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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

WELLENFELD: Phase V (2010)

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

A melodious album that bewitches us with a good mix of rhythms and ambiances

1 Sun Moon Stars (Intro) 2:18

2 Phase V 9:07

3 Cold Planet 8:27

4 Generator 6:03

5 Sonar 6:13

6 Freedom 6:53

7 Mirrors 7:51

8 Simple Colour 9:25

9 Another Way 9:11

10 Synthetics 5:21

11 Sun Moon Stars (Extro) 3:08

(CD-R/DDL 73:57) (V.F.)

(New Berlin School, EDM)

I like Wellenfeld's music! Since Cosmic Waves, released in 2004, Detlef Dominiczak and Andreas Braun have been creating a beautiful EM where pulsating percussions and intertwined sequence lines serve as rhythms to some nice melodic structures. Melodies anchored in cosmic broths, drawn by synths with harmonic chords and ethereal haze. And these are the same structures that we find on PHASE V, the 5th opus of the duo that has quietly taken the place of Software in the firmament of German cosmic and rhythmic EM. Woven on 11 tracks which follow each other in great music bridges with very Jean-Michel Jarre textures, PHASE V is a splendid album of an accessible EM, without falling into the easy way.

It's in a cosmic ambience that opens Sun Moon Stars (Intro). Black breaths propel voices from outer-spaces where metallic hoops sway under the fine undulation of a melodious synth line. One feels from afar well the rhythms emerging. They swirl in spirals, imploding quietly to resurface later on the other 10 tracks of the album, as Sun Moon Stars (Intro) pours its cosmic waves in the opening of the title-track. A heavy sequential line emerges from the cosmic limbo. Its chords twitch heavily and trace a long undulatory movement whose oscillations are under the influence of iridescent spectral streaks. The rhythm is formed. Slightly jerky and stroboscopic, it undulates under a good envelope of haze and ties itself up to good percussion strikes. The heavy and haunting rhythm, Phase V swirls lasciviously like a slow cosmic down tempo, while the melodic approach is forged in hypnotic synth chords with harmonious and lyrical lines that sing and waltz among soft ethereal breaths. Cold Planet is a beautiful ballad that segues into a JMJarre-like morphic intro filled with undulating synth lines. A sequence emerges and swirls in a heavy cloud of mellotron mist, drawing another rhythmic axis in the shape of a spiral. Other sequences emerge and support this slow rotational movement, merging two melodic approaches that swirl in opposite directions and overlap on fleeting upward movements. And this is how a splendid melody emerges in our ears. Clinging to fine muffled and metallic percussions, it waltzes suavely in the stars flirting to the passage with these interwoven sequences which frolic in a huge trap of mist. This fusion of hybrid sequences and pulsating percussions that feed slow, almost sensual, structures also find refugee on Freedom and the astonishing Simple Colour and its more complex and progressive structure. Two other electronic ballads, with good cosmic envelopes, which offer heavy undulating and circular rhythms on bewitching ascending sequences.

Nervous, jerky sequences outline Generator's spherical rhythm while pulsating percussion drives a pounding beat into our ears. It's an intense and slow strobe structure that belts out a nice melodic approach with glittering crystal arpeggios that shine in a wide rotating circle fed by a synth with philharmonic refrains. A track very close to synth pop's terroirs, Sonar borrows more or less the same rhythmic axis but with a more nervous flow and more jerky sequences. Always submerged by cosmic introductions, the tracks of PHASE V parade like in an odd cosmic dance club where down tempo and synth-pop merge wonderfully. The heavier Mirrors unfolds a Phase V-like down-tempo, while Another Way wanders between rhythm and ambience with good sequences that hiccup in the waves of a vaporous synth. Synthetics' roots waver between synth pop and soft techno. Its curt, jerky, pulsating rhythm supports a good melodic approach, the cornerstone of PHASE V. A bit like the opening piece, Sun Moon Stars (Extro) deploys a more cosmic structure but this time the rhythm is more concise. An undulating, pulsating and slightly stroboscopic rhythm that is coated by a good cosmic ambience.

PHASE V is shaped in the footprints of Wellenfeld's first 4 opuses. It's an excellent and melodious album that maintains the charm of the seductive musical approaches in a good fusion of rhythms and ambiances. Wellenfeld presents us 11 tracks of astonishing beauty. Tracks that catch and seduce and where the rhythms are similar but with just enough nuances to let yourself be bewitched. It is a beautiful musical journey where sensual and bewitching rhythms rub shoulders with other heavier and more jerky rhythms, while leaving a large place to beautiful cosmic ballads. And at this level, Cold Planet and Simple Colour are essential...

Sylvain Lupari (November 11th, 2011) ****¼*

Available at MellowJet Records

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