JESPER SORENSEN: Outer Limits (2018)
“Like Dark Star, Outer Limits is a well made album with just with it needs to please those who enjoy an easy going EM with good harmonious lines on soft beats”
1 Gamma Leonis 6:23 2 A New World 5:22 3 The Halo 11:00 4 Beta Tauri 7:35 5 Althena 7:28 6 The Long Run 8:46 7 Transmission 5:46 8 Outer Limits 6:37 9 Sector 20 7:21 10 Exosphere 9:34 Jesper Sorensen Music
(DDL 76:13) (V.F.) (Melodious and catchy EM)
I had liked quite well my discovery of Jesper Sorensen's universe with his last album Dark Star. Released just one day before, it's completely justified to say that OUTER LIMITS has traced the sonic furrows of Dark Star. More in the Berliner genre, we find very IC essences here, than this last album, OUTER LIMITS proposes 10 titles gathered around 76 minutes of an EM carefully structured on the jumping up style, a kind of cosmic Hip-hop, which has given this second run-up to the Berlin School at the turning of the 80's.
Gamma Leonis begins with an astral dance of arpeggios and sequences which tinkle in the nuances of a layer of absent voices. Some 45 seconds farther, hammering of bass drums awaken these ambiences and divert them towards an electronic rock to which we bind a soupçon of Techno because of the robotic percussions. But the rhythm stays rather in a rock cocoon with an ascending and spheroidal structure attached by a meshing of sequences lines and of which some jolts flirt with a stroboscopic vision. The melodious approach is shared between a creative keyboard, synth harmonies and layers of ethereal voices which sculpt an approach of New Age melody. We like that? Althena espouses a bit the same model. The rhythm flaccid and hopping. Effects of cosmic games awaken our attention and the harmonies fertilize moments of New Age's ecstasy. A New World proposes a heavy and slow rhythm with sober percussions and sequences which cackle under the caresses of really good synth tunes. These harmonies, which sometimes stretch under the form of solos, offer two very different tints and are at the heart of this simple but really effective title for a dance on sleeping drugs. This style of sober rock very motorik is popular in this album. It serves very well the purposes of a synth in mode charming and harmonious. After an interesting ambiospherical introduction, The Halo structures an uncertain rhythm. A hesitating rhythm with very fat chords which seem to open a cadence of cosmic Cha-Cha. The harmonious elements abound around these 11 minutes with effects of guitars with charms of old westerns which roam in a sibylline mist. The rhythmic décor is not outdone by the fall of percussions, just before the 5 minutes, which make heavy the always ambivalent rhythm and nevertheless well decorated with sequences which let escape some fine stroboscopic strands. To this time, we swim in an album easy to tame.
And these big juicy chords open the borders of Beta Tauri which shudders on nervous percussions and on a bed of sequences which skip on the spot. Always active, the synth throws harmonious solos whereas the sequences bubble at some spots. The music, and especially the rhythm, suggests me to listen to Double Fantasy and the album Universal Ave., released on IC in 1987. No matter the structures, Jesper Sorensen waters them abundantly by good synth solos that he maintains in a high level of creativity and of complicity throughout OUTER LIMITS. The Long Run is the liveliest title of this album. The percussions and the sequences unite their strengths in order to create a structure a bit syncopated which merges very well with the energetic electronic rock approach of The Long Run. Except for the effects of voices, of which one of an Elvish nymphet, and electronic effects preppy, the synth draws good evasive solos and harmonious passages which are noteworthy. Transmission is a little bit in the same style than A New World. The harmonious movement is more spheroidal with an effect as so mysterious than hypnotic in its strange intergalactic dialogue. The title-track also favors a heavy and slow structure with muffled pulsations and percussions adorned of nice percussive effects. The rhythm here is more present than the harmonious approach which is more discreet. Sector 20 is more in the synth-pop style of the New Wave years with flickering sequences as well as heavy and very sparkling percussions. An effect of vocoder gives a very 80's style which corresponds moreover quite well with the orientations of the music. A beautiful lunar melody was only missing in order to achieve the harmonious course of this 9th album from the English musician. And it thus goes to Exosphere. This track ends OUTER LIMITS with a good electronic ballad where the arpeggios evolve in a minimalist pattern, so giving the chance to the synth to establish a last nice connection with our neurons. It's very nice and well written. And it's just like this Jesper Sorensen album who is satisfied to enrich our neurons with a well done EM and without too much flamboyance but skillfully well served. Sylvain Lupari (February 14th, 2018) ***½**