samedi 28 février 2015

NATTEFROST: Homeland (2014)

“With Homeland Nattefrost goes out of his comfort zone by surfing on a great model of Berlin School which shines of a more accessible approach”

1 The Golden Age 1:30
2 Dance of the Elves 3:33
3 Norse 6:29
4 Divine Light 8:04
5 At War 5:49
6 Homeland 20:23

Sireena Records ‎| SIR4026
Nattefrost Music (CD/DDL 45:45) ****½
(Berlin School)
 Nattefrost is a worthy representative of Scandinavian. Each album, set apart Futurized, is inspired by the tales and legends of this immense territory which was the cradle of the mythical Vikings. “Homeland” is no exception! Leaving this very sci-fi approach of Futurized, Bjorn Jeppesen returns to his first loves by signing an album which is a delicious fusion between the symphonic and the filmic approach, "At War", that were on From Distant Times and his usual electronic hymns, "Divine Light", which had at once caught the attention and  made the delights of his first albums. The result is surprising and indeed very charming. In fact the electronic bard from Copenhagen presents here his most beautiful album to date. From the first minute of "The Golden Age" till the last seconds of "Homeland", Nattefrost establishes a crescendo which gives shivers. As much as in the emotions that in the spine. It's one of 2014 jewels which has nearly passed under my nose, under the radar of EM. Like almost everywhere on the music planet, Nattefrost, who is very popular in his own Danemark, presented “Homeland” in a limited edition of 500 albums in 180 gram vinyl, produced by the Sireena Records label. Sold out in this format, “Homeland” re-appears in the form of factory pressed CD on the Nattefrost label.
The cold winds from the Scandinavian plains  sweep the horizons of "The Golden Age", blowing some thick clouds of rock dusts which fragment the evanescent harmonies of the undulatory synth lines. Short but effective, "The Golden Age" spreads the dramatic elements of “Homeland” with some dark and resonant chords which leave an imprint of mystery. Hardly longer, "Dance of the Elves" goes deep to the bottom of our eardrums with some superb melodious arpeggios which draw the lines of a melody, as virginal as devilish, where every note which fall is dancing with doubtful shadows and with linear pulsations of which the fast beatings lay down all the same a structure of ambient rhythm. The balance between the light and the darkness, the warmth and the cold, is striking of reality. Quite slowly and innocently the charms of “Homeland” spread their influences. Strange black breaths inject a foggy mood. They accompany the deep movement of "Norse"' undulatory pulsations. The structure, with a melody which makes twinkling its arpeggios resounding of transparency, and the furtive approach of a rhythm drummed by bass sequences, like an  accelerated war march, borrows a bit here the model of "Dance of the Elves", but in a clearly more elaborate context and with a structure of rhythm which offers beautiful oscillations filled of variances. The race ends in a very cinematographic ambience with a long ambiospherical passage which truncates the last 3 minutes of a rhythm hypnotizing like a tribal feast which precedes a war. The nuances in "Norse" are astonishing and testify of this maturity which has seized  the signature of Bjorn Jeppesen since
