THE GARWIN PROJECT: Two But Not Two (2020)
Updated: Oct 23
“A great find of a musical project that makes us travel in less than 40 minutes over a fair overview of the evolution of Berlin School”
1 Live at the Church of Sound 36:18
(Nottingham UK 19 April 2018)
2 Live at Weird Garden 40:40
(Bootleg Mix Bonus Track - Lincoln UK 4 May 2018)
(DDL 76:58) (V.F.)
(Berlin School, EDM)
I don't have a lot of information on The Garwin Project. I know this is the project of one man, Peter Waring and who has been active since 2012 with a series of singles releases up until 2017, when the debut album Can We Make It Back To Earth was released. TGP also participated in the E-Scape 2020 compilation album with 2 solid tracks including Run Four which seems to be the main backbone of TWO BUT NOT TWO, notably with Live at the Church of Sound. Performed in concert and in the form of improvisation, the two titles of this album are in the pure Berlin School model with the rock vision of the England School, which is related to groups such as RMI, Air Sculpture and especially The Cosmic Smokers. The introductions are vaporous with mostly vintage tones while the finals never cease to end. And between the two, it's honey for the ears ...
It's a dark and chthonian ambience a la Jim Kirkwood which occupies the opening of Live at the Church of Sound which is a solid title of EM. Jumping keys, and their amusing tones, chirp on the last breaths of a ghostly organ. Their funny gait is invaded by more resistant sequences whose low and austere tone marries this staggering zigzag look. We are at the heart of a mass of sequences with opposite directions where two lines establish their domination. One of the line freed a key skipping briskly on the spot, directing this disordered rhythmic cluster towards a more fluid movement, at around 12 minutes. The percussions which invite themselves to restructure a heavy and linear rhythm covered by a ball of corrosive reverberations. That sounds like a huge sitar which overcomes this rhythmic inconsistency and which plunges Live at the Church of Sound into a phase of patchoulis atmospheres. There where the forbidden grass makes us see the stars through an occult mist where the sitar sounds like a ball of radiation with its multiple flashes bickering between blue or white. A psychedelic moment that doesn't cross the 17 minutes, because the sequencer releases a skipping line in a phase of reverberations that has nothing to do with Ravi Shankar's infinite love. A pulsating bubble jumps firmly, also releasing a nest of electronic radiations which takes us for a walk in the psybient trance before the sequencer gives us this delicious analog rhythm, like Tangerine Dream. Live at the Church of Sound then becomes a pure EDM dressed in the perfumes of Berlin School. A pool of arpeggios makes waddle one of their own that runs in the same oscillatory, spasmodic archetype of that main line of rhythm that continually changes skin in this EDM pattern, dragging us down a virtual dance floor of which the ceiling constantly changes of sound coating. Like a train that feels it has derailed a couple of times, Live at the Church of Sound arrives at this point of no return a little before the 30th minute thus exploring a territory of eclectic ambiences that fill the ears of those who hope for another irruption of unbridled rhythmic.
I love English humor! There is a hint of sarcasm in just about everything. As on Live at Weird Garden whose Bootleg Mix is quite appropriate. The sound seems to come directly from a first generation recording of a spectator who seems alone in his row… and in front of and behind him. And how is it? The opening has everything to please those who adore these visions of the hovering aether by Klaus Schulze. The rhythm is similar to Live at the Church of Sound recorded on a 4 tracks. It feels strange to hear an acoustic version of the track. It lacks the intensity, probably because of the poor quality of the recording where it's difficult to discern the Mellotron around the 22nd minute. A good moment of ambiences which shakes the apple tree before the 26th minute when the sequencer starts its unbridled race. Too bad the recording is at this weak point, because it is a beautiful violent moment where EDM is in the spotlight without this mass of electronic radiation which ate its back in the opening track of this TWO BUT NOT TWO which in the end is the album of one title with as a bonus a mediocre interpretation of Live at the Church of Sound in a recording of a lack of quality without a name. But the talent is there! It only remains to find out with this good album from The Garwin Project which in 36 minutes provides a fair overview of the evolution of Berlin School. A great album that I recommend without hesitation.
Sylvain Lupari (October 22nd, 2020) ***¾**
Available at The Garwin Project Bandcamp