Hardly of his highly progressive and experimental sonic experiences with albums such as Connection and Manifesto, Gustavo Jobim concludes a very charged year 2013 with another album of sound experimentations which kiss the genesis of the ambient and experimental Krautrock movement. Inverno floats between our ears with a disconcerting fascination for an album of very dark ambiences. An album weaved in the mysticism of a black winter when the colds are often the only allies of our remorse.
It's with shivering pantings that the sonic winter of Gustavo Jobim gets to crystallize in our ears. The arrhythmic movement of "Frozen Lake" is more disturbing than tenebrous with chords which shiver in a long linear movement and of which every echo of the jerks is freeing a wintry weather of ether which floats among organic groans. "Zone of Silence" follows the same principle of hypnosis by the disturbing sounds with winds which this time replace the pantings. The track slips towards a more psychedelic sound fauna with murmurs and rustles which get lost in long dying drones. The intro of "Ice Age Coming" reminds me the heavy pads that Tony Banks used to let fall on the opening of Watcher of the Skies. The track is more caustic with rustlings which sneak through heavy reverberations. This one really asks for patience. Let's say that it scratches the ears and it's rather representative of the naming. But it's nothing compared with the sonic storm of "Permafrost". My Lise has really frown the eyebrows in my direction more than once!
"Winter Song" is THE track to be listened on Inverno. Rich in emotionalism, it wraps our eardrums with a mixture of very penetrating synth pads which forges the characteristics of the howling winds of a disturbing winter. That reminds me intensely the dying metallic synth lines and pads that Schulze exploited in Cyborg and Mirage. We feel the cold here just a bit, because there is a voracious passion which roars inside this dense ambiospherical shroud where the tears of Daniel Cardona Roman's guitar merge marvellously with the breezes of a Mellotron intensely black and wrapping. This is a great track. After a "Wanderer" less acid than "Ice Age Coming", Gustavo Jobim returns with another long more musical piece in "Mountain" where some slow cold spells wrap an oblong pulsatory movement pulsatoire. The tempo is soft, slow. As a life trapped in the ice. "Last Shelter" is a another charming track. It's more crystal clear, more harmonious with a delicate melody mislaid in a wandering piano of which the weakened notes make symphony with the crackles of ice-cold water and the Siberian winds. "Summit" ends this wintry dawn serenade with explosions, Nordic jets of vapors and gongs lost in a mysterious and enveloping wintry aura, less dark but just as much intriguing.
Between Klaus Schulze's Cyborg, Tangerine Dream's Zeit and Stephen Parsick's Permafrost; Inverno navigates between a Siberian blackness and a Scandinavian heat from the nights of March. It's an intensely ambient album where, if we accept its hearing invasion, can carry us way beyond what the still life of a merciless winter can well propose with eyes divested of listening. I have to admit that my first contacts have made shivering my ears and that my girl (my soft Lise) has gave some funny looks at me so much the waves which overflowed my headphone revealed an atmosphere of somber sound perversions. Intense, ambient, black and very creative; this last Gustavo Jobim's album is mainly for ears avid to hear farther.
O décimo quarto disco de Gustavo Jobim é esse Inverno. Lançado em pleno verão, no primeiro dia de 2014 (de maneira independente, via Bandcamp), ele é obviamente, a respeito dos antecessores "Stream" e "Manifesto", contemplativo e, digamos, "invernal".
Mas, ao mesmo tempo, suas nove músicas (em mais de uma hora de execução) impulsionam sensações, do incômodo de algumas modulações ao prazer das ambiências esticadas minutos afora. "Winter Song", com seus mais de vinte minutos, é uma exemplar forma dessa receita. "Ice Age Coming" é uma experiência rica pra se manter alerta. Já "Permafrost" se apresenta fantasmagórica numa outra experimentação sônica, de fazer inveja aos embriões da utilização da eletrônica na música.
Inverno não é um disco fácil, por certo, no que se sugere degustar aos poucos, seja como música ambiente, de fundo, seja como impulso pro espanto ao nosso complexo de vira-lata de achar que brasileiros não podem/não tentam/não conseguem ousar assim. Ou, se preferir, é pra ser ouvido na Islândia da alma. Ambient de qualidade. 8/10.
With "Inverno", Brazilian composer Gustavo Jobim opens a new chapter of his creative work. The style here is quite different from what he did before, as this is a completely ambient album.
"Frozen Lake" gets things going with tremolo drone that reminded me a bit on some early 1980's experiments by Klaus Schulze when he used the GDS digital instrument quite extensively. It's all rather hypnotic and uneasy, never relaxing. Some stranger sounds appear over the course of the track, giving it an avant / musique concrete edge.
"Zone of Silence" introduces a somber note - it's noisier, but follows more or less the classic Dark Ambient formula, bar a few more intense moments. These freezing, numbing sheets of drones and noises are a perfect soundtrack to slow movement of glaciers.
"Ice Age Coming" is a weird amalgamation of processed orchestral slabs and a continuous electronic drone. The intensity level is up again, and the music is as disturbing as ever. This is strange stuff that is hard to pin down. Sort of a chamber / symphonic / avant / electroacoustic hybrid maybe? Sounds like Art Zoyd playing in permafrost.
And speaking of permafrost, that's the title of the next track which is one intense trip. Deep, distorted, metallic notes are heard on top of the wind effects that remind on "Mirage" by KS.
"Winter Song" initially introduces a brighter note, something of a neo-classical electronic winter symphony done ambient-style. It is also grander in scale, passing the 20-minute mark. With its distant, processed mellotron strings, strange echoes, cosmic effects, this really brings to mind "Mirage" again, namely the first side ("Velvet Voyage"). However, whereas Schulze's masterpiece was expansive, airy and melancholic, "Winter Song" is imbued with a nocturnal air and claustrophobic dread. And, nary a sequence in sight! Just the monolithic, whirling and dizzy soundscape. But, wait a minute, what a surprise. What I certainly didn't expect was an electric guitar solo. And what a solo it is! You'd think it wouldn't work, but it does. Yes folks, melodic proggy guitar soloing (nothing too fast) that combines perfectly with the soundscape. I wonder if a hypothetical duo of David Gilmour and Klaus Schulze recorded in 1977 would sound like that. I just wish the solo would go on for a bit longer. The final part of the track features some clanging noises, bringing in that industrial touch. There are also sounds like bells and deep gong hits going on. Epic is the only word I can use in relation to "Winter Song". Is it the best thing Gustavo has done up to this point? Possibly. What I am sure about is that it is quite different and very deep.
"Wanderer" sounds more like "ambient" stuff done by Black Metal musicians. You know, sort of a "neo-classical" or "fantasy" ambience played on quite simple keyboard. However, this is coupled with some nice effects, giving interesting results.
"Mountain" is a bit similar in execution but larger in scope. The formula is the same, though - long, drawn-out pads, slow melodies on the keyboard, and the echoing, "evil" effects. Perfect dungeon music if know what I'm talking about. A doomy sequence can barely be heard just as the track draws to a close.
