SEQUENTIA LEGENDA: FIVE (2019)
“Intense and very good, FIVE thwarts the previsions with an album that we awaited no more”
1 Circular Sequences 20:32
2 Deep Sequences 23:36
3 Reflective Sequences 21:36
(CD/DDL 65:46) (V.F.)
(New Berlin School)
2019 was a big year for Laurent Schieber. The musician-synthesist of France has produced no less than 4 albums while performing at various festivals. FIVE is this 4th album, the others being The Lunar Trilogy, Codex on the Flight of Birds and Over There, and also offers 3 long tracks built on the model of minimalist EM which is always make the delight of its fans. FIVE is also to highlight the 5 years of Sequentia Legenda whose first album, Blue Dream, arrived in stores in January 2015. Five years later and 5 albums further, Laurent Schieber feels the need to highlight his event with an album always in Berlin School style where the circular movements of the arpeggios and sequences always light up our ears in his still very conservative style. But this time there is something different in the universe of Sequentia Legenda. The sound is denser and more compact, revealing a musical wall conducive to the tones of the sequences which sparkle like pearl necklaces in a circular river surrounded by a thousand of broken mirrors. The intensity channels are also more complex, and organic elements spring up here and there, adding a soft touch of psybient to a music that is always very attractive.
Little, lively and muffled beats bring out sprays of sounds at the opening of Circular Sequences. These small steps follow a childish choreography with a feeling of trepidation in a structure which draws its arc of gyratory rhythm. Another line emerges and escapes like this duck wanting to escape a predator on an evening of mist. These small steps disappear in a shadow of reverberations and a layer of growing mist that spreads its anesthetic veil with these shadows of seraphic voices which gradually awaken a stream of circular sequences whose fiery tones sparkle like a circle of fire. There is not even 4 minutes on the clock that Circular Sequences has already changed skin. If the rhythm remains ambient and calm, the tones of the sequencer pierces our eardrums with this allegorical carousel which brings up and down a line of minimalist rhythm which will inject some nuances, mostly emotional, in the piercing flow of the sequencer tones. Our eardrums ring with vertigo after the 20 minutes of Circular Sequences. Always favoring a tone that pinches hearing, Deep Sequences deploys a more lunar vision with a mass of astral fog where the brilliant tones of the sequenced arpeggios frolic. A stripe of voices humming an absent melody get attached to this heap of floating mist. Reminiscent of Klaus Schulze, just like this choice of arpeggio's tones here which are less piercing than in Circular Sequences. The two titles are very similar, so much so that they can be confused after the 120 seconds of the opening. It's at this moment that we have the impression that they overlap since the textures are very linked. This is how we guess the rest of things with the sober percussions that invite themselves after the 7th minute. Subsequently, Deep Sequences will fall asleep with its new guests and let the minimalist structure put on new ornaments that don't change the appearance of the rhythm but the depth of its ambiences which adds its layer of intensity quietly, very quietly.
Increasing its intensity as the veils of its texture get enriched with passion, Reflective Sequences is a superb title and by far my favorite on this FIVE. Astral waves rolling on the banks of cosmos, electronic effects from the 70's, a synth wave whose reverberation from an organ layer rocks the chimes of the oblivion. And hesitant percussion! Layer of music and atmospheres over layer, its introduction fascinates with these musical currents of vintage years where a line of melody from the keyboard is carved and whose obsession takes shape before its complete hatching. And from this sound rustling emerges an astonishing cackling of an unlisted palmiped, while the melody of the piano sinks into our ears with the name; earworm. Obsessive, this melody strummed on an electronic keyboard remains rooted in our devotion, even if percussions as sober but more punchy than in Deep Sequences try to put it back in its hatching zone. It's a great title in Laurent Schieber's repertoire who takes advantage here of the musical springboard of Codex on the Flight of Birds in order to trace the lines of his future.
Intense and very good, Sequentia Legenda thwarts the previsions with an album that we awaited no more, as the musician seemed to enjoy himself in his comfort zone. And he had to get out form it if he wanted to make evolve his music. It's done and it lacks only the synth solos ... Laurent whispered to me that it is coming. In the meantime, this FIVE is a must that will require an adjustment from us.
Sylvain Lupari (March 7th, 2020) ****¼*
Available at Sequentia Legenda Bandcamp