VANDERSON: Sequenced Thoughts (2018)
Updated: Oct 10, 2020
“Sequenced Thoughts is a bombshell of emotions and of reminiscences on the art of the Berlin School and its evolutions through the ages”
1 Sequenced Thoughts Part 1 18:43 2 Sequenced Thoughts Part 2 21:35 3 Sequenced Thoughts Part 3 16:52 4 Sequenced Thoughts Part 4 15:29 Spheric Music | SMCD 8101
(CD 72:40) (V.F.)
The Berlin School style EM will lose a great collaborator with the breakout of Vanderson towards the territories of Electronic Dance Music. The Polish synthesist has been tergiversating for at least four years regarding his musical orientation, reaffirming his desire to continue in the footsteps of his album Abyss and his latest album Beyond Time Structure, making of SEQUENCED THOUGHTS his testament to the Berlin School. And he doesn't do it alone! Accompanied by Lambert Ringlage on sequencer, he signs one of his best albums where solos scroll like tails of multicolored kites in azure sky and where the music is a little masterpiece and an authentic overview of the evolution of the genre since the 70's. Benefiting from a production and a mixing without spots which fill us the ears at satiety, this last opus of Vanderson consists of 4 very good parts that subdue and astonish with this fascinating complicity between simplicity and complexity.
The blurry introduction of Sequenced Thoughts Part 1 fills our ears with tones that only EM can put into images. Are they some kind of water lapping? Felted explosions? Whispers of a cave's walls? It doesn't matter! There is of everything here for a fertile imagination. A synth launches harmonies in the form of solos that sneak like a sonic snake over this stave of ambient noises. A sequencer activates its keys after the door of 3 minutes. Waddling vigorously, it structures a rhythm in stereo which is harpooned by a line of bass sequences and its contrasting oscillations. Jingles of percussion? Why not! And of course, percussions. All these elements combine for an ear-catching rhythm where whistle no less catchy harmonies from a synth in mode creativity. The lines of harmonies succeed each other with nuances in their aerial pirouettes while behind this scenery, layers of gas very TD add to a soundscape in constant movement. The sequences bring nuances to this structure of rhythm which hiccoughs now of spasms, whereas the atmospheres add effects which oversize an already very rich musical scenography. Even the synth adds nuanced touches in its drifting harmonies as fictional elements squeak in a motley sky unique to the tonal creativity of EM. Gradually, the spasmodic restructuring of Sequenced Thoughts Part 1 arrives at this ambiospheric stage so dear to this model in the secrets of its 10th minute. A little respite, not even meditative, which invigorates a structure already near its climax with a thick layer of sonic additives where solos guide the pace with a presence as harmonic as rhythmic. Some big Berlin School from Spheric here!
Sequenced Thoughts Part 2 follows the same parameters with a spheroidal rhythmic structure that goes back and forth like the pace of a cosmic cha-cha whose uncertain steps are conducive to a synth and its thousand sonic artifices. The rhythm is always in evolutionary mode with a proactive sequencer which inserts its legion of hopping and dancing keys in a constraint-free structure, thus allowing the synth to modify the character of its songs and solos. If the approach is more ethereal than in Sequenced Thoughts Part 1, the explosion point, which is around the 13 minutes, has nothing to envy to the first part of this album. A loud raucous roar leads our ears to Sequenced Thoughts Part 3. The added layers deepen a dark approach which flirts with the chthonian ambiances so dear to the retro Berlin School. A pool of tones and of elements of ambience awaits our ears a few 140 seconds later, giving the start to a dizzying structure and of which the influences of Chris Franke's sequencing style can not be dissociated from a breathtaking pattern of sequences which blows my mind. The first part of Sequenced Thoughts Part 3 exceeds my expectations. In fact, it's one of the most beautiful movements that Lambert and Vanderson, together or separately, have built to date. The synths are more discreet here, leaving all the nobility to these repetitive Paddle Ball strikes which end a race of sequences in some gas and felted percussion effects. We are around the 11th minute and a refueling point of ambiances is needed before the 3rd party goes into this EDM approach in this style of Vanderson or even Klaus Schulze. Another great track! Another great track! It must take something very strong to succeed it, and Sequenced Thoughts Part 4 does the work. Born from waters, the music rises with a little something that questions our memories. That's it! The fog layers are very Klaus Schulze. The effects and the airs from the synths which follow are just as much. Exceeding 3 minutes, these atmospheres charm with songs of astral whales trapped in layers of fog saturated of drizzle. And a nice sequence of ambient rhythm emerges after these 3 minutes. Vanderson and Lambert go there for a Schulze painting to end the final visions of the Polish synthesist with regard to the Berlin School. Very mesmerizing, the movement is total Schulze with a very Moondawn sequencer which climbs its 10 minutes through layers full of whispers and of delicate harmonic flutes. The added percussion gives velocity which excites our senses and the moods. It's in a magical electronic decor that this last part of SEQUENCED THOUGHTS evolves. And, regular like a clock, the pace takes a new step with a little more power and speed while the moods follow the pace without wandering. Between Moondawn and In Blue, for the more contemporary aspect, Sequenced Thoughts Part 4 makes us regret Vanderson's decision to focus on EDM from now on.
On 4 parts well distributed over its 73 minutes, SEQUENCED THOUGHTS is a bombshell of emotions and of reminiscences on the art of the Berlin School and its evolutions through the ages. This is a tour de force that Vanderson and Lambert Ringlage offer to our ears. And hopefully this tandem will come back once in a while to give us such other beautiful emotions. If not, it's the heart a little sad and already nostalgic that I tell you that this SEQUENCED THOUGHTS is delicious, dreamlike and highly inspired from point A to point Z. Hat to both of you guys for this album which should defy time!
Sylvain Lupari (May 22nd, 2018) *****