"Last Shelter" is more along the lines of classic Ambient in that it has none of the darkness. All you can hear is a lullaby-like melody and gentle cracking of a fire in a warm cavern as the sun sets and the day comes to an end.
"Summit" ends this album with the sound of thunder and a mysterious analog soundscape. And is it just me, or is there something of an "Apocalypse des Animaux" sound? I mean, those slow, reflective notes really remind me on "La Mer Recommencee" for some reason.
"Inverno" is one monster of an album. It is a concept work of sorts or at least has a clear unifying theme, it's quite different and works well for active as well as passive listening. It has a lot of influences and pleasantly calls to mind many different artists along its course without sounding exactly like any of them: Klaus Schulze, Art Zoyd, a bit of Tangerine Dream's "Zeit" perhaps, a bit Vangelis ("Apocalypse des Animaux"), a bit Mortiis / Burzum's "dungeon music"... Result: I liked it very much! Best track: the absolutely magnificent and evocative "Winter Song".
Pense em Klaus Schulze ou um Tangerine Dream ainda mais intenso. A eletrônica alemã se faz presente no trabalho de Gustavo Jobim, mas apenas para quem busca contexto. No quesito significação, Manifesto sugere outros caminhos seguidos pela eletrônica brasileira. O músico carioca não pretende agradar ou adquirir séquitos neste disco: exibe mais uma procura pessoal pela tortuosidade de sintetizadores e percussão, jogando o ouvinte para uma selva desconexa de zumbidos, interferências, melodias e experimentos.
In the firmament of independent artists who produce some very good music, a well made and well mixed music, you should not forget Gustavo Jobim's name who can give a lecture to so many artists who emerge on well know labels. Manifesto is his 11th [12th] opus. Divided into 2 parts, like a double album, with 7 tracks for each part, Manifesto is inspired by the life of two artists who had an influence on the artistic vision of the Brazilian synthman; the Swiss painter H.R.Giger, to whom we owe the ET-monster of Alien, and the Brazilian poet Augusto Dos Anjos. It's an intense work. Difficult to tame but splendidly put in music, where the madness is hidden behind every second. An album mainly of ambiences. Dark, intriguing and anguishing ambiences where the phases of rhythm unfold to lose breathe on lines of synth to tones of Synergy and old organs of darkness.
"The Disquieting Muses" opens the ball of insanity with a synth line crushed by choirs to the chthonian hummings. And such as a plasmatic merycism, this synth line subdivides its fears with ghostly tones of old organ which float among these voices became composite where the opaline tints get muddled up to more ethereal breaths in an intro as so ambient as dark. We would run against death that it would be as in "Biomekanik". The rhythm is delirious and engenders chaos with a meshing of sequences, pulsations and wooden percussions which runs to lose breath under the laments of a vampiric organ and of a synth which moves closer to the surreal atmospheres of the Cords album from Synergy. Intense and hard-hitting, that destabilizes the hearing. Brilliant! "The Spell" brings us back in the universe all in contrast of Manifesto with a long ambient phase which breathes on an oceanic background music where we hear the bubbles of oxygen gurgle through an entanglement of lines to the sibylline tones which quietly permute into some organ tones of an occult cathedral. I would run against madness that it would be like in "Origin of Obsessions". After some sound waves which tear the blackness of their anfractuous blades, the rhythm settles down. Black and heavy, it pounds of its stormy oscillations to flee an avalanche of synth lines of which the quirky and shrill tones condemn the madness as being the last rest. After its thunderous call to madness, "We Atomic Children" establishes a climate of discomfort with its black pulsatory lines which float and interlace on a Mephistophelian dialect. "The Mystery of San Gottardo" suggests a tormented melody with a piano, at first glance rather melodious, which isolates itself in an alienating zone. "At the Bottom of the Shaft" encloses the first part of Manifesto with a long phase of dark ambiences which flows through a synth and of its grave, droning lines and delicate fluty bouquets.
"Hallucination by the Seashore" begins the 2nd part with a structure of rhythm which makes jump its keys shapers of rebel rhythms in a fascinating symphony for steps lost in oblivion. The rhythm is bubbling in its static approach, knocking off a melody which seeks for support over the delicate and very discreet synth lines. "Living in the Light of the Immortal Worlds" is a long ambient passage where synth lines squeak in unison into some enveloping chthonian choruses. Not more given rhythm, but livened up of undulating synth layers to tones of old organ, "The Eleventh Hour" throws its waves of agony which roll in the ear like a caress on the back of a penniless. It's as much intense as deeply moving, even if very black. The piano of Satie can be as beautiful as violent and tormented, Gustavo Jobim shows it on "Appearance of the Ghost of Erik Satie" which offers a very beautiful 2nd portion before make jostle its notes in "The Flock of Birds" which adopts effectively the social life of a flock of bird with their innocences and their fears. And then the piano becomes source of madness on "Iconoclast's Despair" which wears marvellously the sense of its title. "Eternal Sorrow" is ending Manifesto in two parts. If the first one is intense of its black and morphic synth veils, the 2nd plunges us into the cave of a dishevelled structure which honors the black, sibylline and convoluted ambiences which overhang an album where both inspirations of Jobim feed on a vision of torment, even of anxiety.
Manifesto is not for all ears. It's an album where the beauty hides in its approach of oddity, and sometimes iconoclastic, insanity. But the atmospheres are enveloping. Very enveloping. And the music is breathing of these adventurous synths that Larry Fast tortured in his first Synergy albums. I like. It's like reading an old story of Edgar Allan Poe on the end of your buttocks so much we are on the edge.
Gustavo Jobim's Manifesto has been several years in the making. In fact, he has been working on it on and off since 2001 - the period during which his first official album was released. Consequently, it can be considered his magnum opus.
"The Disquieting Muses" kicks in with heavy mellotron choirs. The atmosphere here is solemn and dramatic and it's a really nice intro that will please all fan of 'tron sounds and 1970's German EM (i.e. Froese). "Biomekanik" changes the pace abruptly, with its frenetic sequencer rhythm and dramatic orchestral melodic figures. This is some sort of a wicked Berlin School sound that's 50% Tangerine Dream and 50% Art Zoyd. "The Spell" is next. When I heard the murky, dreamy, Giger-esque, insomnia-infused soundscape that Gustavo built, I was bought completely. Those who enjoy the darker side of the EM spectrum should hear this as soon as possible. "Origin of the Obsessions" returns to the dark Berlin School formula. If Edgar Froese recorded his "Aqua" in a deep underground cave, this is perhaps what it would sound like. "We Atomic Children" is a relatively short but intense post-apocalyptic soundscape that has a vocoder intro reminding on Kraftwerk circa "Radio-Activity" and then develops into something quite unique and symphonic. "The Mystery of San Gottardo" is a piano interlude in an already familiar Gustavo Jobim style. "At the Bottom of the Shaft" concludes the imaginary "Side one" of this album. Once again we are treated to a dark electronic journey filled with resonant synth textures, stomping sounds (like someone walking in the distance) and other samples. Classical influences creep in as the track progresses, in the form of dreamy oboe playing.
