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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ELECTRIC ORANGE: Unterwasser (Live 2002) (2002-2018)

“This is a pure feast of Psy Rock, Krautrock and EM of the great analog era of Berlin music eclosion”

1 ffurg 15:51 2 transit ins jenseits 18:50 3 sauerkirsch 5:54 4 myd 18:41 5 not of 17:45 6 wet cake 7:23 7 ortat 17:35 8 span 13:57 9 hydrog 16:17 10 lake 11:21 11 mk 13:23 Electric Orange Music

(DDL 157:00 & Vinyl) (V.F.) (Berlin School, psy rock and Krautrock)

Electric Orange on Synth&Sequences!? Don't worry, this site doesn't intend to issue reviews about Krautrock music. There are much more specialized sites on the subject. But sometimes, both genres can harmonize with a real complicity. Like in this fascinating UNTERWASSER (Live 2002)! It was after a post on Facebook that I dipped my ears on a video of the half of Electric Orange playing transit ins jenseits. I had found the music as good as the post mentioned, even though the music was more in mode Floydian psychedelic rock of the late 60's. Like in XXV by the way, the latest EO album! The post in question also referred to what some very good Berlin School was to be find in this album. And it's indeed the case! So, I decided to push the adventure further … It's with electronic noises, others more of the cosmic kind, and effects of vapors in reverberant mutations that ffurg is lodged between my ears. From these noises are born effects of lascivious percussive elements without wills. Calmly, a hypnotic trance rhythm of a pleasant slowness forms behind a thick wall of reverberations and sound distortions. Drums and sequences are added to this anesthetic rhythm. The range and swarm form a fascinating texture of percussive elements that grows like an ethereal ride under the many caresses of a misty Mellotron and the many bites of psychedelic effects. Evolutionary, the rhythmic frame captures all these small details and nuances to mix the Krautrock motorik with the model of sequenced rhythms of the Berlin School. In this form or in others, the 11 structures and the 157 minutes of UNTERWASSER (Live 2002) lug the listener into a unique realm where the tasty music of the golden years of Berlin's creativity transcends its borders.

Electric Orange is labeled first and foremost as a Krautrock and a psychedelic rock band of about 4 musicians; a drummer, a bassist, a guitarist and a keyboardist. It's this keyboardist, Dirk Jan Müller, who is the founder of this group whose first self-entitled album was released on Mario Schönwälder's label, Manikin Records, in 1993. And it's in the framework of Manikin's 10th anniversary that this UNTERWASSER (Live 2002) was improvised and recorded. The band was invited to play at the Manikin Festival held in Bad Sulza on April 6th, 2002. For this event, Electric Orange was represented by 2 musicians; Dirk Jan Müller on keyboards, synths and Mellotron and Dirk Bittner on guitars, vocoder and synthesizers too. It's therefore without computers that EO performed in the morning and evening for two sets of more than 60 minutes each. This resulted in a double CD, released shortly after, which will be reissued in vinyl version in November of this year. In its simplest device, EO offered thus a music loaded of analog tones and fragrances on long improvised tracks worthy of the good times of Ashra and Pink Floyd with a superb electronic vision driven by a Tangerine Dream still on the exploratory path.

transit ins jenseits is more in the genre of Ashra, while sauerkirsch, as well as wet cake, offer short ambiospherical passages a little more experimental. Languishing in its oriental scent and slightly psychedelic texture, myd is as much tasty, although the voice of Dirk Bittner (I hear Arthur Brown here) can annoy some, than ffurg. not of is in the same genre, with a psychedelic essence more oriented towards the A Saucerful of Secrets period from the pink flamingo. The Mellotron in ortat is quite divine in a structure straddling between a psychedelic genre and the analog electronics as well as well supported by Nick Mason's drumming style. We are entering in the Berlin School core of UNTERWASSER (Live 2002) with compositions simply just great for improvised music. span is a marvel! The sequencer, and its steps of young deer on a frozen pond, as well as the Mellotron takes us back to the nice time of the Dream on a long structure where noises and unusual sound effects remain sources of charm. The rhythm unbridled by a superb cohesion of sequences and percussions, hydrog is even more convincing with its vision of Force Majeure. lake is another title that develops with a lascivious slowness. The fragrances of Orient float on a sequencer which doesn't want to know anything about anonymity. mk concludes this little gem of Electric Orange with a processional structure where the borders of Pink Floyd, Ashra and Tangerine Dream merge into a more obscure or even more Chthonian musical structure. The procession moves with percussions in mode spiritual trance whereas that guitar riffs and breaths of flutes squabble a harmonic dimension in decay that blends into the huge layers of Mellotron filled of mist and mysticism.

Released in 2002, UNTERWASSER (Live 2002) remains of actuality with its next vinyl reissue which follows the 25th album of Electric Orange soberly titled XXV. A double album that I listened too, thanks to the kind collaboration of Dirk Jan Müller, and which is closer to the textures of the 1st part of this live album of more than 2 hours of music. But 2002 or 2018, this album of EO is a solid opus that would please to fans of Berlin School for sure. Who knows? That's maybe how the entirely analog Berlin School style project of Dirk Jan Müller, Cosmic Ground, was set on its feet some 12 years later. A must!

Sylvain Lupari (October 15th, 2018) *****

Available on Electronic Orange Bandcamp

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