SEQUENTIA LEGENDA: Renaissance (2018)
Updated: Oct 2, 2020
“Renaissance is a great opus where the French synthesist proposes 3 long musical rivers with a grandiose sonic decor”
Since the Blue Dream album, Laurent Schieber always tries to find the right tone to bring his musical philosophy to that of the great thinkers of the minimalist movements of the modern EM. And when I say modern, I think of Klaus Schulze as well as the first works of such important artists like Kraftwerk, Manuel Göttsching and Robert Schroeder. Blue Dream had a strong impact with its Klaus Schulze's crystal-centered approach of Mirage when it was released in 2015. Sequentia Legenda's 2 subsequent albums kind of failed to achieve this level of excellence with being more predictable. In this sense that we knew where the music of Extended and Ethereal would go! It's completely different with RENAISSANCE! Built around three long minimalist acts, this latest work of Sequentia Legenda reaches our level of expectation by moving away from the standards of the French musician whose collaboration with Kurtz Mindfields, for the title Out of the Silence, finally joins the delicacies of vintage EM with today's technologies. A superb album where Laurent's visions flirts with the perfumes of Klaus Schulze, period 85-90, and Robert Schroeder at the cradle of his illusions, from 80 to 85.
It's from a wave coming from the West that Out of the Silence rises to our ears. Harmonic loops and oscillations tint the approach of a kind of intergalactic Western which enriches this perception with the addition of percussive effects stuffed with gas. They sound like light trots of hooves. As an engineer, with a doctorate in decoration, Sequentia Legenda builds his linear roads with a sound vegetation which grows richer over the course of his conquests with his audience. Here, the movement and its opening are pecked by clatter of wood while the sound waves float undulating with a little additional zest of vigor. Subtly, everything is accelerating. The loops roll faster, the oscillations struggle to hold back those threads of voices which hum while the percussion and its rattling effects go faster that the slow evolution of the movement. Title originally offered in a context of 9 minutes with Kurtz Mindfields, Out of the Silence stretches its charms with a magnetism that has been proven since Blue Dream, but with more punch in the beat when the percussions add a dimension of cosmic rock a little before the 7 minutes. Subsequently, the music evolves by prolonging this state of hypnosis in the listener while nuancing its movement with a rhythmic deflection in the bass line. Drums, melody loops and the constant shades which destabilize its minimalist road make Out of the Silence a superb title which is richer and obsessing in headphones.
Built on the same evolving minimalist mold, Ici et Maintenant is the title closest to this fusion Schulze/Schroeder with a jerky ambient rhythm filled with a very strong sonic ornament. Composed for his son, Valentins Traum is a splendid hypnotic movement which amazes during the course of its discovery. Layers of mist, where are wandering mechanical moans, envelop the sonic shroud of its introduction. Orchestral with a good dose of emotion, these layers seem to hum a seraphic song with some slow winged movements which always seem to want to exceed the limits of heavens. Another oscillating wave is grafted to the movement. Its appearance seems sudden, so much the charismatic amplitude of the first movement is more than enthralling. Our ears perceive behind these layers this river of pearls whose clarity of shimmer blows the cold magic of Mirage, this album of Klaus Schulze which is a great influence in the world of Sequentia Legenda. Here again, the minimalist movement takes all its seconds to maximize the immense possibilities of a sound stage where already a crackling shadow brings us to the dream world of Valentin. Laurent Schieber has developed for his last album a very refined taste with regard to the sound envelope which doesn't let a second of silence pass. No hole without sounds! This is how the synth lines, some as ethereal as they are very sulphurous, get engage in a constant battle with songs and effects which tenderly envelop the advance of Ici et Maintenant. A breakthrough which reach its culminate point with the arrival of percussion around the 11 minutes, giving an emotional heaviness to the music which spills on all sides of our headphones.
Intense and ... doubly intense, RENAISSANCE is a great opus, available as CD and as download, coming from Sequentia Legenda. The French synthesist proposes here 3 long musical rivers with a grandiose sonic decor which goes beyond the boundaries of the conventional charms of the Berlin School EM style. The atmospheres are striking with the sound effects known of his repertoire and other very discreet effects of reverberations which constantly add emotional dimensions to evolutionary approaches that have totally surprised me as the subtleties in the structural changes arrive by good doses of emotions. It's the best album of Sequentia Legenda and sincerely I wonder how Laurent Schieber will come to surpass the dimensions of RENAISSANCE one day...
Sylvain Lupari (June 23rd, 2018) ***** SynthSequences.com
Available on Sequentia Legenda Bandcamp