critiques
ordo ab chao proggnosis
«... an album that does not pale compared to the great discs by electronic artists such as Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Edgar Froese and their likes. The quality of the compositions, musicianship and production make Ordo ab Chao a "must have" for any fan of the genre. Highly recommended!...» eurock
«...“Ordo AB Chao” (...) blend into a wall of sound comprised of powerful rhythms, rippling sequences, waves of warm melody and a wafting celestial ambiance. If you miss the good old days, Eric has created music here that will overcome you with a wonderful sense of déjà vu sonically as you listen...» guts of darkness
«...Il y a de tout dans ce splendide album de SAMARKANDE qui est étonnement musical pour un album aussi lourd. Amateurs de Tangerine Dream, des années Phaedra à Logos, de Redshift, pour les ambiances lucifériennes, les séquences analogues et pour ce merveilleux Mellotron, et de Genesis pour les claviers et l'orgue, ce “Ordo ab Chao” s'inscrit dans les albums à posséder. Et non je ne dis pas cela parce qu'Éric Fillion vient de chez nous! Je dis cela parce que c'est un splendide album qui ne mérite absolument pas de passer inaperçu, Chapeau Éric, c'est tout un album que tu nous mets entre les oreilles!...» synth & sequences
«..“Ordo ab Chao is a stunning piece of EM which goes from Berlin School to prog rock while surfacing the dark ambient moods and concrete music...» eem
«..."Ordo Ab Chao" is quite an achievement. As the most distinct and different Samarkande album, it may be deemed "too commercial" by fans of the hardcore experimental stuff. However, I thought that it achieved a perfect balance between the experimental and the melodic, without abusing of any of the sides. If you are a fan of the Berlin School, get this album. No matter what epoch of Tangerine Dream (the German trio being the most obvious reference here) you prefer, be it the Pink Years, 1970's Virgin or the early 1980's - it's all here and all done superbly. And, as always, when the music is good, you get a feeling that it's over too soon."...»
performance x Existence Establishment
«..The thing that Samarkande does well is slowly build a piece over time. Their transitions are smooth and seamless which makes for an intriguing listen and prevents the listener from ever breaking out of the mood. (...) And interesting release that reminds me of such acts as Dead Can Dance, Oblivion Ensemble, with a touch of contagious orgasm in there as well. One for the more experiemental music fans to check out...» Progressive Newletters
«... Performance X is true experiments of live improvisations made by experienced sound tinkerers (...) Recomended for lovers of improvised electronic sounds...»
3 synapses Heaten Harvest
«...In all, 3 Synapses is a fascinating journey. Keeping the theme in mind through the listening process brings up some interestingly vivid imagery and helps all to focus on the chaotic nature of release of this magnitude the requires an immense amount of order to create...» Chain D.L.K.
«…Genres are all melting together, the cross breeding sometimes giving us offsprings of great beauty and sometimes a monster or two…» Planet Mellotron
«…Samarkande are for the EM fan who feels he (they're invariably 'he') will go insane if he hears another bad Tangs rip-off; they actually have something new to say in the genre, largely by approaching it from a new angle, and refusing to follow well-worn paths to electronic righteousness…» Textura
«…It's challenging listening for sure but it's always inspiring to hear musicians giving life to the words of Malcom Muggeridge that are quoted on 3 Synapses' back cover: “Only dead fish swim with the stream.” …» Vital Weekly
«…'3 Synapses' certainly has some fine moments when explore the more moody roads of the music, and let things develop in a natural way. Their experience at playing their instruments helped create a musically fine album…» Panorama
«…With “3 Synapses” they have walked a more artistic and evolutive path, with a perfect balance and equilibrium through live synthesizers or acoustic improvisations, which are processed and connected with concrete sound sources to create a release with such interesting touch from start to finish…» Wonderful Wooden Reasons
«On this new cd Canadian astral-travellers Samarkande (aka Eric Fillion & Sylvain Lamirande have left the solar system that they explored so thoroughly on their previous releases and have headed for parts unknown. Last week I was listening to the incidental music written and recorded by The Grateful Dead for the Twilight Zone revival and I have to say that if it ever comes back again then in 3 Synapses they have the perfect soundtrack. This is cosmic in the most kosmiche way imaginable. Inherently restless, constantly questing and utterly, bewilderingly out-there, 3 Synapses is a stunning piece of psychedelic glory. Samarkande have taken the ideas, sounds and ambience that made their earlier releases so damn good and have molded them to create something that is simultaneously the sum of it's parts and so very much more. Fabulous and heartily recommended.» Electroambient space
