POLLARD DANIEL BOOTH: Volume VII (2016-2018)
Updated: Jan 2
“Pollard/Daniel/Booth VII is another musical delight that projects the listener in the mid 70's, in the times of Baumann/Franke/Froese concerts”
1 Red Gryphon Dream State 23:56 2 Towards That Moment 52:38
(CD/DDL 76:34) (V.F.)
The last time, it was with Pollard/Daniel/Booth IV! A review that I wrote in early 2011 and where the English trio continued to visit the obscure corridors of EM from the Phaedra and Rubycon years, with this touch of improvisation related to the legendary concerts of Tangerine Dream. What has happened since? There were episodes V and VI, both volumes released in 2013 and then... pouf!!! Pollard/Daniel/Booth ceased all activities up until 2018 when the trio was preparing Eight. POLLARD/DANIEL/BOOTH VII is an album consisted of a title lost in the vaults and another one recycled from the soundboard of a concert. On this album, Brendan Pollard, Michael Daniel and Phil Booth don't deny the style that put them on the map in the late 2000's. POLLARD/DANIEL/BOOTH VII plays on the same patterns of haunting ambiences and of rhythms driven by sequencers and their wild oscillatory races. Title recently discovered in the PDB archives, Red Gryphon Dream State begins its journey towards our ears with a good 7 minutes of electronic effects which flirt a bit with a slight psychedelic vision. Sounds of forests which are being removed of their trees, strange murmurs from another world, and winds molded in chthonic effects; the opening exploits thoroughly the palette of frightful effects where a choir of an outerworld is humming. The explosions are curt, the frequencies of the language are fed of radioactivity. And in this tumult; waves and lines of Mellotron emerge and dance lazily up until the hatching of flute airs. And suddenly, the gates of paradise open up to Red Gryphon Dream State, as well as to our ears. A nervous pulsation emerges at the door of 8 minutes. Its vibratory pulses get accentuate while the Mellotron still sings. No explosion! The rhythm which unlocks is fluid and its analog tones flutter in a barely undulating structure. Two minutes later, this rhythm increases its load with more and more fleshy sequences which structure a movement whose fluidity in the alternation of the sequences makes our fingers dance, a smile hanging on the face. We are back in those years that many die-hard fans have never forgot and want more of it. That of the analogous years of Tangerine Dream! This structure is ideal for twirling multiform synth solos, such as acrobats with red laser eyes making somersaults in a dark sky, while that imperturbable the pace runs and runs so as not to lose an ounce of those synth charms which also stew good effects in order which cajole our ears towards the final. A soft finale, but not at all morphic.
Towards That Moment is a remastered version of an authorized bootleg, Live at Awakenings 18-09-10, which was a recording from the famous virtual tickets that festival organizers offer to those who were unable to attend the event. The music is mixed and mastered from the trio's multi-track recording. You can watch an excerpt of this concert on You Tube. The introduction is modeled on the same principles of the long-improvised titles. A bit like if PDB was tuning their equipment. So, a mass of winds, strange percussive ticks, ghostly songs and waves from the Mellotron nourish this opening which also exhales the oozing effects of a cave and its small inhabitants. A gloomy opening as in those years when Electronic Music seemed to be predestined to feed the films of tension, the horror movies. A movement of the sequencer extricates itself from this Luciferian mass to gallop rather solidly under a rain of solos with harmonies always so well twisted. Electronic effects get grafted to this very impressive electronic rock not too cosmic, as well as gust of wind rather melodious. But it's the solos that get more the attention. Mixed with the discrete layers of the Mellotron, they adopt perfectly the structure of rhythm which proposes to our ears some imperfections in its repetitive rolling, in order to keep us awake. With over 50 minutes on the clock, it is likely that Towards That Moment will face a protean vision. The rhythm diminishes its vigor around the 19 minutes spot, giving way to the guitar of Michael Daniel who strokes our ears with good solos which soak in a chthonic vibe. Always as rebellious as an indomitable horse, the rhythm remains active with a heavy and agile sequencer which maintains the pace and continues to carry the synths which diversify their songs and effects until an isolated pulsation hops on the spot so to lead Towards That Moment to an ambiospherical phase filled of sound effects. We approach the 40 minutes and this gloomy and nebulous phase breathes for barely 6 minutes, before the music regains its strength in a finale where a rhythm a la Rubycon dances with these same ambiences.
POLLARD/DANIEL/BOOTH VII is another musical delight which projects the listener in the mid 70's. It's a lot like the Baumann/Franke/Froese concerts that filled the ever-eager ears of contemplative spectators in decors as much hallucinating as that of cathedrals or churches. It's the beautiful time of Phaedra whose haunting corridors still hid musical treasures that seem yet still inexhaustible. POLLARD/DANIEL/BOOTH VII is another proof!
Sylvain Lupari (March 6th, 2019) ***½**
Available at Pollard/Daniel/Booth's Bandcamp