Title: Deep Space Topography
Release Date: 01 October 2008 (Remastered 2011)
Genre: Electroacoustic / Ambient
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: Murmure Intemporel
[Ed. Note: This review has been retracted due to the artist removing the Creative Commons license from the release. This is an automatic retraction with a rating of 0.]
Once again my wanderings around the social networks and internet have turned up an interesting find. And this find, again, is causing me to break one of my guidelines for reviews on the site: try to review works that are fairly recent, say within a few months. This release is actually six years old (with a three year old remaster). Tales – Deep Space Topography is worth checking out. This is really old school electronic music, also referred to as the Berlin School of electronic music. Tales is the brain-child of Jean-Luc Herve Berthelot. He has been producing large-scale sonic explorations that cross the boundaries of many types of themes from Marco Polo to Celtic and Asian themes. Berthelot’s works date as far back as 1997’s Stonehenge For Eternity. Critically speaking, his albums have been quite well received and draw comparisons to Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Brian Eno and Steve Halpern. This release is the third volume in his Interstellar Memories Series (following Interstellar Memories, and The Seskian Wars). This is a release of sweeping synthesizer soundscapes with tightly improvised melodic lines. There are no sequencers at work on this music, and the attention to detail is not just obvious, it seems to have been a law Berthelot. I have been a long time follower of Berlin School style electronic music, dating back to my college days in the 1980’s. I was unaware of Tales however until I came across these releases on Murmure Intemporel. I’ve written previously about how copyright tends to limit the life of an artists work. And here is proof of this situation. Were it not for a label like Murmure Intemporel, and the ability to release music under a Creative Commons license, these works would be lost. But now, many releases like this excellent recordings can still find their place in our collections, and artists that might have otherwise been lost or forgotten have the ability to keep their works alive. This is wonderful music that I am glad to see is still available to the listening public. A note from JHLB: About “Tales – Deep Space Topography”, it’s an homage to the album “Zeit” of Tangerine Dream, so it’s an electronic-ambient work without sequencer.
Glad you enjoy this release. He has several others that are very similar. He also records under several other aliases that I mention in the next article today (jihel is one of Berthelot’s aliases). Each alias is a “project” to write in different a different genre / style.
Pure Berlin School (old school) electronic music is relatively difficult to find today. I think I have actually found some (but I can’t put my finger on who at the moment), but more often I find releases that are from a newer school but have influences from the Berlin School. A good example is the release I have up for review on Friday. 🙂
Oh, I did just think of another artist whose back catalog of music was released after she passed away (from breast cancer, if I recall correctly). Not all of her work is Berlin School, but some of them were. Unfortunately, I can’t remember her name (and I don’t have her works on my Google Play…yet). I’ll find her works when I get home and add a comment on them.
Also, Mikael Fyrek has done some very Vangelis inspired works. While not purely analog synth stuff, I seem to recall adamned.age and alterphase having a similar feeling to a lot of Berlin School – although I’m listening to adamned.age at the moment, and it definitely isn’t Berlin School.
I am definitely keeping my ears open for this style of music. I miss listening to Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream. 🙂
Cool – thanks for a starting point and I see I have plenty to check out.
I am a fan of Can, Cluster, etc. so this helps put this style into perspective for me as a sort of fork in the road that electronic music took in the early years with beat oriented (techno beginnings) on one side and Berlin School ( ambient/new age/space music) on the other. Or at least that is how I am looking at it. 🙂
Yes, there was definitely a fork in the road with the emergence of digital synthesizers (like the Yamaha DX-7), and the emergence of samplers. It’s somewhat interesting that a number of the early “would be” EDM / Electronica artists drew inspiration not only from the Berlin School of electronic music, but also minimalist music (Steve Reich, etc.) Some of the early works by producers like The Orb contained samples from Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, etc. So there was definitely some influence going on.
BTW – you mentioned the next phase of the Snowpocalypse. We finally got hit with part of it here. Surprising it took this long. Normally we have snow from November through March. 🙂
Now that I am home I looked up the artist I was trying to think of… It’s Lucette Bourdin. She was more associated with New Age music, but some of her works make heavy use of analog synths, and have something closer to a Berlin School feel to me. In fact, there are quite a few artists on the Earth Mantra netlabel that have an older-style feel in their works, and you might recognize a few of the names from other labels — like Jack Hertz.
SndChaser – Thanks for uncovering this for me too… perfect background mx for my home office day during the N.E. USA’s Snowpocolapse Part Duex. (so far its not living up to expectations)
Since you mentioned oldschool…Is there anything cc that you can recommend for someone that is interested in vintage electronica/analog synth???
Anyhow – this is super and I am off to discover this further.
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