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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALBA ECSTASY: Spells (2018)

“It's pretty hard to resist to so many calls from the sequencer and its mesmerizing minimalist movements in Spells”

1 Dance of Medusa 8:13 2 Fantasia 5:06 3 Spells 9:25 4 Incantation 3:54 5 Active Geometry 17:38 Alba Ecstasy Music

(DDL 44:18) (V.F.) (Roumanian School)

It seems that I did not have them all! That there would have been compilations or reissues that passed me under the ears in 2018. So here is this latest album of Alba Ecstasy in 2018 which is also a final fantasy of the Romanian synthesist as he sings on some titles. It's not really bad! His incantations fit very well with the Roumanian School style which projects more and more musical fragments related to the music of Indra. This being written, SPELLS is another good album that looks like many other Alba Ecstasy albums. It's always pleasant to discover and to hear since its minimalist structures serve as a setting for evolutions which are always in mode surprise and seduction.

Dance of Medusa starts things off with a movement of the sequencer which delivers to our ears a spasmodic line. The keys are fat and jump in a cosmic Funk and Break Dance slathered with circular synth pads whose semi strident blades are like warning lights in alert mode. Falling percussions, as well as more limpid sequences jumping on the spot, reorient the structure towards a cosmic rock embellished by a keyboard that coo a protean melody perfectly in line with this dislocated structure. Fantasia offers synth waves which roll between our ears like those waves that we hear on a beach. The sequencer emerges around the 2 minutes, structuring a rhythm nourished of brief oscillations which roll in loops in a final where din and serenity have the same fight. These oscillations find a new identity in Spells which is rocked by tender orchestral layers. Gently, these ambiences migrate using another more accentuated movement of the sequencer and slamming percussive elements which captivate an auditory interest. The percussions get in and structure a lively rhythm for the neurons. This cosmic rock is nourished by a thick layer of sounds and allows Mihail Adrian Simion to lay down his voice in different forms and vocal effects. These periodic incantations sit pretty well with this minimalist structure which, once again, fills up with charming and magnetizing additions. This is consistent with the signature of Alba Ecstasy.

Short and effective, Incantation is delivered to our ears with a big sonic worm that dismantles its sequences in a still seductive up/downs movement which is proper to the Berlin School. It's the tone and the sensual approach of the movement that sets it apart from the Berlin style. And Alba Ecstasy goes on with incantations without words. With these lines of sequences coming and going, waltzing and crisscrossing their rhythmic charms in an ambient void of which only the resonance embroiders a sound aura, the very Indra Active Geometry is the cornerstone of this SPELLS. The movement is jerky and hides orchestrations in staccato that breathe strongly behind this phase of ambient rhythm. Jets of mist add a dreamy touch and a pulsating breath of bass, a dramatic touch. The percussions, and its rattlings, direct Active Geometry towards a morphic techno approach whose stationary vibrations of the sequencer and the percussions are so reminiscent of Indra's incantatory dance universe. Shifted by the sound movement of this rhythmic mass, arpeggios tingle without precise melody and leaves rather this aspect to the sequencer which frees a line as rhythmic as melodic. It could last even longer than one would always be subjugated. But it has to end...

Neither brilliant nor uninteresting; SPELLS is in continuity with the works of Alba Ecstasy that I heard this year. It's pretty hard to resist to so many calls from the sequencer and its mesmerizing minimalist movements, even when the synth lets its solos for another album. The voices? Well, it's not that much! They serve as ostentatious decoration to the myths of esoteric music. I liked it well, even though I had this feeling of déjà-heard. But isn't not proper to minimalist music?

Sylvain Lupari (February 25th, 2019) *****

Available at Alba Ecstasy Bandcamp

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