«…Reviewing instrumental music in general can sometimes be daunting, but here the sounds are so alien it’s hard to know where to begin. (…) It is deeply challenging throughout, for fans of experimental noises…» Encyclopedia of Electronic Music «…Overall, "3 Synapses" is one of those more experimental and uncompromising releases by Samarkande. It's excellent, daring and highly original stuff…». Eurock
«Hailing from Canada, Samarkande's music evokes both early TD and Kluster as both Fillion & Lamirande have taken off musically using them as roots sources of inspiration. Their music however is more elaborate and refined, plus less minimal and more compelling listening. It ebbs, flow and explodes to great effect. Give a listen to 3 SYNAPSES its their best work yet.» Surgery radio
«…It’s an engaging listen by artists who learned to treat sound from all angles…» exclaim
«…like a cloud full of metal sheets that creak across each other(…)showering with sparks and lightning…» The Silent Ballet
«…This album presents each simple, single “Synapse” as its very own fantastic voyage. Consciousness is only provided by the listener (if he or she makes some suspension of disbelief and leaves the consciousness of the creators aside) willing to hear in the album only the impulses of the unconsciousness, the mutterings of the subconscious, and the coincidence of all three…» Socan
«Les deux têtes pensantes du groupe SAMARKANDE, Sylvain Lamirande et Eric Fillion, possèdent une longue expérience de la musique contemporaine et électronique. Leur 4ième album inclut éléments sonores avec des élucubrations disparates (bribes de compositions, pistes recyclées ou improvisations synthétiques et acoustiques). Nos deux compères nous amènent dans un voyage sonore parfois déroutant et en même temps captivant. Dans «Synapse № 2», tout commence par une ambiance douce presque aquatique pour finir par un crescendo de saxophone hurlant. » Tokafi
«…Is this a spaced-out version of Jazz? An electro-acoustic meditation on space music? A Krautrock-trip to the borders of perception? A sonic smile of a happy Avantgarde?... This is extremely imaginative music and a welcome alternative to the smooth, clinical and over-polished productions of most contemporary electronica…»
samarkande | oblivion ensemble Angle Rec
«…Two neighbouring and complementary aesthetics, two hallucinated visions, which constantly juggle between improv and composition, two musics which hasten to change their style when one tries to pigeonhole them in a prefabricated category…» Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
«…This is the brightest music I've heard from Samarkande and yet it's highly original and experimental…» Eurock
«This LTD. EDITION "Split CD" has 2 tracks each by two great electronic groups. Canada's Samarkande's tracks are surreal, spatial synthetics filled with latent energy which serves as an undercurrent for their multi-layered synthetic soundscapes created on Micro-Moog, Mellotronic backdrops, and treated voice loops. It's beautiful as well as frightening. Oblivion Ensemble is a US duo that fuses electro-acoustic sounds with Modern classical and Industrial elements Plus a multitude of samples and treatments of household objects. The combined effect of all 4 tracks makes for a stunning fusion of multi-sonic textures. 100 copies made. 15 copies for Eurock sale, signed by the group members.» Blood ties
«…It's all well thought out and layered, it sounds good and holds my interest…» Connexion bizarre
«…A very well done release in honour of their concerts together. One can only dream of having been there…» Witte ruis
«…Two Expressive tracks from two different bands telling you one dark apocalyptic story…» Heathen Harvest
«… this is a solid release with never a dull moment…» panorama
«…pure dark, fragmented irrationalism in its most perfect way!...» Textura
«…Eric Fillion and Sylvain Lamirande) generates dark slabs of amorphous sound, with "Fondation.02" a striking example of its style…» Vital weekly
«…It's not a bad piece, but a bit directionless…» Tokafi
«…What binds these two pieces together is the will and the ability to take several ideas and mould them into a continous, uninterrupted, seemless and unforced entity…»
Douglas' basement angle rec
