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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

JDan PROJECT: Childhood Nature (2018)

“Childhood Nature is a strong album built around a sonic realm of an incredible richness that will certainly please to the fans of Tangerine Dream and of the excellent Jive era”

1 Outside 6:21 2 Movement 8:21 3 Others 10:44 4 Playground 2:14 5 Own World 12:48 6 Fun 4:31 7 Decisions 5:22 8 Mom and Dad 6:55 GEN CD 047 (CD 57:16) (Berlin School dipped in a rich sound fauna)

Chords falling with brightness, of which each drop multiplies its sonorous resonances in a sinister and intriguing approach, accompany this semblance song of interplanetary whales which opens the splendors of Outside. Splendor, because already the usual sound and musical aesthetics from the albums of settles between my ears. And regardless of the genre, Berlin School or experimental, this Polish label signature remains as much seductive than fascinating. Noises of cataclysm are dragging in the furrows of Outside which wants to be an ambient title but much lively of its fauna of noises and sound effects. Very effective and essential elements to the story of this kid sat on a futuristic sphere scrutinizing a universe without dreams that is so well represented on the artwork of CHILDHOOD NATURE. Always on CD manufactured, carefully mixed and mastered for the pleasure of our ears, this first solo album of JDan Project on, this name may look familiar since he has participated in the album Sequential Friends from Blindmachine earlier this summer, is a solid album where the cosmic Berlin School is king! Outside continues its journey with very good synths which spread some august laments whereas are exploding here and there the elements of a sound fauna in search of excellence and creativity.

Movement pops in with a hopping movement of the sequencer. Ambient, the rhythm has a melodious karma. Powerful synth layers unveil their orchestral sermons, covering this rhythm which tries to survive with good percussions and another filament of sequences which serves a little more the decor than the beat. Effects of vocoder and of vintage disco sounds attack the 2nd phase of this rhythm which is filled with sonic graffiti from the 70's. Here we flirt with the universe of Software, for the cosmic orchestrations, in a more contemporary envelope with a rich sound that fills our ears, while the percussions and the sequencer, always harmonic, shakes the atmospheres in a spasmodic rhythmic vision where abound numerous solos lost in a plethora of layers and shadows from synths with so multi-dimensional effects. Others has a tonal vision as lush as in the opening of Outside. Except here, there is rhythm. A slow rhythm and well supported by lines of sequences with opposite tones and by slamming percussions. This rhythmic language fills our ears of waves and of organic distortions which continually come back in a Kraftwerk robotic approach. Jean-Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream too are influencing this slow rhythm which plays cat and mouse with a latent velocity that breaks out after 5 minutes in a kind of post apocalyptic electronic rock whose roots are ours very familiar. Playground is a title of ambiences of an unreal playground as it is dark and gloomy. Only the cries of children bring us back to the origins of the title and that of the album.

After the delights of Others, Own World turns out to be the mainstay of CHILDHOOD NATURE. A title with the same richness, it begins its descent into the bottom of my eardrums with a crawling rhythm mounted on filaments of sequences which roll towards the heavens. The bass line is tasty and stretches its ascending aura in a lush organic fauna filled by mysterious songs and by crackling rattlesnakes. The idea of hearing these sparkling organic sequences in the bed of Poland seems so natural here. Loops and effects of reverberations get add, creating a dialogue on a flying carpet woven by a fluid and moving sequencer. Synth layers and banks of mystic fog get settle under this structure which gradually comes lively with the arrival of sober and effective percussion. By the way, the percussions seem to be the anchor point of JDan Project rhythms. Here on the other hand, they sparkle and peck a nice Berlin School structure with a little Groove in the movement. I still have so much trouble with Fun which seems to be a title explaining the excess of a nightmare in the head of an 8-year-old kid. The noises are aggressive at times and this din seems out of tune in this universe full of cohesion. Decisions is a good electronic rock rather accessible with percussions heavier than the fluidity of the sequencer. Layers and synth solos, always close to the melody, are so very Tangerine Dream here. The passage with the organ towards the end is a success at all levels. Mom and Dad is another solid track. If you like this fantasy universe that Franke, Froese and Schmoëlling created in Legend, you're at the doorstep of EM Eden here. The rhythm is dreamlike. Twirling like a staircase looking for paradisiacal clouds, it manages to capture the imagination and make us waltz in clouds of mists where unicorns graze. It's fully romantic! The second part brings us to a more sustained rhythm with very good synth solos as harmonious than very poignant. What a way to conclude an album that I wanted to hear again as soon as possible. And I did, in fact a lot of times. This album is embroidered in a sonic nectar of an incredible richness and from start to end, except for a short phase in Fun, CHILDHOOD NATURE is a strong album that will certainly please to the fans of Tangerine Dream and of the excellent Jive era.

Sylvain Lupari (December 29th, 2018) ****½*

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