mardi 27 août 2013

PHILLIP WILKERSON: Sojourner (2013)

“Phil Wilkerson is a master in the art of drawing ambient music forms and Sojourner amply shows it”
1 Epiphany 12:12
2 Sanctuary 6:09
3 Sunlit Drift 5:06
4 Gates of Mercy 15:56
5 An Endless Light 9:45
6 The Awaiting Presence 22:16

 Bandcamp Independent (CD-r/DDL 71:44) ***½
(Ambient soundscapes EM)

We cannot travel in more ambient phases than with “Sojourner”. For his last album, Phil Wilkerson has wanted to drag a listener captive by wrapping layers of a morphic synth in an intense introspective journey drawn by immersive landscapes which feed on our ambiguity to define them. An intense meditative journey which offers all the hillsides of a universe of meditation where the torments desecrate the desires of tranquillity on long structures, on profound ambient spaces that Phil Wilkerson modulates by bringing significant tones nuances and shades in each track in order to maintain an interest always captive.
A grave tone wave opens the contemplative sweetnesses of "Epiphany". Here, as everywhere in “Sojourner” the rhythm goes away to let the sonic life shine of its dreamy strata whom the slow curves are cradling our sleepy dreams. Those who know the oceanic softness of Michael Stearns' M'Ocean will be familiar with the slow movements of the synth layers which float between two spaces, radiating of their translucent amphibian breezes. We drift between sound waves or cosmic spaces so much the feeling of emptiness submerges us with a merciless reality. And the effect is even more striking with earphones. But how describe ambient music? It's little as to describe a white painting which is coloured of fine lines with curves and akin forms but of which the attraction remains magnetic or obsessing. "Sanctuary" and "Sunlit Drift" are two short tracks which offer a more cathédralesque approach with amorphous synth lines which glide such as seraphic clarions. The tone is brighter. "Gates of Mercy" offers a more ambiospherical approach which is very near Steve Roach's interstellar dreams. The fine movements of synth draw slow harmonies of which the iridescent breaths slide like songs of astral mermaids. The synthesist and sculptor of introspective is structuring his music with a slow and subtle emotional gradation which follows the curve of these oblong movements with sibylline depths. At this level, the tenebrous "An Endless Light" is more than effective and caresses even the doors of a dark ambient. Although Phil Wilkerson wants to avoid at possible immersing in the abstruse universes of the dark ambient forms of music, he stumbles with a surprising grace in "The Awaiting Presence". The opening is strangely musical with early breezes which blow on delicate arpeggios moving forward furtively on a long carpet of oniric breaths. Still here, we cannot ignore the influence from Steve Roach's electronic still life structures with this fine movement of deaf rhythm which sculptures a fascinating introspective pilgrimage. And little by little the opalescent synth breaths wrap the silence of those steps lost with an impressive bunch of blows where absent voices and spiritual breezes are melting together in an immense immersive painting, plunging the listener in the depths of himself. There where Phil Wilkerson aimed.

Sylvain Lupari (August 27th, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

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