«Montreal duo SAMARKANDE offers us their 3rd opus at last! With this record, the ‘’dark electronic music’’ delivered by this project becomes more introspective as well as more unsettling, always with the same flair for the marriage between acoustic and electronic elements. Let us note the addition of vocal presences and samples, and a particular richness in the movement, the motion, the passage from one state to another, from a set of ideas to another. And the ideas are multiple, form admirably one body together, and sometimes and even often, are expressed in a sublimely inextricable and complex fashion. For example, one of the longest tracks of the disc, that is ‘Catharsis‘, leads us from purely experimental atmospheres to motifs impregnated with sonorities reminiscent of the avant-garde prog and ambient music of the past; those are passages of a great musicality, however they are soon replaced by zones that are more uncertain, more twisted, where our two stooges transmit us a multitude of sound informati on of the most delirious nature. What we talk about here is an hallucinated delirium which does not exclude a constant lucidity, and as i say below in my description for the RUDE AWAKENING album by the same project, the sounds generated with traditional instruments that are used in this sound concoction will have a very singular sounding to you, being different from what one has come used to. Triturated samples of preachers, elements of free-jazz, cinematographic neoclassical motifs, experimentations to the infinite …everything is there, i tell you. You are in for a hell of a ride, and the landscape evolves continually. One thing for sure, you won’t be bored. Recommended!» eurock
«The brand new CD by this Canadian duo is a real cosmic blast. Without loosing their experimental edge, this oddly named album manages to bring more subtleties into their sound along with spacy vibes. It contains echoes of the Berlin School perhaps, as the ghost of PHAEDRA can be heard lurking in some parts, prog influences in others. It mixes improvisation and structure nicely, throwing in percussion and voices for rhythm and effect.» the thorn
«…All in all, it's a very very good album… Within each number, however, the music pours out in a torrent of inner turmoil. It's much akin to the awesome beauty of Mother Nature gone mad; it's menacing, and sometimes violent, but it also amazes quite like nothing else…» wonderful wooden reasons
«…Samarkande produce a timeless kraut-prog-psyche kinda-thing that could just as easily have been produced in the mid seventies as in the mid noughties (…)They display an almost filmic approach to their constructions although the speed and dexterity with which each idea is presented and utilised displays a healthy acid-fried sensibility that makes each track on this fine album a joy to hear..». encyclopedia of electronic music
«…this album will scare even the most hardened of you, so be warned. Without a doubt, "Douglas' Basement" is one monster of an album!...»
rude awakening Electro Ambient space
«…. I think there is a distinct message and a purpose in the music here, but one that only a select few will appreciate…» eem
«…. Overall, I enjoyed this album, but I can only recommend it to the experimentally-inclined…» angle rec
«Oh, wasn’t there an album by speed/trash metal band PRONG having the same title?... joking apart, the underlying topo may be the same but let us say that PRONG’s approach and the approach of Montreal project SAMARKANDE are diametrically opposite. One has described SAMARKANDE sometimes as dark-ambient, sometimes as avant-garde. One has linked their music to the teachings of grand masters such as STOCKHAUSEN or the creations by the experimentalists of the German ‘cosmic’ school. SAMARKANDE would be like the sum of all that at the same time! Based on collage and improv, SAMARKANDE’s music stands out by the multiplicity of ambiences and textures presented in succession on a same disc. "Space music" inspired passages that are stormy and full of tension alternate with stunning and vibrant electro-acoustic manipulations, with the occasional climax that simply blows everything away. The non-electronic instruments used (soprano saxophone, clarinet, etc.) are treated in a rather unorthodox fashion, well, at least in a manner you’ve never heard before, assuredly! Your listening trip will be eventful and the arrival will prove to be surprising. A perfect crossover album between electro-acoustic sounds and atmospheric manipulations on the dark side of things. For those who like movement, even in a beatless music.» eurock
«From Canada, the music of Samarkande is avant-garde electronics extraordinaire. Inspired by Stockhausen and the German "cosmic" experimentalists, they also incorporate mellotron, pump organ, harpsichord and various other synthetics to create a striking synthetic collage. Their sound fuses space music and musique concret in a challenging and heady way. Also Available is the dark, rumbling spaced excursion SAMARKANDE: 4 CADAVRES EXQUIS.» static signals
«…The sounds are 3-dimensional; they have depth and space, moving across the stereo field as well as from back to front. They evoke a wide array of emotion, from solitude to disturbance to angst to longing…» slaughter productions
«Az unpleasant "wake up call" set in an industrial universe filled with tensions and organic spasms,an invitation to step out of our torpor. That torpor created by a capitalistic system worshiped by a brainless society in a lethargic state. A contemporary poem filled with dreads and anger created by bleak ambiences that clashes into a dense sonic architecture meant to be destroyed by a nuclear winter.»
