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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

SINE AMPLITUDE: Hypnotized (2016)

When Berlin School à la Thorsten M Abel goes towards modern Krautrock, we got Hypnotized

1 Arpworld 7:01 2 Swirling into the Blue 9:21 3 Children's Eyes 4:42 4 Hypnotized 8:06 5 Soulflight 7:23 6 Wechselspiel 5:27 7 Angst 10:44 8 Carefully Collided 9:03 9 Deception 6:02 10 Splendid Road 5:11 BI-ZA Records

(CD 73:01) (V.F.) (Modern Krautrock)

Since some 5 years, EM derives slowly towards a more conventional kind where guitars and real percussions challenge keyboards, synths and PC. Morpheusz, Maxxess and Picture Palace Music have skillfully managed to bring out the EM of its Berliner bed in order to lead it in the territories of a more progressive music. It's also the bed of Sine Amplitude. Torsten M. Abel always had a very progressive approach in the way he writes his electronic music. We have that to think of RAL 5002 or yet Live 4F in order to well seize the evolution of his music and especially his taste to be a performance artist on stage. And with Martin Rohleder, a brilliant guitarist that we were able to hear on the very good The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius from Alien Nature, and Andreas Aulke on drums, he forms the trio Sine Amplitude. HYPNOTIZED is a first album as well as a first bet clearly more audacious; combine the elements of the EM of Berlin School style in an approach of progressive rock music which aims directly at bringing to the foreground again the essence of Krautrock.

Nevertheless, the intro of Arpworld does very Berlin School's essence with juicy sequences which jump up in clouds of mist, just before making an electronic rhythm always wrapped up in its ambient membrane. The synth, as the sequences, irradiate sizzling waves from where burst at times strikes of the drum. And after almost 2 minutes of hesitation, Arpworld bursts out into a fiery rock electronic which is not too much far from Maxxess because of its galloping structure and of these riffs of guitars which forge an approach tinted of rock. Solos (of guitar and of synth?) spin in these rhythmic horizons whereas the atmospheres, as Gothic as Mephistophelian, become more and more heavy and more and more tempestuous, like these big rocks, like these hymns of Picture Palace Music's electronic post-rock. Arpworld gives the kick-off to an album which is rough and tough. Here, the rhythms are hard and jerky. As in Swirling into the Blue which really does in the kind of theatrical electronic rock a la Thorsten Quaeschning. After an opening fed by oscillatrices sequences a la Berlin School, the percussions tumble such as a troop of horses. Andreas Aulke hammers all the paces like a madman! Martin Rohleder's guitar flies over this curt and jerky rhythm with good glassfuls of solo and episodic attacks of riffs which support the furious movement of the sequences. Sequences which isolate themselves at around the 5th minute, entailing the ardor of Andreas Aulke in a duality with the throbbing sequences of Torsten M. Abel. It's a good track finely elaborate, with very present percussions, with more electronic essence, I would say even melodic by moments, than of Krautrock. Children's babblings guide us towards the lines of foggy voices which open the very good slow tempo of Children's Eyes. It's a real nice slow dance. A rubbing-belly quite emotional with a great guitar which scatters moving solos in the 4 corners of this beautiful track which is going to make you turn upside-down your state of mind if your children are missing you. The title-track proposes a very nervous electronic opening where the sequences weaken their pace with sizzling shadows and wooden percussions. Another lines of sequences, a bouncier one, diverts the first plan of the rhythm, giving to Hypnotized a very electronic approach. It's when the percussions fall, they are heavy and powerful and this all around HYPNOTIZED, that we feel a little the Krautrock spirit sets ablaze the structure of Hypnotized among which the minimalist approach, the allegorical clouds and the guitar are flirting between the universe of Harmonia and of Ashra. In fact, the more I listen to and the more that sounds very Gottsching in his universe of techno for zombies marinated! Soulflight begins like a beautiful ballad which metamorphoses into a soft electronic rock, a little less galloping and less steadier than in Arpworld, with a structure of rhythm which hesitates to amplify its speed, preferring the sweetnesses of a ballad where the synth and the guitar are exchanging the roles of tunes with restraint. Here as somewhere else, Andreas Aulke's drum play remains deafening, very thundering. It stays right in front of your very ears.

Wechselspiel is a good track in the pure vein of the Berlin School style with a movement of sequences which lets its fragile keys to cavort in the good bites of a six-strings with incisive solos. It's a very good track, a catchy e-rock, which hangs onto the lobe of our ears at the first listening. The first 5 minutes of Angst plunges us literally in the spirit of its name with an atmosphere of terror where quavering, rustles, pantings and cries of fear disperse the dread through drifting synth lines. The jingles of an irregular clock try to forge a structure of rhythm which dissolves and re-forms in tablecloths of synth where the rustles and the effects melt themselves in a soft ambient wall. Heavy, the rhythm falls at around the 8th minute with a dramatic approach that could very well suit to a television series. And little by little, it dissociates from its envelope of heaviness to accelerate the pace and sound like a good e-rock perfumed of those nice pastiches of the 80's, in particular at the level of the synth layers forged in those violin arrangements which make very Mark Shreeve. Carefully Collided is a little surprise. And its soft, sensual and suggestive rhythm, returns us to this period when Pink Floyd was making another music inspired by the use of soft drugs. Martin Rohleder's guitar is also pleasant and vibrating as that the one of David Guilmour. And at times, Carefully Collided also caresses the morphic sweetnesses of Manuel Gottsching within the first hours of Ashra Temple. When the electronic of the 60's meets rock, that doubtless gives Deception which takes back the road of the fiery rhythms of the album with an incisive guitar which spreads furious riffs, as base of refrain, and fragments of solos mislaid on a good bludgeoning of Andreas Aulke's percussions. The rhythm is hopping, at the limit jerky, and welcomes in its agony a beautiful completely unexpected electronic melody with childish sequences filled with tones of the Pop Corn years. The movement dives into a sort of anarchy at around the 3rd minute spot, so giving all the latitude to Sine Amplitude to explore the territories of improvisation in concert. Splendid Road ends this first opus of Sine Amplitude with a soft guitar and its ethereal solos. A brief introduction filled of Frank Dorritke's perfumes before that the track explodes for the wildest moments of HYPNOTIZED. And there, the fury of the rhythm, the mad percussions, the caustic riffs, the incisive guitar solos, the synth solos with a very electronic and progressive touch are making of Splendid Road all that Sine Amplitude aims at Krautrock in the pure state. I have recognized perfumes Mythos and Ashra. And I am convinced that several will recognize more...

HYPNOTIZED! This is some great Torsten M. Abel who always tries to go farther.... And he succeeds gallantly! It's an album which avoids the half-measure and where Sine Amplitude plays on the charms of the border between Berlin School and Krautrock while maintaining a little more harmonious approach, I would say even more accessible, in a music which is going to make wave your floors and peel the paint of your walls. To listen hard, just to burn well your neurons...

Sylvain Lupari (March 29th, 2016)

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