YARRED: Multnomah (2020)
“Multinomah is a pretty interesting album which offers good rhythm in Rock, Techno and Electronic styles which are well conceived”
1 From the Tops of the Trees, I Can See the Clouds 8:54
2 Cannon Sunset in Winter 15:31
3 Crimson Stairway to the Tenth Level 9:32
4 Multnomah Falls 8:03
5 Illumination 7:10
(DDL 49:12) (V.F.)
We are at the end of the month, and like each month I try to introduce you to a new artist via the Bandcamp site. Yarred is a musician from Portland, Oregon who has been in the music business since the early 90's with the Celtic music band Distant Oaks from 1993 to 2005. It's with the duo Binary Sea, with whom he records 2 albums between 2007 and 2010, that he got the bite for the Electronica style. Then came the music of Tangerine Dream of the 80's which gave him the taste to make EM from synthesizers, both analog and digital. A first solo album was released in 2011, Garden Journey. Since this album, he has made 4 others including MULTNOMAH. A good album that is worth the time we take to discover his talents as a composer.
We feel the influence of Tangerine Dream from the opening of From the Tops of the Trees, I Can See the Clouds which releases its scents from a cross between Tangram and Logos. I like the sound. It's loud and powerful with this recording in audiophile quality 96kHz. The sequencer unravels an ambient rhythm line whose spheroidal course is supported by a good bass line and bursts of percussions. The synth enlivens this barely spasmodic rhythm with ghostly airs. A nice musical introduction that comes alive with force and noise when the percussions fall around the 3rd minute. These percussions restructure the rhythm into a good electronic rock always imbued with these spectral tunes that a synth make more powerful with a reverberation force drawn from a soundtrack of a film of fear. A beautiful introduction that should appeal to fans of TD, like Mark Shreeve and Ian Boddy with a vision of adventure films at the gates of darkness. The opening of Cannon Sunset in Winter begins with a good downpour where the thunder and its rumblings remain in distance. An upward movement of the sequencer emerges as do these tunes always on the borders of dread. The atmospheres thus become an electronic rock barded by synth pads drawn in the harmonies of Tangram. Everything is shaking up! The rhythm and the plots of melodies cast almost similar shadows whose slight difference creates an opaque fabric of rock infiltrated by a dose of dance music. The rhythm is strong, and the keyboard spits out a nice line of finely jerky melody where we can easily guess the influence of Logos in Yarred's compositions. We barely cross the threshold of 5 minutes when the title already undergoes a third transformation to become a big rock-techno very catchy which projects us into the dance arenas of Brainwork and its Element 4. A frenzied rhythm always infiltrated by this melodious line which makes its hole in our ear to freeze there. Another musical change comes shortly after the 11-minute mark, pushing the fluttering and twirling sequences of Cannon Sunset in Winter towards the lair of its introduction.
Crimson Stairway to the Tenth Level starts with a kind of melody that Jean-Michel Jarre froze at the end of Oxygen. A simplistic electronic rumba which is transformed into a furious Techno-Rock fusion with a Moonbooter approach, including a brief ambient-cosmic phase to rest these feet bruised by the multiple jumps related to Techno static. Multnomah Falls brings us back to a more EM phase of Berliner style with an electronic ballad linked to its jumping arpeggios which sculpt a rhythm hopping in circles around the hums of wood nymphs. The synth displays its dominance here with more complete solos which wind these arpeggios and these juicy sequences with their textures always a little radiating. Illumination concludes MULTNOMAH with an electronic dance-rock anthem with a more fluid than jerky stop'n'go structure. The synth-pop component is present with a vocoder and good solos around these sequences which criss-cross music built for the Glamor style of the 80's. And yes, the scents of Tangerine Dream are still present with this hint of Ian Boddy who is more present than one can imagine on this album.
Available only in download format, MULTNOMAH is a pretty interesting album which offers good rhythm in Rock, Techno and Electronic styles which are well conceived. Interestingly enough, Yarred has a very personal sound that he embellishes by delving into his bank of influences. And not the opposite! I liked it, it's not complicated and it's very well done…
Sylvain Lupari (May 31st, 2020) ***½**
Available at Yarred Bandcamp