With its mosaic of e-beats and floating ambiences, Drifting Memories is a pleasant discovery which shines of the influences from Robert Schroeder all over its 80 minutes.
Internet, and more exactly Bandcamp, became a real opencast mine where sparkle some underestimated talents in all the music forms. And it’s even more true with EM. We have that to think of Gustavo Jobim, DigitalSimplyWorld, E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, Christopher Alvarado and Sequential Dreams to hear all the talent which expresses itself in this virtual universe.
Brainvoyager is also a part of this new wave of sound creators who expose their works on the Web. If the name seems to you familiar it is because it’s inspired by the album of the same name that Robert Schroeder released in 1985. “Drifting Memories”, even here the mixture of both names brushes two albums of Schroeder, is the 3rd opus from Brainvoyager and presents 4 long minimalist music pieces which border the 20 minutes and among which the slow evolutions present continual fights between rhythms and ambiences. And if we can make a narrow correlation between the famous musician of Aachen and this project of the Dutch musician Jos Verboven it would rests exactly on a mosaic of very contemporary rhythms which beats some iconic measures in electronic ambiences apparently inspired by the model of retro Berlin School.
The stroboscopic filets which wind the introduction of “Awake in Swirling Dreams” get couple to some fascinating vocal samplings of which the childish singings get melt to a meshing of jerked pulsations and beatings. From the outset, Brainvoyager propels us in a universe of House and Jungle Music with brusque tempos which lose their deafening beatings into nice more ambient spheres. It is what happens after the first 4 minutes. The winds of Orion, I hear the slow cosmic waltzes of Software here, caress the last rhythmic palpitations of “Awake in Swirling Dreams” entailing the listener towards a superb paradise for dreamers with a slow movement of cosmic waltz which gets lost in some zigzagging pulsations where the revival of the rhythms restarts slowly. “Awake in Swirling Dreams” is thus divided into 4 segments where the rhythms have precedence on ambiences with synths of which the charming vocal harmonies melt themselves marvelously in a structure of rhythms as much stroboscopic than jerky which, at times, chose the ambient sweetnesses of more morphic synths in order to expose better its latent velocity. This is good! But it’s quite necessary to listen more than once to get into it. And at the end, we hang on it. I hear some Geoff Downes and a Schroeder more contemporary to Brain Voyager there. These synths weavers of awaken dreams feed the very nice ambio-cosmic intro of the title-track, I hear Tomita here, where the diverse movements embroider a symphony for cosmic drifting. The synth waves which roll in countersense are splendid. They beautify a rich electronic musicality which little by little turns into an astral choir of which the peaceful singings wrap a soft structure of passive rhythm. And it’s there that the influence of Robert Schroeder jumps to ears. “Drifting Memories” presents these keyboards with the talking keys, exploited so well by Schroeder at the turning of the 80′s, which overhang an ambient rhythm and its stroboscopic threads which go and come, roam and drift in a dense ambiospherical fauna.
This influence of Schroeder on Brainvoyager can be felt more and more as long as we move forward in “Drifting Memories”, in particular on the Ambient House style “All That has Been” and its introduction which binds itself to that of the title-track with soft chords sparkling into cosmic mists. Lines of synth, as the astral voices, are cooing and floating over the rollings of the percussions as well as the dance of the keys and their crystal clear tones, while that quietly the rhythm, subdivided between jerked pulsations and random beatings, is melting into an ambient mass in order to be absorbed by these slow cosmic waltzes, these sibylline singings and these floating synth solos which swallow all of this diverse rhythmic fauna of “Drifting Memories”. This is a quite good track. The voices and the Berber singings which introduce “Ascension” don’t deviate it from the axis of the Ambient House and Chill Out styles which surrounds the minimalist envelope of the impromptu and explosive rhythms of “Drifting Memories”. The rhythm is clearly more present, even if always it gets lost and is magnetized by dense morphic envelopes. It inhales of this duality between the hypnotic movements of Berlin School and those of the more current electronic music scene while being very near, but very near, of Robert Schroeder’s influences.
I would say that this “Drifting Memories” from Brainvoyager is a pleasant discovery. It’s necessary on the other hand to be patient to tame well these structures which are all alike while being rather different. Contradiction you will say? Well, it’s often the lot of those long minimalist works. I like this mixture of contemporary rhythms with those more sedentary and hypnotic of the Berlin School. But I would say that the strength of “Drifting Memories” lies in the ambiences and these sonic flashbacks which remind so much the evolutions and the changes of skins of Robert Schroeder. To listen in solo and with earphones in order to really let us drifted with our memories.
Sylvain Lupari, February 16th, 2014 - gutsofdarkness.com
Total playing time: 81:40 min.
released January 15, 2014
Artwork by Martijn Verboven