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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

WAVE WALKERS: Kronos21 (2021)

The beauty of this album is its capacity to reproduce in studio the moods of TD's shows

1 Kronos21 Part 1 (26:30)

2 Kronos21 Part 2 (29:23)

(CD/DDL 55:53) (V.F.)

(TD's Schmoelling years)

Danger in Dream had made a big hit with the album Entrance in 2001. The particularity of this album was the role of the sequencer and its rhythmic evolutions through a musical fresco strongly inspired by Tangerine Dream of the Schmoelling years. Well, here is Wave Walkers and its KRONOS21, an excellent album which sounds indeed like this same Tangerine Dream without necessarily copying it. Like DiD in fact! Wave Walkers is a project of two Belgian musicians Jurgen Vitrier and Germain Ghys and KRONOS 21 is a first album that is available on manufactured CD as well as in downloadable format. It's almost 56 minutes of music that we eat of our ears with a constant amazement.

A wave of sounds, like in the opening of the debut album of Danger in Dream, surges towards our ears to let us hear pensive arpeggios in a futuristic industrial vision. Briefer, other waves swirl around like the eye of a lighthouse in an opening where the pensive state rubs shoulders with the alert one. This indecision exceeds 4 minutes when these caramelize-toned arpeggios make resound their timbres over the metronomic beat of one of these sequenced arpeggios. This stoic minimalist movement is supported by an intense atmosphere from which escapes a wavering line around the 6th minute. One struggles to keep up with this line as it rolls along with good velocity, rising and falling like a drunken centipede. It rolls along at high speed until a thunder of percussive elements hits the listener, who is absorbed in the sequencer's play. Intense, cacophonous but within the limits of acceptability, Kronos21 Part 1 offers a dysfunctional rhythmic framework where that chord left free since its opening still tinkles. The first real metamorphosis takes place around the 9th minute when the rhythm deviates to another source of the sequencer and the synth releases an orchestral haze, bringing the music into the flavors of the Dream during the 80-81 tour. The rhythm is heavy and rolls in a Berlin School style camouflaged by a musical intensity that reaches those moments of Tangerine Dream's madness in concert. It's built with two intersecting sequencer structures, a bass-sequencer line and those huge percussions cut into the unknown. Keyboard riffs and synth pads add a harmonious dimension, while the synth breaks away from this grip to deliver some great hybrid-toned solos. Still maintaining this musical intensity, Kronos21 Part 1 uses its 14th minute to make a metamorphosis that is more tangible this time by offering a rhythm consisting of leaps and their elastic jumps on a frantic sequencer. Again, it sounds like the Dream without being the Dream. And unlike Danger in Dream, Jurgen Vitrier and Germain Ghys multiply synth solos in a corrosive atmosphere. And what about the sequencer! On a very catchy structure for the feet and stimulating for the neurons, WW manages to extract adjacent rhythm phases as well as to make its jumping keys dribbling while Kronos21 Part 1 goes towards its finale, always topped with very good synth solos, which turns into a big aggressive electronic rock. 26 minutes of pure pleasure!

Less turbulent, Kronos21 Part 2 is still very attractive, like very lively. Let's say that this part of KRONOS21 is more homogeneous. Its intro is of heavy haze where a chord tinkles in jets of percussive elements that the Dream exposed during its shows in the Schmoelling years. All musical with a melodious synth, this long title that flirts with the 30 minutes begins with class and melody in elements that stick more to the mythical German trio here than on the first title. In particular the tone of the synth which weaves magnificent melodious solos, as well as a beautiful orchestral haze. The first rhythm structure is dreamy, but heavy and slow with its suite of a jumping key while enchanting us in a hypnotic pattern. This series continues to dribble along and pick up the pace to resume its initial role up until the 8th minute. A fluty mellotron exorcises the moods some 20 seconds later. The resonant chords extend a chthonian aura that a stream of suspended sequences accompanies in an undulating choreography. A light fight between synth and mellotron, before a good electronic rock attracts Kronos21 Part 2 for a second crazy ride surrounded by vocal and psybient effects. A rock steady over a period of more than 20 minutes with a suspended phase where the electronic drums do a good job here while the synth makes solos sing while depositing beautiful chloroformed layers. The rhythm slows down the pace around the 16th minute with its suspended elements. This more stationary phase makes us hear other magnificent synth solos before getting back into a living electronic rock always with these strange voice effects, these solos, these percussive elements slamming like two giant cymbals, this mythical haze and finally a superb guitar solo performed by Jens Ambrosch.

Wow! The beauty of this album is its capacity to reproduce in studio the same musical ambiences that Tangerine Dream gave off during their concerts. The dynamics, the fluidity in the phase changes, the sequencer play, the excellent synth solos and many other elements arrive in a seductive capacity that brings the music to another level. In short, a splendid album of Wave Walkers, hoping not to have to wait 20 years before the next one arrives. Remember Danger in Dream!

Sylvain Lupari (November 5th, 2021) ****½*

Available at Wave Walkers Bandcamp

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