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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

UWE RECKZEH: Subsesizer (2011)

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

Those who are missing the days Exit and Trans Harmonic Nights by Peter Baumann, should throw an ear to this album

1 Kontiki 10:35

2 Subsesizer 12:32

3 World Without Rules 8:47

4 Heat Voyage 6:33

5 Friendly Jack 9:19

6 Second Give 6:30

7 Bingen Return 7:13

8 Oceanview 15:37

(CD-R/DDL 76:59) (V.F.)

(New Berlin School, E-Rock)

The limpid tinkles of glass which initiate Kontiki swap into superb sequences which collide and resonate, forming the fascinating chaotic rhythm of the introductory title of SUBSESIZER. The rhythm hopping and staggering under the weight of these sequences with variable leaps and hybrid tones, Kontiki spreads out its 10 minutes with nice variations in its movements. These changes, both harmonic and rhythmic, crisscross or sneak between synth lines with melodious refrains disintegrating in the form of solos and whose dust injects a panoply of parallel tones. These solos float with a bewitching spectral approach on a rhythmic structure with permutations as subtle than exquisite. Strongly inspired by Tangerine Dream, the universe of Uwe Reckzeh floats in this period when Berlin School was in full transition, i.e. at the beginning of the 80's, with a little melodic zest of the vintage years. An 8th album created more in the rhythm than in the melody, SUBSESIZER prioritizes an approach of the sequencer and electronic percussions enthroned on melodies which point their harmonies with a strange clarity for a musical ground fertile in percussive rhythms. And in my opinion, this is Uwe's best album to date. Because for the very first time, he is dissecting compositions over long length evolving structures. His compositions are still as catchy but more complex where he spreads his heavy and resonant approaches of the sequencer in good rhythmic cross-overs where nice melodies are attached to his souvenirs of Tangerine Dream.

A dense coat of iridescent haze covers the intro of Subsesizer. Shimmering arpeggios are piercing this undulating fog, making appear pulsations which frolic in their echoes. Complex and creative, the title-track is conceived in a fascinating rhythmic diversity seasoned of percussive reverberations. Sequences of glasses, and others advancing stealthily under discreet submissive choirs, and heavily falling percussions trace the embryonic canvas of a fleeting rhythm. A rhythm which is sought in this long intro and which finally hatches a little after the 4 minutes in the form of hypnotic beats. From then on, the rhythm takes a new tangent where the sequences swirl, the percussions resonate and the cymbals get smashing on a circular and oscillatory harmonic rhythm which goes up and down like in a hypnotic sequenced merry-go-round. With its limpid sequences which mingle with the drum rolls, World Without Rules immerses us irremediably in the universe of Trans Harmonic Nights. These sequences, which are strummed nervously, and the synths, a bit symphonic which release brief harmonic solos, weave a musical universe so close that one would believe hearing a title resulting from the recording sessions of this legendary album by Peter Baumann. Heat Voyage is a good electronic melody which begins with increasing sequences. The rhythm is arched on a mesh of pulsations, sequences and percussions, forming a structure with slow oscillatory loops and fine intrusions of keyboard chords with a somewhat Honky-Tonk tones. Suave, the synth gives birth to as many beautiful melodic solos as to the iridescent mist that surrounds them, releasing poetic streaks which cling to charming scintillating harmonies. Simple but very ear-catching!

After an intro with a touch of innocence, Friendly Jack's rhythmic structure unfolds under heavy resonant sequences whose successive chords, and sometimes deviant, draw long snakes which oscillate through synth's multilayers with flavors of Tangerine Dream. It's a long track with fine variances in its structure where the short synth solos and percussions add an interesting depth while taking it away from its minimalist curve. The pulsating rhythm of Second Give plunges us straight into the universe of Exit and the track Network 23. It's rock, hard and very punchy with good percussions and nervous sequences while Bingen Return presents a more melodious structure with sequences of glasses that sparkle and embrace the effects of muted pulsations. The synth layers are enveloping and let fall a nice veil of poetry which covers this hopping rhythm sometimes with more insistence. Oceanview is SUBSESIZER's longest track. And like it's often the case with these long tracks, it features an evolving rhythm structure with interchangeable phases. It begins with melancholic notes that draw dreams under the tears of a dreamlike flute. A heavy sequence upsets this meditative fragility and guides Oceanview towards an ambivalent rhythm where gravity remains trapped in this poetic vulnerability. A spectral aura floats around the movement whose cadence dithers between the fall of more jerky chords. Or the restraint of rounder and slower chords as well as the addition of percussions and the echo of their somewhat muffled strikes which suffocate under the veils of priestess flutes of Aeolian poetry. And this convoluted movement continues its progression on a structure in constant tension where the rhythm anchors a melody which gets lost in both atmospheric and rhythmic mazes where the melodious reminiscences of Baumann pierce our ears.

Minimalist and melodious, rhythmic and dreamlike, SUBSESIZER sails on the ambiguity of its rhythmic structures and its harmonic approaches. One of Uwe Reckzeh's great strengths is his art of modulating sequences which subdivide and intersect to stick to deviant, heavy and catchy rhythms to which are linked the sometimes contrasting reflections of beautiful melodies. A very nice album that should appeal to those who are missing the Exit and Trans Harmonic Nights eras.

Sylvain Lupari (March 5th, 2012) *****

Available at MellowJet Records

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