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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

THE PELS SYNDICATE: Chemical Inconveniences (2012)

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

Easy to tame, this album abounds of melodies sometimes melancholic, oneiric and poetic on a sound fauna rich of its wild beats

1 Prelude Particles 4:39

2 Chemical Inconveniences 4:39

3 Distorted Reality 4:49

4 Toxic Swing 4:28

5 Mersik and Boomchick Dancing 5:51

6 A Beautiful Mind 5:53

7 Feels So Good 5:09

8 Diagnosis One 4:18

9 Transition Zone 6:14

10 The Day After 5:28

11 Trying to Remember 3:55

(CD/DDL 55:23) (V.F.)

(Melodious, EDM New Age)

Spectral waves of Martenot kind encircle the pulsatory and echoing keys which jump on time and forge the stationary introduction of Prelude Particles. Syncretic tones pierce this vertical dance pounded by robotics chords, resonances' spatters and hammered by sober percussions. If the rhythmic envelope stays of lead, the harmonious structure is simply delicious with its synth waves snivelling in the caresses of violins and tears of the piano. It's a melody on a clashing rhythm, like on Toxic Swing and its dishevelled percussions. More quiet and balanced than on Cinematic Blue, the universe of CHEMICAL INCONVENIENCES always lays on rhythms crossing atmospheres where the ethereal mists and violins of Orion transport god and soft melodious structures. But if the rhythmic envelope is softer, it remains not less still quite wild here and there. And it's a little this musical universe criss-crossed of paradoxes that we can expect on this amazing surprise which is The Pels Syndicate's CHEMICAL INCONVENIENCES. Frank Pels weaves the big lines of an album where groovy, techno and upbeat rhythms are of used as musical canvas to surprising melodies which are at the antipodes, both at the level of rhythms and their cores of emotionalism.

The title-track pursues in this vein on a kind of break-dance structure with a zest of upbeat which leans on humming pulsations. The setting embraces the ashes of a jazz forgotten in the bottom of an alley with a delicate melody hummed on the notes of a piano. Notes which are parading among the echoes of felted percussions, tetanised mists, and iconoclastic tones; vestiges of the polyphonic ambiances which compose The Pels Syndicate's universe. On a slow rhythm, shaken by the din of percussions, Distorted Reality conjugates candour and malice on a splendid structure of musing where crystalline arpeggios are swirling such as a nursery rhyme on a slow whirlwind of pernicious violins. It's a great track which does all its effect! Mersik and Boomchick Dancing is a bomb of rhythmic intensity with its percussions of tap-dancing kinds and slamming ones which pound around a strange pulsatory suction and a bass line of which the feverish chords are galloping between the resonant hoops of a rhythm in constant effervescence. It's a rhythm that doesn't stop giving into complexity and originality before being finally tamed by a beautiful melodious approach which turns upside down the eclectic ride without perturbing its global progression. A Beautiful Mind is a wonderful down-tempo. It's a huge chill-out filled with sensual steroids that a heavy bass with vicious curves and lascivious resonances penetrates in our ears to make quiver our body waves with a suave synth to soft tones of a perverse saxophone. It's very good and rather suggestive. With its structure which swirls with an aura of serenity Feels So Good bears marvellously the weight of its title. The melody is soft and whistled on a daydreamer synth which pours its melancholy on a parallel line of which the delicate oscillation draws a musical wave which fades out in a cloud of shimmering arpeggios. Light, the rhythm is clicking, pulsing and resounding with the sweetness of a stalk of silk in a tube of metal, leaving all the room to the harmonious envelope which is making proud of a beautiful violin veil. Waves with tones of Martenot float in search of a melody. They team up with limpid keys which sparkle of a luminous brightness and hop of a furtive approach in an iridescent fog where flit about some furtive cymbals.

A bass line spits a heavy elastic note and the lascivious and sensual rhythm of Diagnosis One sits astride violins of thought and gets propped up by sober percussions. The moods are caressing the chords of an electric piano and these Martenot waves which sing and stutter under the harsh and hatched knocks of the fanciful cellos. What a striking track! Transition Zones shakes the melancholic mood with a heavy rhythm arched on an abrasive structure. It's a hard rhythm of steel and lead where humming pulsations are harpooning chords with hybrid functions. If some are harmonious, others adopt spectral forms and others shine like small allegorical pads and hatched metallic hoops which dance and collide over fine percussions strikings of free-jazz style. Between Moonbooter and Element 4 styles, Transition Zones turns towards a dance-floor structure with the appearances of a psychotronic techno where the sound exhilaration has as limits only the imagination strongly sharpened of Frank Pels. Bright crystal arpeggios sparkle near riffs of fuzz wah-wah and eclectic tones, immersing the intro of The Day After into parallel universes where morphic choirs roam on the wings of violins, embracing the honeyed crescendo of the melodious arpeggios. Abandoning its poetic and oneiric approach, The Day After dives towards a funky-groovy beat, where a fat bass line spreads its roaring chords in the trail of choirs and violins, accompanying the fuzz wah-wah and supporting this pulsatory rhythm which dupes the heart and the choirs of The Day After. Hesitating between the rhythm and the ambient, Trying to Remember sets its heart towards a fine ballad flooded with iridescent mist and layers, without having forgotten to bring a nice harmonious envelope drawn in the shade of chords forgotten in the drawers of melancholy.

CHEMICAL INCONVENIENCES' musical universe is pleasantly fascinating. It's a universe where the rhythms and melodies arise from a rich sound fauna full of a soft originality and of a clever subtlety. Built on 11 titles embroidered in the meanders of a musical and artistic vision worth of creative tones' sculptors as well as percussions' designers, Chemical Inconveniences abounds in these melodies sometimes melancholic, oneiric and poetic. Melodies which clash to rhythms of steel and lead, and to upbeat, soft techno and\or mellow-groovy beats

Sylvain Lupari (March 19th, 2012) *****

Available at AD Music

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