Synth Replicants Time Walker (2021)
Updated: Oct 29
“Time Walker turns out to be a great album which is part of the good surprises in 2021”
1 Time Walker 7:01
2 The House of the Fallen Moon 5:54
3 Love from a Distance 5:57
4 The Day Earth Died 6:09
5 Terralellum 7:08
6 Dreamers Dream 4:07
7 Nebulas Eye 7:40
(DDL 43:57) (V.F.)
(E-Rock, Berlin School)
It's with a hoarse voice distorted behind a didgeridoo that the title-track leads us to discover the next 40 minutes of TIME WALKER. The ambiences are already dark when the synth hooks harmonious solos to a circular rhythm structure shared by an equitable work between the electronic percussions and the sequencer. It follows a good curve with a jerky, strobe-like, effect as the synth launches its high-pitched whistling tunes by a full moon evening. Easily accessible with its driving rhythm to the point of tapping the floor with our feet, Time Walker offers nuances in its tone and its pace underneath those vampiric melodies whistled in key places in this track that opens the door to some pretty strong Synth Replicants compositional work. I recently received an email from Per Thomhav asking if I would be interested in listening to and reviewing his music. So far so good! It's when I read that even Thorsten Quaeschning found his music interesting and that a collaboration project between them was underway that I seriously questioned myself. The content of the email disappeared from my inbox, piquing my curiosity even more. The House of the Fallen Moon is a very good track with a double rhythmic personality. First, the title lets go a very beautiful melodic vision with sighs of caramelized mist. An organic life lives there secretly. A piano too which drops its notes to create a beautiful illusory melody that is endorsed by the high flute of the mellotron. The percussions work on a circular structure by dropping the drumsticks softly. Everything is perfect...until 35 seconds into the second minute. The sequencer then activates a gambolling line that goes against the initial rhythm, while the ambiences propose deceptively organic mechanical breaths. The fluty melody takes on a slightly Berber tinge in this track, which rubs off on Love from a Distance and its double-headed rhythm in a musical envelope that sounds very Tangerine Dream of the Underwater Sunlight years. The discord between the sequencer and the drums proposes a structure in two times and two temperaments. The result is a slow rhythm of the percussions that is encircled in a more driving spiral of the sequencer. The more we go further and the more both entities are heading for a symbiosis beneath these fluty harmonies that we recognize for having also heard them in Legend. The agonizing synth of The Day Earth Died does justice to the meaning of the title. Its solos pierce like those of a guitar a circular rhythm a little jerky that the percussions are stubborn to want to draw in another direction. There is a good intensity and a lot of passion that comes out of this track.
Those who read me know that I like it when it's heavy and slow. And this is exactly what Terralellum offers! The sequencer and the percussions are in symbiosis to receive these synth pads with very Pink Floyd tones and these discreet jets of fluty mist. Bewitching, the rhythm is circular. Not made for the feet, but for the neurons with a fascinating subdivision in the strikes, as much on the electronic drums as on the sequencer. A very good dark track for a universe about darkness. Even if it is heavy and slow, Dreamers Dream is a catchy track. A music for the evening of Halloween with these diabolic tunes whistled by a synth soaked in horror and a movement of the sequencer where the keys waddle in a diabolic way. One feels that the percussions, when they fall heavily, try to redirect the rhythm towards a big hammered hard rock. It's a waste of time! Dreamers Dream assumes its circular movement while defending its luciferian nursery rhyme side which haunts the listening as much as the ambiences. Like some tracks on this TIME WALKER album, Nebulas Eye requires a few listenings before appreciating its subtle transitions. In a harmonious envelope as diabolical as Dreamers Dream, we can as well add Terralellum, the synth uses effectively its melodious contribution matched with brief ambient solos. The rhythm appears some 80 seconds of an opening conceived on a dew of buzzing mist and synth layers flowing in an elegiac intensity. It hops on two sequencer suggestions while the melodic vision is as prismatic as poignant with heart-bleeding arrangements and spectral synth harmonies. The track progresses in the comfort of this chthonic vision with a sequencer that dribbles its jumping keys, in this structure that maintains its cadence while heading into its penumbra some 30 seconds before the 7-minute mark. Where you can hear wolves lost in a dense layer of winter mist.
My curiosity satisfied, TIME WALKER turns out to be a very nice album which indeed shows that its host, Per Thomhav, also possesses that sense which allows some musicians to make their compositions evolve in a short time. The melody is in the heart of the lively structures in this album which also makes hear good nuances, when it is not oppositions and transitions in structures of rhythms which make me think of John Carpenter. Between Mark Shreeve and Tangerine Dream, Jive period, this album of Synth Replicants is part of the good surprises in 2021.
Sylvain Lupari (November 3rd, 2021) *****
Available at Synth Replicants Bandcamp