REALTIME: Magnificent Imaginations (2015)
“Floating rhythms and wrapping cosmic moods; it puts down the roots that we have about Real Time as being the worthy successor of Software”
1 Dancing Electrons 8:02
2 Explorations on Strange Planets 12:02
3 Magical Moments Around 11:12
4 Ode to Space 17:26
5 Ethnic Moods 7:07
6 Magnificent Imaginations 13:48
(CD-r/DDL 69:37) (V.F.)
(Ambient and cosmic EM)
During the last years, Realtime has built an enviable place and a solid reputation in the kingdom of an EM perfumed of a strong zest of cosmic moods. The fans of the genre, quite particularly those who are fond of the Software's Electronic Universe and Chip Meditation year (1985), have fell quick in love for the multiple charms of Thomas Bock and Norbert Hensellek. Just like his project, Thomas Bock is very present on the social networks and on the Berlin scene of EM, pricking the curiosity of new fans and stabilizing his current troop with extracts of concerts or still with some sketches of his music to come. And it's without his usual accomplice that he presents here a new studio album which walks literally on the paths of Solar Walk; the album that had put Realtime on the chessboard of EM in 2013. MAGNIFICENT IMAGINATIONS offers 6 structures of mild rhythms, sometimes floppy, which come out from very intersidereal electronic panoramas where astral voices, interstellar breezes, sound effects and dusts of stars float in the eternal caresses and the slow sighs of arrangements coming from tears of violins which sometimes are transformed into ethereal murmurs. It's that path that Software should have taken after Syn-Code.
Meteorite wooshh and whistles from intergalactic snakes adorn the chaos and the heavy dark winds of Orion. The cosmic universe of Dancing Electrons blossoms into Rick Wright-style synth pads that flood the cosmos while creating a peaceful atmosphere. We drift between two universes. Only the flutes are missing, and we would be in the embryo of Fluting Electronic Universe. A rhythm, always very delicate, comes out of the winds of Orion. It swirls around in its morphic envelope, spreading out keys that hopping finely and trying to climb imaginary mountains of a universe where voices and murmurs change into winds and harmonies murmured by a synth bursting with metallic fog. The keys detach shadows that chirp of metallic tones, forging an ambient strobe thin line which scrolls very slowly in a dense intergalactic setting. Dancing Electrons is the matrix of MAGNIFICENT IMAGINATIONS. The next 5 structures will all be imbued, with a few nuances near, of its perfumes and its very hypnotic spheroidal rhythms. After a slow atmospheric intro, Explorations on Strange Planets offers a smothered rhythm with very discreet pulsations and whose beats, combined with the clicking of metallic wings, forge a sly but fluid rhythm. A rhythm also deafens by a lunar sonic decoration, as dense as intense for such an inert structure, well decorated by whistling stars, astral voices and synth tears which float in mists and breezes of Orion. Magical Moments Around is this kind of track that hook us instantly! The rhythm structure is more energetic with a series of pulsations and sequences which skip and chatter in the shadows of their forerunners. It's at both heavy, for the resonances of the pulsing line, and soft, for the spherical approach a bit stroboscopic. The rhythm skips of its fine vibrations and of its echoes in a minimalist pattern which below a thick cloud of sound serpentines. The latter unwind some nice psychedelic horizons which are very convenient to the dialogues of synths, but also to the solos as so discreet as strangely very harmonious that remind me sometimes of Klaus Schulze. Cosmic vision dipped into ether, Ode to Space is a long ambient track with a first phase, the first 8 minutes, very ambiospherical. We could almost say that we go adrift in a cosmic storm with its effects of weightlessness. A delicate, I would say even morphic, line of bass extricates itself from the mooing of the sands of interstellar dunes in order to offer a soft rhythm which invades and calms our two hemispheres. It's a very floppy rhythm which pounds weakly in the sweetnesses of good orchestral arrangements, a little as if a concert of violin is calming the apprehensions of the unknown. This is very Software and also very relaxing. And as every detail counts in the universe of Realtime, Thomas Bock adds beatings and organic sequences among which the pulsations and the chirping add another layer of seduction to a good cosmic morphic track. We let oneself be seduced rather easily. Ethnic Moods starts rather fast with nice floating pads filled of cosmic tones. Voices of Elf whisper a kind of poem written in the ink of mist while quite slowly tribal percussions liven up the slow but deliciously lively rhythm of Ethnic Moods. If the percussions seduce, the luxuriant synth pads are not outdone by this infusion of voices which hum in the brief fluty harmonies and sonic parchments steamed up by dusts of stars. That does very Software too, Digital Dance, but in a more electronic cosmic pattern. The title-track is a big shambles of synth pads filled of hollow breaths which moo with dark's tints. We hear sequences emerging from this opacity to waddle soberly with organic fineries. The rhythm remains very ambient. A soft rhythm, which shows a little more vitality toward the end, smothered by a thick layer of magma from where shine some hummings, a choir with a timbre as hollow as the winds as well as a shower of electronic Perséides which whistles in a cosmic panorama where the esthetics for stifling atmospheres dominates over the swiftness of the sequences. Let's say that it's a finale a bit pale for an album which finds the way to seduce in a crenel that we imagine constantly dried up.
Sylvain Lupari (June 22nd, 2015) *****
Available at SynGate Bandcamp