NORD: Whispers (2018)
“That's has to be Nord's oddest album to date, but it still has those fascinating moves and moments in some dense paranormal vibes”
1 Whispers Part 1; Do You Want to Know a Secret? 19:12 2 Whispers Part 2; Hypnos 16:52 3 Shadows 9:43 4 Whispers Part 3; It Was Just a Dream 12:58 Nord Music
(DDL 58:46) (V.F.) (Berlin School)
What's going on under this very vintage artwork? We are a little far from the air of California with this sweet face that seems to whisper the music of Nord in another light. We had a right to questioning since the Romanian synthesist liked to present progressive rock within the Berliner parameters just a few months ago. An incursion into the Californian style of the 60's and 70's? None of that in this WHISPERS which is a literally strange album, as if the whole Nord's universe was now focused on paranormal or on science fiction.
Do You Want to Know a Secret? starts this last offering of Sztakics István Attila with this ascendant rhythm movement typical of the Berlin School ambient genre. The sequencer frees this line of rhythm that goes up and down, stumbles and gets up in a sound mass stuffed with slow effects of reverberations and orchestrations where wander some solos of synth well scattered in this universe of ether and melancholy. At times, the orchestrations become large sonic wings that engulf us in a more sibylline than lyrical universe. In fact, the secret would be kept silent by entities of a parallel universe that I would believe it, so much it's nebulous and always in sepulchral mode. Strident solos and grave chords guide us to Part 2 where Do You Want to Know a Secret? releases its secret by the mean of a big electronic rock of 5 minutes before the music returns to the habitats of its introduction. The music in WHISPERS changes direction more often that it has to, within its 4 tracks, touching even a chaos and a din that always finds the essence of its roots. And Hypnos has nothing like of the ambient music that one would have thought. The rhythm is lively and surrounded by the spectral songs of the synth and its solos. The sequences are keen and undisciplined, structuring this rhythm of acid rock that whirls in the same direction as the spectral songs and the spirals of the synth and its effects tributary of its vision of beyond the world or invasions of bad aliens. Calmer and more in hypnotizing Berlin School mode, the second part takes us into these whisperings that often don't serve the cause of a music designed for a film by John Carpenter.
Shadows always stays in this envelope of a world beyond the grave with an introduction full of Vangelis synth effects and other effects that mix elements of fear and of EM. A sequence flickers behind this wall of dramatic effects with a synth and its twirling solos just like they were absorbed by a cyclone eye. Another sequence begins its surreal dance with a continuous beat that kicks in the spot, bringing Shadows into a short rhythmic escapade that didn't need it, so much the stationary rhythmic decor and the sonic graffiti of a synth and its solos contorted like an acrobat from the Cirque du Soleil restrain its vigor. It Was Just a Dream remains the most consistent title of WHISPERS. Imaged in the futuristic structures of Vangelis, its introduction combines softness and rigor with nice arpeggios floating in those allegorical mists. A beautiful piano sing with the weeping effects of the synth, forging a beautiful structure of intense melancholy. I would have liked it to remain as it is, because it does very Bernd Kistenmacher too, but the sequencer decides otherwise around the 4th minute. Carrying the last vestiges of this nostalgic dawn, it brings It Was Just a Dream to a fascinating electronic rock where the symphonic portion of its introduction throws its fractions in a beautiful rhythmic spiral that is more musical, and more surprising, than that of Hypnos. Except that in the end, It Was Just a Dream concludes an album that is also at the height of its permutation towards this astonishing universe of discord as well as cohesion which structures the 60 minutes of WHISPERS.
Sylvain Lupari (October 8th, 2018) *****
Available at Nord Bandcamp