GERCHAMBEAU & MOONSATELLITE: Live INEXAA 2011 (2012)
Updated: Jun 20
“This 2 DVD set is surely indicated to begin the discovery of this surprising French label that is Patch Work Music”
Frédéric Gerchambeau (50:00)
1 Vetus Nova Revisited 21:28
2 Departure for Nowhere 7:53
3 Going for the Moon 11:46
4 Electronic Naoned 8:11
1 Sequenzer I 27:06
2 Fragments I 20:21
3 Missing Time I 21:12
4 Sequenzer IV-Emergence 19:15
(2 DVD 136:00) (V.F.)
(Experimental, French and Berlin School)
The Patch Work Music association always remains very present inside the French borders (it exports even their artists in Netherlands) by finding new talents susceptible to amaze some ears in quests of sonic experiments (Pierre-Jean Lievaux or still Frédéric Gerchambeau) or traditional EM (Kryfels) while producing already well established artists or still EM concerts, as this one in Nantes at the INEXAA in August 2011. This EM event is starring a key artists of the French label (MoonSatellite) as well as an emergent artist (Frédéric Gerchambeau has already 6 albums to his credit) whose music is situated at the borders of the Berlin School cosmic rhythms and at the sound experiments which remind that EM is above all a rather abstract art.
It's the first time that my ears meet the music of Frédéric Gerchambeau. A rather versatile artist, he is also a writer, he fell under the charms of EM while hearing rock music (the sequencing pattern of Who's Next and the first album of Roxy Music) and prog music with the very first album of Emerson Lake and Palmer and the famous synth solo on Lucky Man. He really caught the fever with Tangerine Dream's Phaedra. And this is what comes to mind with the nebulas' moods of Vetus Nova Revisited. The intro offers a fine carousel of sequences which makes dance its ions in a single file into the ravishing foggy pads of a Mellotron flute. A deep ambiospherical phase buries this hypnotic sequenced lullaby with a thick cloud of electronic tones which spreads some soft psychotronic perfumes of the vintage years. Hesitating sequenced keys emerge from this seraphic fog and put back on the rails this superb circular rhythm of which the rotations fit marvellously with the images of the small dwarfish kaleidoscope which strews Frédéric Gerchambeau's modest worktable. This segment reminds me a lot of this psychedelic hypnosis movement of Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Useless to say that I am on cloud nine here! If the screen shots are sober, they explain with wonder all the strategy of the artists behind their minimalist works with good vertical close-ups above their instruments. The artistic direction is sober, leaving all the room to the artist who is getting painted by moments of psychedelic visual effects. After the very ambient Departure for Nowhere and its tears of synth which cut out a thousand of sleeping stars, Going for the Moon presents us Frédéric Gerchambeau's very experimental side with a sound mass which fits splendidly to the psychedelic drawings which invade a screen as much dumbfounded as our ears. I won't say that this is the best way to tame the universe of Gerchambeau who gets us on the feet with the very good and lively Electronic Naoned and its structure of rhythms and ambiences which leads us to the style of Vetus Nova Revisited.
The staging of MoonSatellite is a little more professional with lasers, special effects, video images and lightings which go beautifully with the cosmic music of Lone Wolf. The video captures are always very good and explain rather clearly the way that MoonSatellite is making and structuring his music. A cosmic music strongly influenced by Jean-Michel Jarre and whose charms are revealed from the first industrial noises of Sequenzer I of which the album is rather well represented with a very good performance of Sequenzer IV-Emergence. The only novelty to me is Fragments I, from the album Fragments which seems to be untraceable and which would have be released just before this concert. But I'm not sure. And yes, we are always in a JMJ style, but in more ethereal approach. The intro is very ambient, very spacey and very floating with these synth waves which waltz in the nothingness. And the movements of a ray in the depths of the ocean floating on a screen is going very well with the grace of this slow ambiospherical space waltz. And some bouncing keys get loose out of these ethereal atmospheres. Their trampling and insistences forge a rhythm which runs beneath a thick cloud of cosmic lines of which the intertwining is shaping again a rhythm became spheroidal. The charm of MoonSatellite is this capacity that he has to weave harmonies in the traps of his rhythms and ambiences. Like here where the airs are tinted by nostalgia.
FREDERIC GERCHAMBEAU & MOONSATELLITE LIVE INEXAA 2011 is surely indicated to begin the discovery of this surprising French label that is Patch Work Music. We have here both paradoxes of this label which offers a rich bunch of artists to the so varied styles, as many as the borders of EM can allow. This DVD is done well; the music on it is simply superb, and the camera shots pay tribute to the differences between Frédéric Gerchambeau and MoonSatellite. Shots where we are able to appreciate the skill and the concentration of these two artists who manipulate their art with a dexterity as so magical as musical. The only drawback is that I would have liked to get a CD/DVD box set instead of the DVD only, so that I could listen to the music everywhere. This says a lot on the quality of the music presented here. Of course, we are not in the spectacular frescoes of Jean-Michel Jarre. But just let the time to this label, and to its artists, which little by little are getting listened almost everywhere on the planet.
Sylvain Lupari (July 12th, 2014) *****
Available at Patch Work Music