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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

HYPNOSPHERE: Timedrift (2014)

Updated: May 16, 2020

Fan of retro progressive Berlin School, you're gonna love this one

1 Trancenter 18:38

2 Spherical Movement 6:41

3 Escape from Dissonance 12:40

4 Ardent Drive 13: 22

5 Emphasis 11:03

6 Time Drift 13:26

(CD 73:00) (V.F.)

(Vintage Berlin School)

After a hiatus of 7 years, the Hypnosphere duo returns to cuddle our ears with a pure wonder of EM from the analog times. Establishing wonderfully the limits and the evolutions of an album which transits between a psychedelic cosmic rock and some rather ambient phases, Lambert Ringlage, owner of the label Spheric Music, and Wolfgang Barkowski present in TIMEDRIFT an album to which is tasted like a complex work with surprises that abound where we least expect it. And if you're a fan of retro Berlin School, you're going to love it! We listen absently, I always start this way to coax an album, by reading a book or by trying a dodo. And we have the vague sensation of hearing Tangerine Dream from the Encore years. The misty atmospheres, the soft and ambient rhythms that just skip from the tip of their sequences, as well as these guitar and synth duels that torment psychedelic-progressive atmospheres make of TIMEDRIFT one of the beautiful surprises in the section of the unexpected in 2014.

The beginning of Trancenter projects us into a forest decorated by peaceful chirps of birds courting a lazy river flow. The songs of insects, as well as some serenades of the inhabitants on all fours, are courted by a dreamy guitar which extends its solitary chords on a growing carpet of mist. You would think to hear some ambient introductions from Pink Floyd. A line of bass sequences structures a rhythm with peaceful oscillations. Little by little the magic of the Mellotron and its mystical fluty breezes sensitize our ears to more attentive listening. Although very ambient, Trancenter undulates calmly like a river which descends a slight slope on a beautiful sunny Sunday. A river which makes gild its serenity under the warm rays of Mellotron and which agitates its delicate race towards the clouds with slight jolts and static eddies, plunging Trancenter into a false debate between the ambient and the meditative rhythms. Lambert Ringlage's guitar is superbly relaxing. Releasing riffs and lyrical chords, she sings beautiful solos, sometimes tormented, which break up in thick clouds of mist, giving off a strange perfume of Ashra Temple on the idle rhythms of the Encore years. The intro of Spherical Movement is dark. The guitar brightens it up with a series of notes with hybrid harmonies that sing, cry and spin in a slow maelstrom weighed down by cosmic mist. The ambiences are gaining in intensity, especially with good orchestrations coated of fog, but we are still in the ambient phases of TIMEDRIFT which feeds its first minutes with the incantations of a dreamy guitar. And then Escape from Dissonance falls in our ears. Its intro is based on nomadic breezes that collect undulating airs with slightly scary aromas. Next comes a mellotron hymn that unlocks a rhythm that is found in the rhythm boxes of organs. It's a galactic rumba à la Jean-Michel Jarre with clouds of mist which squeeze the naive flow. A storm of jumping keys is emerging. They are many. They throb and hop frantically in contradictory hues and tones. The beauty is that they also support a superb synth solo which deploys more harmonies than dreamy wanderings. The rhythm of Escape from Dissonance gives way to a furious attack by sequenced keys which always peck at the ingenuous flow of cosmic rumba while the synth solos harmonize their acuity with the tempestuous flow of other sequences with more buzzing resonances. It’s big cosmic cacophonic rock as it happens too rarely.

Although more static, Emphasis remains in the realm of quite enthralling electronic rhythms. It structures its rhythmic approach with sequences that pierce the contemplative clouds to throb in a fairly static linear mode. The synth lines with orchestral scents are divine and surround a rhythm which makes waltz its movements of sequences with juice in the tones and with jolts imbued of finesse which prance under languid synth solos. The rhythm is progressive and subtly changes skin in front of the repeated attacks of the long twisted solos. It lowers the pace around 6 minutes with a cloud of jumping rhythmic balls plotting on a conveyor fed by a mist engorged with suspicious voices before coming heavier under synth solos which slam like lassos in a sky darken with cosmic spray. Ardent Drive follows a little the same model, but in a more ethereal approach. The finale is simply superb as the title deviates squarely into Encore's ambiances but with a more contemporary tone. Guitar solos are as sharp as the synth solos in Escape from Dissonance while the movement of the jumping keys is more compact and heavy. Again, it's solid electronic rock. After an ambient intro, eaten away by an acidified guitar which spits out riffs and twisted harmonies, the title-track releases a good movement of fluid sequences which recalls the harmonic rhythms of Peter Baumann. Except that Timedrift is designed in the dissonance. In the disharmony that had unified the evolving and removable rhythms of the three previous titles where the jumps of the sequences establish a harmonic structure constantly booed by humming synth solos and sharp guitar solos. But the result remains quite flamboyant. Like these big electronic rocks of the psychedelic years with a sonic crossroads that meet the unleashed harmonies of Ashra, the oscillating rhythms of Tangerine Dream and the cosmic atmospheres of Jean-Michel Jarre. Admit that you will love this superb sonic journey to the heart of the years that began this splendid history of contemporary EM. Superb and it's even better the ears in the open air in our listening room... or elsewhere! Because the sound travels, travels….

Sylvain Lupari (November 15th, 2014) ****½*

Available at Spheric Music

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