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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALBA ECSTASY: The Best Of (Vol.2) (2020)

I ended up liking this collection that makes me discover other albums and music from an always very talented artist

1 Earth to Space 6:54

2 Sequencing Virus Disease, P.1 23:55

3 Tension in the String 18:56

4 Hemisphere 11:18

5 Beyond the Fog 14:38

(DDL 75:45) (V.F.)

(Minimalist New Berlin School)

Obviously, there is a volume 2! Notice that I am not against the idea. Because it comforts me to find that in the whole spectrum of music of my dear friend Alba Ecstasy, I see a track like Sequencing Virus Disease, P.1. A 24-minute track that is both complex and evolving. I also like the idea because it makes me discover titles and albums that I did not know. Genre Earth to Space from the album of the same name, released in late summer 2015.

In a futuristic opening where machines dialogue between different forms of bipbip, a line of sequences emerges hastily in order to structure a lively movement. The rhythmic balls waddle in a perfect alternation that will be destroyed by a series of bass pulsations which try to drag us into a furious techno for one-legged on ecstasy. And so on, the sequencer releases 3 to 4 lines, some have a sense of harmony, on a carpet of skeletal fog. Convoluted, since that it's forged on the jostling of the many sequencer lines, the rhythm explodes with the arrival of percussions and mute hushing of the bass line in a fiery futuristic cosmic rock. Lively and stunning, this structure clings onto this mist that has become denser in an ideal finale to put our neurons to neutral. Very good, but I just discovered Light Years Away from the same album. WoW! Then comes this long cosmic opening that will feed your curiosity about sounds of Sequencing Virus Disease, P.1. Cosmic-organic sounds on a borborygmic magma that advances too quickly, the opening also highlights the cries or frolics of kids. Mihail-Adrian Simion injects a layer of mist infiltrated by harmonious arrangements where percussive effects flicker and dance with juicy elastic tones radiating the impossible. We progress slowly in the ambiences of this title rich in sound discoveries where our ears advance with their radars of perceptions in a corridor which filled them to the brim with multiple percussive effects which arrive in greater numbers, even accelerating this stationary cadence. Accomplice of our hearing, an intensity develops by an aggravation in the tones of the bluish mist and by these rowdy effects where a flute awaits us at the destination of this parade of atmospheric elements. More than 14 minutes after its opening, Sequencing Virus Disease, P.1 begins to live on a rhythm with Arabian perfumes for a big 4 minutes of liveliness versus 20 minutes of atmospheres. Yes, I am surprised by this selection which says a lot about the open-mindedness of Alba Ecstasy's fans and of EM in general.

The first half of Tension in the String offers a static rhythm pattern that imposes a strong will to beat. But the more time progresses, the more we feel a weariness settling in control of the title which will remain static and ambient in the second part. Let's say that it stays in the spirit of this album of the same name which was released in 2014. Hemisphere is a superb track with tonal aromas which smell Software to the fullest. The sound of shimmering and sequenced arpeggios, and the violin strings of orchestrations fill our ears of nostalgia. They perceive this rhythm structured on the crawling of bass pulsations and percussions. It only misses the synth solos which, half composed, will lull in the arms of Morpheus after the 8th minute. It's very beautiful and it's from the album The Best of Live Studio, Vol. 5 produced at the end of 2018. I let my ears wandered over a few bits of this album, and I found some particularly good music there. If you like orchestrations woven into the chills of the soul, the opening of Beyond the Fog should appeal to you. Me, it relaxes me with this cloud of violin tears which melt in a delicate movement of the sequencer. The structure is both musical and intriguing with the silent breaths of a bass line which begins to follow the very lively approach of the sequenced arpeggios. Another line comes from the sequencer, structuring a three-phase rhythm which makes its cabrioles in the residues of the orchestral mist which finally serves as a trampoline to a living structure which will remain on the same beat, unlike the synth which, far from being creative, does all the work to make pleasant these 14 minutes of this track which arrives to us from the album The Quest in 2015. That is to say at the very moment when I started seriously to listen to the works of Alba Ecstasy. Something that I have never regretted afterwards!

Sylvain Lupari (August 9th, 2020) *****

Available at Alba Ecstasy Bandcamp

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