samedi 25 février 2012

SOLAR FIELDS: Until We Meet The Sky (2011)

"Until We Meet The Sky is a subjugating work which will seize you from the first listening"
1 From the Next End 9:18
2 Broken Radio Echo 3:55
3 Singing Machine 6:55
4 After Midnight, They Speak 3:40
5 When the Worlds Collide 6:33
6 Dialogue with a River 10:06
7 Forgotten 3:15
8 Night Traffic City 9:53
9 Sombrero 5:45
10 Last Step in Vacuum 9:11
11 Until We Meet the Sky 5:01
12 Epilogue 5:15

ULTIMAE RECORDS: INRE-053
Solar Fields is the musical project of the Swedish synthesist and sound designer Magnus Birgersson. Since 2001, with the release of Reflective Frequencies, Birgersson built himself a solid reputation, while bringing together an increasing number of fans, in the spheres of psychotronic ambient EM. Until We Meet The Sky is his last musical project. It’s a strangely fascinating album which saw its first ideas germinated during the 2011Australian mini-tour. Ideas which expanded much further and took a more musical shape during a subsequent journey in the icy territories of Ireland. These two contrasts of continents depict marvellously the universe of disparity which surrounds this 10th opus of Solar Fields where the sometimes apocalyptic atmospheres cross superb angelic arias on spheres of influence fed by free and undisciplined metallic electrons which hang their threatening shadows in a universe stigmatized by metallic waves. Iridescent waves which smother and surround fragmented and isolated tempos, eat away by melodious approaches as melancholic as meditative. Until We Meet The Sky listens to it as a long astral procession with phases which are crescend and are tighten into astral nothingness proper to Magnus Birgersson's imagination. And that's the reason why he wanted to approached it as a long and unique track, a project that he cherished for a very long time, that he cut into 12 phases which get tangled in a somber musical set where the tempos and melodies born and die from their ashes.
The influences of both continents embrace each other in a filiform synth wave which surrounds the silence. Somber oscillations are emerging there, feeding the discreet pulsatory circles of "From the Next End" which swirls with the delicacy of shadows among choirs and their whispers of intergalactic paranoia, murmuring in a fauna of white noises. A fine down-tempo adopts the pace of the weak oscillatory perception of an intro condemned by a thick fog. Swirling with a mesmerizing lasciviousness, it insufflates a parallel life to "From the Next End" which receives the rhythmic offering by freeing well here and there some crystal clear notes, but without ever giving way to the slender possibility of exploding, not only for a single moment. With its notes of piano roaming in an atmosphere of gloom, "Broken Radio Echo" espouses a very melancholic approach. A little as to contemplate the ruins of a city which breathes hardly under a fine acid rain. This movement of apocalyptic greyness continues beyond "Singing Machine" and its plaintive synth layers which overhang an intro calcified by an injection of carbonic fluids. It also precedes a subtle crescendo which cuts the debate ambiance/rhythm, with a fusion of percussions and pulsations which resound like a hypnotic tribal trance of which the echo of the strikings harmonizes with a synthesis of choruses and iridescent stratas to wind around a thick cloud of eclectic tones, highlighting the notes of a piano forgotten in the bitter vapours. Rustles, gases in fusion and tones of metal in mourning cover the very somber and atonal "After Midnight, They Speak", of which the misled piano notes of "Broken Radio Echo" accompany the cracklings of another galaxy. Cracklings which throw themselves into the intro of "When the Worlds Collide" and its fine bass line of which the deaf undulations awake synth stratas which adopt the same forms. Forms with UFO’s tones which exhilarate and catch the interest to plunge in a delicious down-tempo of which the hesitating rhythm is flooded in a bath of video game tones. Terrific the rhythm of "When the Worlds Collide" tergiversates between the sensualism of Massive Attack (Mezzanine) and the one of Gary Numan's robots, swallowers of orgasms. Everything is eclectic and metallic, except the feelings which go against reason of a title at the appearance so cold but which hides so much emotionalism. It’s a big favourite which takes refuge within the limpidity of the twinkling chords of "Dialogue with a River" and its delicate intro where the reflections of the sun on a river feign a bed of sparkling arpeggios with the innocence of its purity. A big droning cloud perturbs this tranquility, modifying the axis of serenity which hangs over "Dialogue with a River" which falls for a short, loud and spasmodic rhythm built on curt percussions of which the strikings bruise the auras of the howling elfs.
