GLENN MAIN: Ripples (2012)
“Ripples is a book of 12 nice melodious chapters where perfumes of Jarre and Vangelis flow in our ears like dreams of feathers”
1 Echoes from the Past 5:22 2 Remembrance 4:10 3 Moving On 5:26 4 Heart and Soul 4:56 5 Castles in the Air 4:48 6 Dream Catcher 5:46 7 Memory Shift 5:30 8 Ripples 3:58 9 A Drop in the Ocean 5:18 10 Sea and Stars 3:56 11 Floating 4:48 12 Outward Bound 4:44 AD Music AD107CD
(CD/DDL 58:44) (V.F.)
(Melodious New Age)
The music of Glenn Main is a crossing between the one of Jean-Michel Jarre and Vangelis with an umbilical cord which dragged in the reminiscences of New Berlin School. RIPPLES is the first album of the Norwegian synthesist on AD Music; David Wright's label which since a few years has the art for finding some good sculptors of a soft and quiet EM whose melodious basis are inspired by electro cosmic ambiences of a progressive New Age. This etiquette sticks marvellously to this album, which is a suite of 12 beautiful titles, among which a superb second half, which interlace in a very long ballad carried away by the echoes of Glenn Main's past.
A synth with line of words introduces the melodious approach of Echoes from the Past which sways on the undulatory forms of a bass line. This fine cosmic tango twirls with delicacy on percussions to tones of glasses, caressing some pads of mist which hatch the rhythm of a light stroboscopic flow. Afterward Glenn Main lugs us towards a more romantic approach with some notes of piano which float with fragrances of a jazz before making whistle his synth with beautiful lines of a flute which takes on the airs of a panpipes. Echoes from the Past kicks off a very melodic album where the influences of Jarre and Vangelis throne on 12 titles which are exchanging the rhythms and ambiences on nearly 60 minutes of continuing music. Remembrance is a slow romantic ballad built on the vestiges of Chariots of Fire with limpid piano notes which cry in the echo of metallic percussions a bit felted. The synth forges beautiful melodious lines with choirs in sorrow which blow on a beautiful cinematic approach from which the crescendo is dress of a dramatic veil. Moving On cuts in the taciturn ambiences of Remembrance to offer a jerky rhythm which hiccups in an inverted spiral. It's a rather lively tempo, a kind of electronic funk, stuffed of sizzling fuzz wah-wah and melodious synth pads which releases some nice soloing verses. This lively rhythm gets lost in the gloom of Heart and Soul which beats slowly around a synth which subdivides its lines into breaths of saxophones and sung mists, like on Jean Michel Jarre's posthumous title for Ron McLain; Last Rendez-vous. The first chords of Castles in the Air remind me of Popcorn. But the rhythm becomes more melodic and less robotics to bloom into a good ballad of an Easy-Listening style.
Navigating between all kinds that EM can offer, Glenn Main shows his much-diversified creativity by offering a title with ambiences as melodic as atmospheric in Dream Catcher which is a pure New Berlin School with musical fragrances of Software. That's very good! Memory Shift possesses all the attributes of a remix of Oxygene IV. If the tempo differs slightly with an approach more melodic than cosmic, the galactic and electronic elements which surround Memory Shift leave no doubt regarding the influences of the Norwegian synthesist which sometimes sounds like Baffo Banfi. Afterward we are entitled to the parade of RIPPLES' jewels with the title-track and A Drop in the Ocean which are two nice electronic ballads molded in the lost breaths of Echoes from the Past and among which the fine sequences which swirl in some delicate harmonious spirals, the synths of Orion and the breezes of the enchanted flutes are caressing the universe of Tangerine Dream on Legend. Sea and Stars, which reminds me enormously the poetic and somber universe of Remy, is another good ballad of which the indecisive rhythm carries the tears of a plaintive synth which transposes its sadness and its melancholy far beyond the borders of the tearful and atmospheric Floating, another small jewel of tenderness on this Glenn Main's last opus which concludes with the slightly stroboscopic rhythm of Outward Bound which, in spite of its heavier and more electronic approach, preserves all the melodic cachet of the album.
In a musical universe where we are constantly looking for some long evolutionary, experimental and progressive corridors of an EM which doesn't stop any more of conquering unexplored phases of our cerebral cortex, RIPPLES falls like a fine refreshing rain. I devoured this Glenn Main's hyper melodious and dreamy album which seduces so much by its naive approach and its quiet structures which also hide the echoes of our past.
Sylvain Lupari (July 24th, 2012) ***½**
Available at AD Music