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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

HYPERKUBE: Remnants (2020)

This album is aimed to lovers of disjointed rhythms pushed by a very creative sequencer. Kind of Chris Franke or Ruud Heij styles

1 realm 13:30

2 remnants 8:12

3 calling from beyond 7:16

4 the fields of aaru 9:00

5 in fine principium 7:45

(CD/DDL 45:45) (V.F.)

(Ambient, Berlin School)

Where to start? By specifying that REMNANTS is an album recorded in concert in a post office, PostX, in the town of Merelbeke in Belgium by a chilly November 24, 2018. The key word to remember from this sentence is Belgium. The chances that our ears will cross significantly more progressive and daring stuff are higher when we talk about Belgian School. And that's exactly the case with this first album from Hyperkube. The name of this project can play on your intuitions, since we find the roots of the word Kubusschnitt as well as the names of its albums, that you won't be surprised either. In fact, those who have been following the evolution of EM for more than 20 years will be familiar with the name of Tom Coppens who was an important member of the EM band Kubusschnitt. This group was composed of Tom Coppens, Jens Peschke, Ruud Heij and finally Andy Bloyce who mastered this album. And I would say that the influences of this progressive group, especially at the level of the rhythmic developments of the sequencer, which are like very in Ruud Heij's style, are very present in this album which surfs mainly on the albums Pacific Coast Highway and The London Concert by Christopher Franke, without forgetting Impulse and Pointless Reminder from Free System Project.

A drop of sound stretches its effects at the opening of realm, giving the sequencer this little moment of creativity in order to draw a line of harmonic rhythm. Another line hops in this darkened decor with its increasingly opaque sonic veil. realm then becomes a nest of sequences that opens up to all possibilities under orchestrations, murmuring gas effects and apocalyptic Vangelis-style synth blades. Here, as everywhere else in REMNANTS, our ears are confronted with an evolutionary structure which surfs on two possibilities: ambient music or soft rhythms. Very active, the sequencer is simply divine by dividing its possibilities with lively and methodical keys which infiltrate oblong structures where cling the usual treasures and the momentary impulses of the synths. This first title depicts the moods of what will follow with its soft rhythm which goes up and down with an effect of alternations at the level of the sequenced keys, as well at the level of the rhythms as of the tones. The ambiences are vaporous and even nebulous with chthonian vapor effects and layers of a keyboard dressed in church organ. The music is constantly evolving to tie in with a more fluid movement which develops a harmonious Chris Franke's approach in Pacific Coast Highway. The finale becomes a moment of dark atmospheres with ululations which are transposed in the introduction to the title track. Where the synths sound strangely like Vangelis in Blade Runner. remnants offers a more lively structure with a synth and its spectral songs which cover a more unified structure of the sequencer. And if you are a lover of sequencer and sequenced rhythms with keys that you walk while dribbling, this title-track will catch your interest on the field. Being a long 45-minute musical mosaic, there is no interruption in the cosmic hymns that mark the course of REMNANTS. So, we can hear the same elements inside different titles. It's in cosmic broth of boiling waters that calling from beyond challenges our curiosity. This title which brushes the borders of psybient awakens gently with a very good movement of the sequencer on which is grafted a keyboard in copy-pasted mode and various organic effects. This title is very Tangerine Dream between its Virgin and Jive period. Except for its second half which offers a structure of cosmic psybient with a Vangelis intimidated by this sound fauna and very skeptical on the keyboard. the fields of aaru returns to these chaotic and feverish rhythms to guide us towards a monstrous finale in in fine principium and its superb lunar melody.

Distributed by Littl'Antenna Rec. and Belgian NeuMusik, REMNANTS requires time and an open mind because its music is like a swarm of scattered sound particles which gradually come together to follow directions that are not always clear, hence its constantly changing movements. I would say that it's an album which is aimed a little more at lovers of disjointed rhythms that are pushed by a very creative sequencer. And after a few listenings, you will be able to note that it has become a musical virus which has found its place in the back of our ears.

Sylvain Lupari (23/03/20) *****

Available at Littl'Antenna Rec.

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