Exposé Online banner

Awenson — Wizard
(Musea Dreaming DR 8468, 2010, CD)

by Alan K. Lipton, Published 2011-06-01

Wizard Cover art

Wizard is the second album by Awenson (aside from self-produced CDR releases), whose first was released under the name Awen, and whose real name is Joël Bernard. These two long tracks, “Hypnotic Ways” and “Psychedelic Dream,” are loving tributes to the 70s work of Klaus Schulze, Jean-Michel Jarre and, most strikingly, Tangerine Dream. And if you let those fat textures, melodic excursions and chattering sequencers open memory’s floodgates, you’ll also hear the pop song modulations of TONTO’s Expanding Headband, comical relay tag of Tomita, amplitude swoop of Kraftwerk, brooding gravitas of Pink Floyd, spooky reeds of Ataraxia... the list goes on. Of these two selections, the 30-minute “Hypnotic Ways” is the more impressive as a showcase of technique. It could really be six linked tracks with pauses for breath between them. A tentative beginning becomes a skyscape washed with cloud filaments; the world brightens in a procession of dancing sequencer programs; a pensive soundtrack pops open into a baby Slinky nest; a massive computer’s fat heart pumps data through miles of circuitry; cold crystals melt into bubbly percussion; a funeral march recedes toward a flattening horizon. “Psychedelic Dream” might also be better expressed in six segments, although with a running time of 41:12, the developments are far more gradual. This track is really about atmosphere and the slow unfolding of moods, unlike the first track’s lesson in how to celebrate your synthesizer heroes. As a whole, Wizard would be an excellent audio cocoon for some serious late night thinking.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Awenson (Joël Bernard)

Latest news

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Manticore - Time to Fly – Manticore is a new outfit from Sweden and with that name a heavy Emerson, Lake and Palmer influence is bound to be present. The first track, "New Foundation," ripples with ELP right down to the main...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues