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(59:14, Dreaming Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Astral Projection 3:44 2. Anxiogene 3:38 3. Autoroute 5:00 4. Mediomatrice 3:26 5. Out of Memory 5:02 6. Ankaa 3:47 7. Latex 4:25 8. Shoot out the Stars 5:12 9. Beat Conductor 5:30 10. Synopsie 4:42 11. Train Grande Vitesse de I'Est 3:58 12. Les Larmes de Cupidon 4:50 13. Alpha Omega 6:00 SOLO PILOT: Stephane Marchal – keyboards; programming
Prolusion. French musician and composer Stephane Marchal is not an unknown entity in the realm of electronic music. He's a fan, as well as collector of, the German pioneer band Kraftwerk, he has worked as a DJ specializing in electronic music in the '90s as well as after the millennium, and hosted the radio show Electrochoc. In addition to this, he has also released two albums previously, "Musica Electronica" issued under the MARBOSS moniker in 1999 and the self-titled album "E-Music" in 2001. "Electrotherapies" is the second album by Stephane Marchal using the Marboss pseudonym, and was released by Musea Records on their sublabel Dreaming in 2008.
Analysis. According to his homepage, Marboss has earned himself a description as being the "French solitary Kraftwerk". And to some extent that description is viable, depending on what focus and bias you have when writing about this artist. The musical content of this CD is rather pure electronic in nature, that is undeniable. Layers upon layers of electronic sounds results in detailed atmospheres with many elements to be discovered by the avid listener. Layers of floating synths is a central element in the songs, sometimes with one running throughout the composition while others come and go, at other times with one or more layers appearing, disappearing and reappearing. Adding texture to the various tunes are simplistic synth melodies as well as the usual array of melodic sounds you often find scattered in the soundscapes of modern electronic music. Underscoring and adding tensions are rhythms –often a basic rhythm with minimalist touches as the foundation and with rhythmic sounds adding detail and drive to the pieces. In many cases this last effect is melodic as well, thus nicely interacting with the melody. Vocal effects add additionally to the atmospheres of the songs, most times the vocoder is extensively used. Marboss seems to be most fond of utilizing softened sounds and melodies in these compositions, even the higher tones will have soft touches to them and he seems to have a special liking for sounds in the mid to low range. Thus the melodic sounds come across as warm and inviting most of the time, while rhythms and effect vocals supply the harsher sounding elements in the soundscapes. The main weakness of this release, especially for fans of progressive music, is the lack of more complicated compositions. True enough there are at times massive amount of details to be discovered, but the main melody is simplistic and easy to follow but without exploring minimalist tendencies, and the amount of sounds and noises to be discovered aren't utilized to create complex or quirky segments, but merely as sounds to be discovered. Basically, most of the music has a clear and distinct foundation in pop music; with the more commercial sounding tunes from artists like Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre as probable influences, with a slight leaning towards trance in musical style.
Conclusion. "Electrotherapies" is an interesting release, and in the world of danceable, electronic music with a clear commercial appeal, this is a good release that should be checked out by that particular crowd. People enjoying tunes by artists like Jarre, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream might also find this CD enjoyable, at least if they are mostly interested in the least complicated songs from those artists.
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