02
3 Purple Chapter Three 8:59
4 Purple Chapter Four 14:53
5 Purple Chapter Five 9:20
(CD/DDL 64:19) (V.F.)
(Minimalist New Berlin School)
It's with a rising shadow that twirling arpeggios begin to dance between our ears. They always dance, with a delicious stereo effect, when a line of bass sequences roars to finally dance a slow ambient cha-cha-cha. Jets of amethyst mist cover the riffs flowing in cascades and this humming bass line which structure the minimalist rhythmic base of Purple Chapter One, while the synth weaves beautiful solos as musical as the songs of a nightingale. Even if the sequencer and the percussions enter the dance, the rhythm evolves subtly with a growth curve animated by this series of riffs and its effects of radiations. This is the ideal hideout for Bas Broekhuis, Detlef Keller and especially Mario Schönwälder, who launches cooing solos like a flute mutating into guitar and vice versa, to extend layers of harmonies and of ambient rhythms on this structure which is always increasing in finesse. Other solos dance in the background, making the harmonic fabric more dense than only Bas Broekhuis can make more fiery in his silk armor and his percussions and other percussive effects well inserted which change the ambient dynamics of Purple Chapter One. Here is the last musical chapter by Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder on colors. PURPLE is the 7th color set into music by the Berlin trio. And unlike Yellow, BKS offers a more ethereal approach with long structures that evolve in moderation, taking care to highlight all the talent of the 3 musicians.
Following the precept of the introductory title, Purple Chapter Two follows a slow evolution to reach a sustained velocity provided by this line of riffs and sequences hopping with an organic radiance. The atmospheres are provided by jets of mist and a panoply of instruments, including a fascinating guitar, which come and go, letting the piano stigmatize its presence with beautiful filaments of dreams. Layers filled by fragrances of Tangerine Dream's Encore years are floating in this vertical labyrinth where the trio pills up layer of rhythm over layers of rhythms. And each of those brings a different tone, more austere or intense chords as well as a new regeneration of the more ambient source. In doing so, Purple Chapter Two hops and hiccups with its convulsive fragility to reach a more intense level in its last minutes. A Klaus Schulze anesthetic layer opens Purple Chapter Three, a beautiful ambient title. The synth pads are like banks of fluffy clouds floating towards the mount of serenity. Lying on a bed of bass sequences which pulsate softly, isolated arpeggios jumping in sequences and a work of percussionist attentive to the smallest details make on this dreamlike structure something magnificent to encourage our eyelids to let go of stress. Fourth jet of violet, always built on these same rhythmic bases, Purple Chapter Four offers a slow rhythm, structured around a bass line that crawls as softly as a snoring. A subtle and slight acceleration awaits this ambient rhythm which is adorned by metallic rattlings and other percussive elements. The trio lays on this structure a layer of flute whose inspiring chant shines the lightness of the New Age. We cross ages and memories to the sound of this flute while the synths throw jets of mist and the piano of Detlev Keller releases bits of harmony strolling in a Purple Chapter Four which slightly increases the pace with a more intensified presence of the sequencer. This sequencer followed the slow evolution of the music before sculpting an ethereal form which takes all its sense with an echo effect and a shift in the alternation of the jerky jumping keys, thus making the rhythm hypnotically spasmodic. Due to its different structure, Purple Chapter Five takes us to a next step on colors. In the meantime, the music progresses like these ambient ballads, like Chicago's Color my World in fast motion, where the piano weaves a wavy rhythmic line and sculpts bits of melodies lost in a soft chloroformed structure.
Sober and beautiful, PURPLE offers a Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder which remains focused on this capricious color with slight gradations in the rhythmic essences. Rhythms much closer to serenity and which help to moderate this daily excitement, this nervous stress with the help of chromotherapy of its value. A beautiful album with atmospheres of a Berlin School left in the cloakroom. I liked it ...but are you surprised?
Sylvain Lupari (January 29th, 2020) ***½**
Available on Manikin Bandcamp