FRATOROLER: Chez Ricco (2013)
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
“Chez Ricco takes us back there where Looking Forward had left our appetite with an album filled of these vintage moods”
1 Origami1 9:47
2 Chez Ricco 19:18
3 Prismagenta 7:37
4 Violet Hour 18:30
(CD-r 65:12) (V.F.)
(Psychotronic Berlin School)
I'm always impressed when one succeeds to go in time and dig the old stumps in order to extract the forgotten seeds from it. Redoing old stuff with more original visions! It's the challenge that attack brilliantly Thomas Köhler and Frank Rothe since they launched Reflections in 2010. Sailing on the turbulent waters of Looking Forward, Fratoroler gets back haunting our ears with another fabulous intrusion in the corridors of time when Tangerine Dream was the master of our earphones. CHEZ RICCO takes back there where Looking Forward had left our appetite with an album divided between its black rhythms and its misty ambiences. An album where the evolutionary structures borrow the sonic and rhythmic corridors of a Berlin School, sauce Tangerine Dream and their more contemporary roots.
And that's how a bit rough airs of a Tangram-like melody open up the very evolutionary Origami. From the first chords, whose resonant musicality remains suspended in a vacuum, Origami extends its intro where gravitates a cloud of tones tangled in oriental aromas. This is where a series of fluty notes tinkle like a memory of Tangram. The air is delightfully camouflaged in a thick down of contrasting harmonies that prowl in a seductive mosaic a bit cacophony while the uncertain rhythm of Origami makes tremble its sneaky steps . And it's the abyss! With sibylline winds blowing the darkness, Origami is already hugging its third skin in an electronic ambience where ocher lines ooze, chirp organic-cosmic tones, drummed lost percussions and finally crying a piano with timid stolen notes and nebulous poetic atmospheres of Tangram. We are at the dawn of the 8 minutes and this long track always shows its sonic embryo which spreads in all senses without really calling out for its rhythm. And it's two minutes later, with sequences pounding heavily, that this rhythm settles down. It quivers with these hyperactive sequences which team up with a more melodic line of rhythm. Nervous and feverish, the rhythm unfolds a spheroidal veil, waiting for other sequences which deeply drum against the current (yes, that sounds like Franke) while synths, very discreet until now, shout of their chants and solos with those long nasal twists which overfly a rhythmic violence constantly repressed near its frustration. The minutes pass and the music won't show any rhythmic violence, preferring rather to dive back into its misty atmospheres, as well as a surprising interlude a bit jazzy (I hear Force Majeure here) whose limits between the rhythm and its atmospheres are very tenuous. And at around the 16th minute, Origami kisses its 5th skin with two lines of sequences, one clumsy and another one more melodic, which criss-cross and form a rhythm of which the ample oscillations skip under the tunes of synth to the aromas more angelic than symphonic, sealing 20 minutes as indomitable as imperceptible.
The title-track borrows the same evolutionary mosaic as Origami, but with a clearly wilder approach. The intro is forged in a bed of cloudiness with choruses to the sibylline harmonies which hum on a slow macabre march and its uncertain rhythm which pounds dully in the twinkling of a melody dreaming at the mercy of its spaced out chords. A heavy rumbling shakes the ambiences and makes topple over the nebulous march of Chez Ricco towards a powerful dark rhythm where heavy sequences alternate their steps into a rhythmic allegory of the wonderful retro Berlin School's vintages years. It's tenebrous and it's powerful. And that ends by where the ambiences of the Dream from the years Logos to Poland had already flirted. Comes then the second part of CHEZ RICCO which presents a more atmospheric portion. After a track richly ambiospherical in Prismagenta, Violet Hour presents a linear rhythm which drums in dense sonic spheres with ambiences as much dark and apocalyptic, bringing back the listener into the morphic lanes embraced by Looking Forward.
Sylvain Lupari (January 2nd, 2014) *****
Available at SynGate Bandcamp