1. Hydra [15:50] MP3 soundclip of Hydra [1:00]
  2. Eclipse [10:14] MP3 soundclip of Eclipse [1:00]
  3. Reflections [10:15]
  4. Outland [14:22] MP3 soundclip of Outland [1:00]
  5. Diorama [19:25]
Wolfgang Barkowski's (Alien Nature) and Torsten M Abel's (TMA) 2nd collaboration is a small masterpiece of EM, Berlin School style. “Hydra” starts where TMA had abandoned on Sequentrips. Although written with Wolfgang Barkowski (Alien Nature), “Hydra”, which is rather different than the poetic and lunar Medusa, is a work which inhales much more the fragrances of Torsten M. Abel's heavy cosmic progressive rock than of Alien Nature's astral poetries. The electronic drum is solid, the keyboard and synth riffs are curt and hatched and Martin Rohleder's guitar, presents on "Reflections", although discreet, and "Outland" adds some more from weight to those heavy and powerful tracks which seem to be taken out Sequentrips' sessions.

The intro of the title-track is pushed by the distant winds of Orion which blow on cosmic dunes, lifting crystalline dusts and cloud of sequenced ions which swirl awkwardly in hoops to eroded outlines. These sequences to tones grave are swirling like a lasso which is lacking velocity, shaping its imperfect rotations in the strikings of percussions which have difficulty in ingesting this strange stroboscopic structure. And the rhythm is taking shape. At first uncertain, it increases the cadence with a good play game of percussions of which the symmetric knocks awake the wrapping waves of a synth manhandled by these black sequences which swirl of imperfect harmonious spheres all around the opening track and the album. Between its dishevelled and quiet phases, "Hydra" takes its rhythmic assertiveness with impressive synth solos which imprison these sequences of which the hatched hoops are harpooned by powerful percussions, plunging "Hydra" into the webs of a powerful progressive sp ace rock. First jewel of ambience in “Hydra”, "Eclipse" offers a delicate ambiospherical intro with silvery breezes which float in the echoes of smothered percussions. The synth sculptures some wonderful solos which spread their musical veils like songs of vampires while a movement of sequences draws a rhythmic line which swirls in long eroded circles. The synth is magical. Drawing breathes and solos which sound so much like Adelbert Von Deyen on Sternzeit, it lays its spectral harmonies on a structure which shakes its melancholy with percussions which beat a rhythmic measure amplified by a swirling string of sequences. In spite of this spherical rhythmic approach, "Eclipse" preserves its oniric nobility, clocking its cosmic and twisted solos in a mist of which the ample morphic movements chloroform an electronic samba that can only fold the spinal column in front of so much astral beauty. It's very but very beautiful! Hollow breaths a bit frightening open "Reflections" whose intro is similar to a cosmic journey disrupted by a fall of meteorites. A line with sequences zigzagging of a troubled drunkenness starts a rhythm in spiral with ions which hesitate to dance. The percussions are falling and the jumping ions are pounding on the spot. They draw rotatory movements to the hatched curves while the percussions become more hammered, plunging "Reflections" in a heavy space rock with synths to tones of analog organs which whistle as on "Eclipse" and riffs of a discreet guitar which leaves all the room to the beauty of the synths.

After an ambiospherical intro, the rhythm of "Outland" runs with fine pulsations in the strata and solos of a lunar guitar. The rhythm is increasing and takes a second wind that is more nervous with spasmodic sequences which quiver frantically under a beautiful duel guitar/synths from which the undulatory solos caress a rhythmic shape became intense. Another line of sequences pounds this stubborn gallop which drinks of percussions which roll with noise and pulsations banging fervently while that Martin Rohleder's guitar whips this unbridled race of loopy solos. "Diorama" appears at our ears with an intergalactic intro à la Jarre. The synth layers which coo in cosmic breezes are appealing. They awake slowly a first rhythmic phase which spins of its circular movement beneath the riffs of synth which recall the harmonious universe of Tangerine Dream. This shy rhythm amplifies its pace with a spiral approach that the strikings of electronic drum and other sequences with their prismic reflections bring to the doors of solos from a languishing synth which hums in the mists of ether of a poetic cosmos. At the dawn of its 10 minutes, "Diorama" embraces a more lunar phase where some violent shrill winds mask the carillons of musical dusts which rain down on harmonious arpeggios, concealing a shy rhythm which pulses with insecurity in this cosmic oasis multicolored of percussions with so asymmetric hits as the cosmic wanderings can allow. And little by little, "Diorama" drifts towards its 3rd phase with a more spasmodic approach where the rhythm remains fuzzy, even if very present, concretizing the world of ambiguity which revolves throughout this long cosmic watercolor that are the 3 acts of "Diorama".

Navigating between its astral structures and its progressive cosmic rhythms of rock, “Hydra” manages to weave the missing link between these two universes of which the antipodes are constantly feeding their ambiguities. It's some big cosmic rock where the percussions have the upper hand over sequences and with just what it needs not to frighten the purists who will find their accounts in the very beautiful "Eclipse" and the enigmatic "Diorama".

2013. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synth&sequences.com