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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Spyra High Phidelity (2007)

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

“High Phidelity is a great album which covers all facets of EM from a musician who pushes his artistic reflection far beyond established standards. It's a 2007 top 10!”

CD 1 (75:48)

1 Zzyxxsties 16:23

2 Duplex 20:35

3 Xylophane 14:05

4 Drum 'N' Melody 13:53

5 Last Train To Philadelphia 10:51

CD 2 (79:48)

1 Starsent Introduction 8:46

2 Kingnewdrum 15:40

3 Aerial (Long Distance Reception) 24:20

4 Phuture Of The Past 14:50

5 Gilgamesh 16:12

(2CD 155:36) (V.F.)

HIGH PHIDELITY is a superb journey through the different musical styles of one of the most underrated German synthesist; Wolfram Der Spyra. A remarkable anthology from one of the best American EM label in the States; Ricochet Dream, which covers 2 years of concerts in different locations, as well in the USA and in Europe. More than 2 hours of music where we follow an artist free of all artistic restrains who explores the different sonorities of a Berliner EM, ambient and abstract with a range of hallucinating sounds effects for the greatest pleasure of our ears.

Zzyxxsties opens with beautiful synth waves which initiate a melancholic universe. Slowly the synth frees arpeggios which swarm of a parallel life filled of big synth bursts with a gloomy and threatening mood. The musical world of Spyra is slowly deploying on hopping chords and beats that swindle the pulse. What was a simple cosmic and floating intro turns into a long rhythmic procession where the hypnotism of a languishing Berlin School evolves by sequential moves supported by soft and superb solos from a lyrical and melting synth. It goes through a brief moment of serenity before recaptured a more upbeat tempo on a synth with multiple layers and great mellotron effects. We are near Klaus Schulze territories. Duplex pursues this evolution with a heavier rhythm and percussions with striking hits. Synth releases nice wrapping layers which fractionate some superb honeyed solos. The beat becomes more lively with percussions hammering a nervous bass sequence pattern. Leisurely Spyra drives us into a passage where percussions and sounds effects fall into a staggering psychedelico-atmospheric duel. A short break just before tempo modifies subtly its level to become louder, always drown by sumptuous solos. Xylophane is a sweet cosmic melody where xylophone arpeggios circle a futuristic ambiance between the worlds of Vangelis and Schulze on Angst. It’s a superb musical piece imprint of a strange softness which flows with nostalgia and soul greyness. The more we go, the more we enter into the eclectic universe of Spyra. Drum’N’Melody starts up on a nice sensuous dangling where soft synth strata wrap a tight-fitting bass which becomes heavier and mordant. Percussions roll a frenetic tempo whereas the synth is transforming into an Arab flute. This languishing movement, with a snake dance sensuality, crosses spherical resonant phases where voices, percussions and synth streaks are bandy chords for a fragile tempo. Written by Vic Rek, Last Train To Philadelphia presents an intro with compulsive pulsations which are colliding into a frenzied sonorous duel. The tempo becomes more restrained, with nice ambivalent passages which waddle between soft sensual atmospheres and some little bit more nervous passages.

CD 2 begins with a very ambient Starsent Introduction where isolated layers are bathing in a weighty atmosphere. Kingnewdrum is also dragging us into a very ambient mood but tinted of a melodious romanticism. Guitar and piano notes float in a futuristic world filled of vocal samplings, giving though the illusion of being inside a lounge jazz club. On a soft and sensual evolution the movement bursts into life with great percussions and heavy riffs to stormy reverberations. Mixing ambient to deep atmospheres and a more experimental music, Spyra maintains a continual interest with a creative percussion play and a synth with saxophone impetus worth of free jazz sessions that go beyond borders of the exceptional Aerial. Phuture of the Past bring us back to the roots of Berlin School style with winding sequences and a lyrical synth. With Gilgamesh, the German synthesist shows his expertise of eclectic sounds. Even in concert Spyra multiplies the oddest of sounds effects on a Break-dancing beat with disparate percussions. This cacophony makes room to a harmonized softness where breezes of excessive parallelism swindle which is lulling of nostalgia in a caustic universe.

HIGH PHIDELITY is simply sublime. It's a great work which covers all EM facets, witnessing the innovative creativity of a musician who pushes his artistic reflection far beyond established standards. It's a 2007's top 10!

Sylvain Lupari (January 24th, 2008) *****

Available on Ricochet Dream web shop

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