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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

FANGER & SCHÖNWÄLDER: Analog Overdose 4 (2007)

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

This is Berlin School of the vintage days, expect long form of evolution bathing in great ambiences at the crossroads of sophisticated EM

CD-Audio (64:02)

1 Berlin Breakfast 23:30

2 Frankfurt Lunch 19:56

3 Berlin Dessert 20:33

DVD-Video (75:00)

1 Liphook Breakfast 45:45

2 Liphook Lunch 18:50

3 Liphook Dessert 10:10

(CD/DVD-DDL 134:02) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

A slow movement edged by vaporous and creamy synths forms the first measures of Berlin Breakfast. Already, the breaths of a Berlin School with contemporary radiances are being felt. Subtly, a soft sequence hides behind a mellotron with Arabian breaths while increasing its pace to team the rhythm of a hypnotizing mellotron. And like Fanger & Schonwalder have accustomed us to it, the rhythm takes a heavier sound on a more intense and hypnotic pulsation. Split into short sequences, the Berlin duo noticeably modifies the structures of rhythm with brief random fluctuations, plunging Berlin Breakfast into a heavenly atmosphere. The synth solos, some with the appearance of guitars, intoxicate this sweet electronic reverie. We dive into a new adventure of the Berlin duo with ANALOG OVERDOSE 4 which is a pure Berlin School feast. But a Berlin School that the duo merges with a unique contemporaneity.

Heavy chords interspersed with electronic tap dancing inject obscure reverberations to the introduction of Frankfurt Lunch. We are in the middle of a hallucinatory jungle where the sounds of eclectic animal roam in heavy atmospheric layers. A fine sequence emerges from this tropical darkness to form a zigzagging cadence which awakens a movement bursting with liveliness, where synth solos squabble over limpid arpeggios drowning in symphonic synths. The atmosphere is heavy and the synth layers opaque, creating a rich and tight sound envelope like in the heyday of Phaedra and Rubycon. Heavy and dense mellotron layers open the doors of Berlin Dessert. This dark introduction stripped of rhythm perfumes the atmospheres with a ghostly odor, while huge dark organ chords strike an aphasic silence. Strange impulses shake this lethargy, stimulating a neurotic sequence which pulsates like strange arrhythmic beats. Berlin Dessert is part of a line of experimental titles that Fanger & Schönwälder tries. Behind the amorphous synth layers is woven a musical structure boiling without particular rhythm, but a teeming mass with smoothly intense mellotron spreads. Imagine Phaedra, but with a clearer musical vision, and you have the structure of Berlin Dessert. A heavy, creative track that requires more than one listening and which enjoys a superb finale. ANALOG OVERDOSE 4 is a little different from the first 3 AOs, I don't count AO.9! The duo increasingly exploits the contemporary and progressive side of an EM eaten away by its Berlin School roots in a vision more centered on EDM. But fear not because through its creative meanders, the duo always succeeds in creating a great EM which fascinates, as much by its nebulous beauty than its hypnotic rhythms, and which always astonish by their random trajectories.

AO4 comes with a DVD of the Berlin duo, while performing at the 5th Hampshire Jam Festival on October 21, 2006. The DVD includes a short and beautiful introductory track that serves as a musical backdrop for the duo's journey to the town of Liphook while serving as an index for track selection. In all 75 minutes spread over 3 tracks. The image quality is superb and we attend an intimate concert where the magic of Fanger & Schönwälder unfolds with high-level Berlin School music. Liphook Breakfast gets off to a slow start. A long lunar intro where mellotrons breathe tranquility, while electronic jolts awaken a boiling sequencer which starts an undulating rhythm on huge mellotron strata. The AO cocktail is well respected; vaporous music with random rhythms, smooth and enveloping synths, sudden starts which deviate on semi techno passages (especially the finale). All framed by strident solos and stormy sequences which reminds us that EM can also be the subject of frenzied shows. At this level, Liphook Lunch is simply irresistible. A superb spasmodic track which overlaps fluttering sequences, like the wings of a hummingbird. Through this DVD we also follow the movements of the duo in the English city. A mixture of black and white as well as negative shots heighten the interest for a show where 2 artists are the only figureheads, also breaking the fragility of a possible boredom during more stratospheric musical moments.

ANALOG OVERDOSE 4 is a feast of Berlin School EM. The Berlin duo offers us 2:20 hours of an explosive EM based on short atmospheric moments, notably on the Hampshire Jam concert (DVD). As for the CD, the Berlin duo discreetly reshapes the paths of Berlin School to give it a more avant-garde image. Thus developing a structure which requires some listening, notably Berlin Dessert, but which always includes this unique flavor that is the ambience of Fanger & Schonwalder.

Sylvain Lupari (November 24th, 2007) ****½*

Available at Manikin Bandcamp

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