From Distant Times with Matzumi. Each album of Nattefrost brings its catchy track. We could have thought of "Norse" or the babylonnesque "At War". But no, the award goes to "Divine Light" and to its very lively pace which first and before all has to get out from a magma of synth lines among which the entanglements as much embroiled as the gurgling tones are clubbed by the rollings of the timpani percussions. The combustion of this static movement spits some arcs of fires of which the radiations forge the bed of a rhythm that bass sequences are leading it away from its static environment in order to lay a fluid rhythm which gallops in the knocks of very lively percussions. From melodic IDM, the rhythm of "Divine Light" offers itself some harmonious fineries with lines of arpeggios which are parading or still which humming in banks of ethereal mist and ambiospherical elements, giving to this track an attractive oniric depth. This is going to become one of the good music piece in Bjorn Jeppesen's repertoire. "At War" is titanic. Lively and heavy, it's intensely orchestral. And the illusion to see an army of vile gnomes crossing the fields of our visions is absolutely superb. The rollings of timpani, the lamentations of the defeated, the philharmonic envelopes and the moaning noises of war beasts are created with an extreme precision. We feel the intensity, the drama in this Vangelis' kind of track
With the title-track,
Nattefrost goes out of his comfort zone by offering a long musical river of about twenty minutes, a bet that he last attempted in 2004 with The Road to Asgard.
"Homeland" offers a beautiful evolution as well as subtle variances in tones and harmonious colors tinted of dramatic effects. The cinematic ambiances are always present with waves and winds which seem to blow on a field of a battle which knew its tragic end on the edges of a Scandinavian coastline. Touching effects punctuate this introduction with dark winds, knocks of percussions and electronic chirpings. A rhythm rises. Arched on bass sequences, it vacillates such as a lost soul before hanging onto a structure solidified by these percussions whose so different tones are a big part of the wealth of “Homeland”. The synth throws fragments of harmonies, as evanescent as unfinished, while the rhythm of "Homeland" follows a more steady course. It's tinted of organic perfumes and of iridescent sequences which dance with their doubles, so giving a structure of rhythm which bubbles in a multidimensional envelope and leaving to pulsations and to percussions the direction of a rhythm which is decorated of fine nuances in order to avoid the traps of the redundancy. And it's done with success! Very electronic, between Berlin School, as vintage as contemporary, ambient parts and a kind of progressive IDM, with impulses impregnated of restraints, the structure of "Homeland" offers variances and phases with jerks here and there which enhance the charm effect. The sequencing is very good with gaps in the structure which catch the interest of any fans of based sequence anthems. And when it becomes a bit sober, the ambiences, always rather dark, augment the effect of this long track of which the perpetual evolution towards more ambiospherical lands pass in the ear without a hitch. This is well done and this long track, decorated with beautiful arrangements and with new bounces, shows the control of Bjorn Jeppesen, both on his story and on the way he has put it into music. It concludes another very good album from Nattefrost. A surprising album, if we consider its very Berlin School approach soaked in this unique accessible side of Nattefrost. In fact, style Berlin School will never have been so accessible than with this “Homeland”. Very commendable!
Sylvain Lupari (February 28th, 2015) &
You will find this album on the Bandcamp page of Nattefrost here
You can also watch a video trailer here

