Micado One Week in Heaven (2022)
Updated: Nov 3, 2022
“A stroke of genius that is devoured from the first to the last second”
1 Departure to Heaven 6:52
2 Day 01: Amazing First Day 7:17
3 Day 02: Piano in the Rain 7:42
4 Day 03: Heavenly Sequences (featuring Small Chief) 7:57
5 Day 04: Drink with Bach 4:57
6 Day 05: Asian Clouds 6:56
7 Day 06: Celestial Dream (featuring Owann) 6:49
8 Day 07: Voice Festival (featuring hyperkube) 7:20
9 Coming Home (featuring Sensory++) 9:06
(DDL 64:58) (V.F.)
(EM, Cinema Music, Berlin School)
A buzzing wave hits our ears as soon as our network player begins to explore Departure to Heaven. The percussions get in as early as the 20th second and structure a rhythm with a tribal essence, even a hypnotic trance approach that reminds me of Mike Oldfield's rhythmic episodes in The Songs of Distant Earth. Our submissive senses are immediately alerted when dry wood-tone percussion bounces off the wall of sound with a rubbery resonance. Structured between these two rhythmic elements, the track features a musical synth wave. The music changes around the 2nd minute. The wooden percussions resound of its scattered strikes in a short ambient passage where the tumult gets organized more around the winds and squalls of the synths than the strange effects slowly sliding towards the murmurs of the cymbals. The intensity appears at the same time as these shamanic rattles structure a passive rhythm and that the voice of a divine Castafiore awakens this latent rhythm that a piano decorates with some dreamy notes. Departure to Heaven kicks off one of the most beautiful albums I've heard in a long time. Beautiful because it is melodic, intense, dramatic and full of detours and surprises that constantly throw us off our feet. ONE WEEK IN HEAVEN is a whimsical story by Micado who wants to depict, in music and videos, an imaginary journey to Paradise. One week in Heaven. To do this, Frans Lemaire takes the big means to give a musical depth to his project. He invites Nico de Kok (Small Chief), Owann who helps too with some videos, Hyperkube (Tom Coppens) and Sensory++' Joost Egelie from to participate in this grandiose musical adventure. Available only as a download, the album offers 9 tracks filled with solid percussions, good sequences, spontaneous rhythms fractured by pastoral ambiences, lyrical and angelic voices, good orchestrations sometimes intense or melodious in a superb production that will make you travel according to its visions. This fantastic story of Micado is also presented with 9 videos that are available on the YouTube channel of Frans Lemaire – MICADO.
Even if its opening is sewn with musical fineries, Day 01: Amazing First Day sticks a lot to the structure of Departure to Heaven. Following this fine line of scintillating arpeggios that twirl in place, explosions of muffled percussion resonate while camouflaging the emergence of this seraphic voice that manages to seduce us. The track then offers more than 2 atmospheric minutes aroused by buzzing synth layers and other synth effects that still resist the assault of spontaneous percussions' explosions. Sailing in this indecision, where each sonic element is finely cut and detailed, the track takes a dramatic tangent after the 5th minute where a divine melodic approach survives the march of the drums. Set on a shimmering line of arpeggios and piano, this melody makes a synth that thinks it's a guitar weep under the tumult of titanic symphonic percussions. This is the first dose of chills that is born in a violent philharmonic finale. Sitting on an ascending bass line, Day 02: Piano in the Rain offers exactly the colors of its title. The piano is divine on a slow magnetizing rhythm and amazing percussive effects born from the rain ricocheting on the pavement and where thunders breathe. The synth transforms its slightly fluty melody into orchestral layers and its canvas of ambient murmurs into lost voices. A very beautiful title! From this paradisiacal tranquility, we go to an anguishing rhythm with the sequenced structure of Day 03: Heavenly Sequences, a track performed with Small Chief. The sequencer sharply alternates its jumping keys in a repetitive and frenetic motion while the arrangements increase a dramatic cinematic tension. The synth multiplies its brassy pads while building a barrage of sound effects that flirt with psybient. The dramatic vision increases with the use of organ layers while a divine voice reminds us that we are in Heaven. With jerky orchestrations and symphonic vocal layers, Day 04: Drink with Bach is a huge track with a scent of Vangelis at the level of voices. The structure is agile, the synths are luminous with crystalline arpeggios lighting our ears here and there.
Day 05: Asian Clouds is a delicately animated track with Asian elements. Vocal effects, weeping violins, stringed instruments, flutes and various bell elements are all tribal oriental elements that adorn a track that is enjoyable to experience. With a texture of angelic whispers and tinkling bells, Day 06: Celestial Dream starts with an oboe-like flute and then a piano drifting into melancholic dreams. Owan participates in this rather meditative track where muffled explosions resound on the quietness of the music. Melancholic, the music also possesses this Asian essence while keeping this divine texture which is the seal of this magnificent lyrical album. Composed and performed with Hyperkube, Day 07: Voice Festival is a track that balances between sweetness and violence, like those dynamic structures that initiated ONE WEEK IN HEAVEN. Original, the track offers a complex rhythmic texture fragmented by different percussive elements. Sequenced voice pads fall in a spasmodic sequence while the percussions explode by jolts, violently bludgeoning an original rhythm structure resulting from some good ideas processed by the sequencer. Moreover, this last one releases a good line of limpid keys which bounce while tumbling and which are also assaulted by the electronic drum. The layers of synthesizer which fall over it have these apocalyptic synth horns worthy of a good Vangelis. Sensory++ takes part in this closing track, Coming Home. The music and its delicate swaying of the sequencer are in perfect harmony with a procession where Frans Lemaire literally returns home. If the pace is slow at the beginning, it becomes more urgent to return home after the 4th minute. The scarlet and bluish layers and the more orchestral ones, the angelic voices, the muffled explosions and the percussions playing clappers are so many elements which decorate this unreal landscape whereas, for lack of time I imagine, Micado presses the step to go back home and thus to conclude an astonishing musical journey which will have riveted you to your chair since the very beginning of ONE WEEK IN HEAVEN. A flawless album that is devoured from the first to the last second, it's a big favorite that flirts with genius! Hats off to Frans Lemaire!
Sylvain Lupari (February 13th, 2022) *****
Available at Micado Bandcamp