vendredi 10 août 2012

ROBERT FOX: Short Stories (2011)

"Robert Fox's universe rests essentially on his harmonic approaches and at this level Short Stories is candy for the ears"


Chapter 1: Arabian Nights 7:22
Chapter 2: Lady in the Lake 6:44 
Chapter 3: Soldier Blue 6:45
Chapter 4: Prescription for Murder 6:47 
Chapter 5: Khan 7:09
Chapter 6: Rifles of Senora Carrar 4:33
Chapter 7: Gypsy 6:28 
Chapter 8: Icarus 9:36
Chapter 9: The Velvet Hour 8:01
Chapter 10: Homeward 6:30

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Following the traces of his theatrical work Adonai, released in 2008, Robert Fox continues to navigate on the cliffs of a film music soaked with strong poignant and dramatic currents. “Short Stories” is a musical collection of 10 stories which crossed ages and especially myths and legends. Stories of peace and wars, where the poetry of an Arab world binds itself in latent rhythms which eventually are exploding with all the intensity of the clanic and orchestral arrangements which ennoble the depth. Faithful to his immensely lyrical approaches, Robert Fox weaves a wonderful melodic universe where the piano, the acoustic guitar and the lines of synth sing along with fine angelic Middle East voices on structures which recall the influences of Vangelis for the English multi-instrumentalist.
"Chapter 1: Arabian Nights" reflects the whole ambience of serenity which criss-crosses these chapters made of stories sometimes violent. A soft angelic voice molded in the melancholic dreams of the Middle East chants on synth lines which float in lunar drift. Poetic, the tone announces a grave event with this fragrance of sadness which represses its sobs over the rollings of symphonic drums while that "Arabian Nights" falls in the airs of a soft sensual melody which waddles silkfully on the waves of percussions while ignoring the regular heaviness of the loud bass drums. Little by little,
Robert Fox widens the arsenal of the influences of Vangelis on him by soft notes of piano which cement all of the melodic and melancholic approach of “Short Stories” and which entail "Arabian Nights" in the twilights of its nostalgic poetry. We cannot keep silent about the links of influence for Vangelis which breathe throughout “Short Stories”. If "Lady in the Lake" affixes a signature unique to Fox with Arabian smooth synth breezes which go astray in the notes of a solitary guitar and a superb celestial voice, "Soldier Blue" espouses a sequential movement à la Chariots of Fire which, with the drum rolls, shapes a soft ascending rhythm, a little like an oniric Bolero which goes by while losing a little of its intensity in an ambient and very ethereal finale where the smooth breaths of a celestial voice are wrapping the tears of trumpets which cry among scattered rollings of drums. This contemplative voice feeds and amplifies the Arabian moods of this Robert Fox's 15th solo album. It introduces the floating intro of "Prescription for Murder" which is a beautiful ode for repented murderer with a beautiful piano which makes slide its somber notes on the waves of a synth to iridescent breezes. The piano and the voice unite their melancholies to weave a very beautiful meditative prayer which gradually embraces a more melodious portion with a rhythm which adopts an abstract tick-tock of a timeless clock that a voice of sands mermaid takes in its poignant breezes.
The winds of Arabian synth which introduce "Khan" remind me of the immense sadness that we find on Pie Jesu. If the intro is floating, the rhythm wakes up by a soft clanic approach sung by beautiful notes of acoustic guitar. Ambivalent, the rhythm looks for refuge in an ambient structure fed by a synth which abandons its harmonies to breathe life into more hoarse breaths which sprinkle the anxieties of the chapters of “Short Stories”."Rifles of Senora Carrar" and "Gypsy" offer two tribal melodies Greco/Persian. If "Rifles of Senora Carrar" is more theatrical, "Gypsy" is more oniric. It’s a delicate serenade which sings of its sweet acuteness voice on a soft absent rhythm where the percussions strikings click as whips in the slipstream of the seraphic voices. "Icarus" is a long ballad which cries the tears of a synth to pluralisms lines. Sighs of violins, fluty breaths and Afghan voices adorn this fascinating melody which strolls on scattered Tablas percussions as well as movements of symphonic drums which add an orchestral size to this jewel of “Short Stories”. We hardly recover from it, that the sighs of the violoins of "The Velvet Hour" come to caress our ears with another beautiful ballad of the errants of the desert. "Chapter 10: Homeward" ends the musical book of level “Short Stories” with a more livened up ballad. Even if the intro is written with a silk feather and sung with a Syrian voice the rhythm eventually appears with delicacy on a structure which has nothing to envy to the melancholic and orchestral works of
Vangelis.Robert Fox's universe rests essentially on his harmonic approaches and at this level “Short Stories” is candy for the ears. It’s an extremely melodious work that Robert Fox's filmic vision wraps with a surprising aura as much dramatic as moving. The voices!? There not really a problem, even if sometimes we swim in the eclectic mysticism of Enigma, because they melt pleasantly in this setting of the Thousand and One Nights where assassins and poets are dancing for the unification of their antipodes.

Sylvain Lupari (August 9th, 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=15411

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