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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

POLLARD & DOLENTE: Live And More (2020)

Updated: Feb 16, 2021

See it like a particularly good remix of a title that has all the elements to appeal to fans of Tangerine Dream from the 72 to 80 area

1 Diffuser Live 42:56

2 Encore 10:18

3 Tentacles 10:14

(CD/DDL 63:28) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

This live performance from Brendan Pollard means also a come back on stage after an absence of 8 years. And it's also in the framework of the return of The Awakenings festival in 2018 that Diffuser - The Rehearsal is become Diffuser Live. After the applause of a crowded crowd, a din of sheet metal, which is beaten briskly, replaces the musical clicks that opened the studio version of Diffuser. There are changes! First of all, we immediately notice the tone of the sequencer which is sharper, clearer with a slightly more vibrant tone and whose radiances play between rhythmic modulations with bass tones like those more limpid. This is what makes the charms of these analog and modular equipment whose craftsmen are never certain of the result of the tone from show to show. There are also fewer intersecting lines and the Pollard & Dolente duo favors more sustained tones and lines whose destinies shatter instead of melting into less nuanced approaches. So, we have the same rhythm structures in a different context. In doing so, Diffuser Live has its entity which looks like the original but with a bit of lines less here and slower, more flute here and moments of atmospheres more nourished as short compared to the version on Diffuser - The Rehearsal. But there are enough differences to wonder which one is the best version? A difficult question because if I like the tone and the more sustained presence of the Mellotron which injects more mist, more flutes and more layers of chthonic voices. A Mellotron that I had found more discreet compared to the sequencer in the rehearsal. There is a better balance between the two on LIVE AND MORE. There is also this feeling of promiscuity with the duo which is very apparent in this recording. On the other hand, the play of the multi-line from the sequencer in Diffuser - The Rehearsal remains in a class of its own.

A static storm of industrial elements and of white noises rushes through Encore's quivering, edgy structure. The rhythm establishes its base with static jolts where many rhythmic elements jump in this storm which has reached the terrestrial limits to infiltrate the Cosmos. Roaring chords inject reverberations while the rhythmic rodeos of the sequencer multiply endlessly. This little Pollard & Dolente's encore is structured around the rhythmic modulations of the sequencer, giving a static rhythm which makes more noise than it causes an effect of lively, of a rousing beat. Those who enjoy the static rhythmic battles of sequencers caught in a dense atmospheric veil will be charmed by Encore. And it's the same with Tentacles. Composed and recorded in September 2019, Tentacles is a nice little extra with an introduction that must have influenced the backbone of the Encore with a stereo storm of sound effects and clanking of old disassembled clocks. There too we have the right to a storm of the sequencer with multiline of rhythm which follows a linear movement of which the nuances bring a more harmonic vision. In order to situate you a bit better, think about the sharpness of the sequencer of Ricochet and Force Majeure.

LIVE AND MORE is a great addition to the excellent Diffuser - The Rehearsal. I think there are enough differences to listen to the two in a row without feeling like hearing the same thing. See it like a particularly good remix of a title that has all the elements to appeal to fans of Tangerine Dream from the 72 to 80 area, and aficionados of this sequencer-based style of EM.

Sylvain Lupari (August 20th, 2020) *****

Available at Brendan Pollard Bandcamp

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