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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

AD Music: After Midnight (2012)

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

A compilation isn't always something which cleans up your CD player, this one is built around 16 wonders that will let you discover the magic of AD Music

1 Everybody (The Pels Syndicate) 4:47

2 China Calling (David Wright) 6:04

3 Nucleogenesis (Sylvain Carel) 6:36

4 Soundtrack for a Fantasy (Robert Fox) 5:01

5 Realm (Steve Orchard) 4:34

6 Autumn Leaves (Claudio Merlini) 5:33

7 And she Held the Moon (Bekki Williams) 4:23

8 Deep Within (Glenn Main) 5:23

9 Eucalyptico (Richard Bone) 6:16

10 Meltdown Se (Code Indigo) 7:29

11 Fractal Dreams (Divine Matrix) 6:11

12 Memoires Astrales (Dead Beat Project) 5:10

13 Ocean (Dreamproject) 6:53

14 Girl Friday (Geigertek) 4:48

Bonus Tracks from DDL

16 Light Dream (Acheloo) 7:12

17 Parallel Dreaming (Paul Sills) 7:10

(CD/DLL 79:52) (DVD 93:30) (V.F.)

(Berlin School, Lunar electronica, New Age)

The adventure AD Music began in 1989 with the release of Reflections, the first album of its founder David Wright. Since then, the English label reached the high standards of artistic quality with a constant quest for new artists and new musical orientations, enriching so a catalog which covers all the spheres of contemporary EM. And that's what is reflected on AFTER MIDNIGHT. This last compilation of AD Music is an impressive artistic window where 16 artists reveal as much musical orientations which melt in the ears like oneiric murmurs.

The Pels Syndicate starts things up with a technoïd track à la sauce Kraftwerk. The rhythm of Everybody jumps of its muffled pulsations, from a loudspeaker to another one, around good orchestral arrangements of which the violent jolts chop the vocoder effects and the voices pads which melt into fine harmonious lassoes. China Calling brings us into David Wright's Asian romances. It's a long hypnotic track with dialogues in mute which draws its delicate rhythm around bongo kind of percussions and a bass line with chords pounding slightly in the harmonies of a melody flowing finely on a jerked debit. Sylvain Carel's Nucleogenesis jumps up softly in the furrows of Caravansary. Although less orchestral, the structure is just as much progressive with a latent rhythm which increases all in nuance in the mists and ethereal breaths of the Berber dunes where discreet sitar notes are dancing and shrilling under brief iridescent lamentations. It's one of the good finds from AD Music. Soundtrack for a Fantasy by Robert Fox brings us into the harmonic and romantic corridors of the English label. The title is sweet and ethereal with a goddess voice that sighs in the vapors of a dreamy piano. It's soft and it's also very melancholy. Realm by Steve Orchard is a delicate melody where fine tabla percussions support the harmonies of an acoustic guitar which espouse perfectly the orchestral arrangements woven in melancholy. Autumn Leaves by Claudio Merlini is another sweet melody steeped in suspicions of the Orient while And she Held the Moon by Bekki Williams takes us on a tour of Ireland with an approach close to the poetic aromas of Enya. After these 20 minutes of sweetness, Deep Within from Glenn Main awakens our weakened senses with a cosmic Jean-Michel Jarre rhythm which swirls with its electronic bass chords. The synth is melodious; straddling the New Age with its pan flute tone, it caresses the rhythmic jolts of a spheroidal rhythm.

It has been a long time since I had heard Richard Bone and Eucalyptico bears its title well with a light rhythm which frolic in a very musical plain where harmony and simplicity mold a sweet earworm. With its heavy rhythm crossed by a bass line with fluttering pulsations, Code Indigo's Meltdown Se is a superb foretaste of the legendary English group's next album. Between a dizzying cosmic ride and a good prog rock à la Porcupine Tree, the title is woven into heavy riffs and solos of a guitar whipped by a stroboscopic line whose eroded contours embrace sweet orchestral arrangements. It's very promising! As far as I'm concerned, AD Music's great find is without a doubt Divine Matrix, and the splendid Fractal Dreams explains why. This zebra spiral which swirls in its cosmic elements is a jewel of the New Berlin School. The synth tears which sadden there cross the soul to dance lasciviously in the wake of sequences with rotating arches. It's simply superb and very ear-catching, and that explains the enthusiasm I have for his latest album Atmospheric Variations. Astral Memories from Dead Beat Project is a good lunar down-tempo imbued with an enveloping female voice that rests the subconscious, much like Geigertek's lounge tempo on Girl Friday while Ocean is a soft, finely hatched chill-out from Dreamproject, the very latest acquisition of the English label. The downloadable version of AFTER MIDNIGHT includes 2 bonus tracks including a beautiful ambient musical landscape in Light Dream by Acheloo. The movement is of a restful morphic tranquility with a slow waltz of synth lines which sing and float in a peaceful universe of dreams. Parallel Dreaming from Paul Sills concludes this pretty good compilation with an intense title imbued with this tribal approach of the peoples of the sand which is at the heart of the latest achievements of the AD Music label that this compilation invites you to discover with 16 little jewels to orientations as diverse as your fantasies.

Sylvain Lupari (December 14th, 2012) *****

Available at AD Music

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