WELLENFELD: Ten (2017)
“Ten is a good album which will please the fans of Wellenfeld as well as those who like a more dynamic electronic rock...but still very melodious”
1 Reflections 5:38 2 Warm Saturate 10:04 3 Secret Island 7:37 4 Ring of Saturn Part II 7:08 5 Lo-Fi System 7:45 6 Timecode 12:34 7 Vacuum 8:41 8 Nimbus 6:50 MellowJet Records | cdr-wf1701 (CD/DDL 66:22) (V.F.) (E.Rock melodious and cosmic moods)
Reflections entails us in the universe of TEN with a delicious down-tempo slows down by an impressive collection of effects, of sequences and of harmonies. An expanding sound wave disgorges itself of its wooshh and of its cosmic elements, a bass pulsation and a line of sequences are crumbling their keys in unfinished stroboscopic circle. You have here 4 elements which decorate an introduction of hardly a few seconds. Welcome to the world of Wellenfeld! The bass pulse stutters under the winds of wooshh and of keyboard keys which stimulate an embryonic melody, while the percussions get in line in order to inject a hesitating structure of hip-hop with pretty good jolts. Heavy with its humming bass and its percussions which strikes us inside, but just as much mild with these sequences which sing in symbiosis with the brief harmonies of the synth while supporting the elements of rhythm with ornamental fluttering, Reflections is in mode charm and seduces us from the first seconds of TEN.
Why change a recipe that works? Without being a copy or a continuity of Elements, TEN, standing for Wellenfeld 10th album, remains in the category of the good albums of electronic rock, and of electronic dance music which stuns so much the music always tends to take completely unsuspected tangents. Like Warm Saturate and its circular movement which makes us glide through a lively rhythm and these short passages of atmospheres which bring us near to the cosmos. Sequences are agile and the very harmonious synths while the decoration is weaved in orchestral lines. The beat does very Düsseldorf School at times and remains always in evolutionary mode without becoming dynamic. And this mixture between the music of cosmic dance, this rhythmic robotic and these few spacings under the stroboscopic reflections, like being under the intergalactic stars, gives this depth which explains the infatuation of the fans for the music of the duet Detlef Dominiczak & Andreas Braun. Secret Island is another title on which we hooked right away with its slow rhythm, but not too much, where spark these harmonious sequences of the Wellenfeld universe. Built on a sequence in two movements, the structure of rhythm can spin around, as can galloping slowly, with good sober electronic percussions and beneath the tunes of the sequences in tones of prisms and these harmonious murmurs coming from a charming mist. Everything is well measured in the universes of Detlef Dominiczak & Andreas Braun. And Ring of Saturn Part II proves it! Built a little on the model of Reflections but with a more liveliness in the rhythm, Ring of Saturn Part II, Part One comes from the very good Trip To Illusion back in 2005, brings a very French cosmic touch with elements of Space Art around a beautiful movement of sequences which make chime the keys in leap's figure, as rhythmic as harmonic. What remains the most striking is this wealth of elements in place and at no moment we find that there is too much or it's lacking some. Showing thus a good mastering and a good mixing!
Lo-Fi System is a safe bet where limp some gurgling bass sequences and other sequences which dance a kind of tap dance and which pelt on a semi-slow structure of rhythm deliciously beat up by these robot-like percussions. The harmonies are a little bit evasive and hardly communicative, but coupled to the effects and to the sequences, they become charmingly insidious. There too, I hooked up on the 1st listening! After an introduction all in astral nebulosity, Timecode shakes its rhythmic skeleton with a march of sequences which climbs an esoteric top. The tone of the sequences is as a reflection between black and white. But no matter, this tortuous movement becomes livened up with good spasmodic shocks which skip like the feet of a hind walking on a pond of fire. But little by little, this rhythm assembles its sequences in a more homogeneous movement underneath a veil of nice synth layers which inspire celestial tunes. Negotiating with a 3rd phase, a little more in the electronic rock kind, Timecode will face its 3 phases of rhythm under an avalanche of very well-done solos. From a romantic ballad to a cosmic electronic rock of a delicious hypnotic slowness, Vacuum proposes a gentle string of sequences which conjugates harmonies and rhythms in an attractive minimalist circular movement which charms under those dense layers of voices, a recurrent element in TEN. Nimbus ends this 10th opus of Wellenfeld by a bumpy rhythmic of a Düsseldorf style where the sequences and electronic percussions skip with a good approach of lunar harmony. Always very melodious, the title evolves with an approach of progressive House and a touch of Dub which reminds me of Leftfield. Some good Wellenfeld here which won’t disappoint its fans, as well of those who like the EDM style, so much the wealth of elements and this subtle diversity in the rhythms and in the styles which never cease to crisscross themselves are making of TEN this kind of album which deserves to be known and to discovered again at each new listening.
Sylvain Lupari (June 16th, 2017) ***½**
Available at MellowJet Records