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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

RENE de BAKKER: The Uncertain Path (2020)

A great album of sequencer-based EM with convoluted rhythmic patterns and chthonian vibes that should nailed you on your fave seat

1 The Uncertain Path 19:18

2 Wake up call 7:42

3 Procrastination 7:37

4 Positive Signs 12:48

5 Adaptility 9:48

6 To Calm Waters 13:29

(CD/DDL 71:14) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

Sonic sparkles, pearl drops of water and a throbbing humming bass line. All that's missing here is this wavy synth line, like a speed skater on the frozen Loch Ness, to push The Uncertain Path into a long, evolving Berlin School. In a soundscape thickened by a synth that multiplies its misty layers and its harmonious lines as well evasive as its quaking lines which add an icy aspect to the title-track of this latest album by Rene De Bakker woven into a vision that advantageously flirts with the meaning of its title. The sequencer scrupulously chooses its jumping keys which jump quickly like those deer races wanting to challenge a train. But more than that! He plays with the strength and the velocity of the rhythm by tracing patterns which intersect or which branch off abruptly in order to force another rhythm while carving at the bottom of our eardrums a rhythmic earworm made up of 3 keys wanting to climb too higher than the roof of the world. The synth envelops this rhythmic explosion with a thick layer of ambiences, veils of horror and effects that transform into a gigantic butyrous mass, giving the appearance of a demonic wagon attached to the unpredictable journey of a train which takes a quieter tangent around the fifteen minute. A phase filled of nebulous mists and sound perfumes, which made my auditory memory works to finally remind me of the wonderful Echo Wave on the album @shra, which leads to The Uncertain Path's well deserved finale. The only thing missing was the synth solos. What an introduction my friends! I really liked Our Gift by Rene De Bakker. As I am a fan of his Beyond Berlin project carried out jointly with Martin Peters. Except that there is something different with THE UNCERTAIN PATH. The sound! And that is explained with the recent acquisitions of De Bakker, hardware's synths and sequencers which enrich the palette of tones and increase the rhythmic possibilities. And it was inspired by these new instruments that he composed the music for this 2nd album, his 6th in all, to be released on the Dutch label Groove nl.

If the finale of the title-track brought us to a form of tranquility, the opening of Wake up is done in a smashing way which assaults as much as surprises. A sequenced refrain hatches out after almost 60 seconds of electronic clamor. This skeleton for a ballad effectively accommodates a great one. In her appearance of music from the Halloween movie dismantled and restructured with a less Luciferian vision, it swirls like a graceful ballerina under good solos and beautiful fluty songs. We always remain in the same sound design from which the heavy sound membrane of Procrastination slowly emerges. This Mephistophelian introduction is activated on a brilliant performance of the sequencer and electronic percussion. There is also this bass line which serves the procrastinating conception of a music in opposition between these binary rhythm lines which support a gelatinous sound mass. A superb track which deviates towards an organic Funk on a convoluted rhythmic structure. There is a lot of creativity in this title! Escaping a shadow from a Mellotron, Positive Signs stretches its membrane as much as its time to finally cling to an uncertain step. The ambient rhythm is slightly spasmodic and groping forward in a rich universe of materialized mist nourished by lamentations, half-tunes and solos having already dance with Lucifer. Positive Signs ends with good electronic rock around the point of 9 minutes. Adaptility is another title with heavy and nebulous ambiences. The musical texture advances with a sound range which increases its acoustic power like a glaucous body of water invading its banks. The rhythmic texture is more nervous but will never manage to tumble a texture weighed down by the resonant reverberations of a mega bass line. Adapt to calm waters? And why not with To Calm Waters which follows with a vision opposite to Adaptility. Apart from the large layers of organs, it's the clicking of percussions and of panic sequences that are the first to blow the moods. This buzzing opening of rattling succeeds in turning the vessel of To Calm Waters upside down which will become a texture of serenity around the 7 minutes. And this until the final of THE UNCERTAIN PATH, a great album by Rene De Bakker which is available in manufactured CD and for download on Groove nl.'s platforms.

Sylvain Lupari (July 3rd, 2020) ****¼*

Available at Groove NL

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