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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MATZUMI: Bravura Apasionada (2013)

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

Bravura Apasionada travels through ages by breathing eclectic influences and caressing the passionate rhythms of an e-rock remodelled by Nattefrost

1 Bravura Apasionada 4:59

2 Caravan of the Matador 4:56 

3 Hymn for Kat 7:49

4 Lagrimas del Alma 5:15

5 Latidos del Corazon 6:10

6 Little Bird Big Trip 7:15

7 Otra Vida 5:16

8 Perdoname 5:44

(DDL 47:28) (V.F.)

(Cinematic and orchestral EM)

To me, In Mutatio Tempora was a beautiful revelation in the universe of EM in2011. I was knocked down by these musical structures with the very filmic aromas which had set ablaze the stories and the legends of the Arabian nomads. BRAVURA APASIONADA is built around the same patterns. Intense and very melodious, in spite of its sound power, the last musical madness of Matzumi travels through ages by breathing some influences as much eclectic as those of Vangelis and Jean-Michel Jarre, by way of Fresh Aire and Enigma while caressing the passionate rhythms of an electronic rock which drinks of the structures of the New Berlin School remodelled by Nattefrost. Perplexed? Let's listen to hear!

The hoarse breaths and the singings of horns floating in sandy winds, of which every breeze lifts the relics of a melody scattered in the rumblings of drums, open the enchanting ambiences of the title-track which puts our ears in appetite. The influences of Vangelis, and his Pharaonic music, explode in our ears. Scattered lines of piano, Babylonian synth layers, voice of oracles, aggressive drummed percussions and big enchanting orchestrations fatten the heavy rhythm of Bravura Apasionada. Our ears have difficulty in seizing all the nuances of this intense electronic rock which follows a mesmerizing curved of a snake charmer dance. The voice of Matzumi is melted to those harmonies which bubble of their segmented airs and hangs onto to a powerful rhythm carried by an intense meshing of philharmonic strata and ploughed by an impressive pattern of percussions, while towards the end Bravura Apasionada adapts its rhythmic blooming to some fine and discreet solos which sound just like guitar ones. For a way in, one couldn't ask better. One of the big strengths of Kathrin Manz is to know how to well surround herself. Having worked with Bjorn Jeppesen and Frank Dorittke, she continues to explore the cinematographic corridors of her artistic visions with one of the mastering engineer of Wolf Entertainment label, Emilsam Velazquez. And this new team gave great results. It's through his arrangements, orchestrations and his fragmented melodies, fed by a very romantic piano, that the music breathes. Both artists began to work together with the composition of the title-track before understanding that Bravura Apasionada had several young airs which hung around its harmonies and arrangements. And it's out of theses moods that Caravan of the Matador comes to play and dance in our ears. This is a fascinating lullaby. It's a kind of demonic ballad, the piano of Velazquez flirts with the somber methodical chords of John Carpenter's Halloween, where the voice of Matzumi swirls in a slow staccato finely hatched by beautiful orchestrations. We are in a music film and this impression increases as BRAVURA APASIONADA unfolds its 8 acts. Hymn for Kat is lascivious. A great piece of ambient music where the rhythm settles down beneath a nest of manual percussions of which the light strikings draw an ethereal beat where prowl the fine circular melodies of an electric piano a bit jazzy and the spectral lamentations of Matzumi. The percussions fall and shape a heavier rhythm. And such as a slow mesmerizing rhythmic ride, the rhythm of Hymn for Kat skips in the confusion of its percussions, as clan as sensual, where sparkle the sound prisms finely stroboscopic of an electric piano which is also melodious as the ethereal voice of Kathrin Manz can be suggestive. Heavy, slow and very attractive! Lagrimas del Alma is a superb morphic ballad which takes a little bit the shape of Caravan of the Matador but with a clearly more poetic and dramatic film approach. The piano, the mourner flute, the voice and the orchestrations become the wonderful tools smith of melancholy.

Latidos del Corazon is a fascinating track which embraces the Gothic atmospheres of two parallel universes. The somber intro is stuffed by organic gurglings and takes an episcopal form with the funeral laments of the big bells when some pulsations come to chase away the pastoral elements to awaken the tears of a violin which cries in the voices of a ghost choir. The harmonies of the violin awaken in us soft memories of medieval epic movies when aggressive percussions drum a furious dance where the electronic approach is confronted with the opposite lines of violins; one which cuts the rhythm of curt riffs and the other which puts them to sleep it in a beautiful structure of lullaby. Puzzling but effective! The arpeggios which spin in Little Bird Big Trip remind me of Jean Michel Jarre's Arpeggiator in Concerts in China. They will dance throughout this dishevelled structure where the electronic ambiences flirt with Babylonian film approaches on percussions of fire. It's doubtless the most electronic track here. Otra Vida is an incursion in a poetic medieval universe where the tribal influences of Enigma are skillfully transposed on a structure of circular and delicately stroboscopic rhythm. The voice of Matzumi is wonderful. It floats of her ethereal singings in the flying sparks of percussions and Frabk Steffen Mueller's tribal prose on acoustic guitar of which adds an unsuspected depth to a music which overflows imagination. Perdoname concludes BRAVURA APASIONADA with a lively clannish rhythm. An enthralling circular rhythm where the manual percussions thunder under harmonic loops and where the bewitching voice of Matzumi puts to sleep indomitable orchestrations which are the cradle of a fascinating journey between two very bordering universes.

Sylvain Lupari (November 21st, 2013) *****

Available at Matzumi Music

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