"Hallucination By the Seashore" heralds the coming of the second part of the album. The track is based on fast-paced sequence / arpeggio sound and soft background orchestral textures. It is slightly (only slightly) in the vein of 1990's Klaus Schulze (right at the end of his sampling phase he had this "classical / opera" phase, circa 1993-1995). "Living In the Light of the Immortal Worlds" takes the epic KS formula again (I am somehow reminded on "FM Delight") but infuses it with a special "Gustavo Jobim" feeling. This is excellent music, guys, especially if you can't get enough of those dreamy Schulzian synth chords. "The Eleventh Hour" is a short track that sounds like a soundtrack to a horror flick - it's all spooky organ textures and reflective melodies. "Apparition of the Ghost of Erik Satie" is, as expected, dominated by piano. Repeating chords and melodies swirl around you, creating an impressionistic whirlpool of sound. "The Flock of Birds" continues with the piano formula, although this time it is much more similar to what was heard on Gustavo's previous piano albums, which means lots of repetition in a minimal context, relying on faster piano runs. "Iconoclast's Despair" repeats the formula, adding experimental electronic sounds. On the other hand, the closing "Eternal Sorrow" was a real surprise and represents a facet of Gustavo's music that was not demonstrated on previous releases. Basically, we are dealing with ambient music here, but it's Ambient as seen by musicians of the Black Metal scene (remember Burzum?). If depressive synth chords and atmospheric noises are your thing, give it a shot.
Manifesto is for me the definitive Gustavo Jobim. If you only want to have one album by him in your collection (why would you?), this would be it. The album demonstrates all the styles that Gustavo worked in over the years and does it pretty well. The selections are well thought-out and there's nary a weak moment during more than 70 minutes of its length. A winner.
Is this anti music? Absolutely! And it's not because it is 12 Connections disconnected from the music phases that our brain usually assimilates that “Connection - Tribute to Conrad Schnitzler” ain't worth seeing. From the first reverberations which gurgle and roar with insanity on the back of the pulsations which subdivide their linear strikings with ferocity, we know that the next 40 minutes of this tribute to Conrad Schnitzler will be forged in the labyrinths of the most absolute abstract art.
"Connection 1" is sculptured in noises of floating sheet steels and their cold metallic tones which melt themselves in a stunning oscillatory maelstrom which, eventually, turns out to be of a musicality that leaves perplexed. "Connection 4", although much jerked, is another track which pulses with a shambolic frenzy... if we like this kind of loud and noisy minimalist style. Look for harmonies nowhere; everything is out of tune, un-harmonic on this Gustavo Jobim's musical essay.
"Connection 2" offers an organic structure which floats in some sizzling waves, white noises of which the ample movements describe big winged arcs. We like? Well there is "Connection 8" which is divided between the sourness and its sweetness and also "Connection 10" which...euh...You have to hear it.
We enter into the cave of blackness with "Connection 3" and its intense dark layers of organs which blow in the lost flights of the frightened bats. A sombre track, like "Connection 5" which is more musical on the other hand with its vampiric waves and "Connection 9" which is a slow procession sleeping in the basements of a vast deserted warehouse.
"Connection 6" brings us to another level with its percussions which swirl in a fusion of helicopters' propellers on a bed of waves of which the metallic tones blow and suffer in indifference. "Connection 7"? What to say if it's not that it's made of noises. It's an explosion of explosions and backfiring of fireworks which burst of 1 000 electronic colors in the pains of the synth layers as dark than sad.
A chance that there is "Connection 11" to groom our ears which are exposed in one the most colorful sustained fire of tones that are of the most colourful and rhythms of the most strangely invertebrates we can imagine. And "Connection 12" to re-chlorinate our ears with its long resonant laments which pulse in toxins clouds of cracklings, completing a work of which the beauty lives in this will to feed the abstracted music from these tones which only a brain illuminated with a mission can restore; the mission to pay tribute to an artist as much strange as necessary.
I am a fan of Gustavo Jobim's piano work, so this beautifully packaged, privately released disc (CD-R) was for me a welcome addition to his catalog. "Nocturnes" is a sequel to "Perspectives" and follows the same formula. Armed with just a digital piano and lots of ideas, Gustavo weaves melodic, melancholic and minimal nets of sound.
"The Eternal Night" starts the disc in a dramatic manner. In fact, this piece could be a perfect accompaniment for a drama or a detective movie sequence. Excellent track!
"Reflection", on the other hand, winds things down a bit. Much more of a chamber piece, this slow tinkering could serve well as a background for those lonely hours where you sit in a room, reflecting on your past life, not having much to do. So, the title is, once again, spot on.
When "Moonlit Street" starts, we are greeted with some marching piano notes that harken back to the mood of the first track on the album. However, it's all much more serene and impressionistic this time, with none of the dramaticism so abundant in "The Eternal Night".
"Stormy Night", on the other hand, has much more oomph, with sparkling notes virtually flying in all directions, while heavier, more asserting piano slabs provide accents here and there. In fact, I am reminded on some abstract and impressionistic piano works that people like Anthony Davis and other avant-jazz pianists are known for. However, the piece also has its reflective moments.
"Wellsprings" has much more of an asserting quality to it, being probably one of the brightest pieces on this shadow-imbued, nocturnal disc. The use of major harmonies reasserts this feeling.
"Games" is another relatively bright and jovial piece, which probably could not have been the other way round, with a title like that. It is also quite upbeat, with faster piano runs on top of what seems like a solid base of lower-register piano notes.
"Snowflakes" is extremely airy, just like the title suggests. This time, higher, bell-like notes predominate, as Gustavo paints one sonic whirlpool after another with his trusty digital piano.
"The Deep Night" takes us back to nocturnal realms. Certainly one of the heaviest and most dramatic pieces on the album, it harkens back to the opening track, but, if anything, is even darker and more intense.
The closing track, the 7-minute "Voyage" finishes the album on a more reflective note, as piano chords are interspersed with short periods of silence.
This is minimalism in its more traditional sense. "Nocturnes" is an excellent listening for those reflective moments. Turn the lights out, sit back, relax and just let yourself be taken away by the music.
"Perspectives" is a collaborative project between electronic musician Gustavo Jobim and British photographer Ian Land who currently resides in Berlin. It's a multimedia concept where each track corresponds (more or less) or is based on a certain photography by Ian Land. All of the pictures are black and white. Musically, Gustavo has chosen a different approach this time - relying solely of electric piano (using acoustic piano timbres) with virtually no electronics.
The first track, "Am Schlachtensee", is a study in repetition. It recalls classic American minimalist works of people like Philip Glass.
The title track follows and it's a much more haunting affair. High notes hang in the air like ghosts waiting to get saved from their endless wandering. However, as the track progresses, some impressionistic hues start to become noticeable. Not very Debussy-like (too chaotic for that), but still with that special, early 20th century mood. The track gets heavier as it progresses, with bass notes replacing the higher ones completely.
"Exemplary Service" is, on the other hand, pretty emotional and has a nice melodic sensibility. It reminded me a bit on Roedelius' style during his Forst period of working in the Cluster duo, as well as his subsequent creative years (1980 - 1991). Excellent track, this one.
"Asche zu Asche" steps it up a notch in drama. Although monochrome, these notes really manage to get the message through. An epitaph of shattered dreams and a hymn to decay, this is probably the darkest piece of the album.
"Arc de Triomphe" has faster piano runs and an overall brighter atmosphere, using major keys along with the minor ones. Overall, it's really one of the most complex tracks of the album, with multiple changes of themes and moods. Again, the general direction is rather impressionistic.
"Ghosts" returns to minimalist moods, with a very soundtrack-like quality to it. It could serve as a soundtrack to a mystery / drama / horror movie. Nice!
"Debris" is in a "sequenced piano" style that was explored on some of Gustavo's previous albums. All the fast piano runs really set up a darkish and disturbing mood, turning into monolithic walls of sound, crashing waves and ripples. The interesting part is that at times the music on this track doesn't sound like piano at all. It is probably the most explorative piece here.
"Rejected" closes the album on a minimal Brian Eno / Harold Budd note, with that special touch of Roedelius. Beautiful!
I really think of this album as one of Gustavo's main creative achievements. It is always a challenge to record a successful piano album, but he really managed to do something that differs from his usual output and yet possesses an irresistible quality and undeniable artistic value. It really helps to watch the photographs while listening to this music, as the ideas behind the tracks get clearer. Great album by Gustavo!
Gustavo Jobim’s In Search of Berlin, part of an ongoing project of archival releases, contains 78 minutes of improvised music composed between 2003 and 2009.
In contrary to his current [2011-12] output that is much more experimental, the music featured here connects very strong to the Berliner School of electronic music. So imagine lengthy sonic excursions with extensive vintage pads, fast and repetitive sequencer patterns, teutonic undercurrents. The outcome is occasionally accompanied by acoustic percussion and bits of electric guitar. I especially like the sense of drama and gloominess as e.g. displayed in the third track "Midnight Mists", that also contains a good dash of mellotron.
Although far from original, I think Gustavo has done a nice and pleasing job with this trip back to the past. 3.5/5 stars.
In Search of Berlin is a return to basics. It’s a musical journey in the heart of Gustavo Jobim's influences and the first movements of the sound experiments linked to early Berlin School, exception made of "Underground Train". For his 6th opus, the Brazilian synthesist weaves long titles with experimental ambiences painted of lugubrious and mephistophelic approaches where the rhythms give way to atmospheres rich in Mellotron textures, as in nice time of Phaedra, and in floating organ layers, resetting our souvenirs of a certain Klaus Schulze.
Moreover it’s with a lead line spitting its pulsating and resonant waves that "Echoes of Berlin" opens. From the first sound emanations, we are filled by these caustic waves which adorned the stagnant ambiances of Cyborg, except that the rhythm is of lead. Pounded sequences and echoing keys, "Echoes of Berlin"s tempo is a furious stationary race where breathless pulsations crisscross into stubborn polyrhythmic structures and stuffed with wild sequenced doubloons before calming down in a superb atmospheric passage where the Phaedra kind Mellotron floats on a nest of piano to melancholic notes, drawing a sombre haunted finale. It’s very good!
And if Phaedra appeals you, you will be flabbergasted of melancholy with very beautiful "Midnight Mists" and its synth waves which undulate such as floating threats on meditative notes of piano. Organ layers are heavy and intense, moulding a claustrophobic ambience worthy of some good soundtracks for macabre films.
With "Underground Train" we dive into the territories of Schulze and his digital era with keys which skip under glockenspiels tinkles. If the intro is a little abrupt, there is a beautiful silky wave that comes to cover this staccato movement to wrap it by a beautiful harmonious cloud, shaping the effect of a sequenced train which parades its Teutonic chords in the astral corridors of a long minimalist structure stuffed with fine harmonious nuances.
The pulsating rhythm of "Ascension" sticks a little to the one of "Echoes of Berlin". Less echoing and stormy, but all the same rather frenzied, the movement is covered of smooth synth layers with tones of old organ which recalls unmistakably the tetanized ambiences that Klaus Schulze weaved on Picture Music. Ambiences which isolate the sequences to smother a rhythmic envelope which is reborn of its unpredictable heavinesses and its ambulatory rhythm.
"The Inner Outer Space" is a very atmospheric title which transports us in the roots of albums as dark and experimental as Zeit and Alpha Centauri. It’s a long atonal title made of an alloy of warm and iridescent breaths which spit filets of metals in a long cylinder passage stuffed with oblong quavering synth layers which cover extraterrestrials’ chirpings. When we say experimental, well that’s not half of it!
And the corrosive universe of this 2nd portion of In Search of Berlin continues with "Hallucinations" and its intro stigmatized by calcified lamentations. A long title very dark and acid for headphones, "Hallucinations" pursues its quest of irritability with shouts of anemic sirens which reveal very beautiful echoing pulsations, ploughing a rhythmic phase of lead as much stubborn as "Echoes of Berlin" to finally lose this rhythm pattern in a shambles of deviants and buzzing layers, in the limits of a melodic hell where fragments of melodies survive in a musical cataclysm of an incredible intensity of lost decibels.
"Berlin Endless" moderates somehow the corrosive ardors with a stunning sequential approach which takes shape as wings of dragonflies beating in a zootropic speed. Pulsating chirping assist this frenzied beatings whereas a sequence appears to wave of its crossed oscillations, creating a rhythmic confusion where roller coasters chase against motionless pulsations. Faster than a blinking of lash, this torrent of polyrhythmic sequences pursues its crazy running scattering crystal clear chords which skip and spin under the aegis of a synth to ghostly waves and eclectic tones. A breach in the movement diverts its furious rhythm to adopt a more linear shape, a little after the 6th minute, with smothered sequences under metallic synth layers which pound a heavy and symmetric rhythm. And "Berlin Endless" to fall in a disproportionate madness where the rhythm jumps on the spot to stumble in the meanders of a synth filled by strata of an extreme corrosivity, concluding album as much surprising as amazingly dark and powerful.
For a home-made album, In Search of Berlin is a surprising discovery. Audacious and creative, Gustavo Jobim offer the best of Berlin School’s 2 worlds with an album where the sound experiments are next to the memories of former days on rhythms and ambiences which are extremely powerful, both in tone and in emotions. Available in downloadable format and at a very interesting price, it’s the best means to learn about this movement that little dare to dig up the tip of the real roots.
On this album Gustavo Jobim explores his early influences, or rather, early German EM textures, but does it in his own, unique way. "Echoes of Berlin" is loaded with varied sequences that create a rich web of sound. It's has a great, updated Berlin School sound. Finally, a magnificent mellotron-laden section follows, bringing to mind the darkest moments of "Phaedra". Piano notes are combined with 'tron strings for an even more dramatic sound.
"Underground Train" starts in a very Schulzian manner, with complex sequencer patters and multiple arpeggios. It's very similar to "En-Trance", complete with gentle electric piano / glockenspiel notes and other digital plinkety-plonk. However, there's also that thick, slightly phased organ chord that harkens back to earlier times. And, before I forget, I just love the key changes on this track - very sudden and yet somehow organic, reminding a bit on "Bayreuth Return" even. Overall, it's a smooth, warm and highly enjoyable EM track.
