PABELLON SINTÉTICO: Instructions for Building an Orange (2021)
Updated: Jan 4
“Cyclical Dreams excels in the art of producing great contemporary EM with a zest of Berlin School. Pabellón Sintético is another of those gems”
1 Alex's Eyes 5:10
2 Orange Architecture 9:09
3 Dystopian Future 4:59
4 Darkness and Day (feat Francisco Nicosia) 6:30
5 Playing in the Rain 4:52
6 Walk Along the River 10:40
7 Skybreak House 6:36
(DDL 47:58) (V.F.)
(Progressive TD's Berlin School)
It's with a wave amplifying its measure that Alex' Eyes makes tinkle its first arpeggios between our ears. If the introduction is static, the musicality settles quickly with a series of sequenced arpeggios which come and go by jerks under a veil of mist which combines orchestrations and hums. Teutonic and melodic, a bit like Kraftwerk, the rhythm clings to a good bass-sequence line to sculpt a robotic dance. Ambient percussive sound effects are inserted a little before the percussions get in, about 20 seconds after the 2nd minute, to solidify a rhythmic structure as catchy as its melody is so seductive. The electronic waves that encircle Alex's Eyes bring our ears back to a time as distant as those melodies that made us vibrate in Radio-Activity from the Düsseldorf quartet. This good structure of electronic music (EM) kicks off an attractive first album-download from Pabellón Sintético, nom-de-plume of Pablo Bilbao, one of the co-founders of Cyclical Dreams. He is also part of Cartas de Japón, which gave us the excellent Sequence at the End of the World, and showed us some of his talent on the Dreams #1 compilation, as well as having participated in Lucas Tripaldi's album, Antes de la lluvia. Inspired by drawings, of the kind seen on the cover, and the movie A Clockwork Orange, INSTRUCTION FOR BUILDING AN ORANGE offers a wide range of styles from complex EM to a more accessible style, such as Alex's Eyes, Dystopian Future and Playing in the Rain, tracks with a very catchy melody and rhythm. The order of the tracks is very well thought out in order to maintain the interest, more than justified, of the one who goes to discover a very good album full of surprises and winks to the vintage years.
A very good album that requires listenings since some tracks are totally lacking homogeneity and offers structures that evolve quite often in a rather short time. Let's take Orange Architecture! Once the neck is cleared, the fluid opening releases a series of liquefied pulses under mellotron synth layers. This opening, which spans over 120 seconds, leads into a circular movement of arpeggios that come and go with shimmering tones. A 3rd phase is prepared a few seconds later by elaborating an ascending structure in the most Berlin School tradition. The spinning motion turns with the shadow of its resonance under the bluish layers of synth waves. Percussion effects fizzle here and there, launching this invitation to percussions that solidifies the rhythmic backbone of Orange Architecture, which is now ready to throw us some nice synth solos with a slight hint of flute. The magic wears off between the 5th and 6th minute when the more orderly pulsations of the introduction burst out again in tandem with percussive elements until a bass shadow threatens to drag the track into a finale divided between rhythm and ambient phases. There are some good percussive effects on this track, as well as on Dystopian Future, which offers a nice melody over a carpet of sequenced marbles that get dribbled around like Chris Franke. Darkness and Day is a track composed with Francisco Nicosia. Faithful to the style of the latter, the two musicians offer us a very beautiful lunar lullaby which makes its spheroidal rounds to marry a long spasmodic circle once the percussions jump in. It's melodious and it ends in softness. Playing in the Rain offers a good structure of limpid sequences where a sly movement of a bass-sequence line gets grafted. These two parallel rhythms feed the appetite of a keyboard and its melodious arpeggios. And as soon as the synth song tries to charm us, we can't betray the kind of composition related to Johannes Schmoelling's. This is a great electronic ballad with well synchronized evolving movements.
All this leads us to Walk Along the River, a long atmospheric track more linear and above all more homogeneous. Musical layers float behind a veil of eddies, weaving a strange melody where some arpeggios drag in search of a rhythm, if not a melody. And it is on this last option that the sequencer forges an elusive evasive melody that a bass line brings in the dark recesses of this title which abounds in sibylline layers and others whose steel blue seems to choke distant hum. It's a very good ambient track that is in its place at this point of INSTRUCTION FOR BUILDING AN ORANGE which continues with Skybreak House that opens with azure winds pulling a luscious whistling synth melody. The orchestrations that follow are as poignant as they are trapped between these winds and the whistled melody. A first jumping key displays its elastic effect, giving relief to this first invitation of the sequencer which throws a second one a few seconds later. Some percussive elements, like Tangerine Dream in the album Poland, embellish the charming portion of a very beautiful melody trapped between its sequenced structure, its layers of mist and this rhythm of a kind of social dance which sways with a light Hispanic taste in the gait. It's like being between Heaven and Cosmos!
Like we can see, this first album-download of Pabellón Sintético respects the quality standards of the Argentine label. INSTRUCTION FOR BUILDING AN ORANGE is a very good album more melodic and catchy than complex and heterogeneous. There are very nice moments and too many beautiful winks to the vintage EM not to speak about it and to incite you to at least hear some snippets on You Tube. And like it's the case with so many albums from this label, it worth the money put on it!
Sylvain Lupari (January 3rd, 2022) *****
Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp