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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ELOY FRITSCH: Journey to the Future (2019)

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

“A bit difficult to seize but once we do, we plunge in a powerful world of cosmic and symphonic EM with huge Vangelis' scents”

1 A Place Beyond the Clouds (4:15)

2 Eternal (4:42)

3 Mermaids Island (4:52)

4 Spacelab (6:10)

5 Who Want to be a Machine? (4:30)

6 Blue Diamonds on Water (4:15)

7 Dance of the Spheres (6:10)

8 Circles of Time (5:20)

9 NUWA (6:20)

10 Hypnosis (6:05)

11 Electric Brain (4:52)

12 Forrest Guardian (9:15)

(CD 66:48) (V.F.) (Symphonic EM)

A bass line relieves itself by coming out of arpeggios coated with a symphonic sound. Between the music of Synergy and Vangelis, A Place Beyond the Clouds surprises with its austere philharmonic tone. Big drums' rollings, splashing of drums, synth pads and the very Vangelis allegorical twisting effects place us between the Greek musician's quirky works and his sonic essays that have impressed the fans of his abstract musical art. We have to be very patient with this first work of Eloy Fritsch out of his territories of progressive music. I almost gave up on this JOURNEY TO THE FUTURE after reaching Mermaids Island. I said to myself; It's not for me! But since it comes from Groove and I have tremendous respect for Ron Boots, I repeated to myself; there must be something in this album. Well yes ... and no! Some titles are very catchy and easy to access. But there are also completely crazy titles that will require a very open mind. As for me, I'm glad I persisted.

So, A Place Beyond the Clouds is a good title with powerful arrangements and even with emotional spikes that are woven to give us chills of tenderness. If you liked Synergy's Audion and Chariots of Fire, from Vangelis, you'll love A Place Beyond the Clouds as well as the vast majority of JOURNEY TO THE FUTURE. Eternal is even more poignant. The music begins with a slow staccato, genre movie of biblical years. Floating synth pads filled with balls of harmonies surround it. They also sink these very slushy orchestrations that add to the cinematic vision of the title reminiscent of the music of the movie Alexander, composed and arranged by Vangelis. Gregorian choruses, a sample of a seraphic soprano, riffs of a celestial harp draining her strings, and Babylonian percussions complete an already overloaded setting. A small flaw that will get bigger and bigger as we go forward in JOURNEY TO THE FUTURE and will reach a point of no return with the immensely crazy Electric Brain. If you like these metal percussions whose clashes create echoes of coldness, like in Antartica, Mermaids Island is full of those. Even after 5 plays of this album, I always have difficulty to seize this structure which embraces too many tangents. I have this vague impression of hearing a bunch of old clichés heard everywhere. Spacelab comforts us with eagerness! It's a wonderful title that starts with wooshh and NASA's Spacelab communications samplings. A slow carousel twirls its arpeggios that feel pressed by a line of bass pulsations in the background. It's melodious, it's a some kind of deja-entendu, but there is an effect of intensity and velocity in this title ... Hmmmm! It's when the second communication between the NASA engineers is over that Spacelab bursts with a spiral of the most harmonious that comes to tighten our heartbeat slightly. But that's not all! A few seconds later, the structure changes tone and plunges into a hyper-gripping and hyper-poignant dimension. I have heard this title a dozen times without getting tired of it. Direction iPod, category best title in 2019!

Who Want to be a Machine? starts with a good arpeggios' drop a la Tomita. A somewhat military rhythmic structure seizes this ballet to direct it towards a spasmodic dance-music structure. A structure that sways between ambient and living EDM. Vocoder effects take us back to the 80's and the rhythm, surrounded by ghostly ululations, drifts to a genre like Laura Branigan (Gloria) and Gary Numan. There are many species in such a short time. And I guess it would be a hit with a nice video too. It's very catchy and full of sound effects well laid here and there. Good synth-pop with a more creative vision. Blue Diamonds on Water is a melody in the genre of Mermaids Island. I told you earlier that the more we would advance in JOURNEY To The FUTURE and the more things start to get tough. Dance of the Spheres begins this segment where disjointed structures abound in different musical envelopes. Spheres dance in tireless circles and communicate with each other with a well-structured electronic language. Here we have a structure in continuous migration with a hint of Rock and Jazz in an environment that flirts with Soft Machine and Vangelis, in Spiral, and even with Tangerine Dream for the color of the reverberant pads. Circles of Time is another title in a ballad style with slamming percussions. The pace is heavy with some very philharmonic synth layers. The game of percussions solidifies this structure which ends its race in a sphere of sonic ambiences and which drift towards this very beautiful cosmic lullaby that is NUWA. The influences of Vangelis, especially China, shine throughout this title which is a remix of Circles of Time. The sequencer lazily waves its line of rhythm in the opening of Hypnosis. That's enough for Eloy Fritsch to plan his solos, which abound of a nice smell of electronic Free Jazz. Better structured than Dance of the Spheres, Hypnosis remains the best of the crazy titles of JOURNEY TO THE FUTURE. Electric Brain? A hyper complex title with a vision of abstract music where you have to stick all the scattered chords to structure something. I leave you that! You have to persevere, or jump it on your CD player, to hear Forrest Guardian. This long title concludes Eloy Fritsch's first album of pure EM with a moving structure that is closer to a symphonic electronic rock with shades of Jean-Michel Jarre and especially Vangelis who is the main essence of a very good business card from Eloy Fritsch, who is an excellent architect and composer, in the world of EM. In the end, I did well to insist since in reality 60 minutes of good music out of 69 is not so bad.

Sylvain Lupari (July 6th, 2019) ***½**

Available at Groove nl

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