ALLUSTE: Stelliferous Era (2014)
Updated: Aug 27
“Stelliferous Era is a great album which brings us back in this good time of sequenced melodies from the New Berlin School era”
1 Star Dance 9:04
2 Source of Life 8:42
3 Winds of Terror 14:00
4 Quark Stars 9:16
5 Spiral Evolution 8:10
6 Electric Star 9:36
7 Bright Stars 10:50
8 Cosmic Gate 10:14
(CDR/DDL 79:54) (V.F.)
(New Berlin School)
There is something quite special in Alluste's music. The Italian synthesist likes to exploit movements of harmonic sequences where the rhythms, as ambient as dreamy, are divided in order to initiate other lines of rhythms. These lines have souls of very soft rebels with overlapping and intersecting movements in a vision of rhythm more harmonic than ferociously rhythmic where the absence of synth solos forces Piero Monachello to reinforce the structures of his melodies with a very great work at the arpeggios' level. STELLIFEROUS ERA is already a 9th album where Chris Franke's influences are better felt by presenting this pattern of melodic sequences from which the rhythms can be as morphic as melancholic.
After an ambiospherical intro, with delicious rattlesnakes tinkling in a swirl of cosmic waters, Star Dance begins its delicate rhythmic ride like a lonely cowboy who furrows his lost horizons of his eyes. Clinging to heavy bass pulsations and gnawing small pebbles of rhythm hopping in all directions, Star Dance gallops finely in the mists of Orion and its ethereal voices. Circular and more harmonic than the phantom harmonies of the synths, the movement remains ambient while offering subtle variances which at times intensify a spheroidal approach whose only violence is to whirl more sharply. These ambient rhythms which float, and which almost sing melodies are the strength of this new album which at times sounds like a work of Brainwork. The music is very beautiful and flows like torrents harmonized by quiet furrows. And we find this same harmonic spheroidal movement on Bright Stars and its harmonies which are more forged in vocals and foggy synths, as well as on the ambient Spiral Evolution and its sequences with glass tones which try to awaken tightly woven ambiences where the cosmos breathes at full blast. The conclusion of Spiral Evolution in particular is simply superb. Source of Life displays a more threatening opening with dark pulsations which skip in the nasal layers of a synth with gloomy harmonies. Gradually, the movement is covered with a warmer veil while the ambient rhythm is detached in order to offer these variances which are the charms of the album. Among them is a more contemplative passage with a keyboard that weaves a melody whose solitary harmonies are coated with melancholy and dream on an ambient structure whose gallop of sequences shakes keys in a hurry to jump with more ardor.
Surprisingly, Winds of Terror is not so terrifying with its delicate pinched chords whose tones awaken memories of Vangelis and his very nostalgic approaches. The melody is sweet and dreamy. It sings in grainy mists and flows on a discreet rotary movement of the sequencer. Little by little, these sequences accelerate the pace and plunge the music into a rhythmic whirlwind whose velocity is increased by winds that have become more violent. These melodies that come out of nowhere to enhance the hypnotic sequenced structures are legion in STELLIFEROUS ERA. Another line of rhythm gets grafted. More harmonious, it divides as much the harmonies as a rhythm which swirls with more vigour and of which the spheroidal movements climb the mountains of mist from a synth always so discreet. You love this move? There are plenty over the 80 minutes of Alluste's last album. These sequences, maker of harmonious rhythms, are cradling our contemplatively on Quark Stars. The rhythm is ambient with sequencer keys dipping the tip of their rhythmic momentum like one dips the end of our toe on an ice-cold pond of water. Hopping with fear, the sequences interact with each other with soft mutations in the tones, which go from low to clear, creating a canvas of harmonic rhythm whose main threads offer subtle figures of underlying rhythms which wriggle in the shadows of a synth and of its obscure or absent hummings. The finale and its sequences which jumping with spasms in silver mists breathe the ghost rhythms of Tangerine Dream. The influences of the Dream also transpire on Cosmic Gate where the synths are much more melodious. They weave harmonies that coo like nightingale solos on a more dynamic spheroidal structure with sequences that stamp a more incisive and a more jerky cadence. It's good New Berlin School with these sequences that refuse to fall asleep in the last ether mists. These mists of ether feed Electric Star's overture to be finally diluted in morphic voices by a delicate circular movement of sequences. The hypnotic rhythm of Electric Star embraces the string of melodic rhythms that Alluste offers in STELLIFEROUS ERA; a good album where rhythms and their figures in perpetual movement dominate synths whose discreet harmonies blow on patterns of sequences with rhythms as morphic as melodic. An album highly recommended for fans of New Berlin School!
Sylvain Lupari (February 22nd, 2014) ****½*
Available at Alluste Bandcamp