“The Dresden Performance is a good live album and a fair complement to Miditerranean Pads”
CD 1 (73:24) 1 Dresden 1 44:06 2 Dresden 3 10:28 3 Dresden 5 18:23 CD 2 (68:50) 1 Dresden 2 47:09 2 Dresden 4 22:01
Virgin CDVED 903
THE DRESEN PERFORMANCE is the result of a concert given in Dresden, Poland, on a chilly evening of August 90. Or more than 5 months after the release of Miditerranean Pads. It's good to point out since this double album in concert breathes full musicality the ambiences and rhythms of this album with also a few nods to albums such as Angst and Dreams. It's a double album divided between the parts of the concert (Dresden 1 and 2) and titles recorded in studio (Dresden 3, 4 and 5) which were planned for this long concert that the rain shortened after the first 2 long acts. It's also the first of 4 albums in concert to be released at the turn of the 90's where the German musician developed a passion as disproportionate as his talent for orchestral and opera samplings, as well as the use of the Musical Instrument Digital Interface, the MIDI technology. And if you liked Miditerranean Pads, THE DRESEN PERFORMANCE should easily seduce you, especially with the very long and very magnetizing Dresden 1 and Dresden 2.
Tsitt-tsitt cymbals, sneaky percussion and a funky bass line hopping in tender violin waves, and Dresden 1 lands between our ears with this tasty half funky / half groove approach that structured the sensual rhythms of the Mediterranean Pads album. Besides, all of this album is found in the 91 minutes of Dresden 1 and Dresden 2. The rhythm, sometimes tender and sometimes wild, is coated with this synth with captivating mellotron and violins layers which blend into humming choirs with latent submission. The cadence follows the lines of a slow crescendo. The orchestrations hide subtly the arrival of a thousand percussion blows which plow a philharmonic structure wandering between its staccatos and its morphic lunar grasps. By the way, Dresden 1, like 2, is a very long title which exploits a brilliant play of percussions samplings. A creative play that splits a structure without breaking it up, so much the synths are enveloping with their lascivious waltzes. We have here the great Klaus Schulze who has fun in his vast collection of samples on a heavy rhythm nuanced in its progression and its opaline phases. With its 47 minutes on the clock, Dresden 2 (the second portion of the concert) offers a fascinating interpretation of Decent Changes. There are lengths but it remains quite captivating.
First track in studio, Dresden 3 is tenderly soft with its angelic choirs which are frosted with xylophonic arpeggios à la Freeze on Angst. A soft nostalgic piano adds a dimension to this sweet piece that Schulze drowns in a universe of vocal samples wrapped in layers with waltzing waves. A superb melody with childish vocals emerges from the variegated intro to the oversized samples of Dresden 5. The rhythm comes alive lasciviously on a soft bass line and tabla percussion. They are drumming in the wadding of a violin with ethereal strings which fumes a cadence whose ambient rhythm follows a linear tangent with fine snags which get us out of our auditory torpor. Except for the melody portion, I found it as long as it was slow. Dresden 4 is totally apart with its THX intro and whose momentum is quickly cut off by a nice piano with minimalist spheroidal chords surrounded by vocalizations of morphic sirens. The music takes on a dramatic tangent with the bows of a formidable illusory string ensemble and with jerky strata that Schulze controls with his samples. The atmosphere becomes dark and claustrophobic. I feel catapulted into the dark ambiances of the Dreams album on a suspenseful structure with sometimes classic and sometimes clear chords, like the clarity of a xylophone in a universe of intense terror. I like this horror mood. A superb heavy title whose diversified samples create an incredible sound richness which would wonderfully support a horror or suspense film blacked out even more Machiavellian ideas, especially around the 11th minute. Completely delicious in the genre of fear and dread music.
Sometimes daring and difficult to support, while other times simply musical, THE DRESEN PERFORMANCE is a good addition to the Miditerranean Pads, especially with the too good Dresden 1. It's a good album in concert, although we don't even hear a fly snoring, which demonstrates the astonishing diversity of an artist who is able to run minutes on the same theme while adding a little something that undoubtedly clicks the interest of his fans.
Sylvain Lupari (February 19, 2008) ***½**