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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ALIEN NATURE: Distant Calling (2005)

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

“Distant Calling has a more progressive touch and complex structures filled by the essences of vintage Berlin School”

1 Winter Ritual 23:34 2 The Awakening 15:06 3 Signs 9:36 4 Beyond the Northwind 10:07 5 Ice Floating 15:59 SynGate | CD-R AN01

(CD-R 74:20) (V.F.) (Dark vintage Berlin School)

Well...After hearing Anna I got to know more about Alien Nature. Was the man behind it a flash in the pan? I dug into his collaboration with Lambert Ringlage in Hypnosphere, where 2 great albums came out of it, I through a discreet ear on Distractions and I finally hook on DISTANT CALLING. And no, the man isn't an evanescent sparkle in the universe of EM. He is simply good. Surfing in the waves of the dark ambient works of Hypnosphere, DISTANT CALLING is a call for a change of direction. It's a change that we clearly feel here with a great world of sequencing where the rhythms are nervous and ambiences tenebrous on a wonderful mixture of Klaus Schulze and Steve Roach.

Winter Ritual is this kind of long epic EM track which hypnotizes as long as it unfurls in our ears and enter in our head. It comes to life by the magical of a floating synth which frees its loud timbres waltzing among a fine rain and some threatening atmospheric drones. Very shady this synth moulds its sound arches while infusing an ambiophonic loudness from which is born a sequence pattern wrapped of a dense synth veil. On its echoing and minimalism movement, built on jerked chords, Winter Ritual strikes with skill the hearing of its parallel sequences dance. The movement stays slow and mesmerising, and the evolution is quite simply superb with its celestial choruses. And we are amazed by this oblong procession which transports us at the edge of the 70's, especially when the Mellotron strings unfold its wings and wrap a movement which becomes more intense and seeks to fly higher by the elytrons of the percussions' cymbals. It's a great track in Alien Nature repertoire. Surfing on a heavy breeze, a flute fits closely the fragmentary movements of The Awakening while infiltrating the subtle incipient modulations from a tetanized intro. A chime line emerges. Making popping its keys on a metallic nebula, it draws the birth of a heavy sequence chaotic pattern powdered of a rich sonic fauna as much harmonious as acid. These ethereal ambiences of The Awakening overflow over the border of Signs which is a more aggressive track with lot of sequences borne by multi tones nuances and a synth with the fluty breaths, combining the harmony and the softness on a structure which is lull by varied and progressive ambiences. With Beyond the Northwind and Ice Floating, we are entering into the more atmospheric spheres of DISTANT CALLING. Without being completely floating, these two tracks present slow evolutions which lull us of a supple windy veil. On structures quite similar to The Awakening, Alien Nature wraps us of an increasing nebulosity on slow and minimalism sequencing pattern pulled by synths with waves and lamentations eroded by a boreal opacity.

DISTANT CALLING is very different from Anna. It still breathes the dark ambiences of Hypnosphere and it's not a flaw, on the contrary. It has a more progressive touch and complex structures. Wolfgang Barkowski presents an album filled by the essences of vintage Berlin School that are aromatized of the dark and desertic waves of Steve Roach. In all, it's an intense and immersive album that fans of Klaus Schulze and Steve Roach will like for sure.

Sylvain Lupari (May 16th, 2007) ***½**

Available at SynGate Bandcamp

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