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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Pabellón Sintético Mies van der Rohe's dreams (2023)

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

A solid album and one of the Argentine label's finest works this year

1 Barcelona Pavilion 8:04

2 Farnsworth house 5:47

3 Modern architecture 7:52

4 Bauhaus 8:05

5 Less is more 1:28

6 Open spaces 6:48

7 Villa Tugendhat 6:02

8 Lightness and brightness 8:58

(DDL/CD-(r) 53:09) (V.F.)

(New Berlin School E-Rock)

An undulating synth layer is droning as Barcelona Pavilion opens. We hear percussive scrapings, electronic noises that bring us closer to the stars, as well as a synth elaborating a kind of sad chant. A chant that becomes more musical, electronic, with tunes reminiscent of Jean-Michel Jarre's repertoire, if not that of the late Michael Garrison. The sequencer starts to make a rhythm line dance after the 80th second. Discreet at first, it comes and goes with more vivacity around the amplifications of this humming wave. A melodic thread is grafted onto this sequence, and I too think of Tangerine Dream's Logos. Bass pulsations, or electronic percussions, add aplomb to the rhythm with symmetrical banging and some nice percussive rattles. Slowly, the rhythm takes on a circular shape, with slender oblongs creating a stroboscopic effect. While the rhythm displays its richness, the melodic aspect is not left out with a Pablo Bilbao delighting our ears with superb synth solos, whose hybrid and/or apocalyptic trumpet-like tones and mellotron solos explain how the depths of electronic music are so appealing. Barcelona Pavilion sets the tone for Pabellón Sintético's second album, which is clearly superior to Instructions for Building an Orange, a seductive album that lacked homogeneity. Here, everything follows on from each other, with electronic rhythm anthems that sound a little alike in a musicality inspired by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The Argentinian musician-synthesist leaves out complexity, not creativity, in his compositions to offer 7 solid tracks built on the same precepts as Barcelona Pavilion. All in all, MIES VAN DER ROHE'S DREAMS is a very good, catchy and melodious New Berlin School album.

A bit like Farnsworth house that follows with fat, juicy sequences. They hop and stomp in their shadows, creating one of those electronic rhythms that ends up serving as a scenery to the main beat. The keyboard drops inconsequential chords, somewhat masking the Jarre-like rhythm line that blossoms in the background. Percussive clicks compete with multiple twisted synth effects to deepen the field of interest for our ears, which open even wider with those melodious synth and mellotron solos that soar over the dimensions of MIES VAN DER ROHE'S DREAMS. Silky-smooth as silk, the orchestrations stretch out their sleep-inducing layers over the rhythm where some discreet percussions get grafted on just after the 3-minute mark. Modern Architecture is more in the atmospheric genre, with golden layers sliding between our ears over its 8-minute length. The synthesizer subdivides the tones of these layers, blowing out some that are more melodic and others that drift with a good orchestral accent drifting between the sails. Customary electronic tones and percussive embellishments adorn this sleepy intro, which awakens with a pulsating bass line after 2 minutes. This line alters its tonal envelope and intensity level, adding a dramatic depth that rubs off on the orchestrations. The keyboard drops arpeggios, giving a touch of Pink Floyd to these warm, meditative ambiences that encourage us to dream with contemplative eyes. All this leads to the excellent Bauhaus and its double rhythm structure, which unlocks on a very solid electronic rock around its 5th minute. A repetitive sequence starts jumping around at the 40th second. The intro is adorned with the usual EM subtilities, and the rhythm stamps more and more on our ears, bouncing briskly beneath resonant chords of threat. Another rhythmic structure emerges, zigzagging between the symmetrical pounding of the first. The sequencer activates a good ratchet effect, you know those dribbling sequences, a little after the 3rd minute. The structure gets more fluid and also more musical, finally exploding into a good electronic rock melodiously dressed by an inspired keyboard. Pabellón Sintético adds very nice nuances while playing on the music's harmonic modulations, making Bauhaus the catchiest track on MIES VAN DER ROHE'S DREAMS.

The short Less is more a kind of reflection from the Argentinian musician on a sequencer in tandem with the synth. Its chords and its reverberations are metalized in a granite blue. After an opening typical of the cosmic genre, although some chthonian humming can be heard, Open spaces attacks our ears with two sequencer lines converging on a driving electronic rhythm. While one line is repetitive, the other focuses on a lower intonation. It becomes the rhythmic guide for an inspiring keyboard with its beautiful melody line that climbs into astral clouds dominated by elven voices. As the synth throws in some very nice fluty solos, Open spaces moves into a solid electronic rock that gets our toes tapping with clattering percussions. The bass line is as catchy as seductive, and just as effective as this mesh of sequencer, bass sequences and robotic percussions. The music, rhythm and melody have the essence of those electronic rock made in France in the 70's. Imho, Bauhaus and Open spaces really are the highlights of Pabellón Sintético's second album. You can already hear the sequencer whispering its forthcoming rhythm in the sleep-inducing breaths that introduce Villa Tugendhat. We can also hear birds chirping, excited but restrained random beats, as well as the vague swirls of a bass slick shaking with its ghostly impacts. Villa Tugendhat may be violent in its stationary envelope, but the orchestrations that come from it are of a tender nature. The track gets underway with the multiple undulations and acrobatics of a sequenced arpeggio line. As rhythmic as it is melodic, with these moiré sequences piled up in single file and bouncing in lively alternation, this rhythmic line undulates and winds its way through the fictive dunes and undulating zones with the support of sober but tenacious percussions, while the synth multiplies its warm solos that make us dream as much as the morphic softness of the orchestrations. Lightness and brightness is also a track in stationary mode, with sequences whose rubbery tones leap within a restricted circle. Here again, the sequencer offers delicious ratcheting effects on synth strings haloed by a texture that is both seraphic and its opposite, sibylline. The bass modulations, which sound like Solar Fields, sink us into our sofa. There's an emotional effervescence to this track that's linked to the intensity of the synth waves which filter its azure hues, whistling through a sky where the sun reflects the blazing cold of ice floes. These layers and the exquisite bass line give us those shivers of contemplation unique to these great moments of music created to make our ears the engine of our imagination. A solid album from Pabellón Sintético and one of the finest, more musical works from the Cyclical Dreams label this year.

Sylvain Lupari (September 1st, 2023) ****½*

Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp

(NB: Texts in blue are links you can click on)

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