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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

RUDOLF HEIMANN: Into the Unknown (2013)

Embroider in a lot of diversity, Into the Unknown is among the nicest surprises in the shelf of rhythmical and melodious EM in 2013

1 Voyages to Vinland 6:30

2 Moonshadow 10:47

3 Mount Roraima 7:25

4 Stanley Meets Livingstone 8:11

5 Terra Incognita 6:56

6 Bathyscaph Trieste 6:11

7 Nie Zurueck 5:20

8 Three Ships on the Horizon 10:30

9 Point of no Return 4:17

10 Blues for Robert Falcon Scott 3:16

(CD-r 69:23) (V.F.)

(New Berlin School)

Voyages to Vinland introduces us to Rudolf Heimann's last sonic expedition with resonant sequences that pulsate with a rhythmic arrhythmia catchy for the senses. The German synthesist breaks another silence, this one is only 3 years old, by offering an EM album where a more progressive synth-pop clings to Teutonic rhythms. The movement of the sequences embraces a minimalist approach, like all the rhythms on INTO THE UNKNOWN, that electronic percussions harpoon with delicacy. If I am asked to establish a point of comparison for the style of this album, I would go with the melodious approaches as well as the delicate rhythms, of Johannes Schmoelling. But with more robustness in places. This is exactly what catches our ears with the melody forged in the synth breaths full of the colors of Pan flutes on Voyages to Vinland. The hums of a power plant in an emergency state start the slow, almost ambient rhythm of the superb Moonshadow. The rhythm develops slowly under iridescent mists, ethereal layers and cosmic winds to finally borrow a delicious pattern of interstellar gallop. The synth radiates of sweet solos cooing in mists filled with chthonian voices. And the rhythm is combined with sober electronic percussions, shaping a great pattern which makes me think of a lone rider who gallops of a peaceful trot whistling melancholy tunes on the cosmic dunes. It's very good New Berlin School. What had so seduced in Tide is back on this latest effort by Rudolf Heimann. INTO THE UNKNOWN is a very versatile album where rhythms take all forms without ever altering a melodious approach which fairly well reflects my point of comparison with Johannes Schmoelling. These very fluty songs from Moonshadow are the heart of INTO THE UNKNOWN's harmonies. They embellish the free rock rhythm that we find on Mount Roraima and its progressive tribal structure which quietly deviates towards a more articulated, a more disheveled rhythm. The bouncy rhythm of Stanley Meets Livingstone is drenched in light trots hopping in the form of sequenced riffs which magnetized in Voyages to Vinland. The rhythm is ambient, hobbling with sober percussions and strange samplings on soft strata of a very tender synth. Terra Incognita offers a slightly funky cosmic genre where the synth weaves sweet fluty harmonies on a rhythm scattered between its percussions, its sequences in xylophone tones and its subtle breaths of trombone, played by Constantin Paroth. It's a title where the rhythms are as playful as the melodies and which undeniably recalls the structures of Johannes Schmoelling.

Bathyscaph Trieste is the kind of title where one hooks easily. Is it the resemblance to Tangerine Dream? Because the bed of sequences which makes jump its keys of a delicate rhythmic arrhythmia is as catchy as Chris Franke's sequencing patterns. We stamp our feet and shake our heads. And there is also this melody which tirelessly makes whistling its lassos in a dense cloud of mystical mist. It's very catchy. If we like, Nie Zurueck which is a little more ethereal with these wandering voices accompanying the discreet chords of an electronic guitar, is a little in the same vein. Fluttering from one style to another, Rudolf Heimann takes us into a hypnotic New Berlin School with Three Ships on the Horizon and its static rhythmic line which jiggles feverishly with jumping keys throbbing like heartbeats under an avalanche of synth solos with twisted vocal effects. The rhythm sinks into our ears with solid percussions and a good line of bass pulsations which weigh down keys hopping like a galloping ride and whose velocity is slowed down briefly by a more ambient and cosmic passage while the synths weave harmonies and atmospheres that its heaviness numbs a bit. There is a lot of atmosphere and sadness around Point of no Return, an ambient title where the synths churn the breezes with blows of trumpets which float on funeral notes from a pensive piano. Less sad but more heartbreaking, Blues for Robert Falcon Scott is a good cosmic blues where a very acid guitar rips the moods on a heavy beat well hammered with good percussions. The synths and keyboards remind me of Pink Floyd from the Roger Waters' years.

Do you have to go through Tide to appreciate INTO THE UNKNOWN? It can help understand the great diversity of Rudolf Heimann who this time offers more accessible structures. But maybe it was my ears that got used to so much music over the years. But they are reliable enough to guarantee that you will have a great time with INTO THE UNKNOWN; one of the surprises in the rhythmic and melodious department of EM in 2013.

Sylvain Lupari (December 6th, 2013) *****

Available at Syngate Bandcamp

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