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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

PICTURE PALACE MUSIC: Midsummer (2010)

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Maybe the nicest way to get initiated to the tortuous universe of PPM

1 Chill Crystal Zone 4:40

2 Midsummer's Eve 6:16

3 Midsummer's Morning 5:41

4 Midsummer's Day 5:58

5 Seduction Crossing 6:43

6 Right of Ascension 7:35

7 Drowning Someone's Sorrow into the Ocean Part I 6:48

8 Drowning Someone's Sorrow into the Ocean Part II 11:15

9 Drowning Someone's Sorrow into the Ocean Part III 4:35

10 Midsummer's Night 5:48

Groove Unlimited GR-173

(CD/DDL 65:20) (V.F.)

(Post-Rock, Theatrical EM)

It's quite difficult to describe the music of Picture Palace Music as it is so disparate. Since the release of Somnambulistic Tunes in 2007, Thorsten Quaeschning's band has continued to amaze with an impressive variety of styles and sounds. MIDSUMMER is a debut CD on the Groove Unlimited label and was unveiled at the 2010 E-Live festival in a wild concert that totally stunned the audience. And for good reason! Beyond a hymn to summer, its solstice, the sun and its worshippers, MIDSUMMER embraces big synth rock and keeps an ear out for the murmurs of blue nights, where the festivities of an effervescent world intersect with the parallelism of PPM's dualistic universe.

Chill Crystal Zone reminds us above all that TQ is also behind the keyboards of Tangerine Dream. This introductory track begins with a lightly fluty synth rocking itself on a thin sequencer line that ripples like a prismatic stream and a cozy bed of shimmering arpeggios. The beat is edgy with a Rockoon's sequencer style and hosts looping chords from a wriggling guitar a la The Edge (U2). A feverish guitar whose riffs fade behind soaring vocal effects that shape a strange melody plagued by a latent madness. The pace increases with steadier percussions and crystalline chords that waddle innocently before the guitar becomes more biting and an avalanche of percussions breaks out with a bang, dividing Chill Crystal Zone between a sweet melody and an astonishing musical fury that the band had already served us with Damsel's Dive and Help, Murder, Help from the Fairy Marsh Districts album. Moreover, MIDSUMMER will be constantly torn between melodies and anguish as well as between clarity and darkness. Midsummer's Eve follows with an introduction quite similar to the fragile rhythm of Chill Crystal Zone. Except that the rhythm explodes heavily with furious percussions, a rock bass line and nervous guitar riffs that plunge us into the dark universe of King Crimson (Red and Starless and Bible Black). An explosive title where the guitar drags its solos on a rhythm fractured by short more airy interludes, leaning on heavy riffs and dark synth lines that scream in a cacophony of sounds. And this Midsummer's Morning is full of it and this until the last corners of its mystery. A superb ode to schizophrenia with a delicious piano that spreads out a magnificent meditative melody where voices trail in a disturbing furrow of emotionality. A sweet piano that reminds me of the superb Añoranza on