With its bass-pulse line propels by jolts, Orange begins COLOR OF LIFE with a finely jerky electronic rhythm. A shimmering shadow effect fluttering like a hummingbird is grafted onto its strobe-like momentum that lasts a full 90 seconds before the first synth waves begin to gravitate around the beat. Orchestral pads and resonant arpeggios come in shortly before the percussions restructure the rhythm into a good electronic rock with staccato violin strings that match its shape. The track approaches its transition phase about 30 seconds into its 3rd minute for a short atmospheric passage. One hears arpeggios tinkling on a suspended bass-sequence line where the synth injects a first harmonic solo and its layers of mist. The percussions redraw a new rhythmic introduction with hand-clapping effects some 30 seconds later. Still in its remodeling phase, Orange navigates in a form of rhythmic uncertainty before returning to its base under good synth solos and electronic chirps. The tone is thus given to an album more melodious than complicated where FD Project reminds us how much the influence of Mike Oldfield dictates his way of composing 9 good titles in a firmament of a very diversified electronic music (EM). Frank Dorritke gives it his all in this album where synth-rock, ballads and even Berlin School live together. A CD which also proposes a musical texture increased by various sound effects, some organic like in Blue, and percussive elements which give a greater depth to a very accessible music. The German synthesist-guitarist makes a great use of orchestrations, some honeyed and others in rhythmic staccato, which give more colors to this pastel album from its emotions and its strong melodious orientations which could please an audience liking the New Age. But Frank remains resolutely stuck to his style of rock and ballad with this zest of Berlin School in the lines of the sequencer.
It's in hollow and even gloomy winds that White lies down on a thrilling bass-pulse line and another one whose luminous marbles undulate under the caresses of the winds. The percussions fall some 80 seconds later, structuring a heavy and slow rhythm where a spectral melody of the synth settles in. The guitar comes to deposit good solos on this structure which hardly modifies its rotary axis. A good heavy and slow cosmic rock, full of solos! A guitar pierces the hollow winds of Red. Its bucolic harmony makes us think right away of Mike Oldfield's style. And when the acoustic guitar puts down a ballad structure, a folk rhythm fills our ears with the flavors of this great Irish musician. It's not just Red which is in this area of influences. There is Grey (City Lights), as well as a few other openings and guitar solos, I'm thinking of the beautiful Purple (Over the Time), that also has that Oldfield guitar essence. In a slightly more cosmic texture, Black (Berlin Night) follows with a superb circular rhythm structure that unravels with a curtly jumping key effect on a finely spasmodic sequencer line. The percussions plough a more rocking rhythm, slowing down this perfect Berliner carousel, under good orchestrations of a synth that multiplies solos and melodious airs. Methodical, not to say narrative, the music comes back with its tunes and verses in bursts of passion that are at the origin of these nice solos. A great Berlin School with a spasmodic sequencer and good percussive effects. Well set on a buzzing bass line, Yellow follows the curve of the sequencer that goes up and down a soundscape decorated with orchestral layers. The percussions pound the rhythm and take the shape of this strong bass line, structuring a duel between the rock and the Berlin School where solos, of guitar as of synth, abound on another narrative structure.
Blue like water lapping in an opening that lulls itself with sibylline synth waves. The layers of its opening cast a dramatic aura that is overlaid with seraphic vocals, putting even more emphasis on an orchestral structure that leans on the New Age. Except that the croaking bass line sweeps away this perception as the track crawls with pain and misery towards a circular rhythm that is layered with morose synth solos. This longest track on COLOR OF LIFE ends up being a heavy, slow ballad with good percussions as the guitar blows its solos on a light ambient trot that ends Blue's adventure, in a good moody blues. We enter a more melancholic phase of this album. After the very Oldfield Grey (City Lights), Green (Silent Garden) plunges us into a radiant garden with the chirping from a variety of charming birds. The title proposes a rhythm as slow as the ticking of a clock where the acoustic guitar scratches a sad chorus under the faint ahhh of an astral Diva. A beautiful ambient track which takes slightly of tonicity in its last third with a guitar and a synth exchanging solos under the sparkles of stars and of this voice which whispers submission until making us melt with Purple (Over the Time). And if by any chance you feel sad, nostalgic and down in the dumps, avoid listening to Purple (Over the Time). This high level electronic ballad has all the ingredients to make you cry. Concluding a very nice album from FD Project. Different certainly, but very beautiful and musical without preventing it from being also very good!
Sylvain Lupari (March 9th, 2022) *****
Available at Groove nl
released March 1, 2022