P'FAUN: the golden peacock (2018)
Updated: Apr 11
“This the golden peacock is another must-have album from a trio that is far from being an idea that has shone only the time of a concert”
1 so ham (a suite) 14:49 2 flying fish 7:01 3 king gong 9:15 4 house in the storm - part 2 10:58 5 number five (is still alive) 7:18 6 p'quences 14:39 7 blue pearls - part 1 7:23 8 blue pearls - part 2 7:05 Groove NL | GR-254
(CD 78:28) (V.F.) (Electronic prog rock, Berlin School)
After a first EP released earlier this year that foreshadowed beautiful things from P'Faun, THE GOLDEN PEACOCK confirms that sp'roque was far from being an idea that has shone only the time of a concert. For this first album on the Groove label, the descendant of P'Cock offers a brilliant album where the colors of EM are mixed to a solid symphonic rock with a surprising musicality. Heavy, incisive and so much catchy, this album follows this curve of creativity that the duo Betzler & Brückner has initiated in 2015 with the album Two.
so ham (a suite) offers a paradisiacal introduction with peacock cries and dialogues, quite humorous I should add, from explorers in the jungle of P'Faun. Doris Hach's cello weaves a gloomy ambience which is bickering with sitar effects and gongs. With the density of orchestrations and of the organ pads, this opening to THE GOLDEN PEACOCK is torn between its heavy cinematic moods, the psychedelic designs of the synths and the nervous percussion of Tommy Betzler. Sammy David's guitar takes the guides and forces an invasion towards a heavy electronic progressive rock that remains stuck under the multiple effects and solos of the synths which adorn this approach of ambient rock with a slight psybient veil. Between its phases of rhythms and of non-rhythms, its stormy meditative ambiances and its symphonic cinematographic imprint, so ham (a suite) drifts into a sibylline universe where the quiet-ambient side is as opaque as omnipresent. It's with flying fish that the journey to the universe of the album begins. The rhythm is heavy and lively. Built on flowing sequences, which are in Berlin School mode, and the powerful strikes of Tommy Betzler, the rhythm is also sat on a solid bass that recalls the game of Chris Squire in Yes. We have a strong electronic rock with a good duel between Michael Brückner, solid on the sequencer and on synths, and Sammy David, who throws some very good guitar solos between our ears. king gong follows with its heavy rhythm and its Bleusy guitar a la King Crimson played by Gerd Weyhing. Tommy Betzler beats his drums with strength while harmonizing them with bells on this structure whose rhythmic mass wobbles towards phases always a little more meditative. We are not far from Frank Zappa on this track which asks us a little time of listening in order to discover its beauties. House in the Storm is the flagship title, at least its second part which was featured on an Innovative Communication compilation, from the former band of Tommy Betzler; P'Cock. I always had a weakness spot for this title and it's with pleasure, and a little of mistrust, that I welcomed house in the storm - part 2 between the walls of my living room. And mistrust had no reason to be because indeed it's this 2nd part, of a 9 minutes length, which is extricated from an introduction of ambiences filled with the Indian perfumes of Mind Over Matter. The rhythm is lively and circular, with percussive rattling and the bluish haze of synth's silvery reflection effects. The guitar and percussions take care of the rest which is no more or less the exact reflection of this restored version of this title in its contemporary version which is catchier and more electronic. The guitar is just amazing here!
Speaking of guitar, it's none other than Harrald Nies who makes his chords, riffs and solos run on the thrumming rhythm of number five (is still alive). The bass, played by Sammy David, throbs with passion in an introduction where Harald's riffs and chords play finesse with a good rhythmic programming of Michael Brückner whose Berliner mode is joined by the nervous percussions of TB. We discover a heavy e-rock in its stationary bubble with good rousing impulses where heaviness is orchestrated by a synth loaded of psychosis scents. Composed by Michael Brückner and René van der Wouden, p'quences is the most electronic title of this THE GOLDEN PEACOCK. Its rhythm is lively and structured by these lines of sequences whose agile flickering line up like long undulating filaments that go alongside and intertwine in a very good Berlin School style. The percussions give more relief to this rhythm whose modifications in the movement of the sequencer go from more or less ambient phases to other more extreme ones in terms of liveliness. The synths imagine cosmic decors with good effects and solos as agile as these aerial choreographies of supersonic jets. Huge and very intense! The 14 minutes of blue pearls close this impressive opus from Tommy Betzler, Michael Brückner and Sammy David with 2 parts split into a powerful electronic progressive rock as ingenious as quite melodious. blue pearls- part one offers a muddy, a vaporous introduction where the 3 musicians tune their instruments as well as their ideas. Sibylline fog banks move forward with a hint of unreal voices. If you can hardly hear the jingling in the distance, it's quite different for the bass which is more voracious than the very timid guitar. But it changes very slowly when the guitar tries to create those evanescent melodies of Mark Knopfler. The riffs begin to hiccup, awakening the percussions while the anesthetic synth layers release effects of guttural gurgles. Fragrances of orchestrations try to hide the intentions of Sammy David, but too late the percussions move nervously and plunge blue pearls-part one in an electronic rock heavier than slow with another stunning presence of the bass which chews the beat like the genius Chris Squire. And it's with the arrival of blue pearls- part two that the trio embraces a phase of galloping electronic rhythm like these cavalries in a progressive electronic rock where synth and guitar harmonize their duels in a superb fusion of Berlin School and progressive symphonic rock. Another must-have from the label Groove which has just launched 3 little musical bombs with the latest albums of Spyra, Can Atilla and this THE GOLDEN PEACOCK.
Sylvain Lupari (November 17th, 2018) *****
Available at Groove nl