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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

OTARION: Monument (2015)

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

Melodious, intense and rather pompous; Monument surfs on the deep emotions of Genius and goes to a solid Electronica

1 Movement 8:37

2 Touch the Sky (Pt.1) 5:18

3 Stardriver 7:24

4 Hidden Place 5:07

5 The Prophecy 7:35

6 The Discovery 6:49

7 Touch The Sky (Pt.2) 3:53

8 The Monument 14:45

9 Lost Past 4:17

10 Upstairs 8:31

(CD-r/DDL 72:14) (V.F.)

(Cinema, New Berlin School and Electronica)

I quite fell under the charms of Otarion with the music of Genius. I know! We are far, even very far, from the long sound rivers of Berlin School where eclectic ambiences are linked to rhythms in constants fusion and division. But we are always in the realm of EM with a Rainer Klein very philosopher who looks for all the recipes in order to give us goose bumps. Melodious, intense and rather pompous; MONUMENT surfs on the deep emotions of Genius, then goes in a phase of Electronica where the Enigma and Era genre is pumping oil on furious rhythms to finally end in structures a little bit closer of progressive music with, and always, a very strong attraction for the Vangelis arrangements. Chronicle of an album that we taste phase by phase.

Some very melancholic notes of piano are piercing an iridescent veil and walk shyly in the echoes of clogs' bangings. The movement is soft. Clouds mutter in the background, giving to Movement this dramatic film style so much desired by Rainer Klein. We surf on the ashes of Genius. Clouds tremble in the 2nd minute, igniting the fire of Movement. The rhythm then is heavy. A good nervous mid-tempo, it quavers in perfumes of Électronica with brief technoïd lassoes which go and come in the shivers of a good structure of bass among which the palpitations which get tangling in an interesting game of percussions a la Jean-Michel Jarre are weavers of a creative and alive rhythm of which we forget that it carries good nasal harmonies blown by a synth a bit Arabian. The rhythm loses a little of its eagerness and binds its finale to the intro of Touch the Sky (Pt.1) which is a more ethereal piece of music with metallic elytrons which spin into the tears of synth/guitar and in the breezes of angelic voices. Pulsations make vibrate, and the ears, the walls and the souls, letting to a wonderful and soft piano to lay down a too beautiful melody that would make cry the most sensitive of the nostalgic. Touch the Sky (Pt.2) is even more poignant, but not as much than the beginning of Stardriver and its superb voice of an Elf woman that could make the trees crying. The piano which scrolls its agile note afterward guides us towards an intense phase where a strange and very foggy melody floats in the echoes of percussions which flutter as in Chariots of Fire. Stardriver tumbles afterward into a structure animated by elements of dance and Électronica where this voice of a semi-god roams as the vestiges of Enigma on a rhythm which ends to be eventually pompous. Hidden Place is a pretty nice melody, kind of very ethereal ballad, which uses the perfume of Vangelis with a superb intro strummed in tenderness where sing some beautiful synth solos which sail on a soft rhythm.

Afterward, we enter in the Electronica phase of MONUMENT. Boom-boom, tsitt-tsitt, thin lines of stroboscopic sequences, palpitations and structures of nervous percussions as well as wrapping floating and dancing violins; The Prophecy and The Discovery remind me of The Bronski Beat or still Frankie Goes to Hollywood but with an even more energetic tempo and some even more pompous arrangements. The voice has no words, but breaths of oracles which can tickle as much the senses as much as it can annoy them. It's according to tastes. It's lively. The arrangements are very good, even creative, but it's not really my cup of tea. After the very beautiful Touch the Sky (Pt.2), I know I am a romantic, The Monument brings us to another level in the repertoire of Otarion. A delicate melody, hammered in a carillon, opens the path. A threatening fog rises above this ritornello a bit devilish, bringing a dramatic phase where very beautiful solos whistle around the sequences which flicker on a kind of funeral march. And like a cocoon which would have several metamorphoses before hatching, The Monument will change structures as well as roles passing from good electronic rock to some good progressive themes while sniffing at more furious rhythms of Electronica. It's a good, a solid track filled with deep ambiospherical passages where the guitar spit dreamy solos, where the choirs murmur morphic melodies and the synth embalm the ambiences of dreamlike solos floating in beautiful arrangements. Lost Past is as much poignant as the Touch the Sky saga with a piano which loses its very melancholic notes in cosmic mists. That reminds me of Rick Wright's evasive sweetnesses. The guitar makes nothing to decrease this sensation that we are hearing a bit of Pink Floyd here with delicate floating layers which are perfumed by David Gilmour's delicacies. This is a good ambiospherical track. Upstairs ends my second rendezvous with the music of Otarion by a muddled approach. The melody is ambient and very ethereal with fluty voices which murmur in the reverberant rays from some sonic hoops. Layers of sequences glitter there without really structuring a rhythmic approach which hatches more from the echoes of hoops to adopt a delicate mid-tempo perfumed of very airy pads from a synth or/and a guitar.

I quite liked MONUMENT. They are great moments here. Rainer Klein shows that he is not afraid of going out of his comfort zone by bringing other kind of wealth to his structures which always remain soaked of dramatic elements always within the reach of these shivers which tickle us the thorn in strong cinematographic moments. It's a very nice mosaic of styles where we find a little of everything, but especially this touch of Otarion who always manages to shake our inside.

Sylvain Lupari (June 28th, 2015) ***½**

Available on MellowJet Records

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