Legends Reviews

Synth&Sequences Reviews Legends

posted Jun 19, 2016, 1:15 PM by Ron Charron   [ updated Jun 19, 2016, 2:00 PM ]

"An album which crosses easily the limits between electronic rock, New Age and some perfumes of Berlin School from the Tangerine Dream's best years..."

Description of the track "Event Horizon" from the Synth&Sequences June 2016 review of Sequential Dreams "Legends"

 http://synthsequences.blogspot.ca/2016/06/sequential-dreams-legends-2016.html 1 Mission to Shangri-La 6:12
2 A Day Like no Other 4:22
3 Kurenai 8:40
4 Through the Looking Glass 8:38
5 Event Horizon 5:45 
6 Canyon Oasis 8:15
7 Mojave Midnight 7:25
8 The Kindly Beast 3:44
9 The Electric Monk 9:52
10 The Big Apple 5:44
11 One Giant Leap 7:54
Sequential Dreams (CD/DDL 76:34) ****
(Electronic Rock)


After a solid opus to start the year, Lost Dimensions, Ron Charron (better known under the name of Kuutana) puts back his clothes of composer and producer of EM of the New Berlin School genre to offer an album which is closer to the roots of the electronic rock of the 90's. Flanked of mainly by Bernhard Beibl on guitars and violins, Kuutana also surrounds himself of Ryo Utasato on synths and arrangements and of Kori Linae Carothers on piano as well as with a variety of musicians from the New Age environment to give a more melodious zest to an album which crosses easily the limits between electronic rock, New Age and some perfumes of Berlin School from the TD's best years...

"Mission to Shangri-La" affix this signature of this last adventure of the Sequential Dreams vessel with a line of sequences which makes oscillate its keys in the winds of swiftness and in the layers of a keyboard loaded of very Tangerine Dream's perfumes of the  Green Desert's year. The synths are harmonious with short stylized solos which sing as these harmonies in the Flashpoint era. Percussions flog the atmospheres near the second minute, awakening a line of bass sequences which intensely waves in its sonic cocoon. It's rather the violin which will excite the state of embryonic rhythm of "Mission to Shangri-La" which goes out of the envelope to offer a good electronic rock that Bernhard Beibl softens a bit with an acoustic guitar which throws very pinched notes. This first title of “Legends” offers in 6 minutes the diversity of the atmospheres that we find in this last opus of Sequential Dreams.

 "A Day Like no Other" brings us in the very New Age American territories. It's a delicate ballad centered on a piano where implosions of bass and guitar riffs pitch a dramatic veil, while Noah Wilding spreads her very ethereal voice. It's the kind of thing that we listen to on a Sunday morning while we are daydreaming in the bed.

 "Kurenai" is a first crush here with a very good electronic rock perfumed of the ingredients from the best moments of Tangerine Dream in the Melrose years. The percussions and the arrangements forge a kind of good rhythmic ride while the effects of voices add an oriental touch to this track which is as much seductive than lively. 

"Through the Looking Glass" is another good track which proposes a rather long ambient introduction with an acoustic six-strings which scatters its dreams in some synthesized mists flavored by absent voices. A line of bass sequences, the bass envelope is very omnipresent in this album, lays an ambivalent structure of rhythm which eventually end by tumbling down in effects of rodeo coupled to moments of suspension of those rhythm momentums. The effects of very vaporous orchestrations are placed well here and the small fragments of harmonies throw souvenirs of  TD in our ears. It's the cornerstone of Sequential Dreams' foundations.

"Event Horizon" is the jewel of this last opus of the international consortium of Kuutana. This is pure TD of the Green Desert year lost in the Exit years. Bernhard Beibl's guitar spreads harmonies under the forms of riffs while the synth throws very cosmic airs. It's rather the movement of ambient rhythm and the riffs of keyboard that gives us this desire to open a CD of Tangerine Dream. Very good and too short! 

"Canyon Oasis" is not outdone! Between two phases of atmospheres, the title offers a fiery electronic rock where Bernhard Beibl bursts out on his electric six-strings. If the 2nd part is softer, the guitar is more incisive with very good solos. We are in the best moments of “Legends”, to say the least for those who likes solid electronic rock. 

An electronic rock skillfully tamed, "Mojave Midnight" is my 3rd crush! If the guitar still seduces, the arrangements and the electronic effects, in particular those of the percussions, fill our eager ears. After the point of 4 minutes "Mojave Midnight" offers a superb crescendo, both in the rhythm and the harmonies tortured by the guitar and the arrangements. 

"The Kindly Beast" is a fascinating title. It's a ballad that one could consider written for macabre films starring phantasmagorical characters. The piano shines here with a fragile ritornello which rises in spiral on atmospheres of fear and on a structure of rhythm which draws these ballads in an obscure merry-go-round. This is very good. 

"The Electric Monk" is an electronic rock which is inspired by the TDI years with a furious guitar which throws its gall on a meshing of sequences and percussions which go in opposite directions. The 2nd part is as well explosive as the guitar can be furious. Yes, a huge electronic rock of the years Edgar and Jerome Froese. 

"The Big Apple" is quieter, although development reminds me that of Hamlet, from you know who, without the wild side A good rock slowed down by a beautiful approach of ballad. 

"One Giant Leap" ends “Legends” on a more theatrical approach which sticks easily to the Dante trilogy of TD.

The only drawback concerning this last opus of Sequential Dreams is that it's mixed for those who will listen to it from an iPhone or another intelligent device. The sound of the basses sometimes smother the effects and the rhythm when we listen to “Legends” on a support other than that of the digital technology. A version for hi-fi system is to be hoped. But as for the rest, it's another very good album of electronic rock from the Borders Edge Music house. There is a beautiful balance between the hard-line rhythms and these melodies which go and come to moderate the rhythmic impulses or still to embellish atmospheres which sometimes touch these lands of sadness visualizations in these epic movies where the imagination supplants the fiction. There are tracks here which transcend all that Kuutana realized in date, Bernhard Beibl's presence is doubtless for something here, showing that the best of Ron Charron is yet to come.
Sylvain Lupari (June 18th, 2016)

Bernhard Beibl
Kori L Carothers
Ryo Utasato

Journeyscapes Radio Reviews Legends

posted Jun 3, 2016, 4:33 PM by Ron Charron   [ updated Jun 4, 2016, 2:53 PM ]

“Legends” unfolds like a science fiction thriller full of exciting twists and turns, delivering an exhilarating listening reward of interstellar adventure! ~Candice Michelle June 3, 2016

    “Legends” is the seventh album from Sequential Dreams, an electronic musical project by Kuutana who has also released more ambient solo works, as well as a chillout musical project titled Sundown Café. Also contributing to this album is ex-Tangerine Dream guitarist Bernhard Beibl on guitar and violin, as well as Ryo Utasato on synthesizer-arrangements, with piano contributions by Kori Linae Carothers on a couple of tracks. Comprised of eleven compositions spanning nearly eighty minutes total, “Legends” takes the listener on a thematic musical excursion inspired by individual tales.

Opening the album is “Mission to Shangri-La”, a piece named for a mythical paradise described in the 1933 novel “Lost Horizons” by James Hilton. Dynamic sequencers and vintage synthesizer sounds are accompanied by drums and violin, which conjointly convey an essence of time travel. Slowing down a bit is “A Day Like No Other, a more ‘new age’ style piece which Kuutana co-produced with Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton (who also lends bass here) and features Jeff Haynes on percussion. We are also treated to a lovely piano arrangement throughout courtesy of Kori Linae Carothers, along with the ethereal vocals of Noah Wilding, all beautifully and seamlessly blending into the composition’s electronic-ambient backdrop. Following next is “Kurenai”, which is easily one of my favorites. Beginning in a slightly foreboding
manner, the piece leads into a dreamlike exuberance, where a rumbling bassline and vigorous drums characteristic of Japan's Ryo Utasato are juxtaposed with crystalline textures and muffled operatic voices, collectively imparting a sense of traveling through space at warp-speed. “Event Horizon” is another notable track of a more electronic-ambient nature; beginning with a spacious drone, it soon gives way to oscillating sequencers and trippy electric guitar effects, imbuing the composition with a psychedelic aura. “Canyon Oasis” is another particular standout reminiscent of 1980’s-era Tangerine Dream, where a synthesized melody and active percussion are guided by soaring and passionate electric guitar. Closing out the album is “One Giant Leap”, another traveling and rhythmic piece; its cumulative array of electronic sequencers, operatic voices and electric guitar seemingly allude to a giant leap of a quantum nature.

“Legends” is a most excellent foray into the Berlin School style of electronic music while also touching on elements of progressive rock. Although similarities to Tangerine Dream are apparent, I also felt a distinctive Pink Floyd vibe, particularly on the album's more guitar-laden tracks. A timeless genre of music that has likewise been explored by musical contemporaries such as Gert Emmens, Ron Boots and David Wright, Sequential Dreams is clearly at the genre’s cutting edge of sound. Moving in a constant linear motion from beginning to end, “Legends” unfolds like a science fiction thriller full of exciting twists and turns, delivering an exhilarating listening reward of interstellar adventure! ~Candice Michelle

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