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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

WELLENFELD: The Journey of Voyager 1 (2020)

The rhythm and the melody always form this unparalleled duo that makes Wellenfeld music so good

1 Farewell from Home 9:07

2 Flyby of Jupiter 7:44

3 Views from Saturn 5:59

4 The interstellar Mission 5:23

5 Pale Blue Dot 8:32

6 Farthest from Earth 6:36

7 The Heliosphere 7:09

8 The Interstellar Space 4:39

9 End of Scientific Activity 5:54

10 The Last Contact 7:05

(CD-R/DDL 68:11) (V.F.)

(EDM, Cosmic Beats)

Farewell from Home starts with a synth wave that is rising up between the friction of metallic sheets. If you listen carefully, a very aerial choir sticks to this musical horizon adorned by tinklings and by the hesitant pace of the bass-sequences line in front of the short and curt sonorous zziipps. A very solid pulsation and sober electronic percussions draw up a strong rhythm whose evolution in the tone is oddly reminiscent of Pyramid Peak. And 110 seconds later, Farewell from Home takes on a new rhythmic skin. Harmonious, the synth follows these permutating phases with bits of melodious airs. The rhythm takes its last skin and a new velocity, while the synth follows the same parameters to finally open this long awaited album from Wellenfeld. Fans of Detlef Dominiczak and Andreas Braun had to wait over 3 years, Elected Pieces 04-18 being a compilation, to hear new material from the German duo. THE JOURNEY OF VOYAGER 1 was however ready in early 2020, but the uncertain economic situation due to the pandemic has simply delayed its release. But we haven't lost everything, since this new album is a dose of good EM like Wellenfeld knows so much how to do.

Flyby of Jupiter presents a good cosmic opening as much musical as Farewell from Home was. Synth pads, having a light perfume of celestial trumpet, slip into the shadows of the synth waves. An echo effect enriches the range of the arpeggios scrolling in series of beaded droplets, as well as the decor and its astral effects. For me, the magic of arpeggios is like a harp that tries to seduce these effects. And we drift in the cosmos on the wings of violins and their orchestrations which are like a musical rainbow. Little by little, this dreamlike choreography becomes fixed to boom-boom percussions which guide Flyby of Jupiter towards a good and soft cosmic Techno. The rhythm and the celestial phases exchange their moments in this title, as well as in several other titles, which exudes the perfumes of Jean-Michel Jarre. Views from Saturn also offers a cosmic dance structure that is close to the Oxygene 7-13 period of the French musician. Its second part is more in Techno with good percussion-pulsations which support these short series of arpeggios singing in a redundant cybernetic language. The arrangements are all the charm of this title. The Interstellar Mission offers a first structure that waddles idly before the percussions and the bass line's pulsations straighten it into an EDM quite easy to ingest.

Pale Blue Dot continues on the proposal of The Interstellar Mission with a first series of alternating between keyboard chords and those of the sequencer. The rhythm thus skips with lost chords which turn into sound powder effect. This blue powder widens its horizons while the velocity takes hold of the alternation movement until the arrival of percussions. Thus, the radiant chords, the alternate sequences and the percussions form a very solid cosmic rock which hardly modifies its appearance except for a more oneiric and quieter period which accompanies the last 90 seconds of Pale Blue Dot. Farthest from Earth is the title that Bellrob chose to make a video. This is a good cosmic down-tempo with a lively bassline and delicate arpeggios with harmonic tracings. Indeed, it's a good title full of romance and cosmic adventure! It's by a nice undulating moment of the sequencer that The Heliosphere accosts my earlobe. This good modern Berlin School oscillates its structure which gradually becomes a conveyor belt with climbing bumps, like these upward movements of Berlin's EM. The bass line vibrates its presence, in rhythmically disagreement with the different tonal inclinations of the sequencer, while the harmonic vision depends on a series of arpeggios sizzling with white noises. A long static and magnetizing title which has its place, and which always finds a way to seduce with a different tone or hue. Like these percussive elements personifying a lost train, towards the finale. The Interstellar Space takes this cosmic Disco route with its soaring orchestrations. Arpeggios and sequences unite their disagreements in this structure which needs this phase of indecision to come back with good harmonies blown by synth solos. Without suspecting it, we enter the very Dance area of the album with End of Scientific Activity. The rhythm pitches between a lunar Techno and a Space Disco feed by a good mesh between percussions, sequences and percussive effects, in particular those hand claps à la JM-Jarre. The pulsations are roaring and energize the rhythmic spirit which goes into second gear with a zest of Moonbooter, who mixed the album, in the harmonies. THE JOURNEY OF VOYAGER 1 ends with The Last Contact and its enveloping synths which extend zones of alarmist waves. The impression of being in the cosmos is tangible with the multiple synth layers that play as much on our emotions as our imagination. The sequencer activates a static rhythmic course which makes good eight fluids and quite fast in an opening which needs more than three minutes before taking off. And when it takes off, The Last Contact goes there for a good Techno where the rhythm and the melody always form this unparalleled duo which makes the music of Wellenfeld a good bowl of creative and tasty little candies.

Sylvain Lupari (October 15th, 2020) *****

Available at MellowJet Records

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