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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

GETTY & WHITLAN: Even Higher Green (2016)

“Great Berlin School retro whit hints of a modern one makes of Even Higher Green another inescapable work of modern EM”

1 Penultimation 18:23 2 Inertial Seconds 19:38 3 Greensequent 18:43 4 Astley Return 14:46 5 To the Known Unknowns (Bonus) 10:04 6 Inertial Seconds Slowmix (Bonus) 18:02 Retrochet Records

(CD-r/DDL 99:36) (V.F.) (Berlin School)

We tune up the synths! We warm up the machines by extracting oblongs hoarse breaths and by multiplying electronic effects which feed the drones and the grunts while dispersing thin lines of chthonian voices as well as noises of faunas and its small organic beings. This is how Penultimation binds to our ears. Three minutes of metapsychic atmospheres which justify the dark approach of the title. Chimes tinkle and a kind of jerky industrial panting, it looks like a motor that works by burning souls, extricate themselves from these atmospheres where misshapen voices try to slow the progression of a rhythm, while another burst of nowhere. A line of sequences spreads out in a gallop. An electronic rodeo which flees this genesis of obscurities with a very good electronic rhythm of which the soft oscillations, as well as their delicious false steps, are perfumed with the heat of the analog years. Fog effects, which evaporate in the wind, caress the delicate modulations of a rhythmic structure that seeks to overflow from its bed while some very Tangerine Dream electronic effects from the Exit years and thin loops are flooding the tranquil minimalist progression of a rhythm that percussions manage to derail a bit towards its final. There is no doubt, we are truly in the land of Higher Green Session. Two years later, to the day, Graham Getty and Stephan Whitlan reunited again, just to follow up on a first improvisation session that would lead to an album very popular among EM fans of the Berlin School style. This time, the duo does more in originality by sticking titles imbued with mysticism and double-meaning to the 6 structures of EVEN HIGHER GREEN, including two bonus tracks, which in the end reaches almost 100 minutes of a music where the eternal influences of Tangerine Dream, as well as those of Klaus Schulze, do nothing to slow the development of a style that the duet Getty/Whitlan masters with an amazing cohesion for an album thought and made in one afternoon.

The opening of Inertial Seconds exploits a little the same atmospheres of this discomfort which borders the horror vibes that we found in Penultimation. And yet we are on another level; that of the cycles of oscillations and their rotary movements which slowly spin in a membrane of white noises. There too, the rhythm gets out of the noisy abyss around the 3rd minute. He's alive! Pressed on a movement of sequences where the keys run in single file inside a narrow cylinder, a little like a centipede on strong drugs, the movement deploys its loops of circular rhythms which advance while the cylinder turns on it -even. It's pure electronic beat where our fingers follow the pace and where the clickings add a sensation of velocity which is doubly supported by the addition of other sequences. The synth solos that follow this rhythmic panorama come out of the Tangram period. This rhythm dissolves around the 10th minute when a sequence breaks off to lead to a long pulsating line which will jump in a syncopated way for a good 3 minutes before Inertial Seconds resumes its initial structure under the ferocity of delicious synth solos which spin and attack as we hear that too rarely in recent years. Very good! Its slower version, Inertial Seconds Slowmix, is just as delicious and is made in the cosmic genre a la Michael Garrison. Greensequent doesn't have an ambiosonic opening! The rhythm pops straight away. The sequences are nervous and move in an upward crossover movement with effects that shift the tones. You quickly get used to this movement which becomes like a sensory shadow with a structure of rhythm which becomes more ambient due to the heap of effects and mist of synths. Another line of sequences makes sparkling keys which dance innocently in the wrong moods in atmospheres that huge layers of anesthetic synth make denser. And subtly, Greensequent changes skin under powerful solos while the rhythm is fragmented under the arrival of a stream of sequences whose jerky flow competes with the drummed percussions. Become more harmonic, with a shimmering structure of rhythm and layers of seraphic voices, Greensequent always changes skin and questions the veracity of the fruits of this session here, as everything seems to us as skillfully orchestrated as the best of Green Desert. Yes! It is a superb title whose constant evolution seems so in contradiction with the word improvisation. And especially without re-recording! Graham Getty and Stephan Whitlan are really on the same page. We take Body Love from Klaus Schulze and we add a little more cadence and it gives Astley Return. My ears are still in love! To the Known Unknowns begins with a serenade for electronic piano which gradually spreads its gloom in deaf beats whose heavier and more insistent walk structures a sustained rhythm. A movement of limpid sequences surrounds the melancholy of the piano which gradually disappears under these sequences which hop and frolic like the feet of a deer under a land of fire, while synth solos fill the air and make disappear a piano that we had already forgotten in the mists.

I'm always as much seduced as fascinated by these artists who manage to play and create music whose parameters and boundaries have been repeatedly exploited up to the point of wear for over 40 years. The name of Graham Getty, and with good reason, cannot be dissociated from these artists who year after year reinvent themselves in this style which always seems to fade without breaking up in the corridors of our memories. And that's why I found this EVEN HIGHER GREEN significantly more successful than Higher Green Session. Because by dint of persevering to explore the labyrinths of time, Graham Getty, solo or duo, always succeeds in finding the vein of originality. Excellent! I'm already looking forward to December 30, 2017.

Sylvain Lupari (March 25th, 2016) ****½*

Available at Graham Getty Bandcamp

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