• Sylvain Lupari

FANGER & SCHÖNWÄLDER: Analog Overdose 5 (2014)

Updated: Sep 30

The strength of AO 5 lies in this very good meshing of the styles which flow on various evolutionary phases of the German EM scene

1 Ringbahn 7:42

2 Schöneberg 5:00

3 Geisterbahnhof 11:40

4 Wannsee 5:09

5 West-Tangente 8:09

6 Zentralflughafen 5:45

7 Wintergarten 5:13

8 Funkturm 5:59

9 Frankfurter Allee 22:36

Manikin ‎| MRCD 7100

(CD 77:14) (V.F.)

(Berlin School, Electronica)

The very first Analog Overdose (MRCD 7060) dangled the great diversity of the duo Fanger & Schönwälder to exploit the different forms of contemporary EM. Always very influenced by the Berlin School style, this duo had also exploited the German progressive rock genre with guitarist Lutz Graf-Ulbrich, emblematic figure of Krautrock and member of the group Agitation Free, as well as an EM focused on Electronica with light groove movements that are specific to the world of Thomas Fanger. Nearly 13 years later, Lutz Graf-Ulbrich returns to lend his magic six-strings to the famous duo, who thus takes the opportunity to literally make an incursion into genres that were thought to be buried.

Shyly, Ringbahn starts the ANALOG OVERDOSE 5 adventure with an undulatory rhythm which gallops with fragility under a shower of metallic lamentations. Some tears of guitar are scratching this rhythm a bit minimalist which decorates its hypnotic membrane with a great sequencing pattern of which the criss-crossed jerks dance with sober electronic percussions. The ambiences are weaved in the charm with smooth scattered and incomplete melodies, blown by a delicate artificial flute, and these riffs of Lutz Graf-Ulbrich's guitar which roll in a loop like in the nice time of the Teutonic techno from Ashra Temple. We love it? We shall love then the very audacious Geisterbahnhof which also has this fidget's techno zombie style with a very good percussions play. The mood is more ethereal on the other hand, because of this beautiful flute with the bewitching psychedelic perfumes. Schöneberg oscillates between violence and sweetness by offering a heavier rhythm. It's a kind of crossing between funk and hip-hop which skips in the strength of the percussions and of their strong jerky flows and finely stroboscopic sequences. The sonic envelope is always dense with synths and guitar which throw electronic threats while that a delicate keyboard throws some nice dreamy airs. Wannsee is a beautiful down-tempo, rather slow and very melodious, while that West-Tangente is a good Berlin School track with a motionless rhythm forged into some nervous oscillating sequences which flicker under a sonic sky painted of blue breaths. Fans of Tangerine Dream will be on familiar ground here. Leaden rhythm, agile sequences and ethereal melodies, Zentralflughafen enchants the ears from the first listening. This is more hammering than Ringbahn and the guitar play of Lutz Graf-Ulbrich brings us back unmistakably in the stylized singings of Manuel Gottsching. After the very ambient Wintergarten, Funkturm sets in stage again the play of Graf-Ulbrich in an approach even more pounding and funky than Schöneberg. This is good electronica with a huge zest of Berlin School. Written on the fly, during a car travel towards Berlin, Frankfurter Allee points all the technological possibilities of creating EM from iPads. This is a fascinating 22 minutes of minimalist music that plunges in the heart of the Ashra years. The rhythm is vertical. It's a kind of cosmic techno where sequences and percussions forge a sober rhythm which is deliciously spiced by Lutz Graf-Ulbrich's Gibson SG whose dexterity manages to harmonize solos and riffs accurately scattered under synth layers to the very ethereal aromas. It's already ended that we wonder where it has passed.

ANALOG OVERDOSE 5 is simply magical! Fanger & Schönwälder succeed yet to charm even if their music stays in a crenel déjà-heard. The strength of this last work lies in this very good meshing of the styles which flow like in a sonic documentary on the various evolutionary phases of the German EM scene. And, needs to say it, Lutz Graf-Ulbrich brings us to the country of an Ashra Temple who plays on both progressive and cosmic dance structures. Very good! But can we expect anything else from these 3 genius musicians?

Sylvain Lupari (May 21st, 2014) *****

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