Axess is Axel Stupplich from Pyramid Peak
- Time Traveller [5:56]
- The Uncertainty Principle [6:11]
- Cuba Libre [5:48]
- Fly Away [6:29]
- Mirror Of Illusions [6:17]
- Pharao [7:49]
- Bombay Fruit Market [6:26]
- Lost In Space [5:26]
- The Voyage [8:06]
- World Of Secrets [14:50]
Even if the music on the new CD is more up-tempo compared to the older "AXESS" works the title track "Time Traveller" is not necessarily typical for the whole CD.
Besides some almost Chill Out style and Trance sounds you can again listen to traditional sequencer based tracks and beats. As a whole the new CD has become very diversified and many of the most modern recording and production methods have been used but less "traditional" Synth’s.
Surely the new CD is a big step for me into the future musical direction of the "AXESS" project and I’m looking forward to receiving your comments and feedback.
Axel "AXESS" Stupplich
I quite like this Axel! With the comeback of Pyramid Peak, the German synthesist is breaking away from the Peak sonority and Berlin School style to go deepen into a more striking, a more techno style. But not the kind that goes ‘‘Bang Bang, down all the walls’’. No! It’s a skillful mixture of kinds where the exploratory side of complex harmonies remains the premise of its achievements.
A sound shade passes by quickly, time to be hook by a powerful and fast circular rhythm. Time Traveller is a furious track with solid percussions and a sequencer with bass pulsations which pulse a tempo wavy and resounding of its sound impact. Some synth lines, very robot like, embellish a lively rhythm on a nervous and syncopate sequential movement and more concrete percussions. A good solid techno like the corrosive Bombay Fruit Market, which we will hear later. The Uncertainty Principle first jolts present a nonchalant approach with a stunning groovy bass and snapping Jarre kind percussions. A beautiful impulsion is subdividing, forming two movements which exploit the shade of each other, around beautiful long sinuous solos, wrapping strata and a fluid synth refrain which hangs. A very good track which hooks at the first hearing and which has something vicious and sensual. Cuba Libre is more nervous. Hesitant the rhythm is hooking to lively percussions and to a synth with hatched and bouncy lines which whirl on greedy percussions. In all this ball of energy layers float, like unconscious, creating an ambiguous tempo that a long synth complaint triturates all along Cuba Libre. Fly Away is a juicy circular techno with bumpy riffs from a bass sequence with resounding pulsations and hammering percussions. The rhythm is hyper bouncy on heavy and hypnotic beats. A purge against atony, on a wild impulsion which filters beautiful melodious segments.
Mirror of Illusions is a superb track. Strange percussions animate a slow tempo on sound effects which amplify even more the oddness of percussions. Tempo twists a bit more on beautiful synth solos which float with the opposite of sequences along with dramatic effects and long westerns riffs which give a clandestine charm to Mirror of Illusions. Tribal voices push Pharao towards a floating ambiance. Soft the move pours towards a swaying step that haunting percussions order a sensual tempo. The sensuality takes its entire dimension with groovy bass, fine synth strata with ethereal choirs and subtle laments of desire. Lost in Space is a beautiful synth melody which curiously reminds me the soft cosmic melody of Alan Parsons on I Robot. Fluttering percussions which shake the peace of The Voyage are perfectly synchronized. A sweet pulse bass line is adding to the movement which becomes heavier, until it crosses the falling superb melodious line. Unsuspected and above all suspicion The Voyage takes forms of a great departure with superb synth melodies and a syncopated tempo with prompt percussions which modify the course of rhythms, without ever disorientating melodies. With World of Secrets we go back to a more Berlin School style with a dark intro which floats on spatial sonorities and drones from an aero spatial engine. Strange sound effects are twisting in the atmosphere, a little like a set of unsettled percussions, before taking forms on a jerked tempo with hesitant sequence. A good circular track with hatched effects that twist slowly on beautiful synths, with superb layers loops, and which dies out in the splendor of atmospheric ambiance.
In spite of the clear tendency towards techno, I liked Time Traveller; a good way to discover the sequential universe on hammered and powerful rhythms. Axel succeeds to infiltrate the techno culture with heat and a subtlety in variances which is missing on this kind of music. If certain tracks smash tympanums, others reinvigorate them and recover them, creating the perfect harmony between two styles to the extremes that few artists manage to moderate. Axel Stupplich is one of them.