A slow prelude to the superb "Night Traffic City", "Forgotten" pursues this promenade under the bridges of a city in ruin where we hear a downpour crackled among the resonances of a multitude of hoops of which the echo is fading into an anonymous synth wave which leads towards a brief indecisive rhythm. And it’s in its drizzle that the sloppy rhythm of "Night Traffic City" is waving, fitting to the fine pulsations/percussions and melodious chords of a keyboard to hybrid tones. The melody is beautiful and catchy. The rhythm is sunk into vaporous ambiances with felted cymbals and this fusion of metallic percussions/pulsations which sound like radioactive gases. And the flow is of an oscillating strength of 3.5, 5 being the maximum of the zombiesc trance debility. But there is always this ambivalence in the rhythms and harmonious fluids which makes everything fleeting, fragmented or in constant evolution. And it’s Until We Meet The Sky's pattern. Magnus Birgersson is using each hidden recess and every possible moment to create a diversion and give a new direction to each of his titles. So the rhythm of "Night Traffic City" goes under a long tunnel and loses its transmissions which gradually get back with a powerful crescendo; angelic choirs, flickering cymbals, heavy bass and lines of a dramatic synth. The whole clears up while the rhythmic structure espouses a new tangent, in conformity with the entire dimension of the bipolarity of rhythms and melodies which teem within the heart of Until We Meet The Sky. It’s a great track! "Sombrero" plunges us into very dark ambiances with its chords of piano and keyboard which resound in the nothingness, before making us startle by falling with strength in a rhythm as unexpected than sharp. The floating hoops of "Last Step in Vacuum" incite us to join Morpheus’ arms. A delicate rhythm forges up through an angelic mist. Wooden percussions pierce the suave celestial violins, awakening an echoing tempo which is arching on good pulsatory percussions and drawing the lines of a stunning futuristic melody which is lulling between 2 universes. Angelic choirs wrap this tempo, preventing any leak of this stunning crescendo as much deeply moving than disconcerting. Because what follows will remain engraved in your ears for a very long time. "Last Step in Vacuum" is the long and delicious harmonious prelude which collects every available note to feed our feelings and kink our soul in the heavy rhythm and the surreal melody of the title track. If we haven’t the shivers of our emotions, if we don’t force back a tear and if we don’t switch off the candlestick of our torments by feeling the percussions hammering the beatings of our pulsations and by hearing the spectres roar with pain and desolation on a rhythm heavy, lascivious and so much harmonic of "Until We Meet the Sky" which crumbles beneath the weight of heart-rending streaks, it’s because that we already are in the Sky. Moreover, the winds of ether and metal which talk on a contradictory way on "Epilogue" are there to remind it to us.
Until We Meet The Sky is a subjugating work which will seize you from the first listening. Perplex and meditative, Solar Fields weaves an inexhaustible sound imagination where tones explode from everywhere, surrounding rhythms and ambiances prisoners of a fascinating poetry from a parallel universe. The snippets of melodies which roam here and there, hanging on to rhythms which born and fade in moods of apocalyptic ruins, are the equivalent of the works of a poet in search of light. It’s another jewel from the Lyon label
Ultimae Records ; a label which doesn’t stop amazing me, both by the quality of its works and by their artistic presentations. This label found the means to merge the electronic art. To merge the ambient and techno by presenting cataclysmic works which jostle the current of EM. Exactly like Until We Meet The Sky jostles all structures with a remarkable work which breathes of a new kind of ambient life. Hat to you Magnus Birgersson!
Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14925
* If you want to know a bit more about the sound world of Solar Fields, you can visit his website here: http://www.solarfields.com/

mardi 21 février 2012

INDRA: Parallel Time (1993/2011)

"Parallel Time is a pearl!"

