“Saphonic” (released in 2007 as a privately released cd-r under the Awen-moniker) is the second album of Awenson, aka French composer Joël Bernard. It now sees a proper re-release as factory-pressed cd with new cover art, and has been aptly overhauled sonically.
The album takes off with the 22-minute longform “Le rasoir d’occam”, of which the atmospheric and slow ambient sonically touches ground with Schulze’s “Timewind”. There’s a smooth morphing and gently shapeshifting sound current leading the way here that stays transparent and detailed as the music unfolds layer after layer. Joël revealed he actually used a real electric razor for making a bass sound, that one can hear on the second part of this track.
“Metropolis” comes next, taking the psychedelic highway with organ and drone textures ending in a short chaotic momentum, before taking off again into a technological future in a pleasant, sequenced manner. The futuristic feel also shines through the mesmerizing, elevating textures and smooth pulsations of the excellent “Interstellar Overload”. Here, Schulze’s “Cyborg”, “Timewind”, “Mirage” and his end ’70’s live music all say hi. A gentle bass guitar sequence, fx’s and a soft soaring solo voice gives wings to the cosmic “Lolita’s Waveform”.
The fifth and final track is the tantelizing 21-minute “Technoff”. It’s the most dynamic piece on the disc offering a spatial ride through vintage Berliner School of the ’70’s on the first half with fast rhythms along powerful solo voices shifting over fast-forward and dancing sequencer patterns. The second half shifts to mesmerizing, more contemplative soundscaping.
Listening to “Saphonic” is an energetic and most satisfying experience that gives a real kick-inside.
Most certainly recommended.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Awenson artist page