ALBA ECSTASY: Vox of Sequencing (2021)
Updated: Jun 23, 2021
“A new sound in a sequencing pattern a bit different, but it's the same old AE”
1 In the Agony of Rhythm 12:04
2 What Are the Odds? 8:46
3 Incidental Consequence 8:44
4 Vox X 12:55
(DDL 42:31) (V.F.)
Alba Ecstasy presents us a rather special new album. The rhythm is solid! Very solid even, with a heavy mesh between the sequencer, the bass lines and those of pulsing bass-lines which hammer lead in our ears. There is also this keyboard more present with lively arpeggios that run like lounge or light jazz harmonies. The sequences! Mihail-Adrian Simion sequences just about everything that comes in his mind, making the minimalist structures of VOX OF SEQUENCING even more convincing. One can not denying the trance approach of the Romanian School as popularized by Indra in the 90's. The percussions and percussive elements? There is also something new and it's great... In short, AE gives us an earful on a relatively short album full of cosmic panoramas structured by a sequencer always at the top of its stuff in the Alba Ecstasy universe.
An astral choir is at the origin of In the Agony of Rhythm. Its seraphic chant is supported by a synth from which escapes a mixture of reverberations and organic effects. It is thus very early that the chthonic voices infiltrate the ambiences. Melted in the confusion of cosmic winds and pushed subtly by a shadow of bass, this mass humming gradually increases the degree of its intensity up until a baby snake with bells surrounds it, calms it down to present it, more docile, to a fluty ceremony. Three minutes have gone by. The flute's chant has been sequenced and rolls in loops, releasing a fluid rhythm that jumps from one step to the next. From one ear to the other! This agony (sic) of rhythm (sic) is hectic and relies on keyboard chords that draw a frenetic melody that rolls on and on with a close collaboration of organic, psychedelic-like and ultimately percussive effects. Cycles that intervene in turn, accompanying the melody, as sometimes together to create a total anarchy on a rhythmic line that runs out of steam. What our ears have noticed is this little bug with nervous percussive claps that are provided with a tonality that is quite great to the ear. Jumping from In the Agony of Rhythm to What Are the Odds? this sonic firefly has that little defibrillator feel to it that wakes up a spheroidal rhythmic structure that slowly transforms into a lively rhythmic movement, a bit like 3 pairs of hands playing scissors on the same wire. Saccadic and violent, the rhythm is also accompanied by this bug with its frenetic clackings. It turns into a more musical structure before entering a more electronic phase, serving the cause to a synth so that it can lay down solos with wah-wah without fuzz in an interplanetary ambience. That's Alba Ecstasy in all its splendor!
Incidental Consequence is a track without stories focused on a hammering rhythm on a jumping marble that chases an overly melancholic melody that has the essence of the one that crackled on In the Agony of Rhythm. The jumping ball dances with its shadow and these organic pulsations surrounding it to bring it to this idyllic haze with the stories of the Berlin School. Its evolution goes through a short phase of confusion to emerge calmer and more ambient. The fade-out is quite abrupt for ears looking for serenity... A track without stories I said!? Vox X is the piece de resistance of VOX OF SEQUENCING! It starts with an electronic firefly that twirls. Dropping its shadow, they are two. They dance and switch positions between overlapping breaths. This indecision creating a fragile balance is driven by a line of low sequences. The rhythm is lively and jerky. And it's even more than that when a pulsating bass line injects rhythmic fuel to a static track but with an unheard-of violence for its driving effect. The keyboard layers a melodic phase that is supported by cellists whose slow, graceful strokes caress a structure where the explosion seems to be the only possible outcome. I have like this tasty sensation to be in a trance of Indra on an explosive structure to the Klaus Schulze of the years 85-90, kind of Constellation Andromeda from the Dreams album. The explosion does not take place! AE privileges a decomposition of the fragmentary violence of its rhythmic mathematics which little by little joins the originality of its introduction in a finale which always carries the high tonality of its sequence at arm's length.
Sylvain Lupari (June 23rd, 2021) *****
Available at Alba Ecstasy Bandcamp