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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALBA ECSTASY: Behind the Horizon Line (2016)

“For musical tales built at the speed of light, the music of Alba Ecstasy hides always a fascinating side which does its effect”

1 Bouncing Rain 10:25 2 Folded Clouds 8:57 3 Behind the Horizon Line (Part I) 6:56 4 Behind the Horizon Line (Part II) 5:28 5 Behind the Horizon Line (Part III) 7:35 6 Granular Sky 8:40 7 Scaling in Gravity 13:00 Alba Ecstasy Music

(DDL 61:04) (V.F.) (Berlin School)

What a pleasure I have to browse the discography of the man of 75 albums! The qualifying on Alba Ecstasy's prolificity are missing so much the synthesist and the creator of sounds and machines of sounds is even more fertile than a dozen of female cats in spring. BEHIND THE HORIZON LINE is his how much? No idea! During some exchanges of e-mails with Mihail Adrian Simion, the count bordered 72 ones after 10 Stories. Four albums were released since. I know that it can looks as being a lack of seriousness. Except that in each album that I have listened, I always found a kind of smile, and delight, which brushes the incredulity. If you like sequences, Berlin School movements or still these moods papered in cosmic walls, the wide range of the Rumanian synthesist creation hides several elements that will know how to please you. Even if the impression of being in a state of musical stagnation will tug you with this inescapable hunger of EM.

A steady pulsation ploughs the bottom of our eardrums followed by a line of frail sequences which spills its keys in the jingles of metallic elytron. Hoarse twists get in, bringing an organic element to this structure of hypnotic mid-tempo where a very good line of bass widens its vampiric coat of arms. Simple in its minimalist pattern, but really effective with its magnetic erosive approach, Bouncing Rain explains all the charms of Alba Ecstasy's music. From a simple movement pulsatoire, Bouncing Rain reveals its charms by grafting intriguing sound elements and by inciting subtly the pace to step up a notch to weave a delicious effect of echoing jolts. Folded Clouds proposes an introduction as much ambiosonic than ambiospheric with noises and sound effects which reveal a psychotronic side and a nice song of a flute of the Arabian nights. The music gets livelier with good percussions in the middle, leading the ambiences of a good heathen dance. Divided into 3 parts which reach a twentyish of minutes, the title-track begins with a synthesized wave which unties its shadows at the same time as it reveals a cardiac beating. The rhythm is slow, in spite of the pokes of percussions, and amplifies the heaviness of its pace with metallic jingles while the harmonies float as a shadow which escapes from a synth always perfumed of old Arabian treasures. After a short and rather quiet phase, Behind the Horizon Line (Part II) beats more swiftly. A curt rhythm with jerky spasms in a phase of psychotronic atmospheres with a harvest of rippling lines to the colors of prism and with the sighs of its iridescent outlines. After this phase of symmetric pulsations, Behind the Horizon Line (Part III) attacks our ears with a series of sequences of which the keys romp around with their copies. This enticing electronic movement is knocked down by a line of bass sequences which makes its keys go off the rails and percussions which beat in an anarchy pattern. But there is a kind of unity behind this disheveled movement which feeds an up-tempo with the sound colors rather near a psychedelic and organic universe. It's some good Berlin School completely stripped of its harmonious portion.

If you like the beatings, the lively and untidy sequences as well as the hits of percussions without really a harmonious rhythmic direction, this conclusion of a rather atypical title-track is made for you. Granular Sky pursues these fascinating rhythmic patterns of continual chassé-croisé with two lines of rhythms, a bass one and the other one crystal clear, which zigzag and crisscross beneath a sound sky ochred of noises of an organic oddity which peppers all the structures of BEHIND THE HORIZON LINE. Scaling in Gravity surprises with its very Edgar Froese approach (it sounds like we are in the era of Pinnacles or Stuntman) with another lively and undisciplined movement of sequence which runs like a thousands of lost steps under the stormy shadows of a synth and its multiple lines and its breezes more in a mode of harmonious ambiences. We can even hear there a guitar spreading shyly its notes in this tumult which remains rather homogeneous in spite of the liveliness of the sequences. Boosted sequences which jump up and sparkle to the greatness of BEHIND THE HORIZON LINE which, for an album chewed fast, charms rather easily with a good music which reaches its purpose, either seduce every fan of EM filled with sequences and with rhythms which hang onto the style of Berlin School. I liked solidly!

Sylvain Lupari (August 23rd, 2016) ***½**

Available at Alba Ecstasy Bandcamp

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