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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

POLARIS & KRZYSZTOF HORN: Collision (2011)

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

Collision is a striking album of contemporary EM

1 Collision 11:37

2 Mal du Siecle 9:30

3 Octahedron Moon 6:11

4 The Parent of all Others 1:58

5 Berolina Train 15:34

6 Subconscious Choice 7:11

Polaris Music

(DDL 52:01) (V.F.)

(EDM, E-Rock, Berlin School)

Here's an album that has caused quite a stir in the contemporary circle of EM. Resulting from an improvisation session during the last Ricochet Gathering in Berlin in 2010, COLLISION from Polaris & Krzysztof Horn is an amazing journey into the universe of sounds and musical samplings that feed a sounds' fauna with the scents of the old Berlin School and the more contemporary rhythms of down-tempo and mid-tempo. A bit like mixing the morphic layers of Klaus Schulze or Edgar Froese with the nervous rhythms of Spyra or Pete Namlook. It is simply tasty, and we ask for more as our ears tame this amazing mesh of sounds and musical images.

However, the introduction of the title-track doesn't let anything like this transpire with this colorful universe where the distorted sonorities are mixed with a warm synth line which coos under fine chiming arpeggios. The first stutters of scratched metal are heard a little after the 90 seconds. Fizzing sizzles under the axis of a warm synthesized curve stir up strange silvery pulsations that gambol awkwardly under smooth synth layers with a slightly apocalyptic outline, forcing Collision's soft musical envelope to slow down the boiling of heterogeneous and metallic sounds that germinate throughout its evolution. Because beyond the aborted exchanges of ping-pong, the anemic tssitt-tssitt and the cracklings, sneaks a tasty bass line which draws a strange futuristic down tempo pulsing under jerky streaks and beautiful lines of synth whose tonalities wake up the vestiges of Berlin School. And the more we go on in COLLISION, the more the syncretic noises are dispersing, leaving place to beautiful melodies and soft rhythms. Mal Du Siecle intertwines with the sinuous ghostly waves and stigmatized ashes of Collision to throb with a magnetic metallic heartbeat. The muffled beats pulse in a hole built in the heart of a huge underground machinery, increasing the cadence and the amplitude. A bit like a train which progresses in a noisier universe under the curves of the synth lines with sounds of Blade Runner. And once arrived at destination, you can hear the murmurs of a crowd lost in its steps. It's very beautiful and quite catchy. Polaris and Krzysztof Horn don't leave any second of vacuum and fill the air with a cloud of composite sounds that create a surreal urban fauna under beautiful snippets of melodies.

With its riffs and chords of a guitar rolling in loops under a thin hatched line, Octahedron Moon borrows a register that is like the universe of Michael Rother. It's very melodic and flows under sludgy beeps and rustling white noise before stumbling into a more static passage where percussions, pulsations and cyborg dialects burst under morphic synth layers. After the brief and dubious The Parent of all Others, Berolina Train follows with a series of loops from a synth which subdivides its lines to procreate wandering choruses. Its loops and choruses travel and undulate, intersecting with nervously fluttering riffs and strings, as COLLISION's longest track moves quietly towards a more technoïd approach. Berolina Train becomes a good down tempo that stirs its rhythmic approach under heterogeneous sounds, embracing both its shape and melodic approach. The rhythm is supple and swings on a fine pulsating line, nervous keyboard riffs and soft layers of a morphic synth, adding a nice parallelism dimension to an industrial dance-floor universe. And when our ears take the rhythm out of the ambience, we hear beautiful sequences that throb under a suave synth with reminiscences of old Berlin School. By far the most striking track on COLLISION which continues its strange and hypnotic eclectic trip with Subconscious Choice, another superb down-tempo filled with metallic layers which undulate in industrial loops under dashing tssitt-tssitt, nervous floating riffs and a series of palpitations which flow in the rhythm like an arrhythmia programmed by sober percussions.

COLLISION is a splendid album of contemporary ME. Polaris & Krzysztof Horn weave a surreal musical universe that constantly converges towards progressive rhythms. Rhythms that are cleverly buried in old visions of Berlin School with a musical outline marked by soft synth layers which float and envelop rhythms progressing towards tasty down tempo. We are at the borders of a brilliant musical universe mixed. And it's as beautiful as it can be bewitching. Another jewel of contemporary and progressive EM on the already very well-furnished crown of Ricochet Dream.

Sylvain Lupari (December 14, 2011) *****

Available at Polaris Bandcamp

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