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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

PAUL NAGLE: Beyond L-Dopa (2016)

“If you want dare something different, Beyond L-Dopa is all that you need. So, the doors of Binar will open more easily”

1 Take it Easy 12:44 2 The Gimps of Ragnartoon 12:23 3 Liminal Entity 12:13 4 Shapeshifter 12:25 5 Space Tadpoles 10:10 6 Musicophilia 7:16 7 Bliss 7:38 Paul Nagle Music

(DDL 74:54) (V.F.) (Mix of everything)

I received this album with this note from Paul; I think you are going to like it! Well, Paul Nagle knows my tastes for sure because I actually loved BEYOND L-DOPA. It's a question of comeback for Paul Nagle who was rather silent these last years. In fact, Paul had no intention to make an album. Then he received this invitation to play at the last Awakenings festival of Mars 2016. He accepted and brought his P3 Sequencer. He then began improvising over the music that he had already written and was recorded on his P3. Andy Pickford did the mastering, adding so these Binar fragrances and moods. BEYOND L-DOPA thus travels through the multiple pallets of Paul Nagle's genres, from Berlin School to Electronica and ambient music which makes the dead going out of their crypt.

Voices from beyond the grave and electronic effects open the first minute of Take it Easy. As soon as a pulsation tries to awaken the atmospheres, the entity Binar throws its effects of a universe in defragmentation with a sound fauna unique to the signature of this wonderful English duet. A line of sequences makes its keys cavort beneath a cloud of unusual noises and reverberations. Bangings of percussions join the organic sequences and the resonant pulsations, structuring this kind of ambient beat which sounds so much like a long moment of meditative trance. The Binar effects are flocking, as well as some good twisted solos, while the structure evolves on the same theme of cerebral hypnosis with nuances in the tone of the sequences which became a little more crystal clear, even a little more lively. Let's say that that it sets the tone to a surprising album which insidiously makes its way between our ears. BEYOND L-DOPA is a sonic fresco of 75 minutes where all the titles are tied to each other. Thus, The Gimps of Ragnartoon sticks to the ambiences, and to the still very Binar sounds effects, of Take it Easy. The choirs are more chthonian and the synth solos, one of the numerous charms here, are more incisive. A bass pulsation penetrates into this kind of sound battlefields. The approach is sneaky and stained of synth chirpings and of murmurs of schizophrenia before melting into a heavy and slow rhythm a la Redshift. This rhythm is heavier than lively and is of use as pattern to very good solos, some even come from hell, which cut out a mood rich in effects of all kinds and where also spark lines of ill-assorted sequences. The envelope of the synth and the sound effects is so dense that we lose this Redshift line of bass pulsations which nevertheless always hammers from oblivion. If we like synth solos, you will be served as one pleases here. Just like in Liminal Entity which takes a more Électronica imprint with a mid-tempo structure of rhythm where the hips sway in a universe of sounds and effects always so unique.

So far so good! There is 37 great minutes of great music which has just passed between our eardrums. And it's not finished! Shapeshifter stays a little bit in the same style but with a touch so much Binar that we get lost there. Is it Binar or Paul Nagle? But it doesn't matter! Here we dance with a little of dislocation in the joints of our body. And the piano which runs in order to lay its harmonies on this carpet of sound insanities is simply catchy. While our ears have difficulty in tuning up the conduits of our sense of hearing, Space Tadpoles revives the debate to know what the best track of the album is. If I admit having a weak for The Gimps of Ragnartoon (are you surprised?) and Shapeshifter, Space Tadpoles is quite something. The rhythm is lively and flows on sequences which swirl in short stroboscopic harmonious strands, slamming percussions and balls which skip on a conveyor. These elements unite their symbiosis in a charmingly lively structure of rhythm which is coated with a sound substance of which the more homogeneous density takes away Space Tadpoles from the Binar seal. We are in pure Nagle. Here and on Musicophilia which develops slowly, like a carousel of allegorical keys, with sequences which burst all over the lines of harmonies strummed by dreamy fingers under the continual bites of the cymbals which go and come such as attacks of bees. Bliss ends the album with a structure of rhythm which deploys its harmonious loops in a structure as misty as Musicophilia, but with more effervescence at the level of sequences, which alternate their jumps in a crystal clear tone, and of the percussions, which drum nervously and click laconically. Waves of sounds wrap this structure as much spasmodic than static that some bells decorate with a vague ethereal approach, thus testifying of this universe of differences which makes of this last Paul Nagle's opus a strong album of EM which goes off the beaten track. If you want dare something different, BEYOND L-DOPA is all that you need. So, the doors of Binar will open more easily.

Sylvain Lupari (May 5th, 2016) *****

Available at Paul Nagle Bandcamp

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