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Michael Brückner - Trois Briques CD (album) cover


Michael Brückner


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Back for another release on Killian Schloemp's constantly interesting Syn-Gate label, modern German progressive-electronic composer Michael Bruckner delivers a continuous seventy-seven minute three-part suite entitled `Trois Briques' (Three Bricks). Far from being a slavish recreation of the Berlin School masters, the disc instead offers a range of constant rhythmic- based modern electronica, long-form subtle ambient reflections and deep-space prog-electronic atmospheres, with samples of dialogue from old 50/60's TV shows weaving in and out of the music to give the collection somewhat of a curious and vague `concept' approach.

In some ways, `Trois Briques' briefly reminds of Brückner's recent compilation `The Giant Illusion', a remixed set of highlights, obscurities and unreleased pieces that were given a fresh remixing to newly present them as a kind of continuous spacey `mix-tape', everything effortlessly flowing with ease without ever feeling forced. The thirty-two minute opener `La Brique Bleue' moves through a range of crystalline rising/falling electronic veils, drifting aural landscapes and bubbling synth pools. One moment it's reminding ever so briefly of Klaus Schulze's early pulsing solo-heavy alien worlds (just given a modern reinterpretation!), then diverting into stylish synth-pop breaks, slinking trip-hop beats, even sauntering into the chilled spacey realms of the Orb's `Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld'. On the first initial play all the voice samples that waft in and out seem intrusive and distracting, but careful listens reveal that they usually only occur to introduce a new passage or to highlight a more dramatic moment about to occur, surprisingly working very well navigating around this curiously puzzling and moody piece.

`La Brique Verte' is a welcome shorter eight minute interlude that serves as a break between the two bookending thirty-plus minute workouts, and it's one of those purer ambient and pristine piano-highlighted moments that Brückner often delivers with sublime taste, initially somewhat melancholic but ultimately hopeful and embracing. Then it's right back into the lengthy atmospheres, and `La Brique Noire', at almost 37 minutes, is the most mysterious section, the more upfront programming replaced with low-key and hypnotic arrangements of glistening chiming delicate beats and frequently comprised of deeply immersive ambient soundscapes and expansive thoughtful drones that gradually unfold with an unhurried and refined grace.

The voice samples will be a divisive issue for some listeners, but it just gives this new work a distinctive quality quite removed from most of the other works the artist has delivered over the last couple of years. It's also easy to be distracted by the cool programming that takes up many parts of `Trois Briques', but instead always pay special attention to the subtle, minimal ambient flavours going on at all times in the background, the most intricate of details revealing Brückner's sublime understanding of a range of electronic styles and keen musical intelligence. If you're after a reliable Tangerine Dream- modelled electronic listen, best look elsewhere, but if you want a stylish, unpredictable electronic journey that doesn't skimp on atmosphere and variety, `Trois Briques' has plenty of rewarding music to explore.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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