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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

AGE: Lost in Silence (2019)

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

“It's a journey between stars and rhythms that awaits the listener who is heading to discover the 61 minutes of great cosmic rock”

1 Hope in Silence 2:42

2 Departure to Nowhere 5:14

3 Hypnagogie Part 1 9:34

4 Light Arrows 5:01

5 Hypnagogie Part 2 8:51

6 Nowhere 4:33

7 Whispering Light 1:50

8 Running Through Time 4:26

9 Palais Montcalm 1:42

10 Gone Alone 3:43

11 Timeless 2:57

12 Scary Night 3:02

13 Hypnagogie Part 3 5:39

14 Hope and Silence 2:09

Groove | GR-264 (CD 61:06) (V.F.) (Cosmic Rock, Berlin School, Ambient)

Me, who thought that AGE had made a comeback last year with the reissue, by Groove, of Landscapes, I was left for a pleasant surprise discovering that Emmanuel D'Haeyere and Guy Vachaudez was very active since 2015, and went on to make two more albums following this LOST IN SILENCE, produced and also made on Ron Boots' label. This 14th album of AGE is a studio version of the concert that the Belgian duo had presented as part of the E-Live 2018 festival held in Netherlands. The music presented here is from 2 upcoming albums, namely Hypnagogie, which is a purely ambient and cosmic album, and Sequenz, an album structured on the work of the sequencers. It's thus a journey between the stars and the rhythms that awaits the listener who is heading to discover the 61 minutes of LOST IN SILENCE.

And it begins with a Hope in Silence which arises with its slow wings of orchestration which embrace a sensitive and moving piano. A voice whispers behind the scenes and its whispers join Departure to Nowhere and its introduction gassed with a superb Mellotron flute. We go back in time with this analog savour which initiates a good electronic rock. Structured on a mesh of rhythmic lines from the sequencer and the electronic drums, the pace is fluid and lively with rattling effects which whisper to our ears always so intoxicated by these perfumes of flutes that sing some divine harmonies. The synth activates its charms with good solos that come out from harmonies of the flute and are just as oneiric. Hypnagogie Part 1 is the first part of a long ambient journey, and possibly a cosmic one, which will alternate with so many rhythmic phases. We fly over a hostile territory filled with dark winds and subtle wooshh and waashh. Sound effects are painting the moods with a cosmic vision whereas buzzing, cavernous breezes and purring rustling as well as rippling of living water blow a more earthly vision. But no matter, this sound fauna feeds on its impulses. These dark ambiences are decorated with stray piano notes and cello strings that wander between multiple winds and a variety of sound effects, mostly percussive, including creasing footsteps and some quavering caught here and there. These atmospheres overflow up until Light Arrows, I even hear bells, and its very Berlin School rhythm with percussions that give to it a rock look a la Poland. Lively with synth solos sounding like a guitar, Light Arrows is one of those tracks that make the perfect transition between ambient passages and the good Berlin School presented here in order to keep the audience on the alert.

The zigzagging and delicately spasmodic rhythmic structure leaves its imprint in Hypnagogie Part 2, whose dark and gloomy ambiences are struggling to camouflage the ghostly presence of Light Arrows sequencing pattern. The decor is almost identical, except that the impression of going along the bowels of a long tunnel is palpable. As much here as in Hypnagogie Part 1. The phantom rhythm gets back with strength in Nowhere. The movement of the sequencer is stormy. Two lines of rhythms are superimposed and dance in close symbiosis, while a line of arpeggios makes rodeo on the main movement which is very Berlin School. Layers hover above the rhythm without deepening their presence. Whispering Light is a beautiful, but too short, melody in the genre of Vangelis' early years. It's wonderful ... but too short! Running Through Time comes with a rhythm structure that fits very well with the vision of its title. A nervous rhythm sat on the thrill of the first rhythmic line of the sequencer. Bongos, electronic percussions and another line of stroboscopic sequences complete the rhythmic frame which gesticulates under a plethora of layers, lines and effects which place the genre between the 70's and 80's. A wide range that speaks a lot on the capacity of Emmanuel D'Haeyer & Guy Vachaudez to weave a universe of enchantment which gathers essences from all eras. Palais Montcalm is another quiet title, mostly assumed by nice orchestrations. Gone Alone is a little more demanding. It's a cosmic rock as melodious as avant-garde with orchestrations in staccato. We are talking about a progressive vision!? Timeless is really something else with its structure forged in an avalanche of glass chimes that clump together on a nervous conveyor. A melody strum on a fake guitar completes the melodious approach of which the Greek essence melts in the orchestrations and the scary effects of Scary Night. Hypnagogie Part 3 fits quite well the structure of Scary Night with its percussive effects, its muted impulses and the sensation of wandering deep into gutters. Hope and Silence ends LOST IN SILENCE in the same way that Hope in Silence started. With beauty and tenderness! But especially with this desire to re-hear a fascinating ode where rock and cosmic ambiances have never been as in close symbiosis as here.

Sylvain Lupari (May 23rd, 2019) *****

Available at Groove nl

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