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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CELL: Live In Corfu (2020)

Updated: Aug 25, 2020

This is an excellent album from CELL where the Berlin School style has its roots deeply in a new perspective of Electronic Dance Music

1 Elevation (Live Edit) 9:02

2 Over The Roof (Live Edit) 6:06

3 Pulse (Live Edit) 8:03

4 Traffic (Live Edit) 8:59

5 Security (Live Edit) 10:44

6 Spinning Whale (Live Edit) 9:49

7 Take Off (Live Edit) 5:44

8 Intimate Removals (Live Edit) 11:29

(DDL 69:54) (V.F.)

(EDM Berlin School)

Sequenced arpeggios undertake a linear and spasmodic dance that gasps try to follow. Off-screen voices feed the imagination to those who offered their ears to Elevation (Live Edit), while the first boom-booms reach the electric wires of our emotions. In an opening where it's easy to establish a link with the mythical Poland of Tangerine Dream, LIVE IN CORFU offers a curt and sustained rhythm with the effects of tribal manual percussions which round off the spasmodic impact of the electronic percussions. The rhythm is nervous and supports the tinkling of lunar bottles in a Moonwalk à la Zoolook when more sober percussions stabilize this convulsive rhythm which now grows fat of various tones, mainly percussive effects. There is a reverberating effect that sews together the rhythmic elements of Elevation, giving strobe relief to a structure that shakes your eardrums nicely. This title, where the essences of Berlin School hang out in these new genres constantly in reorientation that are EDM and Psybient, hooks us to a rather interesting album from the Lyon-based Ultimae Records label.

Available only in 24 Bits digital forma, an MP3 version is also available, on the Bandcamp site of the French label, this new album is presented as a musical journey of 70 minutes with fluid rhythms which follow one another by transporting fragile melodies in a futuristic setting that could be as heavenly as those in a Luc Besson film. LIVE IN CORFU is the recording of a concert performed at the DOTS in August 2019 and which features a forgotten character of the label, Alexandre Scheffer, or if you prefer CELL, at the Mikro Nisi Beach Venue on Corfu Island in Greece. We can already imagine the decor from behind our eyes closed. Well, tell yourself that the music doesn't really need it to seduce us. Hoops that strike each other in an industrial echo effect, the up-tempo of Elevation continues to seduce with its aplomb. A bit of Vangelis synth pads revolves around this rhythm which stores funny ringing of chains, having the same impact as instruments of torture from the Middle Ages. In a panoply of sonorous artifices inserted with a precision that is bordering impertinence, CELL gradually unveils the menu for the next 70 minutes of an EM torn between its psybient effects and its rhythms in search of identity.

Over The Roof follows with a rather long introduction of cosmic atmospheres before knocking us out with boom-boom percussions and tssitt-tssitt cymbals in a heavy and catchy rhythm which is used to deploy an arsenal of effects, including these haunting chains from torture chambers, in a cosmic vision. We feel a rhythmic gradation here which follows an impressive constellation of sound effects, of disturbing effects that flood the jolts, like in rhythms as fluid than frenzied. You have to raise the volume at the right level to embark on this 70 minutes of an EDM designed to reach the cosmic elements visible to the naked eye in this enchanting site of our planet. Certainly, there are short phases where our feet breathe, but for the most part CELL doesn't make a quarter and invites us to a collection of rhythms where the introductions, like the endings, are thought out around communications between cosmonauts. After a Pulse that made our feet pulsate, Traffic allows itself a phase of rhythmic uncertainty where the effects collide in a slow cosmic start. These effects produce a tasty organic language while the boom-booms seem to breathe in a down-tempo. There where the variety in tones from the effects' buffet has the upper hand over the rhythmic proposition of Alexandre Scheffer. We reach a meditative phase when the union between Traffic and Security attempts to join their rhythmic proposition. Locusts sing for thunders and seagulls, whereas the African tribal rhythm of Security bolts our ears in standby mode. This opening is phenomenal with items that suit the same menu. Although active, the static rhythmic line becomes a riff one which is playing with a tasty bass line that goes up and down to die a little before the 5th minute. There where the rhythm takes a short second skin to finally slip away in a lunar techno. Spinning Whale invites us to a static structure with an envelope of sound effects that is in tune with a new dimension. Effects that support a melody which cackles, while another line of melody confined to moiré arpeggios attempts a dialogue with the stars. We notice a drop in speed at the pace level and it's in this perspective that the great Take Off initiates the last phase, and the most wonderful one, of LIVE IN CORFU. This morphic, and above all cosmic down-tempo is savored by suspended guitar riffs and is hiding effects that Tangerine Dream imported in its Hyperborea phase. Guitar chords and loops weave a false melody which is linked to the keyboard. This melody has its earworm that it carries around sparingly to the very seductive Intimate Removals which reframes this melody in a rhythm as heavy, powerful and precise as that of Elevation. A finale where every second gives birth to a touch of intensity until this rhythmic apotheosis which completes the loop of an astonishing and very seductive album by CELL.

Sylvain Lupari (August 24th, 2020) ****¼*

Available at Ultimae Records Bandcamp

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