Updated: Mar 29
“New E-Rock in an album not as great as Sequenz, but still close enough”
Sometimes a philosopher, Fredy Engel proposes a journey of electronic music (EM) inspired by the philosopher Plato and his Meno and Phaedo dialogues where he put forward the idea that humans possess innate knowledge, possibly acquired before birth. The impact on music? Apart from the philosophical scope of the titles, the music is all that is conventional to MiDi-BiTCH's style. Industrial post-punk, electronic neo-rock, cosmic rock, and zest of Berlin School. The German musician-synthesist is part of this generation of Bandcamp artists who have been more than prolific in 2022. I count 6 album downloads, 3 of which have already been reviewed on the Blog. ANAMNESIS will be the 4th and especially the 2nd to be released on Cyclical Dreams this year. Transkosmos, released on January 21, is the first of MB's 3 albums on the Argentine label. His new album is built on the same rhythmic concepts as Natal, The Alienation of Contemporary Society and the excellent Sequenz released just 4 months ago. Fredy Engel offers here another bunch of tracks that are around 5,30 minutes long and that live on those always catchy rhythmic structures that we find on these 3 albums. All of them in ambiences that flirt with futuristic, dystopian, and industrial visions.
A Priori begins ANAMNESIS with a pulsating rhythm led by a line of pulsating bass, with bass sequences on a background of industrial sound effects. Austere keyboard chords inject a dark panorama while the synth illuminates our ears with a fragile melody whistled with a tone that is not without recalling those whistled melodies in Edgar Froese repertoire. Synth layers caramelized by a dramatic vision and scattered voices, that we find throughout the album, are feeding the emotions of the structure and add an undeniable cinematic scope of a dark universe to this beautiful track that puts our ears in appetite. Meno surfs on quite comparable ambiences in a rhythm structure having less drive but which remains pulsating. The synth also whistles a light melodic trickle that rides pleasantly between the ears. Sound particles add a cosmic background to the track. Phaedo is well set on a complex multiline of rhythms and melodies. The rhythm is ideal to make the neurons work and is in this line of heavy and slow electronic rock that Fredy Engel proposes since the astonishing Natal released at the beginning of 2021. If you like the heavy and slow genre with a subtle stroboscopic touch, Phaedrus, of which the music bathes in cosmic orchestrations, is a track that makes you drift in the stratosphere. Catharsis is even better in the genre! The Berlin School is honored with tracks like Transmigration, which is very TD in the rhythmic phase of Silver Scale, and Contingency which unfolds a circular structure visibly inspired by the melodious rhythms of the famous Berlin trio. A good track with a beautiful melody on it! Theory of Forms transports us to a meditative ambient rhythm with a core of sequences that sparkle and jump on the spot in the dense vellum of a cosmic fog. MiDi-BiTCH adds ambient and white noises, giving a glitchy feel to the music.
Anima Mundi reaches our ears with a more delicate rhythm. A sequenced bass line rises and falls in a rhythmic pattern that is more dominated by electronic percussions which are nervously manipulated. A line of arpeggios that leap like moiré pearls and weave a sequenced melody embraces the axis of a rhythm submerged by lunar orchestrations. Bits of texts narrated here and there, complete the decor of a track that lives in a yellowish-brown landscape atmosphere. Elenctic Method is a very nice track that offers a complex and melodious rhythm structure that floats between clouds of ether and layers of astral voices. The sequencer structure gives a first vein of rhythm that undulates in an ascending spiral effect. This first movement moves back and forth relentlessly with a pulsating weight that is best heard when it pulses in solo. Another line, which follows a bit of the same pattern, boosts the melodic side of the twinkling arpeggios, allying this very nice rhythm and melody combination to this track that has a nice elegiac vision, especially because of the vocals but also because of that xylophone texture and its bright percussive chords which are tinkling. Phytia sticks to this structure to finally lead to a fascinating Electrobeat Groove. The bass line is simply invading and runs over the circular motion of the sequencer in an industrial EDM style that MiDi-BiTCH likes to develop. The synth throws post-apocalyptic laments on this ascending rhythm where essences of Tangerine Dream twirl at the speed of a deliciously driving beat. A Posteriori ends this other very good album of Fredy Engel with a very beautiful and hypnotic spheroidal movement. The rhythm spins like a carousel in slow motion, sticking its circular sequences deep into our eardrums. Synth laments and wails fill a desolate setting that is unique to the vision of concern for our planet that drives MiDi-BiTCH's thirst to compose.
In the end, this ANAMNESIS turns out to be another very good album from this musician-synthesist who seems to remain a hidden treasure in this universe where a cross between Jean-Michel Jarre, Andy Pickford, Vangelis and Tangerine Dream styles is the best way to describe his music always full of unexpected. Not as great as Sequenz, but still close enough!