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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALBA ECSTASY: Consequences (2020)

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

Evolving rhythms on minimalist patterns which always dig a crescendo that leads us to EDM

1 Melancholic Flow 7:06

2 Pianos on Mars I 8:26

3 Revolution 6:58

4 Pianos on Mars II 11:19

5 The Last Fall 17:12

6 Detuned Silence 5:00

7 Ad Astra 7:37

(DDL 63:40) (V.F.)

(Berlin School, Ambient & EDM)

It's with a rhythm galloping like a cavalry that this last opus of Alba Ecstasy begins. The rhythm built on bass-sequenced pulsations is overlapping plains of celestial voices where these trapped chimes ring in this catchy rhythm of Melancholic Flow. And there is a bit of truth in this sad music. As long as these chimes turn into bouncing singing tears. Percussions wait for the 3rd minute. They are also tinged of melancholy with their strikes which seem to sulk their pleasure in a captivating title which reaches a 3rd stage with solos, like synth chants, which remain in the same visions. Even if the ambiences flirt with melancholy, we should not snob our pleasure and appreciate these solos, as well as these spasmodic sequences, which garnish a royal finale. Pianos on Mars I is a new adventure that Mihail-Adrian Simion was undertaking on his YouTube site around mid-October 20. Another video is also online showing how Pianos on Mars II is improvised. My words will never be as beautiful and good as your eyes can see and make you hear. It's for this reason that I have put two links to you towards these two splendid pieces of music. By the way, AE's YouTube is filled with some great videos if you're interested in finding out how he does EM. Let's jump to Revolution which presents a horde of rhythmic marbles rushing out of their enclosure. Some stumble, others push! It looks like they have entered an abacus filled with mocking cries from a synth with analog effects. A bass pulsation is invited to inject straightness into the rhythm. Its irregular beat throws out vibrations, inviting a line of rhythmic riffs to this static dance which becomes a good spasmodic Electronic Dance Music, always filled with vintage synth effects.

The 17 minutes of The Last Fall precede a smoother and more harmonious Pianos on Mars II by throwing out a synth pad filled with hums flowing in a jerky effect. The synth is as discreet as melodious in its shade of shy, cooing on an introduction sewn into the astral cloudiness. This very ambient phase of CONSEQUENCES evolves in a form of crescendo where the marriage between astral mists and increasingly sharp synth solos reminds us of a certain Klaus Schulze in his prime. And it's after the 6th minute that the memories surface. A movement of the sequencer erects these stubborn ascending steps. The atmospheres seem to whisper their mysteries to us, while the synth, always so enticing, goes there with its most beautiful chants and solos. The percussions begin to dance around the 10 minutes, restructuring the peaceful rhythm of The Last Fall in a form of gesticulating and spasmodic snake that a big drums and its destructive strikes annihilate with a violence that literally took me by surprise. Although overexcited, the tone of the keystrokes remains surprisingly felted. You get used to it, even if it's rather disturbing. The solos that fly by doing succulent pirouettes, like paper planes, save the place here while slowly, The Last Fall returns home by taking the reverse direction of its opening. The layers that have grown on the moods of the title are also found at the opening of Detuned Silence which is an attempt at a psychedelic EM from the 70's. Ad Astra does not cut corners by offering straightforwardly a lively movement of the sequencer which alternates its keys in a kind of tubular carousel in mode; everything that goes up a little goes down a little lower. A line of bass pulses beats and extends its resonances with heavy steps that go zigzagging with no intention of going faster or higher, but rather to welcome these ever so attractive solos. Following the principle of Revolution, the structure evolves little by little to reach a fluid and circular electronic rock filled of good solos and garnished with good effects without forgetting these undulating mists which are always present in the cosmic rock of Alba Ecstasy.

Sylvain Lupari (November 20th, 2020) *****

Available at Alba Ecstasy Bandcamp

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