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(41 min, Dreaming)
TRACK LIST: 1. First Waves 6:12 2. Marching II 27:53 3. Obscure Waves 9:47 4. Hard Waves 11:58 5. When It's Rainy 5:28 All tracks: by Richet. Produced & engineered by Richet. SOLO PILOT: Christian Richet - synthesizers
Prolusion. Never before I have heard of French keyboardist Christian RICHET. According to the CD booklet, "Waves" is his fifth album, following "The First", "Faces of Fire", "Perculone" and "Yada".
Analysis. The number of 'solo pilots' on today's progressive scene is too large not to notice them, but their contribution to the development of the genre is too little to consider such a movement the hallmark of creative freedom or the best way for self-expression. Christian Richet's "Waves" is another disappointment in this respect. The album opens with First Waves, the composition that is notable for a highly monotonous rhythm, the slackness in building harmonic patterns and the absence of melody. From bad to worse: the second opus, Marching II, is based literally on a couple of chords, while the melodic line is so straight that it seems it tends to transforms into a single note. Please take into consideration that this entire kingdom of sleep is stretched out for 28 minutes! The 'development' varies as quieter - louder, less sounds - more sounds, etc. The third track, the 10-minute Obscured Waves, is good, with no sense of monotony at all. It begins with original angular melodies later transforming into a highly emotional theme with a rich sound palette and the elegant play of several different timbres. Unfortunately, this is the only true composition here. As for the remaining two tracks, Hard Waves and When It's Rainy, I haven't any good reason to describe them in detail, because they repeat the picture of Marching II with some insignificant variations.
Conclusion. Theoretically, the contents of Richet's homemade recording could be defined as an electronic avant-garde, but there are too few truly avant-garde features. Mainly a child of the button manipulations (the pressure on the synthesizer keys can be considered the same way), with a rather strong mechanical sense and lots of pseudo hypnotism, it's more about the so-called sound design blended with ordinary synthesizer music. The third track is a great exception from the rule, so I wish that Christian would keep the direction laid there in his further explorations.
VM: March 18, 2005
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