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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

RAINBOW SERPENT: The 8th Nerve (2005)

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

The more I'm listening to RS and the more I discover a daring duo that is not afraid of taking another step in creativity

1 Audiogram 5:09

2 Mindmachine 11:22

3 Radiotrip 7:21

4 Winterlandschaft 7:33

5 N-Tropical 3:50

6 Edge Of Reality 6:49

7 Third Ear 5:00

8 Planet Audio 9:19

9 Retropolis 5:23

10 Pibgorn 5:09

11 See - Not Have 7:33

12 Noosphere 4:16

(CD 78:46) (V.F.)

(Progressive EM)

The more I listen to Rainbow Serpent's music, the more I discover a daring duo that skillfully mixes genres. Starting from the basics of the Berlin School and while flirting with atmospheric techno as well as a very contemporary and progressive approach, Gerd Wienekamp and Frank Specht offer in THE 8th NERVE a musical adventure that goes beyond the standards by a sound approach of more eclectic. Almost 80 minutes of music that flows without stopping, with a diversity rich in surprises and rhythmic twists spread over 12 titles all as astonishing from each other.

Audiogram starts this musical journey with a slow rhythm, initiated by a dark synth wave which rumbles in a black cosmos. A soft rhythm scrolls with fine loops spawning in a strange galactic world where metallic streaks and soft zombie vocalizations pitch in a very eclectic sound fauna. Minimalist, the rhythm undulates on fine sequences framed by timid percussive tap dancing's effects, a bit like if not to wake up this psychedelic-metallic universe which lives under the pulsations of Audiogram. A languid movement, topped with nice and smooth mellotron layers, are briefly interspersed by metallic reverberations. This hypnotic intro of this album progresses slowly towards more neurotic and jerky rhythms with Mindmachine and its Kraftwerk approach. But a more contemporary Kraftwerk whose percussions quiver on sharp oscillations. The rhythm is accentuated with nervous and heavy percussions, slightly embracing a techno approach with a synth with biting chords whose clicks strike with a strange tone. Present everywhere on this brilliant opus, strange reverberations crisscross Mindmachine pushing it towards an ambient world before exploding on heavy percussions and insane vocalizations in a finale of an indefinite ethnic which binds itself to Radiotrip and to Kraftwerk-style's robotic voices. A title felted of a vaporous heaviness which rolls on a vitamin sequence of minimalism jolts and supported by the circular movements of a metallic synth. Nervous percussions frame this hypnotic tempo from which escape good harmonious clusters à la Robert Schroeder on a synth loads of chiseled solos. Winterlandschaft takes us into more ambient and atmospheric phases, with a soft and serene cosmic approach. Crystalline arpeggios skip with a percussive clarity in a circular environment where weak isolated percussions and a mellotron surround a structure which comes to life gently without ever bursting. A good momentum of a cosmic tenderness that continues on the sweet N-Tropical and its xylophone chords as well as its delicate percussive movement enveloped in an ethereal mellotron. It's like listening to a Caribbean cosmic melody.

Edge of Reality continues this atmospheric quest with a surprisingly captivating title. Its intro is very slow and is stuffed by riffs from a corrosive keyboard which flees the intriguing resonances. Scattered percussions emerge from this stellar tranquility, drumming unruly strikes on a structured movement of a frail syncopated line which crisscrosses a synth with screaming layers and spectral galactic breaths. A strange movement, very characteristic of the ambience here and which ends in the soft spatial darkness. A movement which goes towards Third Ear that will certainly charm you with its growing pulsating sequence and its acoustic guitar which molds an interplanetary romance on a honeyed synth and abstract percussions. A splendid title full of tenderness which waltzes in a sound universe torn between the duality of its guitar chords and its big riffs which strike a seductive dreamlike sweetness. Planet Audio follows with a heavy atmospheric intro where strange sounds pierce a dense synth veil. This bizarre and ambient waltz, like a cosmic flight in a state of weightlessness, awakens with a delicate sequence fed by hopping bass chords and scattered percussions link to fluttering cymbals. The rhythm gallops among metallic synth streaks, sounds of hydraulic drills and a vocoder which fills this cosmic fauna of an intense and rare sound richness. Retropolis opens with a corrosive synth that spits ocher venom before embracing a spasmodic rhythm on an undulating bassline, adorned by a synth with loops and lyrical solos and a keyboard with limpid harmonious chords. A living title wrapped in a soft mellotron layer that goes towards Pigborn and its ethnic-galactic approach on percussions with tribal echoes, enveloped in a mellotron with fluty breaths dancing on a cadence and its frenetic percussions. This galactic tribal dance calms down on the marvelous cosmic intro of See-Not Have, which gently ascends to limpid arpeggios and sober sequenced riffs from a discreet keyboard, releasing a sensual beat that languidly twists on solos of a dark synth. A good musical piece of music which throws itself into the nebulous limbo of Noonsphere and its metallic squeaks of an eclectic universe which is the prerogative of this marvelous effort of a band to discover absolutely.

Sylvain Lupari (October 7th, 2009) ***¾**

Available at Manikin

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