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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MYTHOS: Berliner Schule Sequencing (2020)

Even if it's done in a mismatched vision by an obvious lack of homogeneity, I am very happy with Mythos comeback!

1 Rationality and Passion 5:22

2 Filter Force 4:12

3 Alien Conversation 5:05

4 In Striking Distance 5:03

5 Fire Up your Engine 4:23

6 Rising Earth Above the Lunar Horizon 3:49

7 Dynamic Solutions 8:09

8 The Few, The Proud 4:02

9 Game On 3:59

10 Iron and Steel 5:53

11 Steady Flow 4:26

12 Liquid Force 4:12

13 Captain Consistence 7:21

14 The Phobos Monolith 6:20

15 Power Dome 4:20

16 Viper Room 3:18

Breeze Music 2020-02

(CD 80:05) (V.F.)

(Berlin School Sequencing)

Another comeback from Mythos? The question arises since more than 4 years separate Jules Verne - Around the World In 80 Minutes from BERLINER SCHULE SEQUENCING. And lot of things have happened in the past 4 years. Both in terms of EM and the state of global uncertainty which has taken a hit with the current pandemic. Always very avant-gardist, as evidenced by his Surround Sound Offensive or Surround Sound Evolution albums, Mythos has decided to make this return by offering 16 sequenced structures demonstrating the multiple facets of a Berlin School-style sequencer. There I see the Berlin School fans salivating. I immediately put a stop to your enthusiasm. BERLINER SCHULE SEQUENCING is not strictly speaking a Berlin School album as we are used to hearing. There are no synth solos, no harmonic lines, even less melodies on this latest album by Stephan Kaske. The thing to remember in the title is; Sequencing. Everything here revolves around the sequencer. Its role as well as its impact in the creation of the Berlin School.

And it starts with Rationality and Passion! After a short introduction structured on lines undulating in an iridescent mist, the title offers a light structure of rhythm. A rhythm with a minimalist architecture which goes frolicking and sometimes walking in these sinuous effects which filled its opening. At times, the rhythm breaks its approach to jump more randomly, a bit like a mathematical game of the sequencer which tries to thwart an effect of redundancy. Filter Force imposes its presence with a jerky flow. Synth pads fall in sharp movement and follow a discontinuous trajectory under a fascinating texture of festive percussions. The tone is always light at the level of the ambiences. These pads take on a more funky shape with a tone of the Motown years and a zest of psychedelic effects in sonic graffiti that twist on themselves. The structure becomes more musical when a line of the sequencer is escaping the texture of percussions. The spirit of vintage psychedelic tones continues on Alien Conversation. The flow is faster and stunned by harsh percussions. The conversation of the aliens takes place outside this rhythm, as if two cyborgs were doing Rap on a cosmic Groove. That's sounds like good old Mythos. We seem to follow an evolution in this BERLINER SCHULE SEQUENCING while In Striking Distance offers another repetitive and jerky structure in another tonal vision. After the debonair march of Fire Up your Engine, Rising Earth Above the Lunar Horizon falls in our ears with an air of Debussy in a progressive electronic vision. Dynamic Solutions is the first title to infuse a progressive Berlin School vision with two lines of rhythmic sequences which skip to intersect in a decongested rhythm crossroads but filled with mist with chthonic veils. History to keep us awake, Mythos brings nuances and failures to the rhythm which thus becomes more attractive, and for the senses and for the ears, while slowly, the sound of the sequencer transforms into pads of bewitching violins. I never saw it coming! A stroke of genius from Mythos!

The Few, The Proud presents a stealthily growing structure which is enveloped by a winter soundscapes. The rhythmic elements unite in a fascinating ethereal dance and in a setting of ice where arpeggios from this universe dance at the same time as external elements thunder. Game On offers another rotating structure that dances in circles with the musical reflections of its shadows while having a harmonic envelope as a dance companion and external elements whose presence arouses curiosity. A line of oscillations, and its reverberations, bring Iron and Steel to life. Already, a movement of the sequencer weaves an unexpected line which adapts to this oscillating phase where the synth launches its tears in an increasingly uncontrollable zigzag. Fat and juicy accords expose the fragility of this sequence in its second part. Steady Flow is another such track here that plays with the sequencer stuttering effect. This time, an organic fauna joins this ambivalent structure. A more musical title like Liquid Force also offers two lines of sequences which rub against each other and exchange their rhythmic paths in a superb transition which made my ears open wide. Captain Consistence is a superb title! By far the most beautiful and the most melodious of BERLINER SCHULE SEQUENCING. Its openness injects a line of riffs which airs while zigzagging in a tunnel whose echo weaves a long harmonic texture. If the flow was smooth and jerky, it hits a knot before the 3rd minute. Swallowed by an organic membrane, Captain Consistence skips in a slow stroboscopic effect studied in a delicious slow motion effect. The structure comes back to life a minute later by exchanging the musical and organic portion in a hypnotic speed, showing all the genius of Stephan Kaske. The Phobos Monolith demonstrates the abilities to build a musical structure from loops that reverberate in a minimalist phase. It's very Manuel Göttsching. Sometimes shaded by these funky years and sometimes more contemporary, the sequences exchange dialogues while another line insidiously invites itself. These are loops and loops in a long movement where the only changes come from the synth mists and breathlessness of The Phobos Monolith. Power Dome gets the most dismal portion of the album with rhythm-rhyme structure in dark ambiences, while Viper Room features twisted lines spinning like a kaleidoscope in a final track filled with hallucinogenic sonic vapors of the 70's.

I am very happy with Mythos' comeback! Even if it's done in a mismatched vision by an obvious lack of homogeneity which leads me to think that BERLINER SCHULE SEQUENCING is this kind of essay album more than an album focused on rhythms, melodies and soundscapes. I learned there that sequences can arise from bits of orchestrations like synth breezes. This is the ideal album for the curious with a couple of tracks bordering genius.

Sylvain Lupari (December 12th, 2020) ***¾**

This album can be found on EM retailers over the Internet and on Amazon

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