REDSHIFT: Colder (2011)
“Colder is monumental and by far the most accomplished and complete album from Redshift”
1 Sister Moon 15:24
2 Roses are Red 3:33
3 Two Worlds & In-between 14:05
4 Azure 5:14
5 Colder 13:01
6 Chain Gun 10:33
(CD/DDL 61:50) (V.F.)
There are a lot of things going on COLDER, an album full of bouncing and where nothing is alike, and everything soaks in weighing diversified rhythms. Presented during the 9thHampshire Jam festival, COLDER follows the paths of Turning Towards Us and Last with a heavy, complex and dark music to surprising harmonious outcomes. An album built on powerful atmospheres as symphonic as apocalyptic, it's amazingly powerful with its heavy sequences which ride and stagger beneath the weight of multidimensional synths and of which the arrhythmic sequential strikes accompany sombre melodies which bind even more our dependence to this cult band in EM which, year after year and album after album, succeeds to seduce a public always in search of the after Rubycon from Tangerine Dream.
The strange crusade begins with Sister Moon and its long complaint with biting reverberations which edges one's way among sharp and twisted streaks. Synth layers are flooding an apocalyptic ambience while sequenced percussions shape a sordid march of mutilated warriors who move towards a plain filled of a mystic synth mist. This cadence is supported by fine and delicate crystalline arpeggios from an electric piano which float in a dusty mood whereas breaths of synth hoot in sadness and prepare the flight of Sister Moon. And it comes with resonant bass pulsations and agile sequences that feed a rhythmic structure which bends on the weight of the heavy layers coming from a lugubrious and apocalyptic synth. The sequencer-based pace redefines its approach with thundering pulsations, creating a heavier and darker vision. A howling synth also drops some suave mellotron airs of an Arabian world which is soon besieged by a thick cloud of sequences and by a rhythmic heaviness which resound, stagger and get criss-cross on a pattern which goes and comes, pressed that it is by its circular and arrhythmic sequences and adorned by curt and dramatic synth pads. And gradually the pace gets weak and the heavy rhythm of Sister Moon is getting slow. Only the keyboard keys resound in a space filled by resonant oscillations and by funeral orations of wandering choirs on plains abandoned by rhythms. It's a short moment of calm where the solitary electric piano drops some hesitating notes which leaking away in a mist snatched by rising sequences. These sequences resuscitate nervously before exploding in the heavy breezes of a synth which splits its abyssal melody taken away by a torrent from the sequencer of an energy unique to Redshift. After this first explosion of thundering rhythms, Roses are Red is used as a link with this tranquility eroded by heavy corrosive oscillations in order to prepare the entry of Two Worlds & In-between and its pulsations which beat under a musical sky torn with iridescent streaks while a strange sequence pulses among wandering choirs. A sequence whose keystrokes swap to become a syncopated circle which quivers under its even more numerous choruses and fog gases which blow from the abyss. But when we feel the ground wobble under our feet, a strange ballad pops up blown by a delicate synth. A dark ballad accompanied by a choir from beyond the grave which hums under delicate movements of sequences and synth layers sometimes apocalyptic and sometimes symphonic. The structure sinks even more into complexity with arrhythmic strikes that wander like wolf steps, splitting its heaviness with more incisive sequences that dance in a circular movement. Wild, the rhythm is nourished by sequences whose nervous shadows merge with keyboard chords under a thick membrane of the Mellotron. A membrane which makes the finale of Two Worlds & In-between twirl towards the more serene horizons of its soft introductory melody which charms again with its beautiful flute lost in the industrial pulsations of Azure.
Azure is the 2nd short COLDER's title to serve as a bridge between the long and complex compositions of the 14th opus of Redshift. It's also a sweet melody forged in soft piano chords and a delicious moment of somber romanticism that we would like even longer, especially with the arrival of a good enchanted flute. The title-track extends its iridescent layers in a devastated area where the mist has not yet evaporated that the metallized pulsations beat delicately before joining a more hypnotic sequenced pulsation. The rhythm explodes on an anvil! A heavy oscillation sequenced à la Ricochet holes the uncertainty of Colder's rhythms which dither between the hard line and the more sluggish before the rhythm deviates in a sharp whirlwind where the electronic guitar of Ian Boddy pummels the ambiences of his caustic and heartbreaking solos. The rhythm calms down around the 7th minute and Colder crosses a subliminal phase with choirs that drag like a mist near the chords of a lonely piano. But the sequences resume their rhythmic rights with incredible violence, making the music twirl in a frenzied waltz swirling endlessly. The guitar continues to manhandle Colder with heavy riffs and furious solos which tear the heaviness and the fury of the rhythm. A heaviness amplified in a final that leaves spectators flabbergasted. Chain Gun ends COLDERwith a long intro where the breaths of souls in distress are lost on a sequence which sets up a funeral march more accentuated than that of Sister Moon. A march where the synths expire breathes of ice before the heavy sequences tear apart the evolution of Chain Gun which is ground under sulphurous breaths of fire and a splendid fluty mellotron, dividing even more the rhythm which will be reborn under a gloomy melody sung by a dreamlike mellotron. A song that persists in rendering its melody despite the metallic darkness, the caustic lacerations and the insane cries of the synths which evaporate in a march always accompanied by a fluty synth.
With all this complexity, both in structures and in rhythms, COLDER is monumental! It's a superb album where the striking power of Redshift is embellished by these superb melodies which drag everywhere. Rarely have I heard an album as heavy and powerful and where throbbing and spectral musical structures can give off so much romanticism. The sound fauna that hides in this album is absolutely delusional. Each plot of tones and / or new musical directions hide its richness behind a plethora of sounds that are as creative as they are unexpected. It's, and by far, the most accomplished and complete album of Redshift which ends up making its style tameable with all the nobility which is due to it.
Sylvain Lupari (July 6th, 2011) ****½*
Available at Redshift Bandcamp