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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

GUSTAVO JOBIM: Meio-Dia (2017)

“Although bathing in very complex and uneasy to tame moments, Meio-Dia is probably one of the best album in 2017”

1 Meio-Dia 22:02 2 Pirâmide 15:32 3 Eterno Retorno 7:17

(DDL 44:51) (V.F.) (Krautrock, Berlin School, Experimental) Gustavo Jobim is quite a whole phenomenon! Die-hard fan of the motorik structures of rhythms a la Düsseldorf School, the multi- instrumentalist from Brazil has gradually moving up through success of the artistic credibility by attacking a not really accessible musical genre. A kind which makes nevertheless a fascinating and tangible link between the Krautrock of the vintage years to a more contemporary Krautrock, while injecting old fragrances of Ash Ra Tempel and Tangerine Dream of the Pink years. We can always be intimidated by his style, but each time we tame one of his albums one recognizes all the extent of his creativity. MEIO-DIA is already a 19th album for this eclectic artist. And what an album it is! A surprising album because we slide easily in spheres which are familiar to us with 2 key titles which evolve between schemas so surprising and always complex, but at the very end rather attractive. Percussive elements are dancing with the rhythm of a stoned peak wood at the opening of the long title-track. Some chords, playing cat and mouse, espouse this model of rhythm which does rather EDM when synth layers throw some nice tunes and solos which move in a phase of improvisation. The rhythm breaks itself in an impromptu way from the 3rd minute. Only stay these wooden castanets which skip in the floating tunes of a Mellotron. Hopping arpeggios are redefining then new borders. And if the rhythm seems alike, the decor changes with the addition of rough layers which grumble in a little game of effects and harmonies where the Mellotron waltzes now with a jet of chords which petrify a zigzagging structure which we hear hardly in a ornament rich in tones and in effects. Riffs of keyboards are dancing at the same diapason of the Mellotron pads, which have here a light hint of organ, demonstrating all the depth of a title which roots down in its rather jerky minimalist structure, but which flows all the same well enough. You like sounds? A crossroads of sounds which are independent one of the others but which breathe in the same corridor? The first 8 minutes of Meio-Dia are going to seduce you, after having tamed all the sound dimension. Afterward, the music goes to a phase of chthonian atmospheres with delicious waves of organ of which the floating harmonies roam like lost specters while imitating the initial structure of rhythm with slow impulses. A little more than 4 minutes farther, these vibes rush towards a rhythmic motif a little bit more lively. A rhythm where the sequences dance such as a reunion of small imps on an air of traditional folklore. Gustavo Jobim weaves superb synth solos here while Meio-Dia sinks in a finale heavy of these atmospheres sculpted by a Mellotron in mode Suspiria from Goblin. After this great track, Pirâmide brings us in territories forgotten by the Krautrock movement and of Kraftwerk's first albums in a structure where Ralf and Florian album's fragrances are firing up the starving skeleton of Autobhan. The rhythm, the vibes and the harmonies! Everything is vertiginous in this very multicolor and multitonal opening. The movement slips towards a much colorful phase where tones communicate with a language as so complex as these sounds which teem in video games. This phase of ambiences moves towards the 3rd part of Pirâmide. Here the Autobhan is multicolored of a wall of shrill tones which screech in an eternal madness. If the rhythm remains lively, the ambiences and the cacophonous harmonies which roar a vision simply abstract will give some headaches to those who want to resist. We are a bit much in Gustavo Jobim's extreme. In a more abstract, even concrete music, where we feel this huge admiration of Gustavo for Conrad Schnitzler by whom anti commercial, almost anti music, approach is strongly anchored on this title. To say the least, in its last phase. But there are many elements of retro Berlin School on Pirâmide that we discover with surprise after some listening. It's a little less rough, but always enough intimidating, with the very Richard Pinhas rhythm (era L'Éthique) which is landing between our ears with the following track. Eterno Retorno is very much like the meaning its title with its structure which evolves by a movement of ascending sequences of which the loops are heading for the same ritornello, as rhythmic as harmonious, while the moods and the secondary melodies are halfway between the most accessible and the most inaccessible of Pirâmide.

Not for all the ears, although all should dare the experience MEIO-DIA is an audacious music box which stays of a matchless accessibility in Gustavo Jobim's repertoire. The title-track shows all the genius of a musician who tests his machines in territories that few artists dare to venture. And the result is as well puzzling as delirious! Set apart the infernal final of Pirâmide, some 40 other minutes of this album are in the field of a rather accessible experimental EM which will know how to seduce the least shy ears. Audacious and musical, the two extremes live without superficiality in this fascinating album which meets all challenges in order to have a special place among the most beautiful albums of experimental EM and without borders in 2017. Sylvain Lupari (January 11th, 2018) ****½*

Available at Gustavo Jobim Bandcamp

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