"Midnight Mists" delivers the goods from the very start, as you hear shadowy mellotron chords and reflective piano notes. It turns out to be a captivating atmospheric track that pleasantly brings to mind of "Epsilon in Malaysian Pale". Minus the piano, of course, which was not used by Froese then. Because I adore this EM classic, I found "Midnight Mists" hugely enjoyable too, and a nice twist on that sound.
"Ascension" more or less repeats the formula of the first track, as you are taken away by a storm of pulsating sequences. The analog lead line is a new element, and sounds a bit similar to the textures that Klaus Schulze used to come up with circa "Cyborg" / "Picture Music" - you know, that thin, reedy type of sound. Gustavo's work on the sequences is very interesting on this track, including that moment when the rhythms break up, only to come back with new force a couple of seconds later.
With "The Inner Outer Space" we dispense with the sequences, as this is pure dark drift, seemingly inspired by the earliest Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze works. One can hear echoes of "Alpha Centauri", "Zeit" and "Irrlicht" here. However, it's all fairly unique and reminds a lot on the mixture of the embryonic Berlin School from 1970 - 1973 and the current Noise / Dark Ambient scene.
"Hallucinations" starts with a heavily modulated, ahem... hallucinating synth drone. After a while, a sequence develops out of this drone, but the track retains its quirky character. The sequences then subside and make room for the comeback of modulated synth drone. This is heavy stuff, guys, and not at all your average TD clone. Some quick, sequenced piano runs also remind on Gustavo's earlier works.
Finally, "Berlin Endless" is unleashed on the wave of heavy-duty sequencing, rapid notes stinging the ears like electronic bees. The patterns then change completely, as Gustavo goes mad with cutoff and resonance controls on his synthesizers. After a quiet section where it seems that the track has faded out, the sequences resume as lively as ever, bringing the album to a sudden close.
"In Search of Berlin" is an interesting and original take on this well-trodden musical path that is Berlin School. It differs from the bulk of the genre's releases in that the solos are almost absent (bar one track), the sequences are generally fairly frenetic and overall the music is pretty experimental and sometimes quite far from the genre's conventions... which makes it all the more interesting of course. And those atmospheric mellotron moments are simply stuff to die for. Another winner from Gustavo Jobim! Best track: Midnight Mists.
Man kann es sich vor seinem geistigen Auge geradezu bildlich vorstellen, wie ein kreativer Geist in Büros, die an Hühnerställe erinnern, zur Produktivität angehalten wird und dabei abstumpft. Immer die gleichen Arbeitsvorgänge in geringen Variationen, immer die gleiche Strukturierung der Arbeit in festgesetzten Zeitabläufen. Der Mensch, der mehr Maschine als Lebewesen ist. Das ist die eine Seite. Und es erinnert musikalisch schon stark an Kraftwerk. Aber auch an Cluster.
Gustavo Jobim schreibt in der Betrachtung zu diesem Album, dass er sich besonders von Cluster inspiriert fühlte. "Moebius Tape" (benannt nach Clusters Dieter Moebius) war das erste Stück, das er für das Album aufnahm. Nun, Cluster mag hier Inspiration gewesen sein, aber Jobim schafft es zwischen Düsseldorf und Forst an der Weser (bildlich gesprochen) seine ganz eigene Idee einer modernisierten Form der alten Kraut-Electronic in Tonfolgen umzusetzen.
Trapped in a Day Job ist bereits das fünfte Album von Gustavo Jobim, einem Brasilianer, der einer der begabtesten Erben der deutschen, elektronischen Musik ist! In der Musik von Jobim finden sich Anteile der verschiedensten Kraut-Electroniker von Tangerine Dream und Klaus Schulze über Cluster und NEU! bis hin zu Kraftwerk. Seit dem Jahr 2000 arbeitet Jobim an seinem speziellen Konglomerat, das sich zwar deutlich auf die deutsche elektronische Avantgarde der 70er Jahre von Berlin bis Düsseldorf stützt, aber doch eigene moderne Handschrift erkennen lässt. Wobei gerade dieses Album deutlich von der sonst bei Jobim vorherrschenden Vorliebe für die Berliner Schule elektronischer Musik abweicht.
Die sich stetig wiederholende ebenso dynamische wie differenzierte Rhythmik gepaart mit irgendwie simpel klingenden, versponnenen Synthiesounds sorgt auf Trapped in a Day Job geradezu zwingend für eine ungewöhnliche Lebendigkeit. Das repetitive Element wird besonders bei den beiden Longtracks genüsslich ausgespielt. Änderungen im Klangbild vollziehen sich nur ganz allmählich. Jobim ist dabei ein äußerst konsequenter Musiker: auf akustische oder elektrische Instrumente wird vollends verzichtet. Das Album wurde allein auf einem sehr kleinen Software Synthesizer in kreativen Arbeitspausen in seinem Büro eingespielt. Alles kommt aus der "Dose": Die treibenden Electro-Beats, die harte Bass-Spur, die sich darüber in kurzen Zirkeln entfaltende Synthie-Melodie.
Der Sound auf Trapped in a Day Job ist mechanisch, synthetisch, minimalistisch und verspielt. Der Prog-Hörer mit Zugang zu elektronischer Musik wird sich der seltsamen Dynamik und Frische dieser Aufnahmen in der Schnittmenge von Zuckerzeit und Mensch-Maschine kaum entziehen können.
Das Album kann über die Homepage als Download oder auch per e-Mail-Anfrage an Jobim als CD-R erworben werden.
Brazilian artist Gustavo Jobim is certainly one of the most interesting and promising acts on the current EM scene. A while ago I reviewed his CD album "Round Mi" that featured a nice mix of Berlin School influences and Minimalism; as well as a few of his download-only releases. All of his works were quite different but he managed to maintain a high quality of his output, whatever the chosen style of music. This particular album was recorded at work. This means that all tracks were recorded using office PC running a basic synthesizer / sequencer software (TS-404).
"Lets Fly" gets straight into sequencing. It's minimal and yet hypnotic and captivating. Actually, you only hear sequences here, about 4 or five of them. Some of the sequences serve as rhythm, some provide the melody and some act as bass... you get the picture. Simple, but effective. The music is not static, as Gustavo changes notes on the fly, alters filter and resonance parameters, resulting in a lively concoction of electronic pulsations. It is interesting to trace the intricate road this piece takes, guided only by the author's imagination and the instrument's limitations.
"Moebius Tape" strikes a quirkier note, initially sounding like some cartoonish frog choir. The tempo is slightly slower but it's basically the same thing - sequencing and just sequencing. This track is really heavy on the bass. I am thinking about the tracks' title now. Although it does refer to mathematics, I am indeed reminded a bit on the music of Dieter Moebius. At least this track has the same type of quirkiness to it and the textures are a bit similar too. I found it interesting how the piece seemingly decays towards the end, the sequences becoming more distorted, dirty and hallucinating.
"Cat In the Blender" has perhaps the catchiest groove of them all. I can't help but nod to the rhythm while listening to this. It has nice resonance-laden melodic higher-register sequences as well. A pity that this track is so short (4+ minutes only).
