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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

WOLFGANG NACHAHMER: Hexenkessel (2017)

Updated: May 8, 2020

“Hexenkessel is another special guest from SynGate... All I know is that it's a great vintage psychedelic Berlin School which unites the many faces of the 70's”

1 Der Garten der Träume 17:51 2 Vorwärme 4:39 3 Hexenkessel 15:39 4 Auf das neue Land 9:41 5 Schoß der Götter 8:03 SynGate CD-r WA01 

(CD-r/DDL 55:53) (V.F.) (Vintage Berlin School)

In April 2014, SynGate had fun testing the knowledge of the hard and pure fans of the Berlin School genre by launching an album, Aus dem Nichts, conceived by a well-known artist and whose works were recognized by his colleagues and who has signed a mysterious album under the acronym of M.O.B.S. (Man Of Berlin School). About 30 months later, the German label reattempts the experiment with this album from a certain Wolfgang Nachahmer; a pen name this time for an artist well established on the international scene since decades. The press info gives us 2 indications: this artist wanted to make a solo album which would accentuate its affinities with the Berlin School genre. Thus, he is part of a band which does something else than EM. The pallet is wide, and we can rule out Detlef Keller because he was the man behind M.O.B.S.! After some listening, the music of HEXENKESSEL dips actually into the Berlin School style, but a Berlin School which marinates in a more psychedelic approach with a beautiful use of synths and Mellotron. But no matter the identity, I find the idea of the thinkers at SynGate as much attractive as also very interesting.

A bed of reverberations dosed well by fine modulations, and tears of synth which flow with the fluidity of beautiful ethereal solos; Der Garten der Träume puts at once my ears in these years where the solos of synth used to make the charms of an EM more drifting than rhythmic. The synth solos stream with the nobility of the art by sticking to it some nice fluty melodies. These solos dance and twist themselves with a duality in tones, while that quite slowly is drumming a structure of sequences in the kind of Picture Music from Klaus Schulze. In spite of the presence of these sequences and of some moments of intensity, Der Garten der Träume stays anchored well in its position of astral drifting. Banks of mist awakes an intensity which finds a partner in the vibrations of these sequences. While the solos undulate beneath the metallic jingles of percussive effects, the music seeks for a new partner with cosmic effects which lead Der Garten der Träume towards a finale more in ambiospherical mode. Vorwärme proposes a short phase of ambient music with all these cosmic effects of the 70's as well as murmurs and sighs of synth and Mellotron which win more in swiftness, as the music reaches its last seconds of cosmic drift.

A beautiful chant of Mellotron awakens the sequences of the Tangerine Dream style which will light the passion of the title-track. Well settled in its decoration of electronic effects, the structure of Hexenkessel goes up and down with the same ingenuity of the analog rhythms of the vintage years. At this level, the title is a real tribute to Tangerine Dream of the Phaedra years with good Mellotron and perfumes of guitar which is roaming in the background. Sometimes violent, sometimes misty and often unpredictable the music adopts the diverse gradations of the electronic hymns of that time. The sequencing pattern here is splendid and forges a structure in continual movement, even if the nuances abound in its rhythmic progression. After a good 8 minutes of big electronic rhythm, Hexenkessel finds refuge in a foggier zone with the somber harmonies of a very good Mellotron and odd percussive effects (that sounds like an old vinyl to often played and which has trouble with the ambient passages). This is highly addictive! Auf das neue Land brings us to another level of psychedelic music with manual percussions which drum around a campfire. Friends surround the percussionist, apparently stoned, and play the acoustic guitars and flutes. Other friends, just as much stoned, hum layers of faded voices while an ingenious among the gang plays synths without electricity. The whole thing gives a very lively acoustic music which spreads its charms under the concerto of stars and dusts of stars. One would say Pink Floyd, period Atom Heart Mother. After a short introduction of ambiences decimated by a fauna of colorful sound effects, Schoß der Götter burst with a movement of limp from the sequencer which loses the rhythmic guides in a line of quick and tenacious oscillations. The variations of sinusoidal waves draw a steady race which doesn't feel the need to breathe, the oxygen being assumed by the acrobatic solos of a synth in mode psychedelic gas. It's a good vintage rhythm with a beautiful correlation between the various layers of synth with tones always so ill-assorted. The storm of the oscillations subsides in a finale of soft perfumes of transcendental rest unique to the esoteric ideology of the LSD years. A real return in time my friends! Hey that I look forward for Saturday October 21st 2017.

Sylvain Lupari (October 19th, 2017) *****

Available at SynGate's Bandcamp

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