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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

['RAMP]: No Sleep 'til Wilmersdorf (2018)

Updated: Aug 13, 2019

“Stephen Parsick brings us in his den where we get out of it marked by a fascinating breathtaking beauty”

1 compact phasing a 11:25 2 no sleep 'til wilmersdorf 16:55 3 clouds should say 4:31 4 haunted hills 8:01 5 salomon's road 11:23 6 oedipus 8:45 7 orphelia 10:45 8 the last one to leave is to turn off the lights 3:56 Doombient.Music | ramp011

(CD 75:59) (Berlin School) (V.F.)

Stephen Parsick! Even in his environment more than usual, the German musician ends always to amaze and especially seduce. The style analog Berlin School is really dried up? Several people think that there is no more juice in the lemon. And nevertheless, album after album, the man in black of the contemporary EM brings us in his domains by proving completely the opposite. Written between 2014 and 2016, NO SLEEP 'TIL WILMERSDORF is a journey in Stephen Parsick's childhood memories. This 15th opus of ['ramp] was conceived idea by idea, souvenir to souvenir with the favorite tones that Stephen has amassed throughout these 15 albums. Orchestrations and Mellotron give gooseflesh to us while the synths and sequencers forge these rhythms and these ambiences which brings us in these territories where the Berlin School style is like a fountain of Youth in the hands of the master of the Doombient universe. Credit where credit's due, it's the orchestrations stolen from the Mellotron which open the very floating compact phasing a. Let's imagine to drive a space shuttle! It's this sensation which encloses our emotions with this tearful weaving of violins which floats such as a shuttle going adrift and propelled by intersidereal winds which waltz with the timeless clock. There is no second of too many to the meter so much the sweetness of compact phasing a is rocking our feelings. The hollow winds lead us to the sinister approach of the title-track where the Mellotron and the orchestrations establish the ['ramp] atmosphere. Impatient, the sequencer doesn't waste time to breathe. Its keys skip in a zigzagging and ascending approach, while the synth layers throw chthonian hazes. Not really boosted but all the same dominating, the rhythm of no sleep ' til wilmersdorf adds percussions to its cadence move forward- move back while the synths perfume the ambiences with these tones which made of Tangerine Dream so unique. Playing on the modulations of the sequencer, Stephen Parsick polishes up his minimalist structure of some additions, among which short lines which dance slightly with a harmonious envelope, which seduce even more the ears, leading even no sleep ' til wilmersdorf towards one finale crowded of arrhythmic bass pulsations. The dark vapors throw themselves into clouds should say which is a floating title. A title of atmospheres with quiet breezes which float on a cozy bed of jingles. One remembers the Steel and Steam album? This union with Mark Shreeve had given an album as excellent as all the expectations. The music of haunted hills is loaded of these ambiences. The introduction is sneaky with a rhythm forged by the gallop of a one-legged man concentrated on the same pace. Some percussive ornamental elements decorate this rhythmic procession which passes from some lively Arabian layers to an oniric mood with clouds of violins' airs and flutes can create. Splendid! I would say that we are in the best, in the core of this album and still surprises come along. Like this structure of Peter Baumann's beat in Meridian Moorland which will haunt your ears in salomon's road, the most ear-catchy track that I heard this year, if not since a big while. The rhythm is forged by multi-line of sequences which, put following the others, form a concerto for players of castanets on acid. If this structure is ear-catchy by its disconnected form which holds itself nevertheless by a main thread, the melody which whistles on this obsessing structures of rhythm is the most beautiful musical itch to have enchanted me since moons. A recorder whistling a virgin air! Varying the tone of its feelings which pass from grave to acute, the melody takes refuge at times within banks of mist where tinkle a dreamy electric piano. Shivers and goosebumps guaranteed! Oedipus keeps this degree of emotionalism but with a more sinister approach. It's a title which breathes of this Mephistophelian air of those first melodies played on a Mellotron. The air played is not really far from the previous one, but in a more taciturn vision. The murmurs of the shadows and the ambient noises which are added brings us to orphelia, a title built on slow oscillations which become more and more fluid as the Arabian atmospheres of the orchestrations drag the rhythm in its stride. Layers of chthonian voices and percussive effects amplify this contrast which livens up another magnetizing title due to the structure of its rhythm and of its orchestral licks. The 2nd part of orphelia is more ambient and leads us toward one finale, the last one to leave is to turn off the lights, where the e-piano and the atmospheres are great representatives of its meaning. What an album my friends! NO SLEEP 'TIL WILMERSDORF is literally a tale put in music and in sounds where ['ramp] brings us in his den and where we get out of it marked by the greatness of an album which, even in its envelope of darkness, is of a fascinating breathtaking beauty. There are many jewels here and the traps of their charms are merciless for our feelings. A wonderful album by the great prince of dark and intimidating EM of the Berlin School of the analog years. Only 222 copies were made of it, so you will have to go on Stephen Parsick's Bandcamp from now on... Sylvain Lupari (May 10th, 2018) *****

Available at [´ramp] Bandcamp

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