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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MAC of BIOnighT: Escape (2021)

Great Berlin School running through varied paths, Mac is still up and doing good EM

1 A Gradual Process 15:43

2 Queen of Sands 17:22

3 Sharpshooter 5:08

(DDL 38:14) (V.F.)

(Progressive Berlin School)

A piano is courting a trumpet tune with its notes sparingly thrown on the ground in the opening of A Gradual Process. From this overture comes a sadness, fed by sighs of nostalgia. If the trumpeter is good, imagine the synthesist! With his fingers, he runs through his keyboard, weaving beautiful solos. The trumpet goes silent, but not the keyboardist. He extends a good melancholic passage 15 seconds before the 3rd minute. His fingers, as frail as his emotions, are at the origin of this superb mellotron chant that brightens our memories in the background. Some 30 seconds later, the music and its ambiences go off the rails. Piano clashes and sound effects feed the next 45 seconds of A Gradual Process. Another sentimental story told by the piano and well supported by the mellotron invites us in a playful sphere where the perfumes of Ricochet assail more and more our ears. It will take nearly 6 minutes for the sequencer to wake up. It traces an ascending rhythm with jumping keys and their elasticized contours in a Berlin School of the vintage years. The mellotron and its sibylline laments, the synth and its philharmonic tunes! It all sounds like a lost and found Tangerine Dream's session in a studio somewhere in Italy. I introduced you to Mac of BIOnight's world with my review about his mega compilation selected by Aural Films Music label, and this title is part of it, Astronauts 10. Here we are in his studio, where he composes and creates his music in a form of excess versus his productivity. And yet, ESCAPE is still his only album to be released in 2021. It's an album carried away by the ardor of A Gradual Process which is an excellent Berlin School with its atmospheric traps planted here and there.

Queen of Sands begins with the embryo of a drone that fades into the thick layers of a tenebrous church organ. The sequencer carves its rhythm 90 seconds later. Ascending formula, like in a good hypnotic Berlin School, with musical undulations in a sustained structure. Moroccan tribal percussions and sitar chords get grafted onto the minimalist rhythm, while vocal riffs divert Queen of Sands towards a more theatrical Arabian environment. Gong strikes sow musical terror on this stubbornly form-keeping structure, while Arabic tunes and harmonies sow Middle Eastern musical poetry. However, the sequencer decides otherwise by expelling itself from the dance of tribal percussions, just after the 5-minute mark. Its race is crazy and structures a labyrinth dug of zigzags from where are sparkling spiritual tinklings and voices with laughter mockeries. Yes, there is a lot going on in Mac's universe as he restructures the vision of his sequencer into a pulsating electronic rock mode with Berlin School roots. An ostinato rhythm that meets rebellious Middle Eastern atmospheres, like mini storms and sand breezes. Queen of Sands entrusts its last 3 minutes to short inconsistent phases where some piano lines look for a justification in a disordered finale. We were 3 minutes away from having another excellent track! Well, we can console ourselves with this fiery synth-pop with a very electronic melody that is Sharpshooter. Short tracks as I like them and that show the depths of a very good musician-synthesist who likes to take us out of a comfort zone.

Music for people with an open mind! That's what you read first on Mac's Bandcamp page. I love it! Because it accurately depicts his universe. I am particularly happy to have found my friend Mac of BIOnight. In ESCAPE I find this musician full of dreams and ideas who has always accepted to evolve while remaining the same. Apart from a few minutes lost in the momentum that propels great artists, ESCAPE is a solid album well done and well produced by Mac. Another of his many hats!

Sylvain Lupari (May 24th, 2021) *****

Available at Mac of BIOnight Bandcamp

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