These are the missing link recordings from the Ricochet Gathering at the Okefenokee Swamp from 2001. Three long classic Berlin School EM tracks performed live and improvsed. The musicians on this recording are: AirSculpture, Free System Projekt (Marcel Engels), Dave Brewer and Bill Fox.|
- Invisible Gates [32:10]
- Spanish Moss [16:54]
- Firefly Waltz [24:10]
This music is experimental, dreamy, sequenced and ambient and will surely please fans of the various electronic (non-dance) genres.
This release from 2010 offers 73 minutes of dreamy electronic music recorded live at the Ricochet Gathering in Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia, on April 20-24, 2001.
Contributing musicians were: John Christian and Pete Ruczynski (from Airsculpture), Dave Brewer, Marcel Engels (from Free System Projekt) (all on synthesizers), and Bill Fox (on guitar and effects).
Texturals and flowing electronics conjure gentle tunes of a misty variety.
While these electronics focus on conveying a humid (swampy) character (i.e.: winsome with airy tendencies), a degree of alternate versatility is employed to balance that ambience with a certain degree of gutsier tones. Deeper chords bestow a sturdy basis for the melodies, and more strident (reedier, shrill without being piercing) notes provide emotional punctuation.
Elongated textures dominate this tuneage, establishing tenuous auralscapes of delicate substance. Auxiliary electronics season these temperate flows with relaxed harmonics, generating a pulsing milieu. Keyboards periodically introduce touches of animation to the streaming sonics, generating fragile riffs whose gentle undulations produce passages of softly energized vitality. Even when the chords become nimble-fingered, their puissance remains moderate.
The guitar tends to softly smolder amid the flow, producing chords that shimmer rather than scald. In the second piece, the instrument adopts a soft twang but remains soft-spoken, blending with the crystalline flow.
Percussion is generally unused here, but when tempos appear they are reverently crafted to be reminiscent of classic Tangerine Dream rhythms.
These compositions are improvised without much preplanning, yet they shine with a bewitching luster that contradicts the reality that they were created impromptu in collaboration. The melodies flow with a vaporous fluidity, easily evoking the damp environs of a swamp, whether it be the sedate pools of water or the swaying vegetation or the flittering wildlife found in such regions. As each track (there are three long ones) progresses, the music evolves from a regal calm to a state of comfortable vigor.
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Ricochet Gathering events go as far as the beginning of years 2000. This first intimate and improvised concert in the swamps of Okefenokee at Foster State Park in Georgia joined together at that time Bill Fox and Marcel Engels. It was thus the first of long series of thematic concerts in homage to Tangerine Dream works. Strongly inspiring from their mystical moods, Okefenokee swamps were still the host place for the 2nd stopover of this series in concerts in 2001. This time, John Christian, Peter Ruczynski and Dave Brewer are joining Bill Fox and Marcel Engels from April 20th to 24th, 2001. A first album of this jam session was released on a label as well as a double CD-R on Ricochet Dream. But with 3 CD for 4 days of music, one suspected well that there were still unreleased materials in the marshy vaults of Okefenokee. Okefenokee 2001présente thus 3 long tracks with morphic and discordant ambiances which cross irregular rhythms in an electronic atmosphere strongly inspired of the youths of Tangerine Dream.
Keyboards keys hop and zigzag nervously to mould the first sequential approach of Invisible Gates. Sequences with hatched chords, sometimes clear and sometimes heavy of resonances, go up and down in a beautiful mystical fog and beautiful Mellotron flutes. Vestiges of an era that we simply don’t want to forget, they float and ramble among heteroclite sonorities and hesitant synth layers which come and go among a sequenced indecision and notes from a solitary guitar.
Difficult of approach with its rhythms with several heads and its layers of synth with several tails, Invisible Gates evolves between the abstract psychedelic and cosmic rock, where the latent rhythm hops gently under fine pulsations in a cosmos barded of electronic sonorities very close to the soil of the first years of the Dream.
An ambiguous rhythm which knows intense moments, with its metal sequences which are colliding in half-way, and by moments split with hybrid sequences which resound in a Milky Way of improvisation where chthonian choirs criss-cross the Aurora Borealis of synths with intersected layers. The rhythm becomes more homogeneous, but always drowned under an avalanche of electronic sonorities which draws a cacophonous structure, to end up, towards the final, with a constant tempo. A tempo wrapped of fine Mellotron, beautiful pads and solos of a synth /guitar duel which dies out in the mystical fogs of a mellotron flute, making of the Invisible Gates a track very difficult to tame and which oscillates between Berlin School, psychedelic and cosmic rock.
Spanish Moss begins with delicacy. Soft ethereal misty and fine bluesy notes of guitars are furrowing reverberating hoops. A vaporous intro which is activating by a first sequenced draft, where undulating pulsations mould a rhythmic à la Stratosfear, rhythmic flooded by a thick Mellotron fog. As Invisible Gates, Spanish Moss evolves by stages. Short passages with elusive rhythms and melodies which come and go through beautiful solos from synths and guitars, Mellotron flutes, radiant notes of piano, wandering choirs, all surrounded by an ambiance both vaporous and spectral.
Firefly Waltz is as magic as the beauty of its intro. A true Berlin School which increases its hypnotic crescendo, as one liked them. A beautiful morphic intro initiates this ode to Berlin School. A line of synth sways in a dark cosmos liven up by soft metal percussions, coated with felts, which will be used as the minimalist structure for Firefly Waltz. A soft Mellotron frees tender flute sonority, accompanied by a fine bass pulsation which gives beautiful and sensual hybrid cadence with a intro which slowly embraces a heavier and fast sequential movement. A rate moulded in the universe of Tangerine Dream, accompanied by a dense vaporous mellotron which drops soft fluty melodies. The rhythm is getting heavier whereas sequences multiply chords and increase the pulse, under layers of synths divided between a rhythmic and a melodious approach, freeing pads which yap at the twilight on a heavy and frantic increasingly pace. A superb piece which is concluding in the tranquility of its opening with lot of Mellotron flutes, like the great classics of Berlin School.
I could say that a chance that there was Firefly Waltz to save the setting, but I would miss objectivity. Me which affectionate EM as daring as melodious, I had difficulty to approach Okefenokee 2001. Invisible Gates and Spanish Moss are two titles which suffer from rhythmic bipolarity and which forsakes the melodious approach in the obliged cacophony of an improvised jam session. On the other hand, those who adore these musical tortuous and experimental outcomes, very close to wild Krautrock will adore. In fact, Okefenokee 2001 has some for all tastes; psychedelic, experimental, cosmic and Berlin School. And Firefly Waltz is worth itself the price of Okefenokee 2001. Quite simply delicious!
Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness