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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TASTENKLANG: Inspirations (2013)

“A first album filled of charming rhythms and catchy melodies that should appeal to fans of synth-pop and of New Berlin School”

1 First Contact 4:48 2 Choons 4:36 3 Melody O L 7:02 4 Tastenklang 8:48 5 Starry Sky 8:33 6 Funny Beats 7:48 7 Daydream 5:20 8 Melancholic Moments 7:10 9 Groove Machine 5:26 10 Northern Light 8:24 SynGate | CD-r DG01

(DDL/CD-r 67:55) (V.F.) (Very melodious New Berlin School)

Definitely, SynGate never stops pulling a rabbit out of its musical bag. After E-Tiefengrund and Realtime, it's now the turn of Tastenklang to come charming our ears with an album quite musical which shows that EM can be whistled as well as can be danced. Oscillating between the rhythmic approaches of the synth-pop and the Düsseldorf School's IDM style, as well as Jean Michel Jarre's more contemporary electronic rhythms, INSPIRATIONS evolves on Teutonic minimalist structures with automated rhythms and lobotomised melodies whose fragile harmonies depends on the balance between the catchy rhythms and the often cosmic and sometimes organic atmospheres.

First Contact fits to its music! Daniel Gessert couldn't choose a better track-name to depict the musical universe that surrounds a first opus fills by very New Berlin School scents and where the fragrances of Software, post cosmic and experimental, float in rhythmic envelopes of a sleepy Kraftwerk. This first track establishes the link between silence and music with cosmic chirpings dragging in their furrows a line of rhythm that spits its jerked keys and accept the linear dance of the percussions. Robotics, even cybernetic, the rhythm is catchy. It dances slowly, unifying the percussions and the chords of a resonant bass line to skip into the morphic mists of a synth loaded with perfumes of ether. Softly, the rhythm of First Contact gathers musical stars which sparkle like harmonious prisms, accompanying a nice dreamy melody whistled by a synth more musical than experimental. After a first track imbued of a rhythm easily accessible, Tastenklang presents us the very melodic side of his album. A tick-tock awakens a line of sequences with the crystal-clear tones of gleaming arpeggios interlacing in a sweet morphic reverie. Choons charms our ears immediately with a heap of iridescent prisms (I hear Thierry Fervant's Univers) which swirl into an indefatigable spiral and draw a delicious lobotomised melody where the fragile tune flits around in vapors of oneiric voices, while being finely shaken by striking of percussions with manual tones. Lively and freshly musical, these two tracks are the onset of a series of tracks with nice rhythms. Rhythms as much fragile and easy to assimilate than the soft morphic melodies that they carry at the tip of their robotics chords. And without knowing it, we have just fallen into the seduction trap of INSPIRATIONS. Because all that follows is pretty good with a sometime touch of hard e-rock, like Melody O L and its powerful circular rhythm. A stroboscopic rhythm which navigates between melodious synth-pop, I think of Visage's Fade to Grey and the contemporary candy-pink rhythms of Jean Michel Jarre. Let's say that the floorboards' slats are dancing wildly with this virulent techno, with a rhythm stuffed by heavy movements of a technoïd staccato which spits noisy but musical keys, while freeing a catchy electronic melody which is reminiscent of Popcorn. If you like the genre, Groove Machine is not outdone. As so heavy, but slower, it offers a good spherical structure, like a good cosmic techno, while that Funny Beats offers a suppler dance structure, slightly tinged of a fine cosmic envelope. The rest? Pure harmonious tenderness!

You have to hear the eponym track of Daniel Gessert's musical project name in order to seize all the dimension of this work that has so many futuristic and hypnotic melodies. Tastenklang begins innocently. With tap-dancing which clink such as hits of a wearied typist and whose knocks float in a cotton mist. A line of sequences unveils its delicate arpeggios which noiselessly subdivide their tinkling in two harmonious lines harpooned by percussions as simplistic as effective. We hook on it! The keyboard frees sparkling riffs which destabilize our focus while that Tastenklang lets fly its 8 minutes by releasing thin lines of harmonies which swirl like these musical ballerinas that have so enchanted our children's ears. Except that this time the approach is more modernist, more robotics with chords of glass which sing and ring on a structure of which the mesmerizing minimalist approach fattens a rhythm become heavier. A rhythm which is closer of a soft down-tempo, although always morphic, a bit jerky and of which we have never feel the hatching comes in this way. This is great and strangely musical. Starry Sky and Melancholic Moments are also very good musical down-tempos with ambient rhythms while Daydream offers a very good melodious approach with sober chords saddened by a melancholic tenderness which floats between the multiple thin lines of sequences with tones a bit crystalline. Molded on the same model of the increasing minimalist rhythm of Tastenklang, Northern Light closes the album with a robotics rhythm which increases its pace and its heaviness in the course of its 8 minutes while chiselling a fine melodic approach which magnetizes the hearing between an array of organicosmic tones, exposing aptly all the harmonious universe of INSPIRATIONS.

This first album of Tastenklang is unpretentious. Daniel Gessert proposes a simple and very catchy EM where the melody dominates rhythms wrapped up in envelopes of synth-pop, down-tempos or IDM. A timid IDM, except for 2 to 3 tracks, where the fragrances of New Berlin School get entangled in a Düsseldorf School as harmonious as fictionalized. I would say that it's the perfect album to get initiated to a shy, but effective, universe of EM which is not that far from the cosmic spaces. If we like Jean-Michel Jarre, Software and at the limit Kraftwerk, we shall be in good company with INSPIRATIONS.

Sylvain Lupari (August 25th, 2013) ***½**

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

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