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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

NEIL & GETTY: Retrochet III (2011)

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

There is a music, its history and its influences that we never tire of hearing

1 A Trip across the Marshes at Midnight 12:18

2 Monolilith 10:09

3 Flow 8:29

4 Sky Racer 12:16

5 Alienice 4:12

6 Table Mountain 10:40

(DDL 58:04) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

There is a music, its history and its influences that we never tire of hearing. The music of Tangerine Dream's Ricochet, Encore and Stratosfear period spearheaded a musical movement that was then in full swing with the addition of hard and powerful rhythms that shook the morphic and psychedelic envelopes of the cosmic synth layers. Somewhat like an unfinished dream, the duo Neil & Getty force time and its fantasies by continuing to explore a fascinating musical territory that has no frontiers. RETROCHET III is not only a suite of the superb musical series undertaken in 2010, it's the proof that illusion has no boundaries other than what we want to see and hear.

It's in a good fusion of the hypnotic rhythms of Retrochet I and the more psychedelic ambiences of Retrochet II that A Trip across the Marshes at Midnight embraces the musical fragrances of Stratosfear. Thin, fluid sequences bounce delicately through an intro full of sizzling and metallic gas. Shifting into drum-like strokes, these sequences shake the layers of an ethereal flute as the rhythm of A Trip across the Marshes at Midnight trades its lightness to embrace a heavier phase trapped in the slowness of floating waltzes where morphic mist and spectral flute awaken the reminiscences of a forgotten world. Navigating on fluid and progressive rhythmic lines that intertwine under a sky full of poetic and atmospheric strata, this first track of RETROCHET III lays the foundations of an album where astral melodies stick to structures that travel easily through the ages. Monolilith runs away with a more incisive rhythmic approach. Michael Neil and Graham Getty delve into Encore's missing links with heavy but fluid sequences that roll along in nice floating envelopes. Rolling between its reverberating lines and chloroform sinuosity, the track follows a progressive rhythmic tangent with a fine variation in the power of its sequences that obey the variable strength of a synth whose heavy ululations, ghostly streaks and iridescent mists ignite an explosive eclectic cocktail. After this explosive track, Flow flows into our ears with a superb poetic approach where sequences and pulsations crackle like anemic popcorns with the vigor of their restraint under the layers and mists of a dreamy synth. It's a floating and meditative track that comes out of limbo and is a superb mix between the music of Klaus Schulze (yes-yes in Black Dance and Picture Music) and that of Michael Stearns' Chronos.

Embracing that blend of ardor and restraint of A Trip across the Marshes at Midnight, Sky Racer begins with an oscillating chaotic waltz before entering a sequenced phase with broad, rising undulations. This repressed rhythm is wrapped in morphic spheres with an ethereal haze-gassed synth that unleashes iridescent lines, casting a poetic paradox over a track that seeks out the smallest desert parcels to ignite its rhythmic approach. Alienice immerses us in atmospheric and psychedelic ambiences with confusing synth's layers and waves. It's a short experimental track that precedes the jewel of RETROCHET III, Table Mountain. Superb sequences with bass and muffled tones jump with grace in its opening. Like a fairytale ballet they form a stealthily dance that is crossed by another sequence line with a livelier oscillation. This sequenced chassé-croisé is a delightful musical find that astonishes and captivates. But we haven't heard anything yet! A synthesizer casts a melancholic veil of mist and a melodious approach, adding an indefinable beauty to this poetic approach that will delight fans of Tomita and Philip Glass. It's amazingly beautiful! And Table Mountain continues its wind dance with this wonderful mix of innocent sequences ready to sacrifice themselves in the morphic layers of a poetic synth for the greatest pleasure of our ears. It's incredibly beautiful and I have the same shivers that caress my spine after the 12th listening.

RETROCHET III seems to be a new step in the Neil & Getty's journey. Even if the duo surrounds itself with the tasty ambiences of the Ricochet years, they explore more personal ways by offering compositions and structures that move away from the reminiscences of this period whose innumerable musical veins are just waiting to be exploited. And this is the strength of RETROCHET III. More than a sequel that risks to run out of steam, the English duo deploys its arsenal of melodic poetry to breathe very beautiful progressive electronic odes that have nothing to envy to the sources of their influences.

Sylvain Lupari (January 14th, 2012) ****½*

Available at Retrochet Bandcamp

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