JOERG DANKERT: Restore Faith (2021)
“This might be the start of a good story between JD and fans waiting only for that”
1 Heaven lost and found 6:42
2 Fears are dimming light 4:30
3 Slowly out of darkness 7:18
4 Do not stand still 2:54
5 Again one step back 8:10
6 Butterfly - A song for my dream woman 3:52
7 Rain is clearing 9:27
8 Moving in right direction 5:22
9 Shadows of night 12:20
10 Next morning not there yet 5:36
(DDL 66:13) (V.F.)
(Ambient Melodious Berlin School)
It was while reading the synopsis that led to the making of this album that I felt attracted to RESTORE FAITH. I too have my angel! My sweet Lise who literally saved my life with her patience and unwavering faith in life. No matter what is going on around us, my beautiful Lise spreads happiness with her voice, her smile, her laugh and her patience. Joerg Dankert is part of the generation of musicians born through VST (Virtual Studio Technology). He has been a fan of Berlin School since the 70's, but only recently started to compose a computer-assisted EM. In the time scale of 6 months, he released 3 albums on Bandcamp; Home Base, First and RESTORE FAITH. And he offered me to listen to this last album so I could review it. I get a lot of these requests, mostly in the Dark Ambient genre, and one out of three times I find the artist and his music interesting and inspiring enough to write a review and tell you about it. RESTORE FAITH by Joerg Dankert is one of those interesting finds...
Heaven lost and found answers the call of church bells. The tone of this funereal procession is low, almost austere. An explosion, like the passage of a super sonic jet, redirects Dankert's vision some 90 seconds later. With a slow galloping movement of a cavalry, Heaven lost and found proposes a good Berlin School galloping a plain perfumed with an anesthetizing synth layer. A thin line of celestial voice hides in this layer which imposes a stop of the rhythm just after the point of 4 minutes. With a delicate timbre, the voice attracts a monasterial choir whose humming, more low than high, requires about 40 seconds of our attention before Heaven lost and found takes off again from its solitary gallop with a horde of voices attached to its rhythmic framework which melts little by little to completely disappear before the finale. Fears are dimming light goes for a processional opening with layers and their dull impulses made of an orchestral veil. The sequencer frees an underlying rhythmic line that beats feverishly underneath these serene orchestrations without managing to reorient the meditative and ambient genre of Fears are dimming light's rhythm. Like Heaven lost and found, Slowly out of darkness is a track built in 3 steps. Its opening proposes a synth solo which takes itself for a guitar on a distance of 150 seconds. Afterwards, an interesting rhythmic pattern puts down a convoluted structure where the Electronic and the up-beat merge to make us tap our feet before tempering in a phase identical to the intro and to reappear in a less convincing form. Do not stand still surprises with its Arc-like approach. A track with a lot of potential and a good synth solo that is just too short! Again one step back walks on these ashes with a long track of chthonian ambiences strongly tinted with the influences of Redshift and Stephen Parsick's ['ramp].
This brings us to Butterfly - A song for my dream woman which is a splendid sonata for piano and a weeping violin. Vangelis, get out of that body! While I regret that this last title is so short, Rain is clearing melts between our ears with this very Berlin School rhythm which supports the soft lamentations of a synth attentive to our need to dream with open eyes of romance and tenderness. It's a pity that this excellent title knows a tormented final. A dramatic final of which I feel no link with the first 7 minutes of this dreamy sweetness that Rain is clearing provides. Except that Joerg Dankert knows how to be forgiven by offering a beautiful composition, which is in the very Johannes Schmoelling style, with Moving in right direction. A nice electronic ballad with a light rhythm and a catchy melody. Shadows of night is a long evolving track that starts with synth solos describing twists and turns, initiating some 60 seconds later a dark procession guided by the slow staccatos of chthonian violins. This overwhelming rhythm drags its carcass to an oasis where Tangerine Dream-like sequenced loops are structuring a very good Berlin School moment of the 70's. This very good passage guides the ambiences of Shadows of night in a cinematographic vision shot during a night of Black Mass. Next morning not there yet ends RESTORE FAITH with the stormy layers of a mephistophelic organ that extends its grip of darkness beyond the 90 seconds before the track is reborn with rhythmic loops gamboling innocently in a melodious Berlin School.
My ears have been tested by an album full of promising ideas from Joerg Dankert. RESTORE FAITH hides some very nice finds and wonderful moments whose slight lack of finish irritates less from one listening to the other. This album, which finds its inspirations in the last planetary events, is the beginning of a beautiful story between the German musician and a public which waits only that, to discover new artists more than very interesting.
Sylvain Lupari (August 12th, 2021) ***½**
Available at Joerg Dankert Bandcamp