MAGNETRON: Impulse Response (2016)
Updated: Oct 14, 2019
“A great Berlin School album, Impulse Response is also the most accessible one of the Magnetron catalogue”
1 Dirac Delta 18:46 2 Tessellation 22:42 3 Intermodulation 14:09 4 Convergence 17:05 Magnetron Music
(DDL 72:46) (V.F.) (Vintage Berlin School)
A distant wave of sounds (the stories in EM begin generally like that) spreads a kind of sigh which snivels in a rather cosmic universe. Chords resound on the horizon while hummings tint the musicality of these arpeggios of a veil as so melancholic as these musical sobs which decorate the ambiospherical introduction of Dirac Delta of a cosmic-orchestral approach. A line of bass sequences makes its keys skip and fall down one after the other in a pattern of ambient rhythm where our fingers hammer delicately the pace. The atmospheres stay of silk, covering this onset of rhythm of a meditative shroud. Other keys make sequenced capers while the atmospheres generate multilayers of synth with scents as much of mist than cosmic dusts. Little by little Dirac Delta organizes its embellishment of rhythm with other elements which make their appearances around the 9th minute while the synth which embroidered these tearful harmonies of the introduction make them sing now. And like these stories of EM conceived on the model of improvisation, the music switches off it beats and vibes for a morphic and ambient finale. Composed, performed and recorded under the sign of improvisation on May 30th, 2016, IMPULSE RESPONSE has nevertheless no appearances of it. This 6th album of Magnetron goes straight to beats than in Photonic Waves by proposing also 4 other long structures sat this time on elements of rhythm knotted well around the sequence-based style model of Berlin School which progress in these ambiences tinted of elements as well psychotronic than cosmic and/or orchestral. As for me, it's the most beautiful album, to say the least the most accessible, of Magnetron.
Evolutionary and magnetic, Tessellation begins with a strong storm of woosh which conceal threatening hummings. The envelope of sounds is adequate with effects which enchant the hearing and command that we increase the volume of our amplifier. On this matter, the listening of IMPULSE RESPONSE is as much pleasant with a Hi-Fi system than with good earphones. A synth spreads a veil of gloom with beautiful aphasic songs, whereas another one generates more musicality with beautiful layers of cosmic violin which adopt these amorphous cosmic dances of Software and whereas another one continuous to crumble some quirky electronic tones. Pulsations threaten these atmospheres with steps of wolf at around the 7th minute. Layers of voices try to charm this approach of rhythm which accelerates quietly the speed of its repetitive loops. The series of sequences is charmingly imperfect and draws a rhythm pierced of small breaches which sound as in a mixture of Poland and Tangram. And if the rhythm seduces by its approach of hypnotic awkward kicks, the synths are not outdone by sweet floating harmonies which resist to this desire to listen to Logos. This structure imposes more and more its hold of our senses with the arrival of electronic percussions which anchors the rhythmic solidity of Tessellation in its broth of effects and harmonious layers of its ambiences. Speaking of Tangerine Dream, the structure of the sequences of Intermodulation moves us unmistakably closer to that of the mythical German trio. The keys hiccup of spasmodic jolts which go and come between the membranes of layers perfumed of metallic drizzle and rippling mists. Crystal-clear arpeggios draw lines of evasive harmonies while the percussions add more velocity to this very TD rhythm which covers itself of synth layers in contrasted tints and tones, among which those of the delicious scents of Create. Rhythm on ambiences of pure Berlin School, Intermodulation is indisputably one of the most accessible titles of the Magnetron catalog. And with its synth layers which float such as the tears of spectres over a battlefield, Convergence makes competition to Intermodulation. If the rhythm is bubbling as much as an army of keys which skip on the spot, the fluty perfumes of synths is the first object of seduction on this title which ends IMPULSE RESPONSE beautifully. The cosmic-orchestral layers are just as much mesmerizing there, we can even hear layers of old organ, while the other keys which bring more transparency to the ambient rhythm give more latitude to the synths which spread some soft elegiac solos, a little as astral trumpets over a pound of swarming elements of a static rhythm.
I really enjoyed this Magnetron album. IMPULSE RESPONSE bring us back at that time of the revival of the Berlin School made in England with long minimalist structures charmed by subtle imperfections in loops, fascinating even more the discovery of these minimalist approaches which always give the necessary space to decorated well each of the music minutes. The essences of Create and Xan Alexander merge with a very beautiful complicity in this album which aims to be certainly the most accessible of the Magnetron catalog. A must for the fans of Berlin School and one of the beautiful albums of this kind to be release in 2016.
Sylvain Lupari (June 29th, 2016) *****
Available on Magnetron's Bandcamp