jeudi 26 février 2015

PHROZENLIGHT: Black Week (2015)

“Black Week is for those of us who where in the front seat at the very beginning of EM where everything was made by instinct”

1 Dropout Time 22:29
2 Just an Sequence 30:43
3 Trying to let my Mind Explode into Oblivion 22:18
4 Changing Addresses 16:32
5 Dark Week Passed 24:32

Phrozenlight Bandcamp (DDL116:37) ***½
(Vintage psychedelic Berlin School)
Bert Hulshoff is one of these examples of musician thinker who puts on music all the fruits of his emotions. So, the more than very prolific Dutch artist has released nearly one hundred albums, for the greater part in downloadable format, since that The Beginning has landed in the tubs in 2000. Composed, played and recorded only few days after the death of the now legendary Edgar Froese, “Black Week” is already his 5th album in January 2015 only. It contains 5 long sonic rivers of an average length of 23 minutes which are all simmered on the principle of improvisation, presenting an EM very soaked by the atmospheres of Klaus SchulzeTangerine Dream and  Edgar Froese then at the top of their experimental years.Slow synth pads, with the sonic outlines shining of electrostatic tones, are hardly brightening the somber ambient corridors which smother the introduction of "Dropout Time". While that a translucent strand escapes from these alarming pads, a rhythm pulsing like an interstellar suction cup makes its keys pounding in a furious undulatory minimalist pattern. This is a big cosmic rock of the vintage years which goes in our ears. And this is pretty much what they'll get, as minutes pass by, in exploring this album made in homage to Edgar Froese. A Phrozenlight's tribute to the old silvery fox. Going up and down, such as a crazy train which has no fear of derailment, the fiery movement of "Dropout Time" maintains its infernal pace, allying at the passage sporadic jingles, by undulating fervently in delicious synth layers with the aromas of old organ, whose shadows shake some electronic chirpings, and in these delicious gases of ether filled by these psychedelic fragrances which have furnished the magic of our loudspeakers in the years of Klaus Schulze's Picture Music. "Just an Sequence" hangs onto our ears straight away with a rhythm, always pulsatory, which is clearly livelier. The oscillations dance furiously in parallel with the echoes of percussions gasified of iodine and of which the ringings spin in a structure which at times remind a Stratosfear boosted with electronic steroids and of which the crazy pulsations are loosening shadows which try to hang in a rhythmic pattern which eventually will gurgle like a big stomach starving for pulsations. Breathless, the structure ends by flickering on the spot, offering variants which ally a phase of motionless rhythm to some sinister ambiences where from are born the deep oscillations of resounding arpeggios. With its structure of rhythm arched on a meshing of sequences in forms of chirping, pulsations and organic gurglings as well as electronic cymbals, "Trying to let my Mind Explode into Oblivion", (what a naming!) is not really for all ears. It's a long minimalist pattern which misleads the ceaseless chatters of its pulsations and where the synths experiment a very experimental electronic language on a movement which presents ambiospherical variants as attractive, its finale, as very noisy, like its passage in nothingness. Needs to be in the head of Phrozenlight in order to understand. And at times, we are very close to be. "Changing Addresses" makes a reference to Edgar Froese's famous quotation; « We don't die, we are only changing of cosmic address ». The intro is very floating with synth lines which waltz with a so very esoteric and sedative approach where prisms  sparkle in a rather dark mood. The rhythm gets out of its ambient matrix at around the 5th minute, exploiting the same minimalist furies that we find all over “Black Week”, in particular on "Dropout Time", but with more nuances in its velocity which remains after all relatively serene. A serenity which is even more present "Dark Week Passed", even if the finale resuscitates these violent storms of organic pulsations and the patterns of stationary movements that will shake the temples of your loudspeakers and will make jump up the hammer of your eardrums.
Black Week” aims at the fans from the very beginning of EM, where everything was made by instinct according to the discoveries and the possibilities of synthesizers and of their oscillatrices loops which could forge rhythms that no drummers could follow. Fans of that time where the frenzied pulsatory beats were fed by these ambiences that only the analog equipments could dissipate. Except that listening to those 2 hours of “Black Week” in a row turns out to be an exercise which proves that the tolerance can have its limits. If the 5 structures offer good moments, they also offer pretty good lengths. The discovery is more attractive if we taste the album track by track over the course of one week. This is what I did. And I was amazed then to want to hear the following one. Except that there, the pattern of redundancy erases the charm. Thus, one at a time! So we shall appreciate this tribute to Edgar Froese. A tribute to his first glances on an art that will bloom thanks to his curiosity, his perseverance and especially his immense talent to put in music his Daliesque vision of the art.
Sylvain Lupari (February 26th, 2015) &
You can find this album here

mardi 24 février 2015


“Time Lines is a colossal work to the measure of Gabriele Quirici's inspirations who develops here a series of ambient rhythms that will seduce all form of listening needs”
1 Dreaming Time 8:43   2 Time Travelers 8:44
3 Time Lines 9:14   4 Meditative Times 12:43
5 Hypnotic Lines 8:16   6 Walking Time 8:39
7 Child Time 6:40  

8 The Circular Sound (Healing Time) 6:35
9 Saluto ad una persona importante (Sad Time) 4:56
10 Inner Space Time 9:36   11 Friends Time 9:04
12 Metaphysical Time 9:20   13 Ricochet Time Lines 4:09
14 Subway Time to Castro Pretorio Station 7:03
15 Silence Time 11:27   16 Cosmic Time 5:16
17 Rainy Time 11:16   18 Reflection Time 4:48
19 Moments Frail 6:47

