POLLARD-FSP & HASHTRONAUT: Time out of Mind (2009)
Updated: Jan 12
“No doubt, the best album of Berlin School style in 2009 and this by a mile”
1 The Valther Twins 22:53
2 Exodus 17:46
3 Time Out of Mind 27:56
4 "Option C" 8:32
(DDL 77:14) (V.F.)
I can already see your eyebrows raised, ears eagerly awaiting but skeptical or yet lack interest by this another album from Brendan Pollard and co. After all, aren't we saturated by all these electronic musical creations that copy the style of Tangerine Dream's glory years? TIME OUT OF MIND is the perfect title for this other collaboration between Brendan Pollard and other artists who seek to relive their musical melancholy in the very vaporous and cosmic spheres of the 70's. BP with Free System Project and Hashtronaut! A gang of friends who show up for a Jam Session lasting a couple of days. It gives quite an opus! No doubt, the best album of Berlin School style in 2009 and this by a mile.
The Valther Twins leads us into a soporific cosmic universe with clouds of stellar dust floating among psychedelic sound particles. An intro where the composite sounds flora is floating in a cosmos covered of short corrosive synth layers. A sweet opening that caresses the psychedelic era of a Pink Floyd on LSD and of a dreamy Klaus Schulze looking for the door to his universe. Superb I would say. A superb time travel that dazzles even more with a symphonic synth that blows the measures of the Dream in Cherokee Lane, dissipating the spatial ashes to make room for a superb sequence that makes alternating its waddling chords under the penumbra of a nascent vampiric bass structure and the romantic sweetness of the mellotron. The rhythm is taken in this astral journey and extends its after-effects under percussions while a synth, weaving Mephistophelian loops, is screaming in silence over a sequence which accelerates the pace. The rhythm takes the pattern a heavy elusive zigzag in the howlings of an ethereal guitar. This is great Berlin School with a psychedelic and progressive essence. The vaporous intro of Exodus is shorter. She bathes with its psychedelic breaths in heavy reverberations which act like circular headlights, lighting a soft bouncing sequence which initiates an innocent rhythmic but whose flow becomes more frenetic, adopting even the dark heaviness of a Phaedra. This cadenced heaviness lets filter a soft mellotron flute which perfumes this wild air with a paradoxical sweetness, whereas the sequence is more spasmodic and the synth more perverse with its layers which encircle an enclosed space from which escape good guitar solos.
Time out of Mind is the epic title of this new CD which has a very Tangerine Dream sound. Following the same starting structures of The Valther Twins and Exodus, the opening is slower and rests on a mellotron with various flute sounds that crisscross the paths of a cosmos with an austere choir. One feels the bass frequency of a heavy cosmic resonance, like a slow impulse of a space shuttle which struggles to move among this plethora of cosmic particles. This resonance makes shake its linearity, propelling a heavy sequence that spawns in a surprisingly poetic astral nebulosity. A synth dresses up this sequence with good vaporous strata in a musical sphere where mellotron, sequences and synth merge in a complex harmony but so tender to the ear that one neither sees nor hears the time passing. "Option C" closes this brilliant opus with the same concept as the longer tracks, except that the sequence is more biting on a mellotron whose flutes intersect a synth with undulating strata that trap musical uncertainty in the synthesized symphonies of the Dream.
It's obvious that with a lineup of artists as talented than that and as much influenced by Tangerine Dream and the Berlin School of the 70's TIME OUT OF MIND would be tinged of it from the first breath to the last one. And this is where the debate divides: Is it relevant to hear bands imitating the Dream from the Ohr or the Virgin years? That's not for me to answer, because anyone who loves the Beatles will always look for their harmonies and philosophy in any kind of music. But that doesn't take anything away from the freshness, the boldness and the musicality of a CD that is more complex than melodious and that exhilarates by each whimsical key that comes out. In the end of the day, it is a superb album of Berlin School which is perfumed with the aromas of Phaedra, Rubycon, Atem, Zeit, Ricochet and Encore. And this with zests of a dreamy Schulze and of Pink Floyd on strong hallucinogens. Admit that the cocktail can only be divine!
Sylvain Lupari (November 22nd, 2009) ****½*
Available at Brendan Pollard Bandcamp