"Synthesist Brendan Pollard has a great eye for collaborating with fellow musicians who love the sound of vintage gear while pushing the boundaries, such as Free System Project and Javi Canovas.
For this project he invited Michael Daniel (aka Hashtronaut) and Phil Booth in his Bedford-based Radial Velocity studio, where they did several jamming sessions. An almost 67-minute outtake of these live sessions with no overdubs is now released on this album (limited to 100 copies), which seems to be the first in a series, musically sounding similar of mid 70's TD and early RMI. It also marks the first recorded outing for Brendan’s new Arrick / Synthesizers.com modular synthesizer, some very nice atmospherics from Mr Booth's array of kit, plus some solid guitar lines from Mr Daniel.
The three extended tracks now and then really kick some ass with their beautifully, grand vintage sound textures and mellotron tapestries. The first 30-minute piece "Envelopes" sure is the strongest effort with its long, quiet and moody intro before sequencer patterns, guitar licks and additional synth pads follow. "Skaters" is an atmospheric, slightly experimental oriented and rather searching sounding outing, while "Ladders" melts elements of both worlds with some RMI-like freaky guitar solos on top.
Beside the limited cd-r release, the release is also available as download through Musikzeit."
been really enjoying this over the last few week or so. Ladders is, for me, the srongest track, not that the others are crap. Starts all 'nice' then seems to go wrong (and a little scary) in the best possible way. Eventually builds and layers into a quality groove with an only slightly misbehaving guitarist . Gets a bit uneasy again and then just as it sounds like we'll get a calm finish someone starts short circuiting all the equipment. Love it. But I guess you know that, as you were there at the time ;D.
Kind of reminds me of early Steely Dan..... only kidding, but I enjoyed it as much.
For EM fans, Brendan Pollard is synonymous of retro Berlin School. His solo works, as much as with Rogue Element, are all magnificent jewels of an EM which embraces tenderly the roots of TD’s analog years, with a subtle zest of contemporaneousness. Recorded in one day, live and without overdubs, this Pollard/Daniel/Booth eponymous album doesn’t make exception about BP’s musical orientations. Brendan Pollard, Michael Daniel (Hashtronaut) and Phil Boot are delivering an album which exudes a somber tranquility, drawn by luxurious mellotrons, and a sweet improvised madness which gets closer to the Dream repertory as well as RMI’ first works. Envelopes opens with a warm mellotron flute which quavers slowly on a loud linear movement, perfumed by chords of a forlorn piano and electronic eclectic sound effects. Ambient and atmospheric, the English trio plunges us into the depths of Phaedra and Force Majeure era with a beautiful foggy intro, a bit nostalgic, which is feeding of a secret ambiance while lining a ghostly approach, with its waves and droning flutes, on oscillations to intriguing resonances and synth to captivating loops. A slow crescendo is developing with a chthonian slowness, molding a slow rhythm which grows without sequenced surges until the 10th minute. A moment where a solitary sequence gallops in zigzag on flickered cymbals, forging a hypnotic tempo which gradually plunges us into the oversize rhythms of Envelopes. Waves on hoops hemmed of biting reverberations from where escape crystal clear sequences which astride opposite ascents, as well as heavy sequences to random rhythmic directions draw a loud pace. A heavy and frantic tempo which circulates in loops on a guitar with well chiseled solos form a 2nd vitamined part, which goes out slowly with its anemic rhythms wrapped in sweet hazes of a fluty mellotron. A mellotron making charms of the introduction. In contrast, Skaters deviates constantly in a sea of caustic sinuosity, stuffed of rippling spectral mellotron waves and a synth to corrosive laments. A music piece tinted of a post nuclear atmospheres that frees troubling aura, somehow a little bit touching. Fine keys of a melancholic piano open Ladders worrying first measures. A dark intro where the synth bends its tones as shouts of a mephistic feline, in an oddly icy ambiance. A pulsation emerges from this syncretic chaos, filled with circular reverberations and animated by dragonfly cymbals. An intro of a solitary who strolls out in limbs that clears up on a fluty mellotron and a sequence with spiraled debits, forging a tempo sustained by a symphonic odes synth. Ladders finds a continual pace, robed by magnificent sequences, aggressive solos and a loud synth eroded by corrosive resonances. A good progressive, even psychedelic, Berlin School which borrows well structured cadenced permutations, feeding by furious guitar solos on a musical background tenderly ethereal, especially towards the finale with its subtle tones of organs which float on circular flickered cymbals; signifying the end of a track surprisingly audacious and furious for a Berlin School style. Pollard/Daniel/Booth offers a very beautiful opus inspired by the Berlin School style. But a more daring and adventurous one where tribal elements’ synchrony of this music style thwarts its slowness with an audacious and clearly more progressive approach. It is a pity that it’s only available in 100 copies, but you can find it as a downloadable format.
Sylvain Lupari (2009)
Don't trust reality. After all it's just a collective hunch.