Updated: Jan 18
“There is some very good EM which combines the poles of retro to new Berlin Schools on this 3 cd(r) set”
Not hesitating at all in order to offer a wider range of electronic music (EM) styles, the managers of Cyclical Dreams struck a blow by producing an album from The Rosen Corporation. This project of Peter Baldwin from Hamburg is part of this list of musicians who have tamed the web with the Bandcamp site by producing albums more than a considerable number, we are talking about nearly 80 albums over a period of 4 years, from 2018 to 2022. He had previously produced an album in 2015 called Replicant. Although the name is inspired by that Philip K. Dick book which gave us the movie Blade Runner, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the music has nothing to do with that of Vangelis, nor with a vision of cosmic futuristic music. At least on this album. Most of the German musician's albums were conceived based on improvisation, like this BEYOND THE VEIL OF CONSCIOUSNESS, and are for the most part available on CD(r), if not in download format. The music is inspired by the years '72 to '82, either those years when the art of analog was quietly transitioning to digital synths. The contact with the Argentinian label's managers was made during the Cyclical Fest 2022, which was broadcasted on October 22nd, where The Rosen Corporation shared the virtual stage with musicians who have already released albums on the label: Paul Ellis, Michael Brückner, Sophos, grüm~pé, MindPhaser, Francisco Nicosia and SONICrider. You can view this concert on the Cyclical Dreams YouTube channel by clicking on the following link; Cyclical Fest 2022. BEYOND THE VEIL OF CONSCIOUSNESS consists of 3 very long tracks, improvised and recorded during the sessions of June 11, 19, and 20, 2022, of which the numerous permutations between their rhythmic and atmospheric phases generate lengths that approach 55 minutes, while one track flirts with 48 minutes. In the end, Peter Baldwin offers more than 2.5 hours of an EM that effectively travels between this 10-year period that inspires his creativity.
With its feast of mellotron chants, the opening of Beyond the Veil of Consciousness - Session 110622 inspires a desire to hear some good Brendan Pollard again. We are in those years when Rubycon and Phaedra have charmed our ears with those fascinating flute-like chants whose waves belonged to another dimension. A sequenced pulsing bassline emerges as soon as the 5th minute. Undulating with the moiré reflections of its tone, it sculpts an ascending movement that remains under the grip of the Mellotron. The scents of Klaus Schulze, Body Love period, awaken our memories, especially with these ambient mellotron tunes that radiate like solos from a semi-awake synth. This contemplative rhythm sequence suddenly increases its pace 3 minutes later. The rhythm is more fluid and rolls in a series of hypnotic loops in this minimalist choreography which is enriched with the addition of a line of sequenced arpeggios whose tinklings shine in parallel with a movement that makes our neurons dance... just as like our old memories of the vintage years. If the rhythm unrolls its loops, the synth is not at rest by being very active on the level of its filaments which have diversified sonorities, and of its shadow of drones which roars dully in the soundscape of the shortest track of BEYOND THE VEIL OF CONSCIOUSNESS. Our ears latch on to a short atmospheric phase, fed by metallic haze and fluty tunes around the 16th minute. The rhythm reactivates our senses with a fabulous transition between the analog and digital years. The pulsing bass sequences resonate, and their bouncing has a luscious rubbery response, creating an elastic echo effect that is fueled by metallic slaps. The synth injects a haze that dances like a flame wiggling on the breezes of an oriental dance. This superb passage covers a distance of 12 minutes, the rhythm switching to a more current sequencer texture with jumping arpeggios that fizzle with a more metallic tone to hammer out a more linear beat. Beatings of bass pulses add a bass base and musicality to this rhythm phase that flirts between electronic rock and Electronica made for zombies, while the synth injects sound effects bordering on the psybient or even that Robert Schroëder-like electronic cackling setting. An excellent first track with phases of rhythms long elaborated on short transitions of atmospheric ambiances. That is to say these famous bridges of the Tangerine Dream repertoire.
With its arpeggios that sparkle and sing on a texture of industrial drones, Beyond the Veil of Consciousness - Session 190622 drifts towards an atmospheric phase of about ten minutes, the longest among the three tracks of BEYOND THE VEIL OF CONSCIOUSNESS. On the other hand, the rhythm that emerges is more lively and jerky with crystalline arpeggios that jump around in single file just before being harpooned by a violent line of a pulsing bass that rolls like a raging train under a plethora of synth solos with a slightly brassy tone. A more harmonious orchestral haze invites itself in around the 18-minute mark, helping the pace slow down and swap to a structure closer to Klaus Schulze's pre-X territories. The synth releases breezes and hollow waves, as well as lines of a maudlin air into this meditative rhythmic structure that quietly increases the pace. The synth responds to this rhythmic emphasis by displaying a more sibylline texture. The 30th minute brings us into a Dark Ambient phase with buzzing breezes and an echo effect that comes from dull pulsations whose origins remain to be defined. We are swimming in atmospheric delirium, the longest phase of the genre in this three-act Berlin School trilogy, until Beyond the Veil of Consciousness - Session 190622 quietly migrates to a more contemporary Berlin rhythm phase after the 35th minute. The introduction to this phase is through a divinely singing mellotron that caresses the ambient movement with moiré arpeggios that sparkle like a silver river. A surprising rhythmic structure, flirting with Electronica, emerges 3 minutes later, linking the two poles between Berlin School and its contemporary version.
Beyond the Veil of Consciousness - Session 200622 develops with a vintage tone, both with the synths and their ambient and wandering elements and with the sequencer in the first part dominated by the retro Berlin School style. The rhythmic structure transits between a soft, almost meditative, rhythm and a harder, syncopated movement before reaching its first phase of spectral ambiences with some good ectoplasm chants around the 20th minute. A rhythm tuned to a pulsing bass-line sequence emerges some 5 minutes later. Metallic claps, similar to cybernetic hand claps, accompany this rhythmic bloom that resonates over vague spectral harmonies rolling in loops, and synth jets that also form ghostly melodies. The track falls back into its spectral ambient phases around the 35th minute to come back with an ambient rhythm. A Berlin School that moves forward with a slight upward momentum under the still slightly ghostly synth chants. The pace increases significantly, even adding a sequence of shimmering arpeggios that gambol around, to lead the final moments of Beyond the Veil of Consciousness - Session 200622 into a rhythmic texture similar to that which charmed our ears around the 25th minute.
There is a lot of EM in this first opus of The Rosen Corporation on Cyclical Dreams. But it's a very nice EM that should please Berlin School aficionados, both the retro and the contemporary one. In fact, I have rarely heard such rich music for improvised structures. And even if the 3 long structures propose similar design patterns, the effect of redundancy is dissipated by its abundance of rhythms which transit wonderfully between the different visions inherent to the evolution of this EM over this 10 years period targeted by Peter Baldwin. A must, like what would say the other!