SynGate | PD03 (CD-r/DDL 153:27) ***½
(Mix of ambient and driven based sequences Berlin School)
Sound graphic and designer for a music which is a choreography for dreams, Gabriele Quirici amassed in the course of the last 5 years a multitude of sound thoughts inspired by some emotional moments. Behind a Sequencer  and an Arpeggiator, he amused himself composing short music pieces. Rhythmic loops which suit the shape of his emotions. “Time Lines” is the fruit of these momentary strikes of emotion. Initially, these very personal reflections would had to find refuge on a double album which would have includes only the music of Perceptual Defence. But after mature introspections, Gabriele Quirici has rather decided to split the album into two parts. The CD 1, entitled Personal Time, would be very introspective, while the CD 2 would offer the possibility to some of his friends musicians to compose through these loops of rhythm a music which would be more personal to them. The result is as strange, as eclectic as fascinating. Because beyond the appearances of rhythms molded by impulses of arpeggios rather complex, the shadow of Perceptual Defence keeps a close watch on this incursion of the Italian synthesist  in the sonic sculptures of the New Berlin School and makes sure that “Time Lines” stays under the bosom of the works to the dark and experimental flavors of Perceptual Defence.
Synth lines singing such as interstellar whales welcome the fragile rhythm of "Dreaming Time" of which the race of the arpeggios is drawing movement of back and forth. This ascending movement becomes more fluid, less static, loosening even some shadows, certain more crystal clear, which pound in a more free style beneath a sky multicolored of musical lines became now more sibylline. "Time Travelers" dissipates these nuances between the chants of the synths with a violent rhythm which flutters like a seagull trapped in the tempest of the Pacific winds. Winds which sometimes moo with somber metallic impulses, destabilizing the race of the arpeggios which struggle fervently in an agile static ballet. Always in a membrane of motionless rhythmic ritornello, the title-track offers a more fluid approach where two lines of harmonious rhythms, one with a very boosted flow and the other one with a more waddling approach, crisscross their minimalist airs under the breezes of a synth and of its aggressive twisted solos. In spite of the swiftness of the arpeggios and the charm of their sometimes destabilizing cadences, the rhythms which widen nevertheless a gap between the very ambiospherical approach of Gabriele Quirici and the model of driven based sequences rhythm of the Berlin School style remains rather ambient. No matter the forms, except for the superb "Meditative Times" whose sonic decoration reminds that of the
Software in Electronic Universe. Here, the rhythm eventually imploded with keys which pound in all directions, drumming a rather abstract cadence which awakens a foot stomping. One could definitely believe to hear a piece of music mislaid in the vaults of Software. It is very good, like "Hypnotic Lines" which also adopts this ambio-cosmic approach with keys which follow each other in a crocodile line, adjusting their flickered beatings in nice corridors filled of star dusts. "Walking Time" offers a more delicate rhythm, always as harmonious, with arpeggios which skip in a mess of synth lines filled of chirpings, of rhythmic loops, of cosmic mist and of ethereal voices. The finale pushes "Walking Time" towards more psychotronic corridors with some very furious arpeggios. "Child Time" is a sweet electronic lullaby with keys which sculpture some very wide oscillations, dropping to the passage other keys which try to follow the pace. The movement is as oniric than soft with delicate structures of crisscrossed ambient rhythms which coil up each other in a beautiful melancholic veil. This is very nice! The more we move forward in the section of Personal Time and the more Perceptual Defence is offering sweetnesses. Even with its sequences which stammer in an a little more jerky approach, the rhythm of "The Circular Sound (Healing Time)" throws a captivating aura of serenity. The keys make contrast with the slow veils of the synth which wrap up a pace after all very musical.
Birds of a feather flock together! That cannot be more true than on the 2nd CD of “Time Lines”, where the music of Gabriele Quirici finds takers with the boldnesses of his friends. Let's say that it's rather eclectic and that it's necessary to be curious here. For most of it, we are resolutely in the lands of ambient and abstracted of an EM stamped of
Perceptual Defence seal. Written with Syndromeda, the storm of oscillations which pushes "Inner Space Time" at the borders of a cosmos a bit bitter and uninviting which is in the same vein as the cosmic storms of

