“A pretty good EP which flirts between retro and new Berlin School”
1 Chocolate Cosmos 10:55
2 Saturns Hexagon 14:44
(DDL E.P. 25:39) (V.F.)
Here is a mini download album that has the attributes to please any aficionado of a well-done Berlin School. Parallaxe is a duo composed of Arend Westra, the Dutch musician behind Eagle (Synth Music), and the American musician-synthesist Brian Brylow. CHOCOLATE COSMOS is an EP that is a preview of 2 upcoming projects of the American-Dutch duo, a tribute album to Klaus Schulze and the second album of Parallaxe, after the 2015 Breaking the Laws of Physics, that should be released soon. And at $3 US, it's a good investment to discover 2 artists who mix quite well the rhythmic and harmonic essences of an electronic music (EM) that flirts between retro and new Berlin School.
The title track starts with these electronic tones of which the crystalline kaleidoscope produces chirps that are reminiscent of Klaus Schulze's first electronic effects. Whispers of interstellar whales stretch their roundness in this astral opening set on a distance of 60 seconds. Sonic swirls and mermaid effects are among other sound elements that surround the spiral march of a delicately jerky movement which reminds of a vintage EM rhythmic structure made in France. Two minutes later and Chocolate Cosmos hops along two parallel rhythm axes. A rubbery pulsing bass-line and a swarm of convulsive arpeggios combine fluidity and jerkiness over a good shadow of a buzzing bass. There is a nice warmth around this rhythm, and the electronic percussions give it the necessary momentum to propel it on the pace of a good cosmic rock. The synths draw dreamy arabesques with very good solos whose twists, aerial pirouettes and especially harmonies will delight the aficionados of those vintage years. The link with Schulze is quite thin, except for a minimalist movement that flirts towards a more danceable approach. The envelope and the sound effects, very conquering in the second half of the track, constantly bring me back to the cosmic years of the French School. In the end, it's a very good track! Saturns Hexagon is not to be outdone by offering a slightly more fluid rhythm structure. Sequences, bass-pulses and sober electronic percussions enliven this minimalist structure which zigzags with short hooks, accentuating a pace always inspired by the subtle attenuations in its flow. Like in Chocolate Cosmos, the synths dominate the ambiences with more sober solos that prefer a more harmonic vision than to be stylized by improvisations loops. The essence of the Berlin School of the Adalbert Von Deyen years, for the orchestrations of cosmic mist, and Tangerine Dream, for the evolution in nuance of the sequencer, is very palpable and justifies amply the purchase of this solid EP which lets foresee very beautiful things to come from Parallaxe.
Sylvain Lupari (November 27th, 2022) *****
Available at Parallaxe Bandcamp
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