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SCHONWALDER & ROTHE: Filter-Kaffee 100 (2016)

Filter-Kaffee 100 is yet another finerie of good retro Berlin School in a very modern sound envelope

1 Night Shift 4:18 2 Bridge Over Troubled Oscillators & LFOs 3:58 3 Shadows of the Darkshift 6:04 4 Rebound 8:03 5 Raindrops 6:01 6 Midnight Session 16:58 Manikin ‎| MRCD 8007

(CD 45:23) (V.F.) (Contemporary Berlin School)

In order to close the dossier of the filter paper sizes of 100- 102, Frank Rothe and Mario Schönwälder did the cleaning in old sessions of recording and would have found some small jewels of an EM always bound to the essences of retro Berlin School. More than 45 minutes were so gathered. FILTER-KAFFEE 100 thus becomes so a prequel to the first 2 volumes of the series. We hear the first experiments of the Filter-Kaffee here who offers a Berlin School style more centered on the dark side of the glaucous atmospheres of a music which gave sometimes shivers in the back if one would adapt it to a suspense and/or horror movie.

A din sculptured around metallic doors which we open and cosmic noises are introducing the opening of Night Shift. The rhythm becomes fluid with a line of sequences which makes oscillate and stumble its keys in a sonorous environment stuffed with echoes of hoops which collide, whimpering from a kind of Theramin and ambient layers filled of fog. That sounds a little like the rhythms and the ambiences of Flashpoint. Bridge Over Troubled Oscillators and LFOs is a long track loaded of glaucous moods to which they have grafted certain elements of Night Shift ambiences with white noises and hummings of machinery. Shadows of the Darkshift is more melodious. The rhythm is ambient with sequences swirling in the vapors of jingles and with seraphic voices before taking a slightly slower tangent. It's a slow cosmic dance where sequences sparkle from all over and a line of bass draws up a slightly sneaky structure. The mix of the voices and the orchestrations gives us the shivers and raises the hair of the arms. That makes very Repelen, without the string instruments. After an introduction sewn in suspense where knockings, heavy and uncertain movements as well as slow layers of drizzle, Rebound plunges us into a heavy Redshift rhythm. The synths throw lamentations of the Ricochet time in a dense fog where the rhythm, which became a mix of Redshift and Tangerine Dream of the Rubycon era, has difficulty in making wobble the big banks of mystic drizzle. This is definitively the key point of FILTER-KAFFEE 100 along with Shadows of the Darkshift. Raindrops offers a Software static rhythmic pattern. The sequences pour out good movements of kick while other more crystalline sequences are structuring some nice evasive harmonies in a sonic decoration filled of hollow winds and of subtle singings rigged by a synth and its false trumpets. We also hear distant spectral harmonies here, adding a sibylline charm to this piece of music which gains to be more scrutinized. Midnight Session is a long track of atmospheres embroidered around filiform layers of resonant bass pulsations which drag a fascinating placid heaviness. There are lots of misty and spectral tones, as well as voices rather difficult to identify, which escape from the depths of these layers also filled of greyness and of metallic dusts. Intense, due to the depth of the sounds and the layers, enveloping and even incentive to the schizophrenia of the sounds, Midnight Session looks like a theme music, amplified, where the suspense and the mystery roams throughout its 16 minutes, making of this FILTER-KAFFEE 100 an album of more atmospheres than rhythms which drinks of this nice period of the Dream but in a more modern envelope.

Sylvain Lupari (May 13th, 2016) ***½**

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Available at Manikin's Bandcamp

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