MAC of BIOnighT: Phasing (2022)
Updated: Jul 18
“Very good and not expensive, the fan of the genre has his money's worth!”
1 Apologies for the Unconvinced 22:10
2 Phasing 17:28
(DDL 39:38) (V.F.)
If you are looking for the typical Berlin School style of the 70's, you are in the right place on Mac of BIOnight's Bandcamp page. The very versatile Italian musician-synthesist offers a wide range of electronic music (EM) styles. From Synth-Pop to ambient music without forgetting the Berlin School, a style that has placed him well on the contemporary EM scene. PHASING is not different from his other albums listed under the Classic EM style. This 57th release features 2 long tracks where Tangerine Dream influences melt into Neuronium's in a short album that flows without snags between the ears.
Chords muffled of a bass tone gallop under a haze that amplifies its metallic aura. From then on, the electronic rhythm of Apologies for the Unconvinced unravels in spasmodic phases that execute rushes like gambols in a lively structure which is not without recalling the vintage rhythms of the Dream... in a more contemporary sound envelope. The rhythm is sustained with moments faster than others where it adjusts its velocity according to the directions taken by the synth and the keyboards. And no matter what these are, it will remain present throughout the entire 22-minute track. The synth accompanies these phases with a dramatic presence around the second minute, slowing down the rhythmic approach, which turns into a melodic vision a few seconds later. Its keys dance with the sequences, creating a perfect symbiosis between rhythm and melody. Playing on these nuances, Mac propels the first moments of the track between its dramatic vision and a more melancholic one at the level of the melody. At the same time, the synth frees electronic chirps in the style of Klaus Schulze that blend well with a rhythmic structure that embraces an organic tangent at times. The Italian synthesist also multiplies solos which remain short and melancholic in phases where the EM flirts with its psychedelic side of the 70's. Apologies for the Unconvinced thus becomes a long journey segmented by minimalist phases that evolve between deliciously chthonian vibes, as around the 10th minute when the synth throws solos tinted with darkness and others more acrobatic, blowing hot and cold on these Berlin School textures that were heading towards a period dominated by more digital instruments. This phase deploys good solos and mellotron airs that screw our emotions to our spine. The dramatic arrangements that fall after the 14th minute add a dark touch to a phase where nevertheless the arpeggios radiate with a rhythmic and harmonic life. It is at these levels that the velocity of the rhythm adapts to a more cinematic vision of the music. Especially in the second part of Apologies for the Unconvinced where the fluty harmonies and arrangements give a lyrical touch to the music. Afterwards, Mac floods our ears with a deluge of keyboard chords that dance and twirl under sometimes convoluted solos. In short, it is a big 22 minutes of pure auditory pleasure for those who like a progressive Berlin School which mixes marvellously the tonalities of former days and those more current.
The title-track of this PHASING begins with rather solemn synth layers, theatrical in the style of Walter Christian Rothe in Let The Night Last Forever. Apart from these synth pads that fall dramatically like riffs extending their sounds, the opening also exploits an organic side with coarse yowling and raindrops echoing in a cave. Organ layers define an atmosphere that also becomes more mysterious. This opening stretches its unusual landscape over a distance of more than 4 minutes when the sequencer activates a spasmodic rhythm structure with sequences forged in the psychotronic universe of Neuronium. Moreover, the ambiences that have become more and more vaporous, also blow the vestiges of Michel Huygen's band. The sound mass that holds tight the mysteries of Phasing stifles its rhythm with banks of crystalline mist that undulate while trying to slow down the race of the sequencer that roars all the same its rhythm through strong breezes over a good 6 minutes distance. The second half lifts with a rhythm structure as heavy and resonant as Redshift at its best. Mac joins the chords of his keyboard in a diabolical dance with the sequencer under a sky that is filled with absent voices and furious synth solos that sound like a guitar. It's like being in the Encore era with a Tangerine Dream metamorphosed into a werewolf. It's an intense finale that the Italian musician likes to profile since a few albums. Since he also added other styles of EM to his repertoire.
Without length and with a lot of intensity, PHASING doesn't revolutionize the genre, although the finale of the title-track is quite peculiar, and offers a very good 40 minutes of EM that flows with ease. Mac of BIOnight ages very well and adapts his music to today's technologies without denying the origins of its influences, the Berlin School of Tangerine Dream. Very good and not expensive, the fan of the genre has his money's worth!
Sylvain Lupari (July 16th, 2022) ****½*
Available at Mac of BIOnight Bandcamp