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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

SEQUENTIAL DREAMS: Fantastic Stories (2013)

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

Fantastic Stories is like a mixture of Robert Schroeder, Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre which are beating hell over Vangelis synth pads

1 Orbital Burn 5:50  

2 Solstice on Terra Prime 5:10  

3 Approaching Galactic Core 4:48  

4 The Transwarp Incident 5:16  

5 The Caves of Steel 5:36  

6 I Can Remember the Rain 4:58  

7 Temporal Shift 4:27  

8 The Tannhauser Gate 5:40  

9 The Singing Bells of Mars 6:40  

10 The Hex Eye of Saturn 4:24  

11 To Seek out New Life 6:26  

12 Shore Leave on Risa 4:44  

13 The Cloud Minders 4:48  

14 Fantastic Stories 4:31

(DDL 73:22) (V.F.)

(Creative, progressive e-rock)

The way of doing things is in the social networks. Facebook and Twitter! Two medias where the emergent artists tempt by all the means to make their music known. The name of Kuutana Serenity, an anagram of moon in Finland (Kuu) and traditional Asian weapons (Katana) is very active on the social networks of which the acquaintances are associated with EM. Last July, the artist from Ottawa (Canada) invited his followers to the multimedia launch of his 2nd album FANTASTIC STORIES; an album including 14 tracks inspired by novels, TV series and movies which had an impact in the life of Sequential Dreams, the nom de plume of Kuutana Serenity.

From the first chords of Orbital Burn, we feel this very filmic influence which stimulates the ideals of Sequential Dreams. The chords which open the intro sound as an acoustic guitar which champs at the bit in a galactic desert. The percussions fall and hammer a slow rhythm while quietly rhythm and harmony go astray in the spheres of Tangerine Dream warmed to white by Jerome Froese's insolence. Heavy chords make tremble a structure altogether very harmonious which takes an unbridled tangent at the end of route, blowing into 220 Volts, saxophone in more. The slow and heavy rhythms, encircled by twinkling string of sequences, are the privilege of this album which is strongly inspired by Tangerine Dream, post- Franke era, and Jean-Michel Jarre in his Chronology mood. And it's in this optics that Solstice on Terra Prime tries its onset with slow chords, gurgling of heaviness, which is fast harpooned by a line sequences with keys sparkling in the shadow of some heavy riffs of a slouching guitar. One would say The Cure lost in the electronic phases of TD. The rhythm is split by approaches of refrains style where it lets itself tame by spherical movements of sequences. It's heavy, powerful but especially very musical. The touches of saxophone add a more New Age dimension to a structure which is as well heavy as dark. Kuutana Serenity polishes up admirably its titles by dosing his rhythms of soft nuances and by decorating his ambiences of beautiful melodious fragments, giving thus rich structures which attract irreparably the hearing. This is good electronic rock, by moment intelligent synthpop, where any second is lost in a lack of imagination.

With 14 tracks there are some of them which turn around the same themes. If titles like Approaching Galactic Core, The Transwarp Incident, The Tannhauser Gate, the blazing The Hex Eye of Saturn and The Cloud Minders are drinking in the same trough as the first two tracks The Caves of Steel seduced with its heavy circular rhythm fed by furious keys which intertwine in a bilateral sonic ballet, twirling in a black ambience packed by an avalanche of sequences with random rhythmic patterns. Heavy, furious and very good. I Can Remember the Rain is a wonderful electronic ballad with a slow rhythm where the harmonies sparkle in the trails of apocalyptic synth waves à la Vangelis in Blade Runner. A track which is going to haunt your ears very well much farther after hearing it, quite as the voices of cosmic mermaids which radiate in the good and morphic Shore Leave on Risa. Temporal Shift waltzes out of time on its slow rhythm shaken by sequences of which the jerky debit contradicts the weight of the bass pulsations and heavy percussions. The synths are very TD and entail us in a Mars Polaris approach, quite as the particularly good The Singing Bells of Mars (a coincidence?) and To Seek out New Life. And the more I move forward in FANTASTIC STORIES and the more I like what I hear. The album is rich in rhythms of which the perpetual rhythmic variations enchant as much than the lunar melodies which sparkle like stars in a black cosmos. It's surprising route electronic of rhythms and melodies which soaks into some intense film aromas with rhythms finely jerked and stroboscopic where the percussions and guitars add a touch of strange futuristic rock as in the boiling title-track.

Done well and well mixed for a homemade album, FANTASTIC STORIES is a delicious find which deviates from the usual of EM by eyeing more towards good electronic rock, tinted by a light accent of synth-pop, without denying at all the roots of the cosmic and futuristic New Berlin School. Creative and very musical, Kuutana Serenity, or Sequential Dreams, does not hesitate to unfold the path of his influences which complement each others marvellously in a sound pattern which sometimes bites into the dusts of Blade Runner. It's like a blend of Robert Schroeder, Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre beating hell over very Vangelis synth pads. I quite enjoyed it. It's very good and of a surprising musical freshness. Available on the Sequential Dreams Bandcamp site.

Sylvain Lupari (July 24th, 2013) ***¾**

Available at Borders Edge Music

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