1. Awakening [10:13]
  2. Distant Sun [8:49]
  3. Echoes Of Eternity [11:35]
  4. First Light [12:33]
  5. Shadows Of Dawn [10:10]
  6. The Sermon [7:20] MP3 soundclip of The Sermon [2:59]
  7. Infinity [15:25]
Axess is Axel Stupplich member from Pyramid Peak. Axess is Axel Stupplich, one of the three synth players from German progressive EM band, Pyramid Peak and First Light is his first solo album. An album very close to Peak sonorities and we wonít complain about.

It is rhythmic and well sequenced with beautiful small jewels of tenderness or bludgeoned sequences. An opus that we have to listen carefully in order to catch all subtle progressions that open a first extremely convincing album for Axess. Mellotron layers, as Pink Floydí Shine one you Crazy Diamonds, float in a vaporous ambience. Awekening atonal intro is short because a heavy sequencer bags the rhythm on good sequenced percussions which accelerate a tempo daze by sublimes whirling synth layers. The musical depth is developing with keys that circle on a heavier sequence, pierced by superb solos, ŗ la Peak sonorities.
A pulsation resounds in the magnetic field of Distant Sun, where scatter notes and percussions are graft with a vertical sequence which espouses a jerked movement. Synth layers, astral choirs and metallic streaks cover the waves of a sequence where the rhythm crescendos subtly, making Distant Sun a kind of static half bolero.
Echoes of Eternity is a strong track. Rhythmic, the musical structure is moulded like the one in Distant Sun. The impulsion is struck by clear notes and solids percussions, subtly diverting its course among multiple synth surges, including fabulous solos. A true intense musical swirl which dies down in semi course on an atmospheric rain shower, where synth streaks float sinuously among analog and metallic sound effects. On the echo of a lost drone, arise a superb hatched sequence on slamming percussions. A rotary sequence accompanies by superb solos, tearing and harmonious which we would like to hear again and again.
Notes of First Light form a sequence in loop on violin mellotrons. On vibrating pulsations, the sequence becomes more limpid and undulates on strikes of a quixotic bow, calling for a violin charge. A more liven up pulsation on intense sequence, synth solos overhangs with the Peak sonority a methodical movement which follows a sober itinerary.
Shadows Of Dawn begins on a slow tempo. Dragged by sound effects and tuneful streaks, the beat becomes animated slightly with fine felted percussions and a more wrapping synth which whistles, as much as it fuses, short harmonies. A beautiful line of bass moulds the ambiance which arises on nervous keys and heavy sequence, which turns towards a techno dance beat on a more lively rhythm with tinkling percussions and synths with melodic solos.
The intro of The Sermon is superb and the melody reminds me of Vangelis on Albedo 0.39; Alpha. A shimmering melody that a ballerina would furrows with grace. And even more when one sequence is moulding to it, adding heaviness and sensuality on a slow move to overwhelming and symphonic synths. A superb electronic ballade!
Tibetan gongs on wrapping layers open Infinity. We expect a title with Tibetan ambiance, when short streaks oscillate on a rolling sequence, giving the signal to a rhythm whirling with fury. Sequences with smashing and limpid chords wind on multi spins and squaking percussions to shape a metallic techno flooded of virtual breathless choirs. An aggressive track that will light up your Zombie-Rave parties!

First Light deserves that we stop on this first Axess solo project and gives a good hearing. Donít do as I did; throw the album to oubliettes without really giving it an attentive listening. Because on Fisrt Light, we go from an extreme to another; beautiful Berlin School to hypnotic techno trance dear to Axess structures, which slightly touch the Peak style. First Light is an opus with multiple sequences that subdivide rhythms on catchy melodies, stamp feet techno with synths to sonorities equivalent the many colours of prism. A truly good CD thatís worth the buying.

2010. Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness Axess is Axel Stupplich from Pyramid Peak who's last album 'Fish n Love' was a very good. Like that album there are hints of Berlin School in the sequence department but also it's melodically and rhythmically very strong throughout.

This is amply demonstrated right from the off with 'Awakening'. Lovely lonesome and beautifully melodic lead lines combine with a superb rumbling deep sequence. As the track goes on the intensity of both sequence and lead is cranked up. It's a fantastic track with loads of oomph and a real highlight of the CD. The rest of the album however also oozes quality.
Both 'Distant Sun' and 'Echoes of Eternity' utilize highly melodic sequences. The former contrasts these wonderfully with some rather dark pads where as the latter lets rip with strong rhythms and searing lead lines. There is even a moody middle section out of which a different sequence / rhythm combination emerges even stronger than the first. It would make a great live number. The sequences which form the backbone to the title track are also rather infectious. It develops into a satisfying groove with the addition of a slow but steady rhythm through and over which more sharp leads play.
'Shadows of Dawn' takes a decidedly dark moody turn with a slow deep sequence emerging over rasping tones. The melodies are subtle, you can well imagine the suns rays appearing above the horizon slowly banishing the darkness. We then get into full flow and more sequences and rhythms surge forth changing the mood completely.
We return to beautiful delicate melodies for 'The Sermon', the tenderest moment on the album so far. It isn't long however before another deep sequence is deployed though the overall feel is still gentle. The lead in the latter half of the track was a tad too 'bright' for my tastes and unfortunately the sampled French text didn't exactly do it for me.
'Infinity' is a very different kettle of fish. Metallic tones fade into the distance. Ethereal pads join them then a rapid sequence starts up along with a slightly dance orientated rhythm. The main emphasis however is on powerful sequencing. Its something of a body mover, I certainly found my head nodding and feet tapping. It is an enjoyable and energetic way to finish the album.

Anyone, like me, into sequences combined with strong melodies should buy without reservation.

DL