Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Johannes Schmoelling.
A classic album of the band in their 80's formation which sees Franke, Froese & Co. at the peak of their powers both as composers and performers.|
- No Man's Land
- Cinnamon Road
- Sphinx Lightning
Along with Tangram and Logos this is the best album you can listen to from the band in this period. Hyperborea shows the band taking advantage and imagination of the then, new technology.
No Man's Land (a track influenced by the Gandhi film, according to Schmoelling) shows Eastern influences and has an inventive Sitar sampler.
Hyperborea with its mysterious and enigmatic feel harks back to the band's psychedelic era (in fact the album cover is easily comparable to their 70's imagery). There's also a splendid Froese guitar solo on this track.
Cinnamon Road is a little sequenced based track that shows the important contribution of Franke in the band's sound.
Sphinx Lightning (the long track here) ends the album in a quality note, it has a powerful intro, sequencer moments, tempo changes and finishes with those typical Schmoelling melodies.
2003. Manuel Brum
Hyperborea is an underrated masterpiece. It separates from the rest in that way, that the band has flirted with Indian music.
No Man's Land is a merry, yet not especially demanding, heartening, album opener, with it's rhythms being pounded on tablas.
However, the word demanding can be used on the next track, Hyperborea. Very slow and tear jerking. I get goose pimples in the B-section, which has a discrete, delicious programmed rhythm track, with plenty of reverb.
In the Dominion-style (closing track on Logos), Cinnamon Road is a little delicate gem, with sitar played over some of the best chord progressions from the eighties. The melody is charming, innocent and refreshing compared to most of the album, which is serious and intellectually inquiring.
Sphinx Lightning takes up the entire second side, and is identically with Pinnacles by Edgar Froese and the live Poland from the following year.
It's hard to tell if the sound is cold or warm, when the bombastic harpsichord chords open the 20-minute long suite.
At a point the sequencing somewhat fades out, as repeating drum machines becomes the main rhythmic attraction. It reaches it's first climax, and upon that comes an atmospheric piece, and as it starts to fade, it leads one to think, that is over.
But we still got seven minutes left. The drum machine is very dominant again, combined with dripping synths. When the drum machines pan from speaker to speaker, it's a stunning headphone experience.
16 minutes into the track the drum machine stands out, as the track gets into a crescendo with great chords and melodies. In the last two minutes a synth chord takes it into its conclusive phase. The drum machine fades out for good, and all we have left is the synthesizers to end it, in the usual way.
Hyperborea is a work integrity, and if you get moved by the music, don't hesitate to buy the original Pinnacles by Edgar Froese!