Let just imagine 6 synths, as much of Mellotrons, 3 or 4 sequencers, a guitar as brilliant as cosmic and a synth which fills rare holes while wrapping intros and finales with ingenious sound effects to analog steams. One then obtains an immense wall of electronic sonorities which waltz, undulate and float in a cosmic universe where random and subdivided cadences are rolled up in thick clouds of symphonic synths and celestial Mellotrons. This is what the lucky spectators present at the 8th Hampshire Jam festival, held on last October 31, attended. For this occasion the Pollard /Daniel/Booth trio was accompanied by Jerome Ramsay (Brendan Pollard’s sidekick within Rogue Element) and Free System Project’s Ruud Heij and Marcel Engels. It resulted in an immense musical immersion in a rich and dense electronic world which breathes fragrances of Tangerine Dream, Ricochet and Encore eras.Hampshire I opens this concert with sound effects that buzz, like wings of dragonflies, in a cosmic pond soaked of analog sound effects. A solitary keyboard drops notes orbiting in suspension. Notes that cross a fluty Mellotron and choruses of medieval monks. All gently, Hampshire I reveals a sound fauna which sleeps under a thick Mellotron coat and animates softly on a sequence with feverish chords. A sequencer with a striking tempo of which the hopping pace fits to a cascade linear movement wrapped of superb Mellotrons to cold blowpipes, monastic choirs and a mystical fog which filters its heady sound effects of a distant analog world. This sequential movement permutes by striking a good bass line, taking away the opening track in a heavy swirl of oscillating sequences which fidget beneath languorous incisive guitar solos of Michael Daniel whom fly over a rhythmic storm inundates by synths which spit symphonic, spectral and twisted solos on a cadenced race which finishes its journey with keyboards notes which gently disappear to make room for a morphic final. Hampshire II offers a splendid dreamy intro where Mellotrons draw splendid cosmic auras. An electronic dawn still spangled by analog sound effects which pave the way to a sequential approach which subdivides its tempos under the laments of a synth to ochre breaths. A superb heavy and aggressive sequential movement whose chords circle with force and constancy under Michael Daniel corrosive guitar and synths bubbling of apocalyptic and undulating solos which cross a multi-colored synthesized world of heavy reverberations and twisted psychedelic streaks. After a syncretic intro where the world of darkness opens under our feet and ears, Hampshire III offers a powerful sequential movement which tears this introductory veil to multiple sounds strangeness. A heavy sequence which undulates with strength, spawning among a wall of synths and Mellotrons of which solos and enchanted flutes open out a misty mystic that can’t manage to chock all the ferocity of a movement which revolves and meanders with the power of its rhythmic approach. Hampshire 3 concludes in the tumult which gave him life. A superb way of concluding a magic musical performance worthy of the talent on stage! Hampshire 4 is the first Encore. An Encore which begins savagely, with a heavy sequence that moves in a powerful movement cascade, surrounded by superb Mellotron flutes and synths with layers soaked of fogs. Frantic and swarming of an intense rhythmic activity, Hampshire 4 whirls in a sea of Mellotrons to heavy wrapping pads that Daniel’s guitar is able to penetrate, just like superb synth solos. A heavy musical piece that will make the delights of Tangerine Dream fans as well as Redshift’s. Hampshire 5 introduced itself of a suave psychedelic approach where panoply of heteroclite sound effects spins around an atonal introductory structure, as in the psychedelic years of the Dream. A heavy resounding sequence pierces this syncretic curtain. A rhythmic assault contained by a wall of synths and rich Mellotrons to cosmic fragrances. But the sequence decreases finely its intensity, offering a fragmented pace which infiltrates finally in this torrent of synthesized and mellotronned breaths of which analog effects swallow up the tempo which little by little crumbles away in this torrent where electronic and cosmic go alongside. As in Tangerine Dream beautiful years! Pollard/Daniel/Booth vol. 2 is magic just like it’s quite simply divine. This concert in Hampshire Jam 8 is an excellent Berlin School Revival imprints of a superb musical richness where rhythms and harmonies are prisoners of splendid Mellotrons to padded and dreamy layers. A splendid album! The best of its kind in 2010, regarding Berlin School retro!
Sylvain Lupari Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le pseudo de Phaedream;
Don't trust reality. After all it's just a collective hunch.
POLLARD/DANIEL/BOOTH Volume 2 CD-R, English Electronic Music Company, 2010
For years, Steve Jenkins’ Hampshire Jam festival is known as one of UK’s finest EM-festivals, which had the privilege to welcome the Pollard/Daniel/Booth trio on stage during its eight festival in October 2009.
The occasion was made even more special as the three musicians were joined by no other than Jerome Ramsey (Brendan’s sparring partner within Rogue Element) and the vintage duo Ruud Heij and Marcel Engels of Free System Project.
Well, all (like me) who missed out on the concert now have the chance to here the outcome, as the 73-minute "Volume 2" features the "HJ8" concert plus the two encores. The five extended tracks of music take the listener back to TD’s vintage period around "Rubicon", "Encore" and "Ricochet" offering a great ride of smooth, melancholic and overall moody interludes and more up-tempo sequencer outings, at times topped by Michael Daniel’s energetic guitar work.
The nice thing though is these musicians are also able to nicely expanding the sonic canvas of Berlin School heaven which inspired them. It just leaves me saying: all who love immersive landscapes of mellotron pads, percolating sequencer patterns and walls of massive modular textures, this is release for you!
"Volume two" is available as download from MusicZeit, as the limited run of 100 physical copies was gone within the blink of an eye.