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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Joerg Dankert Beyond (2021)

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

Beyond is an intense musical adventure whose only flaw is this lack of fade out

1 Intro 1:32

2 Still Unknown 5:48

3 Mission Start 2:09

4 Complicated Situation 5:53

5 Calm Down 3:47

6 Infinite Space 3:17

7 Intermediate Goal 6:22

8 Next Uncertainty 3:09

9 Easy Section 5:05

10 Unknown Expanse 4:48

11 Routine Trip 4:33

12 Exceeded Border 8:32

13 Ending 1:35

(DDL 56:34) (V.F.)

(Ambient, Berlin School)

Hesitant arpeggios in a buzzing wave are structuring this pleasant dreamy melody that opens the portal to BEYOND. Unfortunately for our ears, and our slightly disturbed senses, Intro ends abruptly. It is like if Joerg Dankert has forgotten the principle of a track that ends with a fade out! And one has to get used to this since the finales in BEYOND lack finish. I discussed this with the musician, and he corrected the situation slightly. I quite liked Restore Faith; an album released a few months before this one. This new one is more ambient. For the German musician, BEYOND is the soundtrack of a movie that was never shot. A film that we can create with our interpretations of a music that is quite intense in terms of emotions. The music, firmly rooted in dramatic orchestrations, hides a haunting tune that keeps coming back in another form, creating a visceral need to hear it again. And we will hear it later on. Still Unknown infiltrates our ears with a dramatic approach a la Walter Christian Rothe and his classic album Let the Night Last Forever. Very theatrical, the music floats from its multiple layers of synths that stick together with a cinematic intensity and seraphic orchestrations that titillate those soul's hairs. There's a Vangelis feel to this ambient track with a choir that matches the emotional range of the orchestrations. Mission Start features barely audible communications through a veil of static that covers a stationary pulsing rhythm, while the communications in Complicated Situation are clear with a sense of urgency happening somewhere. The track is very atmospheric with a ripple of woosshh and waasshh where we perceive chords trying to break through this very stable atmospheric density. Again, the cut is abrupt, and we feel that the ending will have melt to Calm Down's opening which is a slow track with a melancholic approach well felt by the melancholic harmonies of the synth solos. A visionless energetic beat pulses as it takes the shape of a processional structure in a lunar setting well enveloped by an orchestral haze that also ends abruptly.

The music sticks to the title of Infinite Space by creating a good feeling of interstellar emptiness. This is where the cut is the most uncomfortable. In a driving rhythm structure, Intermediate Goal wears out its 6+ minutes well by embracing a swaggering approach. There is this wonderful melody here and she is interspersed by the fall of dramatic chords and embellished with subtle spurts of a flute that weaves through this orchestral haze. A very good track that increases its intensity with good percussive additives as the seconds tick by. Tender and melancholic Next Uncertainty is a floating track with a vision similar to Infinite Space, but with a weeping synth. With a piercing melodic line, the trotting rhythm of Easy Section embraces a good Berlin School structure. The bass pulse nuances the emotions as the sequencer lines up its series of jumping keys with a rubber band hooked after each jump. The synth is beautiful here with a two-tones approach, creating a melodic vision weaver of earworm, as its opposite that is more melancholy. There is a seductive passage just before the 3 minute mark where an accordion throws in a very French nostalgic tune. Unknown Expanse lays down its compact and floating layers in a dramatic context that develops with more intensity. It's with another beginning of conversation that Routine Trip extends its layers which grow with a harmonic vision. The rhythm invites a swarm of pulses to throb in a pattern of rhythmic nervousness that welcomes the prude offerings of the synth. The conversation returns around the 3rd minute to accompany this Routine Trip up to its ending. Exceeded Border will propose a last rhythmic structure slow to unlock to finally explode in the dramatic layers of the synth around the 6th minute. It's a good cosmic electronic rock with a nice harmonic touch. Ending concludes this BEYOND like Intro had started it.

In an ambient, cosmic and orchestral wrapping, BEYOND is an intense musical adventure whose only flaw is this lack of fade or this absence of musical bridge which nevertheless links the tracks in a long musical mosaic as uniform as a concept album. It's not funny to write that but I do believe those who read this review must be warned. It happens it the vast universe of Bandcamp. So ask Joerg Dankert to send you the uncut version of BEYOND which lasts 55:12 (sic!). Too bad, it's a nice album that lacks finishing.

Sylvain Lupari (February 27th, 2022) *****

Available at Joerg Dankert Bandcamp

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