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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ADRIAN BEASLEY: Powerhouse (2007)

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

Beyond its heavy corrosive reverberations, the CD offers tracks of a tender melancholy

1 Turbines 9:08

2 Generator 9:07

3 The Great Hall 7:20

4 Power Surge 12:00

5 Off-Line 11:03

6 Powerhouse 6:50

(DDL 55:28) (V.F.)


We light on the switch, and the first metallic waves of Turbines spout out with a hard industrial cacophony. Noisy and heavy, Turbines grinds our eardrums while floating on heavy reverberations with deviant and jerky sound arches like an apocalyptic siren. An eight minutes of hooting metal that crunches like a metallic chalk on a thick steel sheet. Hard on the ears ... and the neighbors! We close the switch and we are on the other side of the sound cataclysm. A bit like in Michael Stearns' universe, Adrian Beasley, member of AirSculpture, offers in POWERHOUSE an album where contrasts converge in an intriguing unrealism. Generator shines under a gentle movement that comes from the cold depths of Turbines before we hear a light synth fluid that floats in a melodic stasis. Gradually, a sequenced movement with irregular tinkling settles with the complicity of a charming synth. Quite the opposite of its introduction, Generator becomes a melodious title with beautiful chilly sequences on a synth with lyrical waves. The Great Hall follows with an atmospheric movement and its piano with hesitant notes dancing in a melancholic mist. No evolution, just a good hushed ambience which smells sadness as tenderness. Like an unexpected wind, Power Surge comes from afar with fine pulsations that amplify the movement on a good sequenced bass line. A great track which gains in intensity with a sequencer of which the heavy undulations are twinned with intense and feverish hammering percussions on a synth with symphonic breaths. A mix of Arc and Redshift which is simply exquisite. Off-Line brings us back to the heavy ambiences of Turbines, but with an approach that combines heaviness and delicacy, a bit like a big cloud that moves under the breath of a celestial wind. It's heavy, almost dark, and atmospheric but with a very sensitive approach. After a soft floating intro, the title-track swings into a gentle bass sequence with undulating jolts. The synth pushes ethereal blasts, and the sequence becomes rounder, juicier, plunging Powerhouse into a biting and catchy rhythmic pattern. Furious synth solos adorn this increasingly unbridled cadence that ends in the same ferocity as Power Surge.

With POWERHOUSE Adrian Beasley opens all his doors to an ambient music with heavy metallic layers that can hurt the ears, as they can also charm them. Beyond its heavy corrosive reverberations, the CD offers tracks of a tender melancholy and others more explosive which make you forget an introduction whose charms are discovered after listening to Off-Line, a pure delight of ambient music.

Sylvain Lupari (January 28th, 2008) *****

Available at Adrian Beasley Bandcamp

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