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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MTA LAB: Autumn (2019)

Updated: May 27, 2020

“Fans of the early years of Keller & Schonwalder, Pyramid Peak and Tangerine Dream, era Logos to Poland, will be delighted by this album”

1 Ride Movie 10:26 2 Autumn 13:19 3 Stair Tower 13:30 4 Pre Load 3:46 5 Electronic Western 11:53 6 Third Skin 14:41 7 Nervous Sequence 9:48 Syngate CD-R MTA03

(CD-r/DDL 77:26) (V.F.) (New Berlin School)

The movement of the sequencer is lively and fluid! In addition to its structure drawing long zigzags, the echo of the rhythm subdivides its range with fractions of rhythmic sequences which centralize around this muted pulsation coming from nowhere. Undecided arpeggios form an electronic melody embryo which remains as elusive as these ethereal pads sewn into electronic silk. Sprays of oozing psychedelic vapors and anesthetic layers fill the low-sonic ceiling of Ride Movie of elements from the old Berlin School, while riffs and crackles of sonic lasers decorate a much progressive soundscape. Percussive effects, always as surprising as seductive, and other electronic effects adorn the rising ripple of this electronic rock which rolls and runs under synth layers that have become more musical. These are the main essences of this latest MTA Lab's album. Continuing on its creative path undertook with Synthetica, the Berlin trio consisted of Marcel Margis, Thomas Meier and Andre Danker offers in AUTUMN a very seductive album with sequencers and percussions which sculpt sometimes convoluted rhythms, and which are overflowing constantly of a minimalist EM vision from the stoical and robotic movements of the New Berlin School. Aside from these rhythms, the ambiences are woven in synths' multilayer which are also creative at the level of solos and harmonies as well as in legions of layers which emit mists as ocher as bluish. Here is thus a nice collection of electronic beats all equally attractive to one another. The title-track stays in the course with a rhythm nourished by fine oscillations which flicker on the spot in a linear rhythmic structure. Minimalist, the movement of Autumn hosts riffs of keyboards, which are the main harmonic actors, and synth's adornments which trace some ear-catchy acrobatic flight figures. The sequencer is still active when Stair Tower takes the place of Autumn. The movement is nervous and spasmodic with sequences dancing on the spot with the complicity of electronic clatters. This dislocated rhythm is conducive to the chants and solos of a synth which rivals against keyboard chords that come and dance with the sequences. Still in the very minimalist New Berlin School style, Stair Tower magnetizes the sense of hearing with its floating solos and mist which evaporates to be reborn. A sense of hearing revitalized by the arrival of percussions around the 10th minute.

After a Pre Load animated with a rhythm without ambition, but by very good sound effects, Electronic Western lands between our ears with its perfumes of Tangerine Dream, periods White Eagle and Hyperborea. First of all; an attractive mesh of percussion, percussive effects, sequences and bass pulsations are structuring a rhythm lively, as much for the ears than the fingers, which is divided between its first reason for being and a more melodious side. The synth layers let escape sonic filaments which result in short solos and floating pads with scarlet sound streaks. The keyboard chords are as fat and juicy as in Sphinx Lightning while the sequencer and electronic percussion project me into the world of White Eagle. This is an excellent title, convoluted certainly, to which we always find a new seductive trick at each different listening. More ambiospherical, but not stripped of passive rhythm, Third Skin offers a movement full of sequences whose glass tones burst to give birth to other sequences from those abandoned shards. The synths are more active here with palettes of tones whose pastel colors melt with more shaded mist jets. The decor gets sibylline with synth layers which keep the flow of the sequencer at a less explosive level but still very active. It's a worthy successor to the powerful Electronic Western. Nervous Sequence ends the 77 minutes of AUTUMN with this hypnotic structure which sounds so much like those rhythmic trains that eternally climb chimeric peaks. The sequencer bursts with diverse rhythmic tones that revolve around this mechanical rise of the rhythm while the synths multiply nebulous mists and mysterious sonic codes that turn into harmonic filaments, sometimes in good solos, on a sequenced structure which always reserves a nice surprise here and there.

SynGate is off to a great start in 2019 with this very good album from MTA Lab. An album all in rhythms with sequencers creative and genius as well as synths which respond very well to this audacity of the German trio. Fans of the early years of Keller & Schonwalder, Pyramid Peak and Tangerine Dream, era Logos to Poland, will be delighted by this AUTUMN which continues where In Luv has brought us at the end of 2017!

Sylvain Lupari (January 9th, 2019) ****¼*

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

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