THE FOURTH DIMENSION PROJECT: Stardust (2021)
“A great dl that worth the price asked with good EM strongly scented of Edgar's vision”
1 The Doppler Effect 4:32
2 Dream of Stars 4:46
3 Back to Life 2:53
4 Mirror Dimension 7:09
5 Wormhole 6:33
6 When the Sun Touches the Sea 2:46
7 Space and Time 6:39
8 Stardust 5:35
9 Sea of Galaxies 7:08
(DDL 48:04) (V.F.)
(Berlin School E-Rock)
More than 2 years have passed between Cosmic Waves and STARDUST. A single, Space and Time, has made the new fans of The Fourth Dimension Project wait and while wondering if Cosmic Waves was a flash in the pan. Well, no! In a bunch of tracks that flirt with a lack of homogeneity, Péter Pósafalvi, the man-orchestra behind TFDP, shows a flair for the harmonic aspect in creative musical envelopes that seem to be inspired a bit more by Johannes Schmoelling than Peter Baumann, if not Tangerine Dream.
But sometimes he can put a Techno-Funk between our ears, like with the hungry bass of The Doppler Effect which complements the rhythmic start of the agitated bass-sequences in a dance music mode. I love this battle between the two structures where a throbbing Funk mocks the restlessness of the jumping bass-sequences with an energy gently restrained by anesthetizing synth layers. The oscillating waves structure an energetic phase that leads us to a second part always as catchy where it's the turn of a guitar with dreamy solos to keep the music in its Funk-New Age state. The stars are singing the reincarnated prism on a cosmic bed. Dream of Stars transports us elsewhere with guitar chords unwinding a thread of melancholy in an opening that offers us a morphic down-tempo as the 3rd phase of this lyrical track. There is a lot of material for not even 5 minutes in this ballad, of which the melancholic breaths of Le Parc and this guitar rolling its harmonic solos on the shimmering of a river being gilded by the sun, are the keys of an enchanting universe which is not too difficult to tame. Dark and sad, Back to Life stretches out its keyboard-piano notes with a care to make the hairs on my arms stand up and run. The arrangements are to make the hardest of people sigh in a melodious vision that has nothing to envy to the New Age. It's beautiful from the start. But is this what we wanted? A xylophone-like sequencer opens the first measures of Mirror Dimension. The sound dimension, on the other hand, let us hear a kind of piano carved mechanically a rhythmic line in a haze filled of astral humming. A more lively line emerges after the 40 seconds, bringing the track to a duel between the rhythm and its melody, both sequenced. Resonant chords like those of the Dream's Miramar years are cutting closer to this melody that ventures into a static electronic rock. This electronic rhythm slows down soon enough to resume its opening tune. After a few seconds of hesitation, and a little before the 4th minute, Mirror Dimension then becomes possessed by a spirit of Ricochet's rhythms and takes us back in the 72-73 years with a superb two-faced track. Very good! The first part as the second.
This brings us to Wormhole which wastes no time in releasing its madness through a spasmodic structure that surprises by adding contemporary elements in a 70's cosmic rock frenzied by electronic percussions. The rhythm is catchy and the guitar, the main instrument here, sounds like Edgar Froese's in Force Majeure. The percussions are excellent and creative on this track. An electric guitar on water lapping, it always gives a romantic touch. This is how When the Sun Touches the Sea runs out of its 3 minutes. Space and Time proposes from the beginning an ascending rhythm too animated to be a Berlin School. Animated and static, it serves as a nest for a guitar that performs sober solos on a structure that gradually loses its dynamism some 15 seconds after the second minute. Péter Pósafalvi then graces us with an atmospheric 60 seconds that ends abruptly in a mixture of Reggae and Funk. A jerky rhythm that is quite catchy, conducive to good guitar surges that are not as magical as this bass that makes us lift our feet ... as if we wanted to dance sitting. Hey yes, the flavors of Tangerine Dream are present without any sense 😊! I also like this bass that implants an ambient and absent rhythm in the title-track. Stardust floats between two zones before bursting out for an Electronica not yet mature for dancing but quite comfortable to write more solos for that guitar that has taken over STARDUST's mind since the beginning. And it's a very sad guitar which inaugurates the slow dance that is Sea of Galaxies. These harmonious solos remain nostalgic enough to write a letter to our past and ask it what went wrong so to bring us to where we are now. I like the guitar remains sober between its two tones to distinguish the chorus from the verse. Even that sometimes, it gives me these shivers that feed the soul. Obviously, I expect a change of direction, even if there are less than two minutes left on the dial of STARDUST. A change that brings nothing, even flirting with a more rock essence than Electronica. I would have cut these 90 seconds in order to let Sea of Galaxies continues on its road of melancholy.
A rare misstep in an album full of its charms with its evolving structures. If the changes of direction in some tracks are telegraphed early on, STARDUST's greatest asset is that Edgar's influence on the guitar that sets it apart from Cosmic Waves. Once again, The Fourth Dimension Project shows us without too much difficulty the mastery in its writing which has an unequivocal harmonic flair. And I like this influence of the Dream in these compositions that imitates it to perfection, but in another vision than that of Arc, Redshift and others...
Sylvain Lupari (August 21st, 2021) ***¾**
Available at TFDP Bandcamp