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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALBA ECSTASY: The Best of Live Studio Vol. 5 (2018)

“Yet, another good album which mixes with tact both Rumanian and Berlin Schools from a prolific artist whose sources never seem to get drying up”

1 Magne 6:07 2 Collisions 13:01 3 The Land of Ro 12:09 4 Hemisphere 11:18 5 Images 8:34 6 Strings of the Desert 8:10 Alba Ecstasy Music

(DDL 59:20) (V.F.) (Rumanian and Berlin Schools)

My experience of reviewing all Alba Ecstasy albums for 2018 is coming to an end. And I must admit that I totally fell under the charms of this ultra prolific composer whom is Mihail Adrian Simion. As so simplistic, since most of his compositions revolve almost around the same evolutionary angle, as very seductive, his sonic prose remains magnetizing while his minimalist structures are perfect for his ingenuity in stringing things that catch on, both hearing and senses. THE BEST of LIVE STUDIO Vol.5 is one of those compilations in the kingdom of Alba Ecstasy that only Mihail Adrian Simion can explain the way it goes and the why. Basically, this is a compilation of titles played live in 2018, except for Collisions (2017) and could not find a place on another album of AE, as everything is recycled in the downloading world of the Romanian artist who is also a designer/engineer in electronics as well as synths and sequencers. A profession that explains a lot the talent of this artist. And as always, Alba Ecstasy offers us a beautiful EM where are still hidden sweet pearls.

Magne stretches its first 2 minutes with arcs of reverberations that intersect and stack in a dense magma of sounds. A bass pulsation, kind of Klaus Schulze's style of the years 74-75, livens these ambiences and transforms itself into an organic tone, while the synth continues to amplify its sound mass with effects and solos. A title without history! Collisions is quite the opposite with an approach of Rumanian School a la Indra. If the pace is attractive with its subtle zigzag growth, the tone of the synth requires some adjustments to the ears. Most beautiful title of THE BEST of LIVE STUDIO Vol.5, The Land of Ro is really in the Indra genre. Muffled and slightly resonant pulsations as well as agile sequences which build a minimalist pace with a slightly esoteric hue and a divinely evolutionary course, the rhythm is as magnetizing as melodic. Clinking cymbals adorn this delicate spiritual trance which is certainly one of the best titles of Alba Ecstasy in 2018. Small stars ring in the opening of Hemisphere. Their pearl chant sparkles pleasantly and waits for this line of vampiric bass which ripples like sheets of gold in a azure wind. Techno percussions for Zombies marinated in HTC clinch along at this semi-fast pace just after the 3 minutes' mark. Evolving in a minimalist and delightfully hypnotic Berlin School style, this rhythm takes hold of our fingers tapping on the arm of our couch while subtly drifting to a stroboscopic phase controlled by the circular song of harmonic sequences. Simple? But extremely magnetizing! Images is another good title in EM with a jerky rhythm which is ideal for supporting an avalanche of good synth solos. Strings of the Desert ends this THE BEST of LIVE STUDIO Vol.5 with nice Arabic fragrances. Bass pulsations as well as crackling rattlesnakes get graft to the bass resonances of a first throw of the sequencer which extends a tenderly pulsating linear movement. Above it, breath of desert winds. It's the perfect setting to make clink some clearer sequences which cut out a fragile melody shivering in the darkness of the desert. Do I hear Berber songs? Yep! And it's throughout the 8 minutes of this very beautiful title that AE adds these phantasmagorical elements that mystify as much as charm my ears that were initially reluctant towards this overproduction of EM. To follow… in the next review of Spells. But in the meantime, it's clear that Mihail Adrian Simion remains a musical source which doesn't want to dry up.

Sylvain Lupari (January 2nd, 2018) *****

Available at Alba Ecstasy Bandcamp

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