ALBA ECSTASY: iDeity (2017)
Updated: Aug 31, 2019
“Vangelis or not. Blade Runner and/or still not; iDeity is right in this middle where the music is at the service of a movie well anchored in our head”
1 The Plot 1:58 2 What Are You? 9:52 3 Electrified Action 5:37 4 There is no Past 4:58 5 A Walk Into the Night 3:15 6 Tomorrow is Now 5:35 7 Positronic Response 6:04 8 Odyssey to Glory 4:25 9 Corrupted System 6:08 10 Analog Whispers 6:00 11 The End of World Will Come on a Thursday 5:10 Alba Ecstasy Music
(DDL 59:08) (V.F.) (Ambient, cinematographic)
Here's Alba Ecstasy's 4th album that I review this year. A very prolific year (is it too much?) where the Rumanian synthesist laid down 17 albums on his Bandcamp site. iDeity is a kind of tribute to the world of Philip K. Dick and his literary mega success Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep which turned out into the cult movie Blade Runner by Ridley Scott. And Mihail Adrian Simion wants to be very clear about it; iDeity tries at no time to recreate the various soundtracks and the music written about this movie. And yet, it's all false! With these slow drifting movements and these tears of synth which moan in concertos for stringed instruments in a futuristic and apocalyptic universe, this last Alba Ecstasy's sound book doesn't certainly hit his target whished.
More an album of deep atmospheres than rhythms or still of melodies, iDeity opens with the nebulous floating waves of The Plot. As soon as the timpani drums roll and the synth layers moan like thick clouds of cellos taking off towards other horizons, it's already impossible for us to not to make of link here with the music of Vangelis. A grave music with austere movements which plunges us into the atmospheres of the cult movie, with images all around my head, unless we stare at the Sphinx on the front artwork of the album. The tones are more realistic of this rusty color, than those of a greyish black which always filled in my memory when I think of the movie. What Are You? follows with murmurs and always these layers to the perfumes of electronic trumpets which weigh down ambiences at the threshold of chloroform vapors. A rhythmic imaging wakes up from the sharp breaths of the new Jericho trumpets, feeding a structure which slightly drums as the first ambient rhythms of Klaus Schulze. The sound surface of iDeity is as much intense and scorching than the lively colors of its Sphinx. Electrified Action and its Vangelis chants, rather lyrical should I add, on a background of thundering reverberations and Positronic Response are just like this sound density in a universe of apocalyptic vibes that we can expect. While titles such as There is no Past and Tomorrow is Now offer very good structures of analog rhythms after nebulous introductions a la Vangelis. Tomorrow is Now is simply splendid by the way!
The music of A Walk into the Night is very much at the image of its naming. An oscillatory movement of the sequencer forges a line of rhythm of which the alternating skips oscillate in a harmonious opacity weaved by strata of synth which flutter such as an agile movement of waltz in symbiosis with the structure of rhythm. Both superposed movements give actually the illusion of a graceful walk by floodlit beings at night. A brilliant title which always remains in the thralls of these very Vangelis synth layers. And it isn't a problem! Even if those synth layers and apocalyptic orchestrations are infiltrating this whole album contrary to what Alba Ecstasy was hoping. The same goes for Odyssey to Glory which awakens our senses with heterogeneous noises, a little as in the opening atmospheres of Tomorrow is Now. Corrupted System is still in this psybient kind, while Analog Whispers uses less the effects of stridency while proposing a slow rhythm in ambiences which still flirt with the kind of psychedelic noises. The End of World Will Come on a Thursday ends this iDeity with strength! With a Vangelis pulsatory rhythm, Antartica comes to mind but in a slower, a more lento version I would insist, where roll wonderful solos. There is some drama, tension in the air. And that concludes another solid album, more ambient but really rich in effects and in orchestral layers, where Alba Ecstasy draws the insatiable greed from hidden chests of Vangelis. A strong album my friends which is going to unscrew your eardrums!
Sylvain Lupari (December 20th, 2017) *****
Available at Alba Ecstasy Bandcamp