WIM: Enchanted Journey (2015)
“This is indeed a delightful voyage which reveals its numerous charms in a sound mosaic which holds constantly the listener on the alert”
1 Butterfly Tales 4:39 2 A King is Born 6:35 3 A New Dawn in Milburg 4:56 4 City Wanderer 4:12 5 Enchanted Journey 7:35 6 Moonlight Serenade 5:43 7 Open the Gates 4:50 8 The Eagles are Coming 3:52 9 Tonal Siege 4:49 10 Diamond in my Soul 5:54 AD Music | AD151CD
(CD-CD-r/DDL 53:06) (V.F.) (Electronica, cinematographic and New Age)
One has to admit that there are very beautiful things happening on the side of the English label AD Music. The house production of David Wright brings out beautiful old-fashioned things with a revamped tone and continues to promote a clearly more esthetic music where the New Age flirts constantly with Electronica, if it is not with this e-rock such as built up and delivered by Froese and son at the edge of the 90's. Like this last opus of Wim; ENCHANTED JOURNEY. As in the usual, we are far here from those long psyche-delicious corridors of wanderings of the Berlin School style or of its by-products. We are rather in a crenel which will attract rather those who, just as me, like to dip themselves from time to time in an electronic ambiance where the rhythms and the melodies fasten their fate into sumptuous orchestrations to the perfumes of the Middle East with a little bit honeyed Electronica which scatters its structures of diversified rhythms in the fragrances of cinematographic romances. Between Tangerine Dream of the Miramar years and Enigma, while passing byKitaro and Mike Oldfield, ENCHANTED JOURNEY is indeed a delightful voyage which reveals its numerous charms in a sound mosaic which holds constantly the listener on the alert.
The first chords knock down my ears with a mixture of Tangerine Dream tones of the 94-95 era and with harmonies eater of eardrums a la Mike Oldfield, period The Songs of Distant Earth. The rhythm of Butterfly Tales is heavy but at the same time slow. It quivers on a beautiful meshing of bass pulsations, sequences and percussions lost by their tribal essences. One would say an Electronica trapped in a slow spiral which suffocates in its slow orchestrations clouded by powerful fragrances of the Middle East and by the chants of an imaginary nymph whose charms are sculptured in the artificial. The orchestrations are Babylon like! The rhythm gets free of these seraphic influences at the same moment that a bagpipe is freeing airs of conquerors. When I spoke about Oldfield! In brief, it's a whole sonic arsenal that Ketil Lien, the man behind Wim, has built for his 3rd album. What will charm people in this album, will also maybe annoy others; the lack of homogeneity of a very big diversity, both in the rhythms and the ambiences. From track to track, Wim shows the area of his control of the genres by digging the vast attics of modern EM. Thus, A King is Born is a long, and the only by the way, moment of dark atmospheres where the pulsations and the orchestrations which sing to adrift brings us near the cosmos. A New Dawn in Milburg will adopt an approach a bit cosmic New Age a la Kitaro with a supple structure which waves lazily under beautiful orchestral strata and the twinkling singings of the stars. The more we move forward and the more the track flows towards Chill moods by a slow and lascivious rhythm decorated with pleasant percussions which little by little reduces the effects of the beat in an industrial din. City Wanderer bursts with a very livened up structure which is tinted with a very New Age romanticism. The rhythm is very lively, and the orchestrations are to make you dream. We swim at full in the dance music of ERA and Enigma here.
The title-track is the most delicious of them all. The pulsatory rhythm takes completely unexpected forms, even if the subtle orientations always return to the starting point. And the sequences which flutter all around, as well as the pulsations which make it resound, engage a beautiful movement of Berlin School with stroboscopic strands which wind everything around the very ethereal harmonies of the violins and of the murmurs of a seraphic choir. I find that it makes very filmic. In the black era of Picture Palace Music. Definitively, it's the track which jumped to my ears immediately. There are lots of references to Software and Rainbow Serpent. Top-notch! Moonlight Serenade follows and preserves the moods with a so very attractive and slow circular structure which is led by a mass of arpeggios of which the bright tones are floating and sparkling against the current of the slow whirlwinds of the violins. The power of orchestrations is very edifying here. And what to say about these Amazonian flutes? There are a lot of music and sounds in this album that the ears lose their folds by trying catch everything. It's rich and intense and I like that. On the other hand, some people will see a kind cacophony here, even if everything is extremely very symmetric. And we are undoubtedly in the best moments here and that's go on with Open the Gates which starts with a series of chords which sound like a pensive guitar. The track is as much dark as very melancholic with a zest of cinematographic scents. And it ends by being a very silky ballad where our dreams waltz with beautiful orchestrations filled by Arabic perfumes. Sorry but I was not able to endure the torture of The Eagles are Coming which is a wild and very e-rock piece of music fed of distortions and aggressive effects. I did try though... Tonal Siege is very dance and reminds me of Stefan Erbe. Wim spreads fragments of fluty harmonies on a structure with spasms round, juicy and jerky. After a rather quirky intro, Diamond in my Soul sets ablaze a structure of rhythms knotted in sequences which flicker of their silvered keys before sinking into a delicate electronic charm operation with a beautiful ballad to be made blush Abba. Not my kind it's true. But that has its effect!
A little as wrote higher, the too big diversity of ENCHANTED JOURNEY will confuse more than one. But in the end, it gives an album which seduces much more than annoys. There are some pretty good moments in this album which, I am certain of it, would make a great hit if we would grant to it a good visibility on the waves of commercial radio where the hits, the synth-pop or even the New Age well-crafted in tribal rhythms and filmic orchestrations are popular. It's done properly. Our ears are filled with pleasure, even if sometimes they feel a little bit scratched. Another good hit in the Electronica field from AD Music!
Sylvain Lupari (September 22nd, 2015) ***½**
Available at AD Music