UWE RECKZEH: Perfection Mode (2015)
“This is without a doubt the best opus of Uwe Reckzeh who finally tamed a unique way to enrich his structures with a deep sonic texture equals to the great names in the genre”
1 Cold Mountain 14:50 2 Forbidden Thoughts 12:02 3 Perfection Mode 12:48 4 Sequence Mode 14:42 5 Transfer Mode 16:52 MellowJet Records | CD-r ur1501 (CD-r/DDL 71:14) (VF) (New and Retro Berlin School)
Here is an album that has the ambition of its artwork. Of its presentation! The ochre color, the rusty red of an earth which is granulated of radioactive dust can be heard quite everywhere in the rich sound atmospheres which wrap the 71 minutes of PERFECTION MODE. Always influenced by the essences of Tangerine Dream, mainly of the Hyperborea period, Uwe Reckzeh shows on this last album an impressive assurance by flooding his rhythms, always braided in parallel sequenced movements, with an atmosphere as much puzzling as the colors which instigate the imagination. The German synthesist shows so much resourcefulness by sculpting ambiences that the link to make between his last work and those of Bernd Kistenmacher is more than omnipresent. PERFECTION MODE, it's 5 sonic corridors well settled over minimalist structures where the main rhythmic plans are delicately hijacked from their axes by movements of adjacent rhythms which divide their skeletons in rather harmonious approaches. These contrasts are objects of seduction for the ears which also stuff themselves with these completely unexpected duels between guitar and keyboards in an environment which is in continual movement.
Reference points to more contemporary works are also present in this album which throws off balance by the complex evolutionary phases of its 5 long structures. Take the introduction of Cold Mountain where the hummings of insects are switching for those of giants chainsaws, reminding the opening of famous Paradise from Bernd Kistenmacher. A delicate morphic melody, played on a very nostalgic piano, extricates itself from those sound effects of a forest which enchants of its thousand noises of life, ending the first 3 minutes of a soft introduction fed by its artistic contrasts. A line of bass sequences emerges from a fog filled by crystalline tones, structuring a quiet rhythm which fattens constantly its vigor. The rhythm is soft and steady. It gives the impression of climbing imaginary tops along with solos silkily made by a synth which sing through this choir of prisms. Accelerating little by little the pace with abrupt movements of sequences, it hiccups in jerks. And the shadows of the hopping keys are swirling all around this upward structure. It's a very good New Berlin School (the structure of Sequence Mode is forged in the same rhythmic interlude) where the contrasts in the rhythm softens, while Cold Mountain reaches a more ambiospherical point, well filled of electronic effects, at around the 10th minute. This pattern of rhythms versus ambiences will be recurrent for the four other tracks. Filamentous noises are winding heavens, like big sonic worms, establishing the bases of a new approach where a heavy effect of snores re-orientates the structure of Cold Mountain towards more agile sequences which flicker and jump on a silky ambient structure of rhythm where sing synth solos and of which the harmonies seem out of place in these iconoclastic hummings which feed the superb ambiguity of Cold Mountain finale.
The introduction of Forbidden Thoughts is also knotted in the weird. We hear chords of electric guitar there strolling in atmospheres which reflect marvelously a spirit been tormented by its forbidden thoughts. I don't know if it's me, but I find that it does so very Bernd Kistenmacher (the research and the structuring of the compositions). And it's very well done. These evasive ambiences don't go further the threshold of 3 minutes while Forbidden Thoughts goes alive by a spasmodic rhythm. An upright rhythm which is pecked by nervous percussions and by boiling sequences as well as by riffs of a ghost guitar which go and come to scatter fragments of harmonies. Riffs and keyboard pads remind the universe of the Dream of the Schmoelling's years; the usual signature of Uwe Reckzeh. And these influences of Tangerine Dream come to cover the more moderate atmospheres of the sound bridge of Forbidden Thoughts at around its 7 minutes. That really sounds like the Dream here. And it's even more evident with the title-track and its beginning of an ambient rhythm where sequences skip on the spot in a stealthy envelope. It's a delicious little 6 minutes before that Perfection Mode offers a structure of circular minimalist rhythm built on good bass sequenced pulsations, with an a little variable flow, of which the lively and the sharp knocks draw a slightly zigzagging pace. The atmospheres throughout PERFECTION MODE are the cornerstone of this last Uwe Reckzeh's album. Very tinged, sometimes same subdued like here, they embalm the various structures of rhythms of a backdrop misted by mysticism. Sequence Mode offer the most steady structure of rhythm here with line of sequences which crisscross in a sound atmosphere peppered by the influences of Tangerine Dream, in particular these ethereal solos which float like sighs. The guitar is very beautiful and its duel with the flickering sequences is a moment of charm which embellishes a finale which spreads its shadows up until the delicious Transfer Mode and its oscillating sequences which kick such as a sequenced ride worthy of the good ambient rhythms of Berlin School. Metallic elytrons peck at this structure which ennobles its beauty with veils of prisms, very musical synth solos as well as riffs and pads very well inserted. Another line of sequences breaks up its keys which wind with jerky spasms, ending an album on the same principle as its opening by deepening its field of ambient sounds, as mystical as lyrical, which binds both poles of the Berlin School. Yeah .... A very beautiful album charmingly different from Uwe Reckzeh.
Sylvain Lupari (October 13th, 2015) *****
Available at MellowJet Records