mercredi 27 avril 2011

JOHAN AGEBJÖRN: The Mountain Lake (2011)

While doing a short search on Johan Agebjörn we learn that he is a Swedish musician whose music crosses ambient approaches and classical piano. But he is more known for his work with the princess of Swedish disco, Sally Shapiro, with whom he impregnated a strong Italian disco style tendency. The Mountain Lake is his 2nd opus on Lotuspike and, with this soft disco touch, is a wind of freshness for this label which offers mainly ambient works tinted with a delicate progressive New Age approach. Structured on 13 tracks, The Mountain Lake is a pleasant album where the ambient and atmospheric EM styles is shaping quite well to hybrid and disparate rhythms, drawing thus very beautiful melodies which come up to standards of an intelligent and innovative synth-pop EM.Crackles, sizzling and static white noises open Spacer Woman from Mars (Ambient Mix). A soft synth line floats on a low pulsating undulation while Sally Shapiro’s felted voice sways among nervous oscillations which flicker around Spacer Woman from Mars. Static, Spacer Woman from Mars’ rhythm moves in stroboscopic circles whereas a sequential line is harmonizing with the hatched ethereal vocalizes from the Swedish Diva and that scattered percussions and along with a spasmodic keyboard shape a low circular and motionless techno. Spacer Woman from Mars depicts The Mountain Lake's ambivalent atmosphere where rhythms are in opposition to harmonies and are encircle by moderate musical elements. Amylium Casparium is more mordant with its stroboscopic sequential line which goes along with good panting beatings percussions. Fine resonant chords and good metallic percussions support the weight of the curt rhythm which, in spite of its clear technoïd trend, remains fossilized in its "dancefloor" approach wrapped that it is of nice layers of an airy, oniric and serene synth. The Stones Are Blasted is a beautiful electronic melody, quite as Swimming through the Blue Lagoon, with a minimalism sequence which pulses a hypnotic tempo with delicate arpeggios sparkling in a harmonious electronic atmosphere. Bells of a sombre monastery resound and Spiral Staircase spreads a dark synth line with tones of old organ coming from darkness. A mephistophelic approach where we follow a dark and murky movement, among synthesized whispers and variations in a movement of which oscillatory curves feed a soft paranoiac madness.
Zero Gravitation is The Mountain Lake's most electronic track. It’s a long musical piece which evolves in an ambient structure with fine pulsations of which palpitations awake softly a morphic rhythmic covered by nice wrapping synth layers. It’s a fragile and latent rhythm as well as slowly progressive that gives the feel to stamp one’s feet on a long track with vocalizes strata which criss-cross the blackness of a soft cosmic down-tempo. Take me Home is another beautiful electronic ballad that seems to be coming out of Amylium Casparium mould, but which remains more balanced, with nice percussions effects and soft felted voices which whisper behind soft arpeggios with tones of glass. The rhythm there is pleasant and lively, quite as in The Chameleon which is on the other hand more insistent and slightly livelier, especially with these limpid arpeggios which roll up a tempo become crystalline as it progresses on strikes of percussions and curt and scattered synth pads. Love Ray is a soft melody coming from stars where Lisa Barra's whispers float among crystalline chords and light hoops of glasses. Siberian Train encloses with a frenzied rhythm where a sequential line waves with strength on beautiful percussions which draw the movement of a train on a furious railroad. Johan Agebjörn amazes for his vision and musical creativity where everything is linked on a furious tempo but always coated by beautiful layers of a silky synth.

I quite liked this wind of freshness that surrounds The Mountain Lake. Johan Agebjörn managed to knit an album where ambivalent rhythms going from soft techno to down-tempo are shaping to ambient or moderate surprising structures. It’s a real nice album where suave vocalizes are being lost in the breezes of synths and hybrid rhythms that are seething on beautiful percussions and sequential lines always near rhythmic explosions that we have here and there. In fact, it’s a nice mixture that is just well dosed.


Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

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