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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Alluste The Way to the Stars (2023)

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

A very accessible EM with cadenced melodies and others whistled by a rather melancholic synth

1 Full Space Harmonics 7:18

2 Among the Expanding Stars 6:18

3 In search of Exoplanets 9:32

4 Infinite Distances 7:01

5 Prophets of the Parallel Worlds 7:50

6 Radiating Joy 8:00

7 Third Kuiper Belt 6:59

(DDL 52:59) (V.F.)

(Berlin School Cosmic)

Four sequenced pensive chords wandering between misty breezes, and a melody whistled by a nostalgic synth, are at the origin of Full Space Harmonics. From the outset, we recognize Alluste's signature, with sequencer and synth uniting their minimalist visions in a melodious theme that confirms his style of cosmic romance with an Italian flavor. Mirror dusts begin to flicker just before the 90th second. An innocuous signal, an expected staging for the Italian musician to put life to a line of arpeggios that leaps with greater vigor. It dances and twirls around this first outline of a cadenced melody. A few star sprinkles later, and a sequenced pulsing bass-line moves into ascending ambient rhythm mode some 20 seconds into the 3rd minute. In this slowly unfolding musical scenography, Full Space Harmonics slowly swirls between our ears with this combination of processional sequences and flickering rhythmic until its atmospheric transition point around its 6th minute. This first track from THE WAY TO THE STARS kicks off another seductive album from Alluste, who stays in his comfort zone by offering beautiful ballads of cosmic electronic music (EM) that can be listened to in one go without our ears wincing because something goes wrong. What made Full Space Harmonics will make the rest of the album, at some nuances near. The Italian synthesist has come a long way since 2008's Constellation. He's no longer that shy, insecure synthesizer-musician. He's become an excellent musician and composer and has developed uncommon dexterity when it comes to running his sequencer. In fact, over the past few albums, he has mastered the art of composing and performing beautiful synth solos that are both harmonious and complex. THE WAY TO THE STARS continues where Sparkling Star left off, offering cosmic New Berlin School where the influences of Chris Franke and Johannes Schmoelling, in the art of writing music, serve the cause of his minimalist structures.

Among the Expanding Stars follows with a string of limpid sequences swirling over the resonance of a sequenced pulsing bass-line. We're in a good Berlin School with this ritornello of sequences that subdivides its core to create a livelier rhythmic structure. The synth, so beautiful and romantic in this album's grandeur, weaves a nice melody that weeps with emotion in the delicate whirls of the swirling sequences. We hear fluty riffs reminiscent of the world of Tangerine Dream, if not Edgar Froese, as the track also migrates into its atmospheric transition phase in the middle of its 3rd minute. From then on, the pace quickens to become a good, driving electronic rock. In search of Exoplanets presents a slow opening of interstellar elements with an orchestral haze from which breathless voice effects. A shadow of bass extends its latent pulse with increasingly sustained inflections, giving a texture of coming drama in the 4 minutes or so that In search of Exoplanets takes before taking off on a hectic sequencer impulse. The movement becomes hurried, with sequenced modulation giving it more momentum. Industrial haze and chthonian voices deepen its atmospheric scope, while the rhythm displays a new dynamic before crossing its 7th minute. Prophets of the Parallel Worlds is conceived in the same vein, but with more generous synth solos. These are 2 very solid tracks on this album.

Infinite Distances follows with cosmic rock that's livelier to the brain and fingertips than the feet. The sequencer slaloms a line of vividly swirling sequences, forming short figure of 8 over a pulsating line of bass sequences. Electronic effects and melodious synth solos adorn this electronic rhythm, which runs its distance without atmospheric phase, except for the sequencer, which runs solo for a few seconds. I can't put my ear to it, but the opening of Radiating Joy reminds me so much of a great EM moment. And it undeniably gives me a good dose of those shivers that make the hairs on my back and arms dance. Its introductory haze is delicately perfumed with philharmonic wind instruments, where threads of seraphic voices and tender solos of a synth so nostalgic it breaks my heart. It's a superb moment of EM that Piero Monachello addresses to our ears here. This introduction, which I'd like to be eternal, comes to life on the delicate beats of a spiraling sequence line. Despite this puny backbone of momentum free rhythm, Radiating Joy retains its cachet as a melodious atmospheric ballad. A pulsating bass-sequence line quietly changes the game after the 4-minute mark, reorienting the meditative structure for a quiet electronic rock phase that rotates with a delicate sequencer ratchet effect under dreamy-flavored synth riffs and Alluste's unique signature synth solos. A great piece of EM, I tell you! Third Kuiper Belt ends Alluste's latest opus with an elastic rhythm structure. The sequencer activates a bouncing line whose ratchet effect comes and goes in a minimalist vision that starts pulsing after a very sci-fi cinematic atmospheric opening of more or less 3 minutes. This setting is permanent, and Alluste even adds vocal effects, while Third Kuiper Belt quietly elaborates its exit with more convincing electronic rock.

The only thing I can say against Alluste is that he remains comfortably ensconced in his comfort zone. My Italian friend takes few risks, offering very good music that's easy to listen to. A very melodious EM with cadenced melodies and others whistled by a rather melancholy synth that weaves its earworms here and there in the dimensions of THE WAY TO THE STARS. Beauty at its simplest!

Sylvain Lupari (October 21st, 2023) *****

Available at Alluste Bandcamp

(NB: Texts in blue are links you can click on)

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