1 Prophet 31:32
2 Sphinx 30:52
3 The Twins (Bonus Track) 17:29


EAGLE MUSIC: EMCD 028/2011

Some curt and edgy chords waltz with a metalized cohesion on the glaucous breaths of heavy and sinuous iridescent reverberations. Melted in a sound universe where the silvery tones get lost in the breaths of agonizing metals, the intro of "Prophet" drags us into Indra's odd and abstract sound world. We are hearing well these synths sculpted the winds of Orient. As we are hearing these poetic winds and these orchestral arrangements transported lunatic chords which only ask to form a coherent musical chain, but Indra decided to move away from his usual approach to offer a more audacious album. An album that he considers as more difficult to tame.
It’s after having attended to The Primeval Beauty theatre play that Indra had the idea to composed an album where the abstract mood would go alongside to the ambivalent and latent rhythms. After 2 first albums inspired by the Berlin School style, the Rumanian synthesist wanted to undertake a more audacious musical journey and Parallel Time is a whole one. "Prophet" is the most experimental of Parallel Time's original 2 tracks. It’s a long abstract musical painting where a panoply of interrupted tones, broken chords and isolated orchestrations vacillate and float in a musical universe divided between the cerebral anarchy and its fleeting evolutionary rhythms. The ambiance is surrealism with its melodies bits and pieces drowned in a musical anarchy made of heterogeneous tones and metallic breaths. In spite of its length (31:32) one can say that "Prophet" is drawing out in abstract redundancy because Indra gets our attention and feeds the imagination with harmonious insertions which go astray and come back under other forms in this long musical babel. Divided between pure stillness, some subtle sequenced momentums which wave on a sea of agitated tones and wandering choirs as well as some avalanches of scattered percussions "Prophet" pursues its long road to mislaid harmonies, falling sometimes into bitter eclectic moments and getting up again on other times for short harmonious moments; witness of the constant duality that Indra wants to impose on his 3rd work.
Sharply more musical and more inspired by The Primeval Beauty, "Sphinx" is simply wonderful. It’s a long hypnotic title which is strongly impregnated by the influences of Berlin School with a meditative progressive rhythm hammered by incise percussions of which the strikings sometimes metalized resound in the mist of Hinduisms' fragrances. A synth with honeyed winds of the Middle East opens the intro. A rich intro where the paradisiacal breaths are wrapped by crisscrossed synth stratas. Stratas which drop its choirs and its limpid tones of crystal. This mesmerizing movement of morphic waltz stretches its elytrons of desires beyond the first beatings of percussions, rooting the sensualism of an intro which does not stop merging in the strange lasciviousness of a movement which nevertheless goes on the borders of perdition. A little before the 8th minute the percussions fall with more heaviness and vigour, masking a bit the tones of suave flutes which emerge from the synths and giving so a second life to "Sphinx". A life imprinted by a sensual and cerebral magnetism. Wandering choirs smell the limping rhythm. It’s a slow and heavy rhythm, as a hypnotic groovy, which skips with a mixture of percussions and metallic jingles. Indra adds to it some splendid and attractive synth layers with tones as much striking as surprising which whip up the senses and calm the heaviness of the strikings of percussions of which the hypnotic pounding oversizes its dodecaphonic approach. And so "Sphinx" goes on and displays its 30 minutes as a slow cerebral trance where the rhythm is of use as pretext to a musical painting to thousand eclectic breaths and where the magic of Indra settles its first real daring ramifications which will serve the versatility of the Rumanian synth-spirit through his many works to come. This title is a pure marvel of electronic minimalist music.
Written15 years later, in 2007, "The Twins" is a bonus track included with this new rerelease of Parallel Time. And this is another jewel that Indra pulls out of his synths! It’s a pure delight of minimalist fascination which begins with tinkled chords which skip and collide with the sweetness of the oniric tenderness. One recognizes the sound of Indra. His delicacy and his kind of level-headed hesitation, signature of sweetness and sensibility get by knocks of life, which shapes a fine rhythmic slightly jerky. And the music is gorgeous! A wonderful romance where the chords and keys flutter with delicacy and harmony, changing the course of their melody on a rhythmic axis subtly permutating. The movement is of an innocent candor and all in harmony with those series of  twinkling  chords which hop in filiform lines and which crisscross in various melodious approaches, forging a ball of unfinished melodies which are complementing each other in the abstraction of its parallel lines, from where the link with Parallel Time. And when we tell ourselves ‘‘Shit, that it’s beautiful!’’, it’s becomes even nicer with its orchestral arrangements which pulls out a smile of the soul. Smiles that Indra is pulling out of me since moons already!
Parallel Time is a pearl! If "Prophet" can murdered your ears with its approach as eclectic as experimental, "Sphinx" and "The Twins" are two inescapable in the musical world of Indra and even the world of EM. Audacious, Indra laids the foundations for a style that he will polish up with more refinement in his subsequent works, I think in particular of the very beautiful Echo in Time released in 1998, and which will become the seal of this brilliant synthesist and music writer.

Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14916

* If you want to know a bit more about the sound world of Indra, you can visit his website here: http://www.indramusic.ro/

dimanche 19 février 2012

IAN BODDY: Strange Attractors (2012)

"Strange Attractors is a real tour de force which shows all of Ian Boddy's dexterity..."
1 Amongst Dark Clouds 9:50
2 Parabolic Excursions 10:40
3 Crossing the Range 15:17
4 Strange Attractors 17:34
5 Return Vector 14:52
6 Trip the Light Fandango 7:11


DiN: DDL012

Established as an indisputable leader in EM since his very first steps in 1980, Ian Boddy is as the good wine, in the exception that his overconsumption does not put to sleep nor intoxicates the senses but overexcites the delight caused by a wonderful electronic vine. Year after year and album after album, the English synthesist knew how to develop an artistic approach where his ambiances as much ethereal as cosmic and so much chthonian than eclectic were grafted in rhythms knit by subtle removable and evolutionary phases of which the permutations pass by powerful synth momentums or skilful sequenced ascents, giving to his EM an extrovert approach which transcends the walls of an abstract culture. If one would like to seize Ian Boddy's career in a single album, Strange Attractors would be the ideal springboard. It’s a powerful and intense album where synths weave dark and elusive ambiances which split up and tear away on the cliffs of rhythms, hungry for and fond of these moments of perdition unique to the moods of glaucous poetry which encircles the universes of the founder of DiN label.
Recorded in concert within the framework of the Awakenings EM Concerts in April2011, Strange Attractors is the 12th work available in a downloadable format on DiN Digital Download platform. Presented in a nice artwork with attractive graphics and a series of pictures from the concert, the album begins by a deep spatial immersion. A little as a filament leaving with resistance our cerebral aura, a fine synthesized wave ends up in the galactic depths to open "Amongst Dark Clouds". Only master on board, Ian Boddy multiplies the synth layers which coil in an impressive lunar waltz of which the orchestral momentums overfly the fine carillons which ring in an absolute oblivion. Intense and captivating, "Amongst Dark Clouds" wraps us of an aura of solitude from where are escaping discreet pulsations as well as metallic chords with random movements which jostle slightly the dark winds which switch into cosmic choruses. Fine sequences which sound like percussions of glasses dance freely at the opening of "Parabolic Excursions", chasing away the morphic vapours of "Amongst Dark Clouds". These sequences flutter and tinkle of an enchanting transparency, a little as in Eddie Jobson's universe and his fabulous Theme of Secrets, awakening the impulsions of a bass line of which the corrosive élans bite a static rhythm which is overhung by synth waves that sound so much like those of Martenot's. The movement is swirling. It follows a spheroidal tangent where cosmic mists and choirs unite their secret identities to embrace a hypnotic comfort while quietly the sequences drum again with the spectral waves of Martenot. It is in the acuteness breaths of "Parabolic Excursions" that begins the descent of "Crossing the Range". These oblong breaths move slowly such as sinuous sound arcs to adorn the abyssal depth which reigns over here and go astray in a subtle mixture of astral choirs. In full control of our cerebral mummification, Ian Boddy brings down some mechanical pulsations which surf on a cosmic mist, whereas the cymbals are moulding some floating tsitt-tsitt; prelude to a rhythm which becomes heavier, under the streaks and rustlings of a synth to spectral howlings. Between 2 two rhythmic phases and 2 unreal ambiances, "Crossing the Range" evolves with all of its ambiguity, caressing on the passage the chthonian mists and the progressive rhythms all in stamping on the jingles of the mechanical percussions which quiver in a smooth mellotron wadding. The finale explodes of a heavy circular rhythm à la Arc to be made turn pale the hells.
