01 Space 07:00
02 Time 05:36
03 Matter 07:28
04 Energy 08:46
05 Information 06:29
06 Laws 06:16
07 Constants 06:17
08 Parallel 06:15
09 Alternative 06:41
10 Worlds 09:05
It would be wrong to claim that spacerock musician Harald Nies reinvents himself on his new album “Multiverse”. But, and to be quite honest, that is sometimes a good thing. Much more the musician refines his very own sound. “Multiverse” is more electronic and has this deep and incredibly relaxing flow. Even though the term “spacerock” hovers over Harald’s music, it’s basically classic electronic music with elements of spacerock. The artist shows again and again how many facets this genre has and how well musical genius can be mixed with simple, monotonous sequences. From the first second on you dive into the fascinating sound worlds, which are not only a lot of fun, but let you forget the everyday life for a moment.
Cadenced slammings arouse a fiercely twirling bass line in the opening of Space. Tell you right away that this energizing music has nothing in common with the quietness of space! The synth, like the bass, rolls out circular lines, like driving solos with funky harmonies, spiraling over a lively flow that flirts with a Soul Music inspired EDM. The electronic drum energize the lively undulations of a sequenced bass line in dance music mode. The synth acts as an electronic nightingale by multiplying harmonic cooing over a rhythmic structure which organizes these skin changes, going from a brief ambient phase and a reset of a rhythm that ends Space with an ever more energetic flow but coated this time with nice twisted harmonies of a synth more biting in this album than the guitar. Electronic music (ME) that flirts between Techno, EDM and solid cosmic rock, MULTIVERSE is like its title as Harald Nies visits the genres and sub-genres of a music built to make our neurons dance as much as our feet in a conceptual mosaic of dance music where the 10 tracks follow one another. Built on the basis of The Flow of Energy, this last opus of the guitarist-synthesist from Duisburg proposes nothing less than a big 70 minutes of alternative EM where the limits of the psychedelic are crossed on the tiptoe, giving an electronic dance album full of surprises which are at the dimension of the one who charmed my ears since his very good Dual Systems in 2007. But his style has evolved since then. Abandoning little by little the cosmic rock and its atmospheric phases, Harald Nies walks on the lands of Element 4, a project of Brainwork, by offering an electronic music based on fire rhythms. The difference is that he takes a jealous care to make each of his tracks evolve within a rather restricted time limit, hence the interest that our ears have in his music.
Running on variable cadences, the structures of rhythm get hitched on circular movements which are propitious to this sensation to twirl, sometimes to soar, between the various harmonic textures as abstract of the synths. A track like Times, with its very good melodious synth solos, is a perfect example with its less energetic rhythm which is draped in orchestral arrangements that are not without reminding the Disco of the 70’s. Matter follows with a slow tempo driven by a sequencer movement that disarticulates its rhythm like a spine losing its bones. The rhythm is slow but also very heavy. Sometimes it goes into a spasmodic frenzy just after dramatic arrangements. Harald multiplies and mixes solos on this track, both synth and guitar, some of which are piercingly emotional. Energy proposes the cosmic rock vision of the German musician. His rhythm is catchy, but what holds the most attention are the synth solos and the electronic arrangements that give a more emotional dimension to the music. Let’s say that it is the kind of track that hooks us at the first listening. Ditto for Information, a beautiful track with a slow atmospheric opening filled with piercing elements as intense as those beautiful synth solos. Its slow pace is hammered by powerful percussions and muffled bass pulsations but from which every blow shakes this membrane which envelops the soul. An excellent and a poignant track that would fit nicely into a compilation of Harald Nies’ best tracks. Embracing the emotional and moving side of Information, Constants offers a tender meditative opening before the sequencer and the percussions plow for a more spasmodic phase. Let’s just say that for its 6 minutes and dusts, Constants keeps us on our toes. Its rhythm gallops thus between a meditative phase and a passage of slow cosmic blues, without the guitar, to reach this rhythm of rodeo EDM whose circular loops are animated by good percussive effects under the orchestral haze of sumptuous synth layers.
Parallel offers a rhythmic structure supported by the jolts of the electronic drums. The bass line is pulsating, and its elastic jumps help structure a rhythm that swirls in good orchestral arrangements. New drum loads and sequencer bursts reorient the dynamism of Parallel whose arrangements and orchestrations weave some nice phases of melancholic melodies through a synth and its rather sober solos. Alternative proposes another pulsating rhythm ferociously fed by a bouncing line of bass sequences. We are in an EDM phase of the album with a dynamism redirected by percussions that strafe the rhythm with electronic tap effects. The keyboard and the synth produce some good melodious energies, like Groove and Funk, which go with the very dance and technoïd style of the track. Let’s just say it’s pretty fierce, as much as Space, for my ears. From a mid-tempo to a more energetic rhythm, Worlds ends this Harald Nies album all in beats with the most evolving rhythm structure of MULTIVERSE. It starts is mesmerizing, giving the feeling of twirling while hovering on a good mesh between the electronic percussions and a very catchy pulsating bass line. The synth lets go of a more psychedelic texture, as well as some good harmonious solos, and the keyboard lets hover arpeggios that tinkle with percussion effects dribbled in an industrial tone. Worlds escapes its semi-slow rhythmic grip to open up into a more cosmic rock phase around the 3rd minute. A good track that takes advantage of its 9 minutes to reshape its structure in order to constantly keep our ears on the alert, one of the big attractions of this very good album of the German guitarist-synthesist… if one likes to dance and rock on an energetic EM made for dancing on structures in constant movement.
Sylvain Lupari (February 23rd, 2023)