MYTHOS: Gallery Concerts (2009)
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
“It's a fairly accessible album that slightly borders on the sweet creative madness of Mythos”
1 Analogdigitalpolyphomono 9:38
2 Filtergatemania 10:19
3 Improviflutecho 10:09
4 Mysticauroraborealis 12:49
5 Sequenctrumpetextasy 9:59
(CD-R/DDL 52:53) (V.F.)
(E-Rock, Synth-Rock, EM)
It's been a long time since Mythos (Stephan Kaske) had performed in concert. For openings, exhibitions, festivals and art galleries, the legendary German musician has undertaken a series of intimate concerts where he shows all his dexterity, both musical and creative, on 5 tracks where finely refined structures cross a barely perceptible improvisation so much the tone is right. For his concerts, Stephan Kaske used a variety of electronic equipment, combining analog sounds to digital ones without resorting to the use of PC's and/or Laptops. GALLERY CONCERTS is an audio witness of the concert presented outdoors in Essen in August 2009. The result is an invigorating and warm EM album where the rhythm evolves on intercrossing sequences in the purest sonic tradition of Mythos but with a more accessible approach.
Fine arpeggios waddle innocently on a lullaby-like sequence at the opening of Analogdigitalpolyphomono. A fine bass line shapes a soft and supple rhythm immersed in a German psychedelico-electronic musical universe of the 80's (Clara Mondshine and Baffo Banfi). Charming, Mythos integrates an electronic flora which stammers on metallic percussions, of which the rollings shape a strange robotic military march which pierces a crystalline nebulosity of a discreet groovy and psychedelic approach. A quiet first title before the boiling Filtergatemania skips and bites a spasmodic structure. A structure animated by crunchy jolts which exhilarates on a heavy and biting bass line as well as a minimalism sequence drowned by good synth intrusions with cooing chords and good percussion hits. The more the concert progresses, the more Mythos tames its free audience. If the first 2 titles catch easily, it is quite different with Improviflutecho which moves on disordered arpeggios, skipping in a shower of arpeggios which come and go in a circular echo. We are at the crossroads of analog and digital with this spasmodic structure surrounded by a misty and ocher ambience which is very representative of the eclectic sound universe of Stephan Kaske. On a crushed rhythm, the German synthesist succeeded in introducing an enchanting flute (which can be seen on the video), generating a series of fluty loops with languid and high tones that merge into a rhythm with undulations in form of a hypnotic carousel.
A great track, but there is far better with Mysticauroraborealis, the flagship title of this live album. A bit like the first 3 titles, solitary chords roam in an evolving sound universe. A synth line surrounds the track like a chipped strobe that rolls over a booming bassline and excessively rolling percussion, creating a heavy, slow rhythm that would be Peter Gun's delight. Except that, brilliant, Stephan Kaske dresses the title with a psychedelic approach of the flower power years (Iron Butterfly, Jefferson Airplane and others) with an electronic bagpipe (which sounds like an old organ) quite delirious and a vocoder out of sound time. A superb, daring and inspired title that will make dance some heads. Sequenctrumpetextasy closes GALLERY CONCERTS in heaviness. An avalanche of synth strata follows a sinister opening to throw itself into a bubbling sound pool, hammered by percussions which find an echo with heavy resonant pulsations. This intro becomes sequenced, leaving all the liberties to the synth to exploit a symphonic approach with fabulous twisted solos in a structure which becomes more atmospheric and more ethereal before taking up the heavy musical mantle of its overture.
Well… I really liked this last effort of Mythos. Of course, I am sold to the cause of the German synthesist. Stephen Kaske laid so many little pearls that I quickly became hooked. On the other hand, GALLERY CONCERTS is not really representative of his usual works. It's a fairly accessible album that slightly borders on the sweet creative madness of Mythos, especially with Improviflutecho and the superb Mysticauroraborealis. So Kaske fans find their account with his two titles. While those who knew nothing about Mythos, or his electronic music which straddles the Berlin School and the Krautrock, discover there a complete artist who innovates and who builds music with bipolar tendencies, hybrid rhythms and strangely captivating ambiences. In short, they were entitled to great performances tinged with an approach that shows the innovative character of the musician.
Here are two links where you can watch Mythos in action on You Tube, during this tour:
Sylvain Lupari (December 17th, 2012) *****
Available at MellowJet Records