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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


Updated: Mar 12, 2020

A little rendezvous forgotten in time, Ephéméride is the reflection of the very contemporary approaches of the French EM movement

1 Ephéméride 9:05

2 Angel Sex 7:19

3 Vision of the Heart 3:23

4 Wonderland 4:16

5 Planisphère 4:22

6 Rain Day 4:39

7 K.S. Motion 10:57

8 Country Land 2:39

9 Indian 3:32

10 Voyager 3:17

11 Catalipsys 5:38

12 Saint-Malo Dream 3:42

(CD/DDL 63:00) (V.F.)

(Melodic contemporary EM)

Peaceful and harmonious line of flute which float among the bongs of the astral gongs! Hum... That sounds New Age. Winds of Orion which blow and knock down the drops of a metallic rain! That sounds like music of futuristic atmospheres. Longs metaphysical wiishh of synth lines and discreet thunders! That sounds like dramatic theme music. Rolling of big symphonic drums and ringings of bells! That sounds definitively Vangelis. With all these electronic elements which bicker between a desire for futuristic melody and its ambiences, this long opening title-tack from the album EPHÉMÉRIDE plunges us straight into the universes of Jean-Christophe Allier where everything is cut with the precision of a jeweler. Although this name is not quite familiar to us, Jean-Christophe Allier is a dominant, almost a legendary in the circle of initiated, character in this ascent of French EM which rebels so well against the rise of the various schools of thought since the end of the 80's. One of the founders of the Patch Work Music movement, the electronic bard of Nîmes is also the most discreet at the level of the production as proves it his discography which counts only EPHÉMÉRIDE, released in the end of 96, and La Rosée, an album which was composed and released in tandem with the Swiss singer Rose Marie Doblies in 2009. On the other hand, he writes and produces a phenomenal quantity of music for movies and television. He also writes jingles for commercial or credits for TV programs and/or radio shows. We can also find him behind a studio console, assisting various personalities for the needs for their recordings. In brief, it's a man-of-all-work who is involved in all the artistic facets besides giving a lot of free concerts for various events in order to promote the beauty of EM. So! What is the music of Jean-Christophe Allier? Strongly inspired by the genius of Klaus Schulze, the musician/synthesist from Nîmes is more freely inspired by the style of Vangelis with a strongly melodic approach which is trapped in the contemporary structures which are clearly more omnipresent in its music. To say the least here.

Merged between some twinkling arpeggios and some breaths of suggestive voices, the ambiospherical procession of Angel Sex also leads us to this conclusion. It's a thing where the simplistic melody, embroidered in breaths of sexual voices, approaches our ears with ease. Our subliminal senses will seize later all the work at the level of the making of the ambient rhythm with arpeggios which are hammered with an effect of xylophone of brass band and the effects of percussions which click like cosmic gases, sculpting thus an envelope of rhythm which skips finely in an effect of jolts. Parts of ambient melodies which knit themselves to the contemporary moods, the music of this album lets also drop some nice little jewels of tenderness which have an equal only Bertrand Loreau's very melancholic side. Vision of the Heart and Saint-Malo Dream are delicate strummed lullabies which charm in those nice electronic ambiences, while that Country Land is a beautiful ballad perched on an acoustic guitar of which the notes sing with the birds. Wonderland is an ambient track loaded with sonic effects which remind me of these opening that Tangerine Dream used during their 86 European tour. Throughout his ambient structures, Jean-Christophe Allier strews fragments of melodies, so giving a depth to his more meditative structures. Molded in the same rules as Wonderland, Planisphere is another nice example with its arpeggios which dance with the ambient and melodious synth lines. We are near meditative music here. Almost of cosmic New Age! Rain Day and Voyager are two dark pieces of music which bring us closer to the ambiospherical influences of Vangelis and of his futuristic vision of Blade Runner. K.S. Motion is a tribute track to Klaus Schulze. All in all, it's a nice amalgamation between the moods of ether from the German Master and his more contemporary tones. A small track with a spirit of Hindu dance, Indian sounds very out of tune with its joyful rhythm compared with the darker ambiences which surround the limpidity of the arpeggios which dance all over the music of this album. It's pleasant and festive, while Catalipsys carries marvelously the atmospheres of its naming.

A small rendezvous forgotten in time, EPHÉMÉRIDE is the reflection of the very contemporary approaches of the French EM movement where the melancholy of the poets of the 1800' s breathes in every reverberation of the chords and the synth lines as well as their shadows. I like this very Vangelis approach. But a Vangelis of the 70-80 years when his melodies was often weaved in electronic tragedy moods. This is mainly the backdrop of EPHÉMÉRIDE.

Sylvain Lupari (August 13th, 2015) ***½**

Available at Patch Work Music

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