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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Moonbooter World of Apes I (2010)

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Bernd offers here 12 tracks on his hybrid rhythms where soft techno crosses progressive synth-pop with a slight zest of dancefloor

1 Living in Apeland 6:46

2 Inside Nukes 6:23

3 M A D 5:04

4 Cowboy und Indianer 5:59

5 Losing Innocence 4:30

6 Atomic Train 4:50

7 Gently Terminated 5:47

8 A New Hope 5:22

9 You Will Be OK 4:37

10 The War Begins 7:23

11 The Melancholy Within 5:54

12 Brahma Astra 7:05

(DDL 69:41) (V.F.)

(Techno-E-Rock & New B.S.)

Seventh album from Bernd Moonbooter Scholl, WORLD OF APES 1 takes a critical look at man and his mad nuclear arms race. Composed of 12 titles with unique musical structures in the style of Moonbooter, WORLD OF APES 1 bathes in an ambience à la Kraftwerk, for the rhythms, and Roger Waters, for the sound effects, where voices and noises depict the pangs and conditions of nuclear effects. Throughout the 70 minutes of listening to the album, the listener is surrounded by tones from the various sound experiences that Moonbooter unearthed during his research. Making of WORLD OF APES 1 a unique concept album where floating, circular and whirling rhythms are eroded by these apocalyptic sound insertions.

A Geiger counter opens the way to Living in Apeland. The corrosive twists of the violins coming from a vaporous synth are trailing in a strange cloud of radioactive dust. Astonishing ghostly choirs and voices coming from beyond the grave escape to fall on a floating rhythm where felted percussions measure the spectral density. During a fraction of second, a dead silence re-initiates a slow rhythm which slams on good percussions, on sequences with hybrid tones and an ascending bass line, shaping a slightly syncopated rhythm. A pace which floats languidly on a synth with strange and multiple spectral emanations whose tasty layers stick a catchy chorus. A strange mixture of sounds that will weld the many catchy choruses that we find on this album. Inside Nukes offers a circular and undulating rhythm with hesitant and jerky loops, marrying a nervous structure where monastic choirs wander on sequences and percussions which entangle with frenzy. MAD, for Mutual Assured Destruction, is one of the most accessible titles of WOA 1. A title where the use of the vocoder brings us back to the days of Kraftwerk on Radioactivity and TEE, on multiple clicks of percussions which hammer a metallic rhythm and hypnotic and where the enigmatic Kraftwerk universe rubs shoulders with that of Jean-Michel Jarre. Cowboy und Indianer is a pearl in terms of sensitivity. A superb lascivious dance for insomniacs who think of nuclear disasters against a backdrop of sensibility and incredibly poignant drama. A soft and slow rhythm which is surrounded by multiple layers of a lonely synth where the weak minimalism chords of a keyboard are the witnesses of this nightmare and try to fall asleep. The more I listen, the more I visualize Winston at the Cowardly Cafe in Georges Orwell's 1984. Deeply touching and gripping, like it or not.

With its vaporous introduction where a synth with ghostly waves scans a gloomy sky, Losing Innocence wanders in a corrosive torpor to make cold in the back. A title which alone explains the devastation and regret while wanting to be a bitter whisper, like the superb Gently Terminated, and its percussions struck on a glass anvil, and the very beautiful Brahma Astra. Another catchy and very accessible title, Atomic Train weaves its way with a synth which sinuously goes through the landscapes on a drummed rhythm which perfectly shapes a train spinning at a speed which is not without recalling Kraftwerk's hypnotic drunkenness rhythmic patterns. Here again, the musicality offered by Moonbooter is astonishing in its vitality and freshness. A title which at first listening seems banal, but the more we listen to it, the more we realize all the sound and very melodious universe that is hidden there. Little cousin of Inside Nukes, A New Hope presents a nervous structure where the rhythm is infernal and where the synths throw apocalyptic laments, like these sirens warning of enemy's attacks. A frenzied track with slamming percussions that will animate the creativity of DJ's! Soft and sweet arpeggios of iodine crystal charm the heavy and sinuous rhythm of You Will Be OK. The heavy hammerings of percussions do the job here! A title with an indefinite rhythm, just like The War Begins and The Melancholy Within which combine wild and nervous rhythms with floating and languid passages. Phases which oscillate in the unique musical universe of Moonbooter that he describes rightfully as being a hybrid EM of the next generation.

WORLD OF APES 1 is a solid EM opus. But an EM which is more alive and livelier than the Berlin School style, although ethereal scents can be felt here and there. Without hesitation, I would say this is the best Moonbooter album to date. Bernd Scholl offers 12 tracks of his unique style on his hybrid rhythms where soft techno crosses progressive synth-pop with a slight zest of dancefloor. A style that carries WORLD OF APES 1 at arm's length.

Sylvain Lupari (March 07th, 2012) *****

Available at MellowJet Records

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