Named for a mytho-religious entity (though the author asserts he himself is not religiously inclined), this newest, colossal, offering by electronics mastermind Richard Pinhas may well turn out to be the pinnacle of the former Heldon leader's career. The two-hour-plus Metatron's ambient-progressive-electronic scheme features guests as esteemed as Heldon keyboarder Patrick Gauthier, Magma drummer Antoine Paganotti, and Djam Karet's Chuck Oken; "laptop composer" Jérôme Schmidt also returns for all but four compositions. Interestingly, only four pieces feature a bassist, Didier Botard. With a fresh leadoff from his previous Cuneiform release, 2004's Tranzition, Pinhas' new opus bestows a shamelessly epic quality with titles like "Aleph Number I" (which sports a splendid Minimoog solo courtesy of Gauthier), "The Ari," the title track, and the Tikkun trilogy — which clocks in at forty minutes alone; thus are the chalk lines between e-prog and spatial-ambient styles gradually distilled into a refined elixir. Additionally, prepared "dialogues" from authors William S. Burroughs and the late, great Philip K. Dick, along with others, are utilized.
Cyclic and intervallic, the serrated ebb of Pinhas' soundscapes is complemented by agile drumming for a suitably space-rock-ian flair. Paganotti's impeccable metatr–er, metronomic skill is punctuated by deviant phrases and errant accents. Straight quarter beats drive "Moumoune and Mietz," a sparse melody wrenching itself from the dense chords, plus fills galore. Minimalism? Hardly. (Maybesortakinda.) A trancy loop pulses throughout "Shaddaï Blues" with Paganotti's presence translated to a dull roar beyond the wall of Pinhas' sonic envelope. The lushness of "Metatron" is akin to synthetic foliage; the outro of overlapping vocal gurglings recalls the foreboding sampled, processed chants of the title suite of Tangerine Dream's Poland. CD2 opens with the second part of the Tikkun saga, "Tikkune Zohar" — a phrase-loop on chorused guitar, coalescing synth timbres, drones — effectively a nuanced [Tower Of] Babel. Jangly guitar bits and a monstrous, distortion-drenched sweep preface yet another chimelike pattern to yield the the thickest of ambient soups. "Tigroo And Laloo" could well be the most Heldonlike piece with its angular guitar lead, power drumming and synth-service by Chuck Oken. Gauthier returns once more for Mini-magic on "Metatron(ic) Rock," the logical follow-up. "Double Face Of Metatron" is the penultimate stop, the lone vehicle for unaccompanied Pinhas who stracks strata of processed guitar undulations in a most linear mode like a bricklayer.
For some, this may be the final stop along the way of Pinhas' works — for others, the beginning. This encyclopedic project is as resolute and comprehensive as one may find in terms of the man's accomplishments. The sense of grandeur is paralleled by one of fulfillment.
1. Tikkun [Part 1]: The Unification Of The Name (14:31)
2. Aleph Number 1 (11:21)
3. Moumoune And Mietz In The Sky With Diamonds (8:22)
4. Shaddaï Blues (7:28)
5. Metatron/Shaddaï/Chabbataï (14:03)
*~MPEG Clip: Tikkun [Part 4]: Gematria 52vs814
1. Tikkun [Part 2]: Tikkune Zohar (11:09)
2. The Fabulous Story Of Tigroo And Laloo (11:15)
3. Metatron(ic) Rock (9:04)
4. Babylon Babies (14:06)
5. The Ari: Isaac Louria Song (7:53)
6. Double Face Of Metatron (6:39)
7. Tikkun [Part 3]: En Penta Eddenaï (15:14)
Total time – 131:05