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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROGUE ELEMENT: Storm Passage (00-10)

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

Musical structures very close to the roots of Tangerine Dream of the early 80's

1 Infinite Imagery 41:46

2 Encounter at Stormwater Crossing 7:00

3 Elements 6:26

(CD/DDL 55:13) (V.F.)

(New Berlin School, TD in the 80')

Rogue Element is the perfect example of how music can survive and evolve from both its creators and those who have been influenced. Strongly inspired by the Berlin School style and more particularly by the music of Tangerine Dream, Rogue Element resurfaces after more than 6 years of absence to continue the musical quest of the Dream and the Berlin School. Initially released in a limited run of 200 copies in 2000, STORM PASSAGE was Rogue Element's very first album and it sold out as fast as a storm can blow by. It is now being re-released on Acoustic Wave Records in a manufactured CD format and as a download option. It's an album that bears its name where Brendan Pollard and Jerome Ramsey propose 3 tracks bubbling with alternating sequences that twirl in a rhythmic maelstrom as intense as unpredictable. Musical structures very close to the roots of Tangerine Dream, but with confusing and progressive evolutions, showing that the English duo is more than a pale reflection of a band that has fascinated so many EM and progressive music fans.

Emerging from the watery depths Infinite Imagery takes off rather timidly with its floating strata with deviant and spectral sounds. Heavy morphic strata that undulate like a world of ether on the waves of a synth with fluty breaths, a bit like on TD's Underwater Sunlight. And the references can only abound from this brilliant opus which wants to be a real musical journey in the heart of the sounds of the Dream. A zigzagging sequence shapes a rhythmic with a curt and jerky flow that staggers with solidity among a panoply of synth breaths with multiple musical flavors and soft layers from a discrete mellotron. The rhythm is pure and hard, and takes refuge in undulating ethereal vapes, just to catch its breath. The calm before the storm, because around the 13th minute, another sequence initiates a spasmodic cadence before it crosses another one, heavier and more incisive, subdividing a rhythm which gets more and more anarchic. A superb passage where everything collides on a chaotic rhythmic which is draped of soft mellotron breaths and which will be buried in an enormous black hole of sounds, crossing the psychedelic fragrances of a random and complex Pink Floyd of the 60's. There are still 15 minutes of a music with countless sound tributaries that throw themselves into our ears, like a timeless musical feast. A soft synth makes wander its breezes in a mellotron haze, before a last warning shot of the sequencer shapes a frenzied rhythmic. A cadence that is embellished by some keyboard chords that show up like solitary artifices. Mellotron flutes, wandering choir, staggering keyboard chords with glass arpeggios that meander like the splinters of a barely agitated sea are accompanying this epic track. Its sequencer's movement oscillates like an underwater wave giving a hybrid flow to a track where the duality of rhythms and harmonies is the cornerstone of its astonishing musical journey.

After this long track with fascinating rhythmic twists and turns with as many atmospheric changes, Rogue Element offers 2 shorter and concise tracks. Encounter at Stormwater Crossing breaks free from its opening to explode with a frenzied approach, rivaling Christopher Franke's art in Poland. The sequencer explodes with an unheard of ferocity multiplying double keys and creating a torrential echo effect, under the vapors of a soft mellotron with a hazy and ethereal sound. Imagine a cross between Epsilon In Malaysian Pale, Poland and Exit! You have Encounter at Stormwater Crossing. A very good track filled with an energy to peel the wallpaper off the walls! Much calmer with its slow morphic intro where mellotron blasts abound, Elements bursts of rhythm around the 4th minute with a beautiful sequence that jumps and bounces under the wings of symphonic mellotron pads. A beautiful title, marked by a sober cadence which concludes this oh so awaited reissue of STORM PASSAGE.

Sylvain Lupari (June 29th, 2010) ****½*

Available at Brendan Pollard Bandcamp

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