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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALBA ECSTASY: The Quest (2017)

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

Too many minutes of music but still The Quest reveals nearly 45 minutes of solid EM which will please to the fans of Schulze 84-88 era

1 Beyond The Fog 14:38 2 Silent 4:25 3 About You 7:15 4 The Quest 12:14 5 Legacy of Uranus 11:15 6 Instinct 6:57 7 The Lost Part of a Stellar Symphony 8:12 Alba Ecstasy Music

(DDL 65:51) (V.F.) (Mix of New Berlin and Roumanian Schools)

I'm continuing the sound exploration of the last albums that Alba Ecstasy sent me with THE QUEST, the second album of the Rumanian synthesist in 2017 (the other one being Bionic Memories in January). If I was seduced by the progression and the permutation of the vibes as well as the minimalist rhythms of the Rumanian School on the Synergy and Sublunary albums, I was just as much on this album which also hides beautiful small jewels and a big ONE in the title-track which has literally dragged me towards the furious rhythms of Klaus Schulze in one of his best era of the 80's. But before …

Arpeggios are perforating a barrage of orchestrations, of which the harmonies stroll by going down from heavens, in order to cavort of the tips of their keys on a musical premise tinted by the icy romance of Crystal Lake. Layers of violins throw an aura of mysticism to this soft movement on where pulses a kind of uncertain bass line which will produce beautiful effects of intensity in the course of the ascent of Beyond The Fog. Minimalist, the movement is soft and very magnetizing with these layers of metallic drizzle and some rather discreet synth solos. And the collapse of the line of bass, towards the finale, shakes a little the hypnotic torpor of the listener. This line of bass is rather intense here and spreads the mooring lines of tragedy in Silent, which offers a rather gloomy flavor. A thin line of sequences flows peacefully there, like a suspended brook in some layers that my ears are mistaken with sighs of an old organ. We stay in the lento hypnotic style with About You and its effects, its charming solos which go and get in into a languishing wave-like movement. This slow movement of electronic staccato adopts more vigor in the title-track. The Funk beat, the pulsations/percussions in morphic Techno mode and the layers of synth, as well as the solos, which coo like an unrealistic opera make of this title a real tribute to Klaus Schulze. The tempo, slow but lively, bangs between our ears with good percussions and a movement of sequence as lively as fluid which throws a beautiful jerky movement while the bass line lies down its mesmerizing charms. It is, and by far, the best title in THE QUEST, although Legacy of Uranus isn't that far from being number one track here.

The structure of rhythm stays in a membrane of ambient moods, but with a clear progression in force and in intensity. Here also the sequences follow one another in a good pace, while staying in a motionless approach. It's the percussive effects and the guttural gurgling which give so much charm and depth to a structure perfumed of the essences of Inter*Face to En=Trance era. I adored, but I am not difficult to convince when percussive effects get grafted into a good evolutionary minimalist structure. We stay in this period of Klaus Schulze with Instinct and its opening which would do great in a good suspense film, otherwise a horror film. Slow and sneaky, the first movement of the sequencer is outclassed by another one where the keys blink swiftly. Percussions knock out this interbreeding of the ambient rhythm, guiding it like the pace of an old ship on the path of the boarding in the same time as Mihail Adrian Simion scatters very good synth solos. The Lost Part of a Stellar Symphony concludes an album that I would classify as uneven but all the same rather beautiful with nice orchestrations which spin as slowly than a dying leaf getting loose from the influence of its branch by a cold morning of autumn.

The 65 minutes of THE QUEST includes nearly twenty in excess. But if we consider that 45 minutes or 65 have no impact on the price of the download, I would conclude that this other Alba Ecstasy's album remains a good choice for the fans of Klaus Schulze, period Angst to Miditerranean Pads.

Sylvain Lupari (September 15th, 2017) ***½**

Available at Alba Ecstasy Bandcamp

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