The title track chains up with a post- apocalyptic approach where threatening synth layers and sinuous caustic reverberations encircle various heavy resonant pulsations. It reigns over this "Strange Attractors" track a strange mood of a distress world of steel-making, a little à la Blade Runner, which calms down a little after the 8th minute to let a soft flute displays its celestial feelings which float bitterly in an iconoclastic world. It’s a short moment of appeasement where the winds of purity caress the latent distortions of a world of destruction which reborn of its ashes with its waves which twirl in a disastrous fury, letting the choirs and glaucous pulsations mixing up to a demonic arrhythmia up until the threshold of time. There where the flutes are pushing their last breaths, under the resonant curves of the sound arcs which throb in the isolation up to the doors of "Return Vector". After an intro where the dark winds scatter the Dantesque ruins of "Strange Attractors", the delicate drummed rhythm of "Return Vector" switches of direction towards heavy sequences which resound among crystalline ringing and caustic waves filled by cosmic resonances to converge on a rhythm built on a fluid and harmonic staggering. A rhythm sprinkled by delicious zest of groovy loops which coo over an ambiance filled by a deep chthonian flavour where the vestiges of Arc soak into the roots of Redshift with dark choruses which roam on a rhythmic structure subtly progressive. Hybrid, the synth frees a thick cloud of iridescent tones which scratch the fluidity of the rhythm while fusing short plaintive solos and splendid bewitching strata of which the vague spectral approaches hoot above the percussions to ringing of glasses which sparkle on a nest of pulsatory sequences. The musical ornament is terribly rich and intense. Ian Boddy looks like a real octopus with his hands which manoeuvre synths to sharp solos, with appealing mist (as much mephistophelic as cosmic) and dark choruses as well as sequencers to arrhythmic pulsations and rhythms structures to many forms. And finally these electronic percussions with random and undisciplined strikings supporting a rhythmic structure as much complex as hallucinating which ends in a wonderful blending of Arc/Boddy/Redshift . "Light the Trip Fandango" concludes straight off this concert. Slamming percussions encircle a sequential movement filled by multiple pulsations and wild percussions which sound like keys of a dactylo on the loose, while a keyboard draws fine harmonies with fluid keys which flutter around this wall of percussions and sequenced pulsations. Always in perfect symbiosis with its abstruse rhythms, the synth displays its bed of mist, its hybrid waves and its shrill solos, cementing "Light the Trip Fandango" in its role of an encore which closes a concert under the stars in a bubbling rhythm. A rhythm which gradually dies away in the fabulous and nostalgic Martenot waves. Those kinds of waves that make the whales sing on he cosmic corals.
Strange Attractors is a real tour de force which demonstrates all the dexterity of Ian Boddy to juggle with his panoply of instruments without losing the necessary concentration to shape an impressive musical world where the rhythms and the atmospheres are linked and overlap in a delicious cosmic cocktail. I would like being there and see this concert, only to see the strategy and the artistic architecture which inspired Ian Boddy to exceed the stage of improvisation to offer 6 solid titles where the emotion and intensity are the heart of a musical adventure which finally doesn’t really need eyes to be understood. Here’s an album which will introduce you easily into the fabulous sound world of Ian Boddy and which is available at the end of your fingers on the site of DiN:
http://www.din.org.uk/din/node/422
Sylvain Lupari (2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14912

* If you want to know a bit more about the sound world of Ian Boddy, you can visit his website here: http://www.din.org.uk/din/node/310