SEQUENTIAL DREAMS: Legends (2016)
“Legends is without a doubt the best opus from this project of Kuutana which gets better from an album to another one”
1 Mission to Shangri-La 6:12 2 A Day Like no Other 4:22 3 Kurenai 8:40 4 Through the Looking Glass 8:38 5 Event Horizon 5:45 6 Canyon Oasis 8:15 7 Mojave Midnight 7:25 8 The Kindly Beast 3:44 9 The Electric Monk 9:52 10 The Big Apple 5:44 11 One Giant Leap 7:54 Sequential Dreams
(CD/DDL 76:34) (V.F.) (Electronic Rock)
After a solid opus to start the year, Lost Dimensions, Ron Charron (better known under the name of Kuutana) puts back his clothes of composer and producer of EM of the New Berlin School genre to offer an album which is closer to the roots of the electronic rock of the 90's. Flanked of mainly by Bernhard Beibl on guitars and violins, Kuutana also surrounds himself of Ryo Utasato on synths and arrangements and of Kori Linae Carothers on piano as well as with a variety of musicians from the New Age environment to give a more melodious zest to an album which crosses easily the limits between electronic rock, New Age and some perfumes of Berlin School from the Tangerine Dream's best years...
Mission to Shangri-La affixes this signature of this last adventure of the Sequential Dreams vessel with a line of sequences which makes oscillate its keys in the winds of swiftness and in the layers of a keyboard loaded of very Tangerine Dream's perfumes of the Green Desert's year. The synths are harmonious with short stylized solos which sing as these harmonies in the Flashpoint era. Percussions flog the atmospheres near the second minute, awakening a line of bass sequences which intensely waves in its sonic cocoon. It's rather the violin which will excite the state of embryonic rhythm of Mission to Shangri-La which goes out of the envelope to offer a good electronic rock that Bernhard Beibl softens a bit with an acoustic guitar which throws very pinched notes. This first title offers in 6 minutes the diversity of the atmospheres that we find in this last opus of Sequential Dreams. A Day Like no Other brings us in the very New Age American territories. It's a delicate ballad centered on a piano where implosions of bass and guitar riffs pitch a dramatic veil, while Noah Wilding spreads her very ethereal voice. It's the kind of thing that we listen to on a Sunday morning while we are daydreaming in the bed. Kurenai is a first crush here with a very good electronic rock perfumed of the ingredients from the best moments of Tangerine Dream in the Melrose years. The percussions and the arrangements forge a kind of good rhythmic ride while the effects of voices add an oriental touch to this track which is as much seductive than lively. Through the Looking Glass is another good track which proposes a rather long ambient introduction with an acoustic six-strings which scatters its dreams in some synthesized mists flavored by absent voices. A line of bass sequences, the bass envelope is very omnipresent in this album, lays an ambivalent structure of rhythm which eventually end by tumbling down in effects of rodeo coupled to moments of suspension of those rhythm momentums. The effects of very vaporous orchestrations are placed well here and the small fragments of harmonies throw souvenirs of TD in our ears. It's the cornerstone of Sequential Dreams' foundations.
Event Horizon is the jewel of this last opus of the international consortium of Kuutana. This is pure TD of the Green Desert year lost in the Exit years. Bernhard Beibl's guitar spreads harmonies under the forms of riffs while the synth throws very cosmic airs. It's rather the movement of ambient rhythm and the riffs of keyboard that gives us this desire to open a CD of Tangerine Dream. Very good and too short! Canyon Oasis is not outdone! Between two phases of atmospheres, the title offers a fiery electronic rock where Bernhard Beibl bursts out on his electric six-strings. If the 2nd part is softer, the guitar is more incisive with very good solos. We are in the best moments of this album, to say the least for those who likes solid electronic rock. An electronic rock skillfully tamed, Mojave Midnight is my 3rd crush! If the guitar still seduces, the arrangements and the electronic effects, in particular those of the percussions, fill our eager ears. After the point of 4 minutes Mojave Midnight offers a superb crescendo, both in the rhythm and the harmonies tortured by the guitar and the arrangements. The Kindly Beast is a fascinating title. It's a ballad that one could consider written for macabre films starring phantasmagorical characters. The piano shines here with a fragile ritornello which rises in spiral on atmospheres of fear and on a structure of rhythm which draws these ballads in an obscure merry-go-round. This is very good. The Electric Monk is an electronic rock which is inspired by the TDI years with a furious guitar which throws its gall on a meshing of sequences and percussions which go in opposite directions. The 2nd part is as well explosive as the guitar can be furious. Yes, a huge electronic rock of the years Edgar and Jerome Froese. The Big Apple is quieter, although development reminds me that of Hamlet, from you know who, without the wild side A good rock slowed down by a beautiful approach of ballad. One Giant Leap ends LEGENDS on a more theatrical approach which sticks easily to the Dante trilogy of TD.
The only drawback concerning this last opus of Sequential Dreams is that it's mixed for those who will listen to it from an iPhone or another intelligent device. The sound of the basses sometimes smothers the effects and the rhythm when we listen to LEGENDS on a support other than that of the digital technology. A version for hi-fi system is to be hoped. But as for the rest, it's another very good album of electronic rock from the Borders Edge Music house. There is a beautiful balance between the hard-line rhythms and these melodies which go and come to moderate the rhythmic impulses or still to embellish atmospheres which sometimes touch these lands of sadness visualizations in these epic movies where the imagination supplants the fiction. There are tracks here which transcend all that Kuutana realized in date, Bernhard Beibl's presence is doubtless for something here, showing that the best of Ron Charron is yet to come.
Sylvain Lupari (June 18th, 2016) *****
Available at Borders Edge Music