“This Non Plus Ultra is a gem which gives an overview of the different styles of cosmic rock from the vintage years”
1 Die suche nach dem Horizont 10:20
2 Bahnhof 77 9:28
3 Der ewige Wanderer 7:58
4 Aus dem Kollaps geboren 12:50
5 Hypnogenesis III 14:35
6 Traumraum 6:04
7 Der Doppelgänger 7:30
8 Die vergangene Zukunft 12:40
(CD/LP/DDL 81:26) (V.F.)
(Cosmic Rock & Berlin School)
E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr breaks a 4-year silence with NON PLUS ULTRA. Ideally designed for a double vinyl edition of 500 copies, 2 titles by sides, and for streaming platforms, this 3rd studio album by the Finnish group is also available in high quality download as well as on CD in another limited edition which has been edited to fit on a manufactured CD. It's this version, shortened by a few 5 minutes and dust that I will talk to you about. At the outset I tell you that this 3rd studio album by the Finnish group is a gem. Pertti Grönholm, Kimi Kärki, Jaakko Penttinen and Ismo Virta are dazzling us with an album which gives an overview of the different styles of cosmic rock from the vintage years. From Krautrock with a psychedelic essence of Pink Floyd to an EM driven by exciting sequencers and from Tangerine Dream's first albums on Virgin without forgetting the dark moods of Klaus Schulze's early years, this NON PLUS ULTRA is a journey through the seductions of an era where the odors of patchoulis were getting lost in the scent of marijuana. A beautiful time when music was often the engine of our creativity!
A bass line and its elastic pulsations, joined by a guitar and its weak iridescent lamentations, open the spheres of Die suche nach dem Horizont. The ambiences are very vintage and remain attached to an emerging structure of very Berlin School electronic rhythm. The sequencer throws the canvas of an ascending ambient rhythm which is very familiar to us and where fall the chords of an organ which remain melodiously suspended in this hypnotic spiral. Vaporous and intuitive, the guitar disperses its wandering chords and throws aerial solos with scents of patchoulis in its slow arabesques modeled on the Middle-East style. Its progression is constant with more musical solos which cross a valley cluttered with nice sound effects, always very in the tone of the 70's. The rhythm follows the pace imposed by this guitar in a second part which is livelier and whose jumping style does very Ashra. After an opening of reverberating noises, Bahnhof 77 plunges into a short tranquility of morphic mist and synth layers which are just as much, plus additional lunar chords. A strange form of rhythm shakes the moods with rattles that spin like a helicopter without engine or a jogger with castanets in the heels, it's according to the imagination of the moment. It's a title of more psychedelic ambiences with an ultra-vampiric bass line and layers of an anesthetic organ. The guitar sculpts the horizons of Bahnhof 77 with a very Manuel Göttsching vision. If our ears pick up tones of the flamingo, we can't have more Pink Floyd, the More years, than in Der ewige Wanderer which offers a nice introduction with guitar and keyboard doing an acoustic/electronic duel. We are near a marsh with a singing mist which increases its density near the ponds with sound effects inventing the flight of metallic swans. An electric six-string draws tender solos that turn like blue vapors whereas the Mellotron invents an Arabic universe and that manual percussions gently accentuates the pace. A very good track which smells of patchoulis, like Aus dem Kollaps Geboren, and which also joins these Arab spaces with flutes from the Middle East trumpeting on the growing tumult of percussions. It smells like grass! And not the one you cut with a mower!
After more than 4 minutes of a chthonian universe, Hypnogenesis III bursts out with a very good Berlin School drawn from the vaults of Tangerine Dream, so much it sounds like the Rubycon and the Ricochet years. Superb title my friends! We float in an interstellar mass with Traumraum. E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr offers a more ambient universe with the oblong and sinuous lines of oscillations which are the cradle of an electronic dialect. Harmonies well scattered by Kimi Kärki's guitar and the airs of a sleeping flute constitute the core of this astral setting. Der Doppelgänger continues the NON PLUS ULTRA's musical buffet with a hopping rhythm like an Ashra's cha-cha-cha. And very much like in Traumraum, the guitar and the flute are elements of charm to which is added a keyboard and its layers hesitating between atmospherics' ornamentation and some more musical chords. It's more for floating than dancing! Klaus Schulze's footprints are all over the very psybient opening of Die vergangene Zukunft. Chirps from a video game zone are expelled from the decor by lines of reverberations that come and go in a form of staccato on where hang a monstrous bass line and guitar riffs. Little by little, this staccato becomes an armature of sequenced rhythm with keys which flutter quickly on the spot while synth waves and their spectral songs adorn the walls of Die vergangene Zukunft. The guitar joins these songs from another dimension guiding the finale of this monstrous album in the haunts of its genesis ... hoping for a more hasty continuation. But it's also okay if it takes that long, because a masterpiece like that will still rock your ears in 4 years. A bit like Kometenbahn has been doing it since 2013!
Sylvain Lupari (March 10th, 2020) *****
Availaible at E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr Bandcamp