TANGRAM: Vector Henge (2016)
“Not complicated for 2 cents and catchy as one pleases, the music of Vector Henge is parading like a pleasant surprise which is good to hear”
1 Assemble 5:24 2 Gyro 4:12 3 Convex Space 4:33 4 Manifold 3:32 5 Specific Ocean 3:18 6 Scherlin Bool 5:49 7 Tapestry 6:30 8 Omega 6:27 9 Druids of Eternity 4:39 Tangram Music
(DDL/CD-r 44:26) (V.F.) (Electronica, New Berlin School)
We all thought that Peter Fabok had thrown the key of the Tangram studios! The rumor circulated and increased as years, 3 in fact, separated Lustbient from the silence of Tangram. And then a day, a message! The Hungarian musician prepares in secret his return with a 32nd album of which the release is planned for the end of the summer of 2016. VECTOR HENGE arrives finally on the Web in August and dips back us straight out into the very versatile electronic universe of Tangram. With 9 titles of an average time of 5 minutes, the music is without preamble and gets straight to the point with a series of rhythmic approaches which rocks between an Électronica for adults with tired feet and a synth-pop always for adults avid to possess a more audacious sense of hearing. The result is an unequivocal suite to Layers, an album which had moved closer the music of Tangram of the mass with a resolutely more commercial approach.
And that begins with Assemble and its epidemic harmonies (there is a lot of those here). First of all, a distant wave from cosmos incites arpeggios to sparkle in a luminous ballet. A line of bass crawl in the background, inviting the same arpeggios to tinkle with more swiftness, with more limpidity. The rhythm crawling like a threatening shadow and the arpeggios resounding such as tubes of crystal trapped in an anger of Aeolus, Assembles ripens little by little its rhythmic approach which will be translated into a mixture of synth-pop and down-tempo. Hunted in the echoes of the sequences, the rhythm adopts afterward a stroboscopic tendency with a synth which throws beautiful harmonies of which the minimalist loops become fixed between our ears. Not complicated for 2 cents and catchy as one pleases, the music of VECTOR HENGE is parading like a pleasant surprise which is good to hear. Not complicated but not made in the ease, as shown by the slightly hopping rhythmic structure of Gyro. Its mixture of bass and crystal-clear sequences skips in a broth of sound effects and pounds in a suite of spasmodic jolts. Other sequences and synth effect occupy a more melodious phase with tints of flutes which lay down harmonies always weaver of earworms. Convex Space wears well its title with a more or less ambient structure of rhythm. A good bass-line spits pulsations which move slowly among lento oscillating loops. The chant of the synth, as well as this groovy rhythm, does very Robert Schroeder. Arpeggios sparkle here, hanging to this structure rather melodious some bright fineries. Manifold does very dance. The bass pulsations make some solid boom-boom while the percussions flutter like a very timid Jean-Michel Jarre style in an approach which militarizes its beat. A little as a parade which takes airs of rave-up. It's lively and cheerful, but not really my cup of tea. Those who liked the dance approach of Jarre will doubtless like this music style. Specific Ocean is a lovely morphic ballad where the arpeggios are ringing on a bed of murmurs from a bass line. It's the most docile title here, even if a soft excitement decorates the background. Scherlin Bool? Yes, it's some dark ambient Berlin School with a thick cloud of black winds and where the synth which throws melodious acrobatics. Tapestry is more in the New Berlin School kind with a very Software approach. It's like Specific Ocean but with more rhythm. Omega offers another pattern of ambient rhythm with dark pulsations of which the resonances lay down the basis of this amphibian rhythm. The arpeggios are ringing with more or less of melody in the system. The title develops an increasing approach with a light but intense accentuation towards its finale. Druids of Eternity concludes this comeback of Tangram with another beautiful approach of hyper melodious synth-pop, the other one being Tapestry. Our neurons dance as much as our feet on this structure which is a good mixture between Software and a contemporary Schroeder.
Melodious and lively, VECTOR HENGE exploits the key dominances of modern EM with 9 titles which are no more and no less some invitations to discover the doors of a universe which seems never in lack of its resources. It's a nice comeback. And let's hope that we have not to wait for another 3 years before hearing his new music behind the mask of Tangram. The past demonstrated us all of Peter Fabok's talent. It would be too silly to do without!
Sylvain Lupari (September 18th, 2016) *****
Available at Tangram Bandcamp