We then get "Nightlife In Mars" that is more upbeat, with a galloping bass sequences and other pulsations possessing that strange, dirty experimental quality that make them sound pretty cold and alien. Sounds like Goa Trance played by the Max Rebo Band on a bad day.
"Arcade Times", naturally, brings in the cheese. If you like old computer games or are a fan of Chiptune, this is more or less the stuff you're after. However, apart from the bleepy sequences, you get pretty noisy resonating textures here that make the whole thing sound rather intense. It is the shortest track of the album.
"Mindbender" weaves another net of electronic pulsations. This time, however, Gustavo goes for the total overkill, both in terms of the quantity of sequences and the overall intensity.
"Icecream Waves" is the only slow track here. In fact, it could be called "sequencer ambient" if you can imagine such a thing. This is probably the kind of stuff Cluster would have made back in 1976 in Forst, had they had access to sophisticated sequencer software.
"Inside the Machine" adopts a more asserting groove with some really strange background sequences, some of them even reminding on the cheesy sounds that Tomita used in the 1970's. However, the format is grand - this massive track leaves an impression of a Klaus Schulze gone completely sequencer-mad in his studio.
There are not enough albums out there relying solely on the sequences. And Gustavo Jobim's "Trapped In A Day Job" is an important statement and the proof that such artistic limitations can be ultimately rewarding when filtered through a creative mind of a musician. Recommended.
Well, the recording is a lot about repetition and the very slow tweaking of sounds along metallic pulsations and robotic rhythm variations. In addition, it has a strong psychedelic, hallucinogenic and profound weird veil over it. The slowly unfolding compositions all feature minimal sequenced structures that soon become quite annoying on every piece, and I sincerely doubt if this tasteless music art can be taken seriously. 2/5 stars.
Trapped in a Day Job was literally conceived during Gustavo Jobim’s working hours by means of a small (only 250 kilobytes) software synthesizer, TS-404 V1.05 Beta. This software is built around four layered independent sequencers, each assigned to a small, also independent, synthesizer. So the TS-404 is aimed at creating short rhythmic loops or fat synth lead lines, which the musician can use for other arrangements. After some experimentation on this software, the Brazilian tones sculptor discovered its full potential within long minimalist musical pieces. And so Trapped in a Day Job got out of its embryonic state. Using the four sequencers ensemble for both rhythmic and melodic patterns, in a continuous, repetitive play, Gustavo Jobim concocted quite a syncretic album where the music leaves the way to a palette of videogames tones which roll in circle through a pleiad of metallic pulsations.
"Let’s Fly" opens this eclectic album of Gustavo Jobim with heavy and resonant pulsations which evolve on a long minimalist structure liven up by chords which turn in loops. Chords which subtly stretch their harmonies on a hard, stroboscopic and robotic tempo where heavy metallic pulsations sound as extraterrestrials' suction cups in a kind of techno that Kraftwerk would deliver on vitamins boosted with LSD. And if there is a key point in this extreme pandemonium is this subtle permutation in harmonies which untie us from a redundant geometrically musical figure.
Longer, "Moebius Tape" is also much harmonious. The musical skeleton always rests on metallic beatings which resound to forever and a day, but the limpid sequences pour with a more beautiful fluidity and form a strange paradoxical harmony with its multiplied doubloons which shape a curious automated ode, making forgot its pulsating metallic skeleton.
Afterwards we fall in a series of short tracks where are hiding beautiful jewels, as "Cat in the Blender" of which the naming says everything. We really have the impression of hearing a cat mew of pain on a heavy, metallic and pulsating rhythm. The harmonious and rhythmic structures are in constants permutations, giving thus more wealth to Trapped in a Day Job. "Nightlife in Mars" goes a bit out of the pulsating structure to offer an odd musical structure, taken directly out of video games, as on "Arcade Times" and its frantically loops, which recall me Plastikman’s musical automate and minimalist world.
After the brief interlude of "Arcade Times" we dive into "Mindbender" and its semi spectral and semi alien structure where chords spin of a symmetric way in a minimalism universe of discord. If I ventured, I would dare a comparison between Mike Oldfield and Conrad Schnitzer. "Icecream Waves" is the softest track of Trapped in a Day Job where chords swirl without constraints on a delicate structure reminding Richard Pinhas' universe on East-West.
Beautiful and melodious, but always minimalist and robotic, less violent than "Let’s Fly" and less harmonious than "Moebius Tape", "Inside the Machine" ends this musical essay with a long track with loops and chords as well pulsating as repetitive on a structure to subtle unexpected developments. Permutations strongly nuanced which amaze because of their spontaneity and unpredictability. If it can seem long at the beginning, it subtly changes and evolves for its entire duration. And these fine changes that we didn’t expected make the charms of Trapped in a Day Job.
I read on Gustavo's site that this album would have been a continuity of Cluster works, which incidentally I don’t really know to do such a comparison. But I find many other references which have jumped to my ears, such Daft Punk, Con Man (Conrad Schnitzler), Plastikman and Kraftwerk. Trapped in a Day Job is certainly a strange opus where the musicality can seem doubtful, even if unmistakably present, which demonstrates that from a simple thingy we can manage to create great things. For Kraftwerk fans, it’s a must. And for those who are of curious nature, it’s an album which is amply worth the time we take to listen to, specially when it’s free and available at his site.
Aparentemente (*) gravado usando o computador que Gustavo usa em seu trabalho, não surpreende que este álbum seja escapista.
A primeira impressão é de que assim é que o Cluster poderia ter soado depois dos anos 70, se eles tivessem tido um pouco mais de auto-confiança e um melhor entendimento do zeitgeist.
Mas conforme você presta mais atenção, os detalhes e a produção mostram que este álbum é um produto de uma era mais moderna. Na verdade, este álbum soa mais como o Cluster soaria se O Doutor tivesse os levado no TARDIS para os tempos de hoje, e os deixado não em um estúdio, mas com um PC e com alguém que soubesse como usá-lo.
Deixando de lado as estranhas comparações, Gustavo é um homem que consegue fazer a máquina ter um "soul". Por exemplo, em 'Nightlife in Mars' ele concretiza a velha ambição de Detroit de soar como Kraftwerk tocando James Brown.
Gustavo consegue fazer sua máquina voar, e ele a leva a estranhos lugares. Como um acid house errado, ele pega um ritmo eletrônico e coloca por cima sons bem distorcidos. Eletrônica agradavelmente esquisita.
(*) Creio que não há problema em publicar esta história.
Texto original em inglês:
Apparently (*) recorded using the desktop that Gustavo uses at his day job, this album is unsurprisingly escapist.
The first impressions are that this is how Cluster could have sounded after the 70s if they had had a little more confidence and a nicer touch of the zeitgeist.
However, when you get closer to it, the details and the production betray it as a product of a more modern age. This is more how Cluster would sound if The Doctor had taken them in his TARDIS to now and left them not in a studio but with a PC and someone who knew how to use it.
