WOLFGANG NACHAHMER: Triptychon (2020)
“Is it too avant-gardist? I never get to tame this last album from W. Nachahmer. So I guess I was just not in the moods...”
1 Riesenrad 7:17
2 Der Aufzug 5:09
3 Normalerweise 7:14
4 Kristallmaschine 4:17
5 Wendekreis 9:33
6 Das Triptychon 22:21
(CD-R/DDL 55:53) (V.F.)
A line of bass pulsations jumps slightly under a light rain of sound effects. The synth takes on tones of yesteryear, like Keith Emerson, to pitch a chorus that rolls in our head. It could just as easily be a fable by ELP, for the rock structure, as of Pink Floyd, for the guitar solos and the psychedelic effects. Riesenrad invites us to a 5th album by Wolfgang Nachahmer which will leave more than one perplexed. For my part, I found that its tone is very vintage, maybe even a little too much, while the structure of compositions aims more an effect of synth and keyboards' harmonies to the detriment of rhythms. This is also the goal of Wolfgang Nachahmer for his last album. If it's rather successful with Riesenrad, it's a faux-pas in every sense of the word for the next 26 minutes of his new album. After the first 4 solid albums, it's fair to say that TRIPTYCHON is a bad album. Both in the quality of the compositions, which lack originality, as its sound quality. I listened to this album from all possible angles in order to find this trigger that awakens the charm. Nada! TRIPTYCHON is a disappointing album across the board.
A series of gongs filled with black smoke resonates at the opening of Der Aufzug. Although I try to make a link with the theme of the elevator, I can't. It's a rhythm not really rhythm which becomes as catchy as these pagan dances that were object of meditation in the 70's. The musical texture is very in the genre of Rick Wright and Phil Manzarek doing duel by exchanging chords chilly at the idea of leaving their keyboard. An idea that has been exploited many times and which here seems to come from an artist starting his career with a bit rough sound quality. Is it normal or not? It's also the thinking behind Normalerweise and it's Plastikman-style bass beatings that sculpt a minimalist approach where are gathering themselves synth harmonies with a very Michel Huygen sound, in the heyday of Neuronium, and even Kraftwerk, for the sound effects and the harmonies a bit cybernetic. Strange also that Kristallmaschine doesn't really have a link between its title and its music. It's ambient music with Tangerine Dream's electronic bugles from the Encore years. A rhythm pattern tries to take shape but remains very evasive in this fauna of noises and of electronic oscillations which remain embedded in sound artifices having already belonged to Kraftwerk before RadioActivity. You have to wait for Wendekreis before putting something really nourishing between our ears. Its minimalist rhythm goes up and down in a Berlin School model copiously sprinkled with solos and dissonant effects, notably keyboard riffs injected with mists and manual percussions, in a panorama where psychedelic rock of the 70's still smelled the patchoulis. And then, a mega layer of keyboard disguised like an organ skids heavily in my ears for a moment so unbearable that I didn't continue further. At this point, I must tell you that the title-track must be damn good to give this TRIPTYCHON its 3 stars.
This 3-level track begins with a fluid bass which oscillates languidly. A guitar, that I would associate with the style of Manuel Göttsching, layers its soft solos on this structure which goes up and down in a plain where the dunes sleep with eternal mist. A keyboard crumbles its chords in the furrows of this dreamy guitar which embraces the harmonies and finally the solos of synth, leading Das Triptychon in an enclosure where Jazz style goes rather well in this first real moment of Berlin School in this album. Then came this moment of ether, a little after the 8 minutes, sweet and relaxing before flirting for a brief moment with another phase of sound distortions which has nothing to do here, but which is tolerable since short and followed by 'a tasty choir frozen in a cavernous breeze. The third part ignites on a lively pulsating rhythm which leads Das Triptychon in a solid phase of improvised electronic rock under good synth solos. Indeed, this title saves the day to this album whose needs are still inexplicable to me. But not enough to reach the 3 stars…
Sylvain Lupari (April 7th 2020) **¾***
Available at SynGate Bandcamp