PATRICK KOSMOS: Lophophora (2019)
“Despite some lengths Lophophora absolutely deserves its reissue because it's a solid album of good old KS’s style of Berlin School”
1 Lophophora Part 1 8:41
2 Lophophora Part 2 17:25
3 Cobra 20:52
4 Lophophora Part 3 14:32
(CD/DDL 61:32) (V.F.)
(Berlin School à la Schulze)
I always welcome this Groove initiative which aims to make us discover distant EM albums that have remained trapped in their borders. LOPHOPHORA is the 3rd album of Patrick "Kosmos" Wille album benefited from this action led by Ron Boots' master hand. And as much to say from the outset, this first opus in The Chronicles series is of an unstoppable beauty with its melodious arabesques woven in a cinematic vision highlighting the nomads of the dunes people.
A hollow wave and a slight percussive uproar initiate the opening of Lophophora Part 1 which wakes up at the sounds of agile percussions. These percussions and this bass line which crawls like a snake on a long branch must have influenced the artistic culture of Patrick O'Hearn since the memories of my sense of hearing carry me back to the days of Ancient Dreams and Eldorado. All that's missing is the sudden outbursts and we're there. Distant whistles and ringing accompany this esoteric dance in a semi-rhythmic phase with a synth whistling tunes from onlookers on a nowhere. The sudden outbursts? We find them, as well as rattlesnake jets, in a beefier finale as Lophophora Part 1 changes of zone and of skin to embrace a cosmic vision that extends up to Lophophora Part 2. From the first layers fallen, we feel the cinematographic influence of Walter Christian Rothe on the atmospheres of LOPHOPHORA. This opening is of atmospherical's elements with synth waves drifting in a Milky Way with its nasal songs covered by an organ veil. A superb walking of a duck on a single leg clings to the hopping pulsation which emerges after 4 minutes. This movement, completely unexpected, is full of tasty electronic elements that will hook a smile of nostalgia to fans of Robert Schroeder's sound experiments. Pulsations, hopping sequences and arpeggios as melodic as rhythmic dig the furrows of a fascinating harmonic symbiosis. Always a little nasal, the synth trumpets an air as tasty, in terms of tone, as this delirious march tracing long 8 and which falls asleep in clouds of ether after 10 minutes. The second part of Lophophora Part 2 seems to be looking for landmarks with synth pads that have put its origins to sleep. There are many pulsations, but they come and go without fury preferring to witness the chants of a synth charmer of senses. But whatever, Lophophora Part 2 is always looking for a way to end with as much charm as its first 10 minutes.
It's with Berber chants that the epic title Cobra opens. Clouds of reverberations and thunders of percussions shade the panorama of this opening which can make one think of the good old Klaus Schulze. The senses on alert and the elements in suspension; our ears are riveted to this introduction which continually makes grow its bank of sounds and its effects of intensity. Driven by well-spaced pulses, Cobra evolves slowly and reaches its zone of wooshh and wiishh with a military march after the door of 8 minutes. The synth then throws solos with a delicate Latin bouquet which cling to an ascent sewn into the intensity of a fictional infantry's drum rolls. Our ears fall into a zone of musical reconstruction around the 13 minutes where a keyboard and a sequencer sculpt an ambient refrain whose fragile arpeggios sparkle with shaded hues. A beautiful moment that reminds me of The Next Leaf and that directs us to another bridge of atmospheres before Cobra ends its epic journey in the arms of a good electronic ballad whose Arab harmonies of the synth awaken in me this desire to listen Let The Night Last Forever. But before, Lophophora Part 3 and its opening which remains well anchored in this vision of electronic ballad which exists since the last 4 minutes of Cobra. This long title, separated by an unbridled rock, hears clouds of radioactivity sizzling in this setting of a dark night in the Middle East where percussions clink like drops of glass falling on an emerald carpet. Little by little, this third fable of Lophophora gathers its notes and its violins in order to structure a tasty funeral march in the land of non-being. Musical and playful by a synth with multiple solos and by a pond of symphonic clouds, Lophophora Part 3 adopts its symphonic march which takes place in a boosted progressive electronic rock which serves the cause of synth solos as agile as the percussions. It's a short phase of just 4 minutes before Lophophora Part 3 regains control over the sweetness and cinematic orchestrations of its origin. It's a very good title, breathing the magic of Klaus Schulze's good ethereal Berlin Schools.
Despite some lengths lost in the heart of its musical drama, LOPHOPHORA absolutely deserves this reissue, we feel that Ron had to work hard on his mastering, because it's a solid album that doesn't have to blush in front of Klaus Schulze's music.
Sylvain Lupari (March 18th, 2020) *****
Available at Groove NL