Strange comparisons aside, Gustavo is a man who can put soul into the machine. For instance, on 'Nightlife In Mars' he fulfils the old Detroit ambition of sounding like Kraftwerk playing James Brown.
Gustavo can make his machine fly and he takes it to some weird places. Like acid house gone wrong, he takes an electro groove and puts some very warped sounds on top of it. Nicely weird electronic.
(*) Allegedly, anecdote published without prejudice.
This release from 2008 offers 76 minutes of electronic collaborations with various international musicians. It is available as a free download, in both MP3 and FLAC formats, with a PDF booklet.
Track 1 features Jobim and the Chorlton Radiophonic Workshop (from the USA). Delicately chiming electronics mingle with chittering noises and gentle guitar that rises into congenial prominence. Spoken words are included as the tune wraps up.
Track 2 features Jobim and That Hideous Strength (from the USA). At 16 minutes, this is the album’s longest piece. Moody electronics are accompanied by infrequent ponderous bass drums and twinkling guitar noises. A sense of power gradually builds as the instruments establish density and generate a constantly mounting tension. Before it’s done, the piece achieves the demonstrative status of a rock song with urgent rhythms, searing guitar and savage electronics.
Track 3 features Jobim and Nathan Siter (from Finland). This track is quite ambient with minimal tones punctuated by eerie effects which create an abstract structure culminating in a peek at mechanical chaos.
Track 4 features Jobim and Conrad Schnitzler (from Germany). Strident piano meanders from melodic to hesitant expressions.
Track 5 features Jobim and Helder Correia (from Portugal/Norway). That piano continues here, supporting bashful tones and agitated effects, which eventually erupt into a cohesive rock piece with insistent percussion dogging the piano to greater velocity.
Track 6 features Jobim and Amyr Cantusio Jr. (from Brazil). Sparkling electronics and astral effects achieve a dreamy ascension.
Track 7 features Jobim and Robert Jaz (from the USA). Edgy electronics conspire with spooky sounds to achieve a haunted stroll in the night woods.
Track 8 features Jobim and Member (from Germany). Things get airy with this track as agile electronics ride temperate breezes with keyboard embellishment helping to keep everything aloft.
Track 9 features Jobim and Daniel Bordini (from Brazil). Grating synthetic beats are buoyed by vaporous tonalities--until stronger rhythms usurp control, transforming the piece into a lethargic rock instrumental.
Track 10 features Jobim and Leandro Theodorico (from Brazil). Piercing electronics provide a whimsical foundation for additional synthesizers that attempt to muddy up the tune with clashing aggressive effects.
Track 11 features Jobim and Ronny Waernes (from Norway). Agitated effects conduct a sonic duel in a soup of glutinous electronics which reaches a cacophonous long-lasting crescendo.
Track 12 features Jobim and Justynn Tyme (from the USA). Erratic electronic effects support a spoken word recitation.
This collection offers a variety that runs the gamut from abstract noise to endearing melodic tuneage. The common thread is creativity unfettered by commercial concerns, and in that regard the selection succeeds wildly with inventive pieces exploring uncharted realms of bewitching sound.
"Belles Alliances" sees Gustavo Jobim collaborating with other musicians worldwide, both famous and not so famous.
The first track is done with the Chorlton Radiophonic Workshop from the UK. It's a relatively short, 5+ minute piece called "I Tasted Jobim". Yeah, right. It starts with a great resonant sequence, until some melancholic sounds and a bit of Mellotron strings appear. Some reflective guitar playing can be heard, as well as some tasty experimental sounds. The piece has a hazy, ambient feel, in spite of it being fairly rhythmical and active. Floating pads come towards the 3-minute mark and then suddenly a voice appears, reciting an English text, shifting duties with a vocoder. Interesting stuff...
"Joan Mitchell's Ici" is next and at 16+ minutes it is the longest composition of this album. It was created in collaboration with That Hideous Strength from the USA. Low synths and drones start this spooky piece, as experimental electronics add a nice touch. Real drums appear, together with fuzzy guitar sounds. This is some intense, doomy music which is half synthetic and half guitar-based but is totally out-there. If you liked some of the heavier moments of Hawkwind, you ought to like this as well. After 8 minutes the track shoots itself into space with upbeat sequences, heavy drums and heavily processed guitar. This is a Space Rock fan's dream!
An untitled track with Nathan Siter comes next. What we hear here are basically some spooky effects and drones. So, this is the Dark Ambient piece of this album. And not a bad one, too. If you're into the genre - check it out. Beware, that there are some pretty grating and harsh textures towards the end of the piece, so I suggest that you don't listen to it at high volume.
Another untitled track, this time with Conrad Schnitzler, follows. It's a short piece that only slightly exceeds the 2-minute length. It features avantgardistic piano playing and... this is it. Pretty simple but a nice interlude all the same.
"Musica Sem Nome", recorded with Helder Correia (Portugal) is next. Electric piano is combined with some growling synths and a bass throb. A nice melodic theme is introduced to what sounds like the most accessible piece so far. Some heavy bass sequences are introduced and the track becomes urgent, rhythmic and repetitive. A superfast bass drum rhythm is added to what now sounds like an outtake from a Hardcore / Gabber compilation. Nice try.
A short piece "Crepusculum" is next, done in collaboration with Brazilian Amyr Cantusio Jr. (aka Amir Cantusio aka Alpha III). Cosmic synthesizers arranged in cyclical patterns are heard. Background melodic pads and piano clusters add a nice touch to this very harmonic and enjoyable number. Pity it's too short, though.
"Will-o'-the-Wisp" with Robert Jaz (USA) is next and it's a much more experimental affair, with repeating bass notes and synth improvisation on top.
"Summer Breeze" is done with someone from Germany who calls himself "Member". Organ chords reveal beautiful clusters of piano notes. A Froesean guitar is heard but the main sounds (the chords and the piano) remain rather static.
An untitled track with Daniel Bordini follows. It features a repeated melody and some heavy wind effects. Very soon an acoustic guitar sound appears and a slow dubby rhythm chugs along nicely in a relaxed and serene manner.
And yet another untitled track with Brazilian Leandro Theodorico follows. It's full of absolutely crazy sounds and effects. This avant-garde and somewhat chaotic piece reminded me on some Robin Julian Heifetz stuff I've heard on a few samplers released by Electroshock.
"Abstract Painted Train" is next. It's a piece done in collaboration with Norwegian Noise artist Ronny Waernes. Accordingly, this piece is quite intense and heavy, with distorted sequences and grating sounds / effects. Well, to be exact, this track is basically a barrage of noise. There are different sounds here, but they are processed to the point where they become a painful wall of sound.
"Cyprinodotinform Manifesto" is a short piece of abstract electronics and English text recited by Justynn Tyme from the USA.
"Belles Alliances" has something for everyone and with a variety of styles displayed here, it's difficult to recommend it to any particular group of listeners. However, it's difficult not to recommend it either, as there's some top-notch stuff in there. Best track: undoubtedly, "Joan Mitchell's Ici" with second best being "Crepusculum".
This release from 2002 features 73 minutes of versatile electronic music.
