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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Walter C. Rothe Let The Night Last Forever (1985-2016)

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

“A masterpiece! Period!”

1 Intro + Dawnfall 5:54 2 The Next Leaf 5:04 3 Tea-Dance 3:09 4 Sahara 3:28 5 Death 8:52 6 Radio 3:01 7 Verena 5:48 8 Hymne 9:17 9 Let The Night Last Forever 7:01 10 Music for KLEM 10:03 11 El Tiempo 5:57 Groove | GR-229

(CD/DDL 67:33) (V.F.) (Theatrical, Dark Wave EM)

When we talk about timeless classic in EM, you have to slide this album to the top of the list. I had the chance to get my hands on this album when it was released in 1985. The EM was then experiencing a major shift. Its craftsmen tried to influence the genre towards a more accessible approach, abandoning long pieces for melodious structures with the use of digital synths and / or a wide range of samplings. This transition period has left us all the same in inheritance some very good albums. LET THE NIGHT LAST FOREVER by Walter Christian Rothe is one of them. Some will say, and I am, that this second album of the Belgian musician is the forerunner of this dark and poetic EM where reigns a sordid ambience of terror. There were a few albums by Mark Shreeve, but none of them had that very theatrical, yet very melodic touch, that LET THE NIGHT LAST FOREVER. This album that time never managed to bury in oblivion (I transferred the vinyl on a mini-disc and then the mini-disc on CD-r) finally sees the day, thanks to Groove NL, in a nice reissue that includes 2 bonus tracks and much more information.

The angels' horns announcing the end of time are beating our senses with the opening of Intro + Dawnfall. On a fascinating funeral procession aria, the solemn march of the opening of LET THE NIGHT LAST FOREVER hammers our curiosity as much as our interrogation. What kind of music is this? Lugubrious and yet melodic, this introduction hears these horns run out of steam while percussions, sequences and a pulsating bass line set a slow but surprisingly catchy rhythm. We can hardly put our emotions in place that this sumptuous melody, which will haunt you from the first listening, that one dives into an enchanting musical universe with an assortment of sound effects and unusual noises that add a dimension of astonishment and astonishment. And this in Intro + Dawnfall and all this 2nd album of Walter Christian Rothe. The Next Leaf follows with a delicate lullaby, I would even say a nursery rhyme, set on the harmonies of a small carousel where shiver keys in the coldness of oblivion. These keys wander with their dark, polyhedral tones, like a star fight where the winner remains the void. Vangelis' influences are here with vocal effects and whispers that redirect The Next Leaf to the night cradle of this album. The sumptuous Tea-Dance is another little gem that coils too easily at the bottom of our eardrums. Imagine an old baroque dance where the guests bend face-to-face on Latin harmonies, and you have the beautiful atmosphere of Tea-Dance. A pure delight! Sahara carries its title perfectly. It's an arid music full of sonic mirages with a synth, again soaked with a Latin perfume, which extends its melody like one throws a sail at the wind. We are prisoner! The charms of this album eat us toe to the last hair. We always stay in the field of music of ambiances with the thin saccades of Death. Synth layers caress this orchestral procession carved on a soft staccato while sound effects and metallic percussions tickle a fascinating melody whistled by a synth in mode charm. It's very good! Too good!

And this is the drama of this first part of LET THE NIGHT LAST FOREVER. We would get up to turn the vinyl and so play the B side, we change our mind and we replayed Face A. Yet the Face B is not so bad, and this album reissued in CD format, we have the chance to listen to it and thus to join the back of the scenery of the Side A. With its rhythm of electronic rock born from the MIDI, Radio reveals another probable facet of Dawnfall, but in a more pop envelope of the New Wave years. Verena? Sounds like a roommate of The Next Leaf, in less melodious and darker. If we perceive some influences of Vangelis, they are much more omnipresent on Hymne, a title of intense ambiences with beautiful slow movements of orchestrations. There is a bit of Death, as well as a lot of Blade Runner perfumes. The title-piece loops the loop of an album that constantly flirts with purgatory in a kind of mosaic that is mainly drinking of the first 45 minutes of the album. The rhythm is soft. Filled with percussive effects, it walks slowly with its dense cloak of mournful orchestrations and ends with these bugles of angels that made us shudder in the opening. As if Walter C. Rothe wanted to make us a simple reminder of a great work that gave to EM a new sphere to explore. This new version from Groove comes with 2 bonus tracks including Music for KLEM recorded at the same time.The tone is old with gargantuan organs, the source comes from a four-track tape, but the atmosphere very theatrical of the album, the slow pace, the explosions and effects are all well represented. El Tiempo is a little symphonic sweetness with a much more advantageous tone. This is a kind of ode for Elves that has appeared on the CD KLEM Jubilee, with moments to make you erect the hairs of the column. The orchestrations, both soft and explosive, are at the heart of a music that has its roots in this very beautiful LET THE NIGHT LAST FOREVER. A must in this wonderful world of EM!

Sylvain Lupari (January 30th, 2017) *****

Available at Groove NL

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