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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

OLIVIER BRIAND: Random Control (2013)

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

Random Control is a brilliant album with rhythms and harmonies which weave a mesmerizing universe of EM

1 Andernos Dreams 9:35

2 Random Control Part I 9:51

3 Random Control Part II 7:58

4 Random Control Part III 7:53

5 Modular Xpérience Part I 5 :01

6 Modular Xpérience Part II 6:26

7 Modular Xpérience Part III 8:51

8 Modular Xpérience Part IV 9:49

(DDL/CD-r 65:24) (V.F.)

(Experimental EM)

Noises. Sounds. Lot of noises and lot of sounds. Electronic chirpings, roaring twists and wheezes, iridescent curves and pallet of tones as eclectic as allegorical. Behind the noise and the cacophony of machines, there is music. The boldness of listening a little farther than what other artists have to offer is just enough let grow to discover Olivier Briand's jewels which are in hiding as pearls in the wildest of oysters. Let's take example on Andernos Dreams. After an intro where synths regurgitate an excess full of convoluted tones, a beautiful line of sequences emerges to make oscillate its jumping keys in an wavering rhythm. A zigzagging rhythm with two crisscrossed lines which rub and surpass themselves under the aegis of a synth with solos as much harmonious as a certain Tangerine Dream, The Keep era. Moreover, the analogy with the Dream tickles our ears behind this panoply of experimental approaches. The ambience is suffocating with these synths which sometimes sing, sometimes grumble under a rhythmic approach flooded by a torrent of synth sheaves. Except that the example of the musicality versus the cacophony seems very pale when we cross the Modular Xpérience saga.

The groans of a vocoder pierce a dense and thick cloud of colorful tones which smothers the intro of Random Control Part I. Synths spit some threatening waves at an informatics language with heavy resonant pads of which the sound shine irradiates the cosmic approaches of Jean-Michel Jarre. A line of sequence harpoons the cosmic frenzy of OB, weaving the embryo of a used rhythm which pounds into an electronic fair where the noise indisposes the roundabouts. And so is transposed the soft cacophony of Random Control Part I which pours its static hyperactivity up until the first minutes of Random Control Part II which offers a very beautiful, and surprising, movement of criss-crossed sequences which zigzag in a soft hypnotic rhythm. The rhythm is silky, at the limit poetic. Like some small pebbles falling with a surprising precision, the rhythm of Random Control Part II stamps the ambience of its delicate keys. Keys which dance and dance in foggy synth pads, reminding the lyrical works of the orgasmicosmic universe from JMJarre. It's very good. And while we settle comfortably in the armchair to kiss these pads, the lines of sequences forge a harmonious rhythm that we had forgotten on ice floes of the cosmic mists. These are superb minutes of an electronic ballet that Olivier Briand draws for our ears while that quietly Random Control Part II is melting into the splendid Random Control Part III and its beautiful small sibylline melody which is whistled by a synth, giving so a pleasant earworm. It has a very French flavor, I'm thinking of Thierry Fervant, while having a small devilish touch which would suit very well to a Halloween kind of movie.

Modular Xpérience is the cornerstone of this work which mixes up marvellously the ambient, the experimental, the rhythms and harmonies. Modular Xpérience Part I offers a cosmic, electronic and very ambiospherical intro. A sequence line makes born Modular Xpérience Part II of a furtive rhythm which goes and comes, takes up, comes down and slips over an electronic highway stuffed with mislaid percussions, enlightened by iridescent tones and flew over by cars ghosts. The rhythm and ambience are very Teutonic and very near the Düsseldorf School. The jewel bursts in Modular Xpérience Part III and its breath of Mellotron which weaves an enchanted flute lost in the abstract world. A flute to the taste of mist which resurfaces, chasing away the devils of the disobedient to make whistle a synth charmer of a spectral melody which roams as a soul of TD throughout the turbulence of sequences and electro-cosmic gurglings.

While quietly Modular Xpérience slips towards the unknown, this melody charms the senses. Smothered in a static molasses of tones, we hear it in being reborn in a translucent shape to get lost in the eddies of the iconoclastic noises of a heart-breaking finale which debauches the intense ambiospheric cacophony of Modular Xpérience Part IV. There where even the maestro lost control of his music which runs away under the tick-tack of a clock which has stole the time.

More exploratory than Transparences, RANDOM CONTROL is a brilliant album with rhythms and harmonies which die and reborn out of the abstract in order to weave a mesmerizing universe where the parallels cannot coexist without their conflicts. Our ears grate us like they ask for more. The sequences and their rhythmic progressions are simply ears teaser, while the synths fill by fragrances of Jarre and TD weave ambiences and melodies which reconcile us with the cacophony of celestial bodies and the singings of the disasters.

Sylvain Lupari (July 17th, 2013) ***½**

Available at PWM Distrib

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