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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

E-TIEFENGRUND: Cathedrals - Voltage Sessions IV (2016)

“Cathedrals is an album which crosses all the stages of the bewitchment in order to get established as one of the solid albums of New Berlin School to appear in 2016”

1 Cathedral I 20:18 2 Cathedral II 19:08 3 Cathedral III 22:36 4 Cathedral IV 6:30 SynGate|CD-R TI04

(Artwork= Link to Spotify)

(CD/DDL 68:32) (V.F.) (Minimalist Berlin School)

Listening to this last opus of E-Tiefengrund is a perpetual fight against addiction! It's to be conquered by the art, very well mastered besides, of repetitive music. The loops of rhythms roll up to our ears with their fine nuances and their charming snags which hypnotize and of which the subtlety of the charms gets unveil from listening to listening. Respecting marvellously this signature of very Berliner minimalist rhythms which decorated by analog elements that the duet Silvie and Mick von Tiefengrund has signed since Voltage Sessions in 2013, CATHEDRALS – VOLTAGE SESSIONS IV is an album that crosses all the stages of bewitchment to be established as one of the solid albums of New Berlin School to appear in 2016.

Huge distorted twists with a musicality very close to ghostly waves introduce the first electrical impulses beats of Cathedral I. Electronic tones scribble the atmospheres, while pulses a bit organic make parade their soaked shadows jumping in a pattern of rhythm where clash a dozen of sonic bones that burst into multiple hoops of which the echoes will invade our ears for the next 19 minutes. From these twists that filled the intro get born languorous solos with a psychotronic fragrance that come and go, roll up and unfold in a structure of rhythm whose minimalist approach doesn't prevent the delicate nuances that make all the charms to shine. The movement of sequenced pulsations is deliciously furtive, if not imperfect, a little like a centipede in the agony. And the synth always continues to throw these twists. A first nuance in the movement shows around the 7th minute, changing its color but not its hypnotic approach. It's also the signal for Cathedral I to switches its passive role for a more fluid movement set by superb synth solos that denies at no moment its influences of Tangerine Dream for the Ricochet and Encore years. Cathedral II doesn't waste time thinking about its rhythmic approach. From its opening, a movement of sequences creates a hopping rhythm which stretches its shadow in the dins of metallic percussions. If we feel to be in the era Tangerine Dream's Poland, you are not alone so much the influences dominate this opening of Cathedral II. The rhythm here is more fluid but the effects of sequenced metallic percussions bring souvenirs to the ears, especially after the point of the 4 minutes when Cathedral II becomes an orgy of sequences and percussions which confront themselves in troubled waters. The synth always remains so devastating with very acrobatic solos which take tints as much glaucous than piercing. Except that the rhythm and its effects dominate simply Cathedral II, even in its quieter and psychotronic phase which begins around the 10 minutes.

Cathedral III is the little jewel on this album. The whole thing starts with movement of the sequencer that stretches its skeleton in two superposed phases. The sonorous shadows interlace in a single continuous movement while very subdued synth solos roam as starving spectres. Effects of percussions and a path to echo enrich this waterfall of rhythm which is a real delight of bewitchment for the sense of hearing. It's the minimalist in all its magnificence with just what it needs of nuances to charm even more. A first crack arises a little after the edge of the 10 minutes, giving an effect of stroboscopic reverberation to this second phase where the synth injects dark breezes as well as these solos which obsess the listening since the beginning, and which become a little less in withdrawal here. Knockings of percussions add depth to this more organic phase, if not more lugubrious of Cathedral III. Little by little these hits bring us to the best moments of the Danger in Dream album, from the band of the same name, in this longest title of this album before it returns to its original phase. Bewitching and really effective! Cathedral IV offers a structure of a rather fluid ambient rhythm with a line of bass sequences which rises and comes down in a tumult of electronic effects of a synth which knew all the interest to let shine these movements of sequences and percussions which liven up in a spectacular way the 4 phases of CATHEDRALS – VOLTAGE SESSIONS IV. I adored, even in all its simplicity!

Sylvain Lupari (June 12th, 2016) *****

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

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