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Michael Brückner - Ondes Intergalactiques: Live at the Cosmic Nights Festival 2015 (Michael Brückner and Mathias Brüssel) CD (album) cover

ONDES INTERGALACTIQUES: LIVE AT THE COSMIC NIGHTS FESTIVAL 2015 (MICHAEL BRÜCKNER AND MATHIAS BRÜSSEL)

Michael Brückner

 

Progressive Electronic

4.67 | 5 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars `Ondes Intergalactiques - Live at the Cosmic Nights Festival 2015' is the result of a collaboration between German electronic musicians Michael Brückner and Mathias Brüssel. The third Cosmic Nights electronic music festival was held at the planetarium in Belgium on Friday May 29th of this year, and the event presented a number of artists working in a variety of electronic styles, all backed to a kaleidoscope of psychedelic visuals. Usually performing together under the project name `Le Mansarde Hermetique', Brückner and Brüssel delivered a captivating improvised set of deeply immersive ambient and progressive/electronic/Berlin School atmospheres, and this complex and ethereal live document is one of the most rewarding electronic works of the year.

Listeners aware of the range of different electronic styles Michael Brückner has offered on his numerous solo releases over the years will already know of the variety the musician always delivers, but with the addition of Mathias Brüssel here, his music has perhaps rarely reached the exploratory and allusive levels it does on this set. The two musicians are in complete control of their aural environments, constantly complimenting and even perhaps challenging each-other through all manner of direction and sound changes, yet always remaining in perfect unison with each-other. The sound-journeys they weave together are vivid and hypnotic, floating one minute then mysterious the next, but never losing focus or becoming completely aimless.

Despite a wealth of material available on this collection (more on that later), the main highlight of the set is the title track performance from the Festival by the pair. A three-part slowly unwinding, ever-evolving extended work `Ondes Intergalactiques' unfolds over the course of more than forty- five continuous minutes. A restrained cacophony of chimes, machine oscillations, snippets of voices and electric ripples open the piece, with a booming pulse that bursts to live just after seven minutes of floating in space a real moment. Sequencers trickle around wondrous ambience, shimmering synth strains caress, grinding distortion snarls and hissing unease snakes across the background before a wistful theme brings a source of solace. Sprinkling droplets bubble, rippling loops grow in urgency and spiral into infinity behind glistening electric piano and whistling reflective Mellotron cries, a final heroic and joyful theme emerging from within soothing serene electronic washes. Sustained ebbing levitates in the air, thrumming loops ring, and the chiming outro recalls Tangerine Dream's seventies and eighties live albums.

The bonus tracks that round out the disc are more than deserving of praise all their own, with `Störtebecker (encore) - 5th Rehearsal' lurching into slinking trip-hop beats, and `Extension of an Early Sketch' a gripping low-key twenty minute Mellotron drone. Both of these pieces are more than worthy on their own merits, and they reveal exciting directions Brückner and Brüssel could go on future collaborations - hint, hint, fellas!

`Ondes Intergalactiques' is available in a standard one disc version of the main concert, a two disc set that adds some additional recordings, and, taking a page out of Pink Floyd's book, a `Full Immersion' three disc expanded collection. This comes with additional download content that includes the equivalent of nine - yes, nine! - discs in total of bonus music. Hours and hours of demos, rehearsals and discarded or reworked passages are offered, and they provide a fascinating insight into the way these two artists experiment, hone and form their compositions. Yes, it's a lot to get through, but it delivers a deeply rewarding experience for serious fans of the two artists or challenging progressive electronic music in general. Some listeners may even find the outtakes and rehearsals initially more approachable than the final performance! The Immersion set is truly a progressive electronic tour-de-force.

While occasionally revealing its vintage influences, this is no lazy `homage' or imitation of the defining masters. This is thriving, inspired electronic music full of depth and intelligence, with modern and past sounds perfectly balanced and all performed with great subtlety and attention to mood. `Ondes Intergalactiques' is for those listeners who view electronic and ambient styles as hugely vital, fascinating and worthy forms of art in music, and it's a triumph for Michael Brückner and Mathias Brüssel.

Five stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |

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