1 The Mysterious Island 8:40
2 Mighty Orinoco 3:57
3 Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon 6:50
4 All Around the Moon 9:08
5 Southern Star Mystery 5:20
6 A Drama in the Air 7:10
7 Off on a Comet 7:26
8 The Ice Sphinx Adventure 9:50
9 Jules Verne Forever 10:16
10 Five Weeks in a Balloon 9:31
Groove | GR-217 (CD 78:20) ****½
(Filmic, oniric, lively and new EM)
Strange and fascinating that this last work of Mythos! More than 3 years after the solid Surround Sound Evolution, Stephan Kaske returns to us with a new rather audacious musical adventure which is freely inspired by the stories of Jules Verne. In fact, “Jules Verne Forever” pulls us literally where many film-makers knew how to bring us. Either towards charming sites in a work very ambiosonic and very cinematographic where we are surprised to see images of the books of Vernes trotted in our head with the same self-assurance as its books which have been brought to cinema. The approach of Mythos respects that of the film-makers such as Henry Levin, Cy Endfield, Richard Fleischer, Michael Anderson, and recently Brad Peyton, who knew how to put in image, here it's in sounds, the magical imagination of Jules Verne. “Jules Verne Forever” is 10 stories on 10 tracks. It's also 78 minutes of EM where the structures of rhythms, so difficult to put in a review as the images of Vernes in video, more oniric than lively take us now at the heart of the imagination of Mythos who raises this audacious bet with all the panache that we know of him.
We notice the very stylized approach of Stephan Kaske from the first moments of "The Mysterious Island". A threatening structure of rhythm moves its keys which skip such as big sneaky step. A melodic line covers this start with a mixture of fluty jets and arpeggios struck on a kind of glass xylophone (Laser Harp?), spreading straight away the big wealth as musical as sonic which will be the keystone of the 78 minutes of “Jules Verne Forever”. Don't look for the rhythms. They are present but not explosives. At halfway between ambient or lively, these rhythms which will move the ambiences of this last adventure from Mythos are as secret as the harmonies. Here we roll of the neck with this structure a bit ghostly. The glass arpeggios as well as the lines of flutes and their harmonies a bit jerky go and come as a merry-go-round which waves in a tunnel full of threats, while the basis of "The Mysterious Island" is pecked by percussions of which the strikes are so much in contrast with this marriage of flute and xylophone that our expectation towards a project of such a scale is approached with fineness. Mythos wraps all his structures of an incredible wealth So much that our ears, as well as our two hemispheres, run from left to right in order to assimilate these dark choruses, these vampiric solos, these mocking harmonies and these lines of harmonious sequences which sparkle, roll in loops and float on a structure of which the charms feed both of its ambivalence and of its imperceptible secret aim. And that will so be for the 9 other structures of “Jules Verne Forever”. "Mighty Orinoco" offers a heavy electronic structure which is hammered by an impressive meshing of percussions, pulsations and sequences. The shadows of the melodies which roam depict aptly the tensions of this unusual journey on this long Venezuelan river there. "Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon" takes a little the same bases, but with a rather Babylonian filmic approach. The deafening rhythm switches off its violence to make listen the charms whistled by a beautiful synth which sings, either in a jungle or with a Gregorian. It's quite intense that sounds very Vangelis, just like the very beautiful "Southern Star Mystery" and its tribal essence a bit phantasmagorical. The flute, the voices and the percussions blown in a kind of long blowpipe are releasing some rather poignant perfumes. By far the most beautiful track of this adventure with the solid "A Drama in the Air" and its slow rhythm which forges a fascinating ascent in an electronic setting to the thousand sonic flavors.
We speak about rhythms difficult to describe? What to say about "All Around the Moon" and of its resonant spherical approach where organic sequences and keyboard chords are dancing in circle with their contrasts. "Off on a Comet" offers quite another approach with a rhythm which skips such as goblins in a cave where sparkle thousand subtleties and hoot strange magical voices of which the union with a Gregorian choir adds a surreal dimension to a music which drinks of the imagination of Jules Verne. The kicks of sequences, delicate needs to say, and the circles that they sculpture are in the heart of these imperceptible rhythms which feed the peculiarities of this album which reveals its charms track after track. I think here of "The Ice Sphinx Adventure" which is builds a little in the same mold. The title-track is more fluid and throws at us a delicate structure of circular rhythm which invades the ears with sequences in parallel lines and of sober percussions which roll in jerks. Here, as quite everywhere in “Jules Verne Forever”, Mythos forges a unique sequencing pattern with tones of prism which skip or brawl with others perfumed of resonances or of organic veils in the caresses of elvish voices or in the tendernesses of the fluty breezes. It's the rhythm which eventually put an earworm in the bottom of our ears. And this goes to for "Five Weeks in a Balloon" where the essences of "Off on a Comet" are more fluid, more lively and whose harmonies are also intoxicating as "Jules Verne Forever".
If to describe the structures of “Jules Verne Forever” turns out to be an exercise which can miss words, terms, the music on the other hand lack of nothing. This last album of Mythos is at the size of this brilliant musician who tries constantly to push away his limits by improving this so unique tone that he knew how to develop over the years. The rhythms sparkle with freshness in an approach which becomes more harmonious than rhythmic. And the final effect is rather special because we constantly have the impression to hear a music which comes from another place, another dimension. Just like the imagination of Jules Verne. And in my opinion, it's the most beautiful compliment which we can make to “Jules Verne Forever”.
Sylvain Lupari (May 25th, 2015)