4 cadavres exquis encyclopedia of electronic music
«...' it's a great album that will grow on you. And of course it should be heard by all fans of the mighty mellotron!» electroambient space
«..., this is an intense listening experience that you have to be in the mood for, but when you are, watch out!» ambient.us
«Samarkande is Sylvain Lamirande and Eric Fillion from Montreal. Sylvain comes from an extensive classical, jazz, and improv background. Eric began studying classical piano and organ from a very young age, later playing in several progressive rock groups. They write: "By arranging our compositions based on improvisation and spontaneity, we want to break the rigidity of both electro-acoustic and electronic music. We're always concerned not to sink in what's easy or commercial, we explore different musical genres by combining electronic technologies from the past and present." This is their debut from 2002. Pulsing bass and mechanical percussion begin the first track, "Cadavre No.2", with swooping synths and orchestral string sounds. A powerful thirteen minute track, perhaps the opening theme to a futuristic science fiction adventure noir. Next is "Cadavre No.3", with a slow, suspenseful repeated single note motif with every sort of improvised sound fading in and out above it. Creepy and expansive, this piece enchants the listener for about thirteen and a half minutes. The third track, "Cadavre No.5" is a suspenseful drift through alien territory for ten minutes with many surprises and dynamics. "Cadavre No.4" is the last track, almost fifteen and a half minutes long, with a pulsing foundation, dark synth effects and flute-like solos. This is an intriguing and unique disc. The fact that much of the sounds are improvised keeps the sounds lively and a certain spark going. Interesting textures abound and make this an exhilarating journey. Recommended highly to lovers of darker ambient music, especially if you are looking for something a bit different. Samarkande is reconfiguring their web presence right now and they will announce it on ambient.us.» eurock
«The Canadian duo Samarkande’s debut disc is filled with high voltage and deep, dark, rumbling vibrations. Sequences blend with experimental sonic sculptures and spatial explosions of interstellar cosmic flashes. The result is dark and powerful improvised EM that at times reaches out and grabs you hard.» .angle.rec.
«Premier album du projet montréalais SAMARKANDE. Pour cette entrée en matière, Éric Filion et Sylvain Lamirande recourent surtout à divers synthés et au mellotron, notamment. La première production de ce duo marie ambiances inspirées darkwave et motifs électroacoustiques, dans un esprit improv déjanté et imprégné entre autres de l’héritage de TANGERINE DREAM. À certains endroits, sur la pièce d’ouverture notamment, une rythmique appuie la musique (SAMARKANDE allait par la suite abandonner totalement le recours à des rythmes, sur son 2e album RUDE AWAKENING, voir ci-dessous dans le catalogue). La trame de cet album propose des ondoiements reptiliens et des sonorités non standard qui sauront ravir les amateurs de musique ambiante qui recherchent des productions néanmoins empreintes d’un certain dynamisme. On croirait avoir affaire ici à une bande sonore accompagnant une œuvre cinématographique hallucinée. .imaginaire bien sûr car le film reste à faire. Cela appartient à l’auditeur. Avec une imagination le moindrement fertile, les visions et projections s’élaboreront aisément. Une découverte singulière venant d’un projet qui se plaît à défier les conventions, dites ou non dites, existant dans différents genres, et à marier ces derniers, à sa façon.» slaughter productions
«Dark brooding ambiences, low growling and doomy melodies trapped in a distorded and harsh atmosphere. The perfect soundtrack to your nightmares.«4 CADAVRES EXQUIS» is like catacomb muzak that could be heard in a demented prison.Lullabies for children who will never want to sleep again...»

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