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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

OPERA'S SPACE: Artefakt (2018)

“Artefakt does not belong to any category but is quite an adventure which end up enchanting my ears ... but in small doses”

1 Nanoschnaken 5:31 2 Phasenaggregat 7:26 3 Schwerdaten 7:16 4 ExpreSsservice 4:43 5 Raumfahrerlounge 6:02 6 Chronofant 9:20 7 Adrenalinmaschine 4:40 8 Erstkontakt 6:32 9 Erdkontakt 8:35 SynGate-Luna | CD-r pf17

(CD-r/DDL 67:52) (V.F.) (Neo-Psychedelic-Avantgarde-Space-Rock)

I am one of those, and they are many, to have took a seat and travelled in the incredible universe of Aus-Flug two years ago. Peter Schaefer's band gets in again with ARTEFAKT, an even more daring second album signed by a genre of Neo-Psychedelic-Avantgarde-Space-Rock. All that! Yes ... and I would add even abstract, as in totally crazy. The sounds take different forms and colors in an album rather difficult to tame, so much that each title imposes its continuous mutations. The synths are well flanked by the electronic drums and guitar, like in Aus-Flug. More daring and more creative, they diversify their harmonies and their solos into a mosaic of styles that very few ears can appreciate in the same creative setting, as the gaps are immense. Available at SynGate Luna, ARTEFAKT doesn't belong to any category but is quite an adventure where the sounds, rhythms and moods are nuggets sound that end up enchanting my ears ... but at small doses.

Nanoschnaken puts us in appetite with a brief sci-fi introduction before pulling us between a kind of Jazz and Hip-Hop fusion, the structure jumps constantly, with some very Kraftwerk sound effects, like in Autobahn. The synths are melodious with well-detailed harmonies and solos whereas the guitar sews riffs which go hand-in-hand with an effective and incisive Dr. Where on electronic drums. The 5 minutes also deploy a nice collection of sound effects that suits very well to the many tonal personalities of Mme. Curry and Pete Farn on synths. In an identity stolen from the opening piece, Phasenaggregat melts between progressive Jazz, with a synth with harmonic solos dipped in saxophone aromas, and a kind of down-tempo which hiccups on a background of dance & stop. Opera's Space machine deploys its range of sound effects, adorning a structure, and all the others by the way, which stretches its 7 minutes with short phases of ambiences' elements. So far, the impression of being in a jam session of the quartet of EM without borders resists any other perceptions. Especially that Schwerdaten comes with its muffled implosions which jump with a resonance in the steps. We are in the very avant-gardist space rock here and it requires a good mental image of the 4 musicians and of their connections to appreciate this kind of rather acidic space rock, like Ozric Tentacles or Art Zoyd without orchestrations or string nor winds instruments. Everything is purely electronic in this cybernetic quartet! The rhythm leaves a little of its heaviness in the 2nd part, running without feet and with fluidity over a splendid and astonishing bass line in a cosmic corridor.

The music of ExpreSsservice is at the image of its title with a lively and deliciously crazy structure. I liked this title where the footprint of the Düsseldorf School melts in an ambience of a dozen rabbits running in all directions in front of a pack of foxes under a sonic sky decorated of weird fractures of tones. Raumfahrerlounge is the first title that hooked me on a first listen. Its stroboscopic opening structure reminds me of good Death in Vegas. For a brief moment! Very early on, the rhythm and the music take another crescent which proposes a musicality always accessible, even in a presentation always in movement and where some of these movements skids towards spheres of psychedelic electronic rock. But it doesn't matter, there's always a bit of musicality, like a quite charming short oriental phase, which rewards my patience. And it is the full 68 minutes of ARTEFAKT which abounds of great moments behind its image of music without name or border. Chronofant is a slow title with fuzz-wha-wha and keyboard chords which haunt the resonances of another good bass line. I am in the zones of a cosmic and psybient slow tempo with some good guitar effects and layers with rather chthonian perfumes. The title evolves into another phase of psychedelic cosmic rock, thus preparing our ears for the tonal blooming of Adrenalinmaschine which takes us even further into the realm of abstract music. The difference between Erstkontakt and Erdkontakt? If the first is purely ambient with sounds from another dimension, but not for the synth pads, the other is a good rock drenched in a down-tempo invaded by a swarm of sound effects. A title that pleasantly concludes this ARTEFAKT, an album even more daring, and at times quite beyond reach, from Opera's Space. Sylvain Lupari (December 20th, 2018) *****

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

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