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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALBA ECSTASY: Shadows in the Dark (2018)

“Shadows in the Dark is an opus without flaws nor lengths that should be on the menu of Klaus Schulze, Remy and Berlin School fans”

1 Shadows in the Dark I 15:58 2 Shadows in the Dark II 7:40 3 Shadows in the Dark III 11:19 4 Shadows in the Dark IV 15:19 Alba Ecstasy Music

(DDL 50:16) (V.F.) (Berlin School)

A cloud of electronic fog and of arrangements welcomes in its floating layers the groans of a synth guitar in mode Jimi Hendrix. We hear a very discreet ticking behind these sharp solos which twirl in all directions, like this red laser's point handled by a malicious hand. The ship of ambiences in the introduction of Shadows in the Dark I drifts gently towards a slight movement of the sequencer. The rhythm is fluid with a continuous line of sequences which makes oscillate swiftly its keys and isolates three of them which hop in stealthy loops, altering a minimalist structure which develops with more speed. The rhythm embraces a more electronic phase with the addition of percussive elements and more chaotic sequences which produce curt and slightly spasmodic movements and that are reminiscent of Tangerine Dream period 74-77, while resonant chords flutter all around a structure living of these fascinating crumbled synth solos. It's in the comeback album of Klaus Schulze, Silhouettes, that Alba Ecstasy drew his inspiration, after a short silence of 3 months, in order to compose the structures of SHADOW IN THE DARK. And yet, nothing here recalls the moods of Schulze's album. In fact, this last one of the Romanian musician-synthesist shines of its thousand fires a true good album of Berlin School with all the influences of the masters of this time.

Maybe the introduction of Shadows in the Dark II is a little reminiscent of Mirage for the brilliance and tinkling of the sequences, except that the flow, just as much hypnotic, is livelier, whereas the arrangements, and this intergalactic mermaid voice, carve much more intense ambiences with a more dramatic vision. Alba Ecstasy weaves beautiful synth solos here that have nothing in common with those of Shadows in the Dark I. It's with a soft cello and a baritone tuba effect that opens Shadows in the Dark III. A swarm of sequences begins to twinkle behind the pulsating pulses of the baritone, awakening a line of more fluid sequences which flows like in the magic years of analog rhythms. The essences of the Timewind years float on an always very convulsive movement of the sequencer whereas the synth scatters its reflections with brief solos and harmonic chords. Shadows in the Dark IV finishes this last album of Alba Ecstasy with a sharp and spasmodic rhythm woven on a mesh of 2 lines of contiguous sequences. The movement reminds me the delights of an album such as Dreams or En=Trance from Klaus Schulze. Fog pads, hiding the murmurs of absent voices, and solos, like songs of hummingbirds in harmony with nature, arise from a synth infected by the influences of the Berlin master. The minimalist rhythm adorns its parade of vibratory effects and good percussion around the 6th minute, adding a touch of trance for diabetic Zombies in a state of hyperglycemia. Chasing its odes of hummingbirds for solos corrupted by psychotronic substances, the synth also multiplies its paranormal effects that closely follow the curve of a sequencer and its pulsations full of radioactivity.

After the very solid Berlin Shades, Alba Ecstasy comes back with an equally attractive album. SHADOW IN THE DARK is an opus without flaws nor lengths that should be on the menu of Klaus Schulze, Remy and Berlin School fans with a light rhythmic flavor of Tangerine Dream. I devoured it from start to end with, as always, this effect of disbelief in my mind. Wondering how an artist can produce music at the same pace as a cat laying its kittens everywhere, while remaining credible in his quality and creativity. A very solid and beautiful album of EM! Sylvain Lupari (July 7th, 2018) ***** Available on Alba Ecstasy's Bandcamp

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