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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALBA ECSTASY: Synth Collection, Vol. 1 (2021)

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

The man travels in time and not because of the sounds... He writes classical EM

1 Time Traveller 10:08

2 A Lost Vision 7:47

3 Startdust 14:28

4 Space Cadet 8:02

5 Sequential Feelings 8:13

6 In Solitude 13:14

(DDL 61:54) (V.F.)

(Classical Berlin School)

Alba Ecstasy! Sometimes I think he is much alike the management of Tangerine Dream in the art of catering to his fans, as well as those of electronic music (EM) in general, with album after album and otherwise, compilation after compilation. But as long as the music is good, I have no problem with that. And it is very good! SYNTH COLLECTION Vol. 1 gathers a collection of tracks that were composed and elaborated with a unique synthesizer. Every note, every link, every sequence and solo was conceived on the same synth. Except for, and noted by ear, Space Cadet. It's a real work of structuring since today each series of chords, sequences, atmospheric layers and tone of solo is well recorded in a separate synth. So, we have a rich sound of the cosmic years with rhythms cut out in cascades on very good evolving minimalist structures. The strength of the synthesist-engineer from Romania.

A switch turns on to let the regurgitating strip of sounds of Time Traveller through! The effect is organic with the wash of a synth able to also extend a layer of mortuary melodies with its organ tone. The rhythm gets in a few seconds after the 2nd minute. Lively and jerky with an echo effect, it is of vintage color by reminding us of the spasmodic movements of Music from France, a beautiful album from Frederic Mercier, in a musical envelope making very retro. The organic filaments that surround the rhythm add a nice element of psybient for this track composed in 2014, while the synth solos that fly over performing many aerial acrobatics restore some of that nobility to the art of EM. A very good track! A Lost Vision exploits a rhythm that meets the needs of our neurons with a good electronic rock filled with creative synth solos. The rhythm structure responds to a kind of tornado where sequenced keys clash with arpeggios and other keys. Much like Time Traveller, the finale comes too quickly to exploit minutes of cosmic ambience that are not in vain. It reminds me a lot of Synergy, period Cords and Games. Startdust is a superb track as I like them. A pure classic of the Berlin School in the style of Klaus Schulze's icy era. The arpeggios clash to sculpt this kind of rhythmic melody that marvelously marries this movement of the sequencer jumping slyly with the same key, and its shadow. Simply beautiful with some great heartbreaking solos. The second half has a more altered rhythmic pattern, puny under its one-legged weight, while the arpeggio line traces a spasmodic melody. Using all his knowledge and influences of Klaus Schulze on his music, AE beats his structure with good percussions. Adding a 3rd evolutionary phase to this excellent track in SYNTH COLLECTION Vol. 1.

And when we talk about evolutionary structure, Space Cadet, which sounds really special in this collection, shows all its richness. Its basic rhythm follows the ascending, going up and down, movements of the Berlin School. Everything is done with elegance in a cosmic setting to make our ears overflow. A pulsing bass-line serves as technoïd percussions while short lines of harmonic arpeggios swirl innocently, enriching the structure even more, which will change its tone to go up a notch in order to offer another melodic perspective. A good track, simple and that goes very well. Sequential Feelings is another track that embraces the vintage Berlin School style with a technique that makes the music smeared with white noise and scratch effects on a vinyl. It flows very good with a lot of ​cosmic effects in a track that constantly dips into AE's reserves to always make his minimalist music more interesting. Whereas we say to ourselves; it lacks percussions and solos here, it was like if AE had guessed us! He inserts a pulse in 1, 2 and 3 beats at the same time as the synth solos start to crisscross this rhythm which had joined another line of the more harmonic sequencer. The result is a minimalist track as we like them and an album that makes me say that this Alba Ecstasy, career engineer, has invented a way to travel in time! There are tracks on this SYNTH COLLECTION Vol. 1 that endorse this hypothesis. And it's not just because of the sound...

Sylvain Lupari (November 29th, 2021) ****½*

Available at Alba Ecstasy Bandcamp

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