TRANSCEIVE: Intrigue (2001)
“Intrigue is a major work that perpetuates the very distinct sound of the England School, started by Mark Shreeve and Ian Boddy”
1 Bygone Daze 6:33
2 Intrigue 12:43
3 Emor Femus 10:46
4 Tera's Secret 4:40
5 Internal Inferno 8:28
6 Resume 2:48
7 Extremes 9:04
8 Beneath the Lake 6:05
9 Intrigued 5:04
(CD/DDL 66:15) (V.F.)
Hum... me who wanted to write a shorter review! Let's say it will be for a next time, because my ears have meet at a remarkable work. Again, will you say? Eh yes! I have this chance to listen to a music I love and to share my impressions with you. There was a lot of publicity and very good, but short, reviews about this album. Making me a little skeptical. But in the end, I spent pleasant moments discovering the first 2, and only, works by Transceive; Transformation 88:98 and this INTRIGUE.
And it starts with the ferocious Bygone Daze. After a brief intro with intergalactic elements, a heavy beat sets in. Resonating with juicy and round chords which collide and feed on their echoes, this rhythm amplifies its gravity with hammering percussions and a sequence which zigzags in the waves of a misty synth and a second sequence in staccato. Voices, harmonious strata, superb solos and good samplings make up a heavy track bordering an incisive techno and heavy e-rock. Bygone Daze hammers the first minutes of this album with ferocity, while leaving room for a superb melody which emerges from this structure which becomes even heavier towards the very end. A stunning title which announces the colors of Steve Nelson, the man-orchestra behind Transcieve. The long title-track begins in a cloud of cosmic sound effects from which comes out a melodramatic synth line blowing a short melody before releasing a jerky metallic streak which breaks this melodious structure of Intrigue. Following the concept of the opening track, the rhythm line is hammering but less aggressive. Just enough to suggest a sweet melody of a cosmic Far West genre. Polyrhythmic, the title-track releases different lines on buzzing bass, undulating sequences, catchy percussions and enveloping strata with multiple harmonious dimensions. Emor Femus starts with a beautiful melancholy piano and its notes which flutter with tenderness. And as soon as the last note is lost in the ear, the cymbals undertake a lascivious dance which makes a sweet voice whispering. Chords wind the movement on vaporous percussions which take more and more shape. Suspended, the rhythm is always hesitant and torn between this sweet voice and some more energetic percussions. The structure takes shape with a heavy and nervous sequencer line. It traces a dance-music movement on nice floating strata and melodious chords which create a superb harmony on hammering percussions. A very beautiful title in the same vein as Intrigue. Both are lighter than Bygone Daze but take advantage of their lengths to present more elaborate structures. Short, but damn effective Tera's Secret begins with a slow beat on percussions of a tribal genre and a synth with scents of the Middle East. A beautiful hopping rhythm line joins a synth with Arabian breaths and a guitar with similar chords. Drawn by a whirlwind, the movement comes back in strength with even more striking arrangements.
A synth and its waves waltzing in cosmos announce Internal Inferno which is agitated on nervous keys, floating and invasive strata zigzagging and losing itself in a deafening rhythmic maze. This movement takes off with power on a jerky rhythm stuffed of percussive steroids. A furious track which purges an incessant cadence with aggressive sequences, and which resource its infernal rhythm in the short rest areas, where it drinks of a renewed intensity and sharper synth blades. Resume follows with a short Software-style melody. It's beautiful, sweet and incredibly melodious. Extremes embarks on the last breaths of Resume with a variegated intro where metallic tones collide in a futuristic universe. We hear a rhythmic line drawing in the distance. Nervous chords cross layers of corrosive violins which are clubbed by a cloud of heavy percussions. A heavy and round pulsation emerges from the sequencer with a jerky flow. Without really developing a sustained harmonious concept, Extremes stays the course with percussions that roll and club harmonious parts with fury to melt in with the very romantic Beneath the Lake. A magical and restful moment which shows that Steve Nelson can also create tender and touching music pieces where melancholy takes shape on a beautiful piano movement. Intrigued ends this very good album of electronic rhythms with a more full-bodied remixing of the title-track which is stripped here of its floating and enveloping assets, delivering its rhythm with a melodious intensity.
A heavy and powerful sequencer, enveloping and harmonious strata as well as very nice arrangements; INTRIGUE is a major work that perpetuates the very distinct sound of the England School. A powerful album which multiplies infectious rhythms on melodies which eat us the eardrums in a hammered universe of power. A mix of Mark Shreeve, Jean-Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream from the Jive years in one opus remains very attractive. After going around, and more than once, of INTRIGUE, I must admit that Transcieve is really up to its publicity.
Sylvain Lupari (October 27th, 2006) *****
Available at Transcieve Bandcamp