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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TRAUMKLANG: Stardust (2015)

In spite of this feeling we have to hear a bootleg, Stardust contains a melodic spine that will enchant you for hours

1 Stardust Part I 14:08 2 Sputnik 9:22 3 Stardust Part II 19:00 4 Solar Wind 9:15 5 Solar Wind (Raggae Mix) 12:20 6 Stardust Part II (Space Mix) 15:20 SynGate TK26

(CD-r/DDL 79:58) (V.F.) (Vintage and New Berlin School)

When chaos engenders harmony! When simplicity sets ablaze the beauty! Two quotations which fit like a glove to this odd opus of Traumklang. What jumps in ears is this very retro sound envelope which perfumes the ambiences of this last album from Carola (Kern) Zauchner. It sparkles with its comestible interferences at the opening of Stardust Part I and widens like a cloud of radioactivity on a movement of sequences which makes alternate its keys in a kind of continual coming and going for rabbits terrified by the obligation to skip in a very restrictive minimalist pattern. If the pulsations make resound a charm of lunar techno(the rabbits always limp), the waves of old organ well dirtied by sound dusts spreads an ambience that we have considered once lost in the vaults hermetically buried by Klaus Schulze. Let's add to it the percussions which titillate the ears like a metronome on Prozac and we have without a shadow of doubt all the ingredients to forge a superb monument of Berlin School which mixes marvellously the flavors as much as the past as the current days. A pure marvel of the Berlin minimalist movement, Stardust Part I skips in our ears by taking good care to make marinate its analog sonic ingredients by bringing in it its nuances, both in the rhythms and the harmonies. It's a wonderful magnetizing piece of music and it's also the soul of STARDUST; an album whose inequalities make of it its main asset!

First of all, let's go with the very stodgy Sputnik and its tremendous industrial pulsations which will get through the patience of the most diligent fans of Traumklang. I had the impression to return 30 years back, where the developers of sonic thoughts experimented all the stages of the synthesizers. I like Traumklang, but these are 9 minutes of the most useless. But it could be as the beauty and the beast. A little as if everything is too beautiful we grow tired? Because Stardust Part II reunites us to the cause of Carola Zauchner with a beautiful structure of rhythm braided on a sequenced ritornello which cavorts with the innocence of cheerful cherubs. Still there, the sensation to navigate in the disorder of a recording studio assails our ears with a panoply of background noises which gets lost in good electronic effects, such as cacklings of cybernetic ducks and effects of hoarse zombie voices a la Zoolook from Jean-Michel Jarre. The synth pads to the colors of the analog days add a perfume of psychedelism and the electronic chirpings make contrasts to those hypnotic Teutonic percussions which sound always so vintage. And there is also this line of bass and this gradation tinted with nuances which propel Stardust Part II to the same level of seduction as Stardust Part I. And it's fascinating because there is a lot of things not working properly in the recording and the mixing of this album. This just shows that the charms are not always linked to the perfection. If we imagine exactly the winds of the sun, we shall not be disoriented by the Schulze (the Cyborg years) very ambiospherical visage of Solar Wind. There is neither rhythms, nor melodies. But only some slow and idle synth pads which spit their radioactive dusts. We like the experience? Traumklang liked it quite well because she proposes a Reggae version of these radioactive moods. And if you are able to find the bases of Solar Wind in this Reggae mix, you are quite a real connoisseur. It's more musical? True! But it's not really my cup of tea. Although, still there, the synth pads remain rather seductive. After a slow introduction sculpted in the disorder of sounds and tones, Stardust Part II (Strange Mix) blooms like a necessity. A little as if Carola Zauchner tried to apologize to have present an album which is sorely lacking depth, both at the level of the production and of the presentation. Sometimes, it sounds like a bootleg of a recording session. But what a wonderful excuse! Because the chapters of the title-track are simply divine. An album of 49 minutes would have propelled STARDUST to the rank of the inescapable works of Tramklang.

Sylvain Lupari (August 5th, 2015) *****

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