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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MATTHEW STRINGER: The Second Sun (2015)

Matthew Stringer proposes here a solid opus painted in this secret correlation which exists between him and Johannes Schmoelling

1 Riposte 7:55

2 Dreique 11:22

3 Fortress 8:26

4 Glimpse 6:46

5 Conduit 8:45

6 Window 5:56

7 Air 18:38

8 Retrospect (Bonus) 7:51

Perge Music

(CD-r/DDL 75:38) (V.F.)

(E-Rock and New Berlin School)

The least we can say is that Matthew Stringer is to Perge what Johannes Schmoelling was to Tangerine Dream. And the correlation doesn't stop there! Real musical window on a work undertaken in 2009 with Your World is but One from the Dream Conspiracy era, THE SECOND SUN is a wonderful album where EM gets rid of its etiquette in order to charm us with melodious perfumes of melancholy. An album where synths are sculpting some very harmonious solos, where the sequences weave rhythms always drawn from the influences of the Dream and where the piano of Matthew flirts with that of Schmoelling with a fascinating complicity to create two parallel universes which always eventually join.

A slender synth wave, perfumed by the dark radiances of drones, floats over the introduction of Riposte. Voices, murmurs and lappings decorate the ambiences of this sonic fresco where Matthew Stringer leads us back to the Meadow of his YWIBO. Moreover, all the story turns around this first musical essay from the half od Perge. If the dialogues, scattered here and there all over the album, help our way in, the author takes good care to underline, and rightly, that this journey corresponds as well to an introspective odyssey. Already, we feel from the first seconds of Riposte a level of intensity which will occupy the ambiences of this fascinating album where the author will turn upside down our emotions. The synth lines float such as murmurs and caresses from the darkness, by moment one would swear to hear some Rick Wright (Pink Floyd) so much it's intense, guiding us towards a smooth down-tempo. The slow rhythm is built on good sober percussions and fed by fine crystalline arpeggios of which the ringings forge a melody almost abstracted so much it is fragile. The murmurs are always so present. They set up this delicious mixture of seduction and paranoia which imbricates the 7 chapters here while feeding its depth. These voices, we can even say dialogues, resound through a microphone at opening of Dreique which little by little spreads a rivulet of arpeggios and sequences tinted with prism. These carillons flow like a quiet water in the breaths of a seductive synth filled with hyper melodious, and sometimes strident, twists. A brook which little by little pours in a torrent, giving to the second part of Dreique a more lively rhythm decorated with a beautiful harmonious approach drawn in the shade of a keyboard of which the chords evaporate in the solos of a synth always very harmonious. Fortress is much darker. The black breaths of its intro melt themselves in a superb structure of rhythm that will remind to some of us the essences, the spirit of Tangram or still Firestarter. Unexpected and especially very good! Glimpse is as much lugubrious and intense. It makes me think of the tenebrous, but same rather melodious, ambiences of Walter Christian Rothe in his Let the Night Last Forever. The rhythm flows with beautiful sequences which skip and alternate the shadows of the pace of others before exploding with more swiftness. The arrangements are very good, and we can even hear some guitar notes to roam while the rhythm scatters its sequences in a long ambiospherical final.

Conduit moves on with the same moods, but even deeper and more intense. The winds are roaring like these apocalyptic sirens that we heard in Silent Hill. The jingles and the panting feed a heavy climate of terror. A climate which becomes gradually blurred while, as so improbable as unhoped-for, a soft ballad extricates itself from these jingles. A beautiful ambient ballad, almost spectral, where the jingle of the time dances with the delicate arpeggios of the serenity. Window is a nice little track. A very romantic and melancholic piece of music with a good piano which sticks its melody at the bottom of our soul. Whistlings of synth and tears of voices tune their shadows with the intensity of the feelings sculptured by the piano, giving a spectral approach to a track that will remind to some of you the play of Schmoelling in his solo works. Air presents a very beautiful dark and melancholic intro where an intensely nostalgic piano spreads its sorrow on the roadways of a life washed by a rain which always tries to put to sleep the noises of a city very close by. Reference point obliges to define better the great versatility of Stringer: