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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

DANIEL B. PROTHESE: Shades (2021)

Updated: Jan 1, 2022

It has brilliant moments which divides cleverly its frantic beats and ambient phases

Shades CD1 53:35

1 Part I 7:26

2 Part II 4:15

3 Part III 1:55

4 Part IV 9:50

5 Part V 8:32

6 Part VI 18:48

7 Part VII 2:49

Shades CD2 72:15

1 Part VIII 11:35

2 Part IX 22:49

3 Part X 8:31

4 Part XI 8:32

5 Part XII 5:10

6 Part XIII 15:38

(2CD/DDL 125:51) (V.F.)

(Industrial, Psybient Berlin School)

Daniel B. Prothese has had a busy year in 2021. In addition to his live performances he has released two albums, 44.44.44 II and 44.44.44 III and has participated in a large innovative project; Sky Any Color. This mega project aimed to bring together a wide range of artistic creators to put into music, paintings and other art forms this increasingly detached relationship of Humanity towards its future. This is how SHADES was born, an imposing double-CD where dark ambient, sound explorations and Berlin School movements come and go for the greatest pleasure of the followers of the genre. The two CDs are divided by 7 parts for the first one, and 6 parts for the second one. So, the appetizing possibility to choose between the different indexed parts makes the discovery and the taming of SHADES even more attractive.

Thus, it is possible to get past those intriguing lines undulating in an impenetrable darkness of Part 1 for example. But why do this? The ambiences change from heavy, even sinister with waves that gradually turn into a sibylline haze. A more luminous breeze rises around the 4th minute to begin its transition towards more ethereal ambiences, notably with this fluent this line of a flute which enchants our serene spirit a few seconds after the 6th minute. Clattering percussions of its metallic waves and a resonant bass-sequence line join their destinies in the very rhythmic Part II. The percussion blasts come from all sides with the addition of other percussive sound elements that help to create a rhythmic rage that takes us out of our headphones. This rhythmic rage, which is also very present in Nothing But Noise's repertoire, fades on Part III and its atmospheric texture that lives better with percussion attacks well scattered over its 115 seconds. This short track prepares our senses for the next rhythmic movement on Part IV to be equally divided. Sure, there are explosions and blistering rhythmic phases. Except that the singular violence of Part I remains mythical and is rarely heard throughout the rest of CD1, which expires its ambiences of twisted metals and composite sounds between good and non sustained rhythmic phases.

Stretching its 11 minutes, Part VIII offers an atmospheric opening filled with moanings, in different shades, synth layers, undulating like mellotron smoke clouds, and a ghostly disjointed melody whose art of stitching it together belongs to what we interpret. The sounds are acidic with a gradation in the intensity of this ambient movement resonating from all parts of its backbone until the fusion of tones and its experimental approach is challenged by radioactive pulsations. It's here, shortly after the 6th minute, that a rhythmic structure seduces as well as astonishes with a psychedelic progression. Superb, this structure is synonymous with genius until it rains its last elements in a final, we are talking about 3 minutes approximately here, which remains more accessible than its opening. From the top of its 22 minutes, Part IX walks us between its Berlin School rhythms, the sequencer is superb here, those of the Electronica, marinated in psybient, as well as those more static and its phases of ambiences as much industrial, as psychic and simply chthonian. Another well cut and well prepared track. It's the beginning of a long ending where the phases of ambiences typical to this musical genre are longer and more present than the passages of rhythms. A bit like the first CD of SHADES.

Immersive experience in a long corridor of sounds, ambiences and rhythms, this SHADES by Daniel B. Prothese is to be tamed in full knowledge of the very great artistic culture of Daniel Bressanutti. There are brilliant moments in this album where it is rather judicious to meet tunnels inanimate of rhythmic life, just to rest our eardrums and to savor even more the numerous strokes of genius which mark out the rather difficult course of SHADES.

Sylvain Lupari (December 31st, 2021) *****

Available at db2fluctuation Bandcamp

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