A.D.S.R.: UNO (2020)
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
“UNO is an album of dark ambient music which explores the various structures belonging to the genre in a free thinker context”
1 Morgennebel 1 10:05
2 La Fleur 12:01
3 Cosmodrone 6:39
4 La Noche 10:24
5 Isolation 8:55
6 Atmodrone 15:54
7 Morgennebel 2 7:04
(CD-R/DDL 71:04) (V.F.)
(Dark Ambient Music)
I could start this review by telling you that this new SynGate project is an ambient album like there are hundreds, thousands or even. But this is not the case. Yes, A.D.S.R. is another obscure band or artist from the German label. I am told through the press notes that these are two famous musicians who have decided to produce an album which mainly revolves around Ambient Drones Searching Reality. And if so, why prefer anonymity? MOBS (Detlev Keller) made the hit with the majestic Aus dem Nichts in 2014. Then came Wolfgang Nachahmer the following year, we still don't know who he is, and there A.D.S.R. and a first album, UNO, which should dispel fears of a dark and nebulous ambient music, because… Here is my column not signed in the anonymity 😊
A buzzing sound spreads its dismal cloak, while a keyboard note and its effects of crystalline reverberations dance all around. Morgennebel 1 spreads its long ambient wings where different sounds and tonalities are hidden, including a line and its spectral air. The ambiences border the Mephistophelian zone while guitar tears chisel them with lamentations of various intonations, a little as if the author wanted to keep his identity secret. And whatever the origins of its effects, of the noisy fauna and of those distant guitar cries, Morgennebel 1 remains in its fabric of dark ambient music that shamanic lamentations root even more. La Fleur exploits a part, the most meditative one, of this dark zone of Morgennebel 1. Little by little, the music takes a more celestial tangent with a symphony of winds which is pushed by good orchestral arrangements. Shamanic elements adorn its first part, without giving it that dark air, while the heavy resonant wooshh of the second part welcomes a divine melody strummed by a dreamy keyboardist. The hums of wind goddesses accompany this hopeless melody to the heavy drones of Cosmodrone. Although each title is separate, we feel an intimate link that links them. Here, the colors of the drones and their effects dancing on the tile of their reverberations, translate into solitary chords which frolic while playing innocently with their shadows. Chloroform layers, strongly tinted by essences from places of worship such as a church, add a more heavenly zest to the ambiences which are courted by fluty chants. Great shadows of drones cover these airs of flutes and enclose this libertine spirit which prowled around the ambiences of these titles that one forgets with this avalanche of intense layers which covers the opening of La Noche. The vibrating tunes that come out of these organ layers piled over line over line give an intense vision which is specific to UNO's first 3 titles. La Noche brings us to a phase of Tibetan percussions and quietly deviates towards its dark and gloomy universe with a presence of a third kind which scrutinizes through the earpiece this diversity of tones and their fascinating chants which are tied to these multilayers of drifting synths with chords which regroup themselves for the time of a short and evasive melody that concludes this title, a bit like La Fleur has done.
The 9 minutes of Isolation explains quite well what happens around the other 62 minutes of UNO. Whoo-whoo and weak percussive effects, I am thinking here of the The Keep's ambiences, are the witnesses of these large synth layers sweeping the horizons, like these old lighthouses guiding boats at night. The texture of the atmospheres is gloomy and hides a noisy fauna which becomes elements of an evanescent rhythm. The synth lines pile up while sweeping these black horizons with varied intonations, playing between a dark texture and another more musical with scents of Tangerine Dream. The music is constantly evolving, even favoring a sustained rhythm structure that keeps its shape despite the heaviness of the reverberations which have a cavernous substance. It is the most beautiful title of the album which takes up this heavy atmospheric tangent of its drones and its multiple lines of wooshh and waashh for a big 8 minutes. Afterwards, a melody waddles between big bangs and their echoes. Playing in concerto with a keyboard and a guitar, she makes us forget the heaviness of the opening and even manages to seduce again when an aggressive presence of the drones ends up absorbing her in the last two minutes of Atmodrone. Obviously, the 2nd part of UNO has its best moments in store for us. Morgennebel 2 has nothing to do with the opening title and offers a diversity, both in rhythms in melodies as in the atmospheres which change fluidly in its 7 minutes. There are times when the synth layers are intense and poignant, like this moment when the sound effects reproduce reflux of fluid or this rhythm emerging from a noise. The flute is clearly more hearable here and fits very well in this concept of lively and interchangeable music of Morgennebel 2.
In conclusion, UNO is an album of ambient music which explores the various structures belonging to the genre in a free thinker context. In fact, the album is like an immense musical collage to which the authors have grafted musical moments that go more or less well in this canvas pushed by the reverberations of synth's multilayers. Thus, A.D.S.R. is free from all obligations and creates a jumble which in the end becomes more tolerable to those who cannot tolerate this music scrambled by drones. It's the best of both worlds!
Sylvain Lupari (01/11/20) ***½**
Available at SynGate Bandcamp