“This is solid cosmic e-rock we have here with strong patterns of sequenced rhythms which are drowned into dense ambiocosmic moods”
1 Sleep Awake Part I 14:24 2 Sleep Awake Part II 6:48 3 Sleep Awake Part III 12:12 4 Sleep Awake Part IV 11:19 5 Sleep Awake Part V 7:20 6 Sleep Awake Part VI 9:51 7 Sleep Awake Part VII 6:55 MoonSatellite Music
(DDL 68:52) (V.F.) (Berlin and Cosmic French School)
I know! I see you, frowning and watch me with a bit of suspicion. But several listening farther, my perception towards SLEEP AWAKE takes root more and more. Here is the best album of MoonSatellite! Intensity, emotionalism, tenderness and oniricity. Ambient rhythms, sometimes even lively, which born and run away in cosmic ambiences constantly enriched by layers of synth, sometimes foggy and sometimes toned by an astral choir, which pile together into an ambiocosmic pattern equal to the best poetic wanderings of Jean-Michel Jarre. Solos which sing, layers which waltz and float weakly, graffiti of voices and cosmic electronic chirpings. Here is the scenery of this wonderful album of Lone Wolf who, once again, exploits marvelously and in solo, of night as of day, the possibilities of his new electronic machines.
A wide strip of intergalactic waves mutters at the opening of Sleep Awake Part I. A silvery thin line escapes from it, diverting our attention with a mass of noises, chirping and reverberations of a line of rhythm which rests its fragility with arpeggios to the ambient and weak movements. Subtle, choirs flood the panorama of discreet singings while that the synth pads, dressed in slender effects of orchestration, float like the concerns of an adrift cosmic shuttle. Ambient and rich in tones and in emotionalism, the introduction Sleep Awake Part I is like a phase where the sleep speaks with the awakening. Everything is foggy and we hear the outside noise. And there, arpeggios dance with not much conviction near the point of 5 minutes. Little by little, an uncertain pattern of rhythm is cogitating while cleaning the mist of our ears. Another line of sequences makes skip its keys which, this time, have the firm intention to anchor into the atmospheres of Sleep Awake Part I. Both lines dance in parallel when another line, heavy and pulsating, pounds and resounds, giving vitality to other arpeggios which swirl and hum in a heavy structure of tones and effects which remains motionless. The sleep has won, because Sleep Awake Part I is only of illusion where Morpheus still holds us prisoner of its breezes of ether. We fall asleep again, following the rules of SLEEP AWAKE. And these breezes are transformed into cosmic waves which roll up and throw its marine sediments in the first seconds of Sleep Awake Part II. They move in a misty choir of which the astral signings get melt down in the slow whoosh of the synth lines. A pulsation mutters behind these voices. A line of sequences makes shine and dance its arpeggios which roll on the cosmic waves, forging a rhythmic melody which bites and hooks our eardrums. Shadows get loose to forge a parallel rhythm, awakening the jingles of the elytrons of steel which clink between the spaces of both lines of sequences more harmonious and more ethereal than rhythmic. They invite some laconic pulsations to beat a stationary measure and percussions to make roll the rhythm of Sleep Awake Part II like a soft cosmic rock where our fingers and our head move more than our feet. A rhythm a la Jarre that Lone Wolf adorns of attractive cosmic electronic effects and magnificent solos which are more harmonious than guided by a spirit of wandering. The structure of rhythm, flooded in a soft comfort of electronic effects, finds its dens in order to structure a solid mid-tempo decorated with a line of sequences which coo a chant of freedom in a luxurious sound fauna where the limits seem indefinite. My friends; my ears are buzzing of pleasure. The first 20 minutes of SLEEP AWAKE are the faithful reflections of what is going to follow while the rhythms extricate themselves from mists of the sleep to adopt forms of which the delicate nuances make all the charms. The atmospheres? Not only they are rich, but they draw impressive electronic patterns similar to those of the vintage years of Jarre, justifying all the passion of the fans for the genre.
Sleep Awake Part III invites us to a superb ambiocosmic introduction weaved in an intense dramatic pattern. The first minutes are charmingly ambient and capsize the soul with long lamentations of the synths which cry their electronic souls. The effect is striking. And even more when another line mops tears with a nostalgic melody. Delicious! The rhythm wakes up at around the 5th minute with a mass of muffled pulsations of which the shavings resound in the reverberations of the clashes. That gives a pulsatory rhythm which develops its intensity with curt and stubborn knocks which resound in delicious twisted solos with a very esthetic sonic signature. God, that sounds so like if Jarre has continued to delve into its cosmic territories still so very virginal. Sleep Awake Part IV cavorts on a structure as much ambiosonic as Part I, but with more warm charms in the choices of solos' tones and bends. The cosmic effects are even more intrusive here and the rhythm loosens a slender stroboscopic spherical reflection which weighs down its presence among those long resounding torsades. It's like floating in our head and to come up against the unknown. Soft rhythms lost in dense moods! That's the story SLEEP AWAKE. Sleep Awake Part V invites us in a stunning structure of rhythm with a threatening pulsatory movement which makes swirl a line of sequences soaked by the reflections of electronic chirpings. This rhythm undulates slowly and drifts in electronic vapors to tints of melancholy before going in a finale which refuses the embrace of the morphic atmospheres. With its lively rhythm and its very French School moods of the digital years, Sleep Awake Part VI is the jewel here and one would believe to hear a mixture of Thierry Fervant who lost his melodious approaches in the corridors of White Eagle from Tangerine Dream. It's an aggressive track with good juicy sequences where the fight between the influences of the one (Thierry Fervant) harms at no moment the dominance of the other (Tangerine Dream). Sleep Awake Part VII concludes this stunning electronic odyssey with a more serene approach. Serene, but not devoid of intensity! Here, as quite as everywhere in the 60 other minutes of this album, the synth lines agglutinate and intertwine in order to weave an opaque mosaic which waltzes and floats with grace. Letting us even believe that the absolute black, the space which assails the phases of our sleep, are the friendliest.
Intense and amazing, MoonSatellite's SLEEP AWAKE is a must-have for those who adored the complexities of the cosmic works of that time. A must-have for those who fell in love with these lively rhythms which make us nod of the head and plough the space of our fingers. A must-have for the fans of Jean-Michel Jarre, periods Oxygene and Equinoxe. And especially a must-have for those who like an EM embroidered around the Black Hole. Hat to you Lone Wolf because of album in album, you are simply as seductive as surprising! And this one is a killer!
Sylvain Lupari (September 21st, 2015) ****½*
Available at MoonSatellite's Bandcamp