WALTER CHRISTIAN ROTHE: Secrets (2019)
Updated: Mar 9
“WCR unfolds his art of composition where electronic and acoustic visions refine their beauty on sometimes dramatic and often romantic structures”
1 Thunder 00:09
2 African Hunt 5:06
3 By the Sea 6:43
4 Under the Lotus Tree 5:14
5 Suspect 2:56
6 Le Periferique 6:04
7 Jane DÁrc 3:40
8 Pierre Lachaise 3:42
9 For Tracy / Little Drummer Girl 4:44
10 Souvenir de Paris 7:50
11 Salut Michel 4:46
(CD/DDL 51:00) (V.F.)
(Theatrical E-Rock, EM)
What a beautiful album from Walter Christian Rothe! SECRETS is a collection of titles that should be listened to as a concept album, without it being one. The Belgian musician delves into his memories of a composer with moments that he considers more intense as sometimes more serene. This music on the art of composing spans memories collected in a period of more than 20 years. According to this quest, we must find here the extremes of his music which caresses strong moments of nostalgia, like experimental phases without forgetting the dramas he slept on his keyboards.
And always as sarcastic, he begins this collection with the thunderstorm in 19 seconds of Thunder. It is also the opening of African Hunt, and we believe in it with its nervous rhythm which has only of Africa, these African chants flowing on a spasmodic flow of the sequencer. The explosions in the crash of symphonic percussions add a dramatic effect, which does in Vangelis, in an electronic rock structure which becomes a little more tribal in the second part. And this part is totally boosted with a mesh of jerky orchestrations and short synth solos in a rhythm unified by a line of sequences and another one of arpeggios rolling unevenly on the irregularity of a conveyor. By the Sea is an incredibly beautiful melancholic melody that turns like those who were trapped in musical boxes decades ago. The piano is unbelievably beautiful. Playing on the bass as the higher notes, it extends a divine music inspired by the French cinema. It is too beautiful, and it reminds me of the music of Everything Fades into Mist from the album Alice. And although darker and slower, Under the Lotus Tree is in the same acoustic vision, except for orchestrations. This garden of sounds hosts a Japanese string instrument where the finely plucked chords resonate in arrangements that are both frightening, in particular with the samples of distraught voices and some are more spiritual. I hear a Kitaro's theatrical vision here. Suspect is a slow title that languid orchestrations makes suspect!
You have to listen to a track like Le Periferique more than once in order to appreciate the artistic dimension of Walter C. Rothe, who here dresses like Mike Oldfield in an intense six minutes of minimalist electronic rock. The rhythm is actually catchy and serves as a basis for spreading the dexterity of the Belgian musician who multiplies synth solos and others chants like the trumpets, as well as acoustic guitar and electric guitar solos while handling percussion samples, as much tribal as rock, which are festive and wild. Jane DÁrc is a beautiful tear-extracting title with a piano and keyboard that scatter chords coming from the soul. The bass is poignant in this oneiric sweetness which becomes a ballad, always tear-extracting, dressed in a very New Age white veil when the percussions decide to shake the moods. The music blends with the disastrous orchestrations of Pierre Lachaise where this delicate magic piano is still tingling. For Tracy / Little Drummer Girl is another beautiful New Age lunar ride. Souvenir de Paris is a complex title that begins with a mini string orchestra supporting the ballad of the piano in a vision of music from the Baroque era. The movement changes direction after 2:30 to take a corridor of experimental progressive music with a path of groaning passion on disheveled percussion and a stream of sequences and arpeggios with jerky flow. The music returns to a calmer level after two minutes of artistic violence to die out with two lines of melodies cradled by these suggestive voices. It seems to me that Walter was influenced by Vangelis that I would not be surprised. A particularly good title if you like it a little more experimental. Salut Michel is an explosive title that sounds so much like Jean-Michel Jarre. Enough to think that it is he, himself who interprets a new composition imagined in the decor of Chronology.
Walter Christian Rothe spreads his intimate secrets in SECRETS and his art of composition where electronic and acoustic visions refine their beauty on sometimes dramatic and often romantic structures. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the compositions on this album whose main asset is this lack of homogeneity which made me constantly travel through the emotions of Walter Christian Rothe.
Sylvain Lupari (April 16th,2020) ****¼*
Available at Groove NL