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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CAN ATILLA: HI-Story (2011)

Updated: May 9, 2021

HI-Story is in the continuity of what Can is offering since his big success Ave

1 The Kings and the Beggars (Part One) 6:31

2 Hi - Story 7:38

3 The Flashbacks 8:31

4 Sultan's Sequencer 6:03

5 When Kafka Drink Orange Juice 6:11

6 Thives of Bagdad 4:05

7 Shadow of the Knights 5:39

8 The Kings and the Beggars (Part Two) 6:27

9 Solar - is …… 4:31

10 Nights of the Rain Prayers 7:31

(CD/DDL 62:07) (V.F.)

(E-Rock Berlin School)

I have lost all contact with Can, as evidenced by the absence of reviews about his last 2 albums, Concorde in 2005 and Omni in 2003. You don't know yet the music of Can Atilla? Here is a god way to discover him. A true superstar in his country, he is a great Turkish composer and a musician who is comfortable in composing classical music as well as electronic music. Strongly influenced by Tangerine Dream, Jean-Michel Jarre and Vangelis, he has built up a legion of fans who eagerly wait his electronic works mostly released on Groove nl. More than 6 years separate his last album, which was Concorde, and this HI-STORY. And he hasn't changed a bit! HI-STORY is a solid opus of a strongly EM inspired of the 90's with rhythms and melodies woven in the paths of albums like Turns of the Tides, Tyranny of Beauty or Revolutions and Chronology, but with a tasty tribal zest.

Sequences that throb and jump in a nest of pulsations a bit resonant, The Kings and the Beggars (Part One) sets the tone of this album with a track that seems to come straight out of the sessions of Turns of the Tides. Nervous, the rhythm is covered by discreet choirs and keyboard riffs that succumb to a soft avalanche of percussions. The music then takes a more rocking tangent with a good amalgam of sequences and percussions that support guitar riffs and solos that are both sober and incisive, overhanging a nice melodic approach that is sometimes dreamy and sometimes rocking. The title-track continues this introspection of the Dream's musical universe with a warm synth line that wraps a bouncing sequencer structure in a symmetrical linear movement. Other sequences get grafted on and shape an oscillating structure that sways gracefully under the spell of angelic choirs. Memories of Tangerine Dream flood our ears with this track that seems to embrace periods as diverse as Falshpoint, Wavelenght, Le Parc or yet Stratosfear 95, especially with this rhythmic approach that becomes more nervous. Beautiful synth layers with soft fluty sounds float over this light jerky flow, while Hi-Story takes a more complex approach where the rhythmic sequences are as twisted as the bewitching melodies that surround them. It's a very good track with good synth solos that deserves the listenings it commands, as well as When Kafka Drink Orange Juice which follows the same tangents. As much harmonious as rhythmic. The Flashbacks is another jewel which starts with a sparkling stream of synth layers with clear and fluty tones. The notes of an austere piano fall, awakening sleepy voices and a rhythm that wriggles beneath this piano line with series of undulating notes. A bass line extends notes that bounce slightly. The piano then becomes nervous, and The Flashbacks imposes a heavy and slow rhythm, which also has a good stealthy approach arched over a slow oscillating movement. The beauty of this track is the subdivision of synth lines that drops good solos, clouds of mist as well as melodious lines with clear sounds of Turkey that chords of a tribal guitar wrap in a lovely tribal melody. This approach continues up until Sultan's Sequencer wand its curt and jerky rhythm which is enveloped by a synth with lines as bucolic as electronic, in addition to a charming romantic guitar.

Thives of Baghdad also takes us back to the Turkish tribal ambiences. It's a good track that aims several fronts and whose rhythms and ambiences waver between a slightly technoïd music, with curt and slamming percussions a la Jarre, and New Berlin School with undulating sequences and a fluty synth. Ultimately, it is an ethereal tribal vibe that carries its finale. These genres intertwine in a hybrid structure where melody and a soft anarchy merge in a delicious musical cocktail. Very good! Sequences undulate in a frenetic ballet of rhythmic beads that weave intertwined lines and lay the stormy foundation for Shadow of the Knights. The percussions come in and push the rhythm to a more full-bodied approach where synth pads and riffs get harmonize with ethereal choirs and sinuous solos that float on a rhythmic structure that has become frenzied. The Kings and the Beggars (Part Two) has nothing to do with the pulsating rhythm of the Part One. On the contrary! It's a sweet and sensual hymn to romance with a lovely slow beat that takes us back to the nostalgic dances of Saturday nights when Procol Harum's organs were dragging their languid sounds under heavy percussions and hazy choirs. Wow! With its dramatic chords dragging in cosmic mists, its softly whispering synth winds and its bitterly sighing flutes that you can hear in Le Parc. Solar - is a very good electronic melody that gently winds its way through intertwined sequences flickering in an ethereal dream. It's quite beautiful and melodic while being very melancholic. Tribal breaths and a bow rubbing the strings of a Turkish violin open Nights of the Rain Prayers. Touching with its heartbreaking violin, the intro gradually burrows into the belly of a delicate melody whose sequenced arpeggios alternate in thin wavy loops and jump with pulsating percussions. The rhythm takes shape. Halfway between synth-pop and electro, it gambols under the strata of a chimerical violin, closing HI-STORY with a melodious and symphonic approach which gives even more depth to this last opus of the Turkish musician.

Once again Can Atilla comes out of nowhere to offer us a very good and unexpected album. A melodious album where tribal, synth-pop and electronic rhythms are coated with this delicious quintessence that are the influences of Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre. There are very good tracks on this album. Tracks that are a little bit out of the Berlin School's main lines but that still keep this cachet of the nice melodic approaches that the Dream and Jarre were scattering in the 90's. The sequencer structures good and exciting rhythms where the synths stand out by weaving beautiful melodies rather than focusing on virulent solos. HI-STORY is in the continuity of what Can Atilla is offering since his big success Ave back in 1999

Sylvain Lupari (November 29th, 2011) *****

Available at Groove nl

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