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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

HARALD NIES: The Flow of Energy (2020)

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

A good album that one listens with the same enchantment and the same ease as the most beautiful works of Harald Nies

1 Feel the Flow 8:41

2 Consumption 7:54

3 Transport Me 7:11

4 Passage to Sedna 6:15

5 Time Switch 7:10

6 Depletion of Gravity 6:24

7 Power Inside 6:02

8 Silent Impact 7:45

9 Into the Light 8:02

10 Run Away 9:29

11 In Nature (Bonus Track) 5:37

(CD-R/DDL 80:32) (V.F.)

(E-Rock, New Berlin School)

How do we approach a new Harald Nies album? Bah, I would say at a higher volume than usual, while waiting to get caught on his new collection of tracks carved in cosmic hard rock where inevitably a track will get you out of your ears! Because who knows the world of Harald, has learned since Restart From Sedna that his albums always contain one or two titles which hook us from the first beating or chords. THE FLOW OF ENERGY is no exception and offers a collection of 10 titles, the majority of which are built on the same principle. Still in the MellowJet Records team, the music has a dance tendency but hangs in this contemporary EM rocker label that is Harald Nies. The guitar is biting and violent with its riffs and solos which find their spots as much in a good cosmic slow as in a big rock that seeks to make us dribble on the spot.

Ah yes! The pleasure of discovering THE FLOW OF ENERGY increases as our ears move from one title to another ...

The German musician also likes to use a cosmic and/or atmospheric background to whet our ears. This explains the more than 2 minutes of an opening of cosmic moods before the hopping rhythm of Feel the Flow digs its furrows up to our eardrums. The texture of the sequencer offers two lines of rhythms captured in a good creeping bass that percussion supports with random beats. The synth injects fluorescent layers while the percussions go into rock mode by pressing the sequencer which has become more spasmodic. The structure is catchy and serves as the basis for a synth which disperses its chords in undulating series, a bit like the sequenced rhythm. Things are moving a lot for a track that does not have 9 minutes on the clock, and it will be so for the other 9 tracks which live on a good amalgam of sequences, basslines and percussions. Each track is linked by short atmospheric bridges, thus eliminating the long introductions that are often the preserve of EM. And it's without waiting that Consumption embarks us in its rhythmic carousel skipping a little like the preceding title. If the rhythm is simple, a mix of dance music and rock as ambient as catchy with good percussive effects, the harmonious texture is based on hybrid chords of a synth which changes its personality up until we hear drops of water echoing from an underground cave. Transport Me was the first title to capture my attention. Its envelope is spheroidal with a very good vision in terms of percussions and synth pads with scents of the 80's. It's here that Harald Nies' guitar makes its first appearance. As usual, his solos are carried with the violence of hard-rock in a structure that likes to subtly modify its rhythmic axis. A very good title filled with all that Nies does best. Passage to Sedna is a ballad that struggles to find its style but enhanced by very good guitar solos. Its great quality is to precede the excellent Time Switch and its jerky rhythm which is super wrapped up in drizzling water. The bass line makes us crawl under a starry sky by dumbfounded arpeggios sticking to a New Age firmament while its rhythm takes advantage of all these changes to fill our ears. It's a catchy track because of its seraphic beauty, there are plenty of stars that dance and twirl as well as good piano passages, which clings to different rhythmic textures that we like to rediscover from listening to listening.

Depletion of Gravity spins us around with its circle of sequences leaping from its different hues to the spirited clicking of cymbals. The percussions arrive with a new game plan and new percussive effects, creating an energizing structure whose power goes up and down in accordance with the melodious ambiences. The arrangements are very good and support a secret desire for a more dance-style structure. Trying to count the jumping keys that come out of all the textural pores of Power Inside is the equivalent of making a blind man read a stucco wall! Notice that the melody that swirls on this fiery rhythm calms its fury a little… but hardly! Let's say that the slow of Silent Impact comes at the right time. Into the Light is one of those titles that percussions save with a clever mix of their strikes, intermingled with percussive effects. Its first 3 minutes are sculpted in a soft and slow approach. Its second flight pushes it towards a structure closer to synth-pop than Electronica, in which the scents of both genres happily walk on the race of tssitt-tssitt. Tssitt-tssitt that leads us towards the industrial trance rhythm of Run Away which uses the same rhythmic dynamics to seduce us. Its harmonic vision is more developed with these series of silvery arpeggios caressing this convulsive rhythm and these synth pads whose fragrances of despair's trumpets modify it to make it more palpable during the dance impulses. Available only if you take the downloadable version of THE FLOW OF ENERGY from the MellowJet Records website, In Nature is another heavy, semi-slow spherical track that is filled with this musical richness as diverse as on the 10 tracks of this album that one listens with the same enchantment and the same ease as the most beautiful works of Harald Nies.

Sylvain Lupari (January 27th, 2021) ***½**

Available at MellowJet Record

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