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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

PERGE: Attalus (2013)

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

The biggest merit of Perge is well and truly to continue a sonic exploration where TD didn't want to go any more

Attalus 1

1 Manerium Resonat 17:16

2 Monolux 18:43

Attalus 2

3 Tempestas Fronte 11:09

4 Taking Le Parc 13:02

5 Letters from Volos 3:30

6 Delphinus 14:50

(DDL 78:30) (V.F.)

(TD's Berlin School style)

Out of Orion, hollow winds get uproot to extend the blue psychedelicosmic auras of the Dream's metallic years. Chthonian choirs chant on the bends of sinuous synth lines with iridescent contours, leading the intro of Manerium Resonat to a morphic ballet. Sequences clink in distance. Rushing on their echoes, they trace a zigzagging harmonic structure that a line of bass sequences embarks on the kicks of its pulsations. The rhythmic symbiosis is magic. And the magic is anchored even more with the harmonies of a synth at the same time nasal and philharmonic which covers a rhythm whose evolution brings us to the borders of a structure which could well have been come out of the majestic Silver Scale. Stringer & Getty took the EM world by surprise with the brilliant Dyad; an album that breathed the reminiscences of Tangerine Dream from the Schmoelling years. So why change a winning recipe? This second essay of the English duo, ATTALUS goes even further in the discovery of the musical labyrinths of Tangerine Dream lost between two parallel universes. Inspired from the years 71 to 87 of the mythical German group, Manerium Resonat is the perfect example by merging the Baumann and Schmoelling era in an astonishing evolutive title. Besides, the opening of Monolux transpires that of Pergamon with the soft piano of Matthew Stringer who hammers his notes in the echo of his solitude. The last note remains in suspension and get lost in the reverberations of a synth line that floats in the intersection of other dreamy synth lines. Comes then a short morphic phase where the multiple wandering harmonies of the synth lines are dissipating to make way for a superb line of sequences which undulates and swirls in a fascinating volute. A hypnotic spiral where are hidden secret chords which shift the measure of a rhythmic phase swirling like a glass carousel. Clicks of cymbals and percussions of a military genre are harpooning the rhythm which increases with a bass line, plunging Monolux into a melodious tornado which winds between our ears with the charms of something unexpected and unhoped whereas phase 2 of Attalus 1 is adorned of the dream's sound glitter and with some good solos of a very musical synth. It's a bit like a montage of hundreds of TD's bits and pieces that are reshaped in another mosaic of rhythms and ambiences. There's a 36 minutes of EM well packed in my ears.

Split into 4 parts, Attalus 2 infiltrates our ears with undulating synth lines which chant among obscure murmurs and electronic tones, leading us to this strange language which has launched Network 23 from the Exit album. Except that the rhythm of Tempestas Fronte is more explosive. Arched on a line of sequence which buzzes with its fluttering chords and percussions which hammer a heavy rhythm, the structure is knotted with rhythmic fibers which pulsate under lyrical synth lines. A synth whose crystal harmonies fade away to give free rein to a solo of sequences with intertwined movements that twirl on dense percussions. This passage is simply brilliant and the fusion of the entities of rhythms ends up being covered with synth dust while Tempestas Fronte turns back in these harmonies that have decorated its genesis. The opening of Taking Le Parc is woven on a sampling of rhythms and atmospheres of Tangerine Dream's Le Parc. The rhythm gets heavy. Erected as it is on this alloy of sequences and percussions which tumble into a galloping rhythmic frenzy, of which the overlaps and interlacing are the core of the charms here, it rolls like a frenzied train beneath nice layers of a bright synth which also draws nice harmonious and twisted solos. The sequences isolate themselves a little more in the second portion of the title, reverse engineering a structure of its main harmonies. Only these misty synth layers and these jumpy, neurotic rhythm-jumping keys remain, jostling in an anemic cadence. A cadence that gradually shells its elements like a rhythmic autopsy where you can admire everything that has swarmed below the last 10 minutes of Taking Le Parc. After the delicate Letters from Volos and its soft melancholy piano, Delphinus picks up where Tempestas Fronte left off. But with a more fluid rhythm and some particularly good synth solos as well as nice melodies that bite the hearing and which run on a bed of pulsating sequences unique to Chris Franke's mode of rhythm movement.

ATTALUS is a great album built on sequences which jostle in their haste to forge these rhythms which evolve constantly with a fine propensity for sideslips. The two parts which feed its 78 minutes are as magical as the play of sequencers and the overflowing rhythms which explode under synths whose harmonies and solos brings us into the abandoned territories of the Dream, all periods combined. It's an album where each evolving phases makes us raise eyebrows and make us fall in love with Perge whose greatest merit is not to copy the source of their inspiration, but indeed to continue an exploration of rhythms and atmospheres there where the mythical group no longer wanted to go. Excellent!

Sylvain Lupari (May 26th, 2013) ****½*

Available at Perge Bandcamp

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