PETER MERGENER: Creatures 2020 (2014)
“Creatures 2020 is a fantastic album which bring us straight to the roots of the New Berlin School mouvement. Superb!”
CD 1 (54:58)
1 God Said 4:57
2 Crying Beast 6:25
3 Creatures 2020 7:34
4 Secret Night 6:06
5 People want More 9:20
6 Aliens Birth 5:29
7 Song for the Whales 14:31
1 The Pride of Creation 6:30
2 Animal Voices 4:40
3 Lions Dance 6:47
4 The Moon and the Elephant 8:43
5 Whirling Waters 7:34
6 Insects Talk 4:49
7 Rain Forest 4:12
8 Morninglight 6:46
9 Treibjagd 3:34
10 Let there be More Light 9:04
(2CD 117:12) (V.F.)
(New Berlin School, Cosmic E-Rock)
As much tell it to you from the start; I fell in love again! We are at the beginning of the 90's. Here in my country EM, such as structured and played by Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Ashra, Kraftwerk, Jean-Michel Jarre and Vangelis became absent in the medias and very extremely rare on radio shows. Every Sunday, we were entitled to a national radio program which broadcasts some cosmic music and another independent radio station which broadcasts 2 hours of New Age. At that time, it was kind of nice, but we were far from traditional Berlin School where EM took a more digital tangent. And it's there that I heard Software's Electronic-Universe. The track, not the album. I was stroke and seduced at once by these so crystal-clear cosmic tones. These sequences with tones of glass which float, and which also draw circular rhythms in the panting of artificial violins. And I jumped on all that Software made; good as not that good! And I always looked for this sound, years after Mergener's departure who had yet tickled my ears with his Instinctive Traveller in 1996. I finally found it with CREATURES 2020. However, this last Peter Mergener's album is not a newness. Far from it! It's a synthesis of 2 albums which preceded his first departure from Software in 1991; Creatures and another album produced in 1994, Let There Be More Light (Creatures II). Thus, CREATURES 2020 is a double album where Peter Mergener revisits and remasters the 19 tracks of both original CD's, melting the epic tracks Song for the Whales and Let there be More Light into one track. He also makes new versions of Creatures, Secret Night, Lions Dance, Rainforest and Let there be More Light while also adding 4 new tracks; Insekts Talk, Morninglight, The Pride of Creation and Treibjagd (it appears that Wildlife and Sinking Ship were also replaced) to this allegorical electronic fresco which brings us back literally towards the wonderful cosmic universe of Electronic Universe.
And everything starts with the very theatrical opening, almost dramatic one should I say, which introduces God Said on thunders of symphonic drum rolls. We hear the breaths of angels there get lost in the dawns of the Milky Way's and of their artificial violins which sigh some fine waltzing harmonies. And the explosion comes suddenly! Delicate sonic particles with ill-assorted ringings explode here and there on the soft regular beatings of a cosmic heart. An outer-world voice exposes a narrative of this genesis while that quite slowly God Said floats adrift to roll around into the introductory waves of Crying Beast and of its delicate spheroidal rhythm weaved in sequenced keys to the tones of harp. The wealth of this double-CD lies in these wonderful sequences with the ringings of fragile knocks of anvil or xylophones which draw hybrid rhythms of which the imperceptible figures coil up and crisscross into forms as much allegorical as their tones. The world of Software opens then to our ears with this delicate ambient rhythm which swirls in the chirpings of birds, ethereal singings synth lines and shouts of savage animals. A guitar scatters some dreamy solos while another line of sequences bombards a structure of vertical rhythm with its linear jumps which skip in the shadows of percussion knocks of which the hammerings look for a real structure of rhythm among jerky orchestral samplings and solos of a guitar which bites the ear with a combination of riffs. Each track here is a cornucopia of tones and abounds of these ambivalent structures where rhythms and ambiences copulate with a so very colored diversity inside its spaces time.
