JIANNIS: Nightsessions (1998)
Updated: Jul 14
“This is a strong EM opus built on deep and rich Mellotron scents that will please for sure to the fans of analog Berlin School à la TD style”
1 Apocalypsis II 28:25
2 Zoomland I 14:25
3 Zoomland II 23:52
(CD 66:51) (V.F.)
(Berlin School of the 70's)
If, like me, you have renewed with EM after a period of 10 years' drought, either be between 1990 and 2000 (here in North America it was the New Age era and Tangerine Dream's Miramar years with some imports from the Innovative Communication label, for the most part compilations), you have missed beautiful pearls of analog and vintage style of EM. Thus, I like doing these journeys through time, well guided by friends (this time it was with Lambert Ringlage) and discovering little pearls forgotten on the counter of time. This NIGHTSESSIONS from Jiannis is one of those!
Complex and extremely attractive, Apocalypsis II runs its 28 minutes in several evolving phases. Electronic noises, bubbles of water which sparkle and which form a series of floating sequences, whales which sharpen their harmonies in metallic squealings of which the roarings tear the coldness of a cosmos flooded by Alien's tones. The intro of Apocalypsis II offers a rich ambiosonic and ambiospheric texture where a swarm of heterogeneous noises gets lost in the sweetnesses of the fluty singings from a nostalgic Mellotron. A heavy line of bass sequence pierces this seraphic cloud. Vibrating and pulsating she brings with her hummings an avalanche of percussions which thunder and tumble, as well as another line of sequences, more crystal clear, of which the rotatory arabesques go up and down in the vapors of synths filled by Tangerine Dream's aromas. Well sat on this meshing of percussions and sequences, Apocalypsis II runs at very fast pace for the next eight minutes and even takes the airs of a big electronic rock with very good guitar solos. Then, it's the somber calm with noises of all kinds which scratch the dreamy sweetness of a nice Mellotron and of its flute of which the singings get lost in a sonic jungle which is reminiscent of Edgar Froese's Epsilon in Malaysian Pale. We are floating in a full electronic delirium with several phases of ambiences. It starts with an ethereal one, always pecked by a wild sonic fauna, and we go to darker moments soaked of chthonian choirs. And then to other quieter moments where the flutes let go nice harmonies which dance with a twinkling chain of sequences which reminds so much the magical Mirage from Klaus Schulze. On the other hand, the moods are bathing in a little more dark ambiences, even of paranoia, with whispers lost in weak knocks of anvils. And Apocalypsis II to go deeper into more seraphic chants of which the plaintive harmonies lie down on a delicate piano and its notes soaked of melancholy. This is a great track. Really!
Mellotron and analog synth sounds are the heart of this last known album of Jiannis. And a soft fluty song covers of pink a rather lugubrious intro flooded with flights of bat and their electronic chirpings, of strange and sinuous hollow reverberations and slow sighs which switch into chthonian breaths. I hear Peter Baumann's mellotron from Sorcerer enveloping this introduction of Zoomland I which is fed by sonic oddities sparkling in the airs of melodies which roll in loops in an ambience which becomes little by little as much heavy as intriguing. This chant of the Mellotron crosses these turbulences and coos on a line of sequences which forges a rhythm as innocent as the devilish ritornellos of Mark Shreeve or still John Carpenter. Glaucous pulsations flood this structure with wet riffs while that quietly the rhythm takes more homogeneity and rolls with cohesion in dark ambiences always dirtied of baroque tones and of luciferian choirs but which is also flavored by good musical solos and by very fluid fluty breezes. Zoomland II is more tenebrous, more ambiospherical with a lot of Mellotron pads which glide over a sea of analog electronic tones. We are close to the floating incantations of Klaus Schulze which float in a deep Mephistophelian static sonic broth. The model is based on the structures of Apocalypsis II and Zoomland I but with a more ambient rhythm where the sequences and percussions play cat and mouse in heavy floating Mellotron clouds, this dark object of hearing pleasure which encircles, embraces and harmonizes the complexities of an album as strange as attractive.
NIGHTSESSIONS is the kind of album that will undoubtedly please to the fans of retro analog Berlin School style à la sauce Tangerine Dream, Baumann's era, and of course Klaus Schulze In fact, the more I think of it, the more I listen to it; the more I have the impression to hear an unknown session album from Tangerine Dream in the Encore, Sorcerer and even Force Majeure years. This is very good, but complex and not easy to fall for it on the first listening, set apart the first track. The clouds of ambiences are very rich, but very rich in tones and in Mellotron lines.
Sylvain Lupari (April 8th, 2014) *****
Available at Spheric Music