HARALD NIES: Tales of Light (2016)
“No surprises and no deceptions, Tales of Light is like what Harald Nies knows how to do best; solid and melodious EM”
1 Flowing Particles 6:19 2 The Age of Light 7:33 3 Invisible 8:32 4 400 to 700 12:21 5 Follow Me 8:37 6 Blind Fall 11:13 7 Reflectance 8:28 8 Cahaya 6:06 9 The End of the Candle 7:51 MellowJet | cdr-hn1601
(CD-r/DDL 76:59) (V.F) (E-Rock, morphic beat and Berlin School)
I like it when it's heavy and slow. Like a cosmic blues! Like the EM of Harald Nies. Flowing Particles gets rid of a synth line which bends slowly, and which crumbles its iridescent dusts over a movement of a bass pads which drags smoothly its furtive chords. The percussions fall. They are not heavy. They are only structuring this slow rhythm which finds its heaviness in its sonic dress. A synth throws plaintive harmonies while a line of sequences makes its keys flickering and shake the rhythm of spasmodic hiccups. But the rhythm remains always slow and the synth always spits its harmonies as sensual as ethereal. The guitar joins this celestial blues with solos, more aerial than the synth, which sets down a carpet of silk whose dusts sparkle like hundreds of celestial bodies.
Always torn between electronic and cosmic rock, and which drops some rather sentimental ballads, Harald Nies gets back to us with an album that shows all of his styles. If we are unable to resist to the cosmic blues which is Flowing Particles, we shall love for sure the superb and very electronic Follow Me and its highly shrill synth solos flying over a structure of rhythm heavy and slow. The exchanges between a vaporous electric six-strings and the synth make of this title something as powerful as Perpetual Lights, that we can hear on the Horizon album. Which is few to say. The morphic sweetness of Flowing Particles throws itself into the thin line of the spasmodic sequences of The Age of Light. The arrangements are of silk with layers of voices which get lost in the ambiences of a synth in esoteric mode. Static, this rhythm remains linear and amasses jingles and other effects which get melt into heavy layers of mists and of absent voices. We are a little in the territories of deep atmospheres which occupy a wide part of TALES OF LIGHT, if we include the very ambient Cahaya and its Berber murmurs and its sitar with very pinched notes, as well as The End of the Candle which ends this last opus from Harald Nies with emotion and intensity. But between both, there is rhythm!
Each title here is finely attached by bridges of ambiences adorned of iridescent prisms. It’s by them that Invisible is born! The movement of sequences limps nonchalantly below an electronic finery watered by effects and by fine heterogeneous noises. A little as in The Age of Light where the structure remains of a cosmic ambient approach with a rhythm which ripples like a sea that we shake up in order to give it an appearance of life. Intense layers fall from the skies and wrap this motionless rhythm of a tragical aura, guiding this delicate skeleton towards a kind of cosmic hip-hop decorated by very beautiful synth solos. One notices a more discreet guitar around the 9 chapters that compose the whole of TALES OF LIGHT, giving thus a more ethereal facet to the album, except for 400 to 700 which is a good electronic rock sat on good rock percussions and wrapped with good cosmic effects. The bludgeoning of drums leads a lively and rather quickly structure, the tunes are downright like that, that I would place, for point of comparison, between Tangerine Dream of the Eastgate years, some very good Frank Dorittke and even Mike Oldfield. It's a strong title that keeps us on the alert! Blind Fall starts slowly before taking a form of rhythm which reminds me of Silverline again from the Horizon album. The sequences are dancing among jerky riffs and chords, forging a nervous rhythm that sober percussions hammer with a robotic fluidity. The synth layers are ultra wrapping and throw some morphic gas on a structure that goes and comes according to these layers' moods and their effects. It becomes a good up-tempo always hampered of perturbing the immense caresses of those layers. That sometimes sounds like a kind of progressive cosmic rock. The first 4 minutes of Reflectance offers another some very good electronic rock, one the wildest and the most lively here, before taking a more ethereal tangent in the middle. This is just what Harald Nies needs in order to redirect his wild rhythm up until the moments of the nomadic atmospheres of Cahaya and those of the very intense and rather filmic The End of the Candle.
At each of his albums it's always the same story. Always astride between the styles he likes to use, Harald Nies remains an artist who disconcerts us due to his freedom of creation. The man likes as much the blues as big rock but also these sleepy layers which wrap up this rhythmic guerrilla which spit these nice thin lines of sequences whose spasmodic jolts whip the atmospheres such as long stroboscopic lassoes. In brief, each title of Harald Nies' albums is for everyone and we find in TALES OF LIGHT, like in all of his albums by the way, a title that connects us to his music. A very good artist and a different kind of EM to discover!
Sylvain Lupari (September 12th, 2016) ***½**
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