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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

UWE RECKZEH: Mirror Images (2012)

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

Mirror Images a powerful album of a heavy and lively EM which cannot deny the sources of its influences; Tangerine Dream

1 Mirror Images 11:40

2 Waiting Steelness 7:41

3 Contribution 10:04

4 Most Diversion 6:17

5 Imaginations 8:49

6 Always Sunday 6:50

7 Holding Sympathies 8:00

8 Tomorrow with no Morning 8:09

(CD-R/DDL 69:27) (V.F.)

(New Berlin School, heavy and lively EM)

One cannot ignore the parallels between Uwe Reckzeh's music and the cradle of his influences. All the works of the German synthesist drink them without copying them. In fact, Reckzeh's music transcends the boundaries abandoned by the different forms of Tangerine Dream. If Subsesizer explored what the sound of the Dream would have given with Peter Baumann on Exit, MIRROR IMAGES rather gives us a glimpse of the Dream with Johannes Schmoelling after the Poland era. Melodious but carried heavily by an union of sequences with multiple rhythmic forms and of electronic percussions with Teutonic strikes crushed by powerful bass lines with ample destructive oscillations, this last opus of Reckzeh is heavy and powerful with rhythms which are based on melodic structures evolving within a canvas woven of fine subtleties.

Quite early, rebellious voices hum in this musical drizzle from which emerges a fabulous bassline with ample and juicy oscillations. The rhythm settles down with a line of sequences whose fluttering keys marry the furious oscillating tangent of a bass line which feeds its increasing rhythm with the arrival of sober Teutonic percussions and another line of sequences with hopping keys under the umbrella of twisted solos. We put our ears to the second phase of the title-track where the rhythm calms its ardor and fattens its harmonic approach with sequences which spin in short jerky spasms under the more tenacious strikes of the percussions which harpoon a disjointed phase than a synth covers with its divided harmonies. Mirror Images beautifully portrays the next 55 minutes of a stunning album. And it's a strong title, all in nuance which is linked to Waiting Steelness and its galloping rhythm under avalanches of percussions and solos ululating in a rhythmic and harmonic continuity which undeniably recalls the Schmoelling fragrances with the Dream. Contribution continues to nourish MIRROR IMAGES with hypnotic sequences which collide delicately under the symmetrical clicks of cymbals. The rhythm is super melodious. Hypnotic, it draws its nuances in the colors of a synth whose lines of voices merge with harmonies lost in fleeting solos. Rather heavy and dramatic, Most Diversion explodes in our ears with an intro stuffed in an orchestral drama. The percussions of a tribal genre add a surreal dimension to this title whose harmonies of synths hook a smile in the ear. We close our eyes and we can easily imagine what Tangerine Dream could have sounded if Johannes Schmoelling would have stayed with a band that feeds the inspirations of Uwe Reckzeh. The approach is explosive on this track which constantly seeks to get out of its rhythmic canvas.

We stay in the intensity with the heavy Imaginations which begins however rather furtively. Shy, heavy chords hesitate to waltz with percussions whose hoof strikes get lost in a bass line with notes that bite an evolutionary rhythm. The whole thing forms a strange rhythmic choreography to which are added light harmonized keys which tinkle in a soft uproar, while the synth extends beautiful solos which cover this rhythm closer to delirium than of poetry. But an always harmonic rhythm which respects the diagram drawn by the German synthesist since the first chords of the title-track. And the more we move in MIRROR IMAGES, the more we are subjugated by structures with rhythms and harmonies so close and yet so distant. With its sequences which struggle to trace a sustained rhythmic figure, Always Sunday ends up collapsing under the weight of its percussions while the sequenced keys skip stubbornly on a rhythmic structure devastated by its heaviness. Vampiric, the synth deploys its devastating solos which undulate like specters thirsty for rhythms. Heavy rhythms of lead which amply nourish these solos which seem to come out of the rantings of a certain Edgar Froese. Heavy, rich and exquisite! The last two tracks bring us into the more exploratory and intriguing dimensions of the album.

Holding Sympathies takes us there with an acoustic guitar that makes its notes meditate under a heavy mantle of iridescent mist. Strange bells made of a melting pot of metallic chords embroider the contours of a Mephistophelic approach before the rhythm tumbles into a dark gallop wrathed by sustained percussions' strikes and sequences with fiery coils that surround a flooded rhythmic ride very beautiful solos of a black as black than the darkness itself. And it's this ambience which is transported to the intro of Tomorrow with no Morning and its murky breaths which breathe laboriously under a sky blackened with a cloud of beats as apocalyptic as eclectic. Fine sequences manage to dance there, circulating aimlessly in a dense carpet of ocher mist that waves of synth sweep like the eyes of a lighthouse in darkness which quietly wake up with a muffled rhythm. But too little too late, Tomorrow with no Morning breathes only by our memory of a listening that we will multiply by pushing on the play button, again and again as each listening ends.

Without a shadow of a doubt, MIRROR IMAGES is an excellent surprise that almost went unnoticed. It's a powerful album with an astonishing eclectic union of sequences, percussions and basslines which weave hallucinatorily melodic rhythms. The ambiences are lively and rich, encircling and embracing these rhythms whose continual nuances and variances convince us even more that the post Tangerine Dream periods always had something to charm. Wonderful album by Uwe Reckzeh and highly recommendable.

Sylvain Lupari (December 25th, 2012) ****¼*

Available at MellowJet Records

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