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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

NOTHING BUT NOISE: From Berlin To Brussel (2018)

Updated: Jul 5, 2019

“Daniel Bressanutti and Dirk Bergen demonstrate unparalleled creativity on this album by pulling out a sounding fauna which is as seductive as the magnetism of the sequencers”

1 Berlin 20:16 2 Brussel 16:51

3 eXprmnt 42 5:50

db2fluctuation (CD/DDL 42:37)

(Berlin School)

FROM BERLIN TO BRUSSEL! A rather evocative title to fans of EM in Berlin School style, especially coming from Nothing But Noise whose first 2 parts of the eXistence Oscilla+ion trilogy has thrown froth of sounds very close to the style put on the world map by Tangerine Dream. Here again, the experimentation, this sound photography of the duo consisted by Daniel Bressanutti and Dirk Bergen is still as audacious, even quasi-experimental, with the creativity of analog instruments. The trip is done by train, and the different tones during passages on a bridge or in a tunnel are there to remind us, as well as the rhythms that are modulated on the progression of these slender mechanical snakes which crisscross the 5 continents of Earth.

A first train leaves Berlin. At least, that's what I presume! The train station is filled with reverberations that wave on the tarmac, a bit like a big whistle signaling the presence of the train at the station. We hear rattling, it's the boarding of thousands confused steps. The reverberation waves play with their floating movements that orchestrations freeze in a moment of emotion. The first strokes of the beat come after this mise-en-scene, which undoubtedly responds more to my imagination than to reality. It's 2:27 and the winds are disrupting the wharves. The rhythm is shaped by echoes of the sequencer's strokes and the ambiences get warmed by layers of an ocher color. The sequences follow one another in a sober rhythmic creation that a bass line snatches into the decor with slow oblong loops. The landscape scrolls faster than the rhythm, while it's this line of bass, the ripples became more fluid, which stands in for the stormy sequencer's strikes. It is 5:36 and Berlin is now flowing with greater ease. The alignment is well oiled. Fat and juicy sequences complement the gravity of the rhythm while the synths stimulate the moods by injecting a surreal fauna, if you consider that I am inside a train. An idea of these ambiences? A strange choir, cellos in staccato mode and shouts of screaming and angry specters with their high-pitched voices cling to these resonant and furious sequences which structure the frenetic rhythm of Berlin core. We are at 12:27 and the train no longer vibrates, the rhythm no longer beats, but the ambience breathes by a multitude of lines with colors as disparate as disturbing, which gradually gives way to an unexpected movement of serenity.

It is known! Brussels is an effervescent city. And we must expect this kind of enthusiasm when starting to discover Brussel. From the introduction, the sounds are different and very vivid. Electric sequences sparkle in all directions, simulating an avant-gardist train leaving an electrified station. The rhythm is phantom with noises of wheels on rails and percussive effects that seem disoriented in this static din which depletes its energies in a phase of surreal ambiances. We are at 8:30 and the strata with hybrid colors are pulling as much on the dark side as a very scarlet one with screeches that blend with the comfort of the indecisive. Knocks have popped up here and there, but nothing to structure a lively approach. But everything is set up to offer these heavy rhythms which have activated the structure of Berlin. Other sequences cut chop finely that white noises field that encircle the resonances of a train rolling at high speed with fine variations in its effort. Ghostly layers roll up these frictions of the sequencer, which is still deploying seductive elements in its race to imitate a train that no one would take. Excellent, even if very convoluted! This is the kind of title that requires more than one listening in order to get in with both feet joint. It's not because it's short that it's more accessible, eXprmnt 42 is here to remind it to us. Structured through many layers of rhythms and of ornamental elements, the music breathes of a fascinating lightness. A playful title I would say that takes full advantage of its 6 minutes to make us pass through a range of sound emotions.

FROM BERLIN TO BRUSSEL is probably the most accessible album (yes-yes) of Nothing but Noise, if we are looking for the Berlin School style which is the essence of the Belgian duo, but which exploits it mainly as a backdrop. Here, the sequences are heavy, juicy and resonant in wild races where it's always impossible to dance, like in the Berlin School. Daniel Bressanutti and Dirk Bergen show an unparalleled creativity by pulling out a sounding fauna which is as seductive as the magnetism of the sequencers. Heavy, my floor slats have moved, incisive, my eardrums still resonate, and totally wild, my neighbors have even lodged some complaints, it's the quintessence of a universe of rhythms and ambiences without borders.

Sylvain Lupari (May 5th, 2019) ****½*

Available at Nothing But Noise's Bandcamp

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