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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TRAUMKLANG: Homophony (2012)

Homophony is a pure delight of hypnotism where sweet earworms proliferate in a musical decor as charming as surrealist

1 Längst vergangene Zeiten 4:04 2 Musique, Antique, Electronique 20:32 3 Just for Fun 4:28 4 Gleichklang 10:06 5 Cuculidae 20:17 6 More Fun 5:32 SynGate | CD-R TK24

(CD-R 64:59) (V.F.) (Minimalist, hypnotic and melodic Berlin School)

When I'm starting a review, I begin with a lot of insouciance. I put the silvery ring in my NAD CD player, and I read, or I play chess. And when my eyes frown at certain passages, I know that I have in my ears an album which has some potential. But when I am not capable any more of reading, or of concentrating to play chess, I understand that I have something very big. And nevertheless … What to think of HOMOPHONY?Well I would begin by saying that it's an album of a disconcerting simplicity which is build around two long epic tracks. An album which at first sight seems very accessible. It magnetizes the mind with these multiple layers of harmonies and of quiet rhythms which pile up on long minimalist structures. These harmonies and these artless rhythms infiltrate into our ears, weaving endless earworms which charm as much that they haunt on minimalist movements soaked with this Teutonic stoicism that is cybernetic Berlin School. Here we are! You have the rundown. But did I insist well enough on saying that you go to be magnetized? Here is how that will occur.

First of all, Längst vergangene Zeiten pulls us straight in the enchanter minimalist universe of this album with a Teutonic cold rhythm. It's a kind of synth-pop à la Kraftwerk which is lacking vitamin at the level of the automated percussions and of which each blow is emasculating its alter-ego which rings of an ecstasy while hiccupping under the waves twisted of a black synth and of its iridescent mists. In fact, this is a metronomic pretext to the delicious Music, Antique, Electronique whose hollow winds make the bridge between both tracks. And Music, Antique, Electronique will nail you in the comfort of your bliss with sinuous floating synth waves which raise delicate percussions, introducing a rhythm progressing softly under the layers of an organ with tones of the Flower Power years. Other percussions, more robotics, are stamping a finely jerky structure which will shell the first 13 minutes of a hypnotic minimalist movement, like a snake to bouncy undulations, to which is added many sound elements such as organic tones, scattered ringings, harmonies with criss-crossed tones and synth lines in pluralistic forms sometimes shrill, stroboscopic or abstract but always harmonious which sometimes exchange their harmonies for some solos in the shape of cosmic fog or for vampiric waves. At first listening it could sound simplistic, but I can guarantee you that the bewitching which forges these enchanting and hypnotic earworms comes quite quickly on this structure which hiccups and rocks in an ambience mi psychedelic and mi Teutonic. Then Music, Antique, Electronique stumbles in a dense cosmic magma after its 13thminute when a black hole breathes of heterogeneous tones which skip in the absorbing winds of the void. A fine synth wave emerges from it and pulses delicately up to the intro of Just for Fun of which the start is a fusion of Baffo Banfi and Jean-Michel Jarre cheerful electronic sambas which draw up its dance steps in a sound fauna sounding so much as a as youthful Kraftwerk with psychedelic gases (pouett-pouett, tchou-tchou). Sic!

Gleichklang begins the 2ndportion of HOMOPHONY cerebral journey with dense synth layers of which the echoing oscillations are upholstered by iridescent mist. Even cloistered in an ambient dumbness, the structure livens up delicately, pulsing with a sweetness in the puny harmonies of the hesitating arpeggios which skip awkwardly in this intense bath of lunar fog. Then comes Cuculidae, the real jewel of the album. Drops ooze on the walls of the world, moulding a quiet halieutic symphony which let itself being caressed by the cuckoos of diurnal owls. One would imagine being in the universe of Kitaro and his famous Full Moon Story with these paradisiacal elements which surround our ears of a fascinating ode to nature. And it's in the most complete serenity that Carola Kern dresses, piece by piece, this surprising musical delight that will not stop to charm us throughout its slow evolution. You have to hear these shouts of tropical birds kiss this serenity, magnetizing our attention while that subtly a line of sequences spreads its series of keys, charmer of ears, to undulate with aphasia such as a thick cloud of small snakes of glass of which the coils fit together in the Eden of the floating water lilies. We cannot ignore the charms of Richard Pinhas' sequences movements of Iceland which embalm the harmonies of this long minimalist musical carnival while that the waves of synth coo constantly in this decor to thousand harmonious colors. This is simply magnificent, and we want this charming minimalist lullaby to last even much more than its 20 minutes. A delight of hypnosis and abandon! And a little as with Just for Fun, More Fun sounds out of tune with a robotic approach à la Kraftwerk where the annoying noises of the Autobahn traffic, and other iconoclastic clamours, overhang a jerky and cold rhythm interpreted by a gang of robots under painkillers.

I was pleasantly surprised by this album of Traumklang. HOMOPHONY is a pure delight of hypnotism and bewitchment where earworms proliferate in a musical decor as charming as surrealist. It is not complicated, even simple-minded at the limit, but magnificently well orchestrated by Carola Kern who amazes behind her consoles by delivering an excellent opus that I recommend without hesitations.

Sylvain Lupari (March 30th, 2013) *****

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