Fear of the Emptyness Space. I don't know the music of Waveman (John Valk) but I quite enjoyed the ambiguity of the structure of ambient rhythm in "Friends Time" which unwinds its series of arpeggios in a pattern of parasitic rhythms and within a lot of cathedral sounding synth pads. It's full of carillons and the movement of sequences in the background which haunts the ear is very appealing. A beautiful surprise, while the heavy and stillness rhythm trapped in the synth layers and in the howling of guitar in "Metaphysical Time" is going to graze the timorous ears. I have to be honest here, my hearing holes have suffered! And it doesn't get any better with "Ricochet Time Lines" and its multiple oscillation loops which wave in a heavy ambient pattern decorated of very experimental tones. TD on LSD! On the other hand, I like those furious oscillating loops which eat up the pace of "Subway Time to Castro Pretorio Station" which is really shaping the race of a train in a very colorful electronic soundscape. "Silence Time" is the most beautiful moment of this album where Alluste brings us literally in the lands of old Berlin School. It's as very beautiful and poetic, like "Child Time", and the imprint of Alluste is omnipresent. The rhythm is delicate, magnetic and follows a beautiful hypnotic tangent with collusive shadows under a beautiful electronic cosmic sky. "Cosmic Time", with Pharamond, is more audacious. After a very ambiospherical intro which is knotted in sizzling synth waves and in singings of flute, the sequences run away in keen pulsations which eat up their shadows, creating a starving and undisciplined structure of rhythm which finally converges into a beautiful Berlin School which is too short. "Rainy Time" offers another structure of loud and dark rhythm which imprisons its fury into long ambient corridors. The oscillations run against synth layers which waltz in opposite currents. The track deserves to be known more deeply in order to appreciate all of its nuances. It's Michael Bruckner music! Thus it deserves that we give an attentive ear because the music is always on an evolutionary mode and is ending with beautiful undulations filled by perfumes, as much oceanic than esoteric. "Reflection Time" hides its slow and brooding rhythm, like the march of a thinker, in a torrent of black breezes from some very sinister twisted shadows. I like the echo of the tap-dancing which gives a mesmerizing depth to the rhythm. The voice of Antara Annamarie Borg carries the dark and almost apocalyptic ambiences of "Moments Frail" out of the limits of “Time Lines”, ending so a very polyvalent album where the thoughtful moments of Gabriele Quirici saw the light of day behind some great modulations of sequences and arpeggios.
When we take a closer look to it, “Time Lines” is a colossal work to the measure of Gabriele Quirici's inspirations. Contrary to the sound envelope of his
Perceptual Defence project, the Italian synthesist develops here a series of rhythms, for the most part ambient, which adapt themselves to all forms of listening. The approaches of New and Vintage Berlin School is merging in envelopes as ethereal as cosmic, allying those of Software to Schulze without denying Tangerine Dream, I think here of REWO and Pharamond collaborations. So, there is of everything for all tastes and some of the  lengths pass well enough if we really want to dive into the experimental spheres of Perceptual Defence. There are some very beautiful moments in this album which is a real demystification of the Arpeggiator.
Sylvain Lupari (February 24th, 2015) &
You can find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp page here

lundi 23 février 2015

LAMBERT/PARSICK: TranceSession (1995/2006)

“Trancesession equals some of the classics of the vintage years and is one of the best Berlin School, probably the best, of the 90's”

1 Voyage To Nowhere Part I  12:40
2 Trancemission Part I  20:20
3 Star Motion  11:53
4 Trancemission Part II  15:05
5 Voyage To Nowhere Part II  13:18

