Faber Sequentium (2022)
Updated: Jan 11
“An excellent album all in rhythms. All in sequences and rhythms!”
1 Fairlight Sun 5:10
2 Sequentium Please 5:32
3 Computer Man 3:31
4 Digital Monks 8:02
5 Collide with the Earth 4:39
6 Hydronaut 8:46
7 Fantasy 6:55
8 The Bit 5:39
9 Sansuela Dreams 7:37
10 Robotown 5:28
11 Vangelic 4:00
(CD-(r)/DDL 66:09) (V.F.)
(E-Rock, EDM, New Berlin School)
Usually romantic and melancholic, Faber comes back after a two-year silence with an album of striking rhythms propelled by a solid mesh of sequencer, electronic percussions, and of seductive percussive effects that are triturated by above-average intelligence when it comes to build cadenced melodies. To that effect, the press guide is quite clear; sequences are dominating the 66 minutes of SEQUENTIUM. So much so, that the melody structures, Ronald Schmidt's strength over the years, become the second attraction of his new album. This album produced by MellowJet Records proposes another palette of rhythms, let's think of Night Walk by Andreas Baaden, which exploits as much the visions of the Electronica as the Düsseldorf School, there are many narrated or semi-sung texts, and electronic rock, leaving little place, only 2 tracks, for these ballads that the German musician-synthesist liked so much to weave for the pleasure of our ears. We are far from Floating Waves here! We flirt more with the universe of Voices, tribal essence less, but with a stunning vision for the rhythms. Make room to rhythms...! To many rhythms!
And it starts with Fairlight Sun which plunges us into this universe of multidimensional rhythms with pulsating snores as an introduction. The synth spreads very early a circular cadenced melody that will stick to the eardrums throughout the 5 minutes of the track. Muffled pulsations begin a rhythmic approach that percussions and elements of electronic percussions redirect towards a tasty mixture of downtempo and chill cast in a heavy and slow electronic rock. Always concerned with his melodious textures, Ronald Schmidt injects a little bit of New Age with the suave whispers of a female voice and especially this fluty synth whose very Tangerine Dream essence blows the main melody of Fairlight Sun. The rhythms exploited have different identities in this very good SEQUENTIUM. Sequentium Please thus unrolls a circular structure to which various pulsating tones have an effect of organic sucker of stuck between their jumps. Another line of rhythmic melody is grafted to this cadenced ritornello which clings to these pulsations, to these technoïd boom-boom beats in order to make the rhythm flow on a spasmodic texture instead of tangling between Electronica and a moderate electronic rock. The synth whistles a ghostly tune that will become the source of the main melodies in a few tracks on this album. With a title name such as Computer Man, one guesses that Faber is aiming for a Kraftwerk-like technoïd rhythm and this is exactly the case with this track that breathes the rhythmic and melodic visions of the Computer World album. Robotown is another track with a strong Düsseldorf School essence and offers a slower structure with a bouncing rhythm through its synth waves and reverb effects. Pink Floyd-like keyboard chords fall over the ambient rhythm of Digital Monks of which the sequencer steps are zigzagging with fluidity. The track develops a nice downtempo structure that slows its pace in a dense haze of moody orchestrations and synth waves spreading a carpet of gloom. Even though the structure gains momentum around its second minute, it remains delightfully slow with the addition of a melodic arpeggio line underneath synth loops wailing like police sirens.
Hydronaut follows this trend with a good bass line, leading to a circular rhythm built on a nice pairing of percussions and sequencer. The track takes good advantage of its almost 9 minutes to propose an evolving model in terms of its rhythmic density that respects the downtempo outline. The orchestral haze envelops this structure adorned with metallic tinklings while the synth elaborates another one of these vampiric melodies that occasionally show up in SEQUENTIUM. If the first tracks of this new Faber album were hesitant to embrace good hard electronic rock, Collide with the Earth has the necessary elements to please the fans of the genre. Interspersed by passages nourished by voices and very good percussive additives, the rhythm progresses with a heaviness, a slowness in order to develop itself in a circular and spasmodic framework. A big track in the Depeche Mode style with a recurrent echo in the industrial percussion effects. Spasmodic rhythm structure with a catchy drive, Fantasy is another solid track where the electronic rhythm shifts into a solid rock adorned with its vampiric synth melody. The track is bathing in good sound effects and cave monk chants, giving it the feel of action movie music set in darkness. One forgets about that weird voice blowing semi-narrated lyrics when the guitar unleashes furious solos. The Bit is the first track that reminds us of Faber's usual repertoire. It's melodic with a synth and its melancholic tunes on a rhythm structure that bounces lightly and its percussion elements that slam in its background. We are in the Electrobeat genre with a very accessible musical focus. The structure changes significantly its rhythmic axis which remains always catchy with very good synth solos. It is another of these catchy tracks that follow one another in this second part of SEQUENTIUM. Sansuela Dreams changes a bit this tangent with a light rhythm, still catchy, and a melodic essence that does very TD of the Miramar years. Think Chariots of Fire redesigned and rethought, and you have a track like Vangelic. The movement is slow, well-paced with beats that don't want to make us tap our feet, and mostly symphonic with its heavenly trumpet pads. The keyboard is very melodious while laying down a dreamy air like a good old Vangelis track.
SEQUENTIUM has totally blown me! I was anticipating and hoping for an album divided between Faber's rhythms, rather docile, and melodies, rather poignant, but I got an album that is voracious of its rhythms, making my ears bulimic. A surprise?! And a huge one at that, with rhythms that are easily tamed but whose textures conceived in a complex mesh between the sequencer, the percussions and especially the multiple percussion effects are a delight for those ears hungry for these elements. An excellent album all in rhythms. All in sequences and rhythms!
Sylvain Lupari (January 10th, 2023) ****¾*
Available at MellowJet Records
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