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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CAN ATILLA: Live (2003)

Updated: May 9, 2021

Live is an album where Can's influences mix and merge wonderfully

1 Torchlight 5:55

2 Arpeggiator 5:24

3 Underwater Moonlight 2:37

4 Dark Velvet 4:15

5 Whiteout 14:53

6 Marco Polo 6:00

7 Winterland 5:36

8 Dream Recorder 6:26

9 Abyss 4:08

10 Leonardo 8:43

(CD/DDL 63:57) (V.F.)

(E-Rock TD's styles)

LIVE is one of the first CD of EM I have reviewed. It was in 2003 and I had invested myself with the mandate to make known the fascinating world of EM to my entourage. This album had attracted me a lot, as much by the great versatility of the rhythms as by its frenzied structures where good and captivating melodies enchant our ears on compositions which were like those of Tangerine Dream, Jean-Michel Jarre and Vangelis. Artists who are at the heart of the influences of the Turkish multi-instrumentalist. So here is one of my first reviews rewritten and adapted to my current writing.

Torchlight opens this new album of Can Atilla brightly. A synth wave rises and goes off on a slightly dramatic tangent as misty-sounding percussions crash down to set up an introductory approach like JM Jarre's Destination Docklands album. Spurred on by these drum bombardments and heavy synth riffs, the introduction progresses into a good flowing sequence that undulates under floating layers of mellotron, strange tribal moans and hybrid synth blasts. In short, it's a whole cocktail of sounds that piles up before the rhythm becomes frenzied with furious sequences jumping in a disarticulated rhythmic. These sequences cross a space battle line to meet passionate solos of a Zlatko Perica-like guitar to dock with percussions and bass- pulses, forging a rhythm that explodes between a techno and a synth-pop with stunned boom-boom and twirling tssitt-tssitt. Synth waves scan the horizon, bridging the gap between Torchlight and Arpeggiator which is sculpted in the undulating movements of the sequencer and battered by percussive strikes that shape a jerky rhythm. Other strikes and incisive sequences are grafted onto this rhythmic framework, pounding out a curt and nervous rhythm with a fine ascending tangent on riffs and keyboard chords that are reminiscent of the Dream universe. It's violent, curt and melodic! The celestial waves of Underwater Moonlight get crisscross under thunderous beams of sound to run aground in the explosive rhythm of Dark Velvet whose stroboscopic rhythmic approach, somewhat like that of Arpeggiator, transpires the musical universe of Jarre. Especially with the solos and the hand claps from now on taken from Magnetic Fields. The soft intro of Whiteout calms down the game a bit. This long track of 15 minutes is the best moment of this LIVE. But the rhythm starts again with solid percussions which draw up an energetic rhythmic structure whose hyperactive and intertwined sequence lines are extracted from the reminiscences of the 220 Volts years with incursions in more distant spheres of the Dream with a very beautiful fluty synth of the Startosfear years. Unbridled rhythms and ethereal ambiences share the indecision and the paradoxes of Whiteout in a superb musical canvas where the sequences are cut in the knowledge of Chris Franke and that the meditative harmonies awake the ashes of Underwater Sunlight. It's very good and beautiful, so much so that one wonders if it's not a forgotten track in the Dream Roots Collection.

Marco Polo presents us the hyper melodious and orchestral approach of Can Atilla. It is a superb melody that expresses itself in a succulent electronic bolero that has nothing to envy to the most beautiful symphonic romances of Vangelis with Gregorian choirs, drum rolls and heavier percussions that roll under stardust set up by a trickling bed of sequences. The delicate flights of violins caress the soft crescendo that stuffs itself with its fine crystal arpeggios, over sizing the very moving aspect of the title that sinks even more into its ardent electronic bolero. Winterland sticks to Marco Polo's romance and melancholy with a soft piano that makes its notes sound like soulful sighs. A guitar glues to these notes which are also embraced by a synth whose fine solos and symphonic blasts stigmatize its delicacy. Dream Recorder is powerful and relies on a heavy and slow rhythm with good percussion whose hits join the heavy keyboard riffs that fall with crash. A beautiful melody emerges with a piano a la Yanni. Its playful notes gambol over a structure weighed down by the addition of guitar riffs and tumultuous synth solos with sinuous curves and swings. Floating in a hybrid ambience where the ocean depths meet the confines of space, Abyss is an ambient track that wandering choirs and layers of igneous synths dress with an intriguing chthonian aura. It sounds like an apocalyptic Black Mass, except that the sordid mood diminishes to introduce Leonardo whose introduction plunges us squarely into the ambiences of 220 Volt. Sequences undulate and merge in a stream of crystalline arpeggios, flowing towards a heavy and dry rhythm. A rhythm which gets carried away and frenziedly under an amalgam of synth layers as melodious as alive and whose sonorities awake the memories of Tangerine Dream and its multiple musical facets.

Ah did I enjoyed this last album from Can Atilla? Of course! I liked it when it came out and I still like it in 2003. It's an album where percussions, sequences and heavy riffs, both from the keyboards and the guitars, spit powerful and nervous rhythms on structures where inspiring melodies abound. LIVE is an album where Can's influences mix and merge wonderfully without overshadowing the musical signature of the Turkish synthesist who does not shy away from forging even heavier and more frenzied rhythms while keeping a door open for two superb ballads and beautiful orchestral arrangements. In short, a powerful album with no burrs that amply deserves a place in your CD collection.

Sylvain Lupari (November 20th, 2011) ***½**

Available at Groove nl

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