REMY: Sense (2006)
Updated: Oct 20, 2021
“Sense is for those who believe that EM could be more daring without being boring”
1 Being 5:28
2 Destination 16:09
3 Behaviour 7:55
4 Maze 19:37
5 Mortality 12:47
6 Déja Vu 7:00
(CD/DDL 68:54) (V.F.)
(Orchestral Berlin School, Trance, Cinematic themes)
Not many people have talked about Remy's new album, SENSE, yet. Yet his name has been circulating happily in the spheres of Electronic Music, like Berlin School, since Exhibition of Dreams. In fact, he is probably the artist, with Indra, who is closest to Klaus Schulze's style. Playing with rhythms, atmospheres and multiple synth layers, he likes to explore and refine his long compositions. SENSE is said to have a different style. So it was with some eagerness, mixed with apprehension, that I was looking forward to hearing it. I was especially enthusiastic to hear what was going to be different.
Being is off to a great start! The mood is intimate with a soft piano and cello courting each other over a melodramatic backdrop. The notes flow beautifully and blend into a good and dark melody, much like a movie theme. It is with Destination that we can grasp the meaning of different. After a rather strange atmospheric beginning, where it sounds like marbles floating weightlessly on thick layers of synth, the sounds distort and give way to cello blurring over ghostly vocals. Wasn't this the charms of Exhibition of Dreams? These voices sing without really singing. The cello rubs without really rubbing. One has the impression of floating in an unreal world. Quietly, notes come together and form a kind of muffled funky bass rhythm. This movement is draped with a synth wave that forms a thick layer of sounds on top of a musical swirl that gradually takes shape. A zombie trance-like cadence, flooded with fairly intense strata, invades the speakers, making one forget this rather confusing intro. From this moment on, Destination spits out a sustained rhythm flooded by enveloping synthesizers, from where admirable and percussive solos shoot out. A moment of culture that requires a great openness, but that is totally worth it. But be sure to tell your neighbors, because some of them might be worried.
After such a confusing title, Behaviour sounds like a poor child with a good mellotron that covers the ambiences with a nice layer of voices on firebrands and smoke à la Blade Runner. A dark 8-minute track flooded by sound effects that used to delight Klaus Schulze's fans in the 70's. Maze reminds me of the strange collaborations between Klaus Schulze and Arthur Brown. Here it is between Remy and Mattie, an artist unknown to me at the time, that it happens. On good arrangements with the aroma of a cello, Mattie explains the pressure and the traps of the labyrinth. The music is superb and perfectly reflects the anguish of being trapped in endless corridors. We are there and we feel these corridors, so much the music is realistic. A superb anguishing frame worthy of a high-tension movie. This hypnotic atmosphere freezes us until the cello starts to stumble and the drums start to play, propelling Maze in a more rhythmic musical direction. The cello metamorphoses into a violin and it's a frantic race between the percussions, which hits with precision and ferocity, and the violin, which heats up the strings with strength and agility. This concept is drawn on a superbly effective bass and big synth solos. A highly worked title! A great moment that seemed to be rather banal. Mortality is the pivotal track on SENSE. Continuing on the cello arrangements that ended Maze, Mortality moves on in a narrow corridor where the coldness warms up on a thin synth line that rocks to the rhythm of lost illusions. An intense track that shelters discreet choirs and drifts on a more animated line. And one can't help but draw a parallel with the sinuous and sensual line that made the charms of KS' Body Love, with a methodical drumming as well. Another good track on this latest Remy album that ends with Mattie's vocals. Deja Vu is a rhythmless track that swirls into huge synth strata and Mattie's half-human, half-droid voice. The music is sumptuously dense, and Mattie's presence adds an intriguing element. He plays with his voice, like an instrumentalist, going from a smooth Bowie-like tone to a dark Rob Zombie-like intonation.
So, is this SENSE different? Yes, if you consider the evolution or deviations of his own style as different. For me it's Remy. An artist who follows in the footsteps of his inspiration perfectly. Like Schulze, he leaves the paths of programmed music to offer a more personal and intense works. Tracks like Destination and Maze are full of intelligence and audacity. SENSE is aimed at a more informed public. An audience that is not afraid to rub their ears with more avant-garde music. Electronic music, Berlin School style, but extremely progressive.
Sylvain Lupari (July 7th, 2008) ****¼*
Available at Deserted Island Music