PARALLAXE: Breaking The Laws of Physics (2015)
“With its mixes of comsic rock and pure e-rock, this album possesses quite a range of influences that will know how to find a special place in your ears”
1 Burning Planet of Ice 5:50 2 Breaking The Laws of Physics 8:07 3 Cosmic Thunderstorm 6:41 4 Sailing on an Astral Sea 13:59 5 The Diamond Planet 8:12 6 The Himiko Cloud 9:44 7 The Ocean of Time 10:19 Parallaxe Music
(DDL 62:54) (V.F.) ****
(Cosmic rock and New Berlin School)
It's a Synth&Sequences reader that put me on the trail of Parallaxe. Having searched on their Bandcamp site and having listened to some music extracts, I decided to dive and to know more about it. And I quite enjoyed this first contact which let glimpse good possibilities. Parallaxe is a project between two synthesist who are separated by more than 6550 KM (4070 Miles). Arend Westra (a.k.a. Eagle) is a musicians/producer of Walterswald, Holland, and Brian Brylow (a.k.a. Arpegiator) is a designer of sounds, a musician and producer from Milwaukee, USA. Both artists met virtually through the social networks such as Facebook, Fandalism, Reverbnation and Soundcloud. The 3 last ones being musicians' sites. In the course of their exchanges they noticed that their musical visions fit together, in spite of the differences in their influences and in their cultures. From where the name of Parallaxe. A nice story! And the music now?
You will be seduced straightaway by Burning Planet of Ice. From the first breaths of the synth, we notice the very sonic identity of the duet. The harmonies are sculpted in a synth of which the fluty tone is just rather high to seduce without breaking the wall of the stridency. One would say a flute of Pan with an electronic tone. If the harmonies of the synth are an easy object of seduction, the weaving of the electronic rhythms is clearly more attractive on the other hand for those who tasted the movements of bouncing and crisscrossed sequences from Chris Franke. And if these electronic percussions which clicked in the cosmic winds of Michael Garrison or, yet Jean-Michel Jarre were a delight to your ears, this album possesses thus quite a range of influences that will know how to find a special place in your ears. The influences of both musicians are shared between the music of Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre for Eagle, while those of Arpegiator embrace rather the kinds of Brian Eno to Hans Zimmer while passing by Art of Noise and Stockhausen without forgetting Klaus Schulze. The only common denominator between them is the influence of Tangerine Dream. And we clearly feel it in the electronic effects that plunge us in the years of Exit and White Eagle and into the movements of the structures of rhythms which are filled with fat and juicy sequences. Each track here offers variants inside its structure, going from a well-fed rock which scatters the skeleton of its sequences towards some more ambient-cosmic phases. The title-track presents also a structure of ambient rhythm in an approach which is more ethereal that reminds me of Free System Projekt. In particular for the fluty synth and its vaporous harmonies floating on a sometime heavy structure with layers of mystic mist imposing a psychotronic vision. Cosmic Thunderstorm proposes a vision which is more in the Electronica a la Jarre with its electronic castanets. Speaking about intrusive vampiric melodies; Sailing on an Astral Sea is going to eat away at your eardrums with a synth very acuteness of which the harmonies float like a boat on a moderate sea. The Diamond Planet could easily be thought of as a mellow-mix of Stratosfear while The Himiko Cloud, a beautiful morphic down-tempo, puts us back more in the White Eagle years on a flabby structure of rhythm such as one likes. A structure which gives all the latitude to the synths to hang onto our ears these beautiful memories of the Exit and the White Eagle years. The Ocean of Time is the most ambiospherical piece of music in BREAKING THE LAWS OF PHYSICS with a long structure rich, both in tones and in emotions, which calls back before all this beautiful potential of Arend Westra and Brian Brylow.
Parallaxe is actually a nice surprise. And one of the beautiful attractions of this album is doubtless this capacity to merge so many influences in a mosaic of EM which joins admirably the bridges between the cultural differences of both artists. It's rather enticing to hear two periods of the Dream, the Virgin and Rockoon years, getting mixed up in the cosmic essences so much nearer as those of Michael Garrison and Jean-Michel Jarre on a bed of melodies as catchy as those of Vangelis or Hans Zimmer, otherwise Art of Noise. To discover when a complex and/or a too ambient EM will have eaten up the taste to listen to something else.
Sylvain Lupari (February 3rd, 2016) *****
Available at Parallaxe Bandcamp