Whooshing windy pads are augmented by delicate mellotron as ‘Eindhoven I’ gets underway. A tinkling sequence completes the Berlin School credentials. A second sequence falls into place with the first and we hurtle forward. A bass line adds to the depth of the experience. Turn up the volume and feel the ground shake. The pulsations morph around each other, creating one exciting moment after another and then in comes Michael’s guitar, increasing the oomph factor still further. Every element is heaven, harking back to those heady days of mid to late 70s analogue sequencing. The guitar doesn’t linger too long however (you can have too much of a good thing- I think), leaving space for the sequences and more tron. This is a brilliant opener- constantly changing with never a dull moment. ‘Eindhoven II’ is awash with tinkling atmospherics. Shimmering tones take over accompanied by a lonesome flutey synth melody. It has a warm comforting feel to it all. The flute is replaced by a rapid sequence and strident lead. More sequences come to join it, as before occupying all ends of the sonic spectrum. If anything though this track builds an even greater head of steam. The flute the tron choir returns, providing a beautiful ending. We start in deep space for ‘Eindhoven III’. It can hardly be thought of as floaty stuff though as so many different bleeps, twitters, sonic shades and effects etc are used that one image after another in conjured up in the mind. When the sequence does arrive it is of the ball breaking ‘Rubycon’ variety and bludgeons its way to the surface. Once again the guitar makes a briefish appearance, little licks complimenting all the other stuff that is going on rather than dominating. As with the rest of the album there is constant movement. This is another stunning album, easily on a par with Vol 2. DL
Don't trust reality. After all it's just a collective hunch.
review from Sylvain Lupari To explore the musical universe of Pollard/Daniel/Booth it’s unrelentingly make a temporal musical voyage that brings us to the roots of Berlin School. Even with technologies and today’s equipment, the English trio is continuously attracted by long bewitchments of analog synths whose soft perfumes of Mellotron mist travel on wonderful sequences to random rhythms. Recorded 2 weeks before the famous Hampshire Jam 8, this spectacle in the grounds of Netherlands School presents 3 long titles with ethereal ambiances whose nervous sequential rhythms cross the fogs and flutes of a wrapping Mellotron with synths to sharpen solos and sound effects of a forgotten analog world. The concert begins with a Mellotron filled of Gothic and mystical breaths whose ethereal fragrances set foot on a drizzle of analog sound effects, thanks to Phil Boot who adds a unique dimension to Pollard/Daniel/Booth Berlin School style. Spectral and strident hooting which lasciviously surround a Mellotron whose dense layers and fluty sonorities float such as morphic clouds embellish of mislaid piano notes, adding an even more mysticism to Eindhoven I intro. Towards the 6th minute spot a sequence with hatched keys moulds a nervous pace which gallops a cadenced structure with subtle permutations. Constant, the tempo hammers at a movement seized by a synth overflowing of cosmic sound effects and heavy reverberations, borrowing a Jarre rhythmic appearance on Les Concerts en Chine. Weighs down by heavy resonances which come out of everywhere, the rhythm crosses a minimalism road where a guitar to forceful solos sets ablaze around the 12th minute point, followed of a synth with twisted solos. On a hypnotic cadence Eindhoven I becomes loud and metallic. An aggressive Berlin School that slowly moderates its pace to penetrate the soft auditory fragrances of a cosmic rock drowned of an approach as celestial as spatial. Eindhoven II presents a fabulous intro where piano notes embrace a soft celestial flute. A tender intro that a fulminating sequence wakes up it senses towards the 7th minute. Follows a heavy and aggressive rhythm which undulates under the weight of synths with symphonic breaths and the lightness of piano notes which tag along a completely unforeseen sequential line, adding more weight to a heavy cadenced which overlaps under a beautiful bass line. Eindhoven II becomes heavy, even violent, with a powerful rhythmic movement, liven up by heavy synthesized spheres which spit evasive streaks of the reducing scratches in a weighty sound immersion tinted of symphonic and apocalyptic synths. A fierce movement which overlies cosmic plains before landed on shores of a Magic Flute galactic world, just as its introduction. A slow intro with heavy sound effects of a syncretic and galactic world opens Eindhoven III. A world of artifices and arcades which gradually made room to morphic fragrances where monastic choirs, mellotronned flutes and fluttering synth layers zigzag slightly in a spangled cosmos of cosmic sound effects. A soft flute gets free of it, announcing the arrival of a sequence with heavy resounding chords which hammer a powerful hypnotic tempo, surrounded by a synth to sinuous waves. The sequential movement splits, mislaying chords shaping a cadence released of its minimalism approach. A cadence that rams an undulating tempo, crossed by briefs solos of an incisor guitar and synths solos of which layers intersect in a space heaviness worthy of the great Berlin School of vintage years. It is true that Pollard/Daniel/Booth doesn’t invent something. Claim the contrary would be showing fan fanaticism. On the contrary the English trio excels in the art to make us revive the Berlin School retro while adding a touch of contemporary that can’t also be denied. A modern-day touch nourished by furious sequences to hiccupping doubled blooms. Sequences which shape daring tempos to multiple rhythmic fragmentations, transcending the hypnotic and minimalism rhythms of the vintages years. In short Pollard/Daniel/Booth offer solid retro Berlin School, as at the beautiful time, but with a perfect meshing of the equipment and innovating visions of the valiant knights of EM, all eras put together.
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 3 CD-R, English Electronic Music Company, 2010
"3" contains the multi-track recording of the dynamic vintage set played by the trio Brendan Pollard, Michael Daniel and Phil Booth during E-Live 2009, only missing the encore (which will be featured on a forthcoming album).
All who were present that day found the three performing musicians in great and inspired spirits. Beautiful vintage textures, mellotron pads, some brief additional e-guitar solos and very nice Rhodes piano make up three grand sets of varied retro music.
Their early Berlin School style of music gradually shifts shape along the ride, creating mournful, moody and powerful vibes, always keeping the ears very much pleased. Of the three lengthy tracks, I especially like to mention the stunning atmospheric 7-minute opening of "Eindhoven II", after which things gradually start to run into steamy retro territory.
Chapeau guys, and thanks again for the great performance.