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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


Updated: Aug 18, 2019

“A daring and excellent compilation that shows all sides of the Belgium School which deserves to be discovered without hesitations”

1 Synodic Wave Drone 10:34

2 Rhea Je Me Suis Trompé... 8:00

3 Owann Dawn of a New Day 7:04

4 Nisus Second Summer 8:00

5 Zer0 れい Sumitomo Soylent 5:02

6 Sensory++ Skinny dipping on Enceladus 8:00

7 Hoshin Fault 7:54

8 BySenSes Native 8:40

9 Pieter Vermeyen Tryggja 5:21

10 Age Light Arrows 8:20

11 Lounasan A Brief Look Into The

Past 8:53

12 Alain Pierre Dante's Embrace 8:20

13 Frank Deboosere Alfa 14 4:12

14 Sebastopol All in the Mind 4:32

15 Alienna The Task of Sisyphos 5:21

16 Dirk Serries Origin 7:25

17 Serge Devadder Toteninsel 4:15

18 GU Sky Ripped (Live) 7:12

19 Sonmi451 Event 6:54

20 Nothing But Noise No Wave 11:21

21 Earthwave Mirage 7:19

22 Syndromeda About the History

of History 8:00

23 Analogic Synthism Final Stage 8:30

24 The Rosswell Incident Spin-Off 8:26

25 Karl Hefner & Hugh Lagerfeld Broken Shadow 8:25

26 Aerodyn Tyes 5:32

27 Onsturicheit Het Irrationele Denken 7:43

28 Jovica Storer Sweet Mocha 6:53

(3CD or DDL 206:17) (V.F.) (Art for ears, Berlin School, Ambient)

Here is an audacious compilation that includes all the gratin of sonic creators from Belgium. Started in 1994, the Ambient Nation project is the brainchild of a handful of creative musicians in order to promote the EM in Belgium. Frank Quasar, Patrick Kosmos, Venja, Symbian and Frank Deboosere were the big names behind this project which was realized by Venja's label; Art For Ears. A second compilation arrived in the tubs the following year with more artists including Vidna Obmana and Walter Christian Rothe. Entitled Ambient Explorer, the third compilation arrived 3 years later, while the genre hit a first hollow wave. It was not until 20 years later that Ambient Nation 4 arrived in the tubs in 2014. This time, there is something new. New names such as Sensory ++, RHEA, BySenSeS and even Neuronium (sic!) were added to those known, and others less known, while the music is also distributed by B-Wave, a non-profit organization led by Johan Geens, which is also connected to the famous B-Wave festival and Mark De Wit's spectacular Cosmic Nights events. AMBIENT NATION 5 rakes wider by proposing not less than 3 CDs gathering all the spheres of the modern EM from Belgium. This triple compilation was presented as part of the B-Wave Festival held on December 1st, 2018 and offers nearly 3:30h of new sound treats well wrapped in coating of ambient music and of cosmic ambiences, music pushed by waves of reverberations and by oscillations, post-synth-pop and Art Music, while courting the French and Berlin School. In short, a range of as many genres as talents divided by 3 categories; Black, Gold and Red.

More ambient and quite experimental with a delicate touch of Berlin School, the Black CD begins with the symphony for ambient buzz of Synodic Wave. Near the cosmos, Drone is a river of migratory vibrations that offers an ambient and comforting soundscape. RHEA continues this quest for ambient drone effects with Je me Suis Trompé De Voie Lactée which ends with a beautiful and harmonic ambient Berlin School I like the music of RHEA that I'm discovering slowly. Owann follows and displays a high seraphic level with Dawn of a New Day. A stream of rotating and repetitive sequences surrounds our ears with an ambient melody to which angelic voices and intense orchestrations are grafted. The finale is simply delicious. Second Summer, by Nisus, gives us a good up-tempo swarming on a rhythm maintained by sequences as harmonic as rhythmic and others that flutter on a nervous structure in the background. A good title well anchored on rhythm! Zer0 れ proposes a mournful procession worthy of Walter Christian Rothe's theatrical approach, absent on this compilation, with Sumitomo Soylent Revision. Oriental perfumes float there. Sensory ++'s Skinny Dipping on Enceladus has a rather very distressing post-apocalyptic vision. A title of ambiences with clatter that vegetate among other percussive effects, the music is covered by layers of iodized gas. You must go to the finals to see Joost Egelie's talent as a composer. The influence of Klaus Schulze is undeniable on this title. Experimental with a disturbing vision intensified by a fauna of very diversified sounds, Fault from Hoshin requires some listening to adjust to it. BySenses adds its tribal essence with samples of voices whose different lines intertwine in an ethnic harmonic texture that is quite near the Dead Can Dance style and to which are added percussive sequences. Native evolves in a rather convoluted context to reach a structure of electronic rhythm that is moored to different tribal percussive approaches that bring the music near a synth-pop a la Jarre or The Art of Noise. Pieter Vermeyen's tender piano in the rain in Tryggja completes the CD Black with a rather romantic vision.

Place to Gold CD which starts with a piece of AGE. In the pure Berlin School model of the cosmic years, Light Arrows gets disarticulated to unwind its spasmodic rhythmic carcass which is grafted to good catchy percussions. A vocoder provides a fascinating harmonic portion while several percussive rattles decorate a structure that continues to grow musically. A very good title that shows that AGE still has big juice in its tank. I do not know Lounasan! And let's say that A Brief Look into the Past stimulates my interest in discovering him a little more. Waashh and wooshh adorn an intro with tonal waves. A structure of Klaus Schulze's ambient rhythm is emerging and suddenly the mood sticks to a few lines of rhythms that tremble and jump with the support of other percussion and percussive elements. Intense and lively! We stay in the Berlin School, at least for the rhythms and movements of the sequencer, with Dante's Embrace by Alain Pierre. The second part derives towards a universe of tonal perditions with a cinematic approach and scenes of apocalypse, as imagined by Dante. Not easy, but the introduction helps. Frank Deboosere offers another facet of his musical vision with Alfa 14 which is a nice melody played with strength on piano over a spasmodic dance structure, like Moonbooter's style. A little fragile moment and chaos are waiting for you in this short piece of music that finally does not deserve its tonal apocalypse. Sebastopol's All in The Mind is a slow cosmic which turns in slow motion with a nice accordion effect in the melody. The ambience is of a Lounge style! Ditto for The Task of Sisyphos Pt.1 from Alienna whose Electronica essence gets flooded with effects of voice a la Enigma or ERA. Dirk Serries' Origin is faithful to his vision of Dark Ambient. Toteninsel follows with a similar essence but with a more harmonic texture, because of the guitar. Faithful to his habit, Serge Devadder brings together various samplings including those murmurs of paranoia that sharpen our listening. Galactic Underground quickly became one of my favorites in the Belgium School. The very ambient and dark Sky Ripped (Live) is accurately rendered here. Sonmi451's Event is a rather quiet title with distant knocks that adorn a fascinating lunar lullaby for insomniacs.

We move towards big Berlin School with CD Red. And who better than Nothing But Noise to start the ball? Nest of reverberations of all the resonances and tonal distortions, No Wave / роботизированный advances nevertheless with anesthetic softness which extends until the 5th minute. Juicy sequences leap out of the nest, into a valley of morphic haze for just over 80 seconds. Subsequently, heavy and powerful sequences restructure the rhythmic dimension into a heavy and graceful tempo in its short oscillating loops. Mirage is more menu in its delicate structure, very Klaus Schulze by the way, which jumps in Arabian tunes. A very nice piece of music performed by an unknown artist and which commands a greater investigation; Earthwave. Syndromeda is the father of the Belgium School. He is one of the best-known artists in the circles of Berlin School, with nearly 40 albums to his credit. His heavy ambient style stained with well-designed cosmic effects fills the 8 minutes of About the History of History which ends in his style of EM with a resonant and powerful sequencing pattern which unique to his signature. Big and solid Berlin School from Danny Budts! We always stay in a Berliner style, but more sophisticated, with Final Stage from Analogic Synthism. The flow accommodates a fluid velocity with a lively and harmonic movement of the sequencer that frees another line of very Berlin School rhythm in the background. Various effects and some snags to the harmonic movement of the sequencer always seduce the listening. Spin-Off by The Roswell Incident is equal to the music that we usually hear from the brothers Jan and Koen Buyteart. That starts slowly and ends in a magnetizing spiral. Broken Shadow by Karl Hefner & Hugh Lagerfeld is another solid headline here with a very catchy jerky movement. The voices and the kind of up-tempo remind me of Death in Vegas. Aerodyn's Tyes brings us into a heavy, chthonic universe. It’s a far more disturbing procession, with a fatal and apocalyptic chant, than that of Sumitomo Soylent Revision. Onsturicheit is an amazing artist who loves modular synthesizers. Het Irrationele Denken is the title he presents on this compilation, he has one big one of his own, and its progression of ambiences dragged out from an unreal world in a rhythm pattern which is supported by good sound effects is something to put between the ears without hesitation. Jovica Storer completes this monstrous compilation with a concerto of jingles that dance on a discrete structure of Cosmic Berlin School. Gradually, and with the help of percussion that falls into each ear, Sweet Mocha hops forward with honey sound full ears.

There are very few dead moments in this AMBIENT NATION 5 that can be heard from one end to the other, as we hear a film without images but with just music. Beyond the different musical styles, there is a huge creativity in this bank of artists whose names remain to investigate and who look promising. Veterans? Always good and daring, they are the guides of an even more audacious EM that refuses any label so much it wants to leave its own footprint. There are still some copies left, but the download link is always inexhaustible ... a bit like the talent of the Belgium School.

Sylvain Lupari (March 20th, 2019) *****

Available at Wool-E Discs' Bandcamp

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