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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

WAVESTAR: Moonwind (1987/1998/2012)

“This fusion between the styles of Kitaro, Tangerine Dream and even Pink Floyd which is Moonwind releases sonic perfumes and electronic anthems that are totally bewitching”

1 Voyager 12:13 2 Edge of Morning 9:18 3 Cabala 8:56 4 Troll Valley 7:32 5 Moonwind 8:19 6 Chase the Evening 19:53 7 For the Wales 13:36 BONUS TRACKS 8 Jabular 9:25 9 Lunar Shadows 5:02 Groove 010

(CD 79:52/DDL 94:20) (V.F.) (E-rock from the Jive years)

Here's an album that I completely ignored when people had extolled it some years ago. It's been a lot of moons since that I had heard about Wavestar. During my night-explorations and during my chats on Napster in the early 2000's to be exact (A little reminder here; we had and still have so few information, connoisseurs and music guides and music stores in Canada that the only way of knowing things was with Napster and MSN at the dawn of the 00's). In these chats I had heard so great things with a great deal of enthusiasm about the band. Some of my new Internet friends had insisted even to say that it was the best EM album made in England. The first one to make the charts and to have received positive reviews. I ordered it then at Groove. I didn't go through the first listening. Voyager sounded to me as a weak imitation of Tangerine Dream and the very Kitaro style in Edge of Morning never hooked me. Within the framework of the 20th radio show of Murmure du Son, I started a small exploration of the England School model. I was thinking of artists like Mark Shreeve, Ian Boddy and Andy Pickford. And there, an acquaintance of mine puts me back on track and tells me: you forgot Wavestar. I have explained my first attempts! In front of his insistence and especially a post on my Facebook contacts about MOONWIND, I gave another try but this time with a more professional approach; it was a matter of credibility for our radio show. And there I understood why this album became a must-have for England fans of EM. And by ricochet what put the England School on the chessboard of EM.

A delicate line of flute falls like a sonic drop in the ocean without sounds. Electronic effects, a little like bangings, resound in the room. And the line of flute becomes a wandering melody which whistles in cosmos. Layers of voices spread a veil of serenity while the fluty singing that of esoteric charms. Explosions and effects of mist surround this introduction of Voyager which, subtly, draws an approach a bit dramatic with layers of mists which become now orchestral emotions. I have to admit that this slow and very ambient introduction of Voyager is more attractive today than that time where I was looking for more beats, for furious rhythms or for structures of sequences a la Poland style. A delicate rivulet of sequences shines behind the 5th minute of Voyager. The movement gallops and the fat sequences are zigzagging, going up and down with grace. With fluidity. It's catchy. It's very appealing. The rhythm becomes fury with a mixture of tones in the sequences and with the addition of percussions. The synth pads which fall remind this period splendor of Tangerine Dream and of its 86 tour. What had annoyed me in 1999 still annoys me today, but a little less; the synth and its fragile fluty harmonies which sound so much like Kitaro on rock. They are omnipresent. But beyond this, we have to greet the very good work of stereo and the play of sequences and percussions. The nuances and the subtle gap between the strikes are elements of seduction which remind so much the work of Chris Franke. And it sounds so much like the period of Underwater Sunlight. But with long twisted synth solos, which was really rare in this MIDI era, which overfly, glide and decorate an electronic rhythm as furious as very catchy. My mind became easy to gain: I was now hook on this album. Certainly, there are always these ambient harmonies a la Silk Road from Kitaro on Edge of Morning, but my Lise just loves it. I ended by succumbing too. Cabala is a strong electronic rock with a meshing of sequences and percussions where float brief fluty harmonies but especially very good synth solos. These solos are the main advantage, according to my tastes and to the evolution of EM, of this MOONWIND. The synths are great. Troll Valley is a track filled by very lugubrious, very intriguing moods borrowed to the dark and haunting charms of Walter Christian Rothe's Let The Night Last Forever, released 2 years before. It's kind of very disturbing. Like a music theme for a horror movie where spirits run after our soul in long endless corridors. I adored this track which had totally escaped me in 1999. There are scents of future Shreeve, Redshift and even ['ramp] on it.

The title-track? Ah...This one is very beautiful. It's a nice cosmic blues which does a full of references to Pink Floyd, both in Dark Side of the Moon and in Wish you Were Here. Solos, we would say a mixture of guitar and synth, float with a beautiful lasciviousness on a heavy, slow and soft rhythm. That sounds so much like Pink Floyd, in particular with these delicate synth pads where one would believe that Rick Wright was part of Wavestar, that it can delighted as well as irritated. It depends. The comments received during the recording of the broadcast are going in both ways. I have found it very good. Immersive, relax and a bit sensual. But not as much as my Lise who has really adored it. When the weepy harmonies of Kitaro meet the sequenced rhythms of Tangerine Dream, it gives Chase the Evening which is a long musical piece in the purest of the 70's traditions, but with a tone of the 80's. The intro is very ambiospherical with some enveloping synth layers full of drizzle and prism. Dark chords resonant of threat fall there, adding a bit of angst in a place where we have the feeling to be swallowed by the cosmos. A line of sequences escapes. The movement of the rhythm is fluid and draws parallel lines which brush themselves with some subtle gap in the jumping keys of the sequencing. It's like uncountable roller coasters trails where is missing rails. It's very good. Lots of good solos. And it is so like the heart of the influences of the England School movement. And it ends with long plaintive solos which cry in a very ambiospherical finale where ring these carillons from which the constant presence fainted in this tornado of rhythm which ate the heart of Chase the Evening. For the Wales is more ambio