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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

E-TIEFENGRUND: The Code (2015)

“Even if it sounds simplistic the music of E-Tiefengrund, and it's even truer in The Code, is something of an inexplicable elegance to our ears”

1 Nineda 15:16 2 Ninaug 16:41 3 Nisotyc 18:59 4 Nimyht 14:38 SynGate | CD-r TI03

(Artwork= Link to Spotify)

(CD-r 65:35) (V.F.) (Minimalist, New Berlin School)

A line of sequences which swirls weakly make sparkle its keys which mumble into an electronic language and staggers in a figure of a bit imperfect but splendidly bewitching spherical rhythm. Nineda continues where The Art of Decay, from A Scent of Jasmin (VoltageSession II), had stopped. Electronic chirpings are used as main structure to this unstable rhythm which ennobles its staggering approach by a good line of a crawling bass and with sober electronic percussions. Brilliant percussions by the way which stigmatize the approach of Nineda in a kind of down-tempo where everything around us spins with the grace of the drunkenness. Faithful to their signature of a very minimalist EM, Silvie and Mick von Tiefengrund still find a way to seduce with THE CODE where four long structures, just like in the first two albums of E-Tiefengrund, decorated of those same fineries manage to magnetize our attention. And not just a bit! Nineda opens brightly this album and leads us into a Software cosmic territory, a little more progressive I would say, with a rhythm molded in an upward spiral where the language of the organic sequences spreads its 8 chords in a spicy psychedelic fauna filled of chirping and of very electronic tones as well as of solos from a synth which sings as much as it talks. The main strength of the structure lies in its attractive pattern of percussions which scatters its strikes in the very rich tones with a judicious random vision. The effect gives a kind of Kraftwerk softened by a dense cloud of Hashish. Simple and damn effective. We would like that it lasts longer.

Well! It seems that there is a real code to be deciphered inside those four long tortuous sonic rivers which segment the 65 minutes of this last opus from the German duo. I didn't get through it, but an attentive listening would let suggest that Ninaug is Nineda but played speeded-up. If the percussions are alike, the organic language and the synth solos are clearly more aggressive. And the 2nd part is visibly more audacious with a jerky approach, affecting thus a first rather vectoral sonic phase which gives a more complex, even a more psychedelic size, to Ninaug. In particular with the addition of a crowd of electronic words and of long, tortuous as well as juicy synth solos. Hypnotic, Nisotyc proposes a movement of 8 crystal-clear, and a bit resonant, sequences which dips the end of its rhythm structure on the surface of an ice-cold pond. The movement is delicate. It skips with a good swiftness under the bites of a synth, which scatter its threatening gurgling in the braids of good airy solos, until that some good strikes of percussions get it out of this lethargic aspect. A good bass line supports the bludgeoning of the percussions, giving a slyly shadow to a rhythm always very minimalist which spreads now a slightly stroboscopic shape. And this is doubtless the beauty of those four structures here; the passive evolution. Whether it's in the play of the percussions, here it's the bass line which mumble the heavy and resounding rhythm, or a gap in the movement of sequences, the music of THE CODE is always in an evolutionary mode, even if sometimes everything is so similar. Like this sneaky walk of Nisotyc that feeds on that of Ninaug. If the resemblance can seem tangible, there are just enough nuances to make us doubt. Here, it's the synth solos which add a different tint. In this universe where everything is traced in the similarity, Nimyht distances itself by its very Neu! approach. We even hear some kinds of guitar riffs chewing a fluid movement where a series of sequences collide and clink in a figure of rhythm which dislocates itself with fine jerks. The percussions solidify this very Teutonic approach that synth pads are flavoring of an envelope as much dramatic, at some places, as ethereal. As in the three other structures of this album, the minimalist approaches are constantly adorned with changes in steps, here it's rather the chain of riffs, or the organic languages of the synths (if not the soloing), or still in the plump chirping of synth which here are transformed into heavy threatening oscillations. The finale exploits a very electronic scission, one would say a sonic storm, that could make the walls of your neighbors shake. So take notice...

Four long repetitive structures molded on movements of four sequenced steps, or two series of four intimately bound, which skip, walk and roam in a universe of sounds as much magnetizing that a painting of colorful sonorous volutes daubed of synchronized spots; THE CODE is offering enough subtleties to avoid the traps of the redundancy of the minimalist works. And like in Voltage Sessions and A Scent of Jasmin (VoltageSession II), the percussions' patterns and the insertion of one sequence isolated in the movements of rhythm stimulate the interest regarding a Teutonic work which lulls itself of the Kraftwerk, Neu! and Software influences. And if the rhythms still remain the heart of the charms of E-Tiefengrund, we cannot however ignore the progression, that is translated here by a little more boldness, of Silvie & Mick von Tiefengrund who manage to introduce a parallel universe very near of the golden years of the psychedelic movement into structures of rhythms closer to the contemporary years of the New Berlin School. The fusion of both antipodes becomes then an inexplicable elegance to our ears.

Sylvain Lupari (May 3rd, 2015) *****

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

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