REMY: i-Dentity (2011)
Updated: Sep 21, 2020
“Mysterious and bewitching, the music of Remy sometimes plunges into complexity, if not perplexity, and I-Dentity is no exception”
1 Destination: Berlin - Part I 11:22
2 Destination: Berlin - Part II 20:34
3 Destination: Berlin - Part III 19:08
4 I-Dentity 24:15
5 Vulnerable (Only in DDL) 17:25
(CD/DDL 75:26) (V.F)
(Minimalist Berlin School)
Phew! This 11th Ricochet Gathering festival held in Berlin between October 15 and 18, 2010 caused quite a stir. After the superb Let it Out! by Bernd Kistenmacher, here is Remy offering us his portion of a concert given at this festival. It's been a while since we've heard something new from Remy. In fact, we have to go back to 2008 with This Is Not the End. And the wait was worth it. I-DENTITY is a change album for him. Him who loved to sift his works with a veil imbued with mysteries, he offers here an album with progressive rhythms that perfectly respects the basic idea of this festival where the Berlin School style, popularized by Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze was at the honor. But in the evolution of the 4 titles, 5 if we take the album in downloadable form from Music Zeit, we feel the mysticism of Remy's works resurface, so much so that the scent of Exhibition of Dreams appears here and there, making from I-DENTITY a hard-hitting album filled with a superb mix of genres.
It's a fine carousel of glass arpeggios which initiates the album. Destination: Berlin - Part I opens with a parade of timid and uncertain arpeggios that sparkle with the clarity and sharpness of a glass xylophone. The chords swirl with a slight shift in harmony and a delicate variation in intonations, under the breaths of a synth whose hybrid tones recall the sweet melancholy of a solitary saxophone. This tender melody of minimalism glass loses its hopping arpeggios in the warm breaths of an enveloping and comforting synth to plunge us into the musical uncertainty that envelops Destination: Berlin - Part II. The opening offers spectral waves which roam and undulate above a rhythm which is fragmented. An undulating rhythm in cascade which goes, disappears and returns under a musical sky invades of heavy mists and of fine ghostly oscillations. In fact, it's the rhythmic scheme of Destination: Berlin - Part II which appears in snatches and which is exposed in full around the 7th minute with a biting guitar, a warm lyrical synth and technoïd type percussions. While the solos of a spectral synth pierce the rhythmic ambiguity, the guitar solos of Bill Fox turn in loops on unleashed percussions. We attend to a synth / guitar duel on a heavy and hypnotic tempo which quietly deviates on layers of orchestral synths. Layers which float and oscillate like the hallucinatory world of Exhibition of Dreams (Lunascapes), evolving with a good dramatic approach and menacing chords which pound a hypnotic beat under the cries of a guitar thirsty of juicy solos and of frenzied percussions. Beautiful synth layers wrap around fine nasal arpeggios. The intro of Destination: Berlin - Part III is tinged with a romanticism that is matched only by the obscure melancholy that surrounds Remy's works. Fine pulsations emerge from this slow synthesized maelstrom where good and strident synth layers ululate in their solitudes to abandon themselves to a nervous tempo wriggling in its mixture of pulsations and percussions with metallic resonances. Hypnotic, the rhythm remains stationary and is joined by nasal chords which strike like the quackings of a cold duck while pulsations of all kinds feed this vertical rhythm where fine and soft synth solos cling to it with a certain lasciviousness. The rhythm becomes more biting around the 11th minute with sharper and more incisive strikes. The synth solos continue to pierce this somewhat chaotic rhythm of which the reminiscences of a certain German musician abound with incredible accuracy in the musical structure.
In fact, Destination: Berlin - Part III is a remarkable track that adopts Remy's contemporary approach as much as his Klaus Schulze's roots and influences and his unique Berlin School style. This is a title that KS fans will appreciate the most, while Destination: Berlin - Part II will appeal more to TD fans. The title-track was conceived by Internet technology with the collaboration of Francis Rimbert, Gert Emmens and Synth.nl on synths and sequences, as well as Erik Wollo on guitars. This gives a lot of rhythms and synth solos on an approach that starts off quite slowly with a minimalist line whose bass chords progress stealthily on a fine vocalized wave. Another line emerges and its more limpid chords frolic around the main line while the multiplicity of synth lines with varying tones continues. Mysterious, I-Dentity undulates on its arpeggios of glass surrounded by slow enveloping waves when the drums fall and hooks a rhythm more frank than a bass line biting with its warm notes. The rhythm breaks halfway. The crystalline arpeggios, sounding like xylophone chords, are isolated and only the drums complete this glass dance while a soft synth gives a second breath to I-Dentity which becomes subtly more languid. The music goes towards a tangent of arcade game with a cloud of heterogeneous electronic sounds which invade a rhythm that has become more biting and agile under an infusion of percussive synth solos. Solos substituted by the guitar of Erik Wollo who makes a superb duet with the limpid keyboard chords while I-Dentity slopes towards a slightly technoïd tangent, thus completing the circle of identity elements in the evolution of the Berlin School.
Available only in a downloadable format from the MusicZeit site, Vulnerable is equal to the bonus tracks that Remy offers for each new release. Composed for his show at the E-Day 2011 festival, it's a long and beautiful track that begins with a dreamy and melancholy piano. Delicate, the notes are as sober as they are strident and are enveloped in a fine synthesized mist while the constant progression of Vulnerable leads it towards heavy and tortuous paths. A style so familiar to Remy, especially with its superb strata the tenebrous organ sounds which recall a dream exhibited a few years ago.
A work by Remy cannot be tamed on a lunch counter. Mysterious and bewitching, his music sometimes plunges into complexity, if not perplexity, and I-DENTITY is no exception to this rule. However melodious he may be, Remy remains a complex being whose personality is transposed on his compositions, thus making the charm of a music that we discover listening after listening. I-DENTITY lives up to its best works. An album that embraces different phases of the retro Berlin School while keeping this touch of influence for the digital works of KS and this touch of madness so characteristic to Exhibition of Dreams. With such a cocktail, it's obvious that it's an album to have because it portrays wonderfully the identity of its author and that more evolving of the Berlin School.
Sylvain Lupari (May 26th, 2011) *****
Available at Desert Island Music