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Bertrand Loreau - 2009 - "Reminiscences"

(72:32, Dreaming Records)

TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Chemin d'Enier 5:57
2.  Cosmic Arp 3:31
3.  Impro-Vision 8:07
4.  Le Cie-I 11:48
5.  Le Cie-II 8:51
6.  DX Seven Age 2:02
7.  Little Dream 3:42
8.  The Music Is Saved 6:14
9.  It Moods Strange 4:14
10. Goom Souvenir 2:18
11. Recontre Manquee 2:51
12. Midi-Station 3:18
13. Au-Dela du Passe 9:39


Bertrand Loreau  all instruments

Prolusion. Bertrand LOREAU is a French composer and musician, who's been an active recording artist since the early 90s. He was trained in classical piano as a child in the 60s, but during the 70s he got more and more intrigued by keyboards in general and the early electronic synthesizers in particular. After attending a Klaus Schulze concert in 1977, an artist he's still a great fan of, he decided to venture out himself some day to create music in a similar vein. When he and Musea Records discovered each other in 1992 he was given the opportunity to do just that, and his most recent effort "Reminiscences" is his seventh full-length release to be issued on the Musea Records sublabel Dreaming.

Analysis. For those familiar with Loreau from previous albums, as well as those who have a general interest in vintage electronic instruments, this disc should be a fairly interesting experience. While this is a CD featuring unreleased works, they are not new as such the thirteen creations here were all made in the first half of the 80s. And while at least some of them seem to have been given a careful brush-up prior to sending them off to the CD-press, the sound of vintage and often classic electronic instruments dominate these proceedings. Polymoog, Micromoog, Minimoog, ARP Odyssey and several varieties of Yamahas, Korgs and Rolands were used when recording these tracks. The music may be less interesting than the instruments used to create them though, at least for some. At this point in time it appears that Loreau still was very much a student learning and honing his craft. The music is excellently made and performed, but as far as challenging and progressive features go many will find this effort somewhat lacking. The most elaborate pieces feature rhythmic, melodic synth sounds as the foundation with one or more textures of floating or soaring textures given a slightly subdued placement in the final mix. More often than not multiple layers are the preferred option, resulting in rich, detailed sound layers - more often than not with a sci-fi or space-tinged overall mood. These numbers did remind me of the most melodic, accessible parts of Tangerine Dream's output from the late 70s. Other compositions are slower, dreamier affairs, with much more of a new age tinge to them. A futuristic sound is prevalent in most of these efforts too, multiple layered affairs with distinct symphonic traits to them. But without any high degree of sophistication they are pleasant experiences rather than truly intriguing numbers. I'd compare many of these ventures to the atmospheric mood piece Vangelis made for the movie Blade Runner back in the 80s the slow moving atmospheric backdrops from that film score share a few similar traits in regard to overall atmosphere with the most dreamy efforts on this disc.

Conclusion. While the contents of this compilation of Loreau's oldest material may not be regarded as cutting edge electronic music by the standards of the time when they were made, those intrigued by meditative, new age tinged music of the electronic variety should find "Reminiscences" to be a nice addition to their collection. And those who truly enjoy the sound of vintage electronic instruments will probably have added this effort to their list of future purchases prior to reaching this conclusion.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: February 24, 2010
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Musea Records
Bertrand Loreau


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