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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Remy & Synth NL PrimiTiveS (2013)

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

PrimiTiveS is a strong album where the crossing of EoD and OG inhales the rhythms and ambiences of Klaus Schulze

1 Traffic Cones 7:22

2 Ancient Pyramids 7:05

3 Liquid Spheres 6:26

4 Fractured Splines 7:10

5 Crashing Toroids 5:45

6 Paper Planes 6:57

7 Frozen Cubes 5:21

8 Burning Cylinders 12:31

(CD/DDL 70:55) (V.F.)

(Progressive Berlin School)

Strange musical combination that of Synth. NL and Remy. Although the two Dutch musicians share an interest in the music of Jean-Michel Jarre, they are poles apart from their musical visions both for the genre and the compositions. It was at the E-Live festival in 2007 that Remy Stroomer, who was trained as a classical musician, and Michel van Osenbruggen, a self-taught man who was inspired by Vangelis, got to know each other. Over the course of meetings and conversations at the following EM festivals and other EM events, they developed a friendship as well as an interest in order to compose a work together. And this is how PRIMITIVES timidly saw the light of day. According to the two authors, the making was difficult. The gap between genres and the difference in composition technique have both distanced and brought together the two new accomplices who wrote the main lines of this album on each side. The result is a tasty mix of the two genres that propel the EM fan into the spectral and theatrical atmospheres that Remy concocted with Exhibition of Dreams and the heavy and curt rhythms that made the mark of Synth. NL since OceanoGraphy.

And it's this mixture that is at the heart of Underground Tubes, whose first minutes offer an introduction to breezes and granular harmonies that hover with a scent of music in a subdued ambience of dust and starry mists. An introduction where breaths of saxophones sing in cosmic currents before being finely caressed by a bass line and by percussions with funky movements embraced of tenderness. This rhythm, taken to task by the howls of a synth with twisted solos, patiently increases the beat with a roaring heaviness pulsing in a constant velocity, dragging in its groove a line of sequence which swirls with harmonic jerks. And synth solos with vampiric forms which release iridescent mists on a rhythm whose consistency is nourished by more incisive sequences and percussions. If the beginning of Underground Tubes is stamped by Remy, the finale is just as much with its dark solos, its orchestral approach and its chthonic choir which embellish the bubbling cosmic approach which is the hallmark of Synth NL. And it is this kind of musical duel that PRIMITIVES has in store for us. Traffic Cones doesn't be in lace with its clearly funky approach and its chords with sucking pulsations which throb under the imprints of a synth with orchestral mists and solos which whisper spectral complacency in the hollow of the ears. The rhythm deploys a more jerky strength with stroboscopic crossovers that awaken in us reminiscences of Klaus Schulze and his Inter * Face - Miditerranean Pads period. Very good! Ancient Pyramids also adopts this funky allure, but with a more honeyed approach, on a bass line with spiral palpitations and a line of sequences with frenzied jerks that whirl against current in the spheroidal movements of an electronic melody dreaming in the charms of a synth with incisive solos and Arabian breezes.

After a very ambient phase in Liquid Spheres, Fractured Splines bursts in our ears with a line of sequences. Its keys hiccup while twirling vigorously in a furious rotary movement that percussions carry in the ocher mists of synths of which the incisive solos are whirling like roaring specters. This battle of Remy's dark atmospheres over the heavy and lively rhythms of Synth NL is more than significant on this title as well as on Crashing Toroids whose heaviness and synth layers as black as morphic somewhat slow down the velocity of its rotary axis. That's another title that will appeal to fans of Klaus Schulze. Paper Planes is a superb title which brings us into the nocturnal moods of Remy where the whistling winds, the dark mists and the lascivious solos envelop a slow rhythm whose crisscrossing volutes of the sequences pulsate with more vigor than a rhythm weighed down by the bludgeoning percussions which burst with more fury towards the finale. We remain in the moods of Remy Schulze with Frozen Cubes and its dark piano notes which spread a melody imbued with an atmosphere of black dreams that half-seraphic and half-sinister choirs envelop in an aura of nocturnal discomfort. Discomfort that amplifies with a heavy finale hammered by dramatic percussions, thus weaving a rather scary conclusion. It's the great Remy, theatrical and dreamlike, that has just entered in our ears. Take whatever is heavier on PRIMITIVES and intensify the content and it gives Burning Cylinders, which lives up to its title. The pace is more than heavy. It's hammered by powerful percussions, of which each blow leaves an echo and its shadow and nourished by nervous riffs which put together forge a powerful electronic progressive rock whose axis of a bass line adopts a Peter Gun approach. Simply delicious! The synths take on the tone and the musicality very distinct to the two authors who multiply complex and twisted solos, nourishing a hallucinating ambience of schizophrenic impulses which swirl in the very restricted circle of this rhythm as much lively as black. It's undeniably one of the very good titles in 2013.

When two artists at the top of their game work together to compose an album, the results are sometimes lukewarm. We often have the impression that each wants to swallow the style of the other. And this is far from being the case on PRIMITIVES where we feel a mutual respect with regard to the style of each one and a growing musical friendship through this work which represents very well the mesh of their visions. It's a very nice album where the crossing of Exhibition of Dreams and OceanoGraphy breathes on the rhythms and ambiences of Klaus Schulze, with a zest of Jean-Michel Jarre. Highly recommendable!

Sylvain Lupari (April 4th, 2013) ****½*

Available at Groove NL

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