SEQUENTIAL DREAMS: L3G4CY (2015)
“Quite appealing, L3G4CY succeeds to seduce in approaches where most of TD fans had left this ship of sonic wonders”
1 Legacy 9:12 2 The Sea of Stars (with Johan Tronestam) 6:48 3 Spirit Trance (with Synthesist) 3:36 4 HyperSpace (with Altocirrus) 8:00 5 Light Years Away 5:04 6 Blue Galaxy (with Celestial View) 7:25 7 Escape Velocity 13:42 8 Orbital Maneuvers (with Midnight Airship) 5:19 9 Light Beyond the Abyss (with Kuutana) 5:12 10 The Phoenix 5:46 Sequential Dreams Music
(DDL 73:28) (V.F.) (E-rock and New Berlin School)
The death of Edgar Froese was underlined by many artists who took advantage of this opportunity to try to go out of the fog, of the chinks of the Twittersphere. Kuutana surfs on this new planet with an ease which has an equal only his implication in the development of EM Canada. Whether it's in solo, with Midnight Airship or with the collaborations of artists in the domain, and this at a global level, the friendly musician/synthesist from Gatineau does not miss an occasion to face a new challenge. And this time, it's around a tribute to Edgar Froese. And I owe to admit that Sequential Dreams went where all the others refused to go, either in the years when Edgar has redirected the fates of his sound vessel towards the lands where the abstract forms covered themselves with rhythms of an e-rock that several disliked, but not always for the good reasons. Because there was some good music in those times and Ron Charron proves it to us on this other quite appealing album from Sequential Dreams entitled simply but esthetically L3G4CY.
And that begins with the title-track which, imho, is the best of this collection of 10 tracks. Arabian murmurs and contemporary chords open an intro which throws us for a brief moment in the tentacles of the Jerome Froese years, especially with this line of stroboscopic sequences which bites our eardrums and used to shape these structures of nervous rhythm which fed the TDI era. Except that here the rhythm rests in suspension. Between two possibilities where the ambiences which settle down bring us back in the Green Desert times. The synth is soft with spectral harmonies which make shining the Flashpoint years. And it's one of the good attractions of L3G4CY. This mixture of the periods of the Dream and this balance between the rhythms and their shadows, be the ambiences, very often coated by tones of the Phaedra years up to the White Eagle's one, arouses an attention which makes us discover beautiful musical pieces. The guitar is very present on this album, but surprisingly its perfumes remind more those of Steve Hackett on a Gandalf album (Gallery of Dreams) and even those of Mike Oldfield but rarely Edgar Froese's fragrances. On Legacy, the six-strings drags its ghostly harmonies, mixing and losing even its sighs in those of the synths, on a structure of rhythm a bit ambiguous. I quite like it and it starts things pretty well. Then comes The Sea of Stars, written in collaboration of Johan Tronestam; one of the good emergent artists in the sphere of an EM fed by lively rhythms. And it's exactly what happens with The Sea of Stars. I hooked on it straight on. It's very lively! I like this soft rhythm where the drum, the sequences and the bass pulsations pilfer for a rhythm saturated by so much heaviness. A steady rhythm where the guitar is fighting with a piano in order to throw a melody which floats between two structures; one ethereal and the other one sharply more lively. A kind of fight that we will be witnessing all over this last album from Sequential Dreams. On a hyper nervous structure of rhythm, Spirit Trance hides a beautiful electronic melody, thus quite fragmented, which reminds me of White Eagle. It's alive, lively and full of effects which seek the atmospheres of Exit. This is a very beautiful collaboration with Synthesist! HyperSpace is bickering between good moments of atmospheres and its very rock electronic approach which brings us back in the Edgar's years on TDI.
Light Years Away is another good moment. The rhythm is lively and heavy. It pulses in a meshing of resonances and in the beatings of good percussions whereas the melody remains ambient, divided it is in three approaches. It's a good track, just as Blue Galaxy written with Celestial View. Always leaned on this bed of sequences and softly nervous pulsations, the rather eclectic duet proposes us a very beautiful ethereal melody which hesitates between the moods of White Eagle and of Seven Letters from Tibet. Escape Velocity is a track difficult to seize due to its constantly changing structures, like a grass-snake in permanent mutation of the skin. The intro will remind to certain of you these glass arpeggios that Yanni has used to spread in his Keys to Imagination. An intro in suspension where tears of synth float on pulsations which refuse to hatch. A huge bass line redirects then Escape Velocity towards a lively e-rock with a drum which is just too short of breath. This swirling rhythm inhales tones of the Dream while escaping good guitar solos. There is a good blend of Pink Floyd with the TDI years in this complex track which will please with more listenings. A heavier, a more incisive drum would have made of this track something huge. The influences of Pink Floyd are also very present in Orbital Maneuvers, normal with Midnight Airship on board, which, after a very Syd Barrett and company characteristic intro, as well as Alan Parsons by the way, dives into the good e-rock. Light Beyond the Abyss is an interesting track. Its flute enchants the senses while a sequencing pattern is flickering such as the wings of a motionless bird in the sky. There is a latent swiftness in this track painted by effects of the Dream and of its metallic years around this track which, at times, dives in good and more intense moments. The flute is very exhilarating. The Phoenix concludes this collection of sonic odes to the memory of Edgar Froese with a heavy rhythm where the perfumes of saxophone awake this period where several of us have abandoned the Tangerine Dream ship and its commander Edgar.
Whether we like or not each of the periods and Edgar Froese's changes of address, L3G4CY is a beautiful sonic and musical document which could actually reconcile you with these times when ingredients were inevitably missing. Kuutana succeeds to seduce in approaches which had nevertheless left me of ice in these years. The explanation is doubtless in the emotion. While everything sounded cold in the new directions of Edgar, here the heat and the degree of intensity, emotionalism, as well as this skillful mixture between the genres and the periods seduce ears which have difficulty in absorbing so many sounds and changes of direction inside the 7 minutes average which last the 10 tracks proposed on L3G4CY. Is it too much? That depends on ears! As for me, I quite liked this balance between the heavy but nervous e-rock and those more ethereal atmospheres. Between these old tones and those more contemporary in the last miles of Edgar. It's the beautiful recipe, a little daring, for another attractive work of the global collective that is Sequential Dreams.
Sylvain Lupari (April 1st, 2015) *****
Available at Borders Edge Music