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  • Sylvain Lupari

MICHAEL BRÜCKNER: During a Lull and Other Tales (2018)

Updated: Jul 1, 2019

“This is another very good album from Michael Brückner who succeeds once again to put on a same album all of his diversity in his many visions of Berlin School EM”

1 Seen from a Thousand Miles 12:58 2 La Femme derrière la Lune 15:15 3 In the Springtime of our Lives 10:54 4 During a Lull 13:02 5 Daphne 11:06 6 Votre Coeur 13:26 7 Space Jam (XXL Bonus Track) 21:54 SynGate | CD-r MB06

(CD-r/DDL 98:38) (Berlin School)

The phenomenon of the blank page, of lack of inspiration never seems to torment the moods of Michael Brückner. I know that there are several artists who are fertile like cats in the world of EM, but few manage to deliver a music of the caliber of this German artist who is also behind a lot of collaborative projects, of which the last in line (P'Faun) is at the zenith of perfection in the progressive Berlin School style. Composed in the shadow of this project and that of the brilliant The Dark Path, with Alien Nature, DURING A LULL & OTHER TALES seems to be drinking of Trees of Olivandá's essences. In the sense that the skilful mixture of ambient, lyricism and Berlin School floods our ears by a more accentuated presence of the sequencer.

The electronic fauna that is opening Seen from a Thousand Miles challenges us by its cosmic and terrestrial richness. Water noises and hoots of specter wander in this phase which grows with intensity. Layers of violins drift behind the reverberant shadows of a suspended velum while the sequencer weaves some large zigzags in a suspended rhythm. A line of bass sequences supports these drifting patterns. The decor enlivens our ears with cries of electronic sparrows which blend into the organic tones of the sequencer. Gradually the basics of ambient rhythm of Seen from a Thousand Miles are organized with a melodious approach woven by a keyboard very delicate in this fauna which looks more and more like a conventum for electronic birds. And it's in a magical setting that the title scatters its 13 minutes drifting between tranquility and intensity. One doesn't immediately connect with Michael Brückner's music. His always evolving compositions require a little patience. He knows it and that's probably the reason he still manages to build a bridge of velocity which always explodes at the right time. Let's take for instance La Femme derrière la Lune! Its opening is lined of cosmic elements. A line of these tones forges a floating rhythm structure while layers of twilight voices add a dreamlike dimension to the ambiences. Sparkling arpeggios and effects of voices simulate a cybernetic dialogue while a line of sequences comes and goes in this lunar setting. There is a heap of sound effects while the orchestrations, which are in the very Jean-Michel Jarre's style, add to a level of intensity that gradually fades and leads to a very good electronic rock which hooks irretrievably my ears and so my feet with some good lively percussions. These two minutes are the core of the charms of a long title that we want to hear again. And all its opposite, we hang quite quickly to In the Springtime of our Lives. Its rhythmic structure, half-ambient and half-lively, undulating like the graceful flight of a swallow in the spring is sat on two lines of sequences which intertwine and twist like lovers on the earth bed. The influences of Edgar Froese are quite obvious here. I speak very little of the synths since the sequencer is rather active in DURING A LULL & OTHER TALES.

And it's with a rather melancholy synth that begins During a Lull. Its morose chants get extinguished in an orchestral darkness from which emerges a line of bass pulsations whose footsteps resound without ambition. This synth continues to expand its airs which become less and less sad, even brightening the moods with solos that are the basis of a solid EM ground. Orchestrations and sound effects nourish the hunger of the pulsations, while gradually orchestrating a rhythmic escape that will be dominated by a synth whose chants and solos are blown by ocher tones. Daphne is all in rhythm! Its opening is drowning in dense cosmic orchestrations and opaque layers which let filter sharp filaments and apocalyptic hues. Kind of Blade Runner! The sequencer activates its sonic beads which are pawing the ground in this cosmic broth. A choreography near of an ambient waltz emerges from these elements which gradually converge on a phase of dance music, Electronica style, but for a short while. A very small sequence escapes from the void to dance candidly in the opening of Votre Coeur. Its echo reflects a mocking shadow which adopts its stationary liveliness. Its tone is like that of a chirp, as one hears all over in DURING A LULL & OTHER TALES, and its sonic personality crumbles down in order to generate other tones that will always be close to radioactive resonances. But it's the main movement that resists to the horizontal avalanche of the synth layers. The structure oscillates of these multiples of sequences whose tones remain in construction. If elements close to TD exist, especially those riffs which do very Silver Scale, the arrangements and synth solos are very Michael Brückner who has no equal to hang very emotional levels of intensity to the growth of his ambient rhythms. The sequencer and its parallel circles are very good in this title that gave me chills at times. But I like Michael's music, so I can be biased here. One always has for our money when it comes time to buy Michael Brückner's music. No, it's not just some filling! This is often another musical vision that the German musician offers to his fans. Space Jam (XXL Bonus Track) begins like any EM title, an approach of ambiospherical elements which converge into an opaque array of homogeneous tones, as heterogeneous ones. And it's in this vision that the rhythmic structure imposes a fusion rock and dance in a Berlin School envelope and of its lunar soundscape where this rhythm serves as a messenger to the many sound effects and solos of a Michael Brückner who also throws in our ears some sumptuous organ layers. This title is offered as a bonus track at the buying, on line or on physical CD, of DURING A LULL & OTHER TALES on SynGate. An album which has all that a Berlin School fan is looking for. And I love this Space Jam (XXL Bonus Track) which is quite crazy!

Sylvain Lupari (December 21st, 2018) *****

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© 2019 by Alexandre Corbin for Synth&Sequences \ Sylvain (A.K.A. Phaedream) Lupari

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