AIRSCULPTURE: Burn (2008)
Updated: Jan 21
“A great evening of ambiences and rhythms from this trio with explosive sequencing and wild EM”
1 Stage I (12:38)
2 Stage II (17:19)
3 Stage III (14:59)
4 Stage IV (15:58)
(DDL 60:56) (V.F.)
AirSculpture is part of this generation of English bands, such as Radio Massacre International, Redshift, Arcane, Kubusschnitt, Cosmic Jokers and others, who drew their inspiration following the Tangerine Dream concerts of the era 73 to 77. Long improvised titles that found their full potential of fury in concert. Before the explosions, there were long ambient exploratory phases. Sometimes it can be long, other times less. BURN is already the 11th opus of the trio that is composed of Adrian Beasley, John Christian and Pete Ruczynski. Recorded at the 2nd Festival of Hampshire Jam in November 2002, this album circulated as a good bootleg and made the delight of AirSculpture's fans who had witnessed this evening of high energy for sequencers totally crazy. The magic of Internet makes this recording legally available in downloadable format of high sound quality comparable to a CD recording. Today, you can even get it in Wav or AIFF. BURN is a long title divided into 4 acts soberly titled Stage 1 to Stage 4.
Stage I begins with a long, dark, dragging intro. Air Sculpture as I have a distant memory of. The sounds of old organs go along a discreet choir of a mellotron and with a synth with ghostly lines. One would think to hear the breaths of a saxophone lost in a cosmic labyrinth where the absence of movement is barely remarkable, so much the sound mass is moving and dense. Sound on sound, in a context without rhythm where the improvisation and the harmony of the sounds is at the base of this intro, Stage I ends up being animated with crystalline arpeggios which echo in hoops of glass and oscillate on a plate of prism. These rings of clashing tones are reminiscent of Eddie Jobson's brilliant stratospheric universe on his astonishing Theme of Secrets. These tinkles rush into a static wall that refuses to evolve, preferring to swallow all sounds and stifle it in an inert psychedelic sphere rather than release them in a more musical atmosphere. Stage I is a slow introduction to this concert and goes beyond the limits of Stage II, which continues this exploration of soporific ambiguities with such slow layers, forming an opaque nebulosity that seems impassable. Fine pulsations animate the movement that neigh under a synth to the desert blasts. We remain in a psychedelic universe where electronic croakings of all kinds annoy the morphic tranquility, before turning into a strange sequence that molds a slow and progressive rhythm with clearer and livelier sequences. Say it's a good time filled with good synth solos that embellish a minimalism retro Berlin School sequenced structure. A structure that becomes spasmodic with its abundant and frenetic sequences that accelerate a rhythm always seized by sharper synth solos. Stage III spits fire with sequences that intertwine to form a crossroads of ambivalent and always nervous rhythms. The world of sequencers' multi-rhythm unfolds with a growing subtlety and it hits for sure. A real lesson on the art of the sequencer and its enormous rhythmic possibilities. This rhythm clings to an intensely creative sound universe that oscillates between psychedelic and progressive, always on the premises of a heavy and powerful electronic rock. An insane movement that extends to Stage IV and its circular structure that cuts out a rhythm crazier than frantic in a fairy-tale dance of totally discordant synths. That's AirSculpture!
BURN is a little jewel of explosive and wild EM. Intense, nervous and undisciplined, it's an album that we slowly tame because of its vision of abstract music in a few places and a larger part of ambient phases than rhythms. But its core beats a crazy life that reconciles us easily with this slight shift between rhythm and atmosphere.
Sylvain Lupari (March 25th, 2009) *****
Available on AirSculpture Bandcamp