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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CAN ATILLA: Av̇e-1999 (2014)

Updated: May 9, 2021

“As far as I'm concerned, I prefer Av̇e-1999 to its original version so much the tones are clearer...and what about the bonus track?”

1 Time Border Passengers 23:05

2 Breathing Under Pressure 13:08

3 Japetus Dreams 13:38

4 Time Seller Under the Rain 7:19

5 Bach's Air 4:57

6 My Dearest Klaus... 16:17

Can Atilla Music (CD 78:33)

(Berlin School) (V.F.)

Remastered versions! Are they scams? Do they have a reason to exist? While they are mainly intended for fans of the artist, they can also serve as a flavoring for old recordings whose techniques were limited in relation to the visions and / or the needs of the artist. There are many remasters that have given a new lease of life to many albums while others were rather scams that cannot hold a candle to the original version. I'm thinking of Membrane and Bootmoon for Tangerine Dream or some editions from SPV in the remastered versions of Klaus Schulze's works. On the other hand, I loved Steven Wilson's remasterings for Yes, Jethro Tull and Tangerine Dream, as well as those of Mike Oldfield, whom he himself did ,from his Virgin years. And closer to my reviews, the new versions of the first 2 Dream Mixes by Jerome Froese are worth the cost. Often these remasters are dynamized versions at the sound level. This is the case of Jerome and with this one, AVE-1999 which was remastered by Can Atilla and Erkan Akpinar in the studios of the Turkish musician and from his own original tapes. This album, which was greatly welcomed in the very limited circle at the time of the initiates to the Berlin School and progressive EM, saw the light f day on a Dutch independent label (EAT-Records) in 1999. This label was the property of Rob Essers who himself was very influenced by the sounds closer to Melrose's years of Tangerine Dream. AVE-1999 is remastered from the original 1999 recordings, hence the emphasis on the title, and has landed in Groove's shelves just a few weeks ago.

From the fall of synth lines and layers of Mellotron in Time Border Passengers we hear the difference. There are indeed chthonic voices, as well as organ pads and synth lines with distorted violin strings, but there are also cymbals and the guitar riffs are darker. Finally, this introduction teems with a sound fauna that was almost impossible to reproduce correctly with the recording techniques of the time. We therefore hear the elements that revolve around the frame more precisely. The rhythm that arises is also more dynamic with a tonal reflection more accurate and more striking. The missing 3 minutes belong to the final which had stretched a little too much his dramatic vision for nothing since we hardly heard all these sound elements. Breathing Under Pressure breathes better. The changes of direction often unexpected on these two titles are more musical with a beautiful sharpness which gives more glow and which aerates a little better the atmospheres. Japetus Dreams is really winning here. The idea of hearing a bootleg from the audience is ubiquitous here. These 3 titles being the heart of Ave in 1999, I must admit that this version gives them more luster. Like for Time Seller Under the Rain and Bach's Air; they also enjoy the same benefits. And all honesty, it was not because of them that this Ave was much interesting in 1999.

The first 50 minutes of Av̇e-1999 are so sure values with an improved sound and maybe even small additions, compared minutes have revealed none. But if I told you that the bonus title alone is worth the purchase of this new remaster, would you believe it? This is the case! Composed around 2002, My Dearest Klaus ... offers 16 minutes of pure happiness with a musical evolution where Klaus Schulze is put aside a little bit to make room for the electronic dance rhythms of Jean-Michel Jarre. A plane is taking off? A giant vacuum that sucks the notes of the range? Or simply a cacophony on a dispute between ethereal, orchestral, gaseous synth pads? Perhaps these layers of voice in mode opera are the source of this conflict? But whatever! They are the ones who awaken a hyper-catchy rhythm. A rhythm that makes us vibrate by a resonant bass line and catchy percussions. Attractive percussive effects are also at the center of the enchantment core. They follow the path of this structure of rhythm that picks up as many sound effects of the German Master and plunges us into his 84-94 years with a nasal synth that concocts a bewitching melody carved in the wonderful Arabian universe. This rhythm is crashing into an ambient phase around the 8 minutes point where a scent of disagreement on the orchestral strings introduces a structure that is very Jean-Michel Jarre during his concert of the millennium at the pyramids of Egypt. A melody weaving of an earworm lurks in these minutes of ambient rhythm before a pure phase of trance is screwing our ears into the bottom of our hemispheres. Grandiose! Grandiose, grandiose ...

As far as I'm concerned, I prefer Av̇e-1999 to its original version. And already, in my review of the original version, I found the sound old and it annoyed me. So you will understand that with an improved and vitaminized sound to the maximum, and a bonus title as explosive as My Dearest Klaus ...; I am at the doors of happiness. RECOMMANDABLE!

Sylvain Lupari (July 29th, 2019) *****

Disponible chez Groove nl.

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