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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

SKOULAMAN: Andros Awakenings (2015)

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

“If you are among those who loved Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past, this Andros Awakenings is simply built around the same paths”

1 Andros 12:24 2 Between Pulsating Machines 14:40 3 Chinese Lakes 11:52 4 Horizons 11:16

(DDL 50:12) (V.F.) (Cosmic & Vintage EM)

Skoulaman had raised a lot of passion in the universe of EM with his excellent Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past in 2014. The movements of sequences and the electronic envelope were so soft and so poetic, even when the movement of sequences was shaken for more accentuated rhythms, even when our spirit was adrift with serenity among the numerous corridors of EM. The impact was such that the album got out of the borders of his Holland. And it's in ashes of this album that the Dutch synth-man presented some new material within the framework of the EM festival, Awakenings which was held in England in October 2015. Offered in a download format, ANDROS AWAKENINGS is a logical result to a very nice album which had seduced more than one. This time, Skoulaman was surrounded by Rik van Kroonenburg on guitar who is presents on two tracks, so widening the frame of its structures which are always so delicately seraphic, but with a touch of meditative blues.

Andros extricates itself from the silence with lamentations of a synth which float in kind of ballet with resounding shadows. A delicate movement of sequences gets out of it. The keys skip and cavort in a minimalist envelope pierced by gaps between two lines of ambient rhythm which criss-cross their delicate upward walking under the multiple breezes of a synth in the nasal harmonies. This is magic! The envelope of Mellotron mist which surrounds this very meditative rhythm brings us back to the title-track of Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past, but in a more nebulous shroud with synths which throw more crystalline and more tearful harmonies as well as more crackling banks of mist. In a more or less similar seraphic envelope, to some nuances near and coated with flavors of Asia, Chinese Lakes sparkles in our ears, and in beautiful elegiac orchestrations, as an artifact of Mirage; this famous album soaked with a fascinating lyricism by Klaus Schulze. This is a nice piece of music! Some crystalline electric piano chords come to charm, and to hunt by the fact, the crackling banks of mist which have developed the soft decorative arabesques of Between Pulsating Machines. That does like a pianist alone in a club filled of its electric smoke. Two lines of sequences in parallel forge a movement of rhythm skipping in an upward way as in Andros. It's a delicate movement where one would say that the sequences are afraid of touching the atmospheres, so much the steps are furtive and so much the weight aims to be so light. These sequences dance with the fluid notes of the piano, modifying a little their courses by skipping now under the bites of the electronic chirpings which flutter with the same speed as these keys tamed for alternate paces. That gives the effect of a kind of cosmic jazz which eventually is wrapped up by a thick wall of mist. The structure remains very delicate and the piano chords add a touch of harmony which are separated in this vast ambient mosaic of which the rhythm takes a much more jerky form at around the 7th minute. The echo of the first movement of sequences reverberates in a long minimalist skeleton. Rik van Kroonenburg's guitar emerges and supports these jerky loops with riffs in loops which parade on a structure of rhythm always rather ambient and where the iridescent mist are caressing now a guitar among which the notes, riffs and solos lead Between Pulsating Machines towards a kind of ambient cosmic blues. This guitar is more ethereal, more aerial I would insist, in the opening of Horizons where its layers, such as big slow wings, are melting with those of the synth. This six-strings knits floating solos, between F.D.Project and Klaus Hoffman-Hoock and buries especially a rather discreet structure of rhythm which beats in the background, while bringing also an approach of meditative blues. A structure which little by little shows its colors with more crystalline sequences. These sequences clink in this minimalist movement braided by two lines which are always so delicate as these structures which have so much charmed us in Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past, making of ANDROS AWAKENINGS the ideal complement to this last album from Skoulaman.

Sylvain Lupari (November 22nd, 2015) ***½**

Available at Skoulaman Bandcamp

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