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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Pillion Centillion (2014)

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

“Centillion is at the greatness of the imagination and the talent of Walter Christian Rothe to create dark and very inspiring works”

1 On Death 4:42 2 Immittende 7:12 3 Error-03 7:43 4 Rubiconem 7:09 5 Spero 7:24 6 Uncertainty 6:38 7 Last Day (Sacrament) 7:51 8 Mare Tranquillitatis 6:33 9 An Ending 1:30 Groove | GR-207

(CD/DDL 56:42) (V.F.) (Cinematographic, ambient and progressive EM)

Quite a story that the one of CENTILLION! A first version was presented in a downloadable format around 2010 under the feather of Walter Rothe and Friends and under the title of Centillion 303. This version included 2 CD; one with 10 well separated tracks and another one (All in One Suite) which includes the original master with a 10 tracks suite of 56 minutes. And after? Silence on the radar until the circle of EM hears about a new edition of Centillion 303, which is mainly a soundtrack about an unsuccessful space journey to a distant star system, which will see the light of day on the Dutch label Groove Unlimited. Except that this time the album will be named “Centillion” and except that Pillion, consisted of Walter Christian Rothe and Guy Drieghe, will be the author. This quite new edition, freshly remodelled by Ron Boots, brings these nuances and gives definitively more relief by purifying some passages slightly too long in their ambient moods, so giving a vision more livened up compared with the original work (compare Last Day to Fire and Water, you will understand) which preserves however all its theatrical cachet. Apart for valid all, CENTILLION offers a brand new track named Uncertainty. There is a small polemic around this work of which Walter Rothe claims the paternity, having signed mostly all the tracks. According to him, CENTILLION is more an album signed by Walter Rothe and Friends than by Pillion. But no matter. The result proves everything and I can assure you that this album is at the greatness of the imagination and the talent of Walter Christian Rothe to create dark and very inspiring works. And when the whole is tied up by Ron Boots, we suspect that we will havesome very pleasant 57 minutes. And it's exactly the case!

On Death begins CENTILLION with an approach imprinted of mystery. A vocoder calls out our attention with a disturbing cybernetic story where bit by bit the ambiences are tinted of supernatural with tears of violins which float such as sighs ignored in heavy threatening hummings. A pulsation muffles the first half. The knocks awaken some mocking bats which flitter on the shadows of the threatening sighs of violins and around a cardiac pulse of which the subtle arrhythmic variances are encircled of a somber Gothic mist. And a long groan switches off the ambiences of On Death and leads to Immittende which assails our ears with a long humming. A vibration which bursts such as a shrill metal siren and which hides a superb rhythm animated by jumping keys. Keys with warm tones which run and run under the cracklings of elytra of steel and these laments of violin that have never just stop charming our hearing since On Death.

The rhythmic structure of Immittende splits its elements, multiplying the coordinated jumps which are dressing up of different tones and which surround a deaf pulsation of which the stoical knocks cross a sky painted by the mockeries of the violin and the beautiful synth solos as much musical than dreamy. Simply superb!

Error 03 is a long interlude of moods and vibes where different sound elements furnish passages more meditative than sinister. Slowly, this track slides towards Rubiconem and its violin lamentations which cross 7 minutes filled with sibylline scents. We hear muffled beatings tried to awaken the passivity of this long movement to the surprising ectoplasmic ambiences where winds and cracklings of cymbals lead bit by bit Rubiconem towards another monument of atmospheres in Spero and its very Floyd guitar which perspires in a meditative universe weaved in the vibes of Meddle and Wish you Were Here. A delicate ethereal choir is singing among drops of crystal while the guitar erases its tears for those of a synth as black as the solo works of Walter Christian Rothe. Uncertainty gets graft to these moods of solitary with a strange organic rhythm, statics needs to say, of which the brief and weak metallic jerks forge an anemic and weird industrial cha-cha dance which kisses the twilights. Last Day (Sacrament) borrows a little bit the rhythmic structure of Immittende but with a darker mood where chthonian choirs hum into a dense foggy filled of opaque curtains. Encircled of different organic elements and with ions which stumble into some magnetizing sequenced loops, the flow of this static rhythm livens up bit by bit while its very mephistophelic moods suffocate it as much slowly than its attractive and laborious progress of which the conclusion gets lost in the very sweet, poetic and cinematographic Mare Tranquillitatis and its piano notes which meditate on the edge of an ocean tenderly caressed the by quiet waves among which the reflections, as well as the harmonies of the piano, get lost in the moon and in the stories of An Ending.

It's not everyone that will be thrilled by this new mucial tale of Pillion (or Walter Christian Rothe). Nevertheless, there is a very narrow link to be make between the very film approach of Picture Palace Music, and even Vangelis, and the music of Walter Christian Rothe which is however a little more progressive. It's just necessary to tempt the experience. Because beyond these ambiences, sometimes rather lugubrious, are hiding some very moving passages where we see parading a ton of images which have rocked the imagination of our weirdest imaginary scenarios. And this is the strength of Walter Christian Rothe music. The Belgian musician has the art to create ambiences which inevitably weave in and out into our personal universe, there where doze one thousand and one secrets. And CENTILLION doesn't escape to this notion. It's a very beautiful album, splendidly heightened by Ron Boots' magic which listens to as we look at a film about the fall of a personal hero. At when a new edition of Let the Night Last Forever mastered by Ron Boots will be out?

Sylvain Lupari (June 21th, 2014) *****

Available on Groove

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