Spheric Music | SMCD 4001 (CD 73:21) ****½
(Berlin School)
Classics don't age. They remain there imperturbable and always ready to light the fires of the nostalgia. “Trancesession” is a work of the most attractive. It's an album of dark Berlin School filled by drifting ambiences and progressive rhythms that was released in a wrong time. A pure masterpiece of progressive EM that has doubtless inspired groups such as ['ramp], Redshift and Node, “Trancesession” is the kind of album which was released in a total indifference of the medias. In the 90's, EM was hardly breathing in front of the desertion of its precursors who were looking for glory, for fortune and for recognition in front of an industry asepticized by the MTV generation and the EM derivates such as Techno, Drm'n'Bass and other genres. The European press have followed the course of these old dinosaurs and the change of the new guard, forgetting a generation of brilliant synthesists such as Lambert Ringlage and Stephen Parsick, as well as several others. It is thanks to this bastion of hardliners if EM of the Berlin School style has knew how to keep its letters of noblesse.
The duet
Ringlage/Parsick entails us in these loops, these balls of timeless waves, which roll in a dense pattern of synth solos and effects in order to present us a sonic feast which begins and ends by "Voyage To Nowhere"; a long musical fresco tinted of JarreTD and Schulze fragrances, presented in 2 parts. The first part starts with quite lively felted pulsations and jingles of metallic percussions of which the tsitt-tsitt are taken in the veils of the winds of a synth and of its old organ tones. The first detail which holds attention is the sound. The duet doesn't hesitate to bring out tones of former days, wrapping the ambiance of an analog authenticity with all the electronic effects which are connected with it. The fans of vintage EM will be delighted to hear the perfumes of Adelbert Von Deyen throning on these ambiences. The movement is supple, fluid and minimalist. Always leaned on a continual and hypnotic beating, it modifies hardly its rhythmic path except for fine nuances in the tones which escapes from some bass jolts here and there, in particular as finale approaches. The impression to hear these famous cosmic rumbas of Jarre gets amplifying as the pace reaches a good cruising speed. It's at the top of the rhythm that everything is taking place. The harmonies, the ambiences! Floating of its hallucinogenic perfumes a bit Arabian, "Voyage To Nowhere Part I" offers a superb harmonious wealth with synth waves which multiply shadows and twists before reaching the threshold of creativity with a beautiful melody sprinkled on a movement of crystal clear sequences. The jumping keys forge harmonic somersaults in a dense fog of synth waves to the aromas deliciously analog. Waves which little by little take the control of "Voyage To Nowhere Part I" which dives into a violent finale that will wake wonderful souvenirs when Schulze's Picture Music has besieged our ears. Intense! "Voyage To Nowhere Part II" hangs onto the structure of its first part by exploiting a little more the aggressiveness of solos. the beat is just as crazy, as furious than on Part I.
Mooing winds multiplying sound particles are opening "Trancemission Part I" which offers a rhythmic structure arched on sequences of which the lively somersaults drop doubles. The movement reminds me the jerky rhythms of
Tangerine Dream. A nice bass line feed the fury of the oscillatory rhythm which skips into a dense veil filled by aromas of old organ. The percussions bind onto this rhythm while the synth escapes solos with whistled airs. Throughout its 20 minutes, "Trancemission Part I" maintains its agile pace with this meshing of electronic percussions and sequences which pounds in antithesis of a bass line a bit funky whereas the riffs and layers of synth fatten a pace which serves cause to the numerous solos with essences as cosmic as ethereal. It's a big electronic rock filled with contorted synth solos racing and darting in an impressive pattern of electronic arrangements which sounds a little bit pale when the heavy, jerky and boosted flow of "Trancemission Part II" is landing in our ears, after a very Jarre cosmic intro. There also the solos shape some twisting electronic acrobatics. We never could imagined to be closer of cosmos than with the long opening of "Star Motion". The movement is slow, very ambiospherical, and floats such as a long threatening shade with its fragrances of Mephistophelian organ. The influence of Parsick here is dominant with this black ambient side which releases its metallic flavors. We are in the lands of Irrlicht. But not really for a long time! Because fascinating movements of rhythm emerges through the slow modulations of the winds. If the first one is dark, the second one reveals some more crystal clear sequences which run like loops without breaches in these lines of synth of which the scarlet colors howl of fury. The movement of sequences subdivides its keys which dance in a fascinating symbiosis. The rhythm equals a kind of ascent, while the turbulences of the synths draw these winds which undermine the climbing of a rhythm that will remain ambient, even with the addition of the percussions.
Without making compromises on each of their artistic approaches;
Lambert Ringlage, who likes rhythms and melodies, Stephen Parsick, who thinks ambient as black that his structures of ambient rhythms, offer one of the most beautiful jewels of contemporary EM. This is pure Berlin School stamped by these psychotronic visions whose hallucinogenic fragrances are feeding a very progressive approach. The play of sequences is splendid. The keys are aggressive and refuse the domination of the ambiospherical elements, even in "Star Motion", with aggressive flip flops of which the minimalist approaches refute any kind of hypnotic submission. I take this album as a tribute opus to the deserters of the kind who looked for a more commercial approach. An album which even equals some of the classics of that time and one of the best Berlin School, probably the best, of the 90's. Indomitable and weaved in no kind of compromise, “Trancesession” is an album of EM to possess.
Sylvain Lupari (Marsh 2007, translated on February 2015) &
You can find this album and order it here
There are 2 videos of TranceSession on You Tube:
Voyage to Nowhere      TranceSession

samedi 21 février 2015

PARALLEL WORLDS & ALIO DIE: Elusive Metaphor (2014)

“Elusive Metaphor is an album to the strange poetic aromas where dark ambient music always roams in corridors filled by unusual noises which end to build strange hazy rhythms”

1 Unspoken Shapes 11:44
2 The Dispersed Expectance 9:35
3 Wordless Arcanum 4:27
4 Dissolved Heaven 10:10
5 Fragile Imagery 6:04
6 Where We Are Not 4:17
7 Roundabout Mirages 6:00

