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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

PICTURE PALACE MUSIC: Curriculum Vitae I (2009)

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

This is an outstanding work that will turn out into a classic in contemporary music

1 Celebrating Fears Pt. 1 (1:28)

2 Mandrake Flight (6:14)

3 Spreading Disease (4:48)

4 Morgengrauen (1:48)

5 Waving Goodbye, Waving, Waving Pt. 2 (5:06)

6 Schreck's „Non Vampiric...” (4:54)

7 Day Or Wrath (5:10)

8 Auerbach's Night Club (13:29)

9 Under The Golden Charm (4:50)

10 Powercutting (1:25)

11 Añoranza (12:22)

12 Mal Du Pays (6:17)

13 Heimþrá (5:54)

14 Wiedersehen (4:12)

(DDL 77:56) (V.F.)

(Gothic EM, Post E-Rock)

Picture Palace Music is musical theater. A sound universe with expressionism textures which exploits dramas and melancholies of the 19th century. A musical adventure rich in sounds' images and in innovative musicals imaginations which quickly became the trademark of this band as much mysterious as its name. CURRI CULUM VITAE I (The Aside Ones - Music For Compilation Rates And Personal Data Sheets) (what a title!) is an obscure compilation which is spreading out from the first musical drafts of Thorsten Quaeschning's artistic project. If Somnambulistic Tunes and Symphony for Vampires seduced you, you will certainly be charmed by this fascinating compilation of early works and musical sketches. And if Picture Palace Music still says nothing to you, you are missing something incredibly big.

This very odd compilation-album is built on 14 tracks of a repressed violence where big guitars riffs roll in loops over mellotron synths and heterogeneous electronic percussions. After a very ambient metallic and intriguing Celebrating Fears Pt.1, Mandrake Flight jolts on fine percussions and in a somber mellotron. Soft and ambient, the intro is only a prelude to a heavy guitar which spins in loop with a withdrawn ferocity, betraying the solitude of a soul in perdition. A magnificent track where an electric guitar, intensely lonely, makes roaring its solos in an electronic world, where we can perceive a soft Tangerine Dream's synth mood mixes with slightly spasmodic percussions. A great track that gnaws the soul. Quite like Spreading Disease, although livelier with an inverted samba rhythm which from time to time is feeding of piano and organ chords, on a pas de chat's pace surrounded by an even more ethereal guitar. Litany rolling in jolts on colliding percussions, Morgengrauen is a short, but effective, nervous techno wrapped of a mellotron membrane. Too short to my tastes! Waving Goodbye, Waving, Waving Pt. 2, the first part belonging to Symphony For Vampires is an ode to solitude played on acoustic guitars. The kind of thing that we listen under the rain, thinking of our girlfriend or a close absent friend. It's so beautiful! Schreck's „Non Vampiric...” livens up on a slightly jerked structure from which frees a very TD melodious approach on heavy guitars riffs which bite in loops. A light but effective title, quite as Day Or Wrath, although more sharper, and the honeyed Under The Golden Charm of whom we cannot escape the charm. Auerbach Night Club is a dislodged dance of which the initial stages are banging percussions on keys from a nervous keyboard. Sometimes minimalism, with ambient passages waffled of austere choirs, Auerbach Night Club borders the rhythm and the ambient side over dense mellotrons which waltz heavily, hiding a flickering structure of which the mellotron layers are cutting the wings to the magnificent orchestral arrangements.

Melancholic piano under an abstract rain, Powercutting is the beginning of a masterpiece of tenderness, passion and tearing that ends this amazing album from Thorsten Quaeschning. Piano notes roll with strength under an ochre mellotron veil, filtering a superb melody which is dying of solitude. A short interlude just before the monumental Añoranza and its hesitating piano which pierces a twilight fooled by tears of a mercilessly sky. Arpeggios get more biting, even caustic and austere, hiding badly their disillusionments which fly away on a sequence weighed down by a bass line. A drama is going on; we can feel it and it only misses that we see it. But Mister Q is keeping an eye on things. Añoranza evolves then with a dramatic crescendo where broken piano notes, panting percussions and enveloping mellotron layers wrap this stunning piano-beat track of an amazing romantic veil, from which a voice as well ethereal as spectral accompanies its finale up to its last breath of lucidity. A wonderful track! And I'm writing this without hesitations; this is one of the most beautiful and poignant track I heard since a long time, if not of all my life, except for Stairway to Heaven and Kashmir of course. This quivering structure on a piano which tries to flee its pain and a biting guitar with desperate lamentations is simply fascinating. Too much beautiful to be ignored! Añoranza falls into a metallic oblivion, the limbos, sieved by damned choirs of the august Mal du Pays. A heavy track fits up with a rich sound structure where choirs, trumpets and synth with metallic clicking hoops perfume an air which floats in a paralyzing ether that goes up to the lugubrious Heimþrá. Wiedersehen's intro pops out like doves going out of hell. A superb ballad which puts back our emotions, piercingly devoured by the last 4 tracks, right at their places. But slowly the metallic groaning of a twisted guitar harpoons this tenderness which lives again beneath notes of a soft jazzy piano, before embracing a rhythmic with syncopated pulsations and an undulating bass which brings us to borders of an aural paranoia. A short track with diversified structures that shows all the creative complexity, as harmonious as anarchic, which animates this magnificent composer and musical visionary that is Thorsten Quaeschning's PPM. CURRI CULUM VITAE I (The Aside Ones - Music For Compilation Rates And Personal Data Sheets) is an outstanding work that will turn out into a classic in contemporary music.

Sylvain Lupari (October 10th, 2010) *****

Available from Ricochet Dream

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