And we fall in the jungle with the title-track and its mixture of percussions / sequences which lulls in the breezes of synth with very TD aromas. Quietly the pounding of percussions / sequences fertilizes a heavy rhythm of which the stroboscopic structure hiccups in very lyrical synth solos. Very good. I never heard any of those two albums but I just like these waltzing sequences which swirl in very Tangerine Dream and New Berlin School moods. Secret Night offers a panoramic and cosmic ambient intro (I hear Vangelis) which spreads its enveloping sonic coat towards some fine sequenced tick-tock which melt into a soft lunar down-tempo. Ambient and musical (I adore these flutes à la Fluting Electronic Universe), the rhythm remains soft and cosmic with a singing of stars which sparkle with a poetic neatness before borrowing a delicate tribal approach à la Mike Oldfield with fine sequences which drum and twitter in the belches and riffs of a keyboard filled of strong cosmic fragrances. After the very lively robotic and Teutonic rhythm of People want More, and of its fiery guitar, its jerky orchestrations and its allegorical choruses, Aliens Birth leads us back to a more ethereal dimension with smooth manual percussions which drum a rhythm lost in a rather organic ambience. We let ourselves be exhilarated and rocked by this soft Software sequencing pattern and this tone of glass which waltzes in an ambient universe. A universe of paranormal which is astride an approach as earthly as cosmic where the electronic frenzies caress some very psychedelic tribal structures. After a cosmic intro, shaken by sudden orchestral impetus, symphonic rumbles of thunder and cosmic Gregorian chants; the soft sequences of Song for the Whales are sparkling and drawing an oniric path which rises towards dreamy intergalactic choruses. We are bathing in a deep mood à la Electronic Universe II from Software with an ambiosonic floating structure which sometimes explodes and sometimes gathers itself in the breezes of a cosmos which seems to be in narrow relation with our inner mind. The second part is simply delicious with a melody forged in harmonious sequences which gets lost in a very beautiful rhythmic chaos.
CD2 presents a more contemporary musical vision of the initial work. Whether it's with the very nice and soft The Pride of Creation, and of its very good filmic approach, or still the floating The Moon and the Elephant, which sounds so much like Creatures 2020, or the ambient march of Morningligh; Let There Be More Light (Creatures II) follows the contemporary tangent of the visions retouched by Peter Mergener. And what to say about Whirling Waters and of its guitar which dreams in an ambience as much imperceptible as its unstable electronic rhythm and which eventually ends to be quite lively? And always, we have this feeling to float within the sonic frontiers of both worlds from the co-founder of Software, especially with the very beautiful Let there be More Light. This 2nd CD is also more dynamic with tracks such as Lions Dance and its sequencing pattern of panting flute tones, or still Rain Forest and its dusts of stars livened up in a gurgling tribal structure, as well as Animal Voices which lands in our ears with these vocal samplings and its sudden orchestral arrangements so unique to the magic of Software. Magical, the rhythm is cosmic with a line of sequences which shakes its flickering keys in the void, while that another line of sequences draws a harmonious sweetness from which the tones of stars swirl beneath the muffled strikes of electronic percussions. Magnetic and exhilarating, just as the image of those 2 reworked albums from Peter Mergener.
Peter Mergener was more than the half of Software, and CREATURES 2020 proves it by ten. This is a wonderful album where the listener, as well as the fan of deep cosmic EM, is constantly flooded by these waves of sequences to the hybrid rhythms and allegorical tones. We are submerged by the perfumes of Electronic Universe and Chip Meditation with samplings of angelic voices, cosmic choruses and sudden orchestral movements which overhang some floating movements of sequences with structures of rhythms as much elusive than seraphic. From Vangelis to Tangerine Dream, the music caresses the cradles of the New Berlin School with a very beautiful electronic symphony which deserves amply its place in your discography. It's just too bad that it's only available in a download format. The bitrates offered just don't give justice to this impressive sonic wealth. Let's hope for a physical CD soon.
Sylvain Lupari (May 1st, 2014) *****
Available at BSC Music