Alio Die Bandcamp (CD/DDL 53:04) ****
(Dark ambient EM)
It's with the music of Bakis Sirros that I began to appreciate the very dark ambient music genre. Why? Because the Greek musician is very intelligent. He transcends the genre by adding sonic particles such as organic breaths, insect chants and industrial noises which make nuances and contrasts in a musical decoration where the anxiety, the paranoia is hiding in the slightest beatings. “Elusive Metaphor” is the 2nd collaboration between Alio Die and Parallel Worlds. And contrary to the somber structures of Circo Divino, the enigmatic tandem of ambient metallurgical offers an album to the strange poetic aromas where dark ambient music always roams in corridors filled by unusual noises, but also in beautiful soundscapes a bit more ethereal with discreet tempos which are modulated in the shadows of the ambiences.
Winds sing with all their apocalyptic color at the opening of "Unspoken Shapes". Vocal drones, murmurs and rustles invite these winds to take other tints while the first beatings get scatter in a structure of ambient rhythm in transformation. The evolution is slow and is decorated with a crowd of organic noises, covering our eardrums of an immense ambiosonic shroud. The details make the difference. The voice of India Czajkowska arises from the darkness, blunting the ambiences which suddenly free a delicate spectral rhythm. We are in the lands of
Circo Divino with this ambient rhythm which pounds of its muffled pulsations and which radiates of its crystal clear arpeggios of which the ringings make contrast with the somber twisted drones and the very ethereal chants of India Czajkowska. The metamorphosis goes on while the rhythm of "Unspoken Shapes" amazes with an unsuspected vigor. The ringings shine like knocks on a glass anvil and the fluid flow which rolls let us think of the bones of a crawling creature which tumbles down tops to break its bones. The whole thing makes counterweights to those laconic pulsations and the somber moods which maintain "Unspoken Shapes" in its element of dark and of introspective psybient. The term of psybient lends itself completely to this last work of the duet Alio Die and Parallel Worlds where the soft rhythms are gobbled up in an intense ambiosonic flora. "The Dispersed Expectance" presents also a long ambient intro with the somber shadows of a modular synth which float on the rustles and on the chirpings of an organic, sometimes animal and often electronic, fauna. These elements merge their disturbing charms while some of them escape in order to forge an abstract rhythm. A rhythm that we guess, and which little by little settles down with pulsations of which the symmetric debit is of use as bed to a surprising eclectic flora of which the symbiosis of the elements in place eventually forged a strange hallucinogenic hymn. Except that "The Dispersed Expectance" has something else to offer! A hallucinating finale where the shadows of the pulsations take another tint and are draining like in a tapped dropper, while that the noisy swarm of multi-sonic shades swallows this rhythm into a delicious ambient din. "Wordless Arcanum" stands out a bit from the first two structures by offering livelier tempo. One would say some kind of organic suction cups which try to eat avidly so much the beatings are dynamic, starved. Fast and always unsatiated, these beatings are also stormy as the sonic fauna which harass them. Strange and fascinating, this track finds its attraction in its evanescent envelope.
We don't dream when our ears meet the chirpings of the birds which charm the opening of "Dissolved Heaven" whose reminiscences of
Circo Divino's title-track titillate our ears. The lines of synth, even the drones of Alio Die , are translucent and we can even hear solitary guitar chords irradiating a comforting ambient heat. Knocks of clogs draw the solitary hike of a cowboy in a plain where a mass of tones as organic as heterogeneous are in symbiosis with the colors of a sonic sky of which the scarlet radiations shake the dangling of big bells. I have for the vague feeling to hear Wollo in a darker environment. "Fragile Imagery" is a beautiful ambient track, decorated with organic jingles, which is very near Steve Roach's meditative territories with beautiful synth lines which drop some nice filet of spectral voices, whereas "Where We Are Not" is a pleasant down-tempo builds around some muffled pulsations which pound in a glaucous industrial universe. "Roundabout Mirages" ends this 2nd collaboration Alio Die and Parallel Worlds with an ambient and dark structure where the quaver of the riffs and of the sonic hoops draw a delicate rhythm finely jerky. An ambient rhythm which spreads its jerks in an attractive organic universe where the ceaseless chatters of the insects irradiate moments of anxiety that lines of synth, very musical, still lock into a universe filled of Steve Roach's  perfumes.
In spite of a sonic fauna filled with a 1 000 wealths, the world of
Parallel Worlds always remains so closed, hard to get in. Released only in an edition of 300 factory pressed CD's, the Gothic meditative approach of “Elusive Metaphor” breathes the seduction, even if resolutely it goes for a restricted audience. Alio Die and Parallel Worlds have succeed this bet of not repeating themselves in a genre which offers few possibilities of avoiding the redundancy, unless being daring. Of transcending the borders which bound fright of the poetry. And it is all the charm of “Elusive Metaphor”. The duet does well marvelously in combining both extremes in order to sculpture the paths of a territory which has still so much to offer. It's beautiful and absolutely mesmerizing. Well done, it flows great between both our ears and our four walls.
Sylvain Lupari (February 21st, 2015) &
You can find this album on the Bandcamp page of Alio Die here