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

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tatsuya Yoshida & Ron Anderson - A Is for Accident – This duo of Yoshida on drums and vocals and Anderson on guitar and vocals, is rather in the style of Ruins, the group which Yoshida a led, along with various bassists, and occasional guitarists....  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues