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Bertrand Loreau — Let the Light Surround You
(Spheric Music SMCD 0308, 2022, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-02-26

Let the Light Surround You Cover art

Over 30 years and two dozen releases on from his first album, synth composer Loreau (from Nantes) has released recordings on a number of labels (Musea, Dreaming, Mirage, Groove Unlimited, and Spheric Music) as his style has evolved out of the Berlin School — a reliance on sequences — but has also encompassed a strong sense of atmospherics as well as holding melody and emotion above all. Using a variety of sounds, including piano and various synth patches and software instruments, each of the fourteen tracks straddles the worlds of classical and electronics, with a powerful soundtrack ethic. The one-sheet states “Style: New Age / Peaceful Electronic, similar to: Vangelis,” and one listen would confirm the classical influences that inform his music; indeed it is peaceful, but I have no idea what constitutes New Age these days — back in the 80s it was akin to something yucky that I tried my best to avoid, a tag that was more of a narketing term that record stores used to identify music they didn’t understand (other than the sales) and a section that shoppers would frequent if they wanted to avoid music with any resemblance to rock or pop music. A better description for Loreau’s compositions and arrangements on Let the Light Surround You would be dreamy electronic classical; where many warm and spirited sounds find their way into his lexicon, sometimes rhythmic, sometimes atmospheric but always melodic, occasionally with shimmering sparkly elements. There are no vocals, so you can scratch that off the possibilities; the comparison with Vangelis is a good one, although not just any Vangelis. Although one can sense the influemce of Tangerine Dream and even Schulze or Jarre, you won’t find those hard driving electronic pulses dominating these pieces anywhere. This is a more gentle and sensitive brand of electronics, shaded and dare I say pretty at times, one that can paint a beautiful scene where a listener can find a refuge within.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Bertrand Loreau

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