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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


Updated: Feb 16, 2021

Simply divine, Two Roads is one of the best contemporary album in the field of vintage Berlin School since years. Go get this one!

1 Compendium 19:02

2 Route of Industrial Signatures 14:47

3 Vista 18:08

4 Conjunction 12:59

(CD/DDL 64:58) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

Oh that I am pampered. And you can be it just as much as I. After the art of seduction from the minimalist structures of the New Berlin School, signed by E-Tiefengrund, now here is Brendan Pollard and his accomplices who come to perfume our ears with the quintessence of the vintage years' cosmic rock. But there is more. It has been more than 6 years since that our friend Brendan had worked on new material. And it will have needed a promise made to Javi Canovas back in 2006 so that the man behind Rogue Element, by the means of his friends, gets back his old equipments and begins composing and recording a wonderful album. Without reinventing the genre, but by deepened it of his profound melancholy and of his dreamy poetics touches, Brendon Pollard orchestrates an electronic work which has its place among the biggest albums of an era that musicians from all the world haven't stop investigating in order to grab the most beautiful of jewels. TWO ROADS lifts the smoke aromas of the orangey interior fires, moved around here and there by groups such as Arc, ['ramp], Free System Projekt and Redshift, that Tangerine Dream had extirpated of its analog gears in the Ricochet years. Prepare your ears; you won't have enough of two!

Compendium takes shape in a disturbing blackness where roar apocalyptic sirens. Synth pads are stretching some edging of mist that the oracles pierce of their absent voices. Extricating itself lazily from the brightness from those anfractuous pads with sibylline breaths, a synth has difficulty in freeing thin lines of solos howlers which float such as deformed shadows up to the roots of the first stammering of the sequences of which the alternating keys intertwine over the sighs of cymbals, shaping the abstract rhythm of the electronic odes. A rhythm which hops on the spot with its hyperactive sequences and from which the bewitched keys agglutinate under the bites of a guitar before jumping into their shadows to mold these static rhythms which are of use as rampart to psychotronic atmospheres of progressive EM. A line of bass comes to give more vigour to this rhythm which tumbles down the hills of imagination without skidding out of its abstract path. Playing on nuances, this rhythm oscillates with discretion to give more polish to some luxurious solos which spin around over noisy cymbals and cut out the shadows of the sequences which subdivide their transparencies. The rhythm is sustained and runs to lose its breath while the solos shout with their twisted furies in mists of ether which soften a little the run of a breathless dreamer. It's the war between these synth solos and those from the corrosive guitars of Javi Canovas and Michael Daniel. They cast shafts of light over a rhythm chopped by the incisive strikings of the sequences which lose the sense of a rhythm always static and which flutter towards a more ethereal finale where the wrapping mists are rolling such as cosmic waves over Compendium which is sucked up in a black hole.

The stigmas of the electronic music art demonstrate that the good works begin in mists and hallucinogenic smokes to take quietly a rhythmic shape, which can vary, before looping the loop and to vanish into the morphic imprints from their intros. The key is in the art of sequencing. How to use them and to link them to form rhythms where their subtle evolutions confuse our neurons which dance to satisfaction. And it's the way that goes TWO ROADS. The hollow winds of Route of Industrial Signatures raise the dusts of sequences which flutter of their imperfect circles and sizzled into rotations of figures of eight. Lugubrious of its resonant breaths, the intro swallows these sequences and spits out a slender stroboscopic filet of which the spasmodic jerks resound into an echo smothered by atmospheres of Klaus Schulze in Picture Music, Gothic mist and abstruse choruses. Everything is of mystery and dark ambiences when the first kicks of sequences emerge a little after the 5th minute. Sequences which swirl restlessly, drawing circles which shorter cunningly to draw a superb and heavy linear movement of which only the reverberations fold the line of rhythm. Synths and guitars are drawing suave solos and meditative shadows which decorate the curves of a rhythm that some flying percussions and a line of obedient bass amplify of an upward rhythmic pattern, describing the musical arcs which remind the 77 years and the majestic Encore from TD. Vista and Conjunction offer the same configurations without meditating on the same tunes. Everything is in the nuances, both in the ambiences and in the rhythms. If the ambiences differ in their envelopes of mystery, the rhythms follow the same linear tangents but with a much more vigour and ferocity. In fact, the more we move forward and the more the rhythms force themselves. Vista is doubtless the most ethereal track before rebelling furiously of its obedience. The recollections with the art of the electronic rhythms so skilfully made by Chris Franke abound, you have to hear Conjunction, with a very good contemporary touch. And it's the strength of TWO ROADS. In spite of the contemplative Mellotron lines, the fluty mists and the atmospheres of black mysteries à la Phaedra, this album stemming from a high-level electronic community breathes of a personal touch which binds two eras.

TWO ROADS is simply divine. Brendan Pollard, Javi Canovas, Adrian Dolente and Michael Daniel make a real tour de force by presenting 65 minutes of an EM where the influences get lost in the originality of approaches strengthened by stunning and seductive rhythmic patterns. We have the impression of dancing, running in imaginary fields where the universe is centered on our personal chimera. The rhythms and ambiences coexist with a fusion extremely musical where the one feeds constantly on the strength of other one. I simply adore these structures of rhythms, these sequences which drink of these metaphysical atmospheres of which the silvery smokes shine with abundance on hypnotic rhythms which dance such as snips of scissors in mathematical routes pierced by typing errors. Simply splendid! This is one of the best in its genre. The only snag is that the album is offered only in 500 factory press CD. And I'm afraid that when you'll finish reading this review it will be simply sold out. Afterward, we can always download it on the band's Bandcamp page here:

Sylvain Lupari (July 28th, 2013) ****½*

Available at Brendan Pollard Bandcamp

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