FREE SYSTEM PROJEKT: British Aisles Volume 2 (2019)
“This is another festival of pure Berlin School that will please all the aficionados of TD's mid-70's”
1 British Aisles 63:04
2 Altared States 11:20
(CD/DDL 74:24) (V.F.)
This is the second part of this long-awaited show by audiophiles and fans of retro analog Berlin School that Marcel Engels and Ruud Heij gave in the sanctuary of the Baptist Church of Saint John in Leicester in May 2008. And like in British Aisles Vol.1, Free System Project offers another daring 63-minute track released from the tormented ambiences of the Berlin School from the Tangerine Dream's years 73-77.
We warm up the synths by extracting a cloud of vintage sound effects for the first 6 minutes before a wave of Mellotron disperses its enchanting rug which hosts a nice fluty chant from the Mellotron. The Dutch duo doesn't lose any time on this opening by throwing it in the mouth of the sequencer around the 13 minutes. The movement does very Phaedra with electronic effects on an oscillating rhythm which undulates strongly. We feel the weight of the jumping keys which disperse this coating of mist while another line, heavier, accentuates the rhythmic measure of British Aisles. Everything has been written about these movements, knotted with explosive kicks, which delighted aficionados of the Berlin School and of the concert performances by Peter Baumann, Chris Franke and Edgar Froese as this Berlin trio burned our imaginative cells in the heart of the 70's. The synth solos fly with fluidity, intelligently mixing the airs of the flute and the inspirations of an electric guitar. This monstrous structure stretches its cadence to the limit of 30 minutes, plunging the atmospheres into an exploratory void from which an organic reverberation line is uprooted. It goes up and down, accompanying a nasal song with its Arabic scents. A discreet choir of the disciples of Hades joins this slow amphibian rhythmic framework which in turn dies out in a nest of dark winds and their reverberations, preparing the 3rd rhythmic phase, the most violent one, which explodes around 47 minutes. This phase, which is very Redshift, leads British Aisles to a final and its bed for organ songs in the last three minutes of this long title which thwarts any filling traps. A very good title!
And if we don't have enough of these undulating rhythms of the Berlin School style, Altared States offers 2 adjacent rhythmic lines, one flowing and the other more jerky, which make harmonic kicks in the bed of an invasive Mellotron and other analog sound effects. Spectral voices get graft onto this electronic ballet, as well as solos ferreting like specters in this 11 minutes filled with nostalgic nobility by a Free System Project which was at the top of the Berlin School reinvented in its model of pure improvisation.
In the end, it's another great initiative from Ron Boots to put this concert on a manufactured CD. The remix make by Ruud Heij perfectly cuts out the roles of the sequencers during this show of which the only lengths are the distance between the release of the two volumes. Fans of vintage Berlin School, Tangerine Dream of the Baumann years and all these groups, I think of Redshift and Arc; BRITISH AILES Vol.2 is for you ... Don't forget British Aisles Vol.1 😉
Sylvain Lupari (March 16th, 2020) *****
Available at Groove nl