Update May 19, 2023: We have added the review of this new album, written by Uwe Saße.
To say it in advance, I like the last albums by [‘ramp], or Stephen Parsick, insanely well!
With his latest album, the -Arp-En-Ciel-, I thought for a few moments “Stephen Parsick goes KS”, because here, even if only for a short time, a breeze from the 70s of the grand master is blowing.
The genesis of this album began in April 2000 during a session Stephen recorded together with Klaus Hoffmann-Hook. The material disappeared again, but was (fortunately) rediscovered and edited. It continued between January 2018 and July 2020, and for the most part in early 2022. Due to the death of Klaus Schulze, Stephen first released -Happy Days- and now, a few weeks ago -Arp-En-Ciel-, which is wonderfully perceived as a fusion of the typical [‘ramp] sound and the “old-school Berlin school”.
It is very nice to hear how Stephen has thought through and played this very consistent music. So not only [‘ramp] / Parsick fans will get their money’s worth. I would warmly recommend -Arp-En-Ciel- to every EM fan.
A really great album, which I’m sure the late Klaus Hoffmann-Hook and Klaus Schulze, would also be enthusiastic about.
And finally: the baker’s dozen!
Stephen Parsick informed us that the new [‘ramp] album is about to be released, he writes:
“arp-en-ciel” is probably the most up-to-date album I have released in a long while.
Admittedly, some bits had already been recorded between January 2018 and July 2020
but the majority of music came into being in early 2022, just before Klaus Schulze’s
passing. Obviously, my music had strongly been influenced by Schulze’s work — however,
I didn’t want to jump the bandwagon and use Schulze’s passing as a vehicle to promote
my own work. Hence, I decided to postpone its release and, instead, published “happy
When recording the tracks for “ultima ratio”, I thought to myself that it would be great to
return to the simplicity of my earliest music, making use of very simple chordal
progressions (not that I know any more complicated ones anyway), lots of improvised
soloing, very much in the vein of those who inspired me in the late summer of 1988. The
album title just came to mind as a pun on the French “arc-en-ciel” as I used mainly ARP
synthesisers for the first half of the album. Quite witty for a Hun, isn’t it?
The second half of the album is made up of some recordings that date back to April 2000
when Cosmic Hoffmann and I had spent a lovely morning, walking through a misty forest
(we were quite foggy as well but that would be a different story altogether). A subsequent
recording session at Klaus’ own Quasar studio quite nicely absorbed the atmosphere of
that morning but, for some reason, the music had remained unused until I re-discovered it
by accident. I took some bits from this session and turned them into some rather ambient
affair which I think Klaus might have liked, too …. or most probably not, who knows.
“arp-en-ciel” will be made available as a digital FLAC download album as well as a CD
release (no CDR) in a limited-edition of 111 hand-numbered copies.
All music composed, arranged, performed, engineered, mastered to BASF SM 900, and
produced by Stephen Parsick.
Prepared for digital download by Stephen Parsick at Dachgeschoss Borgholzhausen in
- Stephen Parsick: analogue synthesisers, keyboards, and sequencers; Mellotron; tapes,
loops, and treatments; ambient field recordings
- Cosmic Hoffmann: glissandoz guitars on “chunky cookies part one”
Oh, by the way, there is no Mini Moog on this album.