“Creative rhythmic patterns in Tangerine Dream tones of the 80's”
I've always enjoyed electronic music (EM) made in Poland. There was a beautiful blossoming that was inspired by the Berlin School with imaginative musicians who knew how to put their creative signature by deflecting the genre towards more cosmic and danceable horizons. But since the pandemic, we hear less about Poland and the main craftsmen who brought us to the borders of the Poland School. And this style is not really in tune with this first album of Jarmodular on the Cyclical Dreams label. And don't get it wrong, despite the artist's name musician-synthesist Jaromir Ziętek his music has nothing to do with that of Jean-Michel Jarre. RETURN TO THE LAND OF A STATIC TWILIGHT (no, but what a title!) offers a creative EM built on a panoply of rhythms, static as well as catchy as an electronic rhythm can be, and on diversified styles. We're more in the New Berlin School territory here. And regardless of the genre, Jarmodular favors a pairing of electronic percussions with a sequencer in mode multi-line of rhythms and never hesitates to create gaps between rhythmic nuances and/or dribble his cadenced arpeggios into ever-appealing sequenced rhythm structures. The music is wrapped in a musical environment inspired by the Schmoelling years of Tangerine Dream. You can hear those evanescent harmonies, metallic synth pads that shine like metal turned into sonic strips, and other elements connected to those years. I find that the Polish musician's style is also influenced by Robert Schroeder in this art of making hum, I would even say cackle, some sound effects cadenced in sequences, like these bits of rhythms that occur unexpectedly. In short, you have to have your ears on the lookout because apart from the multi-layers of rhythms, the music of RETURN TO THE LAND OF A STATIC TWILIGHT abounds in a multitude of tonalities that over-dimension its charms and make its discovery more interesting. Another very good release of the Argentinean label!
It is however with a very Vangelis essence, like Spiral and its title track, that The Impulses of Everyday Life puts our ears in appetite. The sound is perhaps less fat, it still buzzes quite heavily, and is less reverberating, but the pulsating bass line that gets in our ears stirs that '70s memory. Its slightly circular and subtly ascending axis is supported by sober percussions, attaching a slowness to the liveliness of the movement that is wrapped by sizzling synth pads. We are in the pure tradition of EM here and these short sharp synth laments link us to this good period of the Greek musician. Dawn in Industrial Retreat features a bass-sequence structure, creating a static rhythm that rises and falls with a slight shift in its minimalist drive. It gives an appealing effect of a muddy eddy to this structure that at times feels like quavering. A feeling that will solidify when a texture of panicked whispers joins the ambience elements of the track. And speaking of ambiences, its decor is made of synth pads with TD tones, especially in the second part, and of sound effects that are shining like stars twinkling and/or dragging a cloud of industrial dust. But the bulk of this decor is filled with these iridescent filaments whose incandescent tones are like the points of a sword delicately shearing the sonic shroud of the track's ambiences. And these different effects adorn the majority of RETURN TO THE LAND OF A STATIC TWILIGHT tracks. Secrets of the Old Garden proposes a slow structure that is in symbiosis with the meaning of the title. The flow moves stealthily in an atmosphere dominated by sniggers and murmurs. A good layer of mist covers this fascinating procession which is perfumed by a nice flute as mysterious as delightful. The march of Gray March is almost military with a fusion between the percussion rolls and the sequencer beats. Another sequencer structure is grafted onto this rhythm to dribble its jumping keys, giving more depth to a processional structure whose soundscape, especially the synth pads, sounds like the Dream in the Logos time.
A Trip to your Favorite Landscapes features two rhythmic structures, one galloping and the other beating with a texture of manual percussions, underneath that incandescent haze whose metallic color is always attached to TD's Schmoelling years. The keyboard scatters chords that quaver, sometimes they cackle in a computer language, over the nervousness of the rhythm as well as short arpeggio lines whose cadenced melody approach is rising and falling, contrary to the static effect of the rhythm. A slight staccato movement helps to propel the rhythm, which is always activated by the very articulate pace of these percussions that sound like hands tapping on bongo-type percussions. It's in an ambience of industrial Dark Ambient that Cold Morning by the Emerald Lake makes hear this rhythm structure which jumps and gambols giving the impression to hum on a crossbow tune. The metallic shards that girdle the structure and the gothic haze layers are the source of this industrial gloomy look, while the sequencer unveils another dimension in the art of dribbling its jumping arpeggios whose two lines roll in loops in an ambience that throws sonic drizzles of the Hyperborea years. Although the sequencer structures a good ascending Berlin School rhythm, The Stability of Time takes us to another level with a melodic jazz texture on a sequencer mesh, active in dribbling its jumping keys, and percussions whose old beatbox tone sounds out of tune versus the melody from a fluid piano. Return to the Land of a Static Twilight reminds me of a good Peter Baumann track in his Trans Harmonic Nights era. Its structure is conceived like Gray March's, but with faster percussion rolls while the sequencer weaves a classical rhythmic line in an ascending mode. This results in a slightly spasmodic structure that convulses in a muted way under the rolling of percussions that have the upper hand on the rhythm of the long title-track. An arpeggio line rolls a melody in a sequenced spiral axis. This line and the percussions progress with more velocity as the seconds tick away while the synth injects that gothic haze with a hint of chthonian voices, recalling the very Tangerine Dream dimension of the Schmoelling years in this Jarmodular's RETURN TO THE LAND OF A STATIC TWILIGHT. A very good album by the way and yes, as always, the managers of Cyclical Dreams have the gift to surprise and pull a rabbit out of their hat!