Q2: Asteroid (2013)
Updated: May 1, 2020
“Asteroid is an amazing journey through the meanders of vintage electronic-cosmic-Krautrock from Q2”
1 Planets 21:21
2 Comet 7:26
3 Asteroid 18:27
(CD/DDL 47:18) (V.F.)
(Psychedelic Berlin School)
Electronic music! There are so many that I should shorten my chronicles so that I can chronicle everything. But I would miss out on little gems that require more in-depth listening, like this brand new album from the German band Q2 which is inspired by this fusion of Krautrock and ME so skillfully brought to our ears by flagship bands such as Tangerine Dream and Ashra as well as Klaus Schulze in the 70's. Initially composed and produced for an independent label in 2010, ASTEROID has passed like a breeze in the spheres of EM. Vic Reck, who never misses an opportunity to serve us a little gem of underground EM via his label Ricochet Dream, smelled all the potential of Frank Husemann and Sunny Vollherbst by offering us a work that will nail your both ears to your speakers.
The first listening doesn't go so easily. A threatening shadow, oscillating in furious linear convulsions, clings onto our hearing to converge on a heavy and wild rhythmic gallop. Planets, like the title-track, offers a hybrid structure where fury meets sweetness. Where a big electronic rock mixes with long cosmic rantings. Embracing the black and dreaming of white, the title runs along the sinuous curves of the introductory shadows to plunge into deep morphic phases where synths, like angels of war, summon the fury of rhythm. The first 3 minutes are rhythmic sulfur. With your ears on the lookout, you plunge fairly quickly into arid lands of landscapes where the winds howl, and the synths trumpet a hymn to vitality. Twistings of synths coo in a desert of lamentations, always proclaiming louder the rights of a rhythm which awaits only the reverberating waves to make its threatening pulsations heard. The harmonies are fleeting but provide the nuances necessary to forge pleasant impressions on the ears. Except that this rhythm never comes Instead, we plunge into subdued atmospheres that recall the deserts of corrosive lamentations that Schulze exploited wonderfully in his Picture Music period. And the tom-toms thunder around the 11th minute. Forging a surreal tribal trance, they dance furiously under a cloud of bewitched reverberations. They storm in a static rhythm which pulsates under a cumulus of synthesized laments. Complaints of gargoyles as intriguing as disturbing that chase the tom-tom and guide the final of Planets towards a strange and bewitching cosmic blues where the guitar of Frank Husemann trawls in mists with strange psychedelic emanations before melting in the jolts of this ride cosmico psychedelic which led to the intricate introduction of Planets. We understand that it's the end, but we wonder where the 21 minutes went. If this atypical structure can catch you off guard, I can guarantee you that they drag enough elements there that we succumb to its charm. A charm that grows from listen and listening.
This isn't the case with Comet and its Neuronium's vampiric and lethal approach. We fall under its yoke from the first waves of organs that undulate in the chords of a guitar with harmonies singing under the sign of spells. The synth lines are sublime. They drag like ghost sighs. Like the tears of dead witches before they could unleash their gall flowing in the eddies of an organ as poetic as it is horrifying. You have to hear these guitar chords embracing the nuances of melancholy lines, both for the organ and the synths, which wind a structure with a thousand composite harmonies. It's a superb ambient music which is heard in the dark and which will delight fans of dark music, very close to black magic. The intro to the title-track flows like a dark melody played by a pupil of The Phantom of the Opera. A bit like in Planets, the rhythm embraces heaviness without spawning with its fury. On the other hand, it's more stable and supports magnetizing chords of a guitar which roll in weaving earworm's loops. Pangling between a paradoxical sweetness and a slightly heavier rhythm, Asteroid also infuses that underground touch that characterizes the short 47 minutes of its album. This is very good electronic rock, heavy and powerful, which follows a more harmonious tangent, courtesy of Frank Husemann's six-string which enchant marvellously the sinuous undulations of an organ as dark than melodious and percussions of Sunny Vollherbst which modulate a good ride, more tamed than in Planets, whose sustained rhythm remains the cradle of an attractive melodious approach, often unexpected but so hoped for on this kind of structure.
Again, I let myself be carried away by my emotions. But what do you want, I love beautiful electronic music! And it's refreshing to see that after all I heard, there are surprises that shine here and there. And ASTEROID from Q2 is a very beautiful one. It's not a conventional EM though, even that we feel the roots of vintage Berlin School growing from Krautrock. And this is largely the charm of this opus brilliantly signed by Frank Husemann and Sunny Vollherbst. I like these structures in continuous movement, no matter the tangents, where each corner surprises, either because it's unexpected or it's just incredibly beautiful. You will be seduced by Comet, like easily attracted by the title-track and finally conquered by Planets. Splendid album here!
Sylvain Lupari (August 3rd, 2013) ****½*
Available at Q2 Bandcamp