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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


Updated: Jun 8, 2020

Hunted is a great retro Berlin School album which sounds like something that we never heard, even if we easily recognize the band's influences

1 Hunted Down on a Misty Morning 27:42

2 A Stranger in a Strange World 24:07

3 Dark Hiding 26:49

(CD-r/DDL 78:38) (V.F.)

(Retro psychedelic Berlin School)

The Roswell Incident's only album, The Crash, had taken the small community of the lovers of Berlin School by surprise. It was a powerful album, one of the best of 2010, centred on heavy sequences and black rhythms with extraterrestrial electronic ambiences and which depicted the very famous story, or legend, of a space shuttle crash down in New Mexico in 1947. Almost 3 years later HUNTED stirs the cold ashes of The Crash with a 2nd part of a trilogy to be completed where black and experimental Berlin School reinvents itself with 3 long music pieces with the scents of paranormal. This time, the brothers Jan and Koen Buytaert exploit a little more the odd ambiences than wild rhythms. But the charm of the mysticism wins over these particular moods which are exposed with a brilliant exploratory approach.

Written in the stride of The Crash in 2008, Hunted Down on a Misty Morning starts HUNTED with a slow ambiospherical intro. Noises, sonic drops, and spectral rustles weave an ectoplasmic painting while some oblong synth lines draw sound arcs of which the musicality gets blend with winds to the guttural depths. One would believe to hear the weak singings of a Théramin which float on a plain gobbled up by cosmic mists. A fine pulsation emerges a little after the 4th minute. She pounds with a feeble solitary pulse through the winds and carillons, whereas sinuous synth lines forge threatening shadows which sing like nostalgic spectres. An industrial envelope monopolizes the mysterious atmospheres of Hunted Down on a Misty Morning a little after 11 minutes with metallic gurglings which little by little give way to a structure of sequences of which the keys are waving with subtle inversions in the movement. These keys get squeeze and skip in their shadows, forging a delicious bumpy chain of rhythm which hiccups into the iridescent mists and among some fine twisted synth solos with scents always so spectral. A little more power in the volume and that would be the paradise. More contemporary, just like Dark Hiding, A Stranger in a Strange World is a long ambiospherical track filled by very intriguing sonic ambiences. The approach merges the industrial and organic ambient styles with mechanical noises, sordid pulsations, ectoplasmic laments and organic groans which weave a dense ambient sonic envelope. An envelope which gradually is covered of more electronic noisy elements as the seconds pass to the meter, in particular with a black movement of static sequences from which the bass pulsations are smothered in a somber ambient broth. Dark Hiding borrows a little bit a similar introductory path with noises of a cosmic jungle where the waters ooze and the sonic hoops float through many hummings and organic groans. Beyond these composite noises, the ambiences are rather filmic with a background of tones filled with suspense, in particular with these singings of aliens (or of whales?), while that quietly a fine line of pulsations makes undulating its neurotic quivering chords. The rhythm of Dark Hiding offers its fluidity a little after the mark of 11 minutes with sequence keys which hiccup restlessly in the meshing of pulsations and through a slender filet of bluish drizzle. The universe proposed by the brothers Buytaert is then similar to that of Tangerine Dream from the Phaedra era with bass sequences which blink nervously, drumming a deep hatched debit where each jerks breathe like wriggling snips of the scissors in a silk sheet. A delicate synth wraps of its nasal singings this static rhythm which holds onto constantly to this line of bass pulsations. And quietly this rhythmic curtain falls in the evasive cybernetic ambiences of a long track which steals with address all of its charms in the splendid years of the analog EM. It's very good, but I would have like more tonus in the volume.

Less heavy, less explosive at the level of sonority and more ambiospherical than The Crash, HUNTED succeeds however more its breakthrough in the imagination of the extraterrestrial myths with a very beautiful album where the ambiences merge marvellously with the crossing between parallel universes. I liked it very well. This is excellent retro Berlin School which sounds like something that never hear, even if sometimes we easily recognize The Roswell Incident's influences.

Sylvain Lupari (February 18th, 2014) *****

Available at The Roswell Incident Bandcamp

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