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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ODYSSEY: Music for Subway (Symphony for Analogues) (2012)

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

This is an enchanting album build around the influences of an artist who literally propelled the cosmic music out of orbit

CD 1 (49:36)

Music for Subway - Station 1 to Station 10

CD 2 (47:13)

Music for Subway - Station 11 to Station 20

(DDL 96:49) (V.F.)

(Poland School, Progressive EM)

At the time where digital and software synths are invading the studio recordings and basements of EM composers, the analog gear is quietly resurfacing. Sculptor of sound and musical textures, the Polish synthesist Tomasz Pauszek decided to pay tribute to the cradle of his influences by composing an album completely conceived on analog equipment. MUSIC FOR SUBWAY (Symphony for Analogues) is a long electronic symphony which lies on 20 paintings divided in 2 acts. Odyssey plunges the auditor into a surprising sound immersion of a musical universe that has no borders and where the cosmic ambiences embrace some fine rhythms pushed by oscillations with sophisticated curves. Even if the influences of Tomasz Pauszek go from Tangerine Dream to Klaus Schulze, while passing by Mike Oldfield and Kitaro, MUSIC FOR SUBWAY (Symphony for Analogues) is drawn from Jean-Michel Jarre's electronic-galactic ponds with all the sound fauna of the Milky Ways painted by Vangelis. In brief, it's an attractive musical cocktail which let's hear all of its magnificence with a good pair of earphones. After the music for airports and for elevators, here is all the new quintessence in analog electronic art; EM for subways.

Like when we are entering in a subway station, MUSIC FOR SUBWAY (Symphony for Analogues)displays its ambiences with some dense cosmic waves which pass over the passengers and break out through the banisters of Station1 with a hiccupping rhythm which rolls in loop under suave synth harmonies. You think of being in the lands JMJarre? You are completely right! The rhythmic approach and the harmonies are terribly near the melodies and the film music of the French cinema. The tempo is charmingly old-fashioned and comes close of the underground paces of Space Art with a synth of which the shrillness breezes forge an electronic melody which sings in our ears with a disconcerting fragility. These strident blizzards rush into Station 2 such as howling of Martenot waves which float and roam among the colorful jingles of a cosmic streetcar. All along his electronic analog symphony, Odyssey mixes skillfully the rhythms and ambiences with an attractive and creative melodic approach. Station 3 is superb with its ghostly rhythm molded in the amplitudes and reverberations which roll in loops under the jingles of cymbals and spectral breaths in an Aeolian oblivion stuffed of an incredible sound fauna which separates the rhythm of its rhythmic envelope. Mainly statics, the movement offers fine variations which modulate Station 3 into a long cosmic delirium. Station 4 offers a heavier pace which pulsates with frenzy into a tunnel decorated with ochre smoke and blue electricity. Station 5 is a sweet symphony that could be likened to a dark melody for the Phantom of Tramway with its tones of organs cooing in the shadows of its harmonies. Station 6 offers a beautiful lunar melody which sings under a bed of arpeggios teeming of an organic life. After a Station 7 akin to Station 1, Station 8 deploys another beautiful melody finely cut in the echo of the synth loops which sings under the fat impulses of a cosmic train rolling into some intergalactic disturbances. The fine melodies moulded into French melancholies are following one another on this first CD which concludes with two serenades to odors of spiritual virginity.

Disc 2 opens by a threatening approach with layers of organ tones which stack in a cosmic universe, paving the path to the very nice Station 12 and its lively rhythm à la Oxygene of which the sound effects are papering its background. After the floating and strident Station 13 and Station 14, Station 15 gives a fine oscillatory rhythm which undulate among crystalline arpeggios dancing in parallel of a pace which spreads its heavenly harmonies into the structures of Station 16, one of the good tracks of this double CD. This CD 2 is a bit more ambient with short titles more cosmic than rhythmic, like on Station 1 and Station 18 where Jarre's moods flood our ears with a cosmic poetry which is good to hear again. Even the rhythms are embedded in these dreamy moods, much like the rotary motion of Station 19 which cannot get rid of a linear stranglehold to interstellar ornaments. Station 20 concludes this symphony of analog sonic textures with an abstract pace that some fine celestial harmonies are turning into a role as much obscure as absent.

We cannot like MUSIC FOR SUBWAY (Symphony for Analogues) which is an enchanting album build around the influences of an artist who literally propelled the cosmic music out of orbit. One would believe to hear Jean-Michel Jarre in every corner of this latest opus from Odyssey which is a pleasant lunar symphony with a multitude of delicate rhythms which take refuge in the tranquility of the Mare Tranquillitatis. It's superbly beautiful and poetic. One has always this feeling of floating between two worlds which, if they are not to wear feet, are to wear ears.

Sylvain Lupari (August 5th, 2012) *****

Available at Generator Pl

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