2011. Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness
Axel Stupplich is back with his third solo effort outside of Pyramid Peak, Time Traveller. As with his previous releases, the emphasis is on energetic electronics and rhythms.
The title track is dance floor ready right out of the box, chugging along effusively from beginning to end. Much more relaxed is "The Uncertainty Principle," which slides into a cool groove and shuffles along quite enjoyably from there.
"Cuba Libre" is another moderately paced number, again a perfect balance between the beats and the cool synth sounds.
Back we head on to the dance floor with "Fly Away," even more so than the opener. A light bright synth takes on the melody nicely.
A quirky little bass sound brings up "Mirror Of Illusions," a growling churning sensual piece that is a lot of fun.
Male chanting lends an ethnic touch to "Pharao," one of the very few dreamy atmospheric selections to be had. Though drums and bass do eventually arrive, it continues to move slow and easy.
A lot of processed spoken vocals begin "Bombay Fruit Market," then an edgy aggressive synth totally makes me think of Jean-Michel Jarre when he’s having a techno moment. The word "fun" comes to mind often throughout Time Traveller, especially here.
Crank it up, then take a breather for the ethereal 15-minute "World of Secrets" at the end.
2006. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
This is the third solo album by Axess.
The title track gets straight into a rapid twangy sequence and chugging rhythm which really motor. More drums are added giving even greater oomph. Some lovely little dreamy / breathy touches provide excellent contrast combining with a repeated melodic motif.
'The Uncertainty Principle' uses an infectious slow loping groove which finds a perfect companion in an excellent melodic sequence. Get those air drums out and give them a good bash! You will have to switch to air keyboard though a few seconds later to play along with the superb lead line.
'Cuba Libre' has a rather odd distorted echoing beginning before developing a sort of trancey / dancey quality but with a slow moody ethereal melody providing a fascinating juxtaposition with the rhythms. There is even a slightly Jarre type sequence thrown in their for good measure!
'Fly Away' if anything is even more dance orientated than the previous number. It is handled with real skill, full of many lines of shifting pulsations with some little sublime melodies that drift softly but exquisitely over the top.
'Mirror of Illusions' has real attitude, the drums slowly rolling, with almost a snarl. A fast fizzing sequence exudes between the beats. A blistering lead completes a perfect picture as it flashes from the speakers. A second moodier melody alternates with the first before joining forces. I can't praise this track enough- simply awesome!
'Pharao' uses insectile twitterings as a background to ethnic chanting. A slow rhythm enters in the second minute. The whole thing has a rather lush dreamy feel.
'Bombay Fruit Market' begins with some rather 'odd' vocoded text but a rapid metallic sequence soon takes over and for the third time on the album a mild dance rhythm can be heard. The melodies and sequences combine together to make an extremely catchy piece that you will find it hard to keep you feet still to.
'Lost in Space' is another slow body moving number with a lovely uncluttered feel where the melodies are again spot on.
'The Voyage' has a rather breathy whimsical beginning out of which a shuffling almost squelchy rhythm develops. A melodic sequence / loop then additional drums kick the track into life, becoming more syncopated all the time. As with most of this album however it is the melodies that take it way above your average dance tinged offering. This is beautiful but also energetic at the same time.
We finish with 'World of Secrets'. Initially it is all tranquil, even cosmic, with some 'on the edge of a dream' type sounds. Ethereal pads make things seem even more spacey. A rather Berlin School sequence pulses to the surface, accompanied by subtle rhythmic touches. More sequences / loops are added and we are soon chugging along nicely. We finish with quite a long atmospheric section making use of lovely wordless vocal type pads.
I fell madly in love with track #8, like an electronic jazz full of lots of melodies, I'm also a big fan of the first light release, the last 4 minutes of echoes of eternity and the last 5:31 seconds of shadows of dawn, are just past beautiful.
2007. Mike Costa / USA
Axel Stupplich is developing as one of Germany’s more active and creative E-Musicians. His collaboration with Maxx is a powerful blast of guitar/ synthetic grooves. In addition his group Pyramid Peak has made a series of excellent Berlin School inspired albums of which CAVELAND is one of the best neo-Teutonic electronic releases in the past couple years.
Now comes a new solo album (his third), and if you like energetic rhythms infused with technicolor melodies, then TIME TRAVELLER will take you on a fascinating trip. With all the influences he has picked up doing his various projects, Axel mixes up a real potpourri of sequences, flowing electronics, and effectual touches on this album that is both infectious and celestial. Great listening!