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PYRAMID PEAK: Roots (2017)

“This last Pyramid Peak is an extraordinary voyage among the many years of the band”

1 The Journey 20:20 2 Roots 18:51 3 Milestones 21:58 4 Offshore 11:48 Pyramid Peak Music

(CD 73:03) (V.F.) (Berlin and New Berlin School)

After a short sinister wave, seraphic songs flood our ears with slow orchestral waltzes where are trapped some electronic effects embalmed of a cosmic touch. Faithfull to the mark of Pyramid Peak, the introductions of the long evolutionary titles are sculptured with interchangeable elements which have this gift to draw our attention. Here, orchestrations get lost in the charms of synthesized songs while the effects borrow other tones. The universe of the Peak remains always constantly evolving, even when it's very slow mutations. Orchestrations and songs of synths are exchanging the introductory harmonies while discreetly the sound of ringings forms a first line of rhythm. An ambient rhythm which convulses subtly with jolts knotted around a line of continual riffs. Slowly, The Journey restores this line of charm between the unconditional fan of the band, which I am, with a crowd of sound elements which lead to predict any rhythmic load at any time. Percussive effects, and their echoes, feed this perception while the synths draw some kind of celestial arabesques which sneak between these ringings that stimulated the opening of The Journey. The movement gets stir a little before the point of the 7 minutes. Sequences, percussions and pulsations form a spasmodic movement which break over towards these delicious cosmic rocks unique to the Peak's charms. Very Tangerine Dream layers decorate this rhythmic progression whereas that are always rolling these electronic embroideries which sing like some nightingales of another planet. The synth solos are splendid with these fragrances of ether which invalidate their furies without eliminating at all their harmonious charms. The minimalist structures are at the heart of Pyramid Peak concept and at no time they guide us towards a sensation of tiredness of the listening. And even after 4 years of absence, the magic is always present. The Journey offers these little sonic treats, both in the rhythms as in the effects, which inflate admirably its crescendo. Like this other line of sequences, always very TD, which strolls behind these synth solos and which will redirect the cosmic rhythm of The Journey towards a more ambiospherical phase where the rhythmic elements remain on the alert, because the title will resume another structure of rhythm, more moderate, with synth solos always so charming.

Warning! The credibility of the author of this review could be soiled because he is a die-hard fan of Pyramid Peak's music. But honestly, I don't believe that it will change anything at all; ROOTS survives very well to the colossal Anatomy published at the very end of 2013. Structured around 4 long titles in minimalist mode and always very evolutionary, the album proposes a journey between the various stages of the band since Ocean Drive until this day. We find thus many cosmic elements there, which fed the atmospheres of the first albums of the Peak, as well as these movements of sequencer which structure these rhythmic crossroads in constant movement and impulses of crescendo which constantly gave gooseflesh to us. And as nothing is left at random in the wonderful universe of the Peak, the duet Andreas Morsch and Axel Stupplich injects some silky orchestrations which amplify even more the intensity of the rhythmic parameters of which the diverse transformations work inside amazing synths soloes which, besides the harmonious effects, throw layers of mists and of voices as in the nice time. The title-track is more ambiospherical and its intro resounds like Tangerine Dream of the 70’s with foggy layers and with small harmonious phases which generate a crowd of memories. A pasty voice and samplings of voices describe the story in music of the Peak, introducing a rhythmic portion livened up by a crossing between sequences and percussions before the synths loosen loops of ambient vibes which will guide us in this approach of a duck cackling an organic structure. The movement limps with a subtle fluidity under an avalanche of other great solos. It's the kind of title that makes us travel through our dreams. Milestones is the highlight with some nice long minutes which took in the territories of Klaus Schulze and his collaboration with Pete Namlook in The Dark Side of the Moog IX. Wonderful! From slow to undecided, the rhythm progresses with heavy percussions which hammer a peaceful ascent of the sequencer. The solos inject ink of fire which draw lazy volutes of which the twists wind up and crumple on a cosmic rock which will explode a little after the point of 11 minutes. The sequencer is lively and oscillates swiftly under superb synth solos always very musical. We listen again and again! Shorter title of this last adventure of Pyramid Peak, Offshore starts slowly in order to expose us to a structure of rhythm which evolves as if Chris Franke would be behind the sequencer. The sequences are agile and get jostle with fluid leaps, exposing other sequences which join a phase which oscillates as reeds under hot winds and of which the breezes are filled of splendid seraphic songs. Songs which are present all over ROOTS which amazes even more with its inescapable structures of rhythms in constants evolution and which make of the music of Pyramid Peak the rendezvous of the followers of the Berlin School, as retro as new genre.

Sylvain Lupari (June 26th, 2017) ****½*

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