M!D!-B!TCH: Natal (2022)
Updated: Jan 22
“A very good album that makes an equitable sharing between its zones of stationary beats and its Berliner's ones”
1 Yama (Enthaltung) 9:18
2 Niyama (Einschraenkung) 4:39
3 Natus (Patus) 13:16
4 Asana (Hinsetzung) 7:38
5 Pranayama (Atem) 6:26
6 Pratyahara (Zurueckziehung) 4:21
7 Dharana (Gedankenbeherrschung) 6:06
8 Dhyana (Aufmerksamkeit) 6:13
9 Samdahi (Verloeschung) 5:27
10 Kriyas (Reinigung) 5:36
(DDL 69:03) (V.F.)
(New Berlin School, Cosmic Rock)
Very prolific artist with a series of albums in 2021, MiDi BiTCH returns to propose a 2nd album on the Cyclical Dreams label. Those who follow more closely his activities should expect with NATAL to hear a music still influenced by the industrial aspect of his, but closer to the New Berlin School with a clear influence of Vangelis on the synth layers. And for Fredy Engel, the NATAL adventure is above all a journey through landscapes with colored synth pads from the twilight zone of Ying and Yang. Hence these tracks that also flirt a lot with yoga techniques. Maybe! But the auditory reality is quite different with an album of electronic music (EM) which makes an equitable sharing between its zones of stationary rhythms and some very good New Berlin School. In short, a very good album that joins the qualities of Transkosmos, the first album of the German artist on the Argentine label.
It's in an ambience of a jungle sleeping under the caresses of oceanic waves that Yama gives the kick-off to this new album from MiDi BiTCH. The synth layers fly with reflecting undulations in a cinematic setting where the intensity increases with the level of muffled pulsations that have to compete with a cloud of sound and percussive effects that lurk in suspension. The tone of the layers is close to Vangelis in Blade Runner. And this is all over in NATAL of which its first title always remains in suspension, even if fattened of multiple electronic charms. Little by little, the nervousness takes a hold of the title's structure of which the rhythm gets more passionate than danceable, leaving ears and feet on their appetite. The same phenomenon applies to Niyama. Intense and attractive, the track plunges us into a futuristic environment with percussive elements that beat a rhythm without pace. This illusory rhythm is built around these rubbery percussions whose echo is trapped in a cinematic-dramatic soundtrack that continuously rotates on its immobile axis. Pranayama is a bit of the same genre while presenting a very nice palette of percussive elements. When I see a track that is over 13 minutes long, I start dreaming of a good evolving Berlin School. This is exactly what Natus offers us! Its introduction is presented with a movement of the sequencer that releases its jumping balls whose spheroidal layout gets lost in a celestial mist. Subtle in its independent movement, the structure offers a first nuance before the arrival of this bass line which will be the main leader. Stars start to tinkle, while a voice layer and a steel blue synth pad inject some lyricism into the start of Natus. This opening momentum reaches its transitional phase around the 4 minute mark where the bass breathes alone in an interstellar mass. Our senses float for a good 60 seconds. And it's when the hungry bass spits out its fiery pulses that the rhythm turns into a spacecraft and its intergalactic flight that moves at a good speed while going around this coming of asteroids. The swerves manoeuvres are set to music by synth layers undulating at the mercy of such a cosmic storm. A very big track in the New Berlin School genre!
Dharana is another New Berlin School jewel with a simply delicious momentum and a structure supported by robotic percussions in a cosmic universe similar to Michael Garrison. The synth is hyper poetic with solos that can be whistled and make us dream. Excellent! Just like Samdahi which appears like a very nice cosmic ballad set with a superb balance between its rhythm and the keyboard melody which is coated of good layers of orchestral mist. A track for sentimental! Asana returns to a beatless rhythm structure. Its landscape is designed of celestial voices and intergalactic effects with an undulating synth layer supported by a vampiric bass sheet. It's a crawling but driving rhythm with a pretty effective tonal palette. Speaking of space shuttles, the one that guides Pratyahara's stationary rhythm offers some nuances, but its flight is mostly suspended with a sequenced pulsing bass which flickers between synth layers of which the ethereal harmonies are tinged with that steel blue forming tubular walls. Torn between its ambient vision and its spontaneous rhythmic phases, Dhyana would sound better tonally with less glitch effects in the capping of its rhythmic explosions. I don't like the effect at all! Kriyas ends this other very nice album to be released by the Argentine label with a pendulum movement of the sequencer and its sequences that reach the height with intensity and all its opposite, very melancholic, when the pendulum swings all the way down. The bass line devours our emotions and structures marvellously this feeling of being plunged in a science-fiction atmosphere having its small devious side.
NATAL is a very good album from MiDi BiTCH who knows how to bring an industrial vision to his EM without taking away his poetic cosmic vision. There are some very strong moments in this album which makes Cyclical Dreams start the year 2020 on the right foot.
Sylvain Lupari (January 20th, 2022) *****
Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp