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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

EAGLE (SYNTH MUSIC): The Journey (2020)

Here is a beautiful album of an EM made to learn about the genre and whose scents of its influences can only seduce you

1 Arecibo Message 6:49

2 Pillars of Creation 5:49

3 Lost little Satellite 6:13

4 Solar Flares 7:06

5 The Thorne Zytkow Object 5:08

6 Burning Sands of Arrakis 10:36

7 Galaxian Voyage 6:10

8 Our Solar System 6:40

(DDL 54:31) (V.F.)

(E-Rock, New Berlin School)

Even though the Eagle (Synth Music) discography has several titles, there are many singles like reissues as well as albums with shared custody. Tandem albums, commonly called split-albums, where two artists share one half. This is the second album of this genre that Arend Westra has produced since The Beautiful Gate, his first album released in January 2015. The first, Breaking the Laws of Physics, with Parallaxe had given good results. The aggressive style of the two artists complemented each other quite well. THE JOURNEY is different with its approach more melodious than complex in a commercial vision all the same worked in a certain creativity, in particular at the level of the many synth solos. I found it particularly good, very harmonious with a touch of French School in structures that flow nicely when we put our progressive expectation at off!

Arecibo Message offers itself to our ears with a slow rhythm which is based on a lascivious bass line and good percussive effects which give the taste to hear again and again. It's a kind of psybient slower than a down-tempo and which undulates lazily with a rather harmonic layer that Arend Westra sprinkles with nice interventions of a synth with dreamy and melancholy solos which sound like a trumpeter trying to charm the Thames. Aside from the seductive percussive effects (you know how I like that), there is the synth whose tone aims to be unique. The Dutch musician adjusts solos and melodious vision on a good track that is rather easy to tame. Pillars of Creation survives Arecibo Message fairly well by looting in the enigmatic New Age treasure chests. Heavy and slow percussions support the weight of the misty layers where a false pan flute hangs onto with its heart-breaking melody. The rhythm is oxygenated at the gate of 90 seconds with a circular movement of the sequencer. Totally opposed, these two rhythm structures weave the ideal route for a harmonious vision of the synth which is more creative in the second half with great solos.

It's the first time that my ears get measure to the music of Adeptus Mechanicus. And judging by the down-tempo with synth-pop's sights of Lost little Satellite, we are far from complicated EM. Even with an atmospheric phase that revives the rhythm where nests a beautiful melody of the New Age genre, like the birth of Kitaro on Geffen. It's not bad. But the same theme over 6 minutes is redundant. The influence of the harmonious French School, like Thierry Fervant and Frédéric Mercier, is felt. And it's even more dominant on Solar Flares, a good lively track that emphasizes the keyboard and the nimble fingers of Adeptus Mechanicus who has a nice melodious vision here. Like on his album The Road.

We get back to the music of Eagle (Synth Music) for the next two tracks. Beginning with juicy and grave chords in a futuristic cha-cha, The Thorne Zytkow Object takes a theatrical approach with good dramatic effects. Always so attractive in his melodious vision, Arend Westra weaves us particularly good synth solos on a structure undulating on the principle of jolts. A dominant synth which also opens Burning Sands of Arrakis and its Arabic arrangements also in a cinematographic context. The rhythm is slow and we perceive these sands in the gear of the synth / keyboard before the structure takes off in a rhythm tied in the kicks of the sequencers. There is a fabulous ideological marriage between Gert Emmens and Tangerine Dream, Mars Polaris sector, on Burning Sands of Arrakis which was also released as a single on the Dutch artist's Bandcamp site. An incredibly beautiful title that is worth every second.

The last two titles belong to the visions of Adeptus Mechanicus. Galaxian Voyage offers a lively and catchy rhythm in a creative Rock & Dance fusion. The keyboard molds a beautiful melody, almost childish, which has nothing to envy that of Solar Flares, while the synth throws good harmonious solos and melodious lines on two tonal fronts which complement each other very well in this duel synth/keyboard whose only winner is our pair of ears. It's in the interstices of Our Solar System that we find the most complex structure of THE JOURNEY. The rhythmic approach is forged in an uninterrupted series of riffs whose velocity changes of skin with percussions and an additional flow of riffs. The melody is woven into a nice discreet flute that we could hear on New Age, testifying to this constant duel between this musical genre and pure EM built in a vision of commercial rock.

But whatever, I had a great time discovering THE JOURNEY and describing it to you. Here is a beautiful album of an EM made to learn about the genre and whose scents of its influences can only seduce you.

Sylvain Lupari (August 6th, 2020) ***½**

Available at Eagle (Synth Music) Bandcamp

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