WELLENFELD: Elected Pieces 04-18 (2018)
“From one end to the other, Elected Pieces 04-18 is a solid compilation with nearly 70 minutes of a great EM and catchy melodies”
1 Monolith (Cosmic Waves 2004) 7:05 2 Matrix (Fusion 2005) 6:21 3 Ring of Saturn (Trip to Illusion 2006) 7:55 4 New York (Sunshine 2008) 4:10 5 Phase V (Phase 5 2010) 5:37 6 Summer Wind (The Big Bang 2011) 5:08 7 Summerbreeze (Endless Summer 2012) 5:33 8 Brass of Devotion (Pandemie 2013) 4:52 9 Vintage Attack (Elements 2015) 6:44 10 Ring of Saturn Part 2 (Ten 2017)
7:08 11 Ring Modular (Live Muenster 2015) 6:58 MellowJet | cdr-wf1801
(CD-r/DDL 67:37) (V.F.) (E.Rock, melodic patterns and cosmic moods)
It was in 2008 that Wellenfeld released its first album, Sunshine, on MellowJet Records, the label of Bernd Scholl. This label, barely a year old, had previously reissued the first 3 albums (Cosmic Waves, Fusion, Trip to Illusion) of Wellenfeld who had left the label SynGate, like Bernd Scholl by the way. And since, 8 albums have followed, including a 10th soberly titled Ten in 2017. It's following this album that the idea of proposing a compilation germinated in the head of Bernd Scholl as well as those of Detlef Dominiczak and Andreas Braun. The basic idea was that each album of the German duo, from Cosmic Waves up to Ten, would be represented by a title in a chronological order. It was by relying on sales and the most popular titles on radio that ELECTED PIECES 04-18, for 2004 to 2018, was born. And as Bernd Scholl never does things in half, he mastered this album with new sound perspectives to make a mosaic of 68 minutes that keeps us rivets to our headphones and / or to our speakers.
We notice a change of sound depth with Monolith, a title from Wellenfeld's first album that I humbly reviewed back in 2006. The sound is richer and the attack of the sonic ornaments as well as the cutting out of the orchestral layers are more enhanced. In fact, it's not superfluous to compare the sound aesthetics of this compilation to the musical strength that hides in the latest album of Moonbooter, Groundcontrol and the Victory of Mankind. For those of you who do not know Wellenfeld's music, let's say that it straddles a good New Berlin School, with a tone of synthesizers that is unique to the duo, and a form of EDM focused more on the harmony aspect than on wild beats. So, a lively and an especially harmonious music. Sometimes, the music is slow and languorous with a pulsating rhythm and a minimalist melody trapped in rich lunar orchestrations, like this other side of Monolith. Matrix is of the same mold with a very good rhythmic melody which is also woven of earworm in large synth pads with interstellar orchestral perfumes. It's a bit the same with the slow and spheroidal rhythm of Ring of Saturn and the second part of which will seen the light of day some 10 years later with Ten.
New York announced this new musical style which was more on Dance when Wellenfeld has presented its first album on MellowJet Records. Phase V is in the mold of Ring of Saturn, while Summer Wind is in the danceable, catchy and very commercial Synth-Pop. Summerbreeze is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful titles in the repertoire of Detlef Dominiczak and Andreas Braun. A very nice melody on a hopping rhythm, between pop and dance, is screwed in our ears here. Brass of Devotion comes from the Pandemie album. An album that I have not heard yet (it's missing to my collection) and that suspenseful film approach, like Chris Franke, is very appetizing. We are approaching the 2018 years with Vintage Attack which seduces with its many sequenced filaments twirling around a slow and pulsating rhythm that is in a way the signature of Wellenfeld. Here again the dense orchestrations envelop and slow down a rhythm which welcomes a melody that is not easy to pin down. Ring of Saturn was a good title from Ten, while Ring Modular strongly encourages us to discover the very good universe of Elements, one of the best albums from Wellenfeld.
From one end to the other, ELECTED PIECES 04-18 is a solid compilation with nearly 70 minutes of a very good EM from the duo Dominiczak & Braun. Bernd Scholl's mixing and sound enhancement makes of it a mosaic of heavy, slow rhythms that surround these beautiful Wellenfeld melodies. In my case, this is a great way to discover this duo that democratizes and simplifies the complexity of the world of synths and sequencers. Melodious and very accessible!
Sylvain Lupari (December 27th, 2018) ****½*
Available at MellowJet Records