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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MS2020: Futur N (2021)

Updated: May 9, 2021

Simple and effective with catchy rhythms, bold ambient textures and synth melodies

1 A New Beginning 9:14

2 December_27_2020 9:19

3 Departure into the Year 2021 13:23

4 Oxygen Mask 12:28

5 Stereoland 8:17

6 Suspended Moments 7:34

7 Synthetic Dream 5:21

8 Greetings from the 1980s 5:01

9 Hope 6:04

(CD-R/DDL 76:45) (V.F.)

(New Berlin School, Neu!)

Another new project at SynGate! After Fusion of Elements' Sessions in the Quantum Field, it's Thomas Meier's, aka TM Solver's, turn to team up with another musician, Marcel Margis. Both of them have known each other around the MTA Lab sessions. MS2020 stands for the mythical Korg MS20, a semi-modular monophonic analog synthesizer that was released in the late 70's. First album of the duo, FUTUR N proposes 9 tracks for a total of 77 minutes of an EM which sounds like improvisations' sessions captured live and recorded with fade-out, as fade-in sometimes laborious. Only downside to a light album built on minimalist rhythms that serve as a basis for sound phantasmagorias of the synths. We are far from a fusion of TM Solver and MTA Lab here! On the contrary, MS2020 gets into the timelines to create a panoply of Teutonic rhythms that serve as a foundation for good sequencer creations to support a tonal creativity of the synthesizers. Voice effects, elven whispers, ultra mellow strings, morphic caresses, fuzz-wha-wha effects like the wailing of a synthesizer guitar, pads between two rhythm structures and hybrid solos are among the array of effects that the synthesizers use in order to screw our ears to a sound cocktail that deserves our attention.

Small sequencer steps zigzagging in the thrust of an undulating resonant bass line form the opening of A New Beginning. A first rhythm line gambols on this sonic tarmac, isolating a first harmonic vision from that of the more cartesian rhythm. It is the dance of the jumping keys! Thomas Meier and Marcel Margis focus on the sequencers, knitting a static rhythmic crossroads that expands with percussive beats that attempt a more dance-like approach. The layers like synth pads, and even fog pads, are shy. They make furtive appearances adding messy riffs with the flavors of 80's Tangerine Dream. The finale wanders into the nebulous introduction of December_27_2020 and its minimalist ascending rhythm that serves as a backdrop for various sonic experiments and lost chords. Teutonic, the flow is reminiscent of Neu! rhythms with a circular pattern that goes up and down like a horse tied to a tree and that sees its freedom by turning in circles. The ambiences become richer after the 5th minute, without modifying its axis, nor its musical value. Departure into the Year 2021 proposes this pattern in a softer structure. The track uses its 13 minutes very well by playing on its cadence in a context where the synths inject some simply delicious sound graffitis. The synth layers are beautifully morphic. As long as they inject a little chloroform to the rhythm that suddenly slows down its pace. Nice little delirious moment here. The layers add up, here as elsewhere in the textures of this album, knowingly sharing those which are used as a base to the music and those which will be these elements knowing how to impose the harmonies, like these whistling solos or nostalgic like the cries of a saxophonist which prowl in marauder all around the 9 titles of this first offering of the German duo.

Another long track on FUTUR N, we let ourselves be invaded by this very beautiful slow rhythm of Oxygen Mask. Spinning like a fine stroboscopic spiral, the rhythm plays with nuances and its velocity in some of the hypnotic curves in order to maintain our interest in this fascinating electronic dialogue. The elements that also gravitate around this rhythmic texture have this slowness that fascinates and subjugates, like these sub-wha-wha effects and solos flowing with a seductive arrogance throughout this astonishingly musical track in this mosaic of sonic fascinations that is this MS2020 album. Stereoland makes hop its herd of jumping balls in a form of indiscipline that translates into the deconstruction of a clock timer. It's running backwards! There is a good bass line here which advances by implosive effects, even managing to bury the presence of the sequencer and its scrambled rhythm. Quite the opposite of Suspended Moments which offers a good up-tempo swarming on its mesh of sequences and percussions. Its melody embalms the ambiences, especially when taken back by a beautiful fluty mellotron. A great title here! Synthetic Dream carries its name wonderfully. A track without rhythm but animated by magnificent solos of a saxophonist forgotten on the roof of the world. Bad fade out or it is wanted, Greetings from the 1980s proposes a melodious vision of the synths on a nervous rhythm. The keyboard is good in its struggle not to sound like a piano. Speaking of the colors of a track, Hope's illuminating sunshine is very cinematic. Another very musical track in FUTUR N, its tinkles are shinning and gliding on the rings of Saturn before the beat follows the gait of a winning alley gang against the invader. Arpeggios and bouncy rhythms clash, one to make us dream and the other to make us hobble happily along in a texture where they eventually merge in a finale that comes too fast.

FUTUR N is built to be addictive to its listener. Simple and effective with catchy rhythms, bold ambient textures and heart-catcher melodies.

Sylvain Lupari (May 9th, 2021) ***¾**

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

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