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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

THANECO & ROMERIUM: Exploring The Trappist (2021)

Updated: Jun 19, 2021

Thaneco & Romerium manage to tune their visions in order to reserve us good surprises

1 Trappist-1 7:00

2 1b 7:39

3 1c 7:08

4 1d 10:01

5 1e 11:39

6 1f 8:44

7 1g 10:35

8 1h 10:24

(CD-R/DDL 73:14) (V.F.)

(Cosmic Berlin School)

On February 22, 2017, NASA announced the discovery of Earth-sized planets. TRAPPIST-1 is the name chosen for this now famous planet. Its system has 7 rocky worlds, all with the potential for water on their surface. This is also the subject of this 4th collaboration of the Greek musician Thaneco and the Dutch synthesist Romerium. EXPLORING THE TRAPPIST is a good album divided in 2 parts. Either a delicious first part carried by rhythms rather close to Berlin School and a second part more ambient. The music is stamped with cosmic musical graffiti on titles of which the names represent the codes of the exoplanet. Available as a high-quality CD-r, with beautiful six panel cover designed by Thanos Oikonomopoulos, and in downloadable on Thaneco's Bandcamp site. The rhythms are beautiful as much as the melodies, some of which remain anchored in our memories, while the ambient tracks all have a little something seductive.

A quietly rising wave of sound exposes a gradation that floats with cosmic effects. Unique, it subdivides its mass to generate other wandering lines that follow a parallel trajectory. Absent voices get grafted onto the path of Trappist-1. Its ambient movement detaches other waves, all with seraphic colors. The shock occurs around the 4th minute. Dark waves shake the horizons as a sequenced rhyme begins to spin like a diabolical carousel, tracing the first rhythmic sketch of Trappist-1. Arpeggios tinkle on the spot as the lavish of synth waves turn dark and the rhythm swirls with more vigor up until the cosmic winds and other sound effects bring it to a stop. 1b is born from a reverberation that extends its radiant thread under the sonic ferns of a cosmic fauna fill of sound effects that sounds like dialogues between robots and cyborgs. The tenebrous thread becomes a movement of the sequencer that subdivides this pulsating rhythm to invite another line to support these very beautiful chords sounding like a guitar. An acoustic guitar that crumbles its romances under vocal and rustling effects, bringing a psychedelic nuance to 1b. It's very beautiful! The Berlin School style does not hesitate to enter the dance by bringing with it these layers of smoky fog that use to feed the chthonic ambitions of the 70's. The movement accosts a short bridge of ambiences also towards its 4th minute. A moment of about 30 seconds where the riffs of the acoustic six-string and the tetanized mist fill the ears and the dreamy eyes. The rhythm is reborn with more softness, supported more by the guitar than the sequencer, to enter a morphic phase that will feed its last seconds. A very beautiful track my friends! 1c proposes a more solemn moment with symphonic drums banging in a cosmic atmosphere and its tonal decorations. An intense cinematographic moment!

Deformed whispers and unfinished rustles abound in the fertile grounds of EXPLORING THE TRAPPIST, and 1d makes a good show of it from its opening. Thereafter an oscillating membrane begins to run, initiating the same pattern for the sequencer. With two rhythm lines splitting to oscillate in a good Berlin School, 1d offers a tonal spectacle of unheard-of emotional depth with this moody, wistful singing of an affable synth. Another movement of the sequencer comes to dance the tap in this cosmos filling little by little of percussions without destination. Making noise for the sake of making noise, making rhythm for the sake of making rhythm, I have rarely heard such a poignant and energetic track at the same time. After that, we enter the rhythmless zone of this new Thaneco & Romerium album. 1e offers an ambient texture with reverberating drones and meditative synth layers to say the least. The vision is rather sibylline with this entwining between the drones and these serene layers. Knocks are heard while other layers are invited, while the buzzes are amplified and take other forms and other colors. One hears ululations lost in this tonal mass which develops more its abyssal tendency than the meditative one. 1e then takes a dramatic turn except that the moiré arpeggios which tinkle while wandering seek more to impose a prismatic vision. The obscure winds and those hollower lead us to 1f and its texture of cosmic psybient. Musical effects and other effects of extraterrestrial voices mark out the almost 9 minutes of the title which sinks in the darkness of stars. 1g invites us to a beautiful lunar ballad with an ascending movement of the sequencer in a cosmos whose starry particles fall like streamers in the airs of a mellotron-like synth. These harmonies sewn into the inexplicable expressed themselves with wah-wahs and become a thread of melody that sings as much as it accompanies the rhythm in the cosmic wiiishh and woosshh. Another melodic rhythm line awakens around the 5th minute. This gives a rise to other independent melodies, including cavernous voices and a suite of sequenced arpeggios that sing as well as dance gracefully, like the caresses of fairy hands on a long harp. The 1h's opening is dramatic with a bass chord that becomes a kind of whisper to take the tone of a whistle. This last track of EXPLORING THE TRAPPIST is like a big cybernetic sturgeon that picks up all the sections of other tracks and notes strayed in the grounds of the first 7 tracks of this album. This huge potpourri is assembled of incoherent pieces that give another possible version to this album. But did we really need 1h?

Nevertheless, EXPLORING THE TRAPPIST of the duo Thaneco & Romerium remains a very good album! The two accomplices manage to tune their visions from distance in order to reserve us beautiful surprises. And this album is a beautiful one...

Sylvain Lupari (June 19th, 2021) *****

Available at Thaneco Bandcamp

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