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Sequentia Legenda - Blue Dream CD (album) cover


Sequentia Legenda

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5 stars Sequentia Legenda "Blue Dream" CDr

French sound sculptor Laurent Schieber, based in the suburbs of Mulhouse, is better known under his artistic name Sequentia Legenda, a project heavily dedicated to vintage Berlin School Music and inspired by the iconic Klaus Schulze. "Blue Dream" is Sequentia Legenda's debut album, which is out since the end of 2014 as a self-release packaged in catchy matte 6-panel digipak. Designed by Laurent Schieber himself and mastered by Olivier Briand.

The album is comprised of three longer compositions, among them the opening piece "Fly Over Me" is the longest one clocking over 33 minutes. Although not indexed, the track is divided in another 10 pieces, mostly rather shorter with the exception of the unfolding part, 10 and a half minutes "The First Contact" and "Overhead", which reaches 7 and a half minutes in length. "The First Contact" is invaded by gracefully floating washes, strongly cinematic with utterly sumptuous and amorphously enrapturing yearning feel, and meticulously counterpointed with sublimely permeating sequencer sparkles, mesmerizingly persistent. Shorter "Approach (intro)" will later appear in its 22-minute version as a second main composition. The sequencing pace is getting slightly faster and energetic, while celestial choirs insistently guard above. The texture seamlessly floats between shorter sub-pieces, where sequencer arrangements move from briskly glittering to more, relatively soothing, then again shifting into up-paced, warmly inviting elevations. After about 20 minutes and 6 sub-tracks we enter another longer part, already mentioned "Overhead", which keeps on the path of immensely heartwarming vistas bridged with abundantly luminous melodies. Flying on the wings of this spellbinding scenario we clandestinely approach the closing part "The Return" and wrap-up the first composition, "Fly Over Me". Distant seashore winds announce "The Approach". This time the journey continues without any sub-passages. Again slowly revealing with serene, yet monumental washes, while the multi-dimensional sequencers gently fire up its engines. Some really captivating transitions emerge along the way when shifting to the next gear, although rather subtly diverse. But still these soft metamorphoses are utterly transporting, ranging from electrifyingly dynamic to panoramically spectacular. Imposing!!! The closing 15-minute "Vibrations" slows down a bit, when the sequencing patterns twinkle in a really gorgeous symmetry with free-gliding washes. An infinite equilibrium of magnificence between splendidly spacious drifting nostalgia and fascinatingly pulsing subtleties, here and there reinforced by additional cyber-tech glimpses. A top-notch conclusion and a magnum opus to my ears as well!!!

70-minute "Blue Dream" is undoubtedly a really triumphant debut album by Sequentia Legenda, bravo, Laurent!!! I would say even sensational, but on the long run I would prefer more varied arrangements, maybe some extra slower, more enigmatic sinuousness or cybernetic-infused ventures would bring more brilliancy to this already ambitiously accomplished and significantly invigorating recording. And while remaining in artist's shoes, maybe with the next release I would take the route with less promotional hype printed on the digipak's artwork, because I think Sequentia Legenda's music is strong enough and it "speaks" for itself even without this extra campaign. Sometimes less is more. Leave this for flyers and press packages. If you are a connoisseur of Berlin School-driven electronica, this is an ultimate must-have album awaking all the high-spirited magic of this classic style. Sequentia Legenda has released in the meantime another album entitled "Amira", this one is out since the end of November 2015. And the third recording, tentatively named "Extended", is scheduled for the release around September 2016 as a double album featuring a guest participation by German drummer Tommy Betzler, who most recently worked with Michael Brückner on their "Two" collaboration. So don't let Sequentia Legenda to slip under your radar screen!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 25, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Report this review (#1544959)
Posted Sunday, March 27, 2016 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Frenchman Laurent Schieber has been a life-long fan of electronic music--especially the legendary synthesizer sequencing of the fictitious "Berlin School of Electronic Music" (there is not nor was there ever an actual school of electronic music in Berlin churning out the great artists or albums of the 1970s) and especially of the recently deceased Klaus Schulze. It seems that Laurent had been experimenting with his own imitations and compositions for years but is only now, in the last few years, publishing recordings of his compositions for public consumption--and I, for one, am so glad that he is. Blue Dream consists of three long songs: the 33-minute 10-part suite, "Fly Over Me" (10/10), the 22-minute "The Approach" (8/10) with its driving drum and synthesizer rhythm tracks and shifting synth washes beneath and within, and the 15-minute "bonus" song, "Vibrations" (9/10). All songs are very well mixed and produced (would that the Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze albums of the 1970s had this kind of sound quality) with my favorite being the opener--which is clearly the centerpiece of the album, with the bonus song, "Vibrations," next. While none of the compositions here reveal anything new or innovative in the world of electronic sound technology, the perfect imitation of the masters of the 1970s is a true homage and, I believe, fully Laurent's top intention.
Report this review (#1545037)
Posted Sunday, March 27, 2016 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Berlin School of electronic music founders Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler et al, as such, did not arrive instantly to the construction of their own musical language , as more than one may wrongly assume, but after a personal drive which took each and everyone of them to do so. What better eaxample than the distance between TD´s Electronic Meditation (1970) and their 1974 Phaedra where their quest found its treasure (and a gold mine for pirates) and from there they created their masterpieces Rubycon and Ricochet (both 1975).

So the origin of the famous Berlin School of electronic music came the same influenced by past done electronic music experimentations which go way back to the Russian musician and inventor Leon Theremin who invented the theremin in 1920 which is the first electronic music instrument.

Therefore assuming that, for example, Phaedra is that school is totally wrong. TD´s musical quest led them to that personal composer´s language in that work and its astounding result as it happened differently with Schnitzler´s Ballet Statique (1978) whose same date of works, even as founder and also as an example, led him to a very different as unique musical language.

So Sequentia Legenda´s Blue Dream (2014), without taking into account their verbal or written marketing expressions or verbal artistic intentions, is an extension of Phaedra or Schulze´s Timewind not the Berlin School as such, which as mentioned started with actual electronic music experiments, but obviously market wise it will turn out to be quiet unpopular to sell in those terms.

Therefore if you feel the kind of hunger for music which resembles or recreates the 1974-1980s TD´s or Schulze´s same dates own self acquired musical idiom, Blue Dream will fit in those parameters almost to perfection. If you are looking for a self acquired modern extension of the Berlin School of electronic musical language look somewhere else because, believe it or not, it exists and it does not sound as Rubycon or Timewind, it has evoluted a lot since Electronic Meditation or K. Schulze.´s Irrlicht (1972) .


Report this review (#1890097)
Posted Thursday, March 1, 2018 | Review Permalink

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