Peppy pulsations mark this CD's opening track [the Round Mi suite], achieving a tasty melody that floats with a distinct vigor. This leads to an atmospheric mood that is generated by ethereal textures, while piano and sampled rainfall provide a touch of humanity. After a passage laced with funereal percussion counterbalanced by serious harpsichord, the pace picks up with lively keyboards that evoke an ascending motion with woodwindish embellishments. As the piece reaches its conclusion, prior elements converge with majestic poise.
The next composition [Clouds] clocks in at over thirty minutes length, allowing Jobim to explore a long-form structure employing electronics mixed with synthetic orchestral touches. While ambience becomes the temperament here, subtle rhythms emerge as pulsations ricochet to contribute an edgy melody to the misty harmonics. This soft tempo leads to a stretch of soothing electronic serenity, but this serenity seethes with the promise of livelier material, which arrives in the form of rapidly pattering cycles as the pulsations pursue an engaging structure of mounting (but still serene) tension. The music unfurls hypnotic qualities as the looping keyboard chords increase velocity, reaching an urgency that is nicely tempered by a rising tide of heavenly harmonies.
The third track [Loopsurf-Loopsearch] applies an energetic arrangement to looping aspects, augmenting the growling cybernetic cycles with delicate keyboards. Sedate postures are invigorated by this blend as complex keys overwhelm the mixture while retaining a comfortable ease. Auxiliary effects assemble, picking at the core melody with fanciful results.
Jobim's music displays a softly symphonic undercurrent that is congenial and uplifting, enhancing the drifting electronics with traditional substance. His tendency to inject lively elements makes for a satisfying listen.
Brazil sometimes gives us quite unusual EM, and this album is no different. Here, synthesist Gustavo Jobim created a set of tracks which is very difficult to describe. To say diverse is to say nothing. To my mind, most of it will appeal to fans of the Berlin School, but the range of sounds and influences on this album is huge.
There are three tracks in Round Mi. First comes the title track which is a suite divided into four parts. The first part ("Floating Tones Around Mi") has a very rich synth sound and propelling sequence. Pretty exciting stuff. The second part is called "Lament" and fittingly it features slow and darkish piano playing coupled with other instruments, nature sounds and light synthetic touches. There's also funeral-like bass line underneath it all. "Procession" is rather doomy and sounds influenced by chamber music. "Leaving the Atmosphere" shows strong progrock influences and really sounds like a chamber/progrock piece sans drums.
Clouds is a 31-minute epic that starts with drawn-out ambient tones but after a while a sequence starts and increases in pace. It then takes center stage and dominates the bulk of the track. It all has an airy, bright sound, really, which pretty much corresponds to the title. The track doesn't change a lot throughout its course but it does manage to create a hypnotic and somewhat calming effect, in spite of the fact that it's rather upbeat.
Loopsurf-Loopsearch is the last track and it's the best one on the album. It's rather experimental compared to what has gone before and features a lot of loops (surprise, surprise!) and sequenced elements. I can hear some Klaus Schulze influence here, but the track doesn't sound much like anything Klaus has ever put out. It's the most synthetic sounding piece.
I do notice a few bum notes and out of sync elements but Gustavo is only in his early-to-mid twenties which is a very young age for progressive music. Recommended. The album comes with a list of thanks which is an interesting reading. It includes (apart from the obligatory Schulze, TD, Vangelis and Jarre) people like Philip Glass, Änglagård, Anekdoten, Can, Carl Orff, Mahler, Radiohead and other great names."
The title track of this exceptional CD by Gustavo Jobim from Brazil is a four-part suite, beginning with "Floating Tones Around Mi." It opens with solid sequencing and a great melodic progression, drawing the listener in quickly. "Lament" immediately changes the tone, more reserved. Melodic lines are particularly well developed as a piano deftly maneuvers through synths and the sound of a gentle rain. "Procession" changes things dramatically, with a single pounding tympani-like beat. Organ music adds to the procession as the feeling grows. "Leaving the Atmosphere" changes moods yet again. Throughout "Round Mi," but particularly so in this fourth movement, I'm reminded of how Klaus Schulze blends classical and modern synthesizer influences, although Jobim's sound is all his own.
If you prefer more straightforward electronics then you may just want to play the 31-minute "Clouds" on infinite repeat. Starting with soft textures and atmosphere, a laid-back sequence starts going into the fifth minute, gradually picking up speed. Jobim then rides this mesmerizing phrase all the way through. Synth oboes are beautifully rendered, very much like classic Tangerine Dream. With only subtle changes over its course, "Clouds" captivates.
"Loopsurf - Loopsearch" chugs energetically along in a sequence not quite like anything I've heard before, low and mechanical. A brighter hypnotic loop merges over the top. Gradually, more synths are added. It's a distinctive hybrid between the likes of Klaus Schulze and Philip Glass. After moving briskly along for the first half, the latter half drifts into deep space with bleeps and blips of an otherworldly kind.
Round Mi is a unique and excellent take on Berlin school from Brazil.
"Round Mi" starts a little spooky. Think about Poulenc, who in his pieces for piano also created a kind of ghostly atmosphere. Gustavo places Poulenc behind an electronic clavichord and accompanies him with a sequencer. Very successful. The accompanying rhythm is now and then originally disturbed by false rhythms. The sequencer seems to stumble at those times. At the end pace and structure resemble the fast pieces from Philip Glass' "Koyaanisqatsi".
"Clouds" lasts 31 minutes. It begins very quietly with tempting floating strings which sound a little like light clarinets. Tension then rises dangerously in the direction of sirens. The sequencer then goes race walking and at full speed of about 100 bpm a layer of clarinet-like strings is added, which does nothing more than singing a tone higher or lower. There is some tension in this but it silts up and becomes dull then.
"Loopsurf-Loopsearch" is the last piece on the CD with an electronic Philip Glass rhythm added with a little musical tune. After ten minutes the fast rhythm disappears and fades into abstract noises in a resounding room with a mysterious atmosphere from the abstract departments of the Berlin school in the late Seventies. Well done.
It is a CD which you have to hear several times before you start to like it. Sometimes the playing is a little clumsy, but that is not really disturbing. The album may not be highly original, but the music has a sound of its own indeed. And that is promising for his future music. Technically the CD has a dry sound with a reasonable recording quality. A CD which is valuable for EM-lovers who like sequencers and Philip Glass-like rhythms.
Vamos lá: cite um disco de música eletrônica de um artista brasileiro. Falo da VERDADEIRA música eletrônica, aquela da escola de Berlim e não o que a mídia chama de música eletrônica. Conta-se nos dedos. Aqui na RPB nós já resenhamos alguns.
Da Som Interior chega essa novidade realizada por Gustavo Jobim, de 19 anos. Um trabalho de personalidade. Não espere ouvi-lo tocando em rádios convencionais ou fazendo shows. Não existe espaço. Quem gosta do estilo sabe que pode confiar. Estamos diante de um trabalho que irá abrir as portas da música eletrônica no Brasil. Eu mesmo tenho um projeto e me animei em lançar um CD por causa deste disco. Bola dentro de Gustavo e da Som Interior, que acreditou no seu trabalho.