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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TRANSCEIVE: Transformation 88:98 (2006)

Transformation 88:98 strikes with the power of a train that knows when to decrease its pace when needed

1 Landscape of Tomorrow 10:29

2 Element of Intrigue 7:38

3 Moving Target 4:42

4 Biomechanoid 5:37

5 Creature of Legend 6:44

6 The Rebus Tape 8:15

7 Delusions 6:32

8 Facade (excerpt) 3:15

9 Eastern Promise 3:59

10 The All Seeing Eye 6:48

11 Thru Rugged Terrain 7:26

(DDL 71:29) (V.F.)

(England School, EDM)

Transceive had seduced the world of EM, heavy and catchy format, with the intense Intrigue in 2002. Since then… silence! Now Steve Nelson reappears with a new not entirely new opus since it contains material composed between 1988 and 1998, hence the title TRANSFORMATION 88:98. Despite more than 16 years of difference between the first sketches and the final product, the tone and the spirit are very current with a furious mixture of styles as diverse as Mark Shreeve, Jean-Michel Jarre, Depeche Mode and Juno Reactor. You will understand that with such inspirations, this album is not one to seek, and find, sleep.

Landscape of Tomorrow aggressively starts this compilation of new works. Beyond the dismal sound effects, heavy chords trace an intriguing path which explodes with good percussions and a round and juicy linear sequence. An aggressive synth pushes a pretty nice melody which befits well this electronic rock of England School style. This opening is an omen to the rhythmic strength that will bombard our ears for the next hour. Aggressive, the rhythm deviates with subtle nuances in the tones and retains the same structure in a fiery e-rock that has become more progressive with good arrangements. With its hesitant piano Element of Intrigue plunges us into the atmosphere of thriller films. Pressed on light floating and slamming percussions, the sequencer is heavy and swirls on the echo of its undulation. Very melodious, the synth brings this touch of mystery. An avalanche of percussions drummed over an anvil of glass sweeps over the heavy and nervous rhythm of Moving Target. Samplings of voices give a paranoid dimension to this track which pounded its linear vision vertiginously. It's a heavy and hammering title which scrolls with ferocity in a whirlwind of knocking percussions. After such an intense track, a rest for the ears would do good. This is what we imagine with the opening of Biomechanoid. Error! The percussions announce an unbridled rhythm supported by a big buzzing bass line whose techno-dance vision is raised by the tsitt-tsitt and other percussive clicks. Another powerful title that burns the soles of the feet by hopping and hitting the dance floor.

With aboriginal percussions and flutes of a chimerical jungle, Steve Nelson uses vocal samplers of a Yeti film to give more realism to Creature of Legend. A beautiful electronic ballad with seraphic choir and a virtual guitar playing as fast as its shadow on a powerful rhythm but well calibrated to maintain a romantic effect. Fine curly percussion and floating synth pads provide a dark atmosphere to The Rebus Tape, one of my favorite track here. The rhythm explodes with powerful drums, causing the anger of a synth that lets out beautiful scarlet streaks before resuming the road of a sinister tranquility. At the halfway point, the rhythm changes squarely to take a heavy and jerky movement which is at the borders of a moderate techno. This is not entirely the case with Delusions which is an intense and over-excited title where the frantic rhythms cohabit wonderfully with harmonies and good vocal samplings. Facade is a short atmospheric piece with a velocity nourished by enveloping and threatening layers, a bit like the very ambient The All Seeing Eye which is the most calm and restful title of this TRANSFORMATION 88:98. This quiet track precedes the fiery techno of Eastern Promise. Thru Rugged Terrain closes this latest Transceive album with one of these ferocious rhythms that endlessly dot this hot album. The rhythm is heavy and abrasive with frenzied percussions overflown by melodious strata and superb synth solos.

Intense and melodious, rhythmic and harmonious. TRANSFORMATION 88:98 strikes with the power of a train that knows when to decrease its pace with more relaxed and more harmonious passages. The arrangements are quite good and clearly encircle its more melodious phases which flow in a whirlwind of hellish rhythms, even flirting with nuances of big techno. For those who like to move on a music where the eardrums connect with our cerebral hemispheres.

Sylvain Lupari (December 27th, 2006) ***½**

Available at Transcieve Bandcamp

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