Sequentia Legenda "Extended" 2xCDr
Sequentia Legenda is a pseudonym of Berlin School connoisseur Laurent Schieber, who resides near Mulhouse, France. I already have been reviewing his debut, self-released CDr album "Blue Dream" from the end of 2014. In the meantime, about one year later, during November 2015, Sequentia Legenda's second official album "Amira" came out. In September 2016 the third album "Extended" was released by the artist himself, who is joined on this double set by a German drummer Tommy Betzler, whose name I have noticed for the first time on SynGate's release "Two", as a companion of Michael Brückner, but this experienced drummer is known also as a founding member of German Krautrock band P'Cock as well as for his guest performance on Klaus Schulze's bonus DVD from 2005 (part of the reissue of "Dig It" album on Revisited Records) on a track entitled "Linzer Stahlsinfonie", recorded during Ars Electronica 1980 in Linz, Austria. As indicated by its title, "Extended" double album reveals reshaped versions of some pieces from "Blue Dream" and "Amira" with Tommy Betzler's vital drum contributions on two tracks. The release comes in a catchy 6-panel glossy digipak featuring additional 8-page booklet with extensive liner notes to each composition. The design of this booklet is superb, it precisely displays invigoratingly transporting aural odyssey. Mastering credits goes to Chris Dion from Quantum Music.
The first disc unfolds with soothingly emerging, 28 and a half minutes long "The Approach", announced by a distant wind and seashore harmonies, which soon metamorphose into panoptic washes, celestially expansive, with clandestinely permeating sequences. "The Approach", in its slightly shorter version, can be heard on "Blue Dream", but this time Tommy Betzler's diverse drum parts add a quite piquant fragrances to the overall mood of this strongly captivating piece, delightfully guarded by choir-driven cushions. The next piece, 20-minute "Into The Sequence" is, I believe, a brand new composition, which exhibits Laurent Schieber's virtuosity in spaciously immense soundsculpting, masterfully merging colossally monochromatic drifts with gossamery mesmerizing glimmers and continually ascending melodic laid-back vignettes. And serenely progressing through brisker elevations, luminously charged and enchantingly enveloping. Another very strong track! "Somewhere", clocking over 23-minute mark, is an extended version of the closing composition on "Amira" album. The base is quite similar to previous pieces, when more flatlined ethereal blankets are persistently counterpointed by elusively helixing and outbursting high-tech traceries, this time reinforced by intangibly arising drum subtleties by Tommy Betzler. Then again shifting through more animated passages and then subsequently dissolving through closing tranquil terrains.
The second part consists of 3 tracks as well, all hanging between 22 and 25 minutes. "Vibrations" fires up the spectacle with its extended version. As far I remember, shorter edition of this composition was my fave piece on "Blue Dream" album. Persistently shimmering ear-tickling sequences exquisitely commingle with sublimely sweeping horizons and remotely percolating and oscillating cybernetic glimpses. Although without any significant modifications when comparing to the original version, it's still a truly triumphant piece paying monumental tribute to Berlin School legends. Bravo, Laurent!!! "Solitudes Lunaires" merges gracefully panoramic and introspectively nuanced choir-like drones with diaphanously pulsing and hypnotically synthetic tapestries, perpetually galloping, while gently swirling titillating chinks hanging in the distance emerge here and there. Gliding occasionally through ephemerally crescendoing cinematic vistas and transiently accelerating transitions. The final track "Au Revoir" was originally released at the end of June, 2015 in shorter version, although it glanced briefly already on "Blue Dream" album, now it's resurrected and stretched to 22 minutes. Drifting heavenly choirs constantly juxtapose with insistent sequencer arrangements, some remain subtle, while others quietly sneak and steal the center stage with its stirringly unwrapped mid-paced intensity. "Au Revoir" is Sequentia Legenda's aural rendezvous with all those deeply missed. A very strong conclusion indeed!!!
"Extended" double album, covering over 143 minutes, is another enormously strong sonic installment by Sequentia Legenda, who constantly focuses his artistic creativity and passion on the Berlin School movement. Hats off to Laurent Schieber and also to Tommy Betzler for his guest performance!!! Sure, as already mentioned in my previous review of "Blue Dream", I will always crave for more drifting poignancy or for rather shorter, more diverse sequencer- and emotion-propelled endeavors, but that's just a question of my taste. Otherwise, Sequentia Legenda really excels in this particular style of radiantly immersing space electronica. And keep in mind, a new album "Ethereal" as well as few collaborative projects are in the works.
Richard Gürtler (May 21, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)
Explore "Extended" here...
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