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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

YOG SOTHOTH: Dreams of Mystery (2012)

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

I quite enjoyed Dreams of Mystery where there are little pearls, good rhythm (heavy and fluid) and beautiful harmonies

1 Tomb of Pacal (Chillout Mix) 8:51

2 The Mountains of Madness 5:11

3 Tribute to Axess 5:07

4 Ancient Skies 5:26

5 A Peaceful Moment 5:43

6 Into Eternity 7:33

7 Belly Soundshapes 8:50

8 Spirits of Atlantis 6:11

9 Entropie 4:35

10 Genetic Sequences 7:24

11 Galactic Voyage 8:04

12 Quasar (Space Version) 5:24

Self-Release (CD-R 78:19) (V.F.)

(E-Rock, New Berlin School)

The little story of Michael Wilkes tells us that he became interested in EM in the early 90's and that his sources of inspiration were Jean-Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk. In 1991 he founded his first band, Mystical Light, with a close friend (André Willms) and began composing his first pieces of music. Eighteen years later, he was put in contact with Pyramid Peak's Axel Stupplich with whom he shared a passion for astronomy. It was the latter who encouraged him to restart his career. Michael Wilkes then became Yog Sothoth, for his passion for H.P. Lovecraft's works, and took up the keys of his keyboards to compose a debut album, Prehistoric Dawn. Less hammering and much more inspired by New Berlin School, DREAMS OF MYSTERY resumes its first compositions in a musical envelope remixed in 2010. The result is a tasty mixture of Pyramid Peak and Jean-Michel Jarre with like a backdrop, a fiery that is more restrained than his powerful debut album.

Percussions with sharp strikes in the regularity of a metronome open Tomb of Pacal (Chillout Mix) which flees towards a cosmic down-tempo topped with misty synth layers. Fragile, the rhythm is delicately undulating and beats a delicious hypnotic measure which pulsates under layers waltzing with aromas and cosmic harmonies. These aromas are also found on The Mountains of Madness whose tempo coo delicately on percussions which roll like a bed of marbles before adopting a more pulsating movement where sequences and choppy chords meet on a slightly funky-cosmic air. The harmonic envelope of the synths strangely reminds me of Software's synth-pop visions. Tribute to Axess offers a more disheveled rhythm. It's a title strongly inspired by the repertoire of Pyramid Peak and especially of Axxess with interwoven sequence lines which shape a spasmodic rhythm. Round and resonant chords undulate under solos from a synth freed from the P.Peak's studios. Softer, Ancient Skies borrows a little the same paths with a delicately pulsating beat which roars under angelic choirs and spectral synth breezes. We are fully in the middle of New Berlin School from the Innovative Communication years. It's very good! After the cosmic funk of A Peaceful Moment, Into Eternity directs us a little more towards the hard rhythms of Prehistoric Dawn with cymbals and their tssitt-tssitt which sparkle in the furrows of heavy chords whose resonant contours erode lines of synth waltzing in its bluish colors.

Belly Soundshapes is a lascivious funky-groove which curves in a slow rhythm under undulating layers of synths camouflaging chords with heavenly tingles. The percussions are heavy, the stretches of the bass line are round and a fine line of sequences with frenzy pulsating keys adorn a melodic decor which stretches its voluptuosity with foggy synth solos, taking marvellously the shape of its slow melodious ascent. Spirits of Atlantis is a superb nocturnal melody with clear chords that turn into a morphic carousel. Swirling in the wake of another line of chords to the plucking of a nebulous guitar, the keys clink in a sky of starry mist with sweet whistled chants from dreamy solos . Entropy picks up where Belly Soundshapes left off, but with a more fluid rhythm resembling free jazz. Genetic Sequences plunges back into heavy rhythms, but with good cosmic orchestrations which reflects influences from Jean-Michel Jarre and his Chronology album. Galactic Voyage negotiates its rhythm with hyperactive kicks from the sequencer to end up on a solid vertical gallop to finally espouse an articulated movement of wide waddles which jump from one beat to another under the aegis of a synth with twisted solos and harmonious lines. The buzzing rhythm of its heavy chords which resonate on a fluid static structure, Quasar (Space Version) plunges us into the heart of the Revolutions period of the one to whom we owe the magnificent Oxygene. The percussions are very good, and the synths sprinkle this rhythm by superb solos whose appearances of psychedelic guitars are caressed by a series of harmonic lines.

Far from being a subject of curiosity justified by the success of Prehistoric Dawn, DREAMS OF MYSTERY is a very good CD-R which amply deserves its place in the chronology of Yog Sothoth's works. It is an album where the New Berlin School timidly embraces the fury of Prehistoric Dawn by borrowing the rhythmic and harmonic detours of Jean-Michel Jarre and his Revolutions / Chronology period. I quite enjoyed it! There are little pearls, good rhythm (heavy and fluid) and beautiful harmonies. What more can one ask for when one loves New Berlin School?

Sylvain Lupari (October 15th, 2012) ***½**

Available at Cue Records & Groove NL

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