STAN DART & MARK DORRICOTT: Midnight (2016)
Updated: Jan 19
“This album mixes splendidly ambiences for film which aims to be like a sort of suite of Blade Runner and of Vangelis' music”
1 Morning's Light 7:38 2 Nightflight 8:07 3 Memories of Tomorrow (November 2019 Mix) 9:38 4 Deckard's Dream 7:19 5 Times Remembered (Robot's Dream Version) 8:24 6 Star Field 7:29 7 Mare Tranquilitatis (Orbital Flight Mix) 6:10 8 Rachel's Dream 8:00 9 Beneath (Ambient Version) 6:33 10 JFK (Memorial Mix) 7:20 SynGate Wave | CD-R SD01
(DDL/CD-r 76:42) (V.F.) (Melodic Electronica, cinematic ambiences)
SynGate widens its tentacles towards other musical genres. After the Luna division, intended for experimental ambiospherical music which was setting up in autumn 2012, the estimated German label aims at a more melodic and epic EM. Beautiful stories put on EM! The last album of Bouvetoya, Blue Planet Talisman, inaugurated this label which was set up at the very beginning of 2016. Inspired by the movie Blade Runner, MIDNIGHT is the 2nd album of this new division of SynGate. Mark Dorricott and Stan Dart, whom we heard with Alien Nature in Accelerator, surf more or less on the same waves of sounds. That's by means of Soundcloud that the 2 musicians have met. Very attracted by the Chilled Jazz style piano of Mark Dorricott, Stan Dart convinced him to let him make a remix of one of his compositions; In A Silent Way. In front of the success of this remix, the duet began to make a first album (Events) which was completely inspired by the music of Mark Dorricott that Stan Dart has remodeled and remixed in a very lounge envelope with even some rather danceable tracks. A bit like here! Events has received a nice welcome from the criticisms and the public, encouraging both musicians to work on a new project. Having both a very strong attraction for the movie Blade Runner, Stan Dart began a new hunting in the music of Mark Dorricott in order to make it remixed in the spirit of the music of the Ridley Scott cult movie. The basic idea was to make a music which would be a suite to the music of Vangelis. Stan Dart thus dug up in the catalog of ambient music of Mark Dorricott to create a music which answered the vision of both musicians...
A little as at night which escapes, a heavy and somber tablecloth of synth haloed with a seraphic choir opens the atmospheres of A Light Morning. From the first minutes, we feel swallowed by the shadows of a city without sun. Arpeggios slightly musical decorate this slow night descent. Little by little, the shadows dissipate and the explosions of industrial gases make dirty these atmospheres while the arpeggios are finding the colors of a piano which has difficulty in forging a melody and, later, of a keyboard which crumbles its ghost melody in orchestrations which melt to these heavy layers of which the perfumes of dark organ are contrasting with the sibylline airs of a choir without shadows. The tone is given, and we penetrate the opalescent corridors of MIDNIGHT. If Nightflight is just as much ambient, it offers a delicate structure of floating rhythm with fine jolts which are forged in a line of a hesitating bass. This flying rhythm supports a thick cloud of synth lines tattooed of grey drizzle as well as notes of a pensive piano which roams like prisms in a night decorated of gloomy floating harmonies stolen to a solitary saxophone. Memories of Tomorrow (November 2019 Mixes) feeds itself of the same mysteries as Nightflight, except that here the saxophone is replaced by the voice of the Spanish singer Miss King and that the piano is resolutely in ambient melody mode. It's ambient lounge where the voice of Miss King transports us towards the secrets of the night. It's with Deckard's Dream, an original composition of Stan Dart, that the rhythm lifts the quiet atmospheres of this musical adventure. We enter a section where the Electronica and the Ambient House is adorned with some nice arrangements and with spherical rhythms. A line of piano lays a suite of notes which fly lightly in cascades. Dancing in the resonances of its shadows, these notes weave a structure of ambient rhythm with two lines which criss-cross their harmonious fates. It's a very nice intro which anchors its short melody in our neurons. Sighs of a bass line bring a more dramatic dimension while the piano continues to scroll its lines of harmonies in a background enriched by some floating sound shadows. Jingles and pulsations which fall are forging a very good mid-tempo which grows richer of sober percussions. Lines of voices and orchestrations transport this kind of hymn to the joy with this very nice piano which is now infiltrating our neurons. It's a great track, very catchy, with arrangements that gives us shivers. And damn that the piano is intrusive!
It gets back haunting us again in Times Remembered (Robot's Dream Version) and its structure of rhythm which swirls like a long stroboscopic lasso. The jerky effects, the slightly pulsatory bass line and the percussions which click as wooden hoofs forge a mid-tempo a little faster than Deckard's Dream while that the effects add a more surrealist touch. The beat is interrupted by a very melancholic piano which spreads its sadness in perfumes of voices. We get caught so easily on this track. Always very omnipresent, the piano of Mark Dorricott crumbles its notes which fall from the heavens of Star Field in order to swirl in veils of mist and voices. Pulsations extricate themselves from these veils to form a slightly twitching rhythm where the notes of piano fly so lightly such as tiny snips of scissors. The rhythm which follows is a kind of Hip-hop well balanced which uncorks on a kind of Acid Jazz. We always swim in the Électronica section of MIDNIGHT with the nervous rhythm of Mare Tranquilitatis (Orbital Flight Mix) and the beatings of which the circular effects bear the upward melody of the piano which delivers here a beautiful harmonious duel with a guitar. Here as somewhere else, the arrangements are dense and adorn this nervous and curt structure of rhythm of an attractive enrichment. It's doubtless the main strength of the album. Rachel's Dream is another Stan Dart composition which shows his capacity to sculpture lively rhythms which feed themselves very well of those great arrangements. It's catchy, infectious and very lively with a thick cloud of staccato violins and with wrapping synths lines which encircle a rhythm intended for floors of dance and trance. Beneath (Ambient Version) calms down a little the ardor of the last 45 minutes with a meditative structure among which the beatings and the arrangements remind the one of Jean-Michel Jarre and his Last Rendezvous with Ronald McNair. Here, the saxophone is replaced by rollings of percussions and the delicate ambient piano of Mark Dorricott. JFK (Memorial Mix) returns to the phase of catchy rhythms with a very lively structure a la Franky Goes to Hollywood where the piano, always attractive, steals its notes to Star Field. This is dance music well made, energetic and jerky with very good effects and arrangements that encloses an album of which one of its numerous charms is doubtless its hybrid identity between Electronica rhythms and film atmospheres which bring MIDNIGHT, and the listener, to another level.
Sylvain Lupari (April 12th, 2016) *****
Available at SynGate Bandcamp