EFSS: Night On Ouddorp (2014)
Updated: Oct 7, 2019
“Night in Ouddorp is a totally unexpected surprise to be tidied up next to Node 2 and to Umbra from Arc”
Two heads are better than one! So, what is happening when there are four? The modular synthesizers are instruments which generate an infinite musical creativity. Imagine now when 4 musicians, each of them fan of modular synths, merge inventiveness and boldness! Well, it gives an album to attractive rhythms, in parallels and criss-crossed, which takes a very enviable place in the dark territories of an EM loaded of fascinating analog perfumes. Jörg Erren, Bert Fleißig, Jochen Schöttler and Christian Steffen are four friends and musicians who share their passion for an EM made of analog synth and sequencers since 2010. Regularly at winters they meet and challenge their capacities with an impressive range of modular equipment. The result of these sessions found itself on two compilations; Ouddorp Tapes in 2011 and Ouddorp Takes in 2012. NIGHT IN OUDDORP gathers the fruit of such sessions improvised at the beginning of 2014 and reveals to our ears an impressive album which is advantageously in the same lineage as Node 2 and Arc's Umbra, either one of the most imaginative albums of 2014.
Gate plunges us into the magic of NIGHT IN OUDDORP with a little melody livened up by a ritornello of crystal-clear sequences and their circular tinkling. You remember Edgar Froese's Stuntman? This is the best parallel to be made in order to describe better this style of gyrating rhythm which meets another line of rhythm, this time with blacker sequences soaked of organic tones. Other sequences, in percussions mode, drum a structure of rhythm lighter and more sober than that of the bright sequences. Another figure of rhythm comes to create havoc in this mixture of sequenced rhythms which pound as much that they serenade in a delicious rhythmic jumble where 4 phases of rhythms criss-cross and where we are free to choose which one will make dance best our imagination. One of the numerous charms of NIGHT IN OUDDORP is this feeling of tension, of mysticism which encircles its some 50 minutes. Here, there is a subtle spectral melody which roams through this attractive pattern of mixed rhythms which seem to be inspired by Tangerine Dream and mainly Edgar Froese. The other charm is these rhythms which jump up with a thick cloud of sequences with tones as different and divergent as their directions. Like in Oblivion where our feet bang instead of our fingers when the rhythm binds itself to these bass sequenced technoïd pulsations. This alloy hammers a vertical structure of rhythm where dances a mass of rebel keys. Heavy and mysterious, Haunted makes roar out its industrial machines on a loud rhythm. A rhythm which makes its keys scamper in the twilights of this Orc industry which redden the hell over the now decimated and carbonized forests of Bilbo Baggins' adventures. Still there, this rhythm is buried by lines of sequences which are pounding, breathing and dancing in an intense static magma. It's between ['ramp] and Redshift. Totally infernal! The structure of rhythm on Circling pays tribute to its name with lines of sequences which zigzag and join to hammer a rhythm which sparkles of its finely jerky chords in pretty nice Mellotron veils which fill the atmospheres of ethereal caresses. Our fingers are dancing with our imagination.
I like these sordid moods where roams a ghostly melody. And Ritual, the sublime of the sublimes, feeds my passions with a wonderful music, deserving of the best horror movies. A spectral chant is roaming over a nest of animal snores and of its thousand wires and knobs. The air is as well mesmerizing as frightening with devilish hummings which wakes up a line of sequences and the curt steps entail other pulsations just as much jerky. A soft Mellotron comforts our anxiety and follows the delicately jerky jolts of the sequences. And we always hear the rustles of the animal and the spectral melody which turns and turns. The ears riveted to our loudspeakers, we hardly notice another line of sequences, with tones of light metal, and another one, with melodious chirpings, to give more relief to a track which spreads its satanic hold up until its last snores. Outstanding EM! Trails follows very closely the finale of Ritual, we even hear here these muffled organic pulses pounding, by offering a structure of bouncing rhythm. Sequences skip and hop in a controlled anarchy where float ethereal clouds and of which the sweetness watches over a herd of keys which threatens all the time to overflow in a rhythmic and harmonious phase which gets closer to that of Gate. Dissolution drags us in the territories of dark and ambient music. It's a dark piece of EM with synth waves which crawl of their slow oscillations and buzz of their linear reverberations with a ghostly melody sighing in the background. We have this feeling to be at one thousand leagues beneath the ground, or under the sea with submarine noises, or still to be alone in the cosmos so much the sensation of solitude assails our ears.
NIGHT IN OUDDORP is a totally unexpected surprise. The kind of thing that happens too rarely and which restores to EM its letters of noblesse. It has to be tidied up next to Node 2 and to Umbra for best Berlin School album of 2014. Hat to all of you Jörg Erren, Bert Fleißig, Jochen Schöttler & Christian Steffen!
Sylvain Lupari (September 11th, 2014) *****
Available at EFSS Bandcamp