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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

JEFFREY KOEPPER: Transmitter (2017)

“Polymorphic rhythms in analog synth waves, this Transmitter could be one of the best albums to have been recorded on Star's End”

1 Whirl 6:43 2 Ions 6:28 3 Tides 3:07 4 Quasar 11:13 5 Darkness 15:17 6 Halo 5:52 7 Clouds 9:34 Projekt ‎| PRO 348

(CD/DDL 58:19) (V.F.) (Mix of Berlin and Pacific Schools)

Even in a night-mass, Jeffrey Koepper stays beyond his brothers of sounds with a fascinating obsession for analog synths and sequencers. Recorded within the framework of the mythical radio show Star's End, TRANSMITTER is one of the very good albums of cosmic EM to have been played and recorded on the waves of WXPN-FM in Philadelphia. A radio program scheduled in the last hours of Sunday, the music which is usually performed is rather of a relaxing nature. But on this Sunday of June 18th 2017, Jeffrey Koepper had other plans and overpassed this tradition by imposing a quiet music for sure, but among which the numerous changes of forms in the structures of rhythms and the piles of layers in colors as sharpened as harrowing have merged into an impressive cosmic mosaic unique to his very stylized signature.

It's with a torrid sweetness that Whirl spreads the sound field of the next 58 minutes of this album. A piercing synth layer, (I have perfumes of bagpipe in my ears) throws its spot of tones which undulates and spreads out with a mute impulse in the movement, giving free rein to a bass line which stretches its pulsations and to a sequencer movement which aligns 7 or 8 jumping keys. These keys structure an ambient rhythm with agile harmonious capers which weave a first musical itch of this crepuscular electronic mass. If the rhythm disappears, it's not the same thing of this sinuous wave which penetrates into the spheres of Ions. This dense resounding wave is shining now with its outlines decorated with a parasitic texture and fleet until exhilarate another stream of sequences fidgeting as benches of smelts on the surface of a water cooked by a penetrating sun. Here, the marriage of the rhythm and of the ambiences is more in symbiosis than the splendid imperfection of the minimalist movement of Whirl which was clearly early ahead of the floating and migratory layers. Frenzied and lively, this perfect balance is like the brilliance of scarlet rocks beneath a water excited by swirling winds. Tides follows then with a multitude of reverberations which twirl as in an effect of kaleidoscope, weaving lines in circles as much indomitable as the strands of a cotton candy making its perfect ball.

But time is missing and this circular cloud gets undone little by little when Quasar loosens the secrets of Jeffrey Koepper's sequencer. Here the sequences swirl and dance lightly in a horizontal spiral with more bright shadows and echoes. That gives a surprising fight between the shade and the light, between unstable movements of the sequencer and of its mini crossroads of rhythm always in reconstruction under a growing storm of the synth and of its sound reflections which sound so much like being stolen to the universe of Software. It's from there moreover that the impressive Darkness makes its entrance. At the beginning, the movement is shy. The sequences skip in the steps of others with a gyrating effect. A sensation of velocity doesn't take time to be felt. Since Quasar, we are in the core of TRANSMITTER with some starving evolutionary rhythms which exchange their tones, here it's organic, with the same fluidity as the permutations between the gravitation phases of the rhythms. In this Quasar, the minimalist approach shows two contrasts in the ornamentation as rhythmic as harmonious of the sequencer with Robert Schroeder's cackling tones and with strands which little by little exchange the trifling skipping into a fine jerky movement. These stroboscopic jolts travel slowly over the differences in level of a soundscape sieved of dark lights, disquieting synth layers and other ones which will remind to some of you the delights and the solos perfumed of Tangerine Dream's fascinating melodies in the years pre-White Eagle. Little by little Quasar weakens its rhythmic charms to plunge this night concert towards a more meditative phase with Halo, which we find moreover on the MantraSequent album, and Clouds which adopts marvellously the slow curves of Halo but with more of mordant into the effects of loops and reverberations. The synth layers invade the atmospheres with a horde of tones which flirt a little with the effects of radioactivity and of white noises, and which have decorated pleasantly the soundscapes of TRANSMITTER since Whirl, pushing the awakening of the sequencer which traces the last stroboscopic stammering of one of Star End's most beautiful night concerts.

Sylvain Lupari (November 27th, 2017) ****¼*

Available at Projekt Records Bandcamp

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