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(58 min, Dreaming Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. D'Une Rive a l'Autre 5:10 2. Voix Interieure 3:07 3. Un Nouveau Jour 1:36 4. Pourquoi Es-tu Parti 2:03 5. Au-Del De l'Horizon 3:12 6. Du Haut De la Dune 9:04 7. Larmes De Cristal 2:15 8. Echo De Ton Ame 1:56 9. Sequence De Vie 3:52 10. Renaissance 4:22 11. Le Trente-Deuxieme Jour 8:03 12. Ombre Et Lumiere 2:39 13. Face Cachee 6:24 14. De l'Autre Rive 5:05 SOLO PILOT: Bertrand Loreau - keyboards; programming
Prolusion. Bertrand Loreau is a veteran of the French electronic music movement (last year he celebrated the 15th anniversary of his work) and one of its most consistently active representatives as well, having a string of albums to his credit. "D' Une Rive a l'Autre" is his sixth official release, following "Passe Compose" (2002), "Jericoacoara" (1998), "Sur le Chemin" (1996), "Le Pays Blanc" (1994) and "Priere" (1992).
Analysis. Unlike Loreau's previous recording, "D' Une Rive a l'Autre" doesn't shine with any particular innovation. Gone is similarity with Classical music - no matter how fragile it was before. While still playing on up-to-date digital synthesizers, Bertrand quite sparingly uses their wide possibilities this time around, the amount of sounds imitating various chamber instruments having strongly diminished, at least compared to that on "Passe Compose". In any event, the music across the disc's fourteen instrumentals appears to be something that occupies the space between floating Ambient and symphonic New Age (which is this time around classically-tinged at best). Since the entire album can be perceived in no wise other than as a haunting dreamlike experience where the cuts all flow slowly, being generally quite similar to each other, I see no reason to elaborate on the matter, touching each of the pieces as I normally do. I will only note that Renaissance is the sole track here that reveals some more or less obvious shifts in structure. In particular, there is an episode where a synthetic guitar sounds almost like a real classical one, played finger-style. Back to the disc as a whole: The comparisons between, say, the new Loreau and his benefactors, Vangelis and Klaus Schultz (both of whom the musician himself lists as his primary influences), are still valid, but only as long as we take the most reflective and, at the same time, quietest creations by those artists. I am also a bit reminded of Jean-Michel Jarre in that the music is totally based on electronica and is instantly accessible, to say the least.
Conclusion. If I say Loreau has a rather solid command of electronic music it will be true, but all his previous work proves that the man's horizon is much wider than anything lying within the confines of the said style. In any event, "D' Une Rive a l'Autre" is background music - a fine companion for relaxation which is hardly what prog-heads are looking for in their music. Recommended only to those who know who they are:-).
VM: February 28, 2007
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