SEQUENTIAL DREAMS: Star Lost (2022)
Updated: Jan 7, 2022
“It's from the beginning of this musical fresco that the best is and this all of the way end”
1 Once Upon a Dream 5:29
2 Sun Cruiser 6:07
3 Connected Spaces 4:42
4 Lightwave Rider 6:15
5 Star Lost 7:37
6 Time and Space 11:52
7 Canyon Daydreams 4:32
8 Astral Plane 7:00
9 August Moon 6:33
(DDL 60:10) (V.F.)
(E-Rock TD in the 80's)
One cannot avoid the game of comparisons between the universe of Sequential Dreams and that of its main influences Tangerine Dream. Even in the vaporous opening of Once Upon a Dream, one feels the fragrances of Optical Race garnishing the synth layers, spreading like enveloping wings, from the stretched and agonizing tunes and chords of Mothers of Rain. Except that instead of proposing an evolution for an electronic ballad style, the sequencer makes flickering its jumping keys in the background to finally structure the track into a very solid electronic rock of the Seattle years. Electronic percussions attack the already edgy music to give it more punch. Synth pads and Guitartronica-like riffs betray Jerome Froese's influences on this lively track that opens the door to undoubtedly one of the Gatineau-based artist's finest albums. If the best was for the end in Chrysalis, it is from the beginning of this musical fresco that the best is, and this all the way of this album inspired by a science fiction story of a family of space travelers who are thrown into an unexplored space by unexplained forces. One thinks of Lost in Space? There are some of these images that are unraveling in my head as I discover an album that uses electronic rock as ambient phases in this album full of nods to TD, especially because of those synth pads that are more than very familiar to us.
Sun Cruiser continues with a good rhythm, less fluid than the previous track, fed by a multitude of synth pads whose origins belong to the different harmonious faces of TD from the 80's and 90's. In front of sound shadows that buzz with an ominous effect, a lively and limpid sequencer movement animates Connected Spaces with a rhythm living in a stationary state. There are some good sci-fi effects here, including this X-Files-like melody, that feed this more restrained rhythm structure under a fairly effective sci-fi canvas. Not too complicated and approachable like Lightwave Rider, another track that comes to life with synth pads that are no stranger to us. The rhythm that follows is solid, the percussions are more in a rock mode, with mellower passages so that the bits of melody can develop in harmony with the pads and percussions. Ron Charron knowingly uses electric guitar, giving Lightwave Rider an even catchier dimension. The opening, as well as the structure and ambiences of the title-track took me back as far as the Green Desert era of the Dream. The nebulous wave of the synth and its pads with crystalline breaths, as well as the sequencer delivering its keys bouncing awkwardly: we are in in known terrain when the percussions sabotage this rhythm by giving it a slower approach. Majestic! Consciously using its 7 minutes, Star Lost makes its alien melody sing on this rhythm shared between the slowness of the acoustic of the percussions and the speed of the electronic of the sequencer in an environment of the 70's of the duo Franke/Froese. Wonderful track!
The musical environment of Time and Space keeps us in this analog mood of Green Desert, or even Flashpoint. The sequencer unleashes voracious keys that bounce around in a way that forges a fluid rhythm against the slow harmonies supported by short synth pads. The sequencer makes galloping its rhythm, accompanying these bits of melody with an intergalactic western vibe. Barely discernible percussive effects give more charm to this rhythm that the music abandons on the percussions' reefs around the 4th minute. The strikes are heavy and bludgeon a romantic ardor of such power that the track evaporates in an ambient passage where a mellotron haze awaits us. There are still some chords that drag and gradually weave a grave melody to which guitar tones are grafted. It's a brief ambient passage that precedes a rhythmic texture that is more fluid and rocking than in the opening of Time and Space. A very big track on STAR LOST! On a rhythm cross between its sequenced structure, Moroccan tribal percussions and a growling bass line, Canyon Daydreams is filled with those analog flavors with bits of melodies still in the X Files genre. It goes well after Time and Space. Astral Plane seduces from the start with its sequencer structure that dribbles its jumping balls into more metallic synth pads. At first stationary, the track takes an extra push with the electronic percussions. The harmonies become more evasive with those vocal pads unique to the Franke, Froese and Schmoelling universe. The rhythmic progression of Astral Plane will remind some of you of the Horizon finale in the Poland album, or even Sphinx Lightning on the Hyperborea album. It's here that we hear the most beautiful synth solos, almost the only ones I should say, of STAR LOST. Solos that are a little shorter on August Moon. This last track of the new Sequential Dreams downloadable album uses its more than 6 minutes to propose initially a ballad tinged with spleen which develops in a driving rhythm, concluding with accuracy a very solid album of the Canadian artist Ron Charron.
Sylvain Lupari (January 6th, 2022) ****½*
Available at Borders Edge Music