NORD: Horizons (2019)
“As some albums over the last years, Horizons is another very good one that links Berlin School, cosmic vibes and prog EM visions from a Nord still very poetic”
1 Horizons Movement 1 (Part 1, 2 & 3) 17:08
2 Horizons Movement 2 12:54
3 Horizons Movement 3 7:38
4 Horizons Movement 4 (Part 1 & 2) 11:34
5 Horizons Final Movement 10:34
(DDL 59:50) (V.F.)
(Berlin School, Cosmic prog EM)
You have probably guessed it by now ... I like the music of Sztakics István Attila! Whether with his pen name, Andreas Meyer (excellent EM here) or Nord, the Romanian musician-engineer-composer always manages to awaken this flame, sometimes asleep, of the Berlin School. Even with his electronic progressive rock clothes! Like here, with HORIZONS which is part of these albums where our eyebrows frown at first listen. Earth meets sky as our world merges with the heavens. Find the state between reality and dream and turn the sound into color. It's on this poetic basis that Nord offers an album, still in downloadable format, which is divided between an invading cosmic aspect, the good old Berlin School and progressive rock pushed by always amazing electronic percussions. Proposed in 5 closely connected chapters, this last work from Nord totals almost an hour of a beautiful EM that lacks a bit of finishing in the mastering because of these long endings quieter than musical. Unless the vision of Sztakics István Attila is to melt the openings and the endings as the horizons merge into the Cosmos.
It's in cosmic darkness that this first long segment of HORIZONS begins. Horizons Movement 1 (Part 1, 2 & 3) is a long title with a slow evolution. And everything revolving around its introduction seems stigmatized in Moon crystal, while the movement continues its slow cosmic migration aided by musical wings painted of drifting violins. Serious chords resonate and strings of sequences stretch by creating sonorous tendrils that come and go in this hovering opening. The lunar orchestrations are pushed with adequate management for the creation of a cosmic environment which is enriched even more when the tears of the Ondes Martenot drift between our ears. Sometimes serious and sometimes strident, the atmospheres let filter weak percussive elements lurking behind the tearing of these strident waves. We always feel the presence of a rhythmic beginning that really takes off with a dancing movement of arpeggios that sparkle in a very Jean-Michel Jarre vision around the 11 minutes. This electronic approach merges with a more progressive vision with the arrival of percussions. In the meantime, the Martenot Waves give way to some very creative synth solos. Our ears are then plunged into darkness! It remains nearly 2 minutes on the clock and my listening room is plunged into a long silence that goes out with the slow arrival of Horizons Movement 2. I found that quite long!
The introduction is more laborious here with a sound storm from which emerge intense rays in the form of percussive rollings. The synth layers have this apocalyptic scent of Vangelis and invade the ambiances of their anguished chants. Arpeggios tinkle and grope in between the scattered percussion shots. They dream in their hybrid tones whose cosmic charms are always poetic with less dramatic lunar orchestrations. Voice effects, such as the flickering stars, provide a decor that is permeating of the vintage years, but even more of cosmic themes from the Software years. A line of soft sequences strolls in this decor which gets enriched always more with layers of ether which throw a sleeping fragrance on the first 8 minutes of Horizons Movement 2. Between Beaubourg and Soil Festivities, 2 albums from Vangelis, the music also shines of the cosmic moods from Jean-Michel Jarre with very good moving solos and layers wrapped in violins that float in a Milky Way set to music in a realistic way. Horizons Movement 3 goes straight to the point with a nice rhythmic approach of the Software style and whose ambient rhythm is fed by beautiful and good synth solos very musical. It's like Klaus Schulze's beautiful years here playing on Jean-Michel Jarre's pitch. Still ambient, Horizons Movement 3 changes shape around the 3rd minute with good percussions that give it a more rocky hue. The line of falling riffs adds a more progressive heavy-metal rock vision in a decidedly electronic environment, even when the synth solos are transformed into those of a guitar always very inspired. It's one of the best progressive rock fusion and electronic music tracks I've heard. Again, I don't appreciate this long vacuum intersidereal eating up a finale that seems full of punch! Horizons Movement 4 (Part 1 & 2) is a title that takes the main lines of the first part of Horizons Movement 2 before going into a good cosmic rock animated by a good complicity between the playing of electronic drum, the sequences and the bass line. The synth solos are still very rich and musical with a vision quite close to Rick Wright in Animals. As far as I'm concerned, these two titles are the heart of HORIZONS which ends in a final very close to the experiments of Vangelis and Synergy, Jupiter Menace, with Horizons Final Movement.
Sylvain Lupari (November 18th, 2019) *****
Available at Nord Bandcamp