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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

V/A BELGIAN EM: Under Construction 2 (2020)

What could be better than that if you have adventurous ears?

1 Waves of Initial Darkness (Unreleased Original) (Rhea) 22:46

2 Making Memories (Dream Invasion) 7:02

3 Hinterland (Unreleased Original) (Ron Boots) 10:09

4 Berlin (Performed Version) (NothingButNoise) 12:46

5 See (99.9) 5:29

6 NmodChan+ (Daniel.B. Prothese) 14:30

db2fluctuation music

(CD 72:42) (V.F.)

(Progressive EM, Berlin School)

I had this compilation for quite a long time! A manufactured CD in a cardboard sleeve is the kind of thing you can easily misplace. For a guy who lives on painkillers on a daily basis, it was inevitable...And it was while writing about the Aeons CD's that I remembered receiving UNDER CONSTRUCTION 2. This promotional CD features music from the artists who will be performing at the db2fluctuation Event - B3200 Belgium on 02/22/2020. There are some big names and big music on this CD which is already discontinued and has a few copies left somewhere. Check it out at

Rhea has become a must-see artist at the big EM festivals in Belgium. This artist extremely comfortable in his cosmic odes had caught my attention on the great Cosmic Nights 2018. Waves of Initial Darkness is a long track of dark cosmic ambiences beginning with a line of reverberations flowing through many muffled explosions. A more musical wave detaches itself to radiate in undulating in a rise of wiiissshhh typical to the genre. There is a fragmentation of the sound resources, making this slow opening radiate with tens of tonal particles that reform in an oblong movement filled with astral mist. The ambient movement becomes a long tube where one settles down to live a cosmic experience in high definition. The sounds, the clattering as well as the vibrations of the machines and the slowness propel us into a nice state of weightlessness, while the impression of drifting in cosmos is within reach of our ears. We hear a more tenacious vibe behind the mechanical humming of Waves of Initial Darkness, which turns into sequences zigzagging to escape the grip of the dark ambiences. The synth solos remain subdued and sublimely musical, while a second beat line thumps more insistently but not enough to steer the rhythm out of its ambient phase. We hang on to the morphic softness of the solos until our ears hit a swarm of twinkling arpeggios some 30 seconds into the 16th minute. The tone gets brighter in this cloud of sparkle. Always keeping the track in its ambient zone, the rhythm struggles like a bullhead in the bottom of a rowboat that keeps its strength to live its unequal fight. A good 23 minutes of cosmic music from Rhea.

Dream Invasion is the project of Erwin Jadot, a former accomplice of Nothing but Noise for the time of the album Not Bleeding Red in 2012. Making Memories is taken from his recent studio album 7.7.49. The opening is woven in big psybient fueled of organic tones that come at us with falls of metallic synth pads. Stronger pads offer an ambient but aggressive staccato around the second minute. This is followed by a delightful spasmodic movement bludgeoned by good percussions before big, sharp ostinato pulses drive a stubborn beat into us 30 seconds after the 3rd minute. The synth hangs musical garlands here which quiver beneath these obstinate blows of bass pulses in a structure which would have travelled well with the music of any episode of NBN. A dull explosion and clockwork clankings are at the origin of Hinterland, an unreleased track by Ron Boots. Much like in Acoustic Shadow the ambiences are dark with synth lines that flit around while droning a radioactive white. This structure forges the ambient rhythm which is like this duck king of its watery zone, allowing Ron to elaborate a little more these fluttering lines which weave effects of solos always buzzing in this sound mass attracted by dark psybient. We get to the Nothing But Noise section with Berlin, a version shortened to be played live and which dives into the heart of Berlin School. Simply beautiful and you can hear the full version on the album From Berlin to Brussel released in 2018. See is an exploratory track that is in the same vein as the album Silex, also made in 2018. Daniel B(ressanutti) leaves his cellist friend Edwin Vanvinckenroye to take over his Daniel.B. Prothese skin with a track that is as hyperactive as it is extremely spasmodic-sparkling NmodChan+. It is 6 minutes of musical dynamite rather accessible from the Belgian musician who offers in the second half of his title the more ambient-industrial vision of this project of which the last 2 minutes of NmodChan+ blow in oblivion.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION 2 offers a very honest vision of the Belgian School. A pretty bold EM with hyper-spasmodic segments, energetic ambient structures surrounded by Dark Psybient, cosmic music more realistic than elsewhere and good Berlin School! What could be better than that if you have adventurous ears? I think Groove nl has a few copies, otherwise check at or db2fluctuation Bandcamp.

Sylvain Lupari (May 16th, 2021) *****

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