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Pythagoras - Live at Pulchri presenting DNA llja Walraven CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.03 | 3 ratings

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4 stars 'New Dutch progressive electronic, in the true meaning'

Rene De Haan (synthesizers and Mellotron) is the only founding member in the current Pythagoras line-up, because drummer Bob De Jong sadly passed away in 2011. Thanks to Bob (also owner of Moonlight Records where I was a regular) I met Rene, at the home of his parents, only a 5 kilometers away from my home in The Hague. His boys room was loaded with synthesizers, after his recommendations I bought a Roland Juno 106 synthesizer. Fifteen years later I met Rene again, at his studio- appartement in the center, he had become a professional artist. We did an interview for a Dutch prog magazine, about his time with Pythagoras. And now, almost 40 years after our first meeting, I found the new Pythagoras promo CD from Rene in my postbox, at my house on Aruba, now 5000 kilometers from Rene his home, but I received the CD within 2 weeks!

This live CD contains the final 79 minutes of a 3,5 hour concert from 2015, organized to celebrate the new website of fellow artist Ilja Walraven, and recorded at the place of his exhibition room in the legendary Dutch Pulchri. If you are familiar with the work of Pythagoras, the music on Live At Pulchri will surprise you, to say the least! Because Rene loves to do new and challenging things, and this time the music delivers progressive electronic music improvisations, on synthesizers and Mellotron (digital m4000d) by Rene and on a D-Robber Custom Looper (a self designed sample sequencer) by Rob Bobhof. The duo is backed by Peer Wassenaar on bass (once with Robbie Van Leeuwen in Galaxy-Lin) and Joshua Samson on drums and percussion, they deliver catchy beats, the one moment hypnotizing or pulsating, the other moment propulsive and dynamic. On these beats Rene and Rob improvise with soli and interplay, culminating in very adventurous musical moments. It sounds like a blend of electronic music with a variety of styles, from funk, dance and ambient to industrial and Berlin School synthesizer music.

Rene colours the music with lots of soli on his Roland JX8P synthesizer (often using the pitchbend, resulting in funky, freaky, funny and flashy sounds) and the unsurpassed Mellotron, I love the ominous psychedelic Mellotron violins sound in some tracks (evoking The Rolling Stones classic 2000 Years Light Years From Home), very exciting!

My highlights.

Part III Conundrum. First a swinging rhythm with a tight beat, Rene shines with a long solo: pitchbend driven and with a lot of echo, at some moments jazzy like Jan Hammer, at other moments freaky and experimental. The sequencing from Rob is outstanding, very special and adventurous. Then those Rolling Stones ominous psychedelic Mellotron violins, and a swelling sound with spectacular synthesizer flights. Finally lush Mellotron violins and choirs, majestic, blended with another pitchbend driven synthesizer solo.

Part IV Nightwatch. It starts with a spacey intro featuring experimental synthesizer sounds and drums, followed by a wonderful part with Mellotron choirs and sequencing, it sounds experimental and hypnotizing. After an improvisation on percussion gradually the music turns from hypnotizing into more dynamic, featuring spacey synthesizer runs, pulsating sequencing and ominous Mellotron violins. Finally bombastic eruptions, what a compelling climate, strong build-up and exciting finale, this is Pythagoras in its full splendor during this live CD!

If you are up to this new progressive electronic music, this is an album to discover! And check out the Internet for more words about this interesting and daring musical project, named Pythagoras and led by Rene De Haan, from The Hague.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |


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