• Sylvain Lupari

MERGENER Et Amici: Mare Nostrum (2020)

Updated: Feb 26

A combination of different styles and visions which harmonize in a very beautiful album of a symphonic EM

I Insula Arcana 9:39

II Voces in Caeruleis 4:32

III Undae 5:11

IV Res Mersae 6:47

V Aquarium Chant 0:37

VI Luceat Aquarum 6:06

VII Medusa 3:35

VIII Siren 6:03

IX Stilla et Mare 5:04

X Amoenitas Aquae 6:44

XI Torre Girona 3:45

Prudence - 398.6878.2

(CD 58:04) (V.F.)

(Symphonic EM)

Just because it's not Berlin School doesn't mean it can't be beautiful! And just because it's beautiful, like a beautiful progressive New Age with a little Berlin School twist, doesn't mean that we can't talk about it! MARE NOSTRUM is the last fresco that follows the episodes of Nox Mystica, 2003, and Vitam Aut Mortem in 2008; 3 albums related to the activities of the Trier Roman festival; Bread and Games. This Roman festival is an annual event held in the city of Trier in the height of summer. On the menu, gladiatorial combats and presentation of the military and civil life of the Romans. There is also the fabulous Mystic Nights which is held in the catacombs of Kaiserthermen. Peter Mergener and his guests this year; Alquimia, Rüdiger Gleisberg, Michael Wald and Anton Zinkl have all collaborated on an album with the theme of the sea; MARE NOSTRUM. Obviously, this album is quite far from the Berlin School style, even if it is Peter Mergener who is in charge. His Berliner style enlivens good moments there, as does his cosmic vision and pearls of sounds that he likes to sparkle beyond the 58 minutes also shared with 4 other musician-composers. Thus, giving this combination of different styles and visions which harmonize in a very beautiful album of a symphonic EM.

It's with atmospheric disturbances that Insula Arcana offers itself to our ears. Arrogant mockeries of seagulls, big dramatic thunders and light hums of celestial voices form its musical panorama from which the songs of an oboe rise and strike fluty percussive elements. Composed by Peter Mergener, this first long title exploits a cinematographic character which meets the cosmic universe of Mergener with glass arpeggios delicately deposited on chloroformed synth layers a little after the 4th minute. At this stage, Insula Arcana becomes a more musical concept with chords of a false harp drifting with arpeggios between the synth pads and this oboe song carrier of chills. Composed by Rüdiger Gleisberg, Voces in Caeruleis is an ambient passage woven on seraphic voices and on a synth pad whose varied tones bring a level of emotion that is lost in the resonances of the gongs and a final as taciturn as the opening. Written by Michael Wald, Undae's music also presents a good 3 minutes of ambient tribal elements before unlocking in a good surge of IDM with Alquimia singing in her invented language. Timid in Insula Arcana, Peter Mergener follows with the oceanic atmospheres of Res Mersae. Its first 3 minutes are imagined in textures of aquatic ambiences with a line of synth sculpting an enchanting mermaid voice. I find the water boiling a little too hard as the voice ponders its next message. And this last one brings us to the first years of Software with these sequenced chimes hopping randomly and yet in a well-balanced mathematical order. The last phase is very electronic and brings us on the wings of PM's first solo albums. An excellent title, except for the sometimes too strong water broths. But for the rest ... Yum!

Aquarium Chant is a short Latin song from the goddess Alquimia who followed Peter in the making of these 3 albums. A quite fabulous Mergener in Luceat Aquarum. Pearl nuggets skip in the opening. Without rhythm, this introduction is in preparation mode for a latent and gradual rhythm whose impulses cause these pearls to sparkle in a lunar setting and under a very Software rhythm. It gave me some chills of nostalgia. By far the most beautiful track in MARE NOSTRUM, this with Amoenitas Aquae. Medusa follows with a more visual music from Peter Mergener. For his last composition in this album, he opted for an ambient title which is still within the reach of this Mergener/Weisser signature of the early 80's. The adventure takes on another level with Siren by Anton Zinkl. Its introduction splashes our ears which forgive quite easily when an electronic rhythm with stroboscopic pulses animates the ambiences. A violin cries on this opening to an electronic world music well animated by a good bed of percussions and well fed by a sound fauna which does much more than decorate Siren's course. Alquimia's magical voice comes around twice, rooting this perception of enigmatic tribal music. Anton Zinkl's vision is progressive and very theatrical in a music of an incomparable richness so far in the album. Stilla et Mare is the second and last contribution of Michael Wald which scatter particles of sounds at the opening on synth layers which are sometimes ethereal but often sibylline. The flow follows an Arabian dream before offering a light rhythm animated by a piano and sectioned by a violin in a musical finale for documentaries on the habits and customs of the old peoples of the sands. Rüdiger Gleisberg proposes to make lie the bad tongues that say that I don't like ambient music in the very nice and quiet Amoenitas Aquae. The piano passages flirting with a majestic oboe and jerky harp chords and finally the violin in a finale are so great. A great track woven into emotion and passion! The task of concluding MARE NOSTRUM falls to Anton Zinkl. And he does it in a philharmonic vision which doesn't abandon the melody, nor the sound effects, kind of beats, which ends an album made to see music above all.

Sylvain Lupari (February 25th, 2021) ***¾**

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Available at BCS Music

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