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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

FRANK KLARE: Solomode (2012)

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

Solomode puts an end to this trilogy of a mix between retro and New Berlin School started with the superb Solodreams

1 Ultramode 12:55

2 Solomode 19:44

3 Polymode 17:49

4 Melomode 9:34

5 Computermode 18:17

(DDL/CD-r 77:52) (V.F.)

(Retro and New Berlin School)

SOLOMODE is the dark side of Solodreams. Composed at the same time, the music has remained hidden on the recording tapes that the time has made those tapes travelling in Frank Klare's musical boxes. With the revival of this albums, SynGate had the good idea of dusted these tapes, entrusting the remastering and the mixing to Pete Farn. The result is a trilogy of CD stemming from the same era which presents us an absolutely brilliant work in Solodreams, and from which the remainders are also fascinating than the main course.

Ultramode awakens our hearing with a heavy buzzing line which serves as a long resounding brook to the synth breezes formed by musical breaths which are very familiar to us. A rosary of sequences escapes and draws a finely jerked pulsing rhythm which hiccups beneath the aegis of synth solos just as dreamy and spectral as in the beautiful analog period of Klaus Schulze. The rhythm of Ultramode follows its minimalist curve with a subtle gradation in the movement of which the intensity is much more nuanced by these mocking solos which try to put to sleep the a thousand and one spasms of a hypnotic rhythm which will drains its 13 minutes under the indefatigable attack of twisted solos. The title-track flies away delicately with a magma of layers in tones and fragile hybrid harmonies. We hear more musical lines elaborated some twisted solos which are contorting in the chthonian vapors of the slow layers of old organ, while that quite delicately is pulsating a sober lineal movement. This absent rhythm is like a homebird metronome which waddles in the stitches of a beast and its thousand sonic cables. A very beautiful movement of sequences comes to cheer up the frugality of Solomode and of its floating ambiences, accentuating a circular rhythm which dips the end of its musicality into a sonic puddle to the colors of sulfur. These harmonies cavort, run away and come back galloping in a series of small rhythmic and harmonious circles, a little as they were frightened by this tetanising mood which marks out a structure which is more ambient and more passive than livened up.

Polymode offers a structure of rhythm more lively with a series of sequences which is drumming with fury in the drumming rolls of the percussions. It's an infectious rhythm, as much violent than hypnotic, which embraces a little the temper of Monomode, where the swiftness of sequences and percussions keeps staying on course of an infernal vertical dance tinted much more of harmonious nuances than rhythmic. There is enough in here to dismember the neck! As often, Frank Klare takes a jealous care of papering his long minimalist structures with ectoplasmic oddities which roam like erudite bats, as well as vampiric solos escaped from the orgies of spectres that we hear on KS's Body Love. It's very good, even if bewildered. And the resemblance with Stardancer, in the conception and not in the finished product, takes all its meaning with its infernal finale. Always sat on movements of sequences which sparkle on heavy metronomic pulsations, Frank Klare always succeeds to develop structures of rhythms of which the slight differences make all the charms. Let's take Melomode and its great ectoplasmic melody which floats on a heavy rhythm where sequences, pulsations and percussions weave the frame of a Teutonic, minimalist and hypnotic electronic rock. I have to admit on the other hand that the bad quality of the original sources can affect a little bit the tolerance to the listening. But it gives you an idea of how good the composer is. And the more we move forward in this SOLOMODE and the more we clearly hear the origins of Monomode, as well as the influences of Klaus Schulze's digital era. This is the case with monumental Computermode which, except of its intro stuffed with gurgling of extraterrestrials, kisses the Teutonic rhythms of Dziekuje Poland. If the rhythm is hammered of good mathematical percussions, the atmospheres come from an experimental cacophony where everything is holding up by magic. Frank Klare jumps from one subject to another with New Berlin School, good cosmic rock (do I hear a guitar bite its riffs?) and purely solid e-rock. It's a sound feast for risky ears. Still there, it's a pity that the whole thing comes from old tapes because the sound degrades by moments. But nevertheless, we can admire at full satisfaction Frank Schulze's great talent. Oops … Klaus Klare. Ergh…You know what I mean.

Solodreams, SOLOMODE and Monomode are 3 inseparable works of which the musical main lines turn around the big works of Klaus Schulze while adding to it some rhythmic themes closer of Frank Klare's visions. It's a superb crossing between the retro and New Berlin School where I just can't figure out how this music was able to escape the timid invasion of the international markets begun by Software and the Innovative Communication label in the middle of the 80's. Although SOLOMODE is not exactly Solodreams nor Monomode, there is some great EM all over it which is amply worth its purchase. And don't forget when you buy both albums you get Monomode free. This is quite a great way of approaching Frank Klare's universe that will always be faithful to his roots and his influences.

Sylvain Lupari (October 25th, 2013) ***½**

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

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