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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

VOLT: HiJi (2008)

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

HjVi is unarguably a major work which will please to fans of heavy and dark sequencing à la Tangerine Dream of the 70's, Ramp and Redshift

1 Primaeval 21:09

2 Atavistic 20:16

3 Signals 20:45

4 Extinction 14:17

(CD/DDL 76:29) (V.F.)

(Berlin & England Schools)

Recorded in concert at the famous Electronic Music Festival; Hampshire Jam's 2007, HJ VI starts off under the hats of wheels. After an intro test where a heavy siren is metamorphosed into a huge THX sound effect, Primaeval bursts on a heavy and bouncy sequencer. The infernal rhythm is caught in a mellotron cloudiness with floating layers and sprinkled of juicy synth solos. The introduction bursts in the ears with an intensity which is in the image of the English duo strongly inspired by Tangerine Dream of the 70's. It is a heavy opening which quietly settles down beneath a more limpid sequence which coos in cascade under a more serene synth and a dense and enveloping mellotron, creating the rhythmic paradox on which Volt feeds.

A strange fight of unreal percussions follows which fragments the rhythm under synths with apocalyptic sirens, guiding us towards a finale where the heavy solos are lost in a soft minimalism melody which is linked to the intro of Atavistic. A dark morphic sweetness wraps around the cosmos. The synth blows heavy buzzing drowned in a mellotron which waltzes alone. Soft piano notes emerge from this astral cloudiness, prelude to a sequential movement light and minimalism, surrounded by a charming synth which multiplies in its echo. The sequence jolts on percussions and their echo effects while a synth guitar laments in an ambient structure which is not without recall Robert Rich. Signals also begins with lukewarmness. Dark ambiences which waltz on soft mellotron mist, before beeps beeps sounds awakening the movement with a heavy sequencer which spits out a nervous rhythm, always enveloped in beautiful mellotron layers, before embracing a frenzied heaviness under reverberating synths heavy which borrow a texture of guitars. This is TD in its purest form. Simply divine!

Extinction is the encore and is initiated with soft floating lines of mellotron. A little before the 4th minute, the movement gets accentuated with a nice sequence and a soft synth reminding Wavelenght, the soundtrack. The rhythm becomes clearer with sequencer's intertwined lines of rhythms, creating a skipping and ambiguous beat which explodes on solid percussions as well as a shower of solos in a heavy and explosive finale. A finale which commands another listening of this already 5th opus from Michael Shipway and Steve Smith as Volt. Those who enjoy heavy and powerful 70's Berlin School sequencer with a daring ingenuity that blends perfectly with Volt's contemporary era, this HJVI is then a must-have.

Sylvain Lupari (December 12th, 2008) ***½**

Available at Groove NL

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