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  • Sylvain Lupari

Remote Vision The Architecture of Time (2022)

A load of rhythms in suspension that will please to fans of a Berlin School torn between its past and its present

1 The Temporal Sequence 6:51

2 Network 47 12:40

3 The Architect 6:50

4 Branching Lines 9:44

5 External Factor 11:08

6 The Architecture of Time 18:54

Synphaera SYN24

(DDL 66:08) (V.F.)

(Sequencer-based Berlin School)

I wrote in the summer of 2020, in a review about Hypnos, that the best of Remote Vision was to come. Don Tyler proves me right with this splendid album that revisits the territories of the first sequenced movements of Tangerine Dream. THE ARCHITECTURE OF TIME presents 6 chapters where the rhythms flirt with structural reciprocity with just the right amount of complexity to enhance the value of the discovery. Our ears wander from track to track, often marveling at those rhythms in movement that draw inspiration from Chris Franke and the analog years of the mythic Berlin trio by elaborating minimalist structures whose twists and turns are rooted in the tonalities of contemporary years. In short, a very nice album of rhythms in suspension that will please to fans of a Berlin School torn between its past and its present.

The Temporal Sequence immediately puts us in the mood of this very good album with a sequencer that personifies a spider weaving its web with jumping arpeggio lines that intertwine their rhythmic visions in a vast zigzag pattern. Yes, it's very TD's Schmoelling-era! The soft, spaced-out beats of the bass, however, counterbalance the velocity of the sequences. It's a fight between the charms of the different rhythmic structures which is one of the seductive arguments of this album produced by the American label Synphaera Records. The rhythmic structure is rather harmonious in nature, as are the other 5 chapters of the album, with a texture of ambiences woven in the imagination of a carnivalesque society. The shadow of the bass radiates the ambiences with tenebrous waves, one can also hear breaths and lamentations of evil spirits, as well as long hums of an orchestral and lunar fog. The bass pulses just as softly and with its spaced-out sighs in the atmospheric opening of Network 47. This long track exploits a minimalist vision after a slow start wrapped in a cosmic setting. The sequencer then elaborates a rhythmic structure cut into small phases. They come and go, go up and down like small roller coasters in an iterative vision which gradually increases the cadence, and which nuances its tonal color under dense banks of orchestral mist. We remain in these structures of ambient rhythms with The Architect which also cuts its lines of rhythm in short repetitive ascending phases. Except that here, filaments escape to structure a parallel movement that unfolds short spasmodic rushes as well as very brief moments of dribbling jumping arpeggios. The tone of the arpeggios is also shinier with an echoing effect in the tinkling, as well as in the movement of the bass and its rubbery bounces. In fact, the sequencer loses control and the rhythm lines scatter and clump together in a funnel effect shortly after the 3rd minute. Where the winds buzz and spit out industrial particles. This dense atmospheric texture slows down the rhythm until it dies out for a distance of about 80 seconds. It then reappears, more timid and less dominant, in a gothic and lunar finale that is nuanced by the presence of celestial voices.

Branching Lines settles between our ears with the undulating pulsations, it sounds like an effect of a suction cup, of a rubbery bass line. Organic as intergalactic sound effects adorn the fog also filled of electronic particles that densifies the opening of the track, while the sequencer subtly emerges to discreetly make tinkling arpeggios after the second minute. The lapping of these arpeggios is lost in an industrial hum of a texture that flirts with psybient in a vision more organic than cosmic. The sequencer finally comes out of the silence a little before the 4th minute, structuring one of those phases of ascending ambient rhythm that punctuates the 6 tracks of THE ARCHITECTURE OF TIME.

External Factor offers another rhythm structure active for the neurons with jumping arpeggios and their compressible shadows in a good ambient beat. In a setting that respects the atmospherical structures of Remote Vision's latest album-download, the sequencer movement is striking with its rhythmic strokes that fall curtly to bounce in an elastic reflection. The long title track takes advantage of its almost 19 minutes to offer a long atmospheric opening fed with drones and synth layers which have a fine vocal texture, like Jean-Michel Jarre's electronic pachyderm's laments in the first part of Ethnicolor, the Zoolook album, as well as with those reverberation rays where percussive elements nestle in suspension. This delightful opening drifts in a Cosmos illuminated by a lyrical vision in the symbiosis between its different elements and sound effects that compose it. Always omnipresent in the flow of its emotions, the bass blows breaths that are whirring in a texture of somniferous rhythm where the first rhythmic arpeggios of The Architecture of Time begin to feast. At first uncertain, the rhythm waddles through this cosmic space and eventually structures itself into a delicate spasmodic entity in search of more rhythmic arpeggios to coordinate a more sustained, lively structure. Offering a plethora of beats in a long tube favoring repetitiveness, the rhythm quivers in place while still being encircled by those pachydermic laments of the introduction. The shadow of the bass starts to vibrate, giving this dull signal so that the rhythm accelerates the cadence while remaining in its minimalist lap. It's like hearing a swarm of rushes and carioles being severed by another rhythm line that strangely reminds me of Edgar Froese's sequences in Stuntman. Too short, more or less 8 minutes, this rhythmic phase fades, like it has blooming, for a finale that is however a little too long. But it doesn't matter, THE ARCHITECTURE OF TIME from Remote Vision has done its job by stimulating our ears for another listening...And another one, like those mythical albums of the vintage years from this glorious history of sequencer-based electronic music (EM).

Sylvain Lupari (January 22nd, 2023) ****½*

Available at Synphaera Records Bandcamp

(NB: The texts in blue are links you can click on)

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