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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

REDSHIFT: Down Time (2000)

Updated: Sep 24, 2021

Extremely violent, Down Time is this kind of album which is hard to pin down

1 Nails 14:58

2 Ultranaut 7:51

3 Mania 6:09

4 High Noon 6:49

5 All Things Bright 6:58

6 Protoland 6:04

7 Down Time 11:42

(DDL 60:31) (V.F.)

(70's Berlin School)

Closer to Mark Shreeve's works than Redshift's, DOWN TIME moves away from the big musical contortions, present on the first 2 works of the band, by presenting us an opus, still as heavy as ever, comprising 7 tracks, of which only 2 exceed the 10 minutes barrier. The only two tracks that could have easily been included on Ether. Nails and the title-track are two tracks in the purest Redshift tradition. Two tracks with nuanced rhythms that caress an anguished atmosphere. While Nails explodes in several violent and aggressive mini tornadoes, Down Time continues a methodical progression on a heavy rhythm with dark vapors. Ghostly choirs, bewitching mellotron, synth and guitar with spectral smells, the whole of Redshift arsenal is present in a musical context of a rare violence. On this level, the unbridled passages of Nails are among the most powerful and heavy I've heard in EM, enough to... nail us to the spot. Another knockout track; Mania! One of the good tracks of the Redshift repertoire. Chords are getting form on a hesitating bass line, intertwining with their resonant pads. A thin line emerges from it, triturated by a threatening guitar. The sequencer gets in with its big heavy steps, setting the scene for a heavy sequenced whirlwind where guitar and synth tear the air with their laments. Absolutely brilliant. A small turn, and then it comes back on an even heavier and more explosive sequencer. Great electronic art!

Ultranaut is more static with waves floating in a nightmarish ambience. It's more of a series of sound effects that end up drawing harmonious segments with intriguing breaths. Another stroke of genius where the guitar, which cabals on a metallic smog, is simply delightful. A bit like High Noon which takes the same static curves with a macabre pulse that floats among zombie choirs, a dense mellotron and a guitar/synth combination that praises obscure laments. All Things Bright is in the same vein as Mania. The sequencer marks heavy steps with heavy drones having low tones. A spectral synth rises among the ululations of virtual bats. The rhythm is slow and bewitching, caressing the spheres of atony with superb layers of guitar and synth with ectoplasmic breaths. Protoland is a more relaxing track which shows that even satanic spirits can gather on harmless hymns. An evasive piano leads the way, much like on Nails, to a sober sequencer engulfed by guitar riffs and a melodious synth. And, as always, the mellotron comes to charm us with its ethereal flute that we never get tired of hearing.

DOWN TIME is an album that is hard to pin down. It's an extremely violent EM, both in terms of rhythm and staging. The tone and the rhythm are insane. We tear off our eardrums to grasp the musical madness Redshift that inhabits this 3rd album of the English quartet. An opus more than heavy and of a unique depth that shows that not only Redshift evolves, but it is in a class of its own, a bit like Tangerine Dream in the 70's.

Sylvain Lupari (Septembre 20th, 2006) *****

Available at Redshift Bandcamp

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