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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

WELLENFELD: Trip To Illusion (2006)

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

This is one of the beautiful and harmonious CDs to be released this year

1 Ring of Saturn 8:01

2 Moon 19 7:09

3 Black Hole 7:55

4 Ocean Air 8:03

5 Spaceroom XXI 7:19

6 Voyager 5:53

7 Helium 4:01

8 Starsurf 4:47

(CD-R/DDL 52:55) (V.F.)

(New Berlin School, EDM)

Wellenfeld is a German duo that has been making EM since 2003. As stated on their website, Detef Dominiczak and Andreas Braun don't intend to reinvent the wheel, but to bring their poetic and melodic touches to the EM universe. TRIP TO ILLUSION is a 3rd CD. If Cosmic Waves had astonished a new audience with its well thought and harmonious compositions, Fusion left its new fans perplexed with a CD centered much more on dance music. TRIP TO ILLUSION depicts the maturity acquired by the duo since then. A harmonious album with very good arrangements and surprises on each track, giving an identity of their own to the compositions while respecting this melodic vision that had seduced the fans on Cosmic Waves.

A bit like a symphonic progressive rock, Ring of Saturn opens with pompous and majestic synths. The rhythm is woven tightly over a melodious synth, with symphonic aspects, where percussions slam to support a fluid rhythm that increases in intensity over nice enveloping strata with orchestral arrangements. At the limits of a Jean-Michel Jarre-like sequencer, the movement evolves on a good synth chorus that instantly sticks to the ear. Ring of Saturn depicts the Wellenfeld sound very well. A very harmonious music with synths that multiply the melodious lines, orchestral arrangements sometimes enveloping, other times heartbreaking, in order to create the maximum of emotion. And it works, because without really exploiting progressive themes at various musical levels, Wellenfeld offers a pleasant electronic music (ME) with light rhythms and convincing harmony. Moon 19 begins with a distant hum that initiates melodious movement over flowing percussions and a gentle rhythm. Beaded chords get stick to the melody whereas another harmonious line is juxtaposed to the one in place, over good orchestral layers. Black Hole captures the attention instantly with its rhythm that spirals over layers that are more dense than melodic. A groovy bass line takes command and solidifies a slow, sensual rhythm wrapped in swirling sound effects. The keyboard keys that go up and down are totally awesome. And that's one of Wellenfeld's strengths; the ability to create unexpected musical turns. Giving each track its own unique character. Ocean Air would be banal without its circular synth that envelops and transports the piece with emotion. It's a quieter track with its percussions going wrong ways, giving an uncertain meaning to a beautiful melody. With Spaceroom XXI, we enter the atmospheric wakes of Wellenfeld, showing that the duo masters as much the ambient as the New Berlin School. Voyager is a nice light track. It's harmonious with arpeggios that flutter and tinkle in a universe streaked by layers of synth in violin mode. Helium is more hammering. A heavy rhythm on good pulsations as well as clear chords which resound at the four corners of a universe streaked by orchestral synths. More languorous, Starsurf sparkles on a wave of voluptuous keys which flutter with laziness in a melodious firmament. A sober and melodious rhythm that is enriched by little touches and arrangements here and there, creating a unique depth to Wellenfeld's signature.

TRIP TO ILLUSION is one of the beautiful and harmonious CDs to be released this year. A pleasant surprise that's get discovered slowly, so much the arrangements are unpredictable and well inserted. Good compositions that should please this new generation of followers of EM, New Berlin School and EDM styles as served and mixed by the master hand of Moonbooter from MellowJet Records.

Sylvain Lupari (November 27th, 2